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The curse of dirty power with a Walter Woods amp

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Bassguyrob, May 8, 2015.


  1. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    Hey all,

    I am hoping some of you have experienced the same thing that I am fighting currently. I have a WW Ultra circa 2003 that is in great shape. Unfortunately, in certain buildings with older wiring, I get either 60hZ hum, or a high pitched whine. This does not happen everywhere, but sporadically. It is affected by stage lights when on the same circuit. I do carry the ground adapters (the gray 2 prong from 3 prong) and it does not seem to make a difference. Can anyone recommend a product or procedure that can help alleviate the curse of dirty power?
     
  2. Furman power conditioner might help?
     
    Bassguyrob likes this.
  3. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Be sure the "power conditioner" will do what you need. Many of the inexpensive units are nothing more than glorified power strips.
     
    Bassguyrob likes this.
  4. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    I have looked at the Furman AC-215 and it looks promising but does anyone have experience with it or another product that is not rack mounted?
     
  5. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I have a 1997 WW Electracoustic, which does not have the problems you are describing. Actually all but the earliest WW amps have a discrete power filter built-in, and only the more sophisticated (and expensive and probably heavy) power conditioner devices would offer anything better than what your amp already has. Have you tried replacing signal cables? Many commercially available signal cables have less-than-great shielding. Use the best quality cables you can find, and do not assume anything. If your amp is quiet with the volume (gain) turned all the way down, your problem is probably not in the amp. You might also want to buy an inexpensive electrical circuit analyzer (available at many hardware and electrical supply stores. GB is one common brand.) There may be a hot neutral or a ground wire with voltage on it (which are bad things) in the buildings you are having issues in. Stage lighting and stage audio equipment outlets should never be on the same circuits. Finally bypassing the safety ground is never a good idea and can be downright dangerous. Be safe.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    Bassguyrob and MR PC like this.
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 I have a 1997 WW Electroacoustic Ultra and a Mi-400-8. Like Bob's post above, neither of my amplifiers have the issue you have described. The only noise my amp makes would be it's normal shutdown sound. Which as I understand it is perfectly normal
    for one of Walter's Amplifiers.

    Ric
     
    Bassguyrob and Don Kasper like this.
  7. Have you tried a ground lift?
     
  8. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I carry this in my gig-purse - just so I know - "...is it me, or is it them?" (It's almost always "them").
    how-to-check-electrical-receptacle-polarity-2.
     
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  9. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This is Very Bad Advice and is potentially dangerous! Do Not Do This Ever!
     

  10. Not really

    Just use a GLI
     
  11. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    So that is a polarity tester correct? Not a bad tool to at least know. How to reverse it would be the challenge.
     
  12. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    If my speaker and instrument cables were of not proper shielding, wouldn't they make noise everywhere, not hust specific houses?
     
  13. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Yes - it will only confirm if the outlet is properly "wired"/grounded.
     
    Bassguyrob likes this.
  14. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Some signal cables have better shielding than others. I have a couple well-known, name-brand cables here that I do not use for gigs, since their shielding is so inadequate they have a pretty serious hum problem. Poor shielding also allows EMI and RFI to be detected and amplified by your amp. Speaker cables should not be shielded however. Use a high-quality two conductor (unshielded) cable of at least 16 gauge stranded copper wire. 14 gauge or even 12 GA is better. A twisted pair of conductors is typical for a quality speaker cable, but even lamp cord of 16 to 14 AWG is much better than using a shielded cable. There is a lot of current available from your amp, and heavy conductors are necessary.
     
  15. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    Thanks to all - I appreciate the feedback. My speaker cables are of are gauge and reputable brand, so I don't think they are the culprit. I will start carrying a polarity tester with me to verify certain houses.
     
  16. Hi,

    in my experience, dimmers can be a serious PITA and mess up the mains supply with all sorts of weird noise, hum, hiss, buzz... I have the problem in my apartment, where I simply cannot use some wall plugs because they supply noisy mains. Check if a dimmer is in the vicinity, maybe.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...but your line-level SIGNAL cables may be partially to blame. There are good EMI-RFI power-line filters available that may be very effective. They don't necessarily need to be fancy or expensive.
    Oh, and generally speaking, if the noise vanishes with the gain turned down, it does not mean that the problem is not in the amp. It would mean that the problem is not likely in the power-amp section.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  18. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    In my experience, the gain (pre or post) has no bearing on the volume of the hum. When plugged in here at my home, it is dead quiet, but plugged in at say the 600 seat auditorium in downtown, the hum is 40-50 dB in my speaker cabinet. Enough to be audible when not playing, and just as annoying. I have thought my XLR cable that I use with the B-Band pickup on my double bass could have something to do with it, but it is not all the time, which makes the whole situation frustrating.
     
  19. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Bassguyrob likes this.
  20. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Jan 17, 2003
    Spokane WA
    That's hilarious....
     

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