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Which Power conditioner should I buy?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by abcdefranklin, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. I'm planning on running an ampeg 8x10 a svt3pro or a ampeg b4r with a fender rt-1000 some sort of wireless and a Sonic maximizer I've been looking at buying a power conditioner but am not really sure which to purchase. I have been looking at the furmans though. Please help me with this I just want to make sure I dont buy a junk one or one that can't handle all the power its going to be getting.
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Power conditioners are a waste of money.
  3. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    A power bar with a breaker.
  4. they really are not much more than a rack mount power strip,and the grid is where the action is power wise ...... i have a few and the pull out lights and a front mounted ac outlet are nice to have,and they help keep the rack neat.....
  5. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    All the top amp manufactures I know of on this forum do not recommend the use of power conditioners for amps. They are fine for rack effects and such for the convenience and steady power and gizmo's that they offer but can actually starve an amp when more current is required when an amp is pushed.

    Even Furman, who is well regarded as making fine power conditioners, acknowledges this and came out with a product to compensate. Here is a copy paste from their website:

    Power Factor Technology
    Your amp needs a lot of power to sound its best. If you’re plugging into the wall, there’s a good chance your amp is not going to get the current it needs when pushed. Furman’s exclusive Power Factor Technology provides a 45A peak current reservoir to give your amp the headroom it needs to operate at maximum efficiency. No matter what venue or club, or how close or far away from the power panel, Furman’s Power Factor Technology keeps your instrument amplifier’s tone consistent and sounding it’s best

    Notice how Furman only says plugging into the wall is bad,( not true at all) but if you used their other power conditioners, those are plugged into the wall as well. Kind of a clever way of not admitting the usage of their other non- "power factor power" conditioners for amps except this one, yet they stood behind them before this product came out.

    Even with this technology in their power conditioners, the power reserve is only temporary and limited plus these units are expensive, So again these are not recommended either.

    It is by far cheaper and better to plug your amp into the wall. If you are to run a rack for effects , preamps, etc.then I personally would recommend one!
  6. ^ :bag:

  7. mcz925


    Apr 21, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    In my experience all that's just marketing and you won't notice any difference beyond a placebo effect. Save your money and either plug into the wall or get a cheap rackmount power strip if you need to power a bunch of effects.
  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Obviously , you are confused :p

    You are confusing "power conditioner" and "voltage regulator"
    A Voltage regulator ( as the name imply ) regulates voltage , and is a good thing to have. But they are Fr****in expensive.
    What most people have in their racks are "power conditioners" wich are power strips , rack mountable ,sold at a high price for absolutly nothing.

    The OP talks about power conditioner.

    A power conditioner ;http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=M-8Lx
    A voltage regulator ; http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=P-1800AR

    Please note the difference in price in those two very different devices.
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    None. Unless you are paying quite a bit for a true "power conditioner" you may as well use a multi strip from your local store.
  10. +1

    I have a furman ar-15 in my studio because of unsteady voltage (in the summer it drops so low I have to shut down) and it kicks. I actually have a cheap and somewhat portable one from APC I use on my comps. I think it was around $50-ish . . . works good too
  11. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico

    Not true. I use them in my Bass rack and have several for my home studio rack,( Furman PL Plus series 2) but like I said earlier, only for the preamp and effects. I run a 3000 watt power amp but that is plugged direct to the power source and when necessary, I use a 21 ft. 12 gauge extension cord.

    This topic has come up several times and you will probably have the amp manufactures on this forum chime in and give their professional and experienced reasons why not to use power conditioners for amplifiers.

    So the choice is yours, believe the marketing hype that so many people swear by, or listen to the educated( hopefully!) techs such as Bob Lee( QSC audio) Genz- Benz and others who design and service amplifiers.
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The products you mention are not voltage regulators, and will not correct for sagging or overvoltage conditions. In fact, there's no engineering data I have found on what these devices do, how they do it, the amount of energy stored, or how long the peak current can be maintained. This data would allow the engineers who participate on this forum a way to evaluate how effective any product is likely to be to correct a specific condition.

    Amplifiers are designed to handle the power that's available in the real world. Those that are properly designed, manufactured and certified to meet the IEC or EN standards, contain all the protection your amp needs under normal operating conditions.

    If you have a specific problem that needs to be corrected, once the cause is identified, the APPROPRIATE correction can be applied, be that a voltage regulator, an RF filter, a spike clamp, or maybe better, the cause of the fault corrected in the supply wiring and installation.
  13. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I've yet to see a problem that could be attributed to wonky power, so I would not bother. But if you must get something, get a SurgeX.
  14. 4lPh4n0m3g4


    Nov 19, 2004
    I used to use a Belkins SurgeMaster GOLD Series power strip/surge protector; until it got fried from being connected to a faulty wall socket. Will prolly just replace with a Monster-Power MPAV800. That's about as much protection as I feel is useful for me.

    Never saw a need for a power conditioner or voltage regulator; but then again, I won't play anywhere that those would be required, and aren't already in place.
  15. westom


    Sep 11, 2009
    People who read specifications numbers notice that the expensive power conditioner is nothing more than a power strip protector with an even higher price.

    One who learns how electricity works knows the amp's power supply "ensures that your equipment gets continuous steady power." Anything that power conditioner might do must already be inside the amp doing it better.

    Power conditioners are wasted money. What is accomplished for less than $10 in an amps supply will somehow be done for $100+ by a power conditioner? Nonsense.

    Any market that Monster Cable participates in, historically, is a scam. Monster has a long history of identifying those markets. Then selling same products for even higher prices. Did you know speaker wire has polarity? Monster sells speaker wire with one end marked for the amp; other end marked for speakers. Why? Monster says if you reverse that wire, then the sound will be harmed. And sell those marked speaker cables for ten times more money. Amazing how many people swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker. Monster Cable has a long history of obscene profits by selling myths. Monster is therefore selling power conditioners. Lying is quite profitable when others only believe what they are told - never bother to read the technical specification numbers. It is only a power strip protector with a higher price for an expensive box.
  16. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Agedhorse already commented on your products. You drank the marketing kool-aid. I would not argue with Andy because you will be bringing a knife to a gunfight. :D
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Tumeni Notes - there is absolutely no engineering data in what you posted that would allow somebody who actually understood what these words mean evaluate the product to determine what it actually does and if it's likely to help OR EVEN HARM the equipment you are using.

    There's a whole lot of additional information required about what equipment you are using, what the venue wiring is like, if there's a low inductance ground present, if there's likely to be any under or over-voltage events encountered, the amount of RF energy present, the magnitude and frequency of voltage spikes present (this is especially important for transient absorbing products), etc. Do you even have a problem?

    Otherwise, whatever "protection product" you choose is just a wild ass guess that may or may not help. Some products, combined with some amps can cause massive failures as well, specifically tap changing (auto-commutating) voltage regulators and large power amps coupled with high source impedance supply lines (like a long extension cord) hunting and oscillating with wild swings in the supply voltage due to the corrective action of the tap-switching.
  18. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Um, those "no-it all" :rollno: gurus make their living designing and building the amps that you're plugging into the power conditioners you're raving about.

    Hey, buy what you want. It's your money.
  19. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Some of us "Gurus" have also designed a few power conditioners in our day too, all different kinds with features and components designed to solve specific and known problems.

    Did you think, perhaps, that we also designed the conditioning and protection networks inside the amps that we design and that you play? There are more than a few of us here on this forum that do this for a living.
  20. seems like a lot of guys have complained of low voltages from outlets at venues...... especially the svt guys with the circuit that wont come out of stand by below a certain voltage

    is it just improperly wired venues or is the grid the usual culprit......
    i know those cheapo extension cords are a problem....and power conditioners can do nothing for low voltage at the outlet.....i guess a clamp meter is required for the gig bag these days
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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