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  #1  
Old 10-15-2003, 02:14 AM
57special 57special is offline
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Would a power conditioner tame the intermittent buzz in my house?

I've got a buzzy house(sometimes) that makes my all my amps buzz also(again sometimes). It's not my cords cables amps or guitars, and it occurs in all of the circuits in my house . I don't know what causes it, and why it only happens on occasion, but it's driving me crazy! Would a power conditioner or filter help? If so, what is a good brand or type?
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:14 PM
LSchefman LSchefman is offline
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I had the same problem, and it drove me nuts in my studio.

Assuming you have a well grounded system, which not everyone does, it's true that not only is the AC in some areas bad at times, but things like appliances cycling on and off, such as refrigerators, furnaces, hot water heaters, etc., not only send noise into your house's line, they can even send noise into other houses' lines.

You could try a dedicated AC line, this is the cheapest solution, but it won't solve the problem of dirty AC from the electric company, or your neighbor's fridge. It is, however, the first line of defense.

The typical power conditioners will not only NOT solve this problem properly, they will also not allow your amp to get AC juice as fast as it wants to. I've tried the expensive Tripp Lite and Furman models, and even tried the $1200 audiophile conditioners.

After tearing my hear out for a few years, I had my technician install a 2 kilovolt isolation transformer. It really solved the AC line noise problem.

However, it caused a slight problem, because it makes a very loud mechanical buzzing noise. So I had to soundproof my furnace room, which worked, and did, in fact, make my whole studio quieter when the HVAC system runs.

My tech picked up my SOLA unit used for about $800, and installation was another $300. Soundproofing ran $750, because we had to put up another layer of drywall and insulation, etc, in the furnace room. Kinda pricey, but worth it.

I have been around the block on this one, and there is, unfortunately, only one real solution if you want to permanently solve the problem.
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:42 AM
57special 57special is offline
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it's bad enough for me who just plays for pleasure, but it must 've been extremely trying having to put up with a noise like this while trying to record. I can just imagine laying down a really good, somewhat loud track, only to find out afterward that it has a buzz throughout it which can't be edited out. Or not knowing whether it's your cables or equipment combination that's bad(sometimes the case)or your house wiring!
Thanks for your thoughts. Sounds like i need an audio savvy electrician in the house, or just a new house!
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Old 10-16-2003, 03:38 AM
Old Fuzzface Old Fuzzface is offline
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Whilst I agree with what Les is saying about dedicated lines, earthing etc, and these are all good things to do to ensure a clean supply - depending on the specific problem you are experiencing, you may get a result from filters.
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Old 10-16-2003, 08:28 AM
WrapAround WrapAround is offline
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Please explain....

Quote:
Originally posted by LSchefman
The typical power conditioners will not only NOT solve this problem properly, they will also not allow your amp to get AC juice as fast as it wants to. I've tried the expensive Tripp Lite and Furman models, and even tried the $1200 audiophile conditioners.
What do you mean by "as fast as it wants to" ?
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:58 AM
Rog Rog is offline
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In case you haven't already covered this; if you have light dimmers on, no amout of power conditioning will help.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2003, 11:04 AM
Christo7
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So, the Furmans will not work? I have a similar problem and was considering a Furman unit.
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:46 PM
57special 57special is offline
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Goodwood,
Yes, i discovered that the dimmer controls for my kitchen pot lights are causing the problem. Funny enough, i have dimmers in other places that don't cause a problem- perhaps it's the large amount of lights (8 pots) on the dimmer thats causing the problem.
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:54 PM
Rog Rog is offline
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57special
Great discovery. Sorry if my post seemed patronising - I was trying to keep it short. Good luck with the solution.
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:22 AM
57special 57special is offline
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No offense taken, Goodwood. Turns out that all my dimmers do cause problems, not just the one in the kitchen. It's a relief to have a problem with such a simple and inexpensive solution (change to switches).
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:29 PM
Supertgtr Supertgtr is offline
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The typical power conditioners will not only NOT solve this problem properly, they will also not allow your amp to get AC juice as fast as it wants to. - I think this only comes into play when you are using a "switching" amp. I don't think guitar amps are of that technology.

You might also try what is called a "balanced" power supply. Furman makes a unit called an IT-1220.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2003, 09:24 PM
LSchefman LSchefman is offline
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>>The typical power conditioners will not only NOT solve this problem properly, they will also not allow your amp to get AC juice as fast as it wants to. - I think this only comes into play when you are using a "switching" amp. I don't think guitar amps are of that technology.<<

I guess I didn't clearly state what I meant. I found that a Tripp Lite and several audiophile conditioners seemed to limit the dynamic range of my tube guitar amps, and they did the same thing to my Class A Krell power amp, that was not a switching amp (such as a carver).

I mentioned this to my studio tech, and he told me that they were preventing the amp from drawing sufficient current at peak demand times. Or something like that. Anyway, they sounded bad.

I installed a 2KVA isolation transformer to solve the noise problems I was getting from the AC line, and to solve the little glitches computers and digital instruments sometimes get from noisy power lines.

>>You might also try what is called a "balanced" power supply. Furman makes a unit called an IT-1220.<<

I had one in my studio to convert the output of the big Sola iso transformer to balanced power. The thing is designed to reduce the noise floor in a studio by about 12 db. I measured about an 8 db noise floor reduction in my studio.

Just one thing to note: It requires a 20 amp line, instead of the usual 15 amp house line, and the special 20 amp wall plug. So if you're moving from room to room, or playing out and want to take it (the thing weighs 75 pounds BTW), most places haven't got the right plugs in the wall. It runs around $1200.

A balanced power supply works in a studio setting quite well, because it reduces radiated hum and noise from all the power cables, reduces ground loops, etc. I didn't plug my guitar amps into it, but I did plug my studio monitors (powered Genelec 1031As) into it, and they were quiet and didn't seem starved for peak power with it.

The problem with my IT-1220 was that after a while the fairly large transformer in it began to make a mechanical hum that drove me nuts. So my studio tech converted my big isolation transformer that lives in my HVAC room, which is soundproofed, to balanced power, and now all my wall outlets in my studio are balanced power. I sold the 1220 this past summer to a guy who said he didn't care about the mechanical hum, it was going in a machine room, but I'd recommend this type of unit to anyone with a studio.
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2003, 04:15 PM
lannyhall lannyhall is offline
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Could the buzz be related to . . .

Could your intermittent buzz be related to alchohol consumption, or is it a different kind of buzz?
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