How do modelers sound live when voltage is low?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Rod, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    I still use my tube amps because of the feel ect. but Ive been playing these venues here in New England and when the voltage gets lower, which seems like almost every gig, my tone just sucks.
    I was wondering if the POD HD or 11R have these same issues when voltage is lower or do they consistently sound good no matter what the voltage is?
     
  2. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    Modelers are like synths in that regard. They will sound the same but if the voltage gets too low they may start acting weird, shutting down, etc.
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    Hi Cliff. I didn't measure the voltage, but I could hear that the pa and the bass amp got sort of muddy as well. It was an outdoor gig we do 4 x a summer up the street from you in York Maine. When using the Axefx, which would be my ultimate choice, how would I solve this issue? An oversize solid state power amp?
     
  4. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I used a Furman regulator (not just a "conditioner") when I used tube amps. That helps quite a bit. Line voltage variations can really mess with bias settings.
     
  5. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    although not a amp modeller my Line6 M13 screwed up at a few outdoor gigs running off a generator and fluctuating voltage.
    It was garbled display, tuner would not work lots of interference and patches dropping out
     
  6. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    It is basically the same thing as a modeler. Modelers are really just specialized computers, as is your M13. If the voltage gets too low they can malfunction.
     
  7. drwiddly

    drwiddly Member

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    All electronic equipment is affected by variations in voltage to a greater or lesser degree. The only way to counteract this (as the previous poster said) is to use a voltage regulator. You need the type that stores a small amount of current to even out the supply and keep the voltage steady. These tend to be more expensive than line conditioners which are primarily designed to prevent mains spikes from damaging your gear.

    If you get a regulator that can handle 1kilowatt or more, then you can run the PA and the backline from it.
     
  8. DRS

    DRS Member

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    When a processor sees voltage below it's required operating level, it will usually reboot.
     
  9. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    One nice thing about digital gear is that many devices use switching power supplies that will handle anything from 100-240V. Thank the Japanese power system for giving us 20V of leeway since they run 100VAC.
     
  10. mdme_sadie

    mdme_sadie Member

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    Get yourself a UPS, they're no longer ridiculously expensive, you can grab one for under a hundred bucks at best buy and it will save your equipment and your bacon. In fact i recommend running your hardware from one in your home too, you might worry that it'll use more power, but in fact a UPS actually can help reduce power consumption, and of course it's protecting your investment.

    Of course the more you spend on an UPS the better the conditioning and the bigger the battery basically, but even at the bottom rung it's so worth it and can easily handle your fx units. You'd need more for a tube amp though as they suck up that juice.
     
  11. 1fastdog

    1fastdog Member

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    It's less of an issue than browning an actual amp, insomuch as an actual tube amb will react directly, tone wise, to voltage swings. If there is sufficient voltage to operate most "modelers", the tone won't drift. They will function or go into a protect mode.
     
  12. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Many modelers (like the Line 6 HD series) have autoswitching power supplies, which means the voltage can fluctuate between around 90 to 240 VAC and the modeler wouldn't even know. While troubleshooting an issue with my HD-500 I placed the unit on a variac and cranked it down to 85VAC (IIRC) and ran it for awhile, and the pedal worked fine. And no, the Plexi model did not sound any better. :)

    If you look at the power supply on your modeler and it has a wide input voltage range, like 90 to 240VAC with no way to switch the input voltage, the unit should be fairly insensitive to voltage swings.

    Now voltage cutouts are another issue. Switching supplies are supposed to be designed to absorb short voltage dropouts, but if the dropout is too long and the voltage comes back too quickly, it can cause issues if the equipment wasn't designed to operate under that condition.
     

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