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Is using a power conditioner as a master power switch harmful to gear?

Glitch Magnet

Member
Messages
2,012
Okay thank you for the detailed reply and assistance, much appreciated. I will get a tester and see what I find out. I hope I don't find out that it's a major issue.
Not to worry. Just take action. Stop using the faulty outlet immediately. Inform the landlord and insist they bring in a licensed electrician to correct the problem.

That said, it's often a very simple fix, and doesn't necessarily require an electrical license. Many outlets are simply miswired at the wall box, which is easily corrected with some basic electrical knowledge and handtools.

Be safe.
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
Not to worry. Just take action. Stop using the faulty outlet immediately. Inform the landlord and insist they bring in a licensed electrician to correct the problem.

That said, it's often a very simple fix, and doesn't necessarily require an electrical license. Many outlets are simply miswired at the wall box, which is easily corrected with some basic electrical knowledge and handtools.

Be safe.
Yep. Exactly.

This is what frustrates me. Generally, it's a small and/or simple thing that just wasn't done correctly in the first place.

Outlet stab connections are the friggin' debbil for the consumer. Great for the installer but one of the most sucktastic ways to do things IMHO. I don't know how they are legal.

I give a pass on acient outlets and wiring in that it is what it is and it's ancient. I'm talking pre war stuff, which is more common than it should be around New England. I don't give a pass for it not being replaced to code in a rental.
 

Larry Eh?

Member
Messages
578
Dude, I'm just saying that I normally agree with you... a lot.
I appreciate your posts... I wasn't trying to be snarky.

I just wanted to go on to post how problems could arise depending on types of pedals he was running and on the startup current demands of his rather sizable rig. And I didn't want you to feel that, doing posting my opinions, I was doing anything other than respectful disagreement.

:dunno
I think the problem is that many members mistake the word does for doesn't and vice versa when they write or read posts. Just like when someone writes "I could care less" when it actually means the exact opposite of what they usually mean which is "I couldn't care less".
 

Glitch Magnet

Member
Messages
2,012
Calling something a surge protector or power conditioner is almost meaningless without knowing the full specs and design elements of the unit.

Some surge protectors provide only simple lighting strike protection for voltages in the kilovolts. Others may suppress any voltage above the nominal opeating range. Some cut power during the over-voltage condition, while others auto reset or suppress in real time. Some are sacrificial (one hit and it's useless). Some provide conditional indication, some don't. Some use very basic MOV protection, while others are more sophisticated, reliable, and lasting.

In any case, a straight surge protector does nothing to reduce noise or make your gear work better. It just protects against some amount of sudden over-voltage.

A "power conditioner" can mean a lot of things. Usually, it means there's some amount of noise filtering. What specific noise, and how effective it is, can be all over the place.

It can also mean surge protection or suppression, fault suppression, galvanic isolation, or voltage regulation. Some regulators only account for over-voltage or under-voltage, some do both. Some use a mechanical multi-step autoformer, some transfer to backup battery power.

I also dislike the terms "bad power" or "dirty power" without further qualification. Do you mean a ground fault or miswire? Voltage fluctuations or offset? Harmonic or RF line noise?

There are AC power control/distribution units and systems available that will power your system up and down automatically in a safe and orderly fashion. These are commonly called sequential power controllers or similar.

Don't confuse the functions of an AC power distribution device with those of your typical pedalboard power supply. Most power supplies deliver regulated and filtered DC power to your pedals, but the supply itself can still be damaged by a surge, spike, or other fault on the AC power feeding it.

Sorry, just had to unload all the thoughts built up in my head as I read this thread. Don't mean to be a knowitall. Just a guy who's worked extensively in audio and electronics for many years (but no formal degree).
 

Glitch Magnet

Member
Messages
2,012
Yep. Exactly.

This is what frustrates me. Generally, it's a small and/or simple thing that just wasn't done correctly in the first place.

Outlet stab connections are the friggin' debbil for the consumer. Great for the installer but one of the most sucktastic ways to do things IMHO. I don't know how they are legal.

I give a pass on acient outlets and wiring in that it is what it is and it's ancient. I'm talking pre war stuff, which is more common than it should be around New England. I don't give a pass for it not being replaced to code in a rental.
Even in a modern home. Licensed electricians are not geniuses. Many are hacks, and f up a lot. In my experience professionally, and as a home owner, I've about seen it all.

Edit: done my share of dumb stuff too!
 

Redrum

Member
Messages
1,790
This is a rather timely thread for me as I was just looking at the Furman PST-8 Power Station Series AC Power Conditioner for my music room.

According to the product description the PST-8 is a power conditioner with the Furman SMP circuit which "dramatically reduces noise, ensuring consistent peak performance from your equipment". The PST-8 also uses Furman's Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) "to insure that any electrical device is fed clean, filtered AC power" along with Furman's Extreme Voltage Shutdown (E.V.S.) which "automatically turns off the unit when it is fed 137 volts or higher".

Has anyone had any experience with these units? They sound promising although the unit prices seem to be all over the place (from as low as 89.88 to as high as 159.00 for the same unit).
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
Calling something a surge protector or power conditioner is almost meaningless without knowing the full specs and design elements of the unit.

Some surge protectors provide only simple lighting strike protection for voltages in the kilovolts. Others may suppress any voltage above the nominal opeating range. Some cut power during the over-voltage condition, while others auto reset or suppress in real time. Some are sacrificial (one hit and it's useless). Some provide conditional indication, some don't. Some use very basic MOV protection, while others are more sophisticated, reliable, and lasting.

In any case, a straight surge protector does nothing to reduce noise or make your gear work better. It just protects against some amount of sudden over-voltage.

A "power conditioner" can mean a lot of things. Usually, it means there's some amount of noise filtering. What specific noise, and how effective it is, can be all over the place.

It can also mean surge protection or suppression, fault suppression, galvanic isolation, or voltage regulation. Some regulators only account for over-voltage or under-voltage, some do both. Some use a mechanical multi-step autoformer, some transfer to backup battery power.

I also dislike the terms "bad power" or "dirty power" without further qualification. Do you mean a ground fault or miswire? Voltage fluctuations or offset? Harmonic or RF line noise?

There are AC power control/distribution units and systems available that will power your system up and down automatically in a safe and orderly fashion. These are commonly called sequential power controllers or similar.

Don't confuse the functions of an AC power distribution device with those of your typical pedalboard power supply. Most power supplies deliver regulated and filtered DC power to your pedals, but the supply itself can still be damaged by a surge, spike, or other fault on the AC power feeding it.

Sorry, just had to unload all the thoughts built up in my head as I read this thread. Don't mean to be a knowitall. Just a guy who's worked extensively in audio and electronics for many years (but no formal degree).
Exactly and thanks! Just the detail in my layman's point post was wearing me out.

This stuff is not just technically complex but convoluted in its application to actual products. To make things worse, there is IMHO a lot of obfuscation from many manufacturers.

Do you have any recommendations for power gigging gear?

Any comments on Tripplite?
 

The-Kid

Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
Vendor
Messages
2,971
Some more on this very complex subject.

The devices used to protect against surges are sacrificial. This means they deteriorate each time they absorb a surge. Sometimes the surge is large and they die 1st time. Mostly though they take many many small surges. Each one lowering thier ability to protect. Some have an indicator to tell you when surge protection is no longer available, some don't.

There are two primary philosophical sides to the design theory. Side A says that when the protection is depleted the system should stop sending power to the distribution outlets so as to ensure further protection. Fail safe so to speak. This unit and other Tripplite are failsafe this way. https://www.tripplite.com/isobar-4-...cord-3300-joules-diagnostic-leds~ISOBAR4ULTRA Note the "Automatic Shut Off" detail pop up at the bottom of the specs page.

Side B says that even when the surge protection is depleted power should still be sent to the distribution outlets to ensure uninterrupted on time and operation of the devices plugged into it.

Most of the the less expensive passive power strips I have found are Side B design. I think the Tripplite is a standout in the category.

It is prudent to be VERY AWARE of the Side B functionality IMHO.

If I had dough to burn and was touring Nationally or Internationally I would have an active power regulator with all the goodies. Soon maybe?
So although a surge protector isnt needed it definately helps some.


Want to replace my surge protector as its like 2 decades old now or so.

I love the Tripp......the insurance is mega awesome and having tried surge protectors vs wall warts IME they definitely bring down unwanted floor noise aside from offering extra protection.
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
This is a rather timely thread for me as I was just looking at the Furman PST-8 Power Station Series AC Power Conditioner for my music room.

According to the product description the PST-8 is a power conditioner with the Furman SMP circuit which "dramatically reduces noise, ensuring consistent peak performance from your equipment". The PST-8 also uses Furman's Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) "to insure that any electrical device is fed clean, filtered AC power" along with Furman's Extreme Voltage Shutdown (E.V.S.) which "automatically turns off the unit when it is fed 137 volts or higher".

Has anyone had any experience with these units? They sound promising although the unit prices seem to be all over the place (from as low as 89.88 to as high as 159.00 for the same unit).
I own the PST-8. It runs my rig when it's home in the music room along with some other stuff.

I really liked the form factor, features and price. Got a deal on it a couple years ago.

The filtering solved a popping issue I had with sensing auto on floodlights.

As good as it is in class I still think the Tripplite equivalent is much better in all ways. Build quality especially (ruggedness) and specs. The Tripplite equivalent is going to be more money though.

Since my app. was for permanent indoor installed, I didn't think the extra cost was warranted. No killer deals on the Tripplit at the time.

For the portable/gigging app. I needed something with apocalypse proof ruggedness and so I bought the 4 outlet Tripplite linked above.
 
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Glitch Magnet

Member
Messages
2,012
Exactly and thanks! Just the detail in my layman's point post was wearing me out.

This stuff is not just technically complex but convoluted in its application to actual products. To make things worse, there is IMHO a lot of obfuscation from many manufacturers.

Do you have any recommendations for power gigging gear?

Any comments on Tripplite?
From all my ranting, you'd think I'd have brand/model suggestions to offer. But I don't. I'm kind of out of it these days.

I've always trusted Tripplite as a brand. They've been around forever and should know their stuff. Actually wish they'd offer more products tailored for musicians and home AV.

The company I last worked for (for 19 years) produced very high-tech products for audio, AV, lighting, HVAC, networking, telephony, and more. Despite the extent, complexity, and breadth of their product line (several thousands of unique and ever-changing models), I was the only person writing all of their spec sheets. So I had to become an expert on all these things in order to write about them.

One product was a line of rack mount power controllers with varying levels of protection, filtering, diagnostics, and control logic. Sophisticated stuff. So I learned a lot about this subject at the time, some of which I've retained. A lot I need to forget.

I can't mention the company, but it's not something I'd recommend to guitar players anyway.
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
So although a surge protector isnt needed it definately helps some.


Want to replace my surge protector as its like 2 decades old now or so.

I love the Tripp......the insurance is mega awesome and having tried surge protectors vs wall warts IME they definitely bring down unwanted floor noise aside from offering extra protection.
Yes, I think so. The good quality units anyway. Caveat emptor.

The filtering/conditioning on good units will scrub noise on domestic AC lines to a good degree IMHO. As I mentioned above my Furman PST-8 solved an issue for me.

As far as protection from mega events like lightening, black outs with rolling surges, locusts etc. I don't really focus on that for passive, under $200 units. There are just too many variables for me to do a matrixed comparison. I chose based on ruggedness for the app. form factor vs. cost.

If and when I think I need to spend more than $200 I'll just save until I can get a fully actively regulated device. Basically something I could get adjustable range steady 115v through 125v regardless of it's input.
 

The-Kid

Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
Vendor
Messages
2,971
Yes, I think so. The good quality units anyway. Caveat emptor.

The filtering/conditioning on good units will scrub noise on domestic AC lines to a good degree IMHO. As I mentioned above my Furman PST-8 solved an issue for me.

As far as protection from mega events like lightening, black outs with rolling surges, locusts etc. I don't really focus on that for passive, under $200 units. There are just too many variables for me to do a matrixed comparison. I chose based on ruggedness for the app. form factor vs. cost.

If and when I think I need to spend more than $200 I'll just save until I can get a fully actively regulated device.
Would you recommend the Furman or Tripp here for my purposes? Just no frills unit here.

Ima prob set up with a one spot 12 power supply/conditioner/ISO unit
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
From all my ranting, you'd think I'd have brand/model suggestions to offer. But I don't. I'm kind of out of it these days.

I've always trusted Tripplite as a brand. They've been around forever and should know their stuff. Actually wish they'd offer more products tailored for musicians and home AV.

The company I last worked for (for 19 years) produced very high-tech products for audio, AV, lighting, HVAC, networking, telephony, and more. Despite the extent, complexity, and breadth of their product line (several thousands of unique and ever-changing models), I was the only person writing all of their spec sheets. So I had to become an expert on all these things in order to write about them.

One product was a line of rack mount power controllers with varying levels of protection, filtering, diagnostics, and control logic. Sophisticated stuff. So I learned a lot about this subject at the time, some of which I've retained. A lot I need to forget.

I can't mention the company, but it's not something I'd recommend to guitar players anyway.
I like your rants!:D I didn't even take it as a rant. You've had good insight into this category and many others and now we know why. So...thanks man!

I'm coming from a roughly similar background. 20+ years at a global consumer electronics co. 18 of those years in R&D labs.

Lots of experience with UL , ISO90001, IEC, Mil Spec 810, JIS etc.

Lots and lots of gear failure autopsies.

I value your insights and perspective so keep it coming. There is such a fog of BS in all parts of the audio industry. We all need as much help as we can get IMHO. Even if it does kill the unicorns.:rotflmao
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,823
Would you recommend the Furman or Tripp here for my purposes? Just no frills unit here.

Ima prob set up with a one spot 12 power supply/conditioner/ISO unit
Will you be moving this AC surge/conditioner around to different places regularly? For practice, gigs etc.?

Do you need conditioning for coax, phone/modem etc. Or just the AC plugs?
 

The-Kid

Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
Vendor
Messages
2,971
Will you be moving this AC surge/conditioner around to different places regularly? For practice, gigs etc.?

Do you need conditioning for coax, phone/modem etc. Or just the AC plugs?
Yeah Ima be moving it to different places on a regular.

Its just going to be for my rig so just AC...or DC....whatever we use lol

9 volt powere pedals. Maxon, Boss, MXR the regular stuff.
 

FbIsNotE

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Messages
3,823
Yeah Ima be moving it to different places on a regular.

Its just going to be for my rig so just AC...or DC....whatever we use lol

9 volt powere pedals. Maxon, Boss, MXR the regular stuff.
Tripplite then, no doubt. The housing construction in particular is much better suited to the road.

Get a model with enough outlets to let you plug in everything in your rig's audio path.. Amp, pedalboard, racks etc.

Running from a single outlet helps guarantee everything is on the same circuit which helps eliminate ground loops and noise in general IMHO.
 

The-Kid

Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
Vendor
Messages
2,971
Tripplite then, no doubt. The housing construction in particular is much better suited to the road.

Get a model with enough outlets to let you plug in everything in your rig's audio path.. Amp, pedalboard, racks etc.

Running from a single outlet helps guarantee everything is on the same circuit which helps eliminate ground loops and noise in general IMHO.
How would you compare Furman to the Tripp?

Is there a particular reason aside from construction. Tripp should be as low noise as the Furman floor noise wise no?
 

FbIsNotE

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Messages
3,823
How would you compare Furman to the Tripp?

Is there a particular reason aside from construction. Tripp should be as low noise as the Furman floor noise wise no?
They both use very similar design approaches to filtering using similar devices.

There are a limited amount of options available for this type of technology to be mass produced and meet a specific price range.

I'm not sure what models you are looking at from each company, but check the specs on the two I chose.

Looking at each companies websites reveals a lot about thier individual approaches to designs. There is also a lot of good info to be had on each one to help with decision making.

Keep in mind the price and feature difference of these two while comparing.


Furman PST-8
https://www.furmanpower.com/product/15a-8-outlet-surge-suppressor-wsmp-lift-evs-and-2-filtered-banks-PST-8 DIG

Tripplite Isobar 4 outlet
https://www.tripplite.com/isobar-4-...cord-3300-joules-diagnostic-leds~ISOBAR4ULTRA
 
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