Looking for Voltage Regulator

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
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37,673
Depends on the application.

Is this for gigs or at home or in the studio?
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
I had one by ETA for only a day or two, turned out I didn't need it so I returned it. ETA power distribution strips I own have worked well for years, never failed.

I'm not sure what you're asking...
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
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37,673
MK; Power regulators are not power filters; they keep a constant voltage going to their output. I run a Furman AR-1215 regulator at home and I have another for live work. I do run them both in conjunction with PL-Plus distribution strips from Furnman (like your ETA).

The Furman works great; but it corrects +/- 5 volts. The higher end stuff clamps faster and allows a tighter output spec.

For my uses in the home studio and live on a gig, it works very well. I have been using this setup (Furman AR-1215 *and* PL-Plus) both at home and on gigs for years. I have never been let down or disappointed with the results.
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
MK; Power regulators are not power filters
I'm hip; that's what I was talking about, a voltage regulator. I didn't need one.

I mentioned the reliability of ETA distribution strips because some brands like TrippLite I've found very unreliable. Might or might not be relevant, but what the hell. Wierd thing is, I think ETA now owns TrippLite.
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,962
What's better, the eta or the furman voltage regulator and does anyone know of a used one or a great price on a new one?
 

LSchefman

Member
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13,432
The Furman 1220 is an excellent regulator and isolation transformer that will convert your electricity to balanced power. This reduces the noise floor in your studio by a considerable amount, but the unit runs about $1200. It will handle 20 amps, and I recommend this for studio use, since it will handle all of your gear, plus powered monitors.

A Sola isolation transformer is also a wonderful device. A used 2 KVA one can be found in the $750 range, and it can also be converted to balanced power. It's considerably more robust and powerful than the Furman, but you can't just plug it in and go, it requires the right kind of electrical connections.

I have had both units.

Drawbacks:

These things use very large isolation transformers. They are very heavy, the Sola is much heavier than the Furman, and much larger, and eventually, they will make mechanical noise due to the vibration of the transformers.

1. The Furman will eventually start making transformer noise after a couple of years or so. It is quiet when new, but eventually will create mechanical buzz, though it is far less loud than the Sola. It could simply be placed in another room if it starts to mechanically hum, or in a closet, and you won't hear the noise.

2. The Sola is VERY loud mechanically. Turn it on, and it sounds like a loud joy buzzer. I have mine in my HVAC room, which I had to have soundproofed - the buzzing noise came right through the drywall. The solution was an inner layer of drywall with noise control insulation in between, which works fine. If you get a SOLA, which is defnitely the superior product if you modify it for balanced power, plan on spending $500 or so on soundproofing the room you keep it in, unless you keep it someplace like your garage, as one of my fellow studio owners does.

3. A separate AC line has to be run to the Sola, and the Sola has one of those weird AC connectors that are used in commercial settings, with a huge cable attached. I spent about $200 on electrical wiring for the installation. This included a true earth ground, so that I could star ground my system to solve ground loops, etc.

I have never had a problem with my electrical power since installing the Sola, and I have had it continually on for about 7-8 years. I only turn it off when going out of town.

***Balanced AC***

Balanced AC works like a balanced audio cable, the phase of each conductor cancels out the hum and noise that is carried by the AC lines, and far less hum is radiated to adjacent audio cables.

The Furman unit claims to reduce the noise floor of your studio by about 12 db. I was able to verify a noise floor reduction of about 7-8 db with my tech's test equipment. However, a 7-8 db noise floor reduction is quite significant, in my opinion. Not only is noise reduced in silent passages, but you notice things like reverb tails, decays, and soft attacks more. Less noise is built up when you mix a lot of tracks or MIDI gear.

After my Furman unit started to make mechanical noise, I asked my tech to fix it, and he said, "Why not just let me convert the Sola to balanced power instead? Then you won't need the Furman and can sell it on ebay." He charged me $300 to convert to balanced power. All of the wall outlets in my studio are now balanced, since the SOLA is wired to the circuit.

This is what I did, notifying the buyer that the unit had a slight mechanical hum. He planned to install it in an equipment closet, so didn't care about the hum. Hope this info helps.
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
My mistake: it was a Furman AR-1215 that I had, not anything by ETA. I recognize it from the picture. From what I can see ETA doesn't make voltage regulators.
 
H

heinz

I use the bigger APC Line-R unit because power where I live is all over the map.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
notice any differences in tone with old tube amps? Ever measure the output of the Line-R vs the input wall AC? I know the specs are +/- 5% or so, but am just curious if you've happened to have the wall go up to say 123 or 124 VAC, and see what came out of the Line-R on an accurate DMM?? Thanks.


Originally posted by heinz
I use the bigger APC Line-R unit because power where I live is all over the map.
 
H

heinz

Originally posted by tedm
notice any differences in tone with old tube amps? Ever measure the output of the Line-R vs the input wall AC? I know the specs are +/- 5% or so, but am just curious if you've happened to have the wall go up to say 123 or 124 VAC, and see what came out of the Line-R on an accurate DMM?? Thanks.

Yeah so I haven't done that, but here's what I know. Before the APC was put in, my two Furman unit's Voltage display used to oscillate between 90 and 128 volts. (!) The readouts would constantly change.

Now the two Furman's are downstream from the APC LineR, and they pretty much stay locked on 120.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
Thanks, sounds like the LineR does it's job. If I read the manuals for it right, there should be some indicators on the LineR indicating if it's increasing or decreasing the V, but no digital LCD readout.


Originally posted by heinz
Yeah so I haven't done that, but here's what I know. Before the APC was put in, my two Furman unit's Voltage display used to oscillate between 90 and 128 volts. (!) The readouts would constantly change.

Now the two Furman's are downstream from the APC LineR, and they pretty much stay locked on 120.
 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,819
Found this post while researching volatge regulators. The APC Line-R looks interesting. There was another post that talked about some voltage regulators leaving an amp feeling "strangled". Anyone have this experience using the Line-R? I've got my filering/conditioned needs covered with some Furman products, a good voltage regulator to run infront if is would be cool.

Thanks
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,718
Les covered it. Tough to beat the Furman for price v. performance.

But if you want another option: PS Audio

And Monster makes some, recently redesigned, but in the past they weren't very well regarded.
 

tjs

Senior Member
Messages
4,257
CitizenCain said:
Found this post while researching volatge regulators. The APC Line-R looks interesting. There was another post that talked about some voltage regulators leaving an amp feeling "strangled". Anyone have this experience using the Line-R? I've got my filering/conditioned needs covered with some Furman products, a good voltage regulator to run infront if is would be cool.
I'm wondering about this myself.
 

amper

Member
Messages
1,183
tjs said:
I'm wondering about this myself.
I'm a big fan of APC. I use a Line-R 1200VA on my live bass rig, and I won't recommend anything else to my consulting clients.

Anyway, as far as "strangling" an amp, I would suspect that if you compare the same amp with and without regulation in an area where the mains voltage normally runs higher than 120V (say 125V or so, which is quite common these days), you will probably perceive the amp to be a little stronger, per se, when run at the higher voltage.

But then, some people think turning the mains voltage down via multiple primary taps or a variac sounds better than without, so YMMV...
 




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