Power conditioners - furhman 8c versus monster 3500?

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Looking at these two units (by looking I mean the furhman is in my cars backseat lol)

I want to power my amp(s) and pedalboard.

Two rock studio pro 22 and HRD 40watt

Lots of pedals, but power wise a PP2 and two strymons.


My house was built in the 50's and the wiring is so so. I think this will help tremendously (at least at home)


Thoughts?

Any suggestions must be able to be had at guitar center and be under $300 out the door.

Thanks all! I know I can count on my fellow geSr heads of TGP!
 

jb4674

Member
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6,769
I have both and can tell you both units essentially do the same thing (I haven't noticed any discernible difference with either one powering my entire rig). The only difference is that the 3500 has more outlets (14 vs 9 on the PL-8C).

Pick your poison and stick with it. You can't go wrong with either one.
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Awesome, thanks for the encouragement man!

I was thinking I'd have about the same performance but at about half the price from the Furhman (for MY particualr needs, as I'm not running 4 amps, 2 laptops, 3 pedalboards and a PA system out of it!)

The only thing better from my estimation would be an actual battery back-up type system where the battery sees power from the wall and the electronics see power from the battery.When I worked at Best Buy as a manager back in 2000-2003 I drank the kool-aid and pushed those all the time. I know I had more than one person come in and thank me for saving their mid-term paper or office work when the power crapped out and their desktop didn't shut down and lose everything.


This was before the advent of the cheaper but just as powerful laptop.


Excited to try it out tonight at the house!!
 

AndrewSimon

Member
Messages
2,384
Thoughts?

Any suggestions must be able to be had at guitar center and be under $300 out the door.
To do it right you need a UPS double conversion unit.
Anything else is just a band-aid.

If you go for the band-aid don't spend too much
none of them can prevent serious problems.

:cool:




 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
I apologize in advance if this is not helpful to you because you have already made up your mind that you need a "power conditioner."

It is extremely unlikely that a power conditioner of any kind will reduce noise in your rig or will improve the sound of your rig.

The two main sources of noise in guitar rigs are EMI and ground loops.
If the noise goes away when you turn down your guitar's volume then the source is EMI inducing noise in your single coil pickups. The only solution to this problem is to remove the source--usually dimmer switches.

If the noise persists with your guitar volume down then it is likely a ground loop or other grounding issue. Solutions include replacing bad patch cables, repairing a faulty pedal or, in the case of a ground loop, using an iso-transformer in the rig or at the wall socket.

The small voltage fluctuations in wall voltage will not cause audible problems. Even if your wiring is old it is very unlikely that you are exceeding the current draw on a circuit and if you are it is likely a fuse would blow or a breaker would flip.

"Dirty power" is largely a fiction. Normal noise on an AC line is removed by the filter caps in your amp. Additional filtering will not be beneficial.

UPS can also introduce additional noise.

Here is a video that may help you diagnose a noise problem:

 

MilwMark

Member
Messages
2,766
Thanks Nick. Does a dimmer switch always introduce noise (if at all) or only when "on" (I.e., turning that light off would also fix)? Apologies if addressed in the vid - at work and can't watch.
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
Dimmers should only cause the issue when on, and usually only when set for less than full brightness.

Typically the cause is the less expensive types that, instead of using a resistive device (like a pot) use SCR's (silicon controlled rectifiers) that reduce the brightness by partially rectifying (chopping off peaks) of the AC. The inductors in these emit EMI. More expensive dimmers may also have noise suppression circuitry.

Other frequent sources of EMI include space heaters, AC units, appliances, fans etc.

Hope this helps!
n
 

MilwMark

Member
Messages
2,766
Dimmers should only cause the issue when on, and usually only when set for less than full brightness.

Typically the cause is the less expensive types that, instead of using a resistive device (like a pot) use SCR's (silicon controlled rectifiers) that reduce the brightness by partially rectifying (chopping off peaks) of the AC. The inductors in these emit EMI. More expensive dimmers may also have noise suppression circuitry.

Other frequent sources of EMI include space heaters, AC units, appliances, fans etc.

Hope this helps!
n
So you're saying my music corner, where my amp is plugged into the same circuit with a mini-fridge and cheap dimmer may not be the quietest in the world?

The funny thing is though, save the one time I was playing under a window with a neon beer sign that was flickering on and off, I do always know stage conditions will be quieter than my music corner, so if stuff's quiet enough for home, it'll be quiet enough for the stage (where our drummer's cymbals, the bass, PA hiss and acordian, not to mention, you know, my playing seem to drown out any gear noise anyway).

Thanks for the straight dope on conditioners though.
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
So you're saying my music corner, where my amp is plugged into the same circuit with a mini-fridge and cheap dimmer may not be the quietest in the world?

The funny thing is though, save the one time I was playing under a window with a neon beer sign that was flickering on and off, I do always know stage conditions will be quieter than my music corner, so if stuff's quiet enough for home, it'll be quiet enough for the stage (where our drummer's cymbals, the bass, PA hiss and acordian, not to mention, you know, my playing seem to drown out any gear noise anyway).

Thanks for the straight dope on conditioners though.
Yep, the fridge and dimmer are likely sources though that noise is most likely radiated through the air as EMI and inducing noise through your pickups, not entering the audio path through the wiring. So moving away from the sources with your guitar may help. Does the buzzing persist even with no guitar plugged in?

Neon signs have big transformers in them that also radiate a lot of EMI.

n
 

MilwMark

Member
Messages
2,766
Yep, the fridge and dimmer are likely sources though that noise is most likely radiated through the air as EMI and inducing noise through your pickups, not entering the audio path through the wiring. So moving away from the sources with your guitar may help. Does the buzzing persist even with no guitar plugged in?

Neon signs have big transformers in them that also radiate a lot of EMI.

n
Nope. Rolling off vol pot or unplugging gets rid of it (touching strings gets rid of most to be honest). Mostly just attempted droll commentary on the "travails" of the modern musicians (which a friend would says falls firmly into the category of "first world problems").

But, getting rid of my nagging doubt re should I get a conditioner to use at home and bring to show really helps. And hey, if others still feel better using one just in case, that's cool too I suppose.
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
Oh no problem, interesting thread.

Yep, in that case it's EMI (normal for grounding the strings to reduce it) and has nothing to do with the power supply. Removing the source is the main solution.
You can also turn your body and guitar through 360 degrees and you'll find two "null points" at which the noise is at a minimum. So, if you don't mind facing away from the audience...
 

RockinRob

Member
Messages
1,026
Noise and single coils can be a real bear. My music room is in our basement, and my favorite amp is a 66 Pro Reverb. But it is so noisy down there. I brought it upstairs and hardly any noise. Sooo, I then brought it back downstairs, and shut off every breaker except the one powering the amp, and unlugged everything else i could on that line...and still noise! Not sure how I could have interference when everything else was unplugged and/or completely off the circuit and going straight into the amp. i have given up, just gotta live with it.
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
Have the Monster 3500 PRO a nice power source, make sure you star ground your studio if noise is a concern, its true power conditioners do little for noise.

I have invested alot of time and money to make sure my studio and gear is as isolated as possible and still get the occasional pickup hum thing and I have humbuckers....EMI most likely.

I have star grounded my studio (its on the net if your wondering what that means.) and gone through my pedals and connections with a fine tooth comb,(trying various orders for the adapters etc.) Furman SS-6B outlets, Monster 3500 Pro Conditioner, use an outlet thats isolated from the rest of the house current,make sure all audio cables are seperated from power cables and cords etc. even had an electrician go through and check all the wiring and plugs to make sure the grounds were correct etc. etc.

In the end, everything is fairly quiet, but no more so than it was before I bought the power conditioner or star grounded my gear...go figure....

Im glad I have the power conditioner for simplicity in hooking and powering everything up or disconnecting from the power in case theres a storm, just pull one plug, but honestly, it did absolutely nothing to change any interference I occasional get.
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
I apologize in advance if this is not helpful to you because you have already made up your mind that you need a "power conditioner."

It is extremely unlikely that a power conditioner of any kind will reduce noise in your rig or will improve the sound of your rig.

The two main sources of noise in guitar rigs are EMI and ground loops.
If the noise goes away when you turn down your guitar's volume then the source is EMI inducing noise in your single coil pickups. The only solution to this problem is to remove the source--usually dimmer switches.

If the noise persists with your guitar volume down then it is likely a ground loop or other grounding issue. Solutions include replacing bad patch cables, repairing a faulty pedal or, in the case of a ground loop, using an iso-transformer in the rig or at the wall socket.

The small voltage fluctuations in wall voltage will not cause audible problems. Even if your wiring is old it is very unlikely that you are exceeding the current draw on a circuit and if you are it is likely a fuse would blow or a breaker would flip.

"Dirty power" is largely a fiction. Normal noise on an AC line is removed by the filter caps in your amp. Additional filtering will not be beneficial.

UPS can also introduce additional noise.

Here is a video that may help you diagnose a noise problem:


Thanks Nick some really great info, should be a must view for every guitar player.

Sadly I had to remove 4 Carl Martin pedals I really like from my board, they kept causing alot of 60 cycle hum, not sure if they are grounded differently or because they only use plugs, either way I found once I removed them from my board everything quieted down considerably, unfortunately trying to explain to the wife that I needed to buy more pedals to replace the ones I removed and why led to the lengthy explanation that not all pedals work in a setup and you dont know until you try and yada yada yada, whew....
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Wow, lots of good stuff in this thread!

When we were at the studio, my powerstrip was plugged into the wall, and my amps were plugged into the wall in another room. There was some white noise. Then we plugged my pedals into a power conditioner on the back of his setup and the noise went away.

Perhaps it was on a different circuit?

If power conditioners are truly a waste of money, why would any studio in their right mind waste any money on them at all? I know there are products out there that are true myths, bit power conditioners seem to be universally accepted and I have seen them in many applications.

Why not simply get a power strip or make one for 1/10th the cost?

This reply is not meant to argumentative because I sincerely appreciate the feedback, but more of a curiosity nipping at the brain, wanting to know the real deal.
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Lol at the wife thing. Yeah. Try explaining ANYTHING technical to a wife is tough if she's not into too.

It's like saying - remember those shoes you got on clearance for summer because they were a great deal, and now they don't for and you can't take em back? Remember me bitching at you about the wasted money? No? Wow, me neither, cause I don't bitch about those things and I'd appreciate the reciprocation of kindness!! *wham* - sound of my foot stuck firmly in my mouth and my pillow and blankets hitting the floor ever so precisely next to the coutch.

Who ever said it is better to be happy than right didn't live with a woman who thought the same way. Lol
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
Wow, lots of good stuff in this thread!

When we were at the studio, my powerstrip was plugged into the wall, and my amps were plugged into the wall in another room. There was some white noise. Then we plugged my pedals into a power conditioner on the back of his setup and the noise went away.

Perhaps it was on a different circuit?

If power conditioners are truly a waste of money, why would any studio in their right mind waste any money on them at all? I know there are products out there that are true myths, bit power conditioners seem to be universally accepted and I have seen them in many applications.

Why not simply get a power strip or make one for 1/10th the cost?

This reply is not meant to argumentative because I sincerely appreciate the feedback, but more of a curiosity nipping at the brain, wanting to know the real deal.
I totally get where your coming from, I went through this same exact kind of issue about a month ago...check out this thread I had posted about things I had done thinking the hum was tube related or power/circuit related.......in the end it was nothing more than 60 cycle hum that came and went occasionally just like Nick mentioned in his video.

Heres all the lengths I went to when I also thought a power conditioner was the be all end all or at least was hoping so.

Previous post in another forum, looking for answers:

"1. I Star grounded my studio gear which helps to eliminate or minimize ground loops that could contribute to or create interference in the signal chain, plenty of info on the net on this if your interested in learning about it.

2. I just picked up a Monster Power Center Pro 3500 power conditioner, which I will be running all my gear through in hopes of eliminating noise and interference in the signal chain of my gear and minimize energy spikes, many people swear by this and claim their tube amps are as (quiet as a mouse) as one user noted, of course there are those that claim power conditioners are a myth that do absolutely nothing...don't care and don't want to debate it, thought I would make my own educated guess by getting one and trying it out myself, at the very least I have a single power source to power up and power down all of my gear with the push of a single button, hell that's practically worth the $260 price tag that Phil at Sweetwater was kind enough to offer me.

3. Paid a certified electrician from a very reputable company to completely inspect the power coming into our house, and do diagnostics on all the outlets and have learned that I have a designated power outlet as well as 4 - 20amp wall outlets in my studio so I now know there is plenty of power for what I need and use, so I can be rest assured its not a ground issue or anything related to our home which we just purchased and moved into at the end of October 2013.

4. I completely rewired my main guitar with new premium CTS pots and Orange drop Caps 22uf bridge, 15uf Neck, thin 26 gauge wire for minimum loading and grounded the whole circuit using star grounding and is fully shielded with copper foil through out the entire body and pickup cavity, and am waiting for my set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbuckers to arrive sometime around Friday which is why I am waiting to pull tubes and test, wanted to be absolutely sure I left no stone unturned and that its not a wiring issue or ground problem in the guitar, and though I am almost certain it is not, I wanted to do all of these things at one point or another anyway, so this incident just kind of pushed me to do what i have been putting off.

5. Today I opened up the back of my closed back 2 x 12 cab that I had made by Mojotone for my Renegade Head, its loaded with Celestion V30's for 16ohms and I happened to find the speaker jack very very loose, as in I turned the nut off with my fingers (could that cause any popping or scratching ?) don't know but, it sure dosn't hurt that I tightened that up.

So all in all I have done all that I can think of to eliminate the need to look outside the amp as a concern and everything I can to minimize any causes of interference that may affect my amp or gear in the future which has left me feeling a whole lot better about everything, and I am confident that once I do replace all of my tubes when ever that may be I should by all accounts and purposes have alot of years of quality studio time to look forward to."

In the end it turned out to be 60 cycle hum that comes and goes occasionally very quiet usually.....but $280 later I own a Monster 3500 PRO power center....did it help....Nada...lol ...but...it does look very professional sitting on my desk all lit up though. lol
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
Noise and single coils can be a real bear. My music room is in our basement, and my favorite amp is a 66 Pro Reverb. But it is so noisy down there. I brought it upstairs and hardly any noise. Sooo, I then brought it back downstairs, and shut off every breaker except the one powering the amp, and unlugged everything else i could on that line...and still noise! Not sure how I could have interference when everything else was unplugged and/or completely off the circuit and going straight into the amp. i have given up, just gotta live with it.
Not sure this is helpful, but in the case of EMI noise (induced through single coil pickups) it does not matter where things are plugged in; only how close you are to the source of the emission. Are there any appliances, dimmers, or other devices with transformers in that part of your house?
 




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