Power conditioning - anyone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by supar6, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. supar6

    supar6 Member

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    I've got a few decent amps but it seems like on every one there is a little more hum or electrical noise coming through than should be. I play through single coils mostly and understand that it's their inherent nature to hum however this is a bit over the top and makes some pedals almost useless for me.

    I'm almost certain its crappy power in my house as at other locations all my amps are much more quiet. Has anyone had any experience with using power conditioners? Any thing to look at be concerned about when shopping for them?

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    I have enountered quite a few bad episodes at clubs- noise, sagging voltage- you never know what's behind those walls. Spend the extra cash and get something that conditions and regulates.

    I use a Furman product- something with a 15 in the model number. No problems since.
     
  3. TDJMB

    TDJMB Gold Supporting Member

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    Richard Grey. Lots of money but very effective.
     
  4. Rapmaster

    Rapmaster Member

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    +1 on the richard gray

    I've got no experience with them using instruments, but they make fabulous products for hi-fi. Since they deal with power and not audio components, I'd assume the quality would carry over.
     
  5. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    I've been considering getting a Furman unit but really dont know the difference between power conditioners and voltage regulators. I like the models that have the light to illuminate your rack, but which unit best meets the needs of a gigging guitarist who needs to power anything from an Axe FX to a 100 watt tube amp?
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I use a Furman Power Factor Pro R and have no complaints except that it's only a Conditioner and not a regulator. I found it cut some of the "dirty power" noise down.

    I'll more than likely be investing in a Furman AR-15 II Regulator very soon!
     
  7. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Just use the regular Power Conditioning Furman myself. Enough for me. I don't have a noisy rig as it is.

    Check the other thread on rewiring the house (no need to go that far!) You'll see that it's many things that contribute. Could be the lights in your room when you play, the computer it sits next to, etc... I'd try to do process of elimination there for your practice space first.

    Outside of that, it is a VERY good thing to get something between power and your expensive equipment.

    EP
     
  8. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    I plug all of my gear into the AR-15II. The Furman site gives a pretty good overview of what's capable of what.
     
  9. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Voltage regulators make sure that the amp sees the proper 117 volts it's supposed to. Power conditioners do not do that. Not quite sure exactly what they do and don't do but they do not regulate the voltage that gets to your amps.
     
  10. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    Since the Furman PL-8 II power conditioner is around $160 and the AR-15 Volatge Regulator is around $650 I'm wondering exactly what do you lose by just getting the power conditioner and what does it do? Is the voltage regulator really worth that much more, and if so under what circumstances?
     
  11. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I bought one of those Monster Power Conditioner/Regulators online that is made for home theater. It made a huge difference in my house, where the power seems to be dirty and the voltage runs 129VAC most of the time.

    It was much cheaper than the typical musical instrument version, but the drawback is that it isn't rack mountable. So I just used some industrial Velcro and stuck inside the bottom of my studio rack.
     
  12. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    Maybe someone like technical can weigh in on this one but one detrimental affect of voltage fluctuations will be on your tubes...plate voltage, or something?

    Sound wise, when you're in the middle of a set and the wall voltage is spiking or sagging, you'll know.
     
  13. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Generally speaking, running any electronics over voltage is a bad practice. I've been trying to get my power company to fix the high voltage in my house for years.

    As far as tube amps go, the effect varies from amp to amp, but a couple of things can happen. One is that your filament voltages are too high and your tubes don't last as long. Another is that your plate voltage exceeds the voltage ratings on your filter caps and you either blow one or create a dangerous situation.

    Most power transformers are designed for a primary voltage of 115-120VAC, where 117VAC is common. Depending on the winding ratio, the voltage increase can be minimal or dramatic.

    In the case of Fender amps, where the primary is typically 117VAC and the secondary is typcally 330VAC, we have a winding ratio of 2.8. So if your wall voltage is 129VAC like mine, the secondary increases to 364VAC. The B+ (assuming a SS rectifier) increases from 467VDC to 515VDC, which is too much for Fender's 500V filter caps.

    The impact on filament voltage can be similarly calculated. In this example, it would be 7.0VAC, which is above the 6.9VAC upper limit for tolerance.
     
  14. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I couldn't have said it...
     
  15. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    s2 thanks for the response.

    It sounds like there are good reasons to get a voltage regulator, but it's hard for me to embrace spending $650 for something that doesn't even make a sound :eek:

    I'll probably go for the power conditioner and see if there are any decent voltage regulator options at a lower price.

    Is there a value in having a power conditioner over nothing at all? If it's not a voltage regulator what exactly does a power conditioner do beyond eliminate spikes?
     
  16. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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  17. bobotwt

    bobotwt Member

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    LOL! The line of the day.

    I think it DOES make a sound. If you have ever played in venues with horendous wiring problems, a proper voltage level makes a huge tone AND feel difference. Before I understood this, I could never figure out why some days I thought my rig was amazing and other days I wanted to hurl it in a dumpster.

    Josh
     
  18. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    So what is there besides the Furman units for voltage regulation? I don't think most have any need for a rack mounted unit so surely there must be cheaper ones available that do the job just as well?
     
  19. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Man, I have this problem too. The power in my playing room is so dirty, I can hear hum and buzz. Sometimes it is horrendous of klate, probably something to do wiht new pedals.
    Even humbuckers hum like mad except for EMG actives, they are majorly quieter. When I build my new home, I am going to pay attention to this issue in the design process.
     
  20. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Supporting Member

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    Which Richard Grey product?
    Thanks.
     

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