Recommend a Power Conditioner

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by 3dognate, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    We've noticed that in a few places that we play regular that we are experiencing some power droops. It's not manifesting as tripped breakers but rather as muddiness in the system and even our Aux sends would get garbagey sounding. This would happen when we were all playing hard and loud. When we would lighten up for a verse or something... things would clean right up. We've only got a basic amount of power conditioning happening... (couple of rack mount furman units... one for the mixer/crossover/eqs and one for the power amps.) Seems that the Mixer (Presonus SL 24.4.2) and the Sub Amp (Crown XTi 6002) (we also have a Crown k2 powering the mains) are the main things that are being affected... and I have read that the PreSonus SL series are a little sensitive to crappy power...

    We are currently looking at a Furman P-1800 PF Power Conditioner...

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/furman-p-1800-pf-power-conditioner/182057000000000

    Would this be a proper sized unit to help solidify the power for the PA? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    No amount of "power conditioning" is going to solve the problem you are describing. The voltage is sagging and it is affecting the digital circuitry in the Presonus.

    It sounds like your console might benefit from a voltage regulator:

    http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?id=AR-1215

    Try plugging your power amps direct in to the wall, not a power conditioner. Those Crown amps might prefer it.

    A good electrician should look at the problems at the clubs where you are having these problems. Clubs are responsible for providing adequate clean power and enough of it that these problems should not exist. I would think the owner/manager would appreciate knowing that the problem exists and it should not cost much to rectify it.

    There might be other things on the power leg you are using for audio. There should be dedicated circuits for audio and a separate one for lighting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  3. bchamorro

    bchamorro Member

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    Hey Nick, got your email. I like your work! I'll be writing back soon.
     
  4. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    ????
     
  5. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    We already have a P-1800PFR on the amp rack. But the P-1800PF has a current reserve that the rack unit does not. I suppose that a UPS/Regulator would probably be the route to actually go in... would probably have the cleanest power that way without resorting to a full on power distribution rack and taping in directly to the mains.
     
  6. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    Your P-1800PFR will help clean up dirty power, but does not keep the line voltage stable.

    The AR-1215 AC LINE VOLTAGE REGULATOR delivers a stable 120 ±5 VAC whenever the input AC line voltage is between 97V and 141V.

    Getting your own power distro is really the way to go, but not cheap.

    I'd call Crown and ask what they recommend re: line conditioners -I've had other amp manufacturers tell me to not use them and plug direct into the wall power.

    If you ever need a good soundman, I'm only 40 minutes from Bloomington, my hometown!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  7. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Hey... you'll have to come up and catch my band and introduce yourself sometime.
     
  8. bchamorro

    bchamorro Member

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    wrong thread, sorry LOL!:facepalm
     
  9. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    I had 3 AR1215's from Furman...I figured they would solve all my power problems. They were not cheap....dealer cost $1500 or so each. As it turns out, I ended up having more problems using the AR1215's than not using them at all. They will cut themselves off as a protection if you drive too high of a load through them (that's why I had 3 and would split up the load). Not a good thing to happen halfway through a show. Been there, done that.

    I've since sold off the Furmans and had an electrician friend build me proper power distros. I have 2 of them, each with about 100' of lead, with cam locks. Single phase, 100 amp. If I need 3 phase (rarely), I just rent a distro from the lighting company I work with. I've never had a power problem since doing it the right way, with proper distros, and I'm driving 25,000 watts of power.

    Perhaps with a small system the Furmans would be useful, but for that cost, I can't recommend them. They tend to "protect" themselves at the worst possible time, plus they weigh a ****-ton. I just don't see the value in them.
     
  10. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Yeah the AR1215s are out of the question... Need to stay around the $500 mark for a solution.
     
  11. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    $500 won't even cover the cost of the feeder cable you'd need to make a "real" power distro....so, no, i don't have a good solution for you. electrical issues suck. power conditioners won't help the problem, as they are just glorified power strips (for the most part).
     
  12. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) it's not my check book... I'm just helping research solutions.

    You don't think a UPS/Regultor would do well?
     
  13. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    a UPS is just a battery, so, no, that won't help you...
    and a regulator just maintains a constant voltage level, so if there is a problem with the power that you plug your regulator into, no, it's not going to help either.
     
  14. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    You won't get clean power from a UPS either, they tend to be really really dirty since the vast majority use switching power supplies and actually, the budget "standby" style units only kick over to battery when AC is cut so they wouldn't help anyway! Real power distros cost real money... and what you need is a regulator with a dedicated transformer. See if the clubs are wired correctly and then plug the power amps directly into the wall.
     
  15. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    So, back to square one.

    The Furman AR-1215 is only $463. It will hold the line voltage steady (that's what it is made to do) for just the digital console (and can even handle a few other small-current drawing pieces in the FOH rack) and will probably solve the problem within Nate's budget.

    Worth a try??
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  16. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    i'd save my $453. i'm tellin' ya, i've used them plenty, and they are not worth the trouble. you can't plug it into a normal 15 amp wall outlet, you NEED a true 20 amp, the type where one of the blades is horizontal and one is vertical to power the thing up, the weigh a ton, and you'll need about $100 worth of 2 gauge cable plus the connector that it uses as it's power in. they really are more of a PITA than they are worth. i'm not going to tell you that it's not worth a try, because that was exactly the reason i bought them. i was at my wits end with power issues and i thought this would be a miracle worker.....and it's just not. also, be aware that there are a couple different versions of the AR-1215. there is an old model with 15 amp outlets on the back, and there is a newer one with 20 amp outlets. if it's an older style, don't buy it! if it's the newer version, the $463 is certainly a good price, but you aren't going to notice any difference using it. ymmv.
     
  17. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    most clubs, if they are big enough to get nationals, will have the proper setup already in place so when the band brings in a **** ton of lights, they can just tie into the main breaker box. some even have tails just hanging there, ready for you to plug into. you can build yourself a small distro with cam locks for not much more than the $463, and it _will_ solve your power problems.
     
  18. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    I think the issue for 3dog is the clubs (bars) he is playing in do not have decent power to start with, let alone a way for someone to bring in a distro and hook up to the main breaker box. He could get his end together (a good electrician could build one for his band within his budget), but he would not have a way to tie into the main breaker box without an electrician. I have seen way to many bars wanting to have live music that are old and have not put money into infrastructure to support modern audio/lighting power requirements.

    My original response to him was to talk to the clubs owners/manager and ask them to get their act together re: power issues.

    Back to the drawing board.

    Thanks for your input rokpunk.

    Good luck 3dog!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  19. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    it's simple! turn off the master breaker, tie in cam locks from the distro box's black, white, red, and green (for single phase). flip the master breaker back on and try it with a known working distro box (from sound/lighting company). this way, and one can roll into the club with their distro tails and tie right in in about 30 seconds. any electrician can do this for the club for about $100 plus parts. once it's installed, you won't know how you ever lived without it!
     
  20. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    All legality and liability of tying into the breaker panel aside... (not really, its serious stuff!) once a certain threshold of amperage/current is met and or exceeded a single 15 or 20 amp line is insufficient and tying in is pretty well mandatory.

    With a digital console, couple three-four power amps, big drive rack of outboard... lights? Then all the band gear like a power hungry SVT... then yeah you probably want to have a direct connection. At least I would, YMMV.
     

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