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CLEAN POWER... is it a myth? Dynamics Plugins
Old 8th August 2009
  #1
CLEAN POWER... is it a myth?

Hello All,

Here's a question I couldn't find anything on...

Is it actually worth spending money on a Monster Power Conditioner vs. el cheapo Furman Power Conditioner, or isn't this some sort of scam (i.e. the "task specific filters" on the back of a Monster 3500, for example)?

Just wondering.

I guess I just don't see how more truly "conditioned" my sounds are based on which racks I plug them into.

What's the story? Can someone elaborate?
Old 8th August 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
I run everything through an online UPS that outputs pure sine wave power. When I switched, it cleared up a few hums.
Old 8th August 2009
  #3
PDC
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I hear the can opener in the kitchen. The lid just popped up and the thing stopped.

Monster is a waste of money. Yes it is essential that you have regulated power. Power voltages can swing from 90 to 130V. It can also be full of distortion. So, you need something that will regulate, clean and distribute. Then you need to consider your grounding scheme because that determines which ones you should be looking at.
Old 8th August 2009
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Mulmany's Avatar
Unfortunately

If you are looking at anything under $600 its just a surge protector power distributor.

Price really does matter in this case. (not over inflated Monster prices)

There is a big difference between a Conditioner and a Regulator. Conditioners with smooth out the electric and remove some noise. A regulator will supply a constant output voltage within a 40 Volt range and usually will provide conditioning and surge protection.
Old 9th August 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 

Clean power is not a myth. It's as important as the signal path. However it's not necessarily attained by line conditioners or regulators (although they may be necessary as well).
More important is the quality of the cabling supplying the power, and the quality and cleanliness of the plugs and connectors. And grounding as mentioned previously.
Old 9th August 2009
  #6
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Do some real research on "AC Harmonic Distortion".
You will find that dirty AC is a HUGE problem, and growing everyday...
Some conditioners may not help, might even ADD to the problem...
Old 9th August 2009
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yrlk View Post
Is it actually worth spending money on a Monster Power Conditioner vs. el cheapo Furman Power Conditioner, or isn't this some sort of scam
Power "conditioner" products are mostly a scam, especially when they claim improved sound quality in the form of better imaging and fullness and clarity etc. If you have hum due to ground loops they will not help either. However, a good power conditioner (not a glorified outlet strip) can eliminate clicks and pops when your refrigerator or furnace kicks in. But you don't have to spend $500 and more to get rid of power line clicks and pops. This article shows how to DIY a filter for about $30:

Hum and Buzz

Bottom line: if you don't hear a problem, then you don't have a problem.

--Ethan
Old 9th August 2009
  #8
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Power "conditioner" products are mostly a scam, especially when they claim improved sound quality in the form of better imaging and fullness and clarity etc.
--Ethan

I need to give you some files *with* the Richard Gray in the Chain and without it..


the difference was quite drastic. I wont use those audiophile terms...imaging, "lifted veils" or whatever, but the noise floor--- huge improvement.

we normally could have the console faders at about I dunno half or something and hear a bit of noise, but now..nothing..
Old 9th August 2009
  #9
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deuc647's Avatar
 

Teddy, could you post them? Ive really been on the fence about that power company. It just sucks that for 700, it only has 4 outlets.
Old 9th August 2009
  #10
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Teddy, could you post them? Ive really been on the fence about that power company. It just sucks that for 700, it only has 4 outlets.
Yeah, Sure thing...

just need to compile the files. Ill have it up in the next couple days.
Old 10th August 2009
  #11
This sure has been a productive post, gentlemen. Thanks! =)
Old 10th August 2009
  #12
Gear Head
 

A comment regarding refrigerators reminds me of another important consideration.: it's important to have at least one dedicated power supply devoted to your studio gear. That means, not shared with devices such as refrigerators, heaters, air conditioners and lighting. Even a soldering iron plugged into the audio power supply circuit can degrade the sound.
Old 10th August 2009
  #13
PDC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshoss View Post
Clean power is not a myth. It's as important as the signal path. However it's not necessarily attained by line conditioners or regulators (although they may be necessary as well).
More important is the quality of the cabling supplying the power, and the quality and cleanliness of the plugs and connectors. And grounding as mentioned previously.
You have any scientific data to support this? No? Didn't think so.
Old 10th August 2009
  #14
PDC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Teddy, could you post them? Ive really been on the fence about that power company. It just sucks that for 700, it only has 4 outlets.
Also check out the IsoTek stuff.
Old 10th August 2009
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PDC View Post
You have any scientific data to support this? No? Didn't think so.
Supply you with scientific data? Why not just clean your power connectors and fuses, and hear for yourself? No? Didn't think so.
Old 10th August 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I recently purchased a Furman PL PRO DMCE and AB'd it with my monitors. The amount of noise prevalent in the un PC'd monitor was surprising andthere was zero noise in the speaker through the PC.

Note the interface wasn't plugged into the PC, used the same output and the same lead, simply swapped the lead. Also used the same monitor and plugged into the pc cand then normal. Same deal, completely fixes the noise floor when pushing signal into the monitor using all methods availible to me.

Add the Furman to a Big Ben and it's like listening to entirely differnet monitors.

I didn't believe it would have this much of an impact but it surprised me. So yes, definately they will clean up power, including keeping it a constant voltage, the display scares me a lot when you hit above 250V and below 220v when normal voltage is 240v here in Aus. Just wonders how many electronic units die due to the voltage input wavering so much from mains.
Old 10th August 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDC View Post
You have any scientific data to support this? No? Didn't think so.
I spent an entire week, testing just about every power conditioner on the market, inc. the two marques you mention and the only time a power conditioner made ANY difference to the resultant signal was when they made things slightly worse.

Mostly, when we introduced all kinds of RF and other gremlins into the mains supply, it made absolutely no difference to the levels of distortion, noise or any other critical measurement, whether there was a conditioner there or not.

Also, many models that give you a voltage or power consumption read-out, give the wrong value. One Furman was 5% out, which is a very big difference.

Having a 100% earth connection is the one big thing you must check if you are having issues with power and noise.
Old 10th August 2009
  #18
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crypticglobe's Avatar
I highly recommend a transformer isolated, balanced "tech circuit". David Rochester at Technical Audio Service set mine up for me. It's been lovely. I have zero buzz/hum issues and no weirdness with other stuff in the building (lights, frig, A/C, etc)...
Old 10th August 2009
  #19
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dannycurtean@yah's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Bottom line: if you don't hear a problem, then you don't have a problem.

--Ethan
Or your deaf...

I heard a MAAAAAAASSSSIIIIIIVEEE difference with just switching power cables to my amps.....that is NOT a myth, and neither is a good power conditioner. Like everybody says, you dont NEED the 500 dollar one, you can go with a Furman for allot cheaper and it will do the same thing. Monster look fancy though...
Old 10th August 2009
  #20
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dannycurtean@yah's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Having a 100% earth connection is the one big thing you must check if you are having issues with power and noise.
Having an isolated ground for your entire studio is the best thing you could do for power, then follow that with a good surge protector, conditioner and its all you need.
Old 10th August 2009
  #21
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Having an isolated ground for your entire studio is the best thing you could do for power, then follow that with a good surge protector, conditioner and its all you need.
Do you mean NOT connected anywhere?
If so I disagree 100%...
Old 10th August 2009
  #22
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andsonic's Avatar
 

one good thing to point out is that one should isolate gear with switching power supplies from gear that does not. I keep my computers, hard drives, etc on a different circuit then my pre's and console.
Old 10th August 2009
  #23
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic View Post
one good thing to point out is that one should isolate gear with switching power supplies from gear that does not. I keep my computers, hard drives, etc on a different circuit then my pre's and console.
That's a good idea..
Old 10th August 2009
  #24
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andsonic's Avatar
 

I've been well bitten by drive & LCD noise in my audio in some situations. When I do an el cheapo remote, I bring 2 powerstrips & a ground lift. If I lift the strip with the HD & laptop, then any noise in the preamp goes away.

Of course this is a "low-end" solution. heh
Old 10th August 2009
  #25
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dannycurtean@yah's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Do you mean NOT connected anywhere?
If so I disagree 100%...
No I mean ISOLATED.

i⋅so⋅late  [v. ahy-suh-leyt; n., adj. ahy-suh-lit, -leyt] noun, adjective
–verb (used with object)
1. to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.

Isolated ground meaning it is individual and separated (Isolated) from the rest of the house, apartment, studio ect. At the most basic level it means that you run a 12 foot copper rod into the ground and connect the ground lead to it from your studio.
Old 10th August 2009
  #26
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

What I should have said is NOT connected to the other grounds..I didn't mean NOT connected to anything INCLUDING a ground rod, water pipe, ground ring, ground plate ect... ALL the grounding electrodes ALLOWED by the NEC...

I know what an Isolated outlet circuit is..
But ALL grounds should be connected together at the lowest point..
Old 10th August 2009
  #27
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dannycurtean@yah's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
What I should have said is NOT connected to the other grounds..I didn't mean NOT connected to anything INCLUDING a ground rod, water pipe, ground ring, ground plate ect... ALL the grounding electrodes ALLOWED by the NEC...

I know what an Isolated outlet circuit is..
But ALL grounds should be connected together at the lowest point..
Not according to a professional and highly skilled electrician that I know personally. But like always, I could very well be wrong, and in such situations I like to learn. So if you know something I dont, please elaborate.
Old 10th August 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yrlk View Post
CLEAN POWER... is it a myth?
No.
Old 10th August 2009
  #29
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Not according to a professional and highly skilled electrician that I know personally. But like always, I could very well be wrong, and in such situations I like to learn. So if you know something I dont, please elaborate.
Don't you mean Know something HE doesn't???
I will not go back and forth on something I know very well...
Old 10th August 2009
  #30
PDC
Lives for gear
 

Let
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
I spent an entire week, testing just about every power conditioner on the market, inc. the two marques you mention and the only time a power conditioner made ANY difference to the resultant signal was when they made things slightly worse.

Mostly, when we introduced all kinds of RF and other gremlins into the mains supply, it made absolutely no difference to the levels of distortion, noise or any other critical measurement, whether there was a conditioner there or not.

Also, many models that give you a voltage or power consumption read-out, give the wrong value. One Furman was 5% out, which is a very big difference.

Having a 100% earth connection is the one big thing you must check if you are having issues with power and noise.
I totally agree that some of them can make no difference when you have good power to begin with. "Making things worse" could mean that you have problems elsewhere, and maybe the power is clean enough now that you can hear those problems. Maybe the grounding scheme was not compatible with the unit. Isotek has very specific warnings on their units about connecting to gear that grounds to the chassis.

The guys said previously that cables were MORE important than the conditioners/regulators, and I asked for scientific proof. That sounds like audiophilia too me. Cable does not purify, rectify or prevent a fry. Cable contains conductors. Case in point: In my neck of the woods, voltage swings and distortion cause problems. I have a customer in Topeka, KS that has had electrical problems with his power service. He HAS high end power cables on his audio gear and computers, and he has had to replace all of the gear before because of the surges. He was blowing output stages on amplifiers because of his surges, brown-outs, etc. So cables alone doing the job is BS. For some people, when the power company/co-op could give a rats ass, these solutions are the only option.
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