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Power Conditioners.. and VU meters...Are they really needed?
Old 8th June 2006
  #1
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Power Conditioners.. and VU meters...Are they really needed?

I'm finishing my room upgrade, and I was wondering if anyone could chime in on the benefits of good power conditioning as far as improving system performance.

(Protools /192 i/o's/ chandler pre's and compression/manley/api/empirical labs etc.....)

I plan on buying the Equitech Q2 as my main and a few monster 2500's for my various racks.


Also if anyone can recommend a good set of VU meters...I'm not sure if I need them but since the LTD1's dont have metering and the api's dont have the best metering I think I need a good set of vu's or led's
Old 8th June 2006
  #2
Good power conditioning and balanced power is not just about system performance, it is about lowering the noise floor dramatically when tracking and mixing down.
Old 8th June 2006
  #3
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Kalite Marka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
Also if anyone can recommend a good set of VU meters...I'm not sure if I need them but since the LTD1's dont have metering and the api's dont have the best metering I think I need a good set of vu's or led's
Are you planning on getting a set of VU or LED meters for each of these units?
Old 8th June 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalite Marka
Are you planning on getting a set of VU or LED meters for each of these units?
No I was planning on just a pair that I could patch where needed (for instance, to keep an eye on my gain structure when going through the LTD1's when tracking etc....)

I dont use a console, just protools and an Avocet for my monitoring section.

I've seen led meters with the spectrum analyzer on them, so i'm gathering info so i can decide if this is something I need to add....

I also need to calibrate my system so I figured the meters would also be useful for that.
Old 8th June 2006
  #5
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I have 2 Monster 2500's for all my gear and although they're not the best, they made a huge difference in my recording levels. It removed all my AC hum and various Radio freq that to some degree were always present before.

I immediately noticed how quiet my tracks were and the peace of mind of the protection. Where I live in Florida and with all the storms, I wouldn't dream of not having some protection for my gear.
Old 8th June 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
No I was planning on just a pair that I could patch where needed (for instance, to keep an eye on my gain structure when going through the LTD1's when tracking etc....)
I dont use a console, just protools and an Avocet for my monitoring section.
It really is not necessary for you to check your mic-pre levels while tracking since you already monitor your in/out levels in PT.
A precision meter hooked up to your Avocet is a good idea, that way you’ll know where your sources are.
Here are two good companies:
http://www.dorrough.com/dorrough
http://www.wohler.com/levelmeters.html
Old 8th June 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
I have 2 Monster 2500's for all my gear and although they're not the best, they made a huge difference in my recording levels. It removed all my AC hum and various Radio freq that to some degree were always present before.

I immediately noticed how quiet my tracks were and the peace of mind of the protection. Where I live in Florida and with all the storms, I wouldn't dream of not having some protection for my gear.
thanks for the info, i plan on running the 2500's into the equitech, I know that i have to protect my gear as well,(although until now I haven"t) and its good to know that it can also improve the noise floor, Im wondering, do you think that it will also help with guitar buzz, (you know how you have to find the quiet spot in the room by having the guitarist or bassist move around to get the ax quiet?) I have had that problem 90 percent of the time over the years. except with my strat with the noiseless pickups..
Old 8th June 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
thanks for the info, i plan on running the 2500's into the equitech, I know that i have to protect my gear as well,(although until now I haven"t) and its good to know that it can also improve the noise floor, Im wondering, do you think that it will also help with guitar buzz, (you know how you have to find the quiet spot in the room by having the guitarist or bassist move around to get the ax quiet?) I have had that problem 90 percent of the time over the years. except with my strat with the noiseless pickups..
It probably won't help you with that but it will reduce your overall noise levels. When you start adding tracks, noisy tracks that is, it makes a big difference in the end result.
Old 8th June 2006
  #9
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based on the responses verses the number of views so far, Its starting to seem like most people are not using dedicated power conditioning on thier rigs. stike stike
Old 8th June 2006
  #10
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
based on the responses verses the number of views so far, Its starting to seem like most people are not using dedicated power conditioning on thier rigs.

That might be a hasty deduction; I think at best all you can conclude is that Of The People On GearSlutz Who Have Responded To Date, most are not using power conditioning

...or else they're lying.


Frankly, I've never been in a recording studio in the past 20 years that didn't have *some* form of power conditioning, even if it was just a stupid little Furman PL-8 in the fx rack.

A reputible spike/surge protector is like insurance; you don't know you "really need it" until it's too late, so why take the risk? On the other hand, more sophisticated power conditioners like voltage regulators, balanced AC transformers, "Parallel Power Inductors" etc, are Solutions to Problems...but if you don't have a Problem, you don't need the Solution.
Old 8th June 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Power conditioning is possibly more of a 'Stateside' feature as you only use 117 volts or thereabouts. UK and Europe are at 220 - 240 and the power induced hum field will be smaller (it is current related). It may also be due to different wiring practice.
Spike protection is a good idea of course as is fitting some filtering although the presence of pieces of kit with filters inside will have some effect on the adjacent gear.
Adding inductive filters or other conditioning will raise the impedance of the mains source so softening the current spikes taken by rectifiers in your gear.
Matt S
Old 8th June 2006
  #12
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s_sibs's Avatar
 

I have a Furman line conditioner/voltage regulator powering each of my racks. To me, very important in cutting down noise/hum plus protecting my gear investment by feeding constant 120V.

I'd also recommend a UPS for you computer system. Having your data saved just once when the power goes out will more than pay for itself.
Old 8th June 2006
  #13
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Mr. Victory's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
No I was planning on just a pair that I could patch where needed (for instance, to keep an eye on my gain structure when going through the LTD1's when tracking etc....)

I dont use a console, just protools and an Avocet for my monitoring section.

I've seen led meters with the spectrum analyzer on them, so i'm gathering info so i can decide if this is something I need to add....

I also need to calibrate my system so I figured the meters would also be useful for that.
A lot of the fun of using my ltd1s is using my ears to adjust the gain. And I am known to be picky about gain staging.

Don't sweat the meters. After a while you'll have a quick and easy feel for how much gain a source will need.

As for calibration... well that's another story.
Old 8th June 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Hi
The advent of DAW rigs with meters that (claim) to measure to 0.01 dB has turned anal retention into an art form. Get a wobbly VU and if it spends most of the time hovering near the red then that is enough. Real engineers turn it up until it sounds right. Besides, by the time it is a MP3 who will care if it was 'wrong'?
Happy days!
Matt S
Old 8th June 2006
  #15
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All my stuff is connected to conditioners. I have three basic Rack-Riders, but they are all plugged in to one of the real expensive ones with the voltage meter. I have NO problem wiith hum, RF or noise, and I'm in a hundred year old house.

As far as metering, Coleman Audio makes high-quality meters and their prices are reasonable. ColemanAudio

Click on products, then on metering.
Old 8th June 2006
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson
Hi
Besides, by the time it is a MP3 who will care if it was 'wrong'?

Matt S
That is the sad reality, I must admit.....
Old 8th June 2006
  #17
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rashadrm@hotmai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross

A reputible spike/surge protector is like insurance; you don't know you "really need it" until it's too late, so why take the risk? On the other hand, more sophisticated power conditioners like voltage regulators, balanced AC transformers, "Parallel Power Inductors" etc, are Solutions to Problems...but if you don't have a Problem, you don't need the Solution.
I have purchased the Equitech 2Q, I'm hoping that its not overkill, I'll continue to research this to determine if the monster pro 2500's are enough protection for my needs..
Old 8th June 2006
  #18
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[QUOTE=GearHunter]All my stuff is connected to conditioners. I have three basic Rack-Riders, but they are all plugged in to one of the real expensive ones with the voltage meter. I have NO problem wiith hum, RF or noise, and I'm in a hundred year old house.

I'm gonna use the 2500's in the racks and plug them all into the Q2, so we seem to be on the same page.

I'm gonna take a look at the meters, but I'm not yet sold on the idea.
thanks .
Old 9th June 2006
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
based on the responses verses the number of views so far, Its starting to seem like most people are not using dedicated power conditioning on thier rigs. stike stike
A true online UPS with sinewave output was one of the best investments I ever made in my studio. Very noticeable improvement in audio quality, both recording and playback.

Steve
Old 9th June 2006
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Researchin' too

Hi there,

I have also been researching this topic.

If you are plugging a few 2500's into the Q2, what circuit is the Q2 plugged into a 20amp?

How many dare one chain together? I realize it all depends on the draw but when does the quality decline...

If it is affordable, separate circuits for the audio gear, then for the amps.

More input wanted...

Thanks
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