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Do i need a furman? Dynamics Plugins
Old 4th September 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Do i need a furman?

Hi!

I'm almost done with my new home studio setup, recently bought a few preamps and effect processors, ready to record... but i was wondering... do i need a furman now???

Apart from protecting gear against voltage spikes, what's the benefit of having one? Does it really clean up audio signal? I'm currentely connecting my gear directly to a standard power bar and have no ground loop or noise problem, so i was wondering if it would be superfluous to purchase one?

After looking lots of pictures of various studio setups here, i noticed some have one, some don't...

Suggestions?

Phil
Old 4th September 2007
  #2
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Unclenny's Avatar
My setup quieted down noticeably with a power conditioner. I run multiple amps.

For me it made a difference.........
Old 5th September 2007
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for your input.

After reading a while i noticed there are lots of mixed opinions.

I guess i should try it by myself and see if it works for me.

Phil
Old 5th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
Most of them are glorified power strips. Unless you want to spend a few hundred for a voltage regulator, any of them will get the job done. Some of them do clean out some of the crap in the AC line, but you may or may not notice it.
Old 5th September 2007
  #5
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stagefright13's Avatar
 

Yeah they are pretty much glorified power strips. But they do offer protection from surges that can damage your equipment or shorten their life. However lightning is a different story.

I have a "Furman Type" strip for my control room and another in the tracking room. And both rooms are on a different electrical circuit and I get a ground loop anyway. So I mostly use light pipe cables to my converters anyway so is not a problem. But I never saw any kinda "Noise Reduction" so to speak. But I must admit I didn't try it both ways.

But they are probably worth having for the limited protection they provide. And may help make a cheap power supply sound better. And don't spend the extra money for the lighted ones. Kinda worthless in a studio
Old 5th September 2007
  #6
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obostic's Avatar
 

Remember, this game is measured in inches not miles and every little improvement you make to your setup will better your sound quality. With that said, power conditioning will remove some of the garbage on the line and I also added a voltage regulator; that in particular moved my setup a couple of inches.
Old 5th September 2007
  #7
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jordanh's Avatar
 

I've always wanted to ask this...how about that!
Old 5th September 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

that might explain the gain i saw in the quality of my music..

i added a furman
Old 5th September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I own a Tripplite piece. It had enough outlets for my rack (which wasn't close to being filled when I bought it), it was sturdy, it had 2 front outlets, it was highly recommended by a few people I respect, and the warranty was amazing.

Last week I was in the middle of a practice sessions with my band, my PC and entire rack was on and my bassist's amp was running off the front of the Tripplite. The power in the house flickered a few times, but my PC stayed on and no gear was harmed. The power also shutdown completely for 20 mins but my gear was alright. I like not really having to worry.

There was NO sound improvement though. I wasn't expecting one either.
Old 6th September 2007
  #10
Gear Nut
 

I actually use a Monster Home Theater power conditioner that is run off a Tripplite UPS unit (picked up at Costco!).

The combination of the two definitely lowered the background noise by 7 to 10 db and the line voltage is a lot more stable.

I like the idea of the big Furman balanced power unit (the $1,800 one), but would be overkill in 80% of project studios. I'll bet that puppy makes a huge difference in line noise.
Old 6th September 2007
  #11
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Man, 10db of noise? What kind of noise?
I'm set up in a spot where the wiring isn't all that grand, but I didn't notice any terrible noises. 10db of noise would make mixing impossible.
Old 14th April 2009
  #12
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matskull's Avatar
 

I need some light for my patchbay because I can't see them very good.
I also need to reduce the noise I have in my system (I still need to check my patchbay though but I have no hum, just some electric noise when I listen with headphones at high volume).

Would a furman help for the noise?
Cause it would help for my light issue.

thanks
Old 14th April 2009
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Admiral James T.'s Avatar
 

Dave Chapelle would say: "Furman? Sounds like German - he's a racist!"

Besides that, they're expensive, but they will "improve your life". You'll get some AC-cleaning, some protection, some light for yer other gear, and you can turn on/off multiple units with one button. Guess that's all they're made for... I don't think they'll remove much humming noise.
Old 14th April 2009
  #14
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matskull's Avatar
 

Is there anything that has pretty much the same functions but that is better in this price range?

Which furman model is worth it?
I know their cheapest one are something like 80$ or so...and I wonder if the 250$ model are that better?
Old 15th April 2009
  #15
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matskull's Avatar
 

Nobody?

If someone can recommend me a cheap rack light so I can see my patchbay that'd be cool.
I also need to "regulate" my power, filter it...call it what you will but I need something to lower my noise floor because I can hear (with extremely loud headphones) some electrical noise and clicks somtimes when something in the house turns on or off.
Old 15th April 2009
  #16
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matskull's Avatar
 

bump
Old 17th April 2009
  #17
Gear Head
 

I'm wondering the same thing. I'm looking to pick one up, but which model to get (under $200)? For instance, what's the difference between the PL8c and the PL8 series II?
Old 17th April 2009
  #18
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GZsound's Avatar
The inexpensive units that are under a couple hundred dollars are just fancy surge protectors. You can go to any Radio Shack or Home Depot and get a nine dollar unit that will do the exact same thing as a typical rack mount inexpensive unit.

They do offer the convenience of multiple outlets and lights for your rack so if that's important, then a cheap "power conditioner" can be helpful.

BUT... they don't filter the power so adding one and expecting increased quality in A/C noise is not going to happen.

Buy a sine wave UPS for your studio and run your computer and important audio from that and you will get clean filtered power and battery back up incase of brownout, low voltage or total power failure.

Again..not cheap, but the standard Furman power conditioners will not save your equipment in low voltage or sudden power outage conditions. Power spikes are rare.
Old 17th April 2009
  #19
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
Buy a sine wave UPS for your studio and run your computer and important audio from that and you will get clean filtered power and battery back up incase of brownout, low voltage or total power failure.
Which one would you recommend?
Old 17th April 2009
  #20
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kooz's Avatar
 

go here - Welcome to Tripp Lite
Old 17th April 2009
  #21
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kooz View Post
Lots of choice there, which affortable (under 300$) unit do you suggest?
Old 17th April 2009
  #23
Gear Head
 

Furman at least claims to do some filtering (see here). Is this just BS?
Old 19th April 2009
  #24
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kooz's Avatar
 

The model numbers are related to the power factor (VA) they're capable of driving at full load.
I personally would go for the 1500 model, because it's closest to the power factor of a 15 A circuit, which has a power factor of 1800VA. If you don't trip a breaker when running everything on that circuit, you'll get somewhere higher than the maximum time rating out of the UPS if the power should fail, and that gets longer as you reduce the load on the battery by powering stuff down.
As in all things audio, if you need one, buy two: Not just for redundancy, but to spread the load in the event of mains power failure so that you can safely power everything down after saving your work. In fact, you may be able to continue operations through the outage if it's short enough and can reduce the load on the battery(batteries) quickly enough to bare bones levels.
Old 19th April 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
I've used the Fuman 6 outlet power boxes for gigging for several years and for $15 or so they are a no-brainer to me. They do offer some noise reduction on gigs and are very convenient for live use (long cord, heavy box, etc). I also paid ALOT more ($80 I think) for a fancy Monster strip with some sort of noise reducing circuit, and I don't know that it works any better than the $15 Furman.

More recently I picked up a couple of used Furman AR1215 voltage regulators, one for my PC and few rack gear items and one for my guitar amps. I can't say I've noticed any noise reduction but I feel a bit better knowing my expensive gear has one more layer of protection from surges etc. An unexpected expense but I'm glad I did it. I still unplug everything when I leave town or during lightning storms, they are good but not that good! Overall I'd say not an essential item, but helpful and a worthwhile investment...
Old 19th April 2009
  #26
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big country's Avatar
 

Im new to the whole electronics thing , but there is only so much protection against a spike a single captor can handle
although thermal protection seems dandy for over all protection of current loads

Magnan Audio Cables Web Site - Tweaks: Do-it yourself approach to AC line filtering

dynamic dielectric pnp shunt cap
Old 19th April 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philboy View Post
what's the benefit of having one?
Does it really clean up audio signal?
I'm currentely connecting my gear directly to a standard power bar and have no ground loop or noise problem, so i was wondering if it would be superfluous to purchase one?
#1.
if you dont like furman you can get another brand like Monster Pro, psaudio.com, etc...

complete instructional furman video:
FurmanSound.com - Chapter full AC Power Management Training Video
to learn about SMP+ Series ][ rack units:
Furman Series Multi-Stage Protection Plus

also a nice video in youtube about monster: / about "Good power":


#2. if not shure about clean power; rent a professional Osciloscope, and plug it with proper settings to the wall AC 120v.
it should give: 120v +/-5v, 60Hz sine wave with less than <3% distortion.
psaudio.com has a THD meter built in, or you can Rent a THD meter.
...
#3.
what i have: Furman AR-15 Series ][
what clean power has done for my equipment?

A) My Drawmer M-Clock has even less jitter!, without clean power has more jitter, the diference feels big.
... with clean power jitter performance does not worsen.

B) my old PC, Compaq 4700 p4 1.6mhz, has a lite-on psu, it seems that some computer PSU, are verry sensible to dirty AC, if you give clean AC they will produce Cleaner DC 12v 5v 3.3v,
computer parts are sensible to dirty DC, specially if overclocking or usign near 100% load.
ATX 12v v2.3 & EPS 12v v2.91 specs have a maxium DC limit for ripple&noise allowed by the PSU.
ATX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

measured with: PassMark PC benchmark and test software
Performance Test6.1, my PC increased performance solid >10% in all tests, exept CD-Read.
or... with Clean Power My PC didnt wasted 10% of its performance all the time.

usually verry dirty AC is the responsable for computer temporary blocks or resets, but thats PSU design dependant. some PSU clean power like Cooler Master Silent Pro m700 or PC Power Turbo Cool 860w / 1200w, and some few others. its called ripple & noise.
some websites measure same PSU and have diferent results, and one of the reasons is the quality of the AC lines.

C)
My RME hdsp9632 also inside that PC with Clean Power, i could hear, the first thing i noticed, is something in the noise floor was gone, some low level distortion.
that can be measured with RMAA http://audio.rightmark.org
some soundcards / converters are sensitive to dirty AC,
with those, clean power will improove, you can hear dither easyer for example.
RightMark Audio Analyzer test: RME HDSP 9632
RightMark Audio Analyzer test: RME HDSP 9632
RightMark Audio Analyzer test: comparison


#4.
to clean DC in AC "transformer hum inside equipment or large, heavy 60Hz RFI in your studio"
you need a device like psaudio humbuster 3.
Old 20th April 2009
  #28
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kooz View Post
The model numbers are related to the power factor (VA) they're capable of driving at full load.
I personally would go for the 1500 model, because it's closest to the power factor of a 15 A circuit, which has a power factor of 1800VA. If you don't trip a breaker when running everything on that circuit, you'll get somewhere higher than the maximum time rating out of the UPS if the power should fail, and that gets longer as you reduce the load on the battery by powering stuff down.
As in all things audio, if you need one, buy two: Not just for redundancy, but to spread the load in the event of mains power failure so that you can safely power everything down after saving your work. In fact, you may be able to continue operations through the outage if it's short enough and can reduce the load on the battery(batteries) quickly enough to bare bones levels.
Ok thanks.
What if I don't need the battery backup though?
I'd be good but not essential, I run a home studio only, it's not like I would have clients and everything, I do this for myself.

I really just want to clean my power.
A balanced power unit looks great but it's pretty expansive...
Old 20th April 2009
  #29
My mother board on my G5 got fried do to bad power (this is what I was told), I had some radio shack style surge protector strips. Now I got a Furman unit, never had a problem since and it stopped my G5 from making chirping noises into my audio interface. For me its not about sound but about protection, although the noise floor did drop considerably. I use to crank the gain on my mixer and here a bunch of low level hiss and crap. Now if I crank it I just hear a little bit of his coming from my mixer (being at +20 dB or whatever). I would recommend getting one, mine was around $200.
Old 20th April 2009
  #30
Gear Addict
 

This might prove enlightening...

More than a bit of sense from exactpower.

Product endorsements without blind tests and peer-reviewed science are ... marketing.
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