A/C Line conditioners

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Sanity Inn, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Hey gang,

    1st , happy hollidays :) )

    Thinking of adding an A/c line conditioner to my rack ( modest )..

    1st reason, having all units plugged to same place will help with lack of outlets and creepy crawler power cables all over the place,, lol

    but also because i feel it will help over all sound,,

    the question is , when gear are not rated in power, how can we tell whether an A/C unit rated for say 1000 Watts , will handle the gear we have ?

    I assume mic pre will eat a lot of power in full useage ?

    appreciate any feedback and maybe recomendations,,

    considering the Smart Development series, ( also because i'm setting up as a dealer too :) )

    thanks and Merry Ho Ho!!!

    Sanity Inn
  2. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    No one uses A/c line conditioners ???
  3. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    Okay, since nobody else replied here's my two cents:

    > having all units plugged to same place will help with lack of outlets <

    You can solve that problem for a lot less cost than a power conditioner!

    > i feel it will help over all sound <

    Not likely.

    > when gear are not rated in power <

    All gear sold in the US shows how much power it uses. Look at the label near where the power cord is connected.

    > I assume mic pre will eat a lot of power in full useage ? <

    No, preamps draw hardly any power. 1,000 watts should be enough for any setup, unless you have very powerful power amps.


    [ December 26, 2003, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: Ethan Winer ]
  4. mchello

    mchello Guest

    I use an ExactPower EP15A AC voltage regulator. It cost about $2k, handles 15 amps, and I believe has brought me substantially closer to having clean power for my studio.

    mark chello
  5. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Thanks Ethan/ Mark

    I appreciate the feedback ,,,

    yes there are cheaper alternatives to plugging in my gear, but i still feel after reading and seeing one of the mastering guys post that his studio was all "conditioned"

    it will help,,, besides, as a dealer for this brand, i can try out a unit relatively cheaper the street price,,

    again thanks
    I'll be sure to add my findings

    Sanity Inn
  6. There's no substitute for a properly wired studio with good ground isolation, etc.

    That said, if you're experiencing 60hz hum in your monitoring chain, a good conditioner would work as a stopgap.
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Sorry to say that a line conditioner will not stop 60Hz hum. When you have 60 Hz hum most likely it is from improper grounding or AC wiring problems with the ground pin on the equipment wiring.

    A good idea is to have everything plugged into one or two 20 amp (or more) circuit breaker that is ONLY feeding your studio. You don't want a feed that is also feeding a motor (as in your HVAC system) or your refrigerator. A good line conditioner will help get rid of RF or other noise on the line (from things like the hi voltage transformer for an oil burning furnace igniter) but will do nothing for hum problems. If you want to take the big plunge you can look into balance power which may help you achieve what you are looking for - excellent power to all your equipment.

    You can also look into getting a TOPAZ or similar isotransformer that will isolate your studio from the outside world and provide a Faraday shield to get rid of noise problems.

    There is a lot of information on the web about proper grounding techniques and power for studios. These are but a small number of white papers or tech info that I have found.

    Rane http://www.rane.com/note110.html has some excellent info on line as does Furman http://www.furmansound.com/pdfdata/whitepaper.pdf and Equitech (http://www.equitech.com/articles/enigma.html).

    Hope this helps you...
  8. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Furman makes some nice power conditioners. I have several. Also check out Dr Ferds Wall Wart Removers. They have nothing to do with power conditioning but are a big help in freeing up sockets covered by wall warts.

  9. Every time I've been on-location for recording or live sound and experienced 60Hz noise in my line, a power conditioner promptly either drastically reduced the noise level or outright removed it. I keep a Monster power conditioner around for just this reason.
  10. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    For my modest setup, I have a 50 amp line filter/protector going into a DIY transformer rig that balances the AC line feeding my gear. I can also wire it as an isolation transformer only(for higher current draw). Easy to build, but don't attempt it unless you have some electrical skills or someone to assist who does.

    Heres the link: http://

    (Dead Link Removed)
  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    If it works for you then use it. BUT just plugging a Monster power conditioner in is NOT going to eliminate or cure 60HZ hum that is caused by grounding problems or improperly connected equipment. There are numerous sites on the net that deal with this question and I can recommend a couple of them if you need them. I have also written a couple of articles on this and would be happy to share them with you.

    We do a lot of on location recording work and I carry an isotransformer, a line conditioner and a AC filter box with us to every remote (even though the iso transformer weighs about 40 pounds) It helps us get good recordings without motor noise on the AC lines or the effects of cheap stage dimmers getting to our equipment. We use one large AC distro box for all our AC power and everything is plugged into that one box so that all the grounds are at the same potential. We also use star grounding on all of our equipment to provide the best possible noise figures.

    In our mastering studio we use similar iso transformers and balanced power plus AC line filters (commercial grade) and our computers are running on commercial power conditioners and UPS power supplies.

    Hope this helps
  12. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    SI, besides a dedicated circuit for studio power, most important is that the ground on that circuit is dedicated also, not tied to main panel ground. Lots of noise can creep across a shared ground source!
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