power conditioners?

Whats up everybody? I hear alot of players talking about using power conditioners in their rigs. My question is; what is a power conditioner? I have a 8 outlet surge protector that supposedly regulates the electricity to my gear , but I don't think thats what they are talking about. Mine is a Monster Power power center pro 800. It cost about 80 bucks. Anybody know what the pros use in their rigs??

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TJS, what you have is all you need. There's some serious audiophile nutstuff out there about $$$ mains cables and "oh man!" clarity. All I can say is :shock:

is it a power supplys job to condition the power? i suppose though Bass, if you are going to play in a 'Free' festival in the middle of a mud patch that used to be home to a 300 strong herd the week before, and the guy says to you plug in your prized vintage marshall 50 watt head in to a 4 way strip that goes off to a dodgy old unserviced diesel generator, then you might be running for the hills looking for a 'Power conditioner' but if anyone starts quoting 'i plugged into a power conditioner and it makes my guitar sound better' then im packing my bags. :lol:

I used power conditioners when I was set up the audio system for a local tv station - their main studio set did everything from news to putting bands live to air.

We only needed power conditioners due to some unusual circumstances where the electricity company was having difficulty giving us a consistent supply - the frequency of the AC was changing too much and we were also getting earth noise from the lighting even though we ran the audio and lighting rig off separate phases.

Anyway, I can't see how you would benifit from power conditioners in most circumstances, perhaps in some studios but the studio should already have conditioned power if they need it.

You can spend the money but I don't think it's worth it for you.

I don't really like the term "power conditioner". It could mean anything. For users like us, there are a variety of things that can be stuck in a power socket, and the usefulness varies (IMHO).

TSJ (can't believe I called you 'TJS' :oops: apols) has a good surge protector. These filter out the spikes in an unreliable AC supply. Like Lee says, a good in-between for your prized head and Farmer Jack's dodgy petrol generator if you're playing "Cowpat II" festivals. I have to say that UK mains supply is pretty smooth and I've never had that problem. Others I know of (better players, tour more) in the US have had problems in some cases. Any experiences out there?

The RCCB (residual current circuit breaker) is even more useful at "Cowpat II", especially if you insist on nasty Bulgin leads or other 'original' features that perm your moustache when you approach the mic. Personally, I rate myself as more valuable than the amp, and I chew as a player.

The other 'power conditioner' I can think of is a UPS, or uninterruptable power supply. When the mains goes AWOL, the UPS kicks in and lasts long enough for even a soundman to work out what went wrong.

Proper electric-heads please correct me, but I understand it that an RCCB protects you, a surge-protector can protect your amp's transformer etc, and a UPS can keep you playing, given enough juice.

TSJ, to answer your Q, there may be pros who use UPS because big stadium gigs and $100 tickets mean a lot of refunds if the sound goes phut. It can get expensive, and not worthwhile if you can blame Farmer Jack for an outdoor summer special. A surge protector (yours may well have an RCCB built in, have a check) is as much as you need.

I think the surge-protectors and UPS were really aimed at the computer-user initially. I have seen some opinions that they (or a $500 mains cable) make somebody's hifi amp "definitely" sound better. Large pinch of salt required when reading those ops.

Those UPS's can weigh more than the cows that were herded out of the field before you was herded in, only problem is just when you need them you find out that the battery cells gave up the ghost 12 months after you purchased it. You end up doing a Stone Roses.

Thanks for all of the replies. It sounds like I have what I need already. I just get stressed every time I plug a new toy into my rig not knowing if I have the right surge protection. Monster Cable is definitly the way to go though. I was skeptical at first, but you really can hear the difference.

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