#1
Yesterday I played at an older chapel building and noticed a few electrical pops every now and again. It happened maybe every few minutes. Sounded kind of like a charge buildup on a pedal switch. I was not exactly sure what was causing it but I guessed and hoped it was just shoddy power. I had my guitar, amp, and pedalboard (and the respective cabling). I tried two different guitar to board cables and nothing changed. The lighting in the chapel I think is also hooked up to the audio power so that is an issue as well.

I tried just the guitar and amp today and did not notice such a popping. So it may be either something with my pedalboard or it was just bad power from the wall. Does such a description of the electrical pops sound like bad power? I imagine that if the amp/board was receiving just a bit too much power, it would hold it in for a bit then release it. Maybe the ground was weak? I have little electronics experience so I am not sure.

With that in mind, should I get a power conditioner? My last thread on them was asking about their noise reduction. I know now that is not the main point of PC's, but rather to give proper power parameters to my equipment instead of dealing with slight variances from different venues. If I do get one, it would be nice to be able to have 2 outs with enough power to power my amp and pedals from the same wall port.

Or should I look elsehow?
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 13, 2016,
#2
Yes, get a power conditioner. Some older buildings could have such a shoddy electricity that it might fry your amp in the middle of a gig. I've seen it happen.
I use a Juice Goose, but anything from a reputable brand should be fine.
#4
Power spikes, surges, and even voltage drops (aka brown outs) are amongst various forms of potentially equipment damaging conditions coming through the AC mains circuit to which your gear may be connected. Other forms of interference such as Radio Frequency Interference and random forms of modulated interference (motor stator noise, flouresecent balun line noise, etc.) can all be passed through the AC mains.

The good part is that the majority of these can be filtered to isolate and protect your gear.

An inexpensive decent in line multi outlet surge supressor can sometimes be all you need. However, better power conditioners will typically provide higher levels of surge protection and also filter line noise and RFI. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units are also available for slightly more cost. They will be slightly bigger and heavier due to internal backup batteries. Some of these are designed to provide pure sine wave rectified power at all times.

A basic surge supressor is very inexpensive and can be found starting around $10. Good power conditioners range from about $50 to $100, and UPS systems start at around $100. The unit's form factor also affects the price, from an inexpensive multi outlet in line surge protector power strip, to a side by side multi outlet rugged power block formats, to stand alone units and rack mount capable units.

These are widely available on line (amazon, etc), from better computer stores, and many high end home theatre shops.

With a bit of research you should find a unit to meet you needs. Just make sure they have enough filtered and protected outlets for your needs, and that they provide a sufficient Amperage capacity for your gear.

I have several of these from different manufacturers and they all work well.
Mustang v2 III/IV●EXP-1●FUSE●REMUDA●Yamaha THR10C
Epi LP Florentine Pro●LP Cstm Pros●LP PlusTop Pro●Sheraton-II Pro
Cstm Strat Vntg Noiseless●Guild D-55
So Creek Cables●BOSS RC-1●RS7500
D'Addario Strings●Vari-Grip●Planet Lock Straps
Last edited by MusicLaw at Apr 13, 2016,
#5
#6
I had a Furman power conditioner that I got specifically to reduce line noise from lighting and EMF. There is an Edison transformer on the pole next to my rehearsal studio and sometimes AC line noise (hum) is too annoying to use single coils or do any digital recording. In AB testing the conditioner never made any difference at all. Same thing on stages with lousy dimmers.

The really useful thing it did was normalize voltage to my gear and prevent spikes and brownouts that could cause damage. I downsized and eliminated all my rack gear so I now just use power strips with surge protectors and make sure voltage is good during sound check.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
Mine has definitely helped, I had a nasty power issue at our rented rehearsal facility that resulted in noise and voltage spikes that we had all the time, especially some digital pedals acting out, so the filters on the Juice Goose fixed it.