• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Are power conditioners really recommended?

JayCM800XL

Veteran
I own an Axe FX XL and a Matrix GT1000FX. I'm considering the benefits of the added protection of a power conditioner (Furman) vs. the inconvenience of added weight and extra rack space needed. On stage, I would love to use only one ac cord to power my rig. But 3u rack space vs. 4u would be a portability advantage!

What do you think? Do the Matrix and Furman "play well" together? (I've read about "protection" shutdowns)

I need to decide before proceeding to buy a rack case! Please advise!
 

ChrisMetal86

Veteran
I can't offer any advice as far as the matrix causing the Furman to shut down, but a power conditioner is a must, especially when gigging! I mean a major power spike could fry the XL along with the MFC attached to it... $3200 down the drain because I'm pretty sure FAS won't warranty a unit that's fried due to lack of protection. Get a power conditioner that has a meter. If you are plugged in to an outlet that's not getting a even current flow, you can see it on the meter. My home has a nice even current. I took my whole rack to my office to update the firmware when my laptop crashed, and the meter on the Furman was fluctuating below and over 120. Got back home and all was well.
 

ianx

Veteran
I can't offer any advice as far as the matrix causing the Furman to shut down, but a power conditioner is a must, especially when gigging! I mean a major power spike could fry the XL along with the MFC attached to it... $3200 down the drain because I'm pretty sure FAS won't warranty a unit that's fried due to lack of protection. Get a power conditioner that has a meter. If you are plugged in to an outlet that's not getting a even current flow, you can see it on the meter. My home has a nice even current. I took my whole rack to my office to update the firmware when my laptop crashed, and the meter on the Furman was fluctuating below and over 120. Got back home and all was well.
^+1
You never know what the power is like in different venues, even if it was good when you were there last, there may have been changes, cooling fans, refrigeration compressors, pumps, relays, etc. Better to play it safe.
I use a monster power 3500 pro and haven't had any problems.
 

JayCM800XL

Veteran
Thanks for the responses so far!

I don't ask this questions without doing my research first! I just want to hear fresh opinions from the current forum bros, as most stuff you dig up thru g00gle it's a couple years old.

I'm between the Furman PL PLUS (pros: better protection? Cons: 13 pounds, 11" depth, $229) and the Furman M-8DX (cons: glorified power strip? Pros: 5 pounds, 4" depth, $109)

Chime in brothers!
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
I used to run a Furman PL+ they are convenient but the Carvin AC 120s is a good pice to have as well. Sequenced powering is a really nice option to keep things from popping. Personally I just run a Power Werks Plug bar style and have a long cord that connects to my rack. One more thing to haul around I know but it does make the rack lighter.

Another thing to add that I always mention is an Outlet Checker. It's always better to know if what your about to plug into is even safe to plug into at all, the best $5 I ever spent.
 

Sleestak

Forum Addict
I have a Furman AR-1215 in a small separate rack for ease of handling. It stabilizes the line voltage in addition to the other benefits of protection / conditioning. I use my AxeFX at home, and in my studio, without using it because I personally built and wired those environments. For anywhere else in the world, I carry the Furman, and it sits off stage near the amps to provide clean tasty electrons to my toys. It weighs 12 pounds.

I have been a professional musician for 30 years. I've seen all manner of completely insane stuff where power is concerned; from (fairly common) hot / neutral reversals to really scary stuff like 120v circuits accidentally miswired as 240v. I take a three step approach to every gig when I'm handling my own gear - and insist on having others do this when my gear is being managed by someone else:
(1) Check EVERY stage outlet with a cheap $5 plug-in circuit tester to verify it's correctly wired and grounded. Any outlet that is dead or miswired gets covered with a piece of blue painter's tape covering the outlet, marked with the date and the specific issue noted (that tape is easy to cleanly remove). Good outlets are marked with painter's tape so we know they've been checked.
(2) If enough healthy outlets are identified for the performance, we just inform the venue owner / manager of our findings and use the good outlets
(3) If we need to fix outlets before we can play, I discuss it with the owner / manager and explain what I would like to do, and get their blessing. I always have tools with me and can rewire outlets pretty quickly. If they prefer to have someone on their staff do it, that's even better :)

I developed a rigorous approach to testing and verifying stage power as a result of a heartbreaking amp kerblooie incident due to a 240v miswire in a club that we'd played many times. The fuse in the amp instantly burned out and then ARCED internally, burning up a lot of components inside. Even the cheapest power conditioner might have protected my amp from that apocalypse. One positive aspect of that event was that I learned a lot of tube amps from sitting next to my tech for several days while he patiently resurrected my amp.

My strong advice to you is to make the investment, and learn to love the additional 12 pounds of power conditioning as an insurance policy for your beloved AxeFX.
 

JayCM800XL

Veteran
Ok, went ahead and ordered a Furman PL PLUS DMC!

Next I'll be asking questions about 4u rack case alternatives. Stay tuned!
 

mulehead

New here
Ok, went ahead and ordered a Furman PL PLUS DMC!

Next I'll be asking questions about 4u rack case alternatives. Stay tuned!
I have an AR-1215 as well and it has been flawless. Voltage regulators would be preferred over power conditioners in that they provide consistent power, no matter the incoming source. They are more expensive; about double the price but WELL worth it. I've never thought twice about the additional money spent, nor about anything that is plugged into it...piece of mind.

I have a gator 4u bag rack that is quite handy...sits on top of my 2x12 nicely.
 

Cagey

Veteran
Most modern equipment utilizes switching power supplies that generally have much more power conditioning on their front ends than most power conditioning outlet strips have in them. The reason for using Furman-style units is convenience - you get a pile of outlets that reduce to a single cord, plus maybe a voltmeter, some lights and a way to bounce everything at once.

If you're going to use up a rack space, the thing to get is a sequencing outlet strip such as Carvin's AC120. That way, you can turn things on/off in the proper order so you don't blow up your tweeters/horns.

What you need to properly correct for surges/sags/noise is too heavy/expensive to be practical, and is generally not necessary.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I don't know if it was related, but I bought one of those Monster 3500's and 20 minutes later the power supply on my AxeFXII popped. This was about a year ago. Prior to that I was using one of those 1RU Furman powerstrips with the lights and just simple surge protection for years. I checked the voltages coming out of the 3500 and they were fine, but needless to say it went back to the store. Since then I just picked up a simple 1RU power strip with separate on/off for each outlet and only has a circuit breaker in it.

The way I look at it the AxeFXII is rated for like 100-250VAC so the idea that it's power supply can't handle fluctuations in voltage is probably just being overly cautious. I plug everything else I own directly into the wall and nothing has popped and the one time that tried to be pro-active I ended up with failure.

Not saying what happened to me wasn't a coincidence, but it's too suspicious to me to go that route again.
 

JayCM800XL

Veteran
The field seem as split today as it was 3-4 years ago in regards to power conditioner usage.

In the end I got a power conditioner for my rig as I intend to gig with it and I've seen firsthand some shoddy wiring in several venues I've played.

A voltage regulator is the way to go if you can afford it. Me, I just need the peace of mind that my rig is protected.

Thanks again and I hope this little thread will be useful to others with the same dilemma.
 

xrist04

Fractal Fanatic
One thing no one else has mentioned yet - power-line noise filtering.

Some venues have all kinds of noise present on the AC mains (whirrs, clicks, buzzes and whines) and that noise can find its way into the audio signal path, especially with lower-end, analog equipment. I had problems with noisy AC lines and an analog line mixer in my rack, until I installed a power-conditioner strip in the rack.
 
Top