Tesla CoilPower conditioners aren’t really the most exciting piece of gear to own. However, an auto insurance policy isn’t all that fun or exciting either, but it’s necessary.

I’ve posted about power conditioners before, but it bears repeating, and since you may be re-thinking your studio or wanting to spend some Christmas money on a new piece of gear, it’ll be good for you to think about power conditioning a bit.

If you’ve read my free eBook 12 Home Studio Necessities, then you know I talk about power conditioners as being insurance policy’s for your studio. (You can check out the blog post here: 12 Home Studios Necessities #11 – Power Conditioner.)

What got me thinking about power conditioners was a thread over at the Home Studio Corner Forums where Matt was asking about them. You can read it here.

Jon (@theaudiogeek) over at Audio Geek Zine was a part of the forum thread, and he went on to post a great article about his recent addition of a power conditioner to his home studio. Read it here: What’s the Deal with Power Conditioners?

After reading Jon’s article, I was reminded of another great article by Sean (@keyofgrey) from Key of Grey. Here’s the link: Preventative Protection from Power Surges.

I declare today power conditioner day! If you haven’t thought much about them, take a few minutes to read these various articles.

[Photo by Beige Alert]

  • Emil

    Hi all, I see this is a very old thread. However, maybe an updated look on power conditioner is needed. I have written an article about it recently which compares Furman’s best conditioners. Of course, most of them are pricey, but they actually do a lot more than just protecting your gear from surges (unlike cheap models). If your gear is expensive, it is definitely worth buying one. Here is my article, I believe it is worth reading: http://www.itb-onlinemixing.com/the-best-power-conditioners-for-audio/

  • rick

    So I have a question… does a power conditioner lose its surge suppressing capability over time? I have an old Furman PL-8 (maybe the first model?). I’ve probably had it for nearly 15 years. Should I look into replacing it? It seems to work fine still.

    • Good question. I honestly don’t know. I would ask Furman directly.

    • Most power conditioners do loose their protective capability over time because of continuesly wear on the internal (mostly non-servicable) components. Plenty of these conditioners and line protectors are using “gas-filled tubes” to increase the speed of response at failure and cut the power clean. When the led goes out; be aware that your conditioner will most possibly not be operational anymore.

      The best conditioner; not loosing its protective capabilities is a (heavy duty/ACTIVE) UPS system made to run and protect continuesly.

      Don’t be tempted by the claims some manufacturers make; because once the power-jolt throws more joules than being accounted for, it will arrive at destination without hesitation with destructive results, while killing the power conditioner in the same time.

  • Rick…very funny. 😉

  • rick

    Joe, I think you’re a shill for Furman, Monster, and Sweetwater.

    TOTALLY KIDDING.

    I have both an old Furman PL-8 and some plastic surge suppressors. I still need to research if a garden variety surge suppressor with a much higher joule rating makes a difference over stuff like the PL-8 or PL-Plus.

  • Unrelated, but speaking of fuses & power — I decided to buy my friend’s Groovetubes M1b mic after playing with it, and the fuse starts popping….every time, all the time. Turned out the special DB9’ish GT mic-cable had a short in one of the small. Once it was repaired I was back in business and fuse was happy. Amazing how sensitive tube mic pwr supplies are. Theres’ nothing quite as sad as that red power supply light never coming on, it’s enough to make you cry.

  • WILLIAM JONES

    I think it’s very important. After blowing the fuse on a High Grade Mic Pre-Amp. That really changed my tune on the subject.

  • Hmm…That’s a really good question.

    Obviously you don’t want it to be the very first piece of gear you buy. (That would be awesome actually. Hey everybody, here’s my home studio! Right now all I have is a power conditioner, but it sounds AWESOME! :-))

    But seriously, I think you just need to view it as an insurance policy. If you’re only using $300 worth of gear, does it make sense to spend $100 on a power conditioner? Nah.

    However, if you’ve got gear that you want to protect, it’s a good idea. The thing is, those cheap little plastic power strips don’t protect you all that much, and they don’t do anything about line noise either.

    Also, since just about every home studio is centered around a computer, that’s a pretty solid invested right there, and worth protecting.

    I know I sound like I work for Furman or Monster, but I don’t. 🙂 I just had the idea explained to me very well years ago, and I can’t shake it.

  • Kevin Blaine

    So Joe – Would you consider this an absolutely crucial element to a studio? Worth spending money on, say over a decent mic or acoustic treatment? How would you rank the importance of your “12 Essential Studio Necessities?”

    • Your gear – future is in your hands.

      If you love it for as much as the first day when you got it; this is as crucial as locking your front door to prevent burglars.

      A good insurance can provide good protection for lightning strikes and induction but will not always cover the entire lot. Better be protected sufficiently, to be sustainable for long, than loosing it, cursing out your soul for that one forgotten detail.