Sweetwater doesn’t just carry a full range of the best power protection gear in the industry, we put it to use every day. Without a quality power conditioner or voltage regulator, electrical problems can destroy your precious equipment in a flash. And while Sweetwater’s in-house service department can fix just about anything, it’s always better to safeguard against power-related damage.
First, you need enough surge protection to accommodate your total current draw. If you aren’t sure how many amps that is, your Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you sort it out. Next, check out the arrangement of the outlets. If you have to plug in several wall-wart power supplies, then you'll need to account for the space. Front panel displays can range from basic voltage overload indicators to full LCD readouts, and a set of pull-out lights can be seriously handy in dark control rooms.
Unlike standard power strips, even the most budget-friendly power conditioners Sweetwater recommends go far beyond basic power surges protection. Most models include electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) filtering. This removes noise from the line that can not only degrade your audio, it can ruin your recordings or live performances. More sophisticated noise filtering, such as Furman’s Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT), can reduce or eliminate AC line noise entirely.
Sweetwater has put countless power conditioners into professional studios, and we know first hand that if you’ve invested heavily in your music gear, then basic power strips simply aren't enough. Their basic surge protectors use metal oxide varistor (MOV) circuits that break down over time and can completely fail to cut off high-voltage spikes. Professional power conditioners use designs such as transient voltage suppression (TVS) and advanced series mode (SM) systems to ensure better protection that won’t degrade.
Most power conditioners don’t stabilize line voltage, so you run live sound or use vintage gear with lower voltage-range tolerances, then you need a voltage regulator. Voltage regulators use a series of capacitors and detection circuits to correct for voltage fluctuations that can damage sensitive electronics. For even more critical studio applications, consider a balanced power system. These systems correct for both irregular voltage and DC offset between the positive and negative voltages. Not only do they provide superb protection, the cancel noise the same way balanced audio cables do.
Finally, if you're running a live rig with multiple power amps, then you should probably get a power sequencer. These devices protect your gear by automatically switching each of their circuits on at delayed intervals. This ensures that there isn’t too great a draw on your service current all at once, which is the leading cause of power spikes that result from an overbalance as the current attempts to stabilize. Sweetwater recommends power sequencers to any engineer running multiple power amplifiers, making them a staple of live sound systems.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.