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Topic Options
#2117581 - 07/14/13 04:15 PM The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors
Jonathan. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 7
Hello everyone!

I was curious what many of you men and women think about using surge protectors with your digital pianos. I used a surge protector for a long time on one of my cheaper digital pianos as I thought this was likely a smart thing to do living in Florida (With all of the lightning/thunderstorms we get). It never seemed to mess with the quality of the sound or detract from the piano in anyway that I could notice. However, I have read in manuals, and more specifically the NU1 manual that Yamaha doesn't want you to plug it into a surge protector, and it doesn't really offer an explanation as to why. Regardless, do any of you think it matters, or can offer advice on whether it matters or not -- or if I should get one to play it safe? If so, do you recommend any special type? I intend to unplug the NU1 when I am not using it, just to be on the safe side because power does surge here quite frequently.

Thanks in advance for the replies. It really does help me immensely, so thank you for spending the time to reply.

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#2117623 - 07/14/13 05:48 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I have a power conditioner. It will buffer all kinds of things like brownouts. I like it. I need it. I get too many weird things through my AC lines.
I had one outlet that had a ground fault in it. Both my power conditioner and a surge suppresser indicated that.

Perhaps your NU1's power supply is set up in a way that falsely causes a problem with surge suppressors?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2117626 - 07/14/13 05:55 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
I lived in Florida for 31 years. No surge protectors. Almost no problems.

The only problem: Left the house one day. Came home. All the computers were hung, presumably from a power bounce. All but one rebooted fine. One failed ... bad drive.

Was that because of the power bounce? Who can say? But all of the surge protectors that would have been needed to protect all of that equipment over a 31-year span would have cost much more than the $100 to replace that one drive. And that's even assuming that the the surge protectors would have saved it, which is not very likely.

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#2117639 - 07/14/13 06:24 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: rnaple]
Tritium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
I probably may be an exception, here, as I have a bunch of rather expensive amps, guitar rack effects and recording gear in my music room. Nevertheless, if you have thrown some serious money into your Digital Piano, you may want something more sophisticated than a typical power conditioner / surge suppressor. What I would highly recommend (if your budget allows) is invest in an actual voltage regulator which also has built-in filtering, conditioning and protection.

I use a Furman AR-1215

Although more expensive, the Furman Voltage regulators are superior to surge suppressors or line/power conditioners. The Furman AR-1215 provides a stable, regulated voltage to your equipment even if there are dips (or spikes) on your local power grid. Brownouts can potentially damage sensitive electronic equipment, and only a true Voltage Regulator protects against sags, brownouts or overvoltages.


Furman AR-1215

Sweetwater -- Furman AR-1215



Edited by Tritium (07/14/13 08:41 PM)

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#2117658 - 07/14/13 07:15 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Tritium]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Tritium

Although more expensive, the Furman Voltage regulators are superior to surge suppressors or line/power conditioners. The Furman AR-1215 provides a stable, regulated voltage to your equipment even if there are dips (or spikes) on your local power grid. Brownouts can potentially damage sensitive electronic equipment, and only a true Voltage Regulator protects against sags, brownouts or overvoltages.


Gee.... What did I miss?
1200W Line Conditioner w/ Isobar Protection 4 Outlets 120V

1200 watt Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) system. Protects sensitive electronics, computer accessories and home theater equipment from power-related damage and performance problems. Extends the useful life of connected equipment by providing optimum voltage conditions for enhanced efficiency and cooler internal operating temperatures. Reliable transformer-based voltage correction circuits maintain 120V nominal output during voltage fluctuations between 89 and 147V. Three levels of voltage stabilization offer targeted response for over voltages, under voltages and severe brownouts. Prevents equipment damage and power related performance problems for computer accessories, printers, home theater equipment, a/v components and other sensitive electronic devices. Network-grade AC surge and EMI/RFI noise suppression. Supports loads up to 1200 watts, 10A. Includes 4 AC outlets, 7 ft AC line cord and 7 diagnostic LEDs which display incoming voltage level, surge suppression status and line fault status. 2 Year Limited Warranty. $25,000 connected equipment insurance (USA & Canada only).

Also same product....Tripp Lite Line Conditioners Offer Brownout Protection And Surge Suppression In A Single Unit.

Line conditioners keep your equipment working through brownouts without using emergency power. Line conditioners automatically adjust under- and over-voltages to provide safe, computer-grade AC power meeting ANSI C84.1 specifications. Built-in premium surge suppression with a highly efficient stepped transformer provides computer-safe voltage regulation. 2 Year Limited Warranty.


Now what did I miss?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2117699 - 07/14/13 08:30 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: rnaple]
Tritium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: rnaple

Gee.... What did I miss?
1200W Line Conditioner w/ Isobar Protection 4 Outlets 120V

1200 watt Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) system. Protects sensitive electronics, computer accessories and home theater equipment from power-related damage and performance problems. Extends the useful life of connected equipment by providing optimum voltage conditions for enhanced efficiency and cooler internal operating temperatures. Reliable transformer-based voltage correction circuits maintain 120V nominal output during voltage fluctuations between 89 and 147V. Three levels of voltage stabilization offer targeted response for over voltages, under voltages and severe brownouts. Prevents equipment damage and power related performance problems for computer accessories, printers, home theater equipment, a/v components and other sensitive electronic devices. Network-grade AC surge and EMI/RFI noise suppression. Supports loads up to 1200 watts, 10A. Includes 4 AC outlets, 7 ft AC line cord and 7 diagnostic LEDs which display incoming voltage level, surge suppression status and line fault status. 2 Year Limited Warranty. $25,000 connected equipment insurance (USA & Canada only).

Also same product....Tripp Lite Line Conditioners Offer Brownout Protection And Surge Suppression In A Single Unit.

Line conditioners keep your equipment working through brownouts without using emergency power. Line conditioners automatically adjust under- and over-voltages to provide safe, computer-grade AC power meeting ANSI C84.1 specifications. Built-in premium surge suppression with a highly efficient stepped transformer provides computer-safe voltage regulation. 2 Year Limited Warranty.


Now what did I miss?


Easy there, Rnaple. It's all good.

If you missed anything, however, it would be a model name and/or link to the specific power conditioner you use, and recommend. I presume it is a Tripp Lite product. And doing a quick Google search, it may be the Tripp Lite Model LC1200

I would make the following additional comment:

Besides the Furman AR-1215, I also have an APC H10 power conditioner which provides "basic" voltage regulation. I have this hooked up to my A/V equipment. It is a solid product, but I trust the Furman for my most expensive electronic gear. The reason has to due with how these units actually perform the correction to the AC power, when the voltage goes out of tolerance .

The APC H10 performs basic, non-regulated switching to the limited amount of taps on it's internal transformer, in order to maintain voltage within it's specified tolerance. The Trip Lite LC1200 is similar, in that it's switching is non-regulated (uncontrolled).

The key difference is that the Furman AR-1215 performs controlled, regulated switching -- it continuously monitors the AC sine wave, and only makes a correction (electronic switching of it's 8-tap toroidal transformer) when the AC sine wave is precisely at the zero crossing.

If a switch occurs when the AC sine wave is above or below zero value, it can cause spikes and distortions to the AC sine wave, and induce noise and unwanted harmonics. Would one normally notice these sorts of things, in normal live playing...probably not. Where it can make a big difference, however, is in recording. These potential spikes and harmonic distortions can manifest as artifacts, clicks and pops in the recorded audio signal.

I fully realize the Furman AR-1215 may be overkill for many. And, I agree that Tripp Lite makes a solid product, and has a good line of power conditioners...which should be more than sufficient for most.



Edited by Tritium (07/14/13 09:15 PM)

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#2117729 - 07/14/13 09:02 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

Top
#2117826 - 07/14/13 11:48 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: rnaple]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1310
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
My brother worked for many years for Panamax, a maker of lightning-protection gear.

I saw his "returns" pile -- full of Panamax boxes which had died (often in a cloud of black smoke) to protect their attached gear. That's my evidence against people who say:

. . . lightning protection gear is useless.

I think -- with an NU1 -- I'd go for a full-scale UPS -- an "uninterruptable power supply" that uses AC line current to charge a battery, and uses the battery (and an inverter) to generate 120 volts AC. APC is a large manufacturer, website here:

http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13

Tripplite is an alternative.

. Charles

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#2117839 - 07/15/13 12:43 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Charles Cohen]
Tritium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
My brother worked for many years for Panamax, a maker of lightning-protection gear.

I saw his "returns" pile -- full of Panamax boxes which had died (often in a cloud of black smoke) to protect their attached gear. That's my evidence against people who say:

. . . lightning protection gear is useless.

I think -- with an NU1 -- I'd go for a full-scale UPS -- an "uninterruptable power supply" that uses AC line current to charge a battery, and uses the battery (and an inverter) to generate 120 volts AC. APC is a large manufacturer, website here:

http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13

Tripplite is an alternative.

. Charles


Heck, Charles...Panamax still makes absolutely top-end gear. I know they are highly looked upon in the A/V and Home Theatre community. Furman is more geared towered the Pro / musician niche. Both make fantastic Voltage Regulators/Power conditioners...and I believe Panamax also has UPS battery backup solutions.

Panamax MB1000


Edited by Tritium (07/15/13 12:45 AM)

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#2117888 - 07/15/13 05:56 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Jonathan, I have read your post, here:

I was curious what many of you men and women think about using surge protectors with your digital pianos. I used a surge protector for a long time on one of my cheaper digital pianos as I thought this was likely a smart thing to do living in Florida (With all of the lightning/thunderstorms we get). It never seemed to mess with the quality of the sound or detract from the piano in anyway that I could notice. However, I have read in manuals, and more specifically the NU1 manual that Yamaha doesn't want you to plug it into a surge protector, and it doesn't really offer an explanation as to why. Regardless, do any of you think it matters, or can offer advice on whether it matters or not -- or if I should get one to play it safe? If so, do you recommend any special type? I intend to unplug the NU1 when I am not using it, just to be on the safe side because power does surge here quite frequently.

Thanks in advance for the replies. It really does help me immensely, so thank you for spending the time to reply.

________________________________________________

YES -, but some are cheap and useless so only buy good ones.

1. because you don't have to buy a new piano if you blow the unit.

2. if you have to replace the on off switch, it only costs a few dollars to make, but a million dollars to replace by a repairman.

3. Everything except a iron, or a hotplate needs a power bar in my humble opinion - unless you are filthy rich and foolish.

cheers,

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#2117911 - 07/15/13 07:16 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Michael_99]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
The cheapest surge suppressor is quite effective: Homeowner's Insurance. smile

An insurance rider that adds coverage for thousands of dollars of musical gear costs under $10 per year.

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#2117923 - 07/15/13 08:02 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Charles Cohen]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
-- I'd go for a full-scale UPS -- an "uninterruptable power supply" ...


I had one of those once for my computer. The battery died. Cost more to replace the battery than to buy a new one. Not interested in fooling around with that again. I just want to shut things down safely if there is a problem.

On a larger scale. A person could just get an old motor generator. Ship graveyards and airplane graveyards have them. They work great.

You do realize the lightning protection your electric company provides? Look at your transformer. On the neutral connection on the secondary. There is a bar coming from the tank to an inch or so from the connector. That is a lightning gap. You can also find lightning gaps on poles.
The biggest problem with lightning isn't a strike that jumps a gap like that. It's the flow of electrons to the highest point. Then crashing back down to ground when the lightning releases the charge in the cloud.
Your electric meter also has lightning gaps on it. On the back.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

Top
#2117939 - 07/15/13 09:14 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
In other words, your equipment sees power surges only infrequently, and the equipment is at little risk.

The biggest apparent risks are those planted in our minds by companies selling surge suppressors that come with million dollars warranties. Snake oil.

(Excuse me, now. Gotta run out and buy some meteor insurance.) smile

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#2117941 - 07/15/13 09:25 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: MacMacMac]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3581
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
The cheapest surge suppressor is quite effective: Homeowner's Insurance. smile

An insurance rider that adds coverage for thousands of dollars of musical gear costs under $10 per year.


+1.I can't be bothered with all that gear and expense. I'll take my chances and claim on insurance if anything happens. The only thing I've ever lost was a VCR worth $150 in a brown-out.

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#2117943 - 07/15/13 09:30 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
Quote:
The cheapest surge suppressor is quite effective: Homeowner's Insurance. smile

An insurance rider that adds coverage for thousands of dollars of musical gear costs under $10 per year.



+1 This! About 10 years ago I had to replace a lot of equipment due to the power company shorting 2 lines inadvertently causing my voltage to jump from 110v to over 220v. My homeowners insurance paid for all of it. The power company wouldn't do anything for me. My neighbor had to replace everything in his house that was plugged in, including his blower and AC unit and didn't see a dime from the power company until he took them to court. I had all new stuff in a week!
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2118106 - 07/15/13 05:00 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
emenelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 475
I use battery backups on my computers. If I get a brown-out, the backup beeps to indicate a brown out but the computer keeps running.

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#2118153 - 07/15/13 06:34 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Kbeaumont]
Tritium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: Kbeaumont
Quote:
The cheapest surge suppressor is quite effective: Homeowner's Insurance. smile

An insurance rider that adds coverage for thousands of dollars of musical gear costs under $10 per year.



+1 This! About 10 years ago I had to replace a lot of equipment due to the power company shorting 2 lines inadvertently causing my voltage to jump from 110v to over 220v. My homeowners insurance paid for all of it. The power company wouldn't do anything for me. My neighbor had to replace everything in his house that was plugged in, including his blower and AC unit and didn't see a dime from the power company until he took them to court. I had all new stuff in a week!


That is all well and good for equipment that you don't mind losing, and receiving an alternative (new) replacement. Computers and consumer appliances would fit into this category. However, some of us have vintage amps and electronics that just cannot be easily replaced, if at all. While most of my irreplaceable equipment is guitar oriented, I imagine there are a few folks on here who have some "vintage" keyboards and/or synthesizers that just do not have a current equivalent (e.g. Moog, Nord, Hammond, etc.). This also pertains to dedicated effects units and recording gear.

In any event, I find it interesting that we can argue all day long about the pros and cons of digital pianos costing thousands of dollars, yet some think a cheap surge protector that you can pickup up at Wallmart is sufficient protection of their investment.

And forget about the fancy Marketing claims of "X" amount of dollars Insurance, should a power surge or indirect lightning strike damage your equipment. Here, I am not talking about your Homeowner's Insurance...but rather the warranty/"insurance" that is Marketed by the Surge protector manufacturer. I have read numerous horror stories of people trying to actually collect on claims from companies such as Monster (amongst others). I would recommend investing in a device from a company which specializes in power conditioning and protection, and has a proven track record in the field, especially with prosumers.

As far as I am concerned, if I have to call upon an "Insurance / Equipment Replacement" Warranty from such a product, than it has already failed it's primary and sole job of protecting the connected equipment.

Again, just my opinion and two cents. I realize everyone's mileage will vary on this issue.

Additionally, the only viable option to prevent against indirect lighting strikes (which could occur at the AC lines at the end of your street, for example), is to have proper, single-point ground for your residence, in conjunction with a "whole house" surge protector, designed and manufactured by actual power systems companies, such as Siemens, Square D, General Electric, Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, ABB, etc. These whole house surge protectors are installed on the incoming power supply, at your main breaker panel. Even the fanciest component surge protector/voltage regulator (my Furman AR-1215 included) will not protect against a lightning strike.

And yes, I am a bit (over)paranoid about power issues. I use to play out at gigs in which many of the venues had crappy power. Not only did it cause problems with the sound, but on more than one occasion we had damage to amplifiers and equipment. Once we started using a dedicated voltage regulator/power conditioner, all those problems went away.


Edited by Tritium (07/15/13 09:47 PM)

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#2118169 - 07/15/13 07:15 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Tritium]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

The biggest apparent risks are those planted in our minds by companies selling surge suppressors that come with million dollars warranties. Snake oil. smile


Oh poor MacMacMac. People who are used to running ms. It doesn't phase them when things go goofy. Just when things go down completely.

Originally Posted By: Tritium

And yes, I am a bit (over)paranoid about power issues. I use to play out at gigs in which many of the venues had crappy power. Not only did it cause problems with the sound, but on more than one occasion we had damage to amplifiers and equipment. Once we started using a dedicated voltage regulator/power conditioner, all those problems went away.


So you've done gigs in Mexico? smile
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

Top
#2118173 - 07/15/13 07:32 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: rnaple]
Tritium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: rnaple


So you've done gigs in Mexico? smile


grin

Sometimes it felt more like Mogadishu, or Kabul. I have played some nice places. But for every nice place, there was some place that felt right out of Beirut, circa 1980s. eek


Edited by Tritium (07/15/13 07:34 PM)

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#2118203 - 07/15/13 08:32 PM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: rnaple]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
raple: No need to be smarmy (again ... always).
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Oh poor MacMacMac. People who are used to running ms. It doesn't phase them when things go goofy. Just when things go down completely.
My original point was that things here don't go goofy. Protection ought to be commensurate with risk. Where there is little risk, there need be little protection.

Tritium: You bring up several good points. While modern homes generally fare well with respect to power problems, performance venues might not. And, yes, cheap "protection" strips are scarcely better than none at all. If you really need protection, use quality protectors. That clearly leaves out the Monster items and the Wal Mart specials.

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#2118402 - 07/16/13 05:54 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Mac.... You're trying to tell everyone that they have little risk. When they know from experience that they do.
You're also telling everyone that things don't quit working right (goofy). When they do. They all know that power problems can do damage to electronics that leave the electronics not working right. They work. But not the way they should. Then you ignore problems that are caused by others on the same side of a transformer that you are. You think that when somebody has most of the things in their home on, then hit the main breaker. That doesn't cause a spike? They don't know to shut things down individually first. You think when people have bad things plugged in that they can't cause problems on your line like partial discharge? They can't insert a radio signal to ride on the neutral into your power? All kinds of things can happen. You think that when a business close by has a problem and their mains shut down while operating at full capacity that it doesn't cause a spike? That and the fact that some of us live hundreds of miles from the closest main generator introduces other problems.
All of that and the fact that companies are cutting costs. Even government entities are doing the same. Leaving less responsible maintaining of everything. Because it costs less to competently and responsibly maintain? Just let the lawyers fight it. Even buying cheaper transformers that cost less initially but cost more in losses and problems. I won't mention a name on transformers to leave Piano World without problems. I've seen that name around here a lot. They're junk!

Then we all know that a computer running ms is constantly doing goofy things. That's the norm. It costs money and time to try to get it straight. And you never quite do that. People have gotten used to goofy.

The only thing we can agree on is decent protection.
I don't think even a good surge supressor is adequate. Need more.
It's just my opinion that my Tripp Lite power conditioner is good enough. It ain't no slouch. Yes I do have to face the fact that electronics to isolate power quality are much cheaper than an actual isolation transformer. Yes, the isolation transformer will still respond to the voltage being fed it. Perhaps the electronics are better overall?
I just can't see paying five times as much for a voltage regulator that has fancy things like a digital voltage readout. What the heck do I need that for?
I don't agree with depending on insurance. When the device may be left working but not working right. The insurance company will resist a claim.
Then I got this guy accusing me of "smarmy". When you ignore too much.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2118445 - 07/16/13 09:09 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: North Carolina
Nope. I'm saying that (a) surge damage is not very likely at home (in modern homes), and (b) cheap suppressors are nearly worthless, and (c) marketing fear and obfuscation sells lots of those cheap suppressors (needlessly), and (d) insurance is a cheaper (and better) protection than those.

And (e), as Tritium pointed out ... non-home venues often have flaky power problems that don't match the home profile, which then calls for a different view.

Also, reconsider your thinking on the subject of risk. It's more than just "the likelihood of a power strike".

Risk also includes the likelihood that such a strike will cause a problem, which is quite low. We're hit with surges quite frequently, but most equipment will handle them in stride most of the time ... without our ever knowing anything happened.

And risk also includes the cost consequences of the problem.

Balancing all of that, many people will find better and cheaper protection at home from insurance than from surge equipment. Such insurance is cheap because insurers know that the risk of loss is quite low.

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#2118451 - 07/16/13 09:33 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
(f) Most vintage gear were designed to be very tolerant of bad power without leading to fail.

My old Rhodes suitcase could handle situations that would fry my SV-1. IC circuits are highly susceptible to damage from bad power and even static electricity. Transistors on the other hand are much more capable of handling the occasional power glitch. Tubes much more so.
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2120018 - 07/19/13 05:48 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2088
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I'm sitting here. Practicing and studying my music.
We have a thunderstorm moving in. We have dramatic thunderstorms here. Twice there has been a fault in the electrical grid. Both times my conditioner I could hear relays kicking in and covering the glitch. Didn't even phase my electronics. It's like nothing at all happened.

You all should know. The electric companies operators have something they call: "Three Strikes, You're Out." That is the computers are set up to cover a fault. If something faults. The computers automatically switch the routing and turn it back on. Within a fraction of a second. The computers will do this twice more. If it fails the third time. It's shut down. The operators have to call a guy at home. Get him out of bed. He goes out and inspects the circuit in person. Either he finds the fault. Or if he can't find anything. He turns it back on himself, manually.
Basically...when your electricity goes out. This is why it flickers back on three times before it stays out. Three Strikes, You're Out.

I'm very happy with how my Conditioner acted tonight.


Edited by rnaple (07/19/13 05:54 AM)
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2120076 - 07/19/13 09:20 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
Big McLargehuge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 43
This issue came up at our last gig. I usually use only one keyboard (pc361) with a weighted controller midi'ed into it. I decided to bring out another board that was sitting around, and that meant I had to use a submixer, a small Rolls that has always worked well.

Big nasty ground hum. I typically don't need to use a DI since we run sound from stage, and the pc361 direct outs are balanced. The Rolls mixer is unbalanced; so, a DI might have corrected the issue to be sure, though I may have needed two since the Rolls outs go to main mixer and my monitor speaker.

All that said, the bass player let me plug my power extension into his power conditioner and it went away. I'm no electrician, perhaps it had more to do with which outlet on stage we both were using, the lights etc. But it got me thinking about it.

Another related issue: we've tripped circuit breakers in a couple of the small patio bars we've played at. I do not like my gear just going down like that, and it got me wondering whether a battery backup would be a good idea.

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#2120107 - 07/19/13 10:35 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
emenelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 475
battery back-ups don't work on amplifiers

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#2120116 - 07/19/13 11:01 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: emenelton]
Big McLargehuge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: emenelton
battery back-ups don't work on amplifiers


I was thinking just for my keys. I used cheapie powered speakers and I'm not as concerned with them. Out of curiosity, they don't work because too much juice or some other reason?

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#2120126 - 07/19/13 11:24 AM Re: The Wisdom (Or Lack Thereof) of Surge Protectors [Re: Jonathan.]
emenelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 475
too much juice is correct.

The reason there are different capacities of Battery Back-ups is that the back-ups capacity has to exceed the current draw of what you plug into it.

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