Furman- Who Needs a Voltage Regulator?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Kane, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I started looking at the Furman AR-1251 15amp unit @$450
    recommended by an enthusiast on another forum and it looks pretty well-rounded as a voltage regulator AND a surge protector. Furman is a pro-audio manufacturer.
    Here's web specs
    This is quite compact at 12lbs alongside the MonsterAVS2000 voltage stabilizer at 38lbs and $1150-$1500. Not saying they are comparable.
    I previously believed power voltage delivery does not fluctuate enough to exceed the equipment power supply specifications; but I do not know and have not metered my own circuit.
    I am sure there's a lot to be said for the certainly of steady, constant power supply to HT audio-video equipment from such devices. At the least, constant power supply is said to least degrade electrical equipment over time that is subject to voltage fluctuations.
    The Furman appears to cover surge suppression according to UL 1449 standards:
    *The highest spike protection mode (line to neutral, neutral to ground,line to ground)
    *Let-thru voltage of 400V, which is inside UL's 450V limit but above "best" of 330V
    *Maximum surge current to 6500 amps where 6000 amps is UL's new high-standard rating.
    Furman does incorporate MOVs. No Series Mode "brickwall."
    Am I missing anything?
    No coax or tel line terminals or convenience features. But neither does the Monster unit.
    This unit looks pretty good in our quest to find one-size-fits-all for mid-fi AV systems.
    I do not know "pro audio" like Vince Maskeeper. I found this caveat at AudioAsylum: The Furman products are geared towards the pro side of things and the Cinepro is geared towards the consumer Hi-Fi side. The Cinepro power line conditioner units use larger power transformers, upgraded A/C outlets and more A/C filtration.
    The CinePro Power Supply II (15amp) lists at $799 and streets at $699. Ouch.
    Any takers?
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Bill,

    I'll be honest with you on this and say I might not be the best guy to ask. I have used Furman products for years, and the Furman PL-Plus is a staple of the pro industry and at the top of nearly every rack I have ever put together.

    However the PL Plus does have the spike and surge protection but does not offer the voltage regulation.

    However- the appeal of Furman seems to be mostly convenience in my world. I have never really sat down and done any real critical listening to say if the conditioning elements of the unit offered an serious sonic improvement. I have also never really sat down and done any measured tests on how well they do what they say they do.

    What I can say is this:
    Furman is an accepted standard in the pro world- which usually means its rugged, works as specified and didn't do anything it wasn't supposed to do. Is it boutique, I doubt it- but I'd say it would probably do the job you're looking for it to do.

    If it were me and the next comparable product was twice the price, I'd give it a shot!

    -V
     
  3. Joe e h

    Joe e h Stunt Coordinator

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    There has been some long discussions on Furman and Cinepro products over at HTOC.net

    If I recall the Cinepro are modified Furman products. I did not read all the thread, because at the time I was not looking at power products.

    There are a few people over there that are up to date on these products.

    Joe
     
  4. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Bill or anyone else try the Furman product or another voltage stabilizer?

    Ron
     
  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Ron,
    I eventually used a multimeter and determined my house voltage remains contant at 119V +/- 0.3V so I never got a VR.
    Calling something a voltage regulator a "voltage stabilizer" may be a buzzword, or it may be a synonym. Depends if it's Monster, Panamax, Equi-tec etc.What are you trying to achieve or what problem do you face?
    You still a Richard Gray guy?
    Here is Furman's product engineer describing their (expensive) HT boxes with a reference to the Pro Audio units and a VR CLICK
    bill
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    I admit I am not up to date on these products. The fellow in the store where they had the Moster one told me the picture quality of my projector would improve drmatically with one. Needless to say I was sceptical. Do I need to be?
     
  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Neil, what Monster!?

    AVS2000? That's a voltage stabilizer. Only "improves" your picture if you've already got a bad one from voltage fluctuation, day-in, day-out. Most don't suffer this.

    Store salesclerks dont know squat about these -- they just parrot Monster's "Clean Power" mantras...
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Playing Devil's Advocate...Well seeing as your voltage appears to be quite stable in general, what benefit do you see in the Furman Unit, apart for some surge suppression, at that price point Bill?
     
  9. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Chu,

    So like WHAT Furman. Geez, there's a handful.

    I'll tell you where I'm headed in Power Conditioning and that's Balanced Power. I see it as leveling the noise field with no downsides.

    Course, I dont have a high-end system, and maybe my "noise floor" already is low. The challenge is to not throw another black box into the system because of what it MIGHT do. I'm not looking for the 5 percent edge.

    Did you see that Panamax is introducing the MAX 5510 which includes a small, toroid isolation transformer as before coupled with a switch to Balanced Power, effective on 4 outlets. Panamax has taken a center tap on the Xform secondary to achieve its BP.

    Since most of us really want just a plug and play, I'm not certain how many audiophiles will want to be getting up and down to switch the MAX 5510 from one Xform mode to the other, if this is the modality. It's not even being sold, tho discountpanamax.com has a teaser for about $1,099.
    And it's a great surge protector, too.

    bill
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    fwiw, musiciansfriend.com has that furman with free shipping.
    as far as the balanced power being effective, I guess that would depend on whether or not you've got a problem. In general, it would seem that in your particular case, and likely for most people, the power that comes out of the wall is of pretty good quality. Now when this turns out to not be the case, likely the quality of the power has been affected by other equipment...perhaps in the same building (apts) or on the same line (halogen lights, crappy dimmers, motors, etc.). If it turns out issues such as these can't be addressed, then I could certainly envision the possibility that balanced power may have some positive benefit.
    they seem to find utility in the pro field in addressing problems from equipment with chassis leakage, amps that have been poorly maintained, etc. I agree that BP can reduce the noise floor and I guess the question that one would or should pose themselves, is if they've got a truly onerous noise floor to begin with and if their equipment has a particular susceptibility to this noise to begin with.
    The thing is, is audio and video equipment do have power transformers. Given that it's been properly designed, there should be very very little noise coupling between the primary and secondaries. After that there are devices that take what was once AC into pretty damned pure DC with a couple of microvolts of noise tossed in. The basic audio circuitry itself has additional rejection capabilities from noise in the power supply. Competent equipment designers may also add additional passive filtration if it's warranted. Good equipment is designed by good engineers and has the ability to suppress typical noise. Good modern equipment is designed to meet EMC legislation which places tight controls both on radiated interference and on susceptibility to such interference. In situations where people are concerned with RFI and seek to further reduce the levels, even something as mundane as the Powermax 8 Coax from Panamax gives some 50 dB of RFI noise filtration at $50 list. Equally boring but rather effective in minimizing intercomponent interactions are devices that employ isolation transformers such as products from Belkin or Triplite (I think they still put out something that has that). Now maybe [​IMG] there are some boutique products out there made by respected designer that may benefit from the use of balance power. Some might say it's because this better equipment has tremendous resolving capability. Myself, I say that these respected designers just might not know how to effectively design their products to deal with the real world.
    Well Bill in any event I'd rather buy a BP device than spend the same amount on cables!
     
  11. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Be aware that Ron found this OLD thread about Furman. As I say, I've moved on.

    bill
     
  12. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    I am using a Furman AR-1215 because I had to have a voltage regulator. My power goes from 110 to 125, never just one number. I got it for $350 shipped at Zsounds I think.
    I beleive it also does power conditioning and I don't know if its a subjective thing but..the color on my set seems to be improving. If it were just me, I'd be skeptical but even my wife has noticed it.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Damn, I didn't realize this was an old thread. I've got to start paying better attention to the dates of these posts!
     
  14. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    I've revisiting voltage stabilizers....used a voltage tester from Rat shack and noticed fluctuations between 117 and 121 at any given time. Currently, I using a modified BPT balanced power unit by Alan Maher. I have two separate units: One for amps and the other for source components with the FP set up on a separate outlet from the digital sources.

    I would love to play around with a voltage stabilizer or regenerator (like PS audio unit) to see if helps on the video side of the equation....less background video noise, stable picture etc creating a more 3-d image.

    Any thoughts from others in this area?

    Thanks
    Ron
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    that's not a big swing. I think the Furman guarantees +/- 5 volts and you're +/-2. Your equipment is not going to have an issue with that (check your manuals).
     

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