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mcnach

power conditioner to reduce/remove noise at home?

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I seem to have noise issues in my new place, which is annoying for recording. It's the kind of noise you often get when there are dimmers or fluorescent lighting, and I have both nearby in the house so that's likely what it is. I see 'power conditioners' that claim to help with this... Has anybody got any good results that way?

Stuff like this (although I'd prefer something where you just plug the standard UK plug at the back):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Way-IEC-Power-Conditioner-Filter-Black/dp/B01N8U252T/ref=sr_1_4?adgrpid=54831262698&dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3duCBhCAARIsAJeFyPVtKYzW8nUJ9DB-X_gPfwifNvoJPK87OTcn__BLUkzlQMr7u7Oe_3saAs35EALw_wcB&hvadid=259038328311&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9046891&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=12099201200206595915&hvtargid=kwd-11463301&hydadcr=28152_1724844&keywords=power+conditioner&qid=1616332497&sr=8-4

51XGYDyaifL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

If something like that does the trick (the description suggests it does) it's not expensive, but I see others that cost 10x more, so... I'm not sure.

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On the whole Power Conditioners are designed for countries with less than robust mains electricity supplies (like the US) and deal with voltage fluctuations and mains-borne noise. IIRC the interference generated by fluorescent lights and dimmers is as much RF as it is mains-borne, while the power conditioner might make some difference it won't eliminate everything.

The people who would get the most benefit in the UK from using a power conditioner are those living out in the sticks with variable mains voltages and those who do a lot of gigs where the power is supplied by a generator, although IMO in both cases they would be better off with a good quality UPS.

Personally I'd get rid of the fluorescent lights (is there really any need for them these days?) and the dimmers. That will be a far more effective solution.

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Most cheap conditioners are more a surge protector and filter than true conditioners. The filter does reduce noise above the 50hz AC frequency so can quieten equipment, but as BRX says, the first thing is to remove any unnecessary sources of interference.

The Studiospares conditioner has sockets for UK plugs by the way, I use one of these for home studio gear.

https://www.studiospares.com/studiospares-cp8+1-power-conditioner--rack-light_348160.htm

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I find the Lindy plug board effective for removing noise at home. I got it for the hi-fi, but take it out to gigs, too.

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Posted (edited)

In the UK if one of these doesn't cure it the EMI isn't getting to your gear via the mains:

https://cpc.farnell.com/bulgin/pxd301-550-01-1/power-outlet-iec-5way-10a-emi/dp/CN16585

Probably cheaper alternatives out there, EMI filter is what to look for.

<edit> It probably has the same electronics inside as the Citronic box...

 

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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Thank you for all the very useful information :)

Unfortunately changing the lighting is not practical at the moment.

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Posted (edited)

I bought one of these a couple of years back to combat noise in my man cave. Works a treat. We found that power line WiFi boosters are particularly intrusive.

Tacima 6 Way Mains Conditioner

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tacima-CS947-6-Way-UK-Mains-Conditioner-Surge-Protection-Interference-Filter-2M-/133148046309?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

Edited by Deedee
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Posted (edited)

The best thing the OP can do is to remove the source(s) of interference. 

However as this does not appear to be possible. In that situation I'd look a good quality power conditioner, but be prepared to return it under the distance selling regulations, if it doesn't make sufficient improvements. ALL the audio equipment will need to be connected plus the computer and ALL of the peripherals, so make sure that the power conditioner is capable of handling the combined load. It would also be worth disconnecting any computer peripherals that are not essential for the recording process.

Edited by BigRedX
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I have a Furman in my room, I use their bigger versions in most studio builds I do as an easy way to power multiple units in a rack tidily, they do clean up noise that comes up the mains, EM and RF stuff which is what your noisy dimmers chuck out. 

They won't do a lot for earth loops, those need tracking down and fixing, but fluorescents and dimmers, sure. The added bonus is the voltage smoothing and the surge protection, plus you can turn everything off at once, just make sure the monitors and amps are "last on, first off".

https://furmanpower.com/pro-av-power/merit-series-export/

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