Once you’ve assembled the pro audio or bass rig of your dreams and racked it in a road case for good measure, it’s time to think about the best way to keep all your valuable equipment powered up and protected.
Plugging your equipment into a surge protector before plugging it into the wall is a great, cost-effective way to protect your investment. Surge protectors are simple, readily available devices that prevent damage to your equipment from power spikes and surges and also allow multiple outlets to accommodate your amp and effects. However, power situations can vary from venue to venue, and if the power at a club is less than ideal - such as faulty wiring or too many fluorescent lights onstage- you may hear hum or buzz in your setup, even if you’ve got your gear plugged into a surge protector. This can be a real show stopper in a bad way. While surge protectors do the job just fine, power conditioners do offer some added benefits.
Rack Mount Power Conditioners vs. Surge Protectors
If you play out a lot, are a touring musician, or just want to get the cleanest sound in any venue, it may be worthwhile to invest in a rackmount power conditioner. A clean power distribution system that can be mounted in your rack has a few distinct advantages over a basic surge protector.
Because they offer a more advanced, complete level of protection and are generally built more ruggedly than surge protectors, rackmount power conditioners do cost significantly more. If a surge protector is working fine for you and you don’t mind lugging it around and setting it up onstage, then you have done your part to protect your gear! If you have a bunch of effects in your rack and want a quicker setup, play at a lot of venues with sketchy power situations, or just want increased peace of mind and protection for your gear, it may be worth the upgrade to a rackmount unit.
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