funky54 wrote:Gotta ask, why do you feel power conditioners are pointless?
To be fair, there are power conditioners... and power conditioners... and there are mains supplies and mains supplies! I'm not sure where you are based, but we are blessed in the UK to have well engineered mains supplies which are generally pretty clean and stable. I know that's not the case for all parts of the world...
Most power conditioners -- the lower cost ones (although none are cheap!) -- don't do very much at all, and probably actually make the problem worse rather than better because they raise the impedance of the mains power source as a whole. And the filtering they apply is typically only a duplication of what is built into any decent equipment anyway. I tried a very expensive power conditioner on my main hi-fi system a few years back, and even the sales rep had to agree it made the system sound worse, rather than better! :lol:
To really 'condition' the mains properly is complicated and expensive, and although there are some units that do a genuinely good job, they're not what most people purchase!
They do a great job at removing hum and static sounds.
A power conditioner can't remove hum... That comes down to the ground wiring and avoiding any magnetic coupling...
A power conditioner can sometimes help reduce HF noise if you have a particularly dirty incoming mains supply, but the power supplies inside the individual equipment should do that too. And if the incoming mains is badly contaminated it might be better to have a word with the supply company to get that sorted out at source (such as by switching your building to a different phase)!
Not to mention smooth voltage.
If you mean regulate the mains voltage, yes, some can -- those with auto-transformers, for example. However, modern equipment with SMPS supplies can cope with a very wide range of incoming mains voltage anyway, and even legacy equipment with linear power supplies are pretty tolerant of the typical voltage variations of normal mains supplies.
They also have indicator lights to let you know if your grounded, out of phase, hot neutral wire, and a few other responses that I can’t remember.
Sure... added value... but if you're worried about the mains supply suddenly becoming L-N reversed you can buy a plug-in mains tester for very few sheckles. :-D
So really, all these apparent benefits are generally unnecessary, redundant or just frippery, with a side order of potentially making the power supply worse, rather than better.
I've tested a fair few mains conditioners in the studio over the years, and I can't say I've ever noticed any real repeatable benefits, not even from the really expensive ones. I don't need a display to tell me the mains voltage, or lights to confirm the socket is wired up correctly. The rack lighting can be useful, but much cheaper rack lights are available. And the surge-protection, while theoretically useful, is rarely effective in my experience -- at least, not more than once! :-)
In all honesty, I've never had a mains-supply related problem in the studio -- no static clicks, no hums, no problems with varying mains voltage, no damaging surges... -- and that's just because the studio gear is wired up sensibly, the equipment is well-designed, and the incoming mains supply is pretty reliable.
Okay, so occasionally we get the odd blackout when a tree gets blown into the overhead mains cables coming into the village... but a typical mains conditioner couldn't solve that problem anyway, and for situations where supply continuity is essential I use an on-line UPS which basically regenerates its own clean sine-wave mains power from a constantly-charging battery.
Sorry if my views clash with your own... but that's my take on it. Years back I followed the dogma and used power-conditioners, but the more I understood about them the more I realised how pointless most really were, and I've not used them here for over 20 years with no negative aspects at all.