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I currently have a fairly simple studio setup here consisting of a Presonus Firepod, a Blue Robbie Tube-Mic Preamp, and a Furman M-8 Power Conditioner. As far as power is concerned, I essentially have the following:

POWER -> SURGE-PROTECTOR -> FURMAN M-8 -> STUDIO EQUIPMENT
                        |-> COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Basically, my power comes from the wall, into my surge protector, then either to my monitors/computer/etc. or to the Furman M-8, then from the Furman to my audio equipment. The surge protector I have isn't exactly the best thing in the world, so I'm wondering if the Furman is better as a surge protector.

I always assumed it was a power conditioner and thought that it essentially flushed out any inconsistencies in the amperage/voltage before these potentially damaging inconsistencies hit sensitive electronics. I thus assumed that it would be necessary to own a separate device for protecting against surges.

Can I/should I use a Furman power conditioner as my main surge protector or do I need something else in addition? I'd like to switch to a rackmounted device like the Furman over the simple powerbar I have lying around near my feet.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The specs say that the M-8 is also a surge protector, and probably a better one than your average power strip kind.

It is also important to make sure any cables such as phone, network, or coax that attach to your computer are also plugged into a surge protector. I was at a customer site once where lighting struck somewhere near the building and ran up the phone lines. They did not have surge protection on their computer's modem. They lost 2 other computers and a server that were attached to the same network. If your computer's network/internet connection is not protected, it could damage all of your other equipment also.

I recommend this UPS/surge protector for what you are using it for. It will handle the power conditioning and surge protection and keep your equipment up for a few minutes during a short power outage. It also has connectors for phone/network and has a $150,000 connected equipment guarantee. Not bad for $170.

Your new configuration would be to plug all of your studio and computer equipment into the same unit. You can plug the M-8 into the UPS to get more outlets, or you could get something like this. Any phone or network lines need to be run through the surge protector before they get to your computer. If you have a cable modem, make sure you are using the network connection, not the USB, and run the network connection through the surge protector. Optionally you can hook the coax to a separate surge protector if you want to also protect the cable modem.

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Thanks, this is really good to know. Luckily, I'm on WiFi throughout my house, so the only thing that is really at risk presently is my router and modem. I'm going to be building a server rack there, though, so I'll probably hook the whole thing up to a UPS connected to a power conditioner/surge protector so I can keep my network up for at least a few minutes. I'll keep this in mind when building stuff :) –  Naftuli Tzvi Kay May 5 '11 at 20:02

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