I’m a frustrated bass player who just dropped off his SWR 350X bass amp for repair for the second time in the past year. I’m trying to figure out why I seem to have more problems with this amp than others I’ve owned in the past and there seems to be only one variable, the place where I regularly practice. The current place, my guitar player’s house, has what I’d refer to as suspect electric system (and construction in general for that matter) and I’m thinking that the electricity in the house itself is the source of my woes. I’m looking into getting the band to plug into a different circuit zone for all our sakes, but personally I think it’s time to protect my lovely amp from further punishment.
My local repair guy recommends plugging into an isobar surge protector which I thought would be easy enough. These apparently are designed to protect fancy computer systems, and come with a hardware protection guarantee. My question here is regarding a rack-mounted surge protector or a power conditioner. Do they work? I’d drop the $300 on a Furman power conditioner if it does what it promises, but it smells like a Monster cable-type rip off to me. I know if lightning strikes the house I’m fried, but to protect my amp from the daily rigors of my guitar player’s crappy household electric, will I be okay with a quality surge protector? Has anyone here used the rack-mounted power conditioners or protectors? Any advice or comments will be greatly appreciated.
I am not knowledgeable about the effects of current spikes on amps, so I can’t answer the question but I think you need a little more diagnosis on the problem. The other variable is. . .the amp. I’m not familiar with SWR. Did you buy it new?
What did the tech tell you was wrong with the amp the first time and what did he do to fix it? Maybe you need a second opinion.
Electric guitar player here. I have used an Isobar surge protector for my amp for years. The model I have (I’m at work so I can’t look at it to get the model number) also suppresses 60-cycle noise. I think the one I have would probably sell for under $100 now. Mine has two outlets; I plug my amp and the power supply for my pedals into it.
Rock’n’roll amps are pretty sturdy things, they might not survive a lightning strike but they shouldn’t be bothered but a slightly dicky supply. The worst that should happen is that the amp’s supply fuse blows. As Cooking asks, do you know what is was that failed?
That surge protector looks completely over the top for a piece of kit that should be pretty rugged.
I did buy the amp new, and it worked well in the last location where I played on a regular basis, my own basement. As for the repair, this trip is my second opinion, as the problem that was “fixed” by my local music store didn’t seem to stay fixed. While diagnosing, I’ve allowed for a crappy repair job as well. The new tech comes highly recommended. Sadly, I’m not very tech-savy, so I don’t remember the exact nature of the previous repair. It was making bad noises, and the repair shop made them stop. I’m searching for my repair ticket to see if it sheds more light.
Crotalus, thanks for the info. I know I’m going to pick up one of the isobars, I’m just wondering if it’s enough. If you can track down that model number later, I’d be grateful.