Suggestions for AC power conditioner/noise filter?

fretknot

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I've got a situation that I can't seem to rectify with my amps. When I have a guitar plugged in and the volume pot is up, there is a distinct intermittent clicking sound. I doesn't seem to matter which outlet or which room in the house it's plugged into.

I thought at first it was a shielding or cable issue, but when I plug the same instruments into a battery-operated Roland amp there is no noise. If I use the AC adapter with the Roland, then the noise is present. I've come to the conclusion, based on this experience that the house wiring is picking up some interference from somewhere. We live in a rural area and have no close neighbors, so it is specific to our home circuits. We have mini-split heat/AC, and a wi-fi router that is always on. I thought it may be from LED lighting, but turning the lights off does not change the situation.

My question is: will a power conditioner filter this out, or would it be a waste of money? Is there some kind of device that will address this?

Thanks in advance.
 

uriah1

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Sure you don’t have cell phone within a few feet. Try someone else’s house. Any new appliances.
 

Burning Fingers

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I've got a situation that I can't seem to rectify with my amps. When I have a guitar plugged in and the volume pot is up, there is a distinct intermittent clicking sound. I doesn't seem to matter which outlet or which room in the house it's plugged into.

I thought at first it was a shielding or cable issue, but when I plug the same instruments into a battery-operated Roland amp there is no noise. If I use the AC adapter with the Roland, then the noise is present. I've come to the conclusion, based on this experience that the house wiring is picking up some interference from somewhere. We live in a rural area and have no close neighbors, so it is specific to our home circuits. We have mini-split heat/AC, and a wi-fi router that is always on. I thought it may be from LED lighting, but turning the lights off does not change the situation.

My question is: will a power conditioner filter this out, or would it be a waste of money? Is there some kind of device that will address this?

Thanks in advance.

Before you buy a power conditioner :

Do you have solar power ?
Does the clicking occur in any other amps ?
Have you tried turning off everything in the house (including cell phones and computers) except the amp?
Does the clicking stop if you turn the guitar volume down to zero ?
 

fretknot

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Before you buy a power conditioner :

Do you have solar power ?
Does the clicking occur in any other amps ?
Have you tried turning off everything in the house (including cell phones and computers) except the amp?
Does the clicking stop if you turn the guitar volume down to zero ?
No Solar power here, but the nearest neighbor has two huge panel arrays on his property. Their house isn't close enough to cause RF interference, I would imagine, but they are up-line from my service.

Yes, the clicking occurs with every other amp when using house current, even the battery-operated amp when using an AC wall adapter. I've sold amps, thinking they were the problem, but now I realize it has never been the amp causing this noise. Too bad, I let a Supro go that I liked.

Haven't powered everything in the house down except the amp. Will try that when possible

Clicking stops when guitar volume is down to zero. Lowering the tone pot also mitigates, but not eliminates the noise.

Clicking will happen when cable is not plugged into any guitar, if I hold the tip in my hand it is present.
 
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Sea Devil

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I know you say it only happens when connected to AC, but do you wear a battery-powered watch on your picking hand? That can cause clicking.
 

fretknot

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Have you tried a noise gate and/or an isolation xfmr?
Not yet, that is something I am trying to determine as a solution. What is the difference between a power conditioner and an isolation transformer? No experience with either.
 
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Burning Fingers

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My neighbor is upstream on the power grid and has solar panels... on sunny days I get a slight click in my amps due to the inverter in the neighbors solar system introducing noise into the power grid.
If the clicking you experience doesn't happen at night then I'd be suspecting the clicking is being generated up stream on the power grid by a solar setup.

If when you power down everything in the house but still get clicking then I guess you are up for the cost of a power conditioner/ noise filter for your amps.
 

Bluego1

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Maybe you will find the answer in the attached article.
Excerpt:
"clicking and buzzing noises can get into an audio device through the power wires. Every time an electric motor is turned on or off, the motor's coils "kick back" into the power line a brief but high-level voltage spike. The large motors used in refrigerator and air conditioner compressors are a common cause of audible clicks and pops. The power supplies used in most audio gear are unable to block these high-frequency impulses, and they pass right through the power supply into the audio circuit."

 

klasaine

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"If" you decide to try some type of power conditioner/filter, I recommend the TRIPP-LITE brand. Hospital-grade equipment. It's not cheap but I have found that it works better than my Furman gear. I live in metro L.A. and needless to say - the power here can be exceedingly dirty.
YMMV.

@Burning Fingers ...
What's the deal with Solar Power and noise?
 

schmee

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Beware that many power devices that imply they are conditioners are nothing but fancy power strips. In Furman (last I looked) you have to spend about $300-350 to get a true power conditioner.

I agree with the Tripp Lite suggestion or similar units used for computer systems at businesses. You can buy them used on Ebay dirt cheap.
 

Henry Mars

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Not yet, that is something I am trying to determine as a solution. What is the difference between a power conditioner and an isolation transformer? No experience with either.
Same idea. Remove voltage spikes and ground loop noise. The conditioner removes voltage spikes. The isolation xfmr removes ground noise. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't. Morley has a few good noise reduction products. I use them with some luck. JMHO. YMMV.
 

fretknot

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Maybe you will find the answer in the attached article.
Excerpt:
"clicking and buzzing noises can get into an audio device through the power wires. Every time an electric motor is turned on or off, the motor's coils "kick back" into the power line a brief but high-level voltage spike. The large motors used in refrigerator and air conditioner compressors are a common cause of audible clicks and pops. The power supplies used in most audio gear are unable to block these high-frequency impulses, and they pass right through the power supply into the audio circuit."

Interesting information. The fact that this phenomenon occurs whether day or night suggests solar panels may not be the only possible source. The clicking is constant, at a steady interval of approximately 1-2 seconds. It could be from the HVAC or refrigerator. I will test it when I can to shut the whole house off and isolate one breaker with the amp connected to it.
 

Sea Devil

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The vast majority of voltage-regulating power conditioners only kick in when voltage is too high or low by ten volts, in case you're expecting them to give you a steady 120. It's about $2,000 for one that keeps it exactly on the money.
 
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LightningPhil

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2 things to try:

Try turning off your lighting circuits at the breaker but have the lights turned on.

Use an extension lead and get as far from the house as possible and see if there's no or less clicking.

I'm thinking it's capacitively coupled power from one loom into another, which is charging something up till there's enough volts to briefly activate whatever's being charged. This then can cause a sudden pulse. Had a lighting circuit do this. Fixed by replacing one of the LED bulbs with an incandescent.

When I say I'm thinking this - it's probably not this but might be something sililar.
 

jrblue

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Beware that many power devices that imply they are conditioners are nothing but fancy power strips. In Furman (last I looked) you have to spend about $300-350 to get a true power conditioner.
Yes. There's a whole industry marketing power strips as noise surpressors, which they are not. A good conditioner will help with line noise, but good luck with all the other sources speaking to your pickups, etc.
 

schmee

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The vast majority of voltage-regulating power conditioners only kick in when voltage is too high or low by ten volts, in case you're expecting them to give you a steady 120. It's about $2,000 for one that keeps it exactly on the money.
Yep, in fact most of them state +/- 5% or so on the voltage control. At 120V that's +/- 6 volts.
 

schmee

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I have had this steady ticking spoken of, although not recently. I cant remember if I ever found the cause.
 




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