Technology

Mini Review: Furman PL-PRO DMC Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman PL-PRO DMC

Packed with features, the Furman PL-PRO DMC ($499) single-rackspace power conditioner/surge protector is the company’s top-of-the-line unit. All AC power for my entire Tones 4 $ Studios facility is sourced from a 20-amp PL-PRO DMC. It uses LIFT (Linear Filtering Technology) to filter the AC line and reduce contamination of the ground path. Using it while recording guitars with single-coil pickups and loads of amp gain, I hear a lot less trash getting into the pickups.

The unit's machined aluminum black front panel has a recessed main on/off circuit breaker switch, expanded-scale line voltage digital volt/amp meter, retractable and dimmable light tubes, a "Protection OK" indicator, USB charger port (for cameras, iPods etc.) and rear panel BNC jack for a gooseneck lamp. Built for pro installs, the unit’s captive 10-foot power cord terminates in a 20-amp NEMA 20 plug, which is incompatible with the typical 15-amp AC wall sockets found in most homes.

There are nine outlets that are separated into two isolated banks for lowering inter-component noise interference. One bank has five sockets; the other has four (including a front panel receptacle) appropriately spaced for wall-warts. Velcro tie-down wart straps come with the unit.

Most power strips with surge suppression use metal oxide varistors. MOVs need to be replaced after they’ve shunted a surge to ground and also deteriorate over time—that strip you bought on sale at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago might work better at stopping a door than a surge. The Furman Classic Series uses Series Multi-Stage Protection or SMP, a different method of surge suppression. Once SMP dissipates a spike (133 VAC RMS in this case), know that you're still protected without replacing anything.

I know of no other professional level, rack-mounted power conditioner that come even close to the features and depth of protection of the new Furman PL-PRO DMC (see our comparison chart of other products in this price range with similar features). If your needs aren’t as demanding as mine, Furman offers four other units with the same surge and noise protection that only differ in meter style and function, current handling capability and lighting facilities.

For more information, visit Furman’s Website.

Barry Rudolph is an L.A.-based recording engineer/mixer. Visit
www.barryrudolph.com.

Furman PL-PRO DMC product summary

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