Hands-On Review:Furman S-5500
Power protection, sequencing, and noise filtration for your recording gear
By Christos Desalernos
Furman Domestic Sales Manager
Today’s recording technology—whether intended for a compact Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or a full-scale recording studio—is more advanced and powerful than ever. Thanks to the ever-expanding list of affordable digital-based recording gear, an aspiring musician with some care and creativity can assemble a professional-sounding mix. Whether we’re talking about the most seasoned audio professional or an amateur recording engineer, AC power quality can make the difference between a great session and disaster.
While the technologies in today’s computers, digital mixers, signal processors, and A/D converters are incredibly advanced, they are all fed from an AC power grid designed over 100 years ago! Digital audio relies on microprocessing circuits that are easily damaged. Digital errors, lost tracks, lock-ups, clicks, and pops in your signal, and decreased resolution are just some of the problems that result from AC voltage transients and noise. The worst? Destroyed gear!
Furman has long been the most trusted name for power protection and filtration in pro audio, providing professional-level protection from spikes, surges, and dangerous voltage conditions, while also providing filtering solutions that block AC line noise from reaching the signal path. For most pro audio professionals, Furman is a necessary part of any recording setup.
The Furman S-5500 is an 11-outlet power conditioner that provides a wide range of features to ensure optimal performance from connected equipment and provide convenience to the user.
- Standard Level Surge Protection: Limits voltage spikes and surges to a safe level. In the case of a catastrophic surge (such as a lightning strike), the S-5500’s Catastrophic AC Surge Protection will disconnect your equipment in order to protect it.
- Standard Level Noise Filtration: Blocks unwanted electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference from being introduced into the audio/video signal. The AC filter’s noise attenuation can be as much as 90dB in a frequency range of 100kHz to 2MHz.
- Extreme Voltage Shutdown: EVS protects against dangerous prolonged voltage conditions such as wiring faults, accidental connection to 240V, or brownouts.
- Power Sequencing: Complex audio/video systems may be susceptible to voltage transients generated internally at start-up/shutdown if all the equipment is powered on or off at the same time. This can cause speaker "thumps" which are not only annoying but can also damage speakers. The S-5500 is designed to eliminate these transients by providing a "start-up" delay for amplifier outlets and a "shutdown" delay for other equipment.
- Broadband Data Line Protection: Many do not realize that during a lightning storm, a catastrophic voltage surge can pass to your equipment not only on your power line, but on any electrical, signal, or data line that originates outside of your building. The S-5500 provides surge protection for coaxial, telephone, and LAN (RJ-45) connections, providing complete protection for systems connected to these lines.
- Digital Voltmeter: Digital LED voltmeter indicates incoming line voltage between 90V and 140V.
- Diagnostic Lights: Indicate when wall outlet is properly grounded and line/neutral polarity is correct; status of rear panel outlets; and when there is an Extreme Voltage condition.
- Isolated Banks: Isolated outlet banks minimize electrical cross-talk between analog and digital components, as well as providing staged power-up/power-down sequencing for amplifiers.
- 15A Rating: Full 15A capacity with circuit breaker.
- 11 Outlets: Eight filtered outlets in two isolated banks, two high-current amplifier outlets, and one front-panel convenience outlet.
The S-5500 includes rack ears and removable feet, making it compatible with either in-rack, shelf, or desktop use. A detachable 10' power cord, two coaxial cables, and one telephone patch cord are also included.
Don’t let poor AC quality ruin your next session or lose all your valuable gear to a surge. The S-5500 provides peace of mind and optimal performance so you can focus on the power of your music, not the power coming out of your wall.