Audio Review: Furman Sound PL-Pro DMC
Jun 3, 2009 12:00 PM, By Barry Rudolph
A power conditioner and surge protector with a high current capacity and advanced AC conditioning.
Packed with features, the Furman Sound PL-Pro DMC ($499) 1RU power conditioner/surge protector is the company’s top-of-the-line unit. All AC power for my entire recording facility is sourced from a 20-amp PL-Pro DMC. It uses Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) to filter the AC line and reduce contamination of the ground path. Using it while working with 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, two retractable and dimmable light tubes, a “Protection OK” indicator, and a USB charger port (for cameras, iPods, etc.). The rear panel has a BNC jack for a gooseneck lamp.
Built for pro installs, the unit’s captive 10ft. power cord terminates in a 20-amp NEMA 20 plug, which is incompatible with the typical 15-amp AC wall sockets found in most installations.
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) that are 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). 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 PL-Pro DMC uses Series Multi-Stage Protection (SMP), a different method of surge suppression. Once SMP dissipates a spike (133VAC RMS in this case), know that you’re still protected without replacing anything.
As another level of protection, the unit’s advanced Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) circuitry detects dangerous voltage irregularities and safely powers down the unit itself and connected equipment in unsafe conditions.
I know of no other professional-level, rackmounted power conditioner that comes even close to the features and depth of protection of the Furman PL-Pro DMC. 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.
Barry Rudolph is a Los Angeles-based audio engineer/mixer. Visit www.barryrudolph.com.
- Company: Furman Sound
- Product: PL-Pro DMC
- Pros: Outlets spaced to accommodate wall warts; excellent metering, lighting, and extra features.
- Cons: Must install special 20-amp NEMA AC socket for this pro model.
- Applications: Power conditioning, surge/noise protection for audio/video sensitive gear in sensitive installations.
- Price: $499
- Chassis: 1RU, 10.5in. deep
- Operating voltage: 90VAC to 139VAC
- Maximum output current: 20 amps
- Input: Captive 3/12 AWG, 10ft. cable with NEMA 20 plug
- Spike clamping voltage: 188VAC peak @ 3000 amps
- Noise attenuation: 10dB @ 10kHz; 40dB @ 100kHz; 50dB @ 500kHz
- Response time: 1 nanosecond
- Rear lamp socket: BNC 12VAC 500mA