Pop to speakers when power strip is shut off - diyAudio
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Pop to speakers when power strip is shut off

I posted this under power supplies, but thought I would put it under amps, too, since it relate to a PA header.

Here's the scenario: PA system with guitar effects boards and vocal mics attached. The volume is up on the PA. One of the effects boards is attached to the PA and plugged into a power strip that is on. I was asked to pull the cord out of the power strip. I didn't - I shut the power strip off. There was a small pop (and yes, ANY pop can damage the speakers - I know this!). I got yelled at for being stupid. My understanding was that switching the power strip off was the exact same thing as pulling the plug (meaning, there would have been a pop if I pulled the plug out, too, since the volume was still up on the head). However, my partner tells me no - the pop was caused by the actual snap of the on/off switch on the power strip. I KNOW the right thing would have been to turn down the volume on the PA before doing anything, but let's not go there. Can someone please let me know if this is a fact or an assumption? Would there still have been a pop if I pulled the cord out of the strip if the volume was still turn up on the PA head?
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:14 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Breaking the circuit turns off the power. A switch does that, so does pulling out a plug. Depending upon where in the cycle the mains power is when the circuit opens, a spark may fly. If you switch off at zero crossing, not much happens. If you break at one of hte peaks, the inductance of the transformer and other things make the maximum pop.

SO yes, it COULD pop as much either way, and if you do it just once each way, there is a very real possibility that one way will pop louder than the other way that time. But do it each way a bunch of times, and the overall response will b e the same.

In a solid state amp, the pop is limited by the power rails, so a pop will be no louder than the amp at clipping. If the speakers can handle the full power of the amp, they can handle the pop. The speakers really don;t know the difference between that pop and a full kick drum spike or for that matter a full on snare crack.
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