Rockn Stompn Sequential Conditioned Power Strip
By Chris Loeffler
Anyone who has used a guitar amp or PA knows the dreaded “pop” that happens when electronics in front of the amp are powered up after the amp is on. To avoid unpleasant and potentially equipment damaging mishaps, musicians quickly learn to power their gear up in a specific sequence. Depending on the complexity and physical distance of the setup, this process can be just enough to take the creative edge off playing and occasionally requires powering something down again if a component of the signal chain is missed in the startup process. Sequential powering isn’t a new concept (you’re probably doing it already), but having it automated by a single power supply certainly is.
The Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip is a footswitch-activated power supply that offers surge and voltage protection for eight conditioned outlets. A built-in 15-amp circuit breaker and network of nine metal-oxide varistors ensure multiple levels of protection to connected devices and, in the event of large surges, the Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip automatically shuts off and powers back on once the power returns to healthy operating levels.
What You Need To Know
- The Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip‘s top panel features four groupings (receptacles) of outlets, with two outlets to each receptacle. The receptacles are numbered one through four and have dedicated LEDs to indicate whether it is sending power or not. A fifth pilot LED indicates whether the Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip is receiving power. Two controls on the side of the unit allow you to select between a zero to fifteen second delay time between each receptacle when powering up or down. When switched “on” with a five second On Delay time, the first receptacle immediately lights up and provides power. Receptacle 2 lights and powers up five seconds later, receptacle 3 does the same five seconds after receptacle 2 is "live", and receptacle 4 powers on five seconds after that. The total power up time then, is fifteen seconds, giving any external effects, preamps, and microphones time to power up before the amplifier in receptacle 4 does. When powering off, the sequence is reversed and it powers down from receptacle 4 to receptacle 1.
- The On Delay and Off Delay controls are set independently to accommodate device-specific powering behaviors, such as increased warmup time for tube effects or increased power down time for tube amplifiers. The manufacturer recommends starting with a three second On Delay and a six second Off Delay, which proves to be more than suitable for powering guitar rigs or even my home studio.
- Surge and voltage protection, essential when powering multiple pieces of equipment, are both covered by the Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip. The aforementioned metal-oxide varistors regulate the outgoing voltage to provide a consistent voltage output for each of the eight outlets. When surges exceed what the varistors are able to regulate and are of a size potentially damaging to electronics “over voltage” and “over current” components immediately stop power and remove the outlets from the signal path. All gear powered by the Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip is completely off the power grid when the unit is in standby mode, keeping your gear safe even when it’s not in use.
- In addition to sequencing and protection, Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip incorporates EMI/RFI filtering in the unit to clean up the signal for noiseless (or at least significantly cleaner) power. This is especially useful in instances where multiple high-voltage processors or analog oscillators are sharing power with the amp. Things like old neon signs still take their toll on the noise floor of electricity, but I found a very noticeable improvement to the white noise hiss when I put the Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip between my amp and the wall outlet.
The Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip provides an automated solution for a problem most people have just accepted as a part of playing amplified music. With the added benefit of protection and sound conditioning it is a convenience that is hard to imagine living without once you’ve been spoiled enough to have experienced.
Rockn Stompn Sequenced Power Strip Product Page (Street $299.99)