PS Audio developed true AC Regeneration with its Power Plant series 13 years ago in response to a classic problem: systems sounded different at different times of the day or night. PS engineers realized that varying power quality was the problem, but no simple power filter could solve the problem because the AC power is actually missing energy that’s supposed to be there and no filter or Band Aid approach can replace this energy when we try and simply filter the power.
As a result, the Power Plants have fundamentally changed the performance of audio and video components and set people’s expectations at a much higher level. Unfortunately, in the big world, most dealers and consumers have spent their time and effort trying to improve systems with AC power “conditioners”. This approach is problematic and damaging to the facts of what’s really holding back our systems.
The problem with all the hundreds and hundreds of conditioners sold by all the companies is the improvements they make are so subtle most people can’t see or hear them. And at the same time they add negative qualities that everyone hears and sees. Consequently the power “conditioner” category is viewed universally as a bad band aid and used mainly for surge protection.
Nothing could be further from the truth with PS Audio’s P5 and P10 AC REGENERATORS. They are the only devices on the market that actually regenerate new AC with perfect sine waves, distortion levels 10 times lower than the wall, impedance levels 1000 times lower than the wall, and reserve current of 50 amps or more instead of the 15 or 20 amps the wall delivers.
Why does this matter? Because to solve the age old problem of varying performance with time of day and ensure consistent improved performance, one must add missing energy back to the equipment – energy that can only be supplied by an active power regeneration device. The missing energy can never be replaced by a passive filter – which is why every power conditioner on the market is only a Band Aid and does not address the real problems with power.
So if you add a power conditioner to your system, you’ll get a bit cleaner sound but it’ll still vary according to the time of day and the power quality. Only regenerating new power and adding the missing energy back into the system will fix this.
I was at a dealer the other day who had a customer that wanted to get a demo of the P5 Power Plant and see if he could hear the difference. The salesman asked if I would like to talk about it and do the demo. Heck yes, that’s the fun part of this job. So I explained to the customer the differences in taking crappy wall current and just filtering some noise off it with a conditioner. Put a tuxedo on a pig and you still have a pig. Then I explained what our AC Regenerators do and how they actually create new, pristine AC with far more reserve current than the wall possibly could.
We went to a big McIntosh system, dual 500 watt mono blocks, preamp, D/A converter and all the source components. The dealer had a computer hooked up as a source and had a great collection of music on it. I asked the customer to pick a song, and being a classical buff he picked a very dynamic large orchestral piece. I said let’s listen to the system without the P5 first for about 5 minutes to get a reference, then we will plug everything into the P5 and play the same piece again.
It was awesome. I gave the remote to him and said play the volume you like to listen at. We started the piece and as it started to build and build the customer began to turn it up, and turn it up. About 2 minutes into it, he began to turn it down a little, then a little more, and then we played out the rest of the cut. I was watching the needles on the wattage meters and he had it up to 200 watts at one point before he turned it down a bit. The dealer asked him how it sounded. And truth of the matter, it sounded pretty good, great system, awesome speakers. There was a huge image, lots of instruments appearing and just really a great demo. It got a little hard sounding during a few of the peaks and I thought some of the instruments were a bit hard to hear when it got busy, but overall pretty righteous sound.
Then I hooked the P5 up as fast as I could and we restarted the cut. In my opinion it was a completely different sound. It was smoother, much more focused on each instrument.
You could hear fingers moving on the cello, papers turning on music stands, I thought it was completely different, sounded like we changed the speakers to some twice the price.
And interestingly, as the cut started playing, the customer started turning it up. And then he turned it up a bit more. And then a bit more. I looked at the wattage meters on these 500 watt mono blocks and they were pegged at full power but the system sounded so smooth, so huge. I was loving life.
When the cut was over the dealer asked the customer what he thought. And he said he was blown away. He said he was impressed without the P5 in the system, but with the P5 he said he felt he connected with the music so much deeper. He said it was like being in the audience wanting to get closer to the performance. I said did you realize at the end you were playing it twice as loud as the first time? The customer looked at me and said he had no clue, all he knew was his emotions were pulling him into the performance like he had never experienced before.
It’s amazing how different, and how much better audio gear really can perform, with high performance AC feeding them. If you’re interested in learning more about AC regenerators in a system, I would encourage you to read this consumer review.
Band Aids are helpful to heal wounds not fix fundamental problems with high-end audio.