|PS Audio P600 Power Plant AC Regenerator|
|Home Theater AC Power AC Power|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Wednesday, 01 November 2000|
Page 1 of 2
A friend once said to me, "I have several known problems with my audio system, and you are suggesting that I fix one that I didn’t even know I have?" He had a good point except for the fact that sometimes you need to get rid of a problem to appreciate that you ever had one. So, who has these power problems and for that matter, what the heck is a power problem? What does your power have to do with the quality of your sound?
First of all, just about every audio system suffers from poor power. The power to your home runs through power lines that are shared by many others. Each home is most often connected to a power transformer that is shared with at least several houses. When these houses use appliances, noise is transmitted through your power and into you A/V gear. Some may say that if they cannot hear the noise, then it’s not a problem.
You must first understand that for each frequency of noise, music is cancelled in the identical frequency equal to the level of the noise. What this means, in simple terms, is that your power is unquestionably responsible for losses in many aspects of your music.
There are many products available today that are designed to improve your power source, and they all do something to your power. There is much debate within the industry as to which ones work and which are best.
There are a few primary types of power products on the market. One type is a product designed to improve your power without the use of electronics. These products merely use better quality cable, better connections, and better quality outlets, often with machined and gold-plated components to limit impedance and induced noise.
Another type of product is a power conditioner, which uses electronics to often filter-attenuate the power line noise. This system was popular in years past but was found to limit dynamics and cause musical compression. Yet another type uses passive electronics designed to work outside the audible range, thus limiting any sonic compression and loss of dynamics.
Inside the Power Plant
The PS Audio Power Plant series takes a fresh approach to the age-old problem of bad power. PS Audio claims to have the definitive solution in what they call a power regenerator. This is achieved by converting the AC from your wall to DC, then back to AC to feed your components. Does this design sound familiar? If it does, it’s probably because I’ve just described a simple amplifier. Eek! An amplifier to reduce noise? To most people, that phrase makes little sense. Many in the industry have smirked at the thought of this being the answer. What needs to be understood is how it works. The P600 takes the imperfect power from the wall, converts it to DC and regenerates the sine wave without distortion. Additionally, the P600 gives you the ability to increase your sine wave frequency and the ability to vary the output voltage.
The Power Plant series currently comes in two sizes, with a larger unit planned for the future. The P300, which is numbered for its maximum power output of 300 watts, is for use in equipment with smaller power requirements, such as digital front ends like CD players and D/A converters.
The P600 was designed for medium-to-large power consumption products, such as power amplifiers with an output of 720 watts. For most of my auditions, the P600 was just enough to supply my power amplifiers. I concluded that if you have a monster amp such as the Levinson No. 336, the Pass X350, The Krell FPB 600, or any number of other larger powered amps, the P600 will be on the very fringes of supplying the necessary power to drive them. In these cases, you might look into the near future for the release this month of the P1200, thus giving you the room to add additional components to your system.
As of Nov. 1st, the P600 includes MultiWave and retails for $2,195. For those with units that were not supplied with MultiWave, this option is available for $250 to original owners.