|PurePower APS 1050 Power Solution|
|Home Theater AC Power AC Power|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Tuesday, 01 February 2005|
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The subject of power correction products has come a long way in a very short time. Just a few years back, consumers didn’t want to hear about AC-related issues, as these were perceived as snake oil, just another way for an already overly esoteric industry to bilk us out of more dough with fears of otherwise reduced performance. However, a select core of enthusiasts recognized that the performance of audio systems was improved in the late evening as the demand on local power decreased. It was discovered that the power products from a select few manufacturers could indeed provide this late evening nirvana at any time during the day. More recently, this product class has hit the mainstream, as consumers soon realized that these products would also improve video quality. With the massive increase in popularity of home theaters over the last few years, everyone from movie enthusiasts to gaming nuts is in the market for improved audio and video performance.
The Audiophile APS PurePower 1050 offers a unique solution to the AV industry with a true sine wave regeneration system, complete with battery backup, ensuring that you have a constant and perfect 120-volt 60Hz power source, regardless of your incoming voltage. The PurePower 1050 retails for $2,495.
The 1050 has a clean distinguished look of industrial elegance. The faceplate is one-quarter-inch thick aluminum, silver in color, and measures a slim 2U rack height of three-and-one-half inches, 17 inches in width and 19.4 inches deep. Its weight was unlisted but felt like nearly 50 lbs. anyway. The front panel has a sleek membrane pad, complete with a series of lights indicating the power modes and conditions. Included are power draw levels, battery reserve levels and alert and error conditions.
“What’s Wrong With My AC Power Anyway?”
It important to start by talking about some of the problems with AV power. High-voltage current travels along the high-tension wires near your home. Every several houses, you will find a transformer that feeds electricity to your home. In your home and the homes of your neighbors are electrical demands that are extremely noisy and damaging to your incoming AC power. Modern appliances and electronic equipment that use solid state motor drives and power supplies are the culprits. They add noise and harmonic distortion that can travel back through the transmission lines, thus corrupting the power of all the homes attached. The sine waves become damaged and in most cases can become distorted at the peaks of the waves, creating voltage lower than necessary minimums. Your A/V components, most notably your power amplifiers, have large power supplies that are responsible for supplying the current necessary to move your speakers’ drivers. These power supplies are in a sense like buckets that collect and store the power, so that when the late great John Bonham kicks his monstrous bass drum, there is plenty of juice to make your speakers respond with authority. If your amplifiers are being fed power that is clipped and under voltage, the reserves are not there and the drum stroke will sound compressed and flat. This negative phenomenon is just one of many that affects absolutely every aspect of your music and movie sound.
There are hundreds of products on the market that are designed to fix your power. The problem is that most correct a few issues, yet introduce other negative characteristics to your sound, quite possibly hurting more than they help. One of the most effective approaches is power regeneration, which literally takes the damaged wave and reproduces a new perfect one, void of distortion. Now we have limited the field to a select few, most notably PS Audio, Exact Power and Audiophile APS. Having reviewed all three products, I can start by saying that all three work, quite well for the most part, and although they can appear very similar on paper, each has a uniquely different approach to regeneration. The PS Audio P600 was the first on the market and was absolutely a breakthrough product. It was capable of not only reproducing a perfect sine wave, but also allowing you to vary the waveform, which in turn permitted longer durations of power at the peaks. It also allowed you to vary the output frequency, so you could again increase the amount of power traveling to your gear. Its downsides were that it was pretty inefficient and used class AB amplification to correct the waves. The P600 was a large amplifier unit that was capable of supplying a mere 600 watts, hardly enough to supply your higher-watt amplifiers. PS Audio later introduced the P1200, a product that was physically bigger than a Krell FPB 600 and could heat your house in Aspen without the use of your HVAC system. Yet again, this was a product that was capable of superb performance despite its drawbacks.
Just following the new millennium, Exact Power revolutionized the regeneration market when it produced a considerably more efficient model that used a Class D amplifier. Rather than reproduce the wave, it would repair the wave, thus dramatically increasing the efficiency. It also fit into a chassis about one-third the size of the PS Audio P600 and provided 1500 watts of power. However, as noted in my review, it fell short of the PS Audio’s ultimate performance. I did note that there were benefits to the Exact Power’s design that made it more sensible on many fronts, which caused it to be immediately popular with audio and video enthusiasts alike who fear the ill and often damaging effects of poor power.
The Audiophile APS PurePower 1050 comes with a brand new approach. It takes the power from your wall, precisely regulates it and converts it to DC power. An inverter circuit is then used to generate new AC power void of EMI, RFI and dangerous spikes that can harm your precious components.
Perhaps the coolest feature in the unit, APS put a battery source in line to insure that no matter what power voltage comes from the wall, you are guaranteed perfect 120V 60Hz power.
Coming from California, a state known for rolling blackouts and the recipient of constant summer brownouts due to power demands greater than we’re capable of producing, when connected to the PurePower 1050, you will never notice the change. If the voltage drops to 80 VAC, your will be provided 120V of perfect power continuously. Beyond cool is the idea that if the power goes out altogether, you can finish your movie, then shut down your system properly. For those of you who have DLP, DIL-A and/or other display devices with bulbs that are required to cool before shutdown, this battery backup can be the difference between having to replace an $800 bulb and not having to do so. In the event of a full power outage, the PurePower 1050 will allow you approximately eight minutes of full power consumption before the batteries run dry. In cases where you are running less than full power, the batteries will last considerably longer. Audiophile APS offers an additional battery chassis for the 1050 at a cost of $895, adding approximately 30 minutes of additional life in a complete outage. Up to four backup chasses can be added for up to 8 hours of power at half load. In the event of a brownout or voltage drop, you can run your gear at 100 percent performance indefinitely.