Power Conditioners

PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator

ARTICLE INDEX

PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator

Introduction

The PS Audio Power Plant Premier (PPP), the company’s latest version of the Power Plant P300 that company head Paul McGowan first introduced in 1997, is a true power regenerator. The PPP takes "dirty" and variable AC power from the wall socket, converts it to DC voltage, and then regenerates a new AC sine wave signal at 120 volts. It also serves as a surge protector and all-around power distribution system.

Given my long history with PS Audio’s Power Plant power regenerators, it comes as no surprise that I would want to review the PPP. I began using the original P300 shortly after it was released. Although it was not a perfect unit, I found myself bearing with its fan noise, current-sucking inefficiency, and frustratingly imperfect MultiWave settings in exchange for the vast improvement it made to the sound of my system. (MultiWave is claimed to extend the peak charging time of the sine wave to help connected equipment lower power supply ripple and therefore improve performance.)

Then, when the P300 could not adequately power my amplifier plus two active subs, I moved up to the P600, issued in 1998. I again appreciated the major sonic improvements and increased current handling capacity, but there was no getting around the fact that the P600 was a back breaking brute of a unit that was difficult to move from place to place, It also burned electricity as though it was Manna from heaven.

Although somewhere along the line a beta test Power Plant blew up on me, my P600 sent flames and acrid smoke into the air after a crucial insulating washer gave up the ghost, and the P600’s brightly blue-lit PS Audio logo made listening in the dark impossible until I unscrewed the bulb, I stuck with my P600 for a long time because it sounded so good. Only when the Nordost Thor power distributor entered my life did I part company with the P600 and the large electric bills and heat that were an unavoidable consequence of keeping it on 24-hours a day.

Other PS Audio power products have also had their say at Casa Bellecci-Serinus. The original PS Audio Ultimate Outlet (2001) is currently hard-wired to my dedicated line, and remains an alternative to my two in-wall PS Audio Power Port outlets. I’ve also used one of the company’s original power cords, and, at a Bay Area Audiophile Society (BAAS) demo, the original Juicebar eight-outlet extension strip (2001). (Thanks for the gracious short-term loan, Paul). I also reviewed the PS Audio GCA 250 Class D amplifier. The excellent PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport, which is in some ways a breakthrough product, currently serves as my reference transport.

When I contacted Paul for a PPP review unit, I told him that I use prototype versions of VTL’s 450W Series 2 monoblock amplifiers. Because these wonderful sounding amps consume far more power than they produce, Paul said that one Power Plant Premier (PPP) could not adequately power my two monoblocks, transport, Theta Gen. VIII Series 2 DAC/preamp, Clearaudio turntable, Classe 6 phono preamp, and MacBook Pro. Hence he sent me two Power Plant Premier review units, one for each channel. (My complete reference system, including room dimensions, is appended to the end of this review).

I also confess to a secret motive for requesting the PPP. Reviewing the unit gives me the excuse to communicate with Paul McGowan, who is among the sweetest men in the business. I love chatting with him, and looked forward to excuses to stay in contact beyond our usual meetings at shows.

Technical Specifications

  • Design: AC Power Conditioner (Reconstructs 60 Hz Sine Wave)
  • Output: 1,200 Watts
  • Regulation: ±0.5V
  • Distortion: <0.9% at Full Output
  • Noise Reduction: 80 dB from 100 kHz – 2 MHz
  • Output Impedance: 0.015 Ohm
  • Dimensions: 4” H x 17” W x 16.5” D
  • Weight: 35 Pounds
  • MSRP: $1,699 USA
  • PS Audio