Power Conditioners

PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator

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Design

PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator

Many factors tempted me to try the Power Plant Premier. Not only does it promise to achieve far more of Paul McGowan’s original intention, which is to regenerate clean power and improve sound, but it also boasts 85% efficiency with little distortion or noise.

Most important, the unit can produce up to 1500 watts of regulated power without overloading. Because the PPP lowers distortion by 10 times, and generates ultra low output impedance, it promises better bass reproduction. Furthermore, to quote from PS Audio’s website, up to its rated power of 1500W, the PPP has “excess energy storage on board (50 amps vs. the 15 or 20 available from the wall socket) that increases the instantaneous power available to your equipment and maintains a steady regulated voltage.”

The PPP also has ten outlets, organized into five color-coded AC duplex IsoZones that prevent contamination between duplexes. The IsoZones are further organized into power zones that are switchable between always on, switched on, or delayed on. Everything is eminently sensible, and designed for easy, hassle-free operation.

The unit also features new meters that measure the difference between what is coming out of the wall and what the Power Plant Premier is supplying, and also measure THD. Its easily activated CleanWave demagnetization tones, which do not play through speakers, are said to improve sound. Instead of a plethora of MultiWave settings, the PPP’s single, no-hassle choice between regenerated Sine Wave and MultiWave settings makes things simple. There’s also a blue-lit control panel that can be dimmed or shut off, and a handy remote control to engage CleanWave, MultiWave, and panel dimming functions.

PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator

One major difference between the Power Plant Premier and earlier models is that the Power Plant Premier does not output balanced power. When I questioned Paul about this, he emailed the following unedited explanation:

“The only advantage of delivering balanced power is the potential noise reduction you get in the equipment being driven - but in a sense, that's a bit misleading. Let me explain.

“When you send a balanced AC signal, the incoming transformer is driven in balanced mode. What this allows is for common mode rejection of up to 10dB of any noise on the power cable between the Power Plant and the unit being driven. While this sounds good, the truth is if you use a shielded power cable - there isn't any noise to be lowered and the balanced power is then useless.

“Many people mistakenly think that balanced power lowers noise in the system (it does not), lowers noise in the unit being driven (it does not), and lowers noise in the Power Plant (it does not). All it can do is lower any noises in the power cable between the PPP and the unit being driven.

“Since balanced power isn't really that effective at lowering noise, we found it advantageous to eliminate it in favor of efficiency. One of the reasons the new PPP is 85% efficient - relative to the 48% efficiency of the older Power Plants - is the use of single ended power rather than balanced. Considering the major benefits of driving your whole system with perfected power vs. just some of the system - or, in some cases - having a much more powerful lower impedance Power Plant like the Premier - sonically it makes all the difference in the world.

“So summing up - we traded balanced power for efficiency knowing that the only downside is that one has to use a decent well shielded power cable to feed their equipment. Since you should be doing that anyway, there's really no downside at all.”