Here's the full info on the Premier from the PS Audio website, which includes info re the isolated zones. For more specific info you can check the forum at www.psaudio.com
, as Paul McGowan regularly answers questions there and gives some further information provided its not considered too proprietary.
The Power Plant Premier is the world's first and only low distortion, high efficiency AC power regenerator. The device provides regulated, low distortion sine waves from the AC wall socket and can power an entire system.
By generating new AC, the Premier produces up to 1500 watts of regulated AC power at an efficiency of 85% with little to distortion or noise. The Premier has ten outlets, five IsoZones, a built in power sequencer, THD analyzer, voltage meter, MultiWave, CleanWave and a remote control to access all the features.
The Premier is our finest power product ever made and replaces the P300, P500, P600, P1000 and P1200 Power Plants.
The Premier is housed in a scrumptious new chassis whose industrial design is based on the BMW automobile and is the brain child of one of our country's brightest new ID talents, Chris Malato.
Not just another box the Premier marries solid aluminum castings, extrusions, milled blocks and hand crafted parts to form one of the most stunning pieces of industrial art anyone's laid eyes on. You'd be quite proud to display this beauty in your system.
A little history
In 1997, PS Audio introduced the world's first AC regenerator, the P300 Power Plant. The P300 was an instant hit amongst Audiophiles the world over and there are nearly 3000 in the field. The P300 produced up to 300 watts of pure regenerated AC power.
The idea behind the P300 was based on the principal that filtering the AC with a power conditioner was only a Band Aid solution because it did not address the most important problems in AC power delivery: regulating the voltage, high distortion clipped sine waves, multiple harmonics and noise.
No simple series or parallel filter can correct these problems. In order to produce perfect sine waves, regardless of the quality of the input AC, it is necessary to add energy back into the sine wave to replace what's missing. That is exactly what the Power Plants do.
Unfortunately, there was a hitch: the technology used in the P300 was not efficient and up to half the energy consumed was wasted in heat and restricted output power. So, while the ground breaking P300 would power most preamps, CD players and turntables, it was not capable of powering power amplifiers, receivers and integrateds.
To solve this problem we introduced larger models that could deliver more power, with the largest being the P1200 Power Plant that weighed in at 150 lbs! The performance of these devices was unquestioned but their inefficiency led to a number of problems and limitations.
To solve these problems we wanted a dream machine that offered everything in a Power Plant with higher efficiency. This turns out to be a rather difficult technological challenge that the engineering team at PS has struggled with for nearly 10 years.
A dream come true
The breakthrough came several years ago when our VP of engineering, Bob Stadtherr, came up with a brainstorm that led to a patent application for a new technology and eventually, the Power Plant Premier. The 50% efficiency of the older Power Plants was upgraded to an astonishing 85% using Bob's new technology.
Suddenly it was possible to build a Power Plant capable of delivering almost as much as the wall has to offer.
Once we had the technology in place we started adding features that our customers had asked for over the years and finally, the Power Plant Premier was born.
The technology To understand how the Premier works and why it is efficient, it's necessary to first understand how the older Power Plants work and why they are not efficient.
The original Power Plant technology was relatively simple: a stereo power amplifier fed 60 Hz from a sine wave generator. The output of the stereo amplifier was connected to the AC input of the connected equipment. Each channel of the stereo amplifier produced ½ the necessary 60Hz sine wave voltage and when you combined the two channels across a load, you got 120 volts (in the US) at 60Hz.
The Power Plants used conventional class AB power amplifiers to drive the power and these types of amplifiers are about 50% efficient, hence the low efficiency of the Power Plant. The reason these amplifiers are inefficient stems from the fact that they require a large power supply voltage, generating heat as the signal travels between the supply voltages extremes.
There are other amplifier topologies that are more efficient, like the Class D amplifiers we use in the G Series, but these produce too much noise to be used as a Power Plant.
In the G Series, this noise doesn't matter because it feeds a loudspeaker which cannot reproduce the 500 kHz noise and is unaffected. But a Power Plant has to be clean; very clean.
Bob's discovery was a way to lower the large power supply voltages so the amp was efficient. To do this, Bob figured out a way to move the entire power supply up and down in lock step with the sine wave generator, so the voltage across the amp is only what is needed, thus increasing the efficiency. In most other respects, the old and the new Power Plants are the same.
Let's take a tour Now that we know how it works, let's see what a Premier has to offer.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is unlimited power. At 1500 watts there's enough power for even the most demanding systems. Whether it's an audio based two channel system or a video based multi-channel home theater, 1500 watts will power pretty much anything you have.
The Premier takes what the wall AC has to offer and converts it into perfect AC. Rebuilding the sine wave into this low distortion waveform is a huge benefit to owner's of the Premier. Most AC power is deformed and flawed out of the wall, with the top of the sine wave missing. The Premier fixes this problem as well as provides instantaneous voltage regulation to connected equipment, regardless of the power demands.
Surge and spike protection are unparalleled in the Premier. Not only does your equipment benefit from the over under voltage control of the Premier, instantaneous non-volatile spike protection, but the voltage regulating capabilities of the Premier keep everything connected to it at a perfect steady voltage regardless of input conditions. Connect a simple, inexpensive computer UPS to the Premier and even in blackouts, the Premier will continue to work perfectly.
Inside is an amazing piece of construction. From the custom built Power Port AC receptacles, to the 1/4 inch thick copper bars that carry the power from the Power Cartridge to each of the receptacles with zero loss, hundreds of hours of design time have gone into the building of this amazing power delivery system.
Isolation from connected equipment. The 5 IsoZones and 10 receptacles on the rear of the Power Plant Premier keep one piece of equipment from contaminating other pieces plugged into the Premier.
The Premier also has a unique feature that allows it to apply more power than it can regenerate for short periods of time. For instance, if you turn on a very large power amplifier, the turn-on power required by the amp can exceed the Premier's regenerating capabilities. No problem, the Premier simply connects directly to the wall AC until the amplifier has powered up, then reverts back to regenerated power.
Front panel features
The front panel of the new Premier has a number of innovative features and functions not found on any other power product.
MultiWave and CleanWave
Two of the many features unique to Power Plants are their ability to produce different waveforms. Unlike a power conditioner that simply filters, Power Plants can produce perfect sine waves as well as modified sine waves.
MultiWaves were first introduced nearly five years ago. Invented by our good friend and Northrop Grumman engineer, Doug Goldberg, MultiWave revolutionized the AC power conditioning industry. Instead of the classic sine wave, there can be advantages to connected power supplies by changing some of the sine waves parameters.
Of all the MultiWave choices we have lived with over the years, the most consistent winner was MultiWave 1. This waveform, used in every version of MultiWave as well as AutoWave extends the charging time of the sine wave peak so attached power supplies have less ripple. In the Premier, we decided easy-was-better and offered one choice for MultiWave instead of many. To our ears, this is the clear winner.
CleanWave was introduced about a year ago and degausses or cleans attached equipment. It does this by varying the frequency and amplitude of the sine wave in small bubble-like responses. The Premier maintains this feature and CleanWave is available via the remote control as well as MultiWave.
THD in and out
No one has ever dared place a true THD meter on an AC power product, and for good reason; they cannot do anything about the problem. Our power lines are polluted with 3d, 5th, 7th, 9th and higher harmonics as a result of AC sine wave distortion, common in everyone's home. These harmonics generate higher order harmonics as well. By purifying and rebuilding the sine wave, you eliminate these harmonics. The two go hand-in-hand.
Why do you care if the sine wave is distorted or clipped? Simple: clipped sine waves cannot deliver the needed peak power. Once the integrity of the sine wave is restored, then the harmonics are reduced and your equipment performs at its best.
A common power filter, whether series or parallel, cannot lower the harmonic distortion of the AC without reducing its level, because you need to add energy back into the sine wave to fix it properly. Passive power filters can only take away, they cannot add, so the sine wave is always distorted.
Power Plants can and do replace the missing parts of the sine wave to produce a low distortion output, low impedance output even under extreme loads.
The front panel of the Power Plant can read both incoming and outgoing harmonic distortion, known as THD. You won't find this on any other product in the world, and as we said, for good reason.
Voltage in and out
The Premier's front panel also allows you to measure both incoming and outgoing voltage, or you can monitor the difference between the two. If the line voltage is 110 volts, for example, the Power Plant will show an output voltage of 120 and a difference of +10. The +10 is what the Power Plant is adding to the output to keep the voltage steady.
While several of our competitors make long term regulators that either correct these voltage differences slowly (like the AVS 2000) or in jumpy steps like those found on a UPS or transformer based units, they cannot react quickly when the voltage changes are due to power amps and projector demands under real world conditions. The Power Plant can.
Perhaps the one consistent customer request we've had over the years is for a remote control to activate the different functions and display options. The new Premier has an included remote control that can change the display brightness, choose THD or voltage, select MultiWave or sine wave, or activate the CleanWave function.
Rack ears included
Many of our customers have asked for an easy rack mount solution for the Power Plant and Quintessence Power Center. Each of these products is two rack high (3.5 inch) and comes with rack ears you can choose to add or keep off the front.
Rear panel features
The rear panel of the Power Plant Premier is where the rubber meets the road. On the rear panel there are 10 AC receptacles, 5 IsoZones, a power sequencer, circuit breaker, CATV connectors and telephone in and out.
IsoZones are one of the new technologies we're introducing with the new power line that includes the Premier Power Plant, Quintessence, Quintet and Duet Power Centers. An IsoZone is a separate differential mode filter, fed by a common mode Nano Crystalline filter.
Each of the 5 IsoZones on the rear of the Premier Power Plant separates equipment noise. All electronic equipment generates AC line noise, some more than others. When you plug a digital device in the same receptacle as an analog device, the noise of one can interfere and contaminate the performance of the other. To solve this problem, you need effective isolation between equipment.
The challenge is to build a filter that is effective at isolating noise while at the same time, non-intrusive. It's not difficult to build a filter that has remarkable performance in terms of noise reduction. It is extremely difficult to build such a filter without using a lot of wire and components that restrict the power delivery of the filter. The IsoZones use very short pieces of heavy gauge wire, wrapped around small high permeability magnetics to achieve both these design objectives.
To further enhance their performance, each IsoZone is fed from a common mode filter made of pure Nano Crystalline, a remarkable new space age material that has the highest permeability of any magnetic material currently available. Together, the two filters form an isolation and cleaning network that is both non-intrusive and an excellent performer.
The new Premier has the capability to drive an entire system and it is therefore essential that connected equipment be turned on in the proper order. Preamps, surround processors and sources of all kinds need to be turned on first, while power amplifiers, integrateds and receivers should be turned on last.
In some cases, like that of a Tivo, hard drive music based systems or control setups, it is important to never lose power. The Premier's rear panel power sequencer allows you to select any of the three available power zones and choose always on, switched on, delayed on. With these choices, you can setup your system to automatically leave power on, turn it on or off via the front panel power button (or the remote), and delay the turn on sequence until the source equipment has been activated.
12 volt trigger
The Power Plant also features two 12 volt triggers. These triggers are easy to use and will turn on or off the P3 (Power Plant Premier) power sequencer. Apply 12 volts at either trigger input and the P3 will sequence on the connected equipment. Remove the 12 volts and the P3 will turn off the connected equipment. !2 volt triggers are commonly found on surround processors, receivers, automation equipment and some preamplifiers.
Power Cartridge surge and control
One of the more interesting and novel features of the Premier, as well as all products in the new power line is the Power Cartridge AC input module. Invented by PS Engineering, the Power Cartridge contains the surge and spike protection, circuit breaker, over/under voltage control and the first stage of common mode filtering.
The unique cartridge is the heart of our new series and can be replaced in the field should a problem ever occur. For instance, if the home is struck by lightning or a surge or spike big enough to damage the cartridge, it easily slides out and can be replaced by the dealer.
CATV, telephone For those owners of complete AV systems that have connected video and telephone, the rear panel supports two sets of antenna, cable TV, satellite or anything using a CATV connector or two sets of telephones. Anything plugged into these in/out connectors will be protected from high voltage spikes that can come through these outside world connections.