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PS Audio Power Plant Premier Ongoing Review Thread!!! - Page 6

post #151 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I am saying it does not lead to catastropic failure of the amp, because there is no record of a single power amp failing as a result of being used in conjunctions with a PS audio regenerator.

Maybe amps used with generators used in this mode have reduced MTBF, unbeknowst to their owners, which would lend some support to your argument. To prove this you would need a large sample of the same amps, run some with and some without the regenerator with the same load, and see if a statstically significant number of the ones connected to the regenerator fails first. Not an expirement I am looking forward to doing.

You're missing the point. Why not just run the amp on the power that it was designed to be fed with? Why force it to run on a power source that is out of standard specifications.

As I said before if the PPP outputs a clean 60hz sine wave than that's good, even better than running it on raw wall power. It's when we get into this "multiwave" crap where the risk problems is greatly heightened.
post #152 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

You're missing the point. Why not just run the amp on the power that it was designed to be fed with? Why force it to run on a power source that is out of standard specifications.

As I said before if the PPP outputs a clean 60hz sine wave than that's good, even better than running it on raw wall power. It's when we get into this "multiwave" crap where the risk problems is greatly heightened.

To be honest, I never used the multiwave mode, so I cannot say. But I presume some folks like its impact on sound quality otherwise it would be a useless gimmick. Interestingly, I have not come across any discussion about the merits of multi wave versus sinwave on the PS audio forum. May be there are no blown amps reported because no one is using multiwave.
post #153 of 177
I wasn't using the multiwave on mine but my PPP went out and took a power amp with it. The amp was fixed under warranty. They replaced the standby transformer. The PPP is still in my garage (haven't thrown it out yet) and I can plug it in and watch the display read all kinds of crazy voltages until it starts smoking.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20526667
post #154 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post
..Interestingly, I have not come across any discussion about the merits of multi wave versus sinwave on the PS audio forum. May be there are no blown amps reported because no one is using multiwave.
For those who follow the PSA forums MW does get mentioned from time to time...
http://www.psaudio.com/ps/forum/viewthread/2442/#20696
post #155 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post
...The PPP is still in my garage (haven't thrown it out yet) and I can plug it in and watch the display read all kinds of crazy voltages until it starts smoking.
My PPP's never blew anything else up, they only blew themselves up with no collateral damage fortunately. PPP is a discontinued model now, P5 and P10 are now all the rage, although some have been problematic to a few.
post #156 of 177
Quote:
Just discovered that MultiWave does increase the power of an amplifier and possibly the analog section of a disc player. I ran out of headroom with my passive preamp when playing SACD. These recordings require considerable more gain than CD and my volume control was at max. for orchestral music. With MultiWave, I was able to reduce volume setting by about 30% for the same loudness. That’s quite remarkable !

No, its not remarkable at all to an EE. Most any demostration of higher physics seem remarkable to non scientific trained people! In this case it's simply shoving more peak AC line voltage into the amplifier than it was designed to operate with! I can accomplish the same thing by putting a Variac in front of the amplifier and running it on 140 volts. But Multiwave will still read a proper 120volts if measured by a simple volt meter yet is just as damaging. Again without a background in calculus and electrical engineering, few understand this and that's just what PS Audio banks on.

As for the SACD player, if it has a switch mode power supply the Multimode power source will do no harm. It will also have no positive effect either. If it has a linear regulated power supply, very likely in a high end SACD player, Multimode will increase the dissipation of the regulator circuit - more life robbing heat. As the voltage DC output is regulated, again no audible effect.

Quote:
MultiWave will give you more energy, for sure. The extended charging time of the waveform is helpful to increasing the total energy available to an amp. - Paul McGowan
He even admits it!

PS audio is making a name for themselves buy slowly destroying your fine equipment!
post #157 of 177
WRT the multiwave issue, I don't think the PPP adds enough 3rd harmonic distortion to pose a danger to audio equipment. In fact, that was my main criticism of it, that it doesn't do much. I think what it does is add just 3% distortion or less (maybe it is 1.5%, can't remember, this was actually measured in the review by Martin Collums, who hated the feature). It does seem kind of pointless to start with a typical AC line with 3% harmonic distortion, reduce the distortion back to 0.3%, then boost it back up to 3%. But if, say, you have gotten used to the higher voltage on your B+ rails due to line distortion, the PPP could reduce the voltage leaving you with worse sound, so multiwave brings back the higher voltage that you had gotten used to.

Also, distortion is more complex than a single number. The actual line distortion may include 5th harmonic, 7th harmonic, etc. Very high harmonics are more likely to get past the transformer in a linear power supply. So you have replaced a mishmash of harmonics with pure 3rd. Is that better than no distortion? Well I'm glad to have the choice, and actually I'd also like to vary the amount of distortion up to the 10% that we've heard here as being safe, or perhaps up to 6% just to be sure it's safe. And also lower.

I would agree in some sense the distortion reducing thing sounds overrated, but reducing noise is important, eliminating fluctuations and transients is important, and especially improving line regulation is important. All of PS Audio's regenerators do all these things within their limits. As has been said, the benefit of these changes may not be very important for switching power supplies, but most of the better audio equipment has linear supplies, and most audio power amplifiers have linear power supplies with unregulated HV rails, where the improvement could be noticeable.

I've done a lot of audio measuring, and I've tended to notice a lot of equipment has noticeable noise at 60Hz and harmonics way up. I'm talking about very nice equipment too. Now it's possible most of this is still inadequate power supply design, but it's also possible some of this is getting past the power supply from the line itself, and a clean power line would help.

My audio blog is at
http://audioinvestigations.blogspot.com
post #158 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesp210 View Post

WRT the multiwave issue, I don't think the PPP adds enough 3rd harmonic distortion to pose a danger to audio equipment. In fact, that was my main criticism of it, that it doesn't do much. I think what it does is add just 3% distortion or less (maybe it is 1.5%, can't remember, this was actually measured in the review by Martin Collums, who hated the feature). It does seem kind of pointless to start with a typical AC line with 3% harmonic distortion, reduce the distortion back to 0.3%, then boost it back up to 3%. But if, say, you have gotten used to the higher voltage on your B+ rails due to line distortion, the PPP could reduce the voltage leaving you with worse sound, so multiwave brings back the higher voltage that you had gotten used to.

Also, distortion is more complex than a single number. The actual line distortion may include 5th harmonic, 7th harmonic, etc. Very high harmonics are more likely to get past the transformer in a linear power supply. So you have replaced a mishmash of harmonics with pure 3rd. Is that better than no distortion? Well I'm glad to have the choice, and actually I'd also like to vary the amount of distortion up to the 10% that we've heard here as being safe, or perhaps up to 6% just to be sure it's safe. And also lower.

I would agree in some sense the distortion reducing thing sounds overrated, but reducing noise is important, eliminating fluctuations and transients is important, and especially improving line regulation is important. All of PS Audio's regenerators do all these things within their limits. As has been said, the benefit of these changes may not be very important for switching power supplies, but most of the better audio equipment has linear supplies, and most audio power amplifiers have linear power supplies with unregulated HV rails, where the improvement could be noticeable.

I've done a lot of audio measuring, and I've tended to notice a lot of equipment has noticeable noise at 60Hz and harmonics way up. I'm talking about very nice equipment too. Now it's possible most of this is still inadequate power supply design, but it's also possible some of this is getting past the power supply from the line itself, and a clean power line would help.

My audio blog is at
http://audioinvestigations.blogspot.com

The problem you are mentioning about 5th Harmonic and 7th Harmonic when measured on an analyzer is very low when compared to 2nd order and triple beat distortions. These are bigger cuplrits that are audible to our ear.

Also when you measure the 5th and 7th order distortions and set amplituted and span they dissipate rather quickly in regard to where they start in spectrum and end, making them null in my opinion.

Rob
post #159 of 177
Bear in mind we're talking about the harmonics of 60Hz AC power (or 50Hz, if you live outside USA), and not the general distortion produced by an amplifier. Usually the higher harmonics are lower in level, but more fluctuating, and since they are closer to 1000Hz where the ear is most sensitive, and since possibly (I think, not sure how true this is) they can get past the filtering in a linear power supply more readily (because of various non-intended inductive and capacitive coupling) they may be more relevant.

Actually I re-checked the Collums review, and he did not actually specify how much AC powerline distortion is in the Premier multiwave output. But he showed a picture of it, and it actually looks far less distorted than a typical AC line with 3% distortion, you can hardly tell it's not pure sine. If you want to see a review with lots and lots of pictures of Premier AC output performance, look at this.

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...-Plant-Premier

Appearances can be deceiving. Even though multiwave looks like almost perfect sine, if you scroll way down in the above you can see an FFT of Premier output with multiwave turned on. According to the FFT, it's producing about double the regular line 3rd harmonic distortion, or about 6%. That's probably about as much as you would want to do, as I argued previously, but still staying below the safety design limit of 10% (plus, of course, since the total AC voltage is regulated, there's additional safety margin from that).

The main "advantage" of adding 3rd harmonic to AC power is not that you hear the distortion (3rd harmonic is very well filtered out by most linear power supplies) but that it raises the voltage of the power supply capacitors since they can charge more of the time. That is why you would not want to exceed 10% distortion on the AC line, that could damage a power supply. But adding only 6% distortion to a regulated AC voltage sounds safe, but is about as high as you would want to safely go. Most AC power has about 3-4% THD. My lines are actually around 2% because I have the the street utility transformer in my backyard.
post #160 of 177
I still don't see the need or benefit to "red line" your amplifier. If you don't have enough power for transients, then buy a more powerful amplifier. Forcing the power supply to output more DC voltage buy screwing around with the RMS value of the AC line voltage is a hack!
post #161 of 177
PSA makes something called the Noise Harvester. The spiel goes that you plug them into unused outlets where they suck up sundry harmonics that PSA says is detrimental to one's musical experience. To illustrate the presence of noise, there was a light that blinked. The faster it blinked, the more noise. Add enough harvesters and the lights stopped blinking - audio nirvana. IIRC, PSA did not recommend their use on the outlets of their Power Plants. That didn't stop some folks who in their own minds wanted the ultimate in clean power. What they found though was that the Harvesters blinked like a SOB.
post #162 of 177
I have used the Power Director for years and am happy with it. Would i see a difference with my JVC projector image using the new P5 or P 10?
Thanks
G
post #163 of 177
WOW I cant believe this is still going on. Suckers and money are easy to come by for PSA I guess even in 2011.
post #164 of 177
I just installed a "used" PPP and it is not my imagination that numerous clicks from my amp and pixelizations from my cable box have stopped. So on that basis alone I feel like my PPP is money well spent!
post #165 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by discodol View Post

I just installed a "used" PPP and it is not my imagination that numerous clicks from my amp and pixelizations from my cable box have stopped. So on that basis alone I feel like my PPP is money well spent!

To this date, inserting an $1100 B-stock PPP for my low current components has been my highest SQ improvement per $$$ spend ever. It has since been replaced with two P5's but these things really work.
post #166 of 177
I have a dedicated 20A circuit for my theater and am considering purchasing a P5. My only concern is can I run both of my power amps through the "high current" section of the P5 without risk of overload?

I have an Emotiva XPA-2 & XPA-5. The manual from Emo says that their amps are designed to run on a standard 15A circuit.

Any advice would be appreciated along with a PM on where the best place to purchase a P5 at a good price.

Chris S. - NJ
post #167 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAMHRC View Post

I have a dedicated 20A circuit for my theater and am considering purchasing a P5. My only concern is can I run both of my power amps through the "high current" section of the P5 without risk of overload?

I have an Emotiva XPA-2 & XPA-5. The manual from Emo says that their amps are designed to run on a standard 15A circuit.

Any advice would be appreciated along with a PM on where the best place to purchase a P5 at a good price.

Chris S. - NJ

You can get referrals from PS Audio for a pretty good discount through various dealers-the details vary from one dealer to the next (trade in). Even the P3, which is shippig this week has a discount program.

Now, anyone care to post on experience with the P3, P5 or P10-still have it in your system, etc, etc.?

Thank you very much

Fury
post #168 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srgtfury View Post

You can get referrals from PS Audio for a pretty good discount through various dealers-the details vary from one dealer to the next (trade in). Even the P3, which is shippig this week has a discount program.

Now, anyone care to post on experience with the P3, P5 or P10-still have it in your system, etc, etc.?

Thank you very much

Fury

I owned powerplant premier and now 2 x P5. Have not done and A/B between the 2. All I can say they work extremely well.
post #169 of 177
Hello all - I found this thread as a result of a search to find information about clicking noises from the P10 power unit. I am interested to see that at least one other poster has experienced this.

I've had the P10 for nearly a year now. I bought it simply as it was one of the recommended solutions for a marked inconsistency in sound quality of my system since I moved from the UK to the Czech Republic in late 2010. I've had pretty much the same system for the last 10 years but didn't experience much fluctuation in sound quality when I lived in the UK. We all know that a number of external factors can influence how the system sounds to us - e.g. mood and the amount of booze consumed (!) - but this was something more. Most noticeable was that after 11pm the system often sounded as if I'd upgraded it.

To my ears the P10 has done the job. Since installing it I get far more consistent sound, at the level (at least) of the better listening experiences I was having before. I've had the P10 long enough now to know that it doesn't sound better just because I expected or wanted it to - so problem solved. I would certainly recommend this item to those with cash to spare - with one small reservation.

For an hour or so after powering the system up, there are occasional clicks from the P10 and they are quite loud. They become less frequent as time goes on. Whether this is because the unit needs time to stabilise, or it has to work less hard due to cleaner electricity later in the day, I can't say. I can't leave my amplification switched on all the time as this would cost a fortune in valves, so the cycle repeats itself at the next switch-on.

I know I'm not overloading the unit, and there are no failures or cut-outs. I contacted PS Audio and received a very helpful reply, the most important bit being "This click that you are hearing is most likely the result of the regenerator responding to some transient noise on your mains. This transient noise can be introduced by other electronics in your home, such as a refrigerator or air conditioning unit."

So nothing to worry about, and the clicks are a small price to pay for the improvement in sound. It does seem a shame, though, that when designing an item of this quality, the manufacturer couldn't have found a way to make the internal switches operate quietly!
post #170 of 177
...So nothing to worry about, and the clicks are a small price to pay for the improvement in sound...

So, you install the unit to clean up the audio and the clean-up unit itself starts emitting sounds that are more obnoxious than what it is purporting to be fixing! You gotta love the manufacturer's response! Anyway, from your description, it sounds like relay clicking, but without a schematic/circuit description, your guess is as good as mine as to what/why it is happening.
post #171 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastl View Post

...So nothing to worry about, and the clicks are a small price to pay for the improvement in sound...
So, you install the unit to clean up the audio and the clean-up unit itself starts emitting sounds that are more obnoxious than what it is purporting to be fixing! You gotta love the manufacturer's response! Anyway, from your description, it sounds like relay clicking, but without a schematic/circuit description, your guess is as good as mine as to what/why it is happening.

Thanks for the reply. The clicks are quite annoying certainly, but it's hardly a worse situation than I had before! As you'll know, even a small drop in sound quality of a high-end system is very noticeable. The variations I was getting were in the openness of the sound stage and space round instruments, and also the vibrancy and naturalness of those instruments - in other words, from slightly dull and opaque to the sort of musical realism which makes high-end stuff worth the money. It meant I didn't enjoy even the good bits as much as I should have because at the back of my mind there was always the question of "Why can't it always sound like this?" The P10 has eliminated this and now I get the consistently transparent and lifelike sound that I enjoyed before moving out of the UK. So yes, a few clicks here and there are indeed a small price to pay - especially as they become very infrequent or stop altogether after the first hour or two. My valve power amp is old and takes about the same time to warm up so I'm not listening that closely immediately after switching on, anyway.

I'd say that there's no point in installing the P10 if you're already getting clean electricity and therefore consistent sound. It's not a tweak or an upgrade like a new interconnect or (obviously) a new piece of equipment. It's a solution to a problem and if that problem doesn't exist, you don't need it. In my case I did need it (or something like it) and I'm pleased with the results, the minor annoyance of the occasional click apart.

I still think it must be possible to design switches which operate quietly, though. If I were a real cynic I'd wonder if this is deliberate in order to convince sceptics that the unit is actually doing something! We've all come across computer security programs that constantly throw up annoying messages telling you how hard they're working even when there's nothing you need to know about. Is this something similar? I think not, but this is certainly one area for improvement that PS Audio would be wise to consider.
Edited by neilprague - 8/3/12 at 12:07am
post #172 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastl View Post

...So nothing to worry about, and the clicks are a small price to pay for the improvement in sound...
So, you install the unit to clean up the audio and the clean-up unit itself starts emitting sounds that are more obnoxious than what it is purporting to be fixing! You gotta love the manufacturer's response! Anyway, from your description, it sounds like relay clicking, but without a schematic/circuit description, your guess is as good as mine as to what/why it is happening.

PS and Paul wouldnt dare give a schematic like a real manufacture would.
post #173 of 177
Thread Starter 
I've owned each generation of power plants and I've NEVER had a click or even snort! No complaints here! Two P5s have been in my system for almost 1.5 years now.
post #174 of 177
Maybe it's making "clinking", not "clicking" sounds, sort of like the catalytic converter does in my car when I shut it off. Could be a thermal (heating-up) issue.
post #175 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastl View Post

Maybe it's making "clinking", not "clicking" sounds, sort of like the catalytic converter does in my car when I shut it off. Could be a thermal (heating-up) issue.

I'm inclined to agree. This would certainly fit in with the clicks stopping after a while, and the sounds are very similar to the noises my oven makes when it's warming up. I hope it is the right explanation as I find the occasional warm-up noise far more acceptable than electrical noises, though that's obviously a personal preference that's hard to explain. A few years ago I had a set of valves in my power amp which sometimes made a faint "singing" noise as they warmed up, but sonically they were the best I ever had so I didn't mind at all.

The thermal expansion theory is at odds with the manufacturer's explanation, but it's the one I'd rather go for. Thanks!
post #176 of 177
If it's not thermal, then I don't know what electrically would be generating noises like that, other than clicking relays or high voltage dielectric breakdown. I suppose magnetostriction in the power magnetic devices could be generating various mechanical vibrations. You remember Apple computer and their "chirping" power supplies about 10 years back?
post #177 of 177
I don’t know if anyone is still following this thread, but just in case somebody turns up here looking for user feedback about the P10 mains regenerator, here is an update on my previous comments about it. Warning in advance: I do go on a bit!

My experience is that the P10 does an excellent job in respect to its primary function. It clears up mains distortion so that the sound quality I get from my system is no longer at the mercy of the Prague Electricity Board. Before that, since moving here from the UK, my listening experiences could be described as either “I know it can sound better than this” or “Why can’t it always sound like this?” Installing the P10 solved the problem so I should be recommending it without reservation. BUT…

After I’d got over the initial excitement of improved sound quality I started to notice that the P10 produces random clicking noises, most noticeably in the first two hours of listening. This started to bug me, and after finding the same issue mentioned on this thread I contributed my pennyworth. In response to one of my posts, Fastl wrote: "So, you install the unit to clean up the audio and the clean-up unit itself starts emitting sounds that are more obnoxious than what it is purporting to be fixing!" Now I think that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration but in recent weeks I have been coming round to his view more and more.

No domestic residence is entirely without noises of course, but I find clicks and clunks from the fridge or the boiler coming on far less irritating than those from an item costing northwards of £4000 which I've introduced to my system to improve sound quality. Since I last posted, I have determined that these noises definitely come from a switch or relay inside the unit – i.e. they are not due to thermal expansion when it gets warm.

I have pestered PS Audio and in fairness the techie I’ve corresponded with has gone to a lot of trouble to get to the root of the problem. The most helpful move was to send me an updated version of the unit’s firmware and the good news is that since I installed it the frequency of the clicks has reduced considerably. I now get one or two some 30 minutes after starting to use the system and maybe a couple more afterwards at most, and that’s a heck of a lot better than before. I realise I’m tempting Fate by writing this, of course!

I don’t think I’m being over-picky in highlighting the problem. As I’ve said, these things don’t come cheap, and it’s clear from what I’ve read on here that a lot of people are sceptical about whether mains regenerators actually work at all. “It may improve your sound but it also makes a few irritating noises” is hardly a good advert for a non-essential hi-fi item that costs as much as a decent second-hand car, and all of this could have been avoided if the manufacturer had gone the extra mile and used switches which operate more quietly. That must be technologically possible these days.

So bottom line: in my view the P10 is worth it for high-end users who are suffering from variable audio quality due to inconsistent power supply, but the product is not perfect in that it doesn’t operate entirely unobtrusively. I’ll shut up now, unless I get any replies that need following up. I hope all this will be of use to someone!
Edited by neilprague - 9/27/12 at 12:31pm
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