PS Audio Power Plant Premier
Power. Not something we think about often, unless we don’t have it – regulated AC to run our coffee grinders, toothbrushes, TVs and tablets. Fortunately, most of us don’t need to consider the quality of that power either. Of course, audio enthusiasts are a different breed. Everything matters when it comes to music reproduction.
We’ve all read plenty about how clean AC can elevate the output of your hifi. Of course, it doesn’t come cheap, so most of us in the budget audio world don’t go beyond basic power conditioners and perhaps a boutique wall receptacle or two.
During my daily scan of Audiogon.com, I found a near decade old PS Audio Power Plant Premier (PPP) for sale. Up to now, I’d considered true power management outside my reach. The price for entry into the current line of power regenerators from PS Audio is US$2499. That’s more than any one of my components cost, so it just didn’t make sense. That said, I have experienced how power affects the sound of our systems, and continue to look for opportunities to get most out of my audio gear.
I was able to grab the PPP at a huge discount, so now here we are. The system looks like this: Clearaudio Concept, Parks Audio Budgie, a dedicated Win10 machine for digital source, Schiit Yggdrasil, ampsandsound Mogwai and Bottlehead S.Ex. amps into Tekton Design Lore and Audioquest Nighthawks, respectively. All electronics now protected and powered by the PPP.
The bright blue display will, depending on the selected mode, provide details on the input and output voltage, the difference between the two, the total harmonic distortion on the input, as well as on the regenerated output. I also have a Cullen power receptacle installed, which is filtering some of the noise out of the line. My unit consistently displays 2% THD on the input and .4% THD on the output.
The sonic benefits are not subtle. The music sounds more natural, less electronic. The noise floor dropped, allowing more nuance and detail to shine through. Bass is better defined. Overall a more enjoyable and engaging listen.
I highly recommend investing in a power management component of some kind. Protecting your lovely components is perhaps most important, but there’s also the opportunity to hear the potential held within your system.