PS Audio Power Delivery/Conditioning Equipment

Power to the People

A major benefit of the Duet is that it can deliver large amounts of current without restriction. For example, the Playback A/V lab uses a very powerful (and power hungry) Anthem Statement P5 multichannel amplifier designed to be fed by two wall circuits.

Accordingly, we use separate wall circuits, each feeding a Duet Power Center, to supply power for the Anthem amp—with excellent results.

For many home theater/music system owners, either the Duet or its bigger brother, the Quintet, will offer the best value for money of any of the PS Audio power conditioning products.

PS Audio Quintet Power Center ($495)

What it is: The Quintet is essentially a ten-receptacle, five-zone version of the Duet, but with added features including two 12V triggers, two coaxial (cable TV or antenna) protection ports, one phone line protection port, and power-on delay switches that control three of the Quintet’s five IsoZones (the delay options include Always On, Switched On, or Delayed On).

Benefits: Same as for the Duet, but with coax and phone line protection, 12V control switching, and power-on delay functions. In terms of flexibility and visible/audible benefits, the Quintet is perhaps the best bargain I’ve ever encountered in the world of power conditioning products (you can spend more, but few products actually do more than the Quintet).

PS Audio Power Plant Premier ($2,195)

What it is: More than a conventional power conditioner (though it is that, too), the Power Plant Premier is a groundbreaking product that not only prevents damage from spike and surges while filtering out noise, but actually re-generates AC power in a hyper-pure form. The Power Plant Premier offers all of the core features and functions of the Quintet Power Center while adding the following:

  • True dynamic voltage regulation: The Power Plant Premier can maintain continuous 120V output even when input voltages from the wall fluctuate, and even when components impose significant short-term voltage demands.
  • Low-distortion AC waveforms: Inbound AC waveforms are supposed to be pure, smooth sine waves, though in reality waveforms are often distorted (because the rounded tips of the waves get flattened out). But whether inbound AC waveforms are distorted or not, the Power Plant Premier regenerates new AC waves with low (<.5% THD) total harmonic distortion.
  • Proprietary “MultiWave” function: A switch on the Power Plant Premier lets owners invoke a special “MultiWave” function said to provide even better power supply charging than pure sine wave—at least for some components.
  • Proprietary “CleanWave” function: The two-mode CleanWave function, which takes 5 - 60 seconds to run, acts like a “degaussing”switch for your entire system.
  • Switch selectable power monitoring features display: input voltage, input distortion, output voltage, output distortion, and voltage difference between the AC input and the Power Plant Premier’s outputs (which are typically set for an exact 120V).

In short, the Power Plant Premier does everything the Duet/Quintet conditioners do and much more, with even greater visual and sonic benefits.

Practical benefits: Putting a Power Plant Premier in your system is like using a Quintet Power Center “on steroids,” in that whatever was quiet and pure before becomes even quieter and purer with the Premier in play. TVs, even ones that looked quite good beforehand, deliver noticeably better picture quality, with onscreen images that look cleaner, richer and have more visual “snap.” Audio components, even ones that sounded quite refined beforehand, deliver low-level textural and transient details with greater clarity and purity than before. Two particular sonic benefits of the Premier are more expressive dynamic contrasts in music and soundtracks, plus noticeably more powerful and better-controlled bass.

Caveat: The Power Plant Premier’s maximum power output is 1,500 watts as compared to 1,750 watts for the Duet/Quintet conditioners. In most systems this won’t matter at all, but for use with some very highpowered amps it means a Duet or Quintet would be the better choice.

Is the Power Plant Premier a good deal? In one sense it certainly is, since it does some good things no other conditioner can do, and it is undeniably a better performer than the already excellent Quintet.

On the other hand, the Premier costs more than four times as much as a Quintet ($1,700 more) without providing a proportionately large jump in observed performance. My thought: high-enders pursuing true top-tier performance will find the Premier a revelation that is worth what it costs and then some. Budget-minded enthusiasts, however, might find it more cost effective to buy the less costly Quintet and to spend the difference upgrading other system components.

Comments

audiofan845 (not verified) -- Mon, 01/26/2009 - 12:32

I used to be a big PS Audio fan and owned a a PS 300 for the better part of 8 years, without a hickup. I also own a large number of their power cords and I feel they represent good value. In search of an upgrade and reduce my electricity bill, I recently ordered a factory refurbished PS Premier Power  conditioner.
Upon opening the box, I was disappointed of the quality, as it looked more like a used unit and I realized that now their equipment is made in China. Even the instruction manual looked used. Plugging my audio equipment into it improved my mood decidedly, but lasted less than a day when it broke. I contacted Audio Advisor, told them I was really disappointed of the refurbished quality and paid the extra money to get a brand new one. To their credit, they were very courteous about it. A few days later I received the new one. 2 days later, it looked like the plug coming from the wall sagged a little in the rear socket of the PS. I tried to re-seat it a little and with a big bang and a spark the PS bid itself goodbye for good. 
At this point I've had enough and returned it to AA for a refund. I mentioned this to a friend who is a high-end retailer in Florida, also representing PS Audio. His response; "Why do you think we don't have any of their power conditioners in the store?" Apparently the unreliability of their equipment is well known and there is tons of their stuff on the used market.
In the "good old days", magazines with high standards used to report on these issues, especially when Harry was still in charge at TAS. Now, companies are handed advertising trophies in the form of Product of the Year, with zero mention of these issues. I feel very disappointed that apparently even old stars of the industry, like Stereophile and TAS, have joined the ranks of magazines who recommend products based on how much free stuff is given to reviewers and their advertising budget.
It's very sad to come to this realization.
Peter in NY

Samuel Jones (not verified) -- Tue, 01/27/2009 - 12:21

I find your comments interesting, especially the former ones complaining about a "reconditioned" piece of equipment looking used, with a used manual.  The last time I checked, reconditioned does not mean new.  That aside, I've used PS Audio equipment on and off for over 20 years now.  I had a Power Director 4.7 for 5 years and loved it.  I currently own a Power Plant Premiere and I've had no problems with it (looks great too).  I know PS Audio did have some issues with early contractors at the beginning of their China production, but those problems have been resolved from what I hear.  One thing I can tell you about them, when you have a problem now or years down the road when the unit is out of warranty, they will go out of their way to continue to support it.  I had a Monster Power AVS2000 power conditioner that failed a year out of warranty and Monster would not repair it or provide me with a service manual so I could repair it myself.  Now the AVS2000 is just a really expensive piece of junk.  Think about that for a while.  As for PS Audio, all I can say is "highly recommended".

rossop -- Wed, 01/06/2010 - 18:42

I use two duets in my system. One for digital, the other for analog. I run my 4 power amps from their own line to a PS Audio juice bar.I dont think the power amps need conditioning.I have surge protection at the power board.
I've found them to be good value units.I woldn't care if they were made on Mars as long as they worked.
I had trouble with a PS Audio phono stage once and they replaced it,no worries.
If I could afford something better I would but you would have to spend big bucks to get something  much better.
PS Audio are good value and they treated me very well so for the time being I'll stick with them.
'Factory Refurbished' sounds like second hand to me!

plandau -- Tue, 03/17/2009 - 12:31

 My experience to date is not impressive. First unit simply ceased functioning, 2nd unit dropped output voltage to 87 volts, repaired, it now puts puts out steady 122 volts. All it will run is my signal source equipment and the pre-amp, it will not handle my plasma TV, amplifiers or subwoofers. Would have to own about 6 of these to protect all my equipment. The repair service is beyond reproach, always prompt, but the unit itself is not going to be incorporated into my HT room, have opted for a 60 amp on wall unit from Torus, cheaper than 6 pieces of PS Audio equipment. PL.

Robert Goodell (not verified) -- Mon, 03/23/2009 - 13:27

For the second time my P1000 melted (no exaggeration) the input fuse.  This unit, 100 pounds of sharp metal, is a pain to ship.  PS fixed the first time and offered to do it again for $100--200 plus shipping,  but also offered a $1000 tradein on a Premier.  I said, and am now having buyer's remorse.

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