How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?

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mus1love

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How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« on: 28 Nov 2020, 08:04 pm »
Hi, my fellow audiophiles! Just reintroducing myself.
I'm a pro classical musician, cellist, currently retired, but still keep my passion for music and HIFI audio.
I'm really interested to know how having Power Regenerator affects the sound of the audiophile level 2-channel stereo gear.
Please, express your experienced opinion.
Also, what brands succeeded the most in manufacturing those? And where to find the refurbished ones, because I was told they tend to be really expensive.
Would appreciate your approval and response.
Thank you.
Kind regards,
mus1love

FullRangeMan

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #1 on: 28 Nov 2020, 10:33 pm »
Hi, Starting Block is really for people to introduce themselves. This question/thread is best posted in Power Conditioning Circle, so I'll move it there for you now

toocool4

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #2 on: 28 Nov 2020, 11:12 pm »
I think it all depends on if your incoming power is less than perfect.
Where I use to live, I had issues with the power supply. Problems from noise to voltage going from 225V to about 239V I think.

Adding a power regenerator meant I could set the output voltage to 240V no matter what was coming in.
The first thing I notice was much deeper / lower bass notes went, the systems noise floor was lowered too which allowed me to hear more of what was going on in the music.

There are many good ones out there and like you said they are not cheap.
I actually use a high-end regenerative UPS, not only does it take the incoming AC then turn it into DC then regenerates it back into perfect sine wave AC it can also power my system for about 1.5 hours should the power fail.
It’s been a while but I think I paid about £1500, which is a lot cheaper than the audiophile equivalent which would be Stromtank.

P.S. I just found what I wrote about it when I first got it here https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=152774.0

RDavidson

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #3 on: 28 Nov 2020, 11:52 pm »
I agree that it largely depends on the quality and consistency of your power. If you live in a heavily populated area, power regeneration can help significantly. Where I live I didn't find that power regeneration was worthwhile. Yes, the noise floor improved, which helped detail come through more easily. In fact, overall ease is what I felt was the biggest improvement. With that said, in my case it just wasn't enough to justify the expense. I'm very glad I tried it, though. Without trying it I would've always wondered what it would do for me. So this is my advice : Give it a try if you can afford to do so. I think in some cases the improvement can be profound especially in a system that is already well sorted and/or perhaps if you live in an area with "dirty"  inconsistent power.

Speedskater

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #4 on: 29 Nov 2020, 02:00 pm »
AC power regeneration may have 3 problems:
1] source of noise/interference
2] may be current limited with big power amp's peak current demands
3] may not by happy with big amps that have a SMPS (power supply)

JLM

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #5 on: 29 Nov 2020, 02:47 pm »
Agree that it's simply a function of how free your power is of "power aberrations" (the technical term for dirty power). 

Roughly 20 years ago a friend brought over a well respected power regenerator to my then house.  The house was 50 year suburban house that had gone through several owners and many electrical changes, but maintained the 60 amp service with fuses.  The friend was disappointed that the regenerator made almost no difference. 

About 18 years ago attended the first DecFest that Steve hosted.  Steve Deckert's place is located in an older light industrial park.  After 11PM I noticed the sound "cleaned up" (less grunge) apparently the neighboring businesses shut down for the weekend.  No power conditioning being used.  Might explain why some prefer late night listening.

Keys for "clean" power are internal and external to your home.  Old appliances, iffy wiring, overloaded service, weirdly configured wiring in old apartment buildings, crummy power lines, and substations serving older industries in poor condition can all be factors. 

Folsom

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #6 on: 29 Nov 2020, 05:40 pm »
AC power regeneration may have 3 problems:
1] source of noise/interference
2] may be current limited with big power amp's peak current demands
3] may not by happy with big amps that have a SMPS (power supply)

Oh really?

How about the fact that the PS Audio regenerator's sound changes in huge unmistakable ways by swapping the power cord going into it? That alone is enough for me to take pause and wonder what the point is unless you have bad unstable power. 

Husinger

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #7 on: 29 Nov 2020, 07:04 pm »
In response to the original question - I tried a small (100 watt maximum) Monarchy AC regenerator just this week in the digital part of my system. I already had it in the  analogue part of my system supplying 230 volt power to my turntable. It's dual voltage so I decided to do an experiment. I started by using it to supply 110 volt power only to my DAC. I liked the improvement in sound quality so I started using it to supply power to both my music server/streamer and my DAC. I also liked that improvement in sound quality. The Monarchy might not be considered a very high end product compared to some other brands and/or more recent designs. Like some other regenerators - it has a cooling fan that periodically comes on for a short time that, while not very loud, is less than ideal in the listening environment. 

Jon L

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #8 on: 29 Nov 2020, 10:13 pm »

How about the fact that the PS Audio regenerator's sound changes in huge unmistakable ways by swapping the power cord going into it?

But why is that surprising?  Don't the internal circuitry for regeneration inside PS Audio also depend on power delivered from the wall?

lancruiser_

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #9 on: 29 Nov 2020, 10:15 pm »
If you require a AC re-generator, you can always look to data center grade products, they also have the benefit of "standing up" your system in case of a brown, black out. I would not consider "audiophile" solutions when one can purchase data center grade components that perform better and cost less. I use 2 APC double conversion 2000 va UPS for my audio system. Goal Zero also makes a "re-generator" that is less expensive than "audiophile" brands, is more versatile and has performance that is as good or better. There are other data center grade devices, a browser search will work. Hypers for the brands I mentioned.

https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/categories/power/uninterruptible-power-supply-ups-/network-and-server/smart-ups-on-line/N-pgx5ae

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/portable-power/power-stations/

richidoo

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #10 on: 30 Nov 2020, 12:33 am »
I live <10 miles from nuclear power plant. We have 123V on underground lines installed 2005. A huge transformer on the ground serves only 3 homes. I thought my power quality was good. Every power conditioning accessory I tried over the years made no difference or made my system sound worse. Equitech passive balanced power conditioner did help my tube based system quite a bit by reducing hum and by increasing the magnetic reservoir of the amps' power transformers. But on SS amps it made no difference.

Two years ago I had a audio meet and a friend brought over PS Audio Power Plant 15 and it was night and day improvement. It showed the flattened peak of the incoming power waveform, and said 3% THD. The 15 made a big difference in the overall refinement of my system using various components that people brought over. Quieter, smoother, more detailed, whatever you want to call it. The bass was also bigger, firmer and more confident sound overall. It was obvious to everyone who heard it. One guy who was there bought a PowerPlant 20 for his own system immediately. I still want to get a PP12 for myself as that is adequate for my system. 

A few months later we had a meet specifically to mess around with the regens. Another friend brought his older PSAudio PowerPlant 3 and it helped slightly, but not close to the newer versions. The friend above brought his brand new Powerplant 20 which sounded good like the PP15. Another friend brought portable oscilloscope to see the output of the powerplant 3 and the utility. All very informative, but the good old ear test was the most impressive, as it tends to be.

The newer PSAudio regens and the scope showed the peak of the waveform is flattened on my utility power because that's where rectifiers draw the current, so it sags. Every utility service has flattened peaks, so a truly pure sine wave "should" sound better through audiophile "logic." The sharp corners either side of the peak is not a smooth sine signal, and put "noise" on the line like clipping signal, and some power sag even though mine still measured 123V. I think it's the waveform's abrupt deviation at the flattened peak from pure circular motion that's the problem. I think that this is why people in cities say their system sounds better at night when the load on the utility is less so the waveform peak flattening is less, but it's just my opinion.

I also heard a PurePower regen about 10 years ago powering a Edge 400W stereo amp with very large, low impedance speakers playing large scale russian brassy symphonies, bass drums, low brass, etc.  A trumpeter and a tromboner geeking out in brassy heaven with nobody telling us to "turn it down!" I was impressed at the time that the regen didn't mess up the treble like the passive filters always had in my previous experience. But it also gave adequate peak power when needed.

Because of the high price I investigated other options for regen besides PS Audio and came to the conclusion that there really aren't any, imo. What's available are UPS, "Pure Sine" inverters and precision test equipment. They are all PWM signal generation, and the commercial products are all 5% distortion. Better than low cost inverters but not better than my utility. Precision test equipment AC supplies like Elgar ContinuousWave are more expensive than PSAudio and all of these have multiple small (loud) cooling fans and industrial ergonomics. PurePower website is still up but not changed in a while.

I have been on the fence about the value. If the PP12 was $1000 cheaper I would have bought it a long time ago. But recent upgrades to my source and preamp have me thinking that the value should be even more apparent now.

Tyson

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #11 on: 30 Nov 2020, 12:50 am »
My PS audio P10 not only made my downstairs system sound better, it actually extended the life of the tubes in all my tube equipment.  Which is nice because tubes are getting freaking expensive nowadays.

Elizabeth

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #12 on: 30 Nov 2020, 03:32 pm »
As you can read so far, a lot depends on the system, the sort of AC power problems and your own ears.
And just like cables the opinions are wildly divergent. Mainly because the needs and system and ears room etc of everyone is utterly different.
But there is really only one audiophile company for a regenerator, PS Audio.
If commercial devices might be appealing? I have no idea which.
I have used both conditioners and regenerators. and have one of each in my current system.
I will remind all that a regenerator is actually just a special sort of amplifier, and for anyone seriously concerned about wasting AC power, they do waste power.
Also the notion the make 'perfect' power is incorrect. they are better at sine than a wall but not perfect.
I have an old PS Audio P600 and a Furman REF20
both I replaced all the AC duplex in them with Furutech GTX

Mr. Big

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #13 on: 6 Aug 2021, 03:45 pm »
I have owned several different types of conditioners, all made a system sound "different" but so what, different was not right, then I purchased a PS Audio for my front end gear, the P-12 model, and in 20 years of trying different conditioners from passive to balanced the P-12 has given my system the noise-free background, along with better dynamics, deeper, I deeper bass and mid-bass, the whole foundation that supports the higher fregencys brings out the highs more present and clearer but with no grain or brightness. Unlike balanced tyes that strip the body for hyper detail. Many power supplies do not like balanced AC, they were not designed around balanced AC nor voiced using balanced AC. The P-12 based on my experience is here to stay unless I step up to a P-15 at some point, I just tried an AQ 1200 unit, in it went and after 2 days out it went. Forward, aggressive, and bright but it would make you go wow what a huge "difference" but that was short-lived. As one review said after pulling it out and going back to the wall, the soul of the music can back, well with the PS Audio unit you can have your cake and eat it too in my experience.

Tyson

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #14 on: 6 Aug 2021, 09:07 pm »
Agreed, the PS Audio regenerators are stellar.

SET Man

Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #15 on: 6 Aug 2021, 10:57 pm »
Hey!

    I live in NYC and I've been using the first generation PS Audio P600 for the past 19 years now. The P600 is feeding my entire system including my SET amps. Wouldn't run my system without it.

Buddy

   

pcourtney

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #16 on: 10 Oct 2021, 08:30 pm »
I must look into these PS Audio devices, could be worth investigating I think  :scratch:

Craig B

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #17 on: 11 Oct 2021, 05:17 pm »
I used a PS Audio P-500 for about 12 years. Traded it on their new entry-level Stellar P3. I was happy before the trade. I'm ecstatic now. :D

Species

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #18 on: 27 Oct 2021, 02:18 pm »
I too own a psaudio regenerator and it is fantastic.  The question I have is if anyone sees a difference in power cord quality from the regenerator to the audio gear?  Is it necessary to upgrade those power cords or are stock cords sufficient given that the power being output from the regenerator should be close to perfect?

Matt123

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Re: How important is Power Regenerator (AC-DC-AC)?
« Reply #19 on: 31 Oct 2021, 10:35 pm »
This is something I've been wondering about. I currently have a PS Audio Power Plant 12, which has made a positive difference in my system. Not night and day, but easy to detect in the bass and overall transparency and detail. Although PS Audio indicates that their Stellar AudioQuest power cables make a difference when used with their power plants, I am aware that they have a vested interest in taking this position. I don't mean it cynically, but one does sometimes wish for independent confirmation when serious $$$ is involved.