Power regenerator vs conditioner

If the goal is to improve the sound quality (soundstage, detail, dynamics, etc) and the issue is "noisy" AC, it would seem to me that a power regenerator such as PS Audio P15 would be far superior to a "conditioner" such as a Shunyata Denali or Hydra or Triton.  Is this correct?  Thanks .
More or less.  The one cool feature some of these are now adding is high noise suppression for the ground wire.

The negative part of regenerators is cost and efficiency.  Some power will always get lost between the AC/DC conversion, storage and AC generation.
A simpler and effective approach would be a BPIT. balanced power isolation transformer. It’s a big ass transformer that runs cool, provides CMR, common mode rejection which cancels out noise and provides isolation from the mains via windings. I’ve had great results with the equitech Q model and the core power units which are lower cost but yield same results, IME 

@craig - I agree with you in that you would think regenerated "perfect" AC would be the better choice, yet so many audiophiles seem to go with the passive conditioners and I'm not sure why.  I myself have an Audience conditioner, which I like very much, but I've never tried a Power Plant.  I don't think cost is the issue as the better conditioners are at least as expensive as the power plants.  
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I have owned passive conditioners, active conditioners, balanced transformers and regenerative conditioners. They all offer benefits. They do not sound identical.
The best conditioner we've run into so far are the Elgar conditioners, where were made a long time ago. They actively and dynamically process the AC power, removing distortion, noise and the like, and the output does not have more than 0.5THD at full load. They also regulate line voltage. Any that you find (ebay is the best source I've found so far) will need refurbishment. The only conditioners offered to high end audio that come anywhere close are the ones made by PSAudio.

The best way to use the Elgar in my opinion is to have it wired into the circuit that feeds your audio room. They made a 5000VA unit that can run a 20amp line with no worries. All the Elgars have a cooling fan which means they probably will need to be in a different room. They aren't particularly pretty either, having been made for commercial/industrial applications where clean power was a necessity.
I use PS Audio older Power Plant Premier. I have Purist power cord from the wall to it and better Purist from the regenerator to power amp. Still, sound quality varies dramatically depending on how bad the incoming current is. If I plug the amp directly into the wall, the system is unlistenable most of the time, the wall current is that bad. So yes, regenerator helps a lot but it's not really good enough. Maybe newer PS Audio regenerators are much better, I don't know. Anyone compared ?
My SS amp is 80 watt/ch. Tape deck cares less about the current than any other piece of equipment in my set up, turntable and power amp care most.
If the goal is to improve the sound quality (soundstage, detail, dynamics, etc) and the issue is "noisy" AC, it would seem to me that a power regenerator such as PS Audio P15 would be far superior to a "conditioner" such as a Shunyata Denali or Hydra or Triton.  Is this correct?

No, it is not correct. The first part of the question you ask, "if the goal is to improve sound quality (soundstage, detail, dynamics, etc)" is fine. That is indeed the goal. But then you combine that with, "and the issue is..." as if you know what the issue is. If you know what the issue is then go build your own! The problem is precisely that no one really knows what the issue is! 

That is why tvad is correct, all you can do is go by how they sound. Either listen for yourself or read a lot of reviews and go by what people hear. Not what they measure! We don't know enough to go by measurement. Not even close! Or else this would all be so very simple. Go by what people hear only and you will be fine. 

Give you an example. Part of what contributes to the improved sound quality you want is nothing more than a good steady stream of power. Music sucks power very unevenly with lots of transient spikes. Every time this happens there is a very brief voltage drop. You can improve this with something as simple as a large cap. I had a friend one time scored one at Boeing Surplus, brought it over, and it was scary as hell but we hooked it up and you would be shocked (heh) at the improvement. No, seriously. It was a nice improvement.  

You could also connect just about any decent size transformer. People call them isolation transformers. They are ALL isolation transformers! It's just the way they work. It is very hard to make a transformer that is linear at high frequences. A lot of line noise is RF, that is all high frequency, and so they all isolate from RF to some degree. All of em. So that is another way. 

I can keep going like this with examples all day long. Bottom line, all these various factors contribute, but no one understands exactly how much of which is best, and so all you can do is go and listen. You will see.

I now feel very lucky to have scored Shunyata Triton/Thyphon.
They retailed for $9K each. Not unlike their current top line unit and top power chord. But the T/T are two full size components. The Triton is plugged into the Thyphon and they work together. The improvement in SQ is nothing short of spectacular! Akin to the perceived value of my system doubling. No exaggeration!
Shunyata is one of the few Audio companies who have a division that supplies Science, Medical, and Military. And have many, many patents.
For $18k custom batteries that would power the entire system would be preferable. Anyone takes this kind of order ? But there are no perfect solutions, batteries would give some noise too and dynamics might be compromised a little. I mean great custom battery with the right response and discharge curve.

The most quoted showdown around here the top PS PowerPlant edge out the top AQ Niagra.
Both bettered by expensive power cords.
Whatever butters your biscuit. Ask Mikey Fremer which technology works better.
I use a goal zero yeti 1250 lead acid battery generator. It generates a perfect sine wave of power and significantly reduces the noise floor. Before I tried it I didn't think I had any noise in my Power. It weighs 100 lbs.
A few guys on Audiocircle compared the big Audioquest conditioner to Puritan and preferred the Puritan...

I have owned Many and nothing comes close especially at the asking price and the 136 is stellar as well.

Without a vendor or manufacture war, my take-away is some line condition is in wide use.  Some use one or the other, and we all have different supplied power situations, no one solution will address the varied situations.  Agree? 

Plenty of options exist If power generation is the preference .  Same for conditioning
I use High Fidelity Cables Power Conditioner, They replaced my PS Audio gear. Gave up surge and spike protection, but the sound was just so much better.
Since I’m a hobbiest drummer I only buy power conditioners designed by other drummers. That leaves me very little choice... drummer/ power designer Garth Powell. Seriously though, in my main system (TAD CR1’s /BHK300/Atma MP1) I use the Garth’s Niagara 7000 and really enjoy what it does on a micro and macro level.

Due to the disaster called 2020, I found myself away from home for a year and put together a small system based on a Hegel H190 and LSA Statement 10’s and didn’t want to spend a lot on conditioning. I ended up with a used Furman Ref15 fed by AQ’s latest bottom of the line power cord that Best Buy sells. (Both designed by Garth)
I really like what it did for the system and and at a very low cost. Incidentally I also picked up the AQ Powerquest 3 to compare with the Furman, which while quite old at this point (although almost identical to the latest 15i) I much prefer the Furman since it has energy storage for instantaneous current, similar to the Niagara.

Having tested and owning 2 conditioners that store energy to deliver greater than what the wall can for transients, I wouldn’t buy a conditioner without that feature.
I don't think this discussion will reach a conclusion. After all, everyone has completely different preferences for sound, and it is impossible for anyone to try every power processor. But from my own experience, I would agree that the power regenerator you mentioned is better than the power conditioner. I am currently using PS Audio P12.
The AudioQuest Niagara 7000 is seamless and (for me) has done the trick. It does not touch the sound. Have compared with direct into wall and all’s well. The AudioQuest Niagara 5000 should preform the same as the 7000. The price for the 7000 has gone up up up. 
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Most of this is snake oil.

They will have no effect on sound, unless you live in Texas :-), or at a place where power variations are more than 10%. In that case, instead of spending your money on those frivolous items, you should sue your power company anyway, to get better results.  In this case, a conditioner is of no use anyway.. and maybe a regenerator may help, if it can keep the mains supply at a relatively stabe +/- 3% of what it is supposed to be.

The power supply, smoothing & decoupling capacitors in your power supply takes care of 99.9% of noise & imperfections in your AC mains.

The rest of the power supply filtering is so that your amplifier does not introduce noise BACK INTO the mains when the rectifier diodes are switching.

Read the section 3.1 of the following CAREFULLY, especially the function of the capacitors, to understand better:


I would agree that the power regenerator you mentioned is better than the power conditioner. I am currently using PS Audio P12.
That's what I have. The difference in the sound of my system before and after is not subtle. Every bit of line noise I had before the P12 is gone. An investment worth every penny.
I have a PS audio pp5 I purchased used which replaced a relatively cheap panamax. At first I actually liked the panamax better, the pp5 made the sound very bright even through it may have possibly had more detail to it I could not get past the brightness. After putting on a DIY power cord and replacing the fuse the sound was much better. And then after buying a counterfeit PS audio AC 12 cord on ebay that PS audio was nice enough to replace it with a genuine one at no cost! (who does that?) and installing a SR orange fuse it now sounds awesome. The pp5 has a multi wave feature which seems to make the sound more fuller and not as thin, it comes with a remote were you can turn it on and off from your listening position which makes it easier to hear the difference. 

P.I. Audio’s UberBuss is the best power conditioner on the market. As good as the Shunyata Everest. Likely better; for 1/5th the price. Power factor correction of 1.
I have an former PS Audio P5 and all components except my amp are running off from. The P5 made a noticeable improvement in my system and our power lines are fairly clean. My amp runs off a Nordost QB4 II with QV2 and QK1. The Nordost has its own ground post, which I have running to a dedicated external earth ground rod which is not tied to the main house ground rods, besides being connected to Mother Earth which indeed they are. System is dead quiet and the noise floor is six feet under. I have not tried the Audioquest or newer Shunyata’s, but before the P5 had an older Hydra and the P5 was superior. Also using AQ receptacles and dedicated circuits and both devices I use make a difference.

OP — Because you seem to have these products in mind, I can share my experience: I have a Niagara 3000, a PS Audio P-15, and a Denali 6000T in my house, in different places.  Like you, the PS Audio narrative makes the most sense to me.  And I used the P-15 in my big system for a long time.  More than once it beat out the Denali.  (The Niagara 3000 was not designed for a big system and I didn’t try too hard to test that).  But I recently put in two 20A dedicated lines with 10 gauge wiring, one for the amp and one for the AC power hub of choice, identical length, etc etc. First of all, no AC solution bettered my system like that did.  Big time (and if you think about it, that sorta undermines the notion that — if you regenerate perfect power from scratch — it doesn’t matter what you start with).  Secondly, after settling into a more relaxed, quieter, yet more dynamic new sound, I tried the Denali in place of the P-15.  Denali was better by a non-debatable margin (but I still connect the amp to the wall directly).  Sooo, who knows.  I let my ears decide.  But I’ve read many times, and now experienced firsthand, that your existing power situation can determine whether you’ll prefer the regeneration route, the "distributor" route (Shunyata), or the conditioner route.  I’ll say this (Part 1): they all provide improvement in my experience, except your crappier conditioners that quiet down the noise by strangling dynamics.  I graduated from that trial/error chapter.  And I’ll also say this (Part 2): as my system has gotten better thru better speakers and electronics, the differences in power solutions are much more noticeable.  Everyone has their own opinion, but the AC power solution deniers are just, well, wrong.  
No, general working principles of regenerators and filters are different... and implementation of both types of equipment concerning SQ might vary depends on your preferences and power quality. I used to have PS Audio P1000 regenerator which did not make any perceptible improvement for my system however filter is useful but only for the sources. My friend who live in multi-storey building with far from decent power situation has totally opposite effect, power regeneration is the must for him.  So, you need to know exactly what you want to do and what effect you try to get or if it’s too complicated just compare one to the other. 
The Power Generator uses an inverter. First, It rectifies The Line Power to DC. Then, the inverter reassembles the 60 Hz 120 vac line signal. It responds very quickly to changes in demand. If the incoming line frequency drops to 55 Hz, or the incoming voltage goes high to 140 vac, or drops to 90 vac, the inverter doesn’t care or even notice. It uses what it gets from the line and converts it to dc. It ALWAYS supplies noise-free 60 Hz/120 vac to its load.

A power conditioner only filters the line power. It can’t raise or lower the line voltage, nor correct it’s frequency.
Stromtank is the most advanced system I've seen. It is a giant battery with a very precise regegenerator.

I've heard it but only in a system, not demoed with an without. There are some reviews and they all seem to be very positive. So it is just a matter of the price, I think one model goes for $30k!

Now those German things look serious and they use safe chemistry for batteries. $30K ? That's almost nothing, some of us buy cartridges for $15k, cables for $25K and records for $600 or more.
Additional way to manage the current is to buy equipment with real power supplies, not some toy parts. Plus good power cords.
I thought that too and it is logical however, I tried a Puritan PSM156 and it delivers everything you are looking for, and for a lot less money than a decent regenerator.
#2 on the AQ 1200...I'm liking mine as well. Also the Furman pst-8, also designed by Garth Powell, when he worked for Furman. 
#3 on the Audioquest 1200. Great example of effective and reasonably priced. 
Just plug into the wall.  Amps don’t need anything but a wall.  This discussion is nutty.  Power conditions help protect sensitive components from dirty power, and this questionable.  
Keep an eye on the Audio Science Review YouTube postings; Amir has a Power Plant that he will be evaluating. I would throw out there the idea that if your equipment doesn’t already filter out the badness and allow for minor drops and spikes in power by design (and most equipment does, because companies know that AC power is/can be dirty and don’t want returns for that reason), you probably need better equipment. And if your line takes a direct or nearby lightning hit, your equipment is toast no matter what you have it running through.

Oh, and something else to mention: if you worship at the AudioQuest/PS Audio altar you won’t be happy with what he has concluded about ANY of their products.
Maybe newer PS Audio regenerators are much better, I don't know. Anyone compared ?
Yes. The new ones seem considerably better. We could not run our gear on the older ones but we can now and they help out!
Now those German things look serious and they use safe chemistry for batteries. $30K ?
One of our customers makes those- we had one at Munich about 6 years ago and it worked quite well. We used it only for the front end of the system- not the amps. It needed to be recharged every day, but it was on all day long.
They will have no effect on sound, unless you live in Texas :-), or at a place where power variations are more than 10%. In that case, instead of spending your money on those frivolous items, you should sue your power company anyway, to get better results. In this case, a conditioner is of no use anyway.. and maybe a regenerator may help, if it can keep the mains supply at a relatively stabe +/- 3% of what it is supposed to be.
This statement is problematic- in fact, false. The things that affect equipment performance are distortion on the AC line and of course the voltage. The former is responsible for a variety of problems. The 5th harmonic (300Hz) is arguably the most troublesome. It shows up when a power transformer (like those big cylinders you see on power poles) get pushed past about 50% of their capacity. The 5th harmonic can be responsible for power transformer vibration, increased diode noise, synchronous motors wanting to turn in the wrong direction, stuff like that.

Fluke Instruments has published a number of articles on this topic. I'm sure they want to sell meters and the like, but they aren't targeting audiophiles! So this isn't snake oil- sheesh!

The other thing that can mess with toroid power transformers in particular is DC on the line (which can look like a 2nd harmonic)- usually caused by an electric heater running on half power (and so only using half of the AC waveform). The resulting DC can saturate the core of the transformer and cause it to rattle. Removing the DC is cheap and easy though; we build DC blockers into our equipment and you can get them easily enough as outboard devices.

If the efficiency of the power transformer is compromised (low voltage or 5th harmonic, DC on the line, and often, all three...) then the power rectifiers, which only turn on at the tops of the AC waveform for a few milliseconds, won't be able to charge the power supply properly. This is both measurable and audible. A regulated power supply can get around this problem if it has enough headroom, but regulating the power supplies of power amplifiers is difficult to say the least and therefore a rare thing to see.

So a power conditioner that actually does its job correctly is helpful for audio equipment. What I see as problematic is that most (over 90%) of high end audio power conditioners simply don't do their job- most of them are glorified power strips.
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I'll second the praise for the Puritan Conditioners - great value for money and an improvement over prior conditioners I've tried - whether and Isotek or PS Audio Regenerator.  The nice thing about the Puritan is that it does not appear to limit dynamics.
The elephant in the room that apparently can not be addressed
is: How does one Quantify what level of problem exists in his
own home ? 

I tried one once and the sound stage collapsed. Put me off them.
I am be fortunate to have a transformer on a pole not 100 feet from
my system. (Some would disagree for aesthetic reasons I am sure)

So in this case I may not have a need?? 

The Stromberg system at $30k will solve your problems. I noticed
two of them at Dan D'agostino's factory when I visited it. I do not think they are too budget conscience so the best is what he owns.

But what about the shadows P.I. Audio’s UberBuss device at $1,200?

Other people I know swear by the Niagra 7000 $5k (guessing on #) 
and others say the Shunyata Everest in the true nirvana. $7k.

It seems odd to me that in nearly 100 years of music technological evolution there is not more clarity on this question.

There must be device that can monitor my dedicated power line
for say 24 hours and give me some useful information???

Other than that your option is to "Buy one and try it".

Ralph, I see, thank you. PS Audio has a good trade-in approach. I can get $1.5K for my Premier if I buy $5k regenerator, so it would be $3.5k for me.
The regenerator is a good idea for your source components but your amplifier if it is large will need a conditioner because the expense of a regenerator to power an amp will be very pricey and i have heard that even some sources do not like regeneration.
I buy from a local Hifi store in the Chicagoland area which is a Puritan Dealer.
 https://holmaudio.com/I can tell you if you try a fully broken in Puritan PSM156 you will buy one. Even if you cannot afford it you will buy one. It makes everything plugged into it sound better. Try before you buy. The store will let you demo a fully broken in one from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday close. A brand new Puritan does take 12 days to fully break in, but on the 12th day of Christmas you will know that you received the best gift ever. This is why you try a fully burnt in Puritan PSM156. It’s like someone lifted a vail from your speakers. Sound stage, decay, and detail. If you own a PSM156 try the upgraded Puritan Ultimate XX cable. It’s like installing the cleanest loudness button on your system. You don’t have to believe me just try it for yourself. 1. Plug into the wall and plug your gear into it. To get the full affect your caps on your gear need to recharge only once.2.-12 hours from setup listen again. Believe me you will never stop listening to all of your music.
3. Remove from system.
4.-12 hours later listen without the Puritan PSM156.
5.  Return unit to the store and buy one. It’s that easy. 
I don't own the Puritan.But HolmAudio is HIGHLY recommended! I had a great experience there.
I have a pair of High Fidelity Cables Pro 1 DH Plus.  Stunning improvement to depth and soundstage, along with noise reduction.
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I run a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 for my pair of Devialet D440 and it's a game changer, bests every other conditioner by a mile and a bargain for the level of improvement. I do use SR Galileo PC's to the amps.  Magical and without comparison. According to the reviews sounds identical to the Stromtank.
Power regenerator.  Your power grid is never great, once you realize the difference you hear in that late night sound from the low usage on the power grid that supplies your house, and you can have that in the middle of the day.... you will never go back to just plug into the wall or just a conditioner.... try it... 
I agree and concur.  I have dedicated lines for each and found the Denali 6000S better than a PS Powerplant P10.
I have all my digital on the P10.  The settings on the P10 are critical for best effect.  I am not convinced the P10 doesn't add its own distortion to the connected equipment.

if frequency drops to 55 Hz, or the incoming voltage goes high to 140 vac, or drops to 90 vac, the inverter doesn’t care or even notice. It uses what it gets from the line and converts it to dc. It ALWAYS supplies noise-free 60 Hz/120 vac to its load.

I just wanted to point out that if frequency goes to 55, you have no power. The grid crashes a lot sooner than that. (For once, I know what I’m talking about. I’m from Texas!) And since I’m here, my PS Audio Power Plant 3, its entry-level regenerator, makes my system more articulate. It’s clearer, whatever that really means. Not a lot, but I kept it.