PS Audio PowerPlant 12 Review (AC Regenerator)

PS Audio PowerPlant 12 Review

This is interesting. The testing concludes that the filtering inside of the actual electronics device is what matters and that this PS Audio product actually adds its own noise. Some irony.  


This was an excellent read. Thank you for posting it I hope people read this with an open mind.

I had a different model of PS Audio powerplant. I sold it.

I heard it can make great improvements to the picture when you use it as a power source for a television, but never tried it.

It's pretty devastating. The Niagara 1000 does better, but not really qualifies as "worth the money" according to Amir.

$5500 is a lot of dough to raise the noise floor.

There are all kinds of problems with this "review." Among them: The unit was acquired used, so there’s no assurance that it was functioning properly and - more important - PS Audio wasn’t given an opportunity to respond. So it’s just a hatchet job. Typical ASR. Nothing to see here. (Unless of course, ASR wants to accept the standing offer from @ted_denney . Then maybe we can discuss ASR’s credibility.)

There are many other issues with this "review," which itself is just a measurementalist’s fantasy.

I keep saying it, and the more I say it the less uncomfortable people get with it, so I'll keep saying it.  If you're on this forum you can likely afford to buy a new amp if something happens to it.  Plug it directly into the wall for best sound.  Install whole house surge protection, unplug your amp during lightning storms.  You can use a good surge protectors for everything else. --Jerry

If you become a regular of ASR, you'll save a lot of money. Much of the stuff tested fails or doesn't live up to manufactures claims.

I read that review earlier this week. Not encouraging for the AC regen curious.

I purchased a used Power Plant Premier(which is supposed to be their worst) for cheap here. Used it for 4 years, no problem, then had it refreshed by PS Audio 2 years ago. It should be good for another 10 years. My unit was manufactured in 2007! 

$1500 total investment and I hear and see(when I plug the TV into it) what "clean power" can do. It's not jaw dropping dramatic, but noticeable. If anything, it made a good hub for the excessively priced, fancy power cords.

PS Audio regen units are just another "try it yourself and decide" box. Inline with audiophoolery.

The new models are quite pricey. Before such an investment, dedicated circuit and fancy outlet, along with overpriced faux carbon  fiber cover recommended.

I was encouraged by reading this before I got the PPP



If you become a regular of ASR, you'll save a lot of money"

This is honest,  true, accurate.

You're Music Reproduction System may sound like merde but you will save so much money you will be able to retire even on the US healthcare "system"!

**** Conclusions
I hope you appreciate the comprehensive assessment that I presented to you above trying to tease out in every possible way what the P12 does. ****


Conclusions? Comprehensive?  Every possible way?  

Really?  Not one word, not one, in this “review” about what the “reviewer” actually heard. Haven’t we learned anything yet?

A friend of mine sold his expensive PS Audio regenerator after auditioning the Puritan Audio system (PSM136, RouteMaster, GroundMaster-City) with his stereo.

From the beginning of these units being manufactured, they have changed. I have owned 3 different models and wouldn't recommend 2 of them to anybody. Funny as it seems their first unit the P300 was the best by far of the bunch. With the beginning of these units, AC output was balanced. It made good sense, but not for every unit out there. After the initial line was replaced with new units, the balanced idea went out the window. 

 Next week, I will be taking ownership of a P300 which was upgraded by an audio engineer who made a few changes, and of course, changed every electrolytic capacitor in the unit. Seems like he was using different output transistors too, but I don't recall.

 I am a real fan of the P300, but not of the P500 nor the PPP. Nothing but trouble. FWIW, I read about a LOT of trouble with some of the newer models as well.

Not one word, not one, in this “review” about what the “reviewer” actually heard

Nothing to hear it's 60hz AC power. 

(Unless of course, ASR wants to accept the standing offer from @ted_denney . Then maybe we can discuss ASR’s credibility.)

This is a joke, right? 

filtering inside of the actual electronics device is what matters

Of course, it doesn't matter how pretty the sine  incoming , what matters more is the electronic device filters outgoing so it doesn't pollute the circuit. 

**** Nothing to hear it’s 60hz AC power. ****

Ridiculous response. Or, are you simply being contrarian?

Not only did the author offer zero impressions of how plugging gear into the regenerator actually impacted the sound (get it now?), he went on to opine on why those who do hear an improvement in the sound of their gear are just fooling themselves. All this without actually listening for the effects of using this device!


Not only did the author offer zero impressions of how plugging gear into the regenerator actually impacted the sound (get it now?)

What would his impression tell you? 

 This will give you information you can use to make an informed decision. 

I don’t mind educating you guys 😊.

**** I’m sure it has good PRAT ****

No, IT would not have good PRAT. Instead, it might improve, or perhaps make worse some components’ PRAT.

**** What would his impression tell you? ****

It would tell me that his “review” is, in fact, thorough and complete (it is not); and that his comments are, in fact, worth considering. Worth considering, because he understands, like all audiophiles should, the old truism that measurements alone tell only part of the story.

Btw, I don’t own this regenerator and my experience with others has been as described above.

Listening to anything connected to a power regenerator would tell you as much about  sound like drinking orange juice from a refrigerator connected to one would tell you about  taste.  Why would anyone think this thing can change the sound of an amplifier? The AC is converted to DC in the amp and the amps capacitors keep the voltage constant. 

PS Audio wasn’t given an opportunity to respond.

I agree with this point. I have reached out to Paul McGowan so if he wasn't aware of PowerPlant 12 being measured and the resulting discussions on audio forums, he is now. 

Here is part 2 of the testing.  

PS Audio P12 Review Part 2: Power Testing

And here is copy and paste of Amir's conclusion. 

It is clear from the above tests that using the P12 degrades available power to an amplifier, not increase it. Both continues and dynamic power are limited, as they should. You are inserting another cable and box (power regenerator) which has its own losses. Burst capability in power amps is provided by its internal power supply capacitors that have a very low impedance path to the amp being inside it. Trying to do that with AC is like pulling the end of a wet noodle and expecting the other side to move with it.

The data here is the reason a number of power amp manufacturers recommend to power their units directly from the wall and not through a AC regenerator. You want the least impedance path to the AC outlet and that is a simple power cord.

While with low current devices we could hardly find a harm caused by the PS Audio P12 (other than to your bank account), with power amps we are seeing a distinct degradation of power. In this regard, I think any marketing material without proper objective back up to the contrary is irresponsible here. Please heed the advice from me and many amp designers that you don't want to use these regenerators for power amplifiers.

djones, silly analogy; not applicable at all.  With respect, you seem to always be so hell bent on sticking to the objectivist mantra that you miss the bigger point.  The audiophile pursuit, and obviously music, is first and foremost about listening; measurements always take a back seat.  That is the reason that the review is incomplete.  Important to remember that there is as much vested interest for the naysayer to NOT hear a difference in sound as there is for the delusional to hear it; whether there is actually a difference or not.  Of course, if the listener can’t hear then all bets are off.

Well, perhaps it’s not a very good analog. How about, ths thing could no more change the sound of an amplifier than change the resolution of your OLED TV. I agree the first and foremost pursuit is listening, I disagree that measurements take a back seat but are paramount in understanding the equipment I use to achieve this pursuit. It tells much more than some random flowery prose about lifted veils and darker blacks. What I don’t get is those hell bent on subjective opinions opineing how hearing with your ears is the summit while never really trusting their ears without using their eyes as well. Of course if you can’t really hear without sight ....


Edit: Yeah, it is supposed to new and improve my TV as well. 

It tells much more than some random flowery prose about lifted veils and darker blacks.

But my wife heard it from the other room!!

Man, this whole thing reads like lawsuit material......

Doesn't sway my thinking one way or the other.....other than I'm thinking I should run a website where people sit around and listen and compare stuff......see if it sounds better in a particular system or not......I dunno. That sounds like fun.

I kind of find these kinds of negative reviews/scientific finding crap "cheapens the experience" if that makes sense. Potshots at a small business. I don't care for it.


My issue with this review and many other of his on ASR is it’s always about noise. That’s just one aspect of things.  This unit is advertised to keep as close to perfect wave for power. Feed it some junk and see what comes out. Also burst some hard play passages. What happens.  None of that. No listening comparisons. Just a crappy review. 


What I always find curious, and this is a perfect example, is why there is this, at least implied, objection to someone else listening and arriving at a subjective impression; along with whatever other criteria the measurements may or may not satisfy. This is what belies the bias of the naysayers; the predisposition to NOT hear a difference. IOW, here we have the measurements and no listening. To some, the absence of listening impressions invalidates the review for reasons already mentioned. To others, listening is deemed irrelevant and subject to placebo effects; measurements are the last word. However, we still have the measurements. So, the objectivists have their “proof”. Why does it matter to the objectivists that others use different (additional) criteria (listening)?


This objectivist admits he has biases and under sighted testing would probably never hear a difference. Of course the claims made about the product under discussion would need certain test equipment to see if they held up as difference in SQ is not the only claim. Personally I don't care what anyone uses to decide on a purchase, measurements, listening,  pretty glowing tubes etc...  The fellow who performed the tests of the product actually did listen to it. He claimed no difference so now we can move the discussion to the next level. He's deaf, his stereo is junk, doesn't know what to listen for, yada..yada..yada

Paul McGowen posted that the “review” measured the wrong AC outlet. I don’t own a powerplant so I’m not familiar with the different outputs, but Paul said they should print a retraction for the error.

I call it the “idiot with an analyzer” phenomenon but psychologists have identified it as:

“Dunning-Kruger effect, in psychology, a cognitive bias whereby people with limited knowledge or competence in a given intellectual or social domain greatly overestimate their own knowledge or competence in that domain relative to objective criteria or to the performance of their peers or of people in general.”

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More ASR garbage.   Do the opposite of what they say and you'll generally be good.

I owned an early  PS Audio PowerPlant for years! After a few year it became noisy with clicking sounds.  I called about having it serviced. After a very rude conversation with someone on PS Audio staff I dropped it in the trash.  Interesting by the time I got rid of it I'd upgraded my front end twice and never noticed a huge change. My front end at the drop was Mcintosh and Esoteric.  

I owned a Stellar Powerplant P3 for a few years, and recently upgraded to the P12. I really like it. I thought the P3 made an improvement, but the P12 is even better and makes my system sound consistently good. I only use it on my front-end components (primarily because my front-end components are located a fair distance from my monoblock amps).