Additional P15 observations

So I’ve been using my new P15 full time on my front end gear. I like just about everything that’s coming out of my speakers, but I’m not sure I can say it’s universally good.

For the first observation, while there is now a tremendous increase in musical dynamics, it almost seems like some of the “subtlety” that I’m used to is gone. It’s like everything is getting amped at the expense of “gentleness” when the music calls for it. It sometimes seems that I can no longer appreciate the lightest of vocal inflections or brush strokes because everything feels like it has a rocket motor under it.

My source gear was previously fed by a Running Springs Haley. When I swapped it back in the music became “neater”. A bit smaller in sound stage (not by much), but less bombastic, especially in the low end. With whatever was taken away, I was left with what seemed like music that was more in control of itself, in ways that allow tiny things not to be overwhelmed by everything else going on around it.

The second observation with the P15 is that it seems I’m hearing an underlying tone at the upper limit of my hearing - somewhere around 17KHz (my hearing is still pretty good for an old man). I hear it while most music is playing, digital or analog. It’s low in level, but I know it’s there. I don’t here this when the Haley is in place. P15 has been running in sine wave this whole time.

Anyone have any ideas?

I’m not sure I’d call it a tone, but something pretty fatiguing is happening in the top register of mine. I can relate to most of you description. For me the issue is that everything seemed kind of harsh and hard, and some (ultrasonic?) thing was really bugging me and my tinnitus, even giving me a headache.

On the other hand, the sound was vastly clearer, I get more detail, more dynamics (with BHK 250 amp, not so with my old BMC) and a wider, blacker sense of space surrounding instruments and voices.

Maybe it will gel better with someone else, but I’m thinking of going with a Triton or Denali because they seem more benign.

I was given some suggestions that worked somewhat: Lowering the output voltage (I went as low as 105v) and trying the Multiwave settings. This can ease the high frequency stuff, although the sound becomes more compressed.

Exactly. So I’m not the only one. I’d like to hear about your multi-wave experiences. What did you feel each successive mwave setting did?

Well, it’s in a box right now. I seem to remember that #4 was one I liked, but they change the sound a lot, almost like an equalizer boosting the lows and such, and the sound is a little more compressed but punchy at the same time. Some of them are definitely warmer, though. The lower numbers were a bit milder.

I could get rid of the treble sensation at 105v and 3 and above on the Multiwave, though it didn’t seem as natural.

Thanks. I wonder if anyone else has a similar experience?

Thanks, appreciate your frank observations.

I have a P20. I can’t imagine that the influence on sq can be dramatically different than the 15. I can say that without the P20, my system sounds dull, flat, lifeless.
I demoed it for friends a couple times, pulling everything and plugged them into the wall and the difference is dramatic. In fact even just one component makes a very obvious difference.
That said, I heard a Denali at a friend’s house today and it’s really nice. But there was no regenerator to compare it to.

@RonP, my own system always sounded pretty fine to me and my fellow audio buddies, but yes the P15 does bring improvements as indicated here and in other threads. But at least in my system this HF annoyance is quite noticeable to me. I will experiment and report back.

Sounds like your P15 has an issue!

1 Like

Well, if that may be the case, I leave it to @Paul and any else at PS Audio to suggest what it might be, or if this sounds like something they have seen before.

I had a similar thing but in my case it was when my BHK Pre was plugged into the P20. Strangely, it only happened when the Pre was connected directly to the P20. When I plugged it into an AudioQuest Niagara which was plugged in to the P20 I did not have the problem. The problem was a noticeable high frequency pitch (around 15 khz?) through one speaker which really gave me a headache. I called customer support and they knew what it was and I had to send my P20 back. Since I have gotten it back from support I haven’t had a problem.

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with your problem but I thought I’d share my experience.

Thanks (I guess? :neutral_face: ) @AudioJim. Sounds very similar. I’ll have to try plugging my preamp into my Hailey, or directly into the wall, to see what happens.

Did you have to pay return shipping to PS Audio for this?

No. My P20 was only a couple of weeks old so it was a warranty issue. PS Audio paid shipping both ways.

One thing I can share is when I was struggling with this I did call PS Audio support. They had some useful suggestions, but it did sound like they had heard this complaint before and that it wasn’t faulty equipment.

Can you share those suggestions from PS?

@AudioJim, did PS Audio explain what was making this problem happen and what they did to correct it?

Those in my first reply: Lower the voltage, try Multiwave.

No, but they said they knew what the problem was and the turnaround would be very quick (which it was). I thought about asking but I didn’t bother. Being an EE I was a bit curious but I was more just happy to have it working correctly.

Thanks for your info, @AudioJim.

@AudioJim, PM sent.