Amp to PowerPlant or directly to wall?

For some time I have had my entire system powered from a P12. As an experiment, I unplugged my BHK 250 from the P12 and connected it directly into an adjacent wall outlet, using a short, cheap cord I had around. (From the P12 I have an 8’ shielded cord.) I immediately noticed a greater sense of presence or immediacy – very easy to hear. I also heard some additional details in the mix and a better soundstage. This surprised me.

  1. What are other peoples’ experiences with plugging the amp into a PowerPlant or not?

  2. What could be the explanation for what I heard? The obvious answer would be that the amp is not getting enough juice. But before I bought the P12, I did a careful study of my system’s power needs and discussed it with the PS Audio salesperson. The conclusion was that the P12 would be more than adequate for my needs. Furthermore, I listen mostly to acoustic music at medium (or lower) volumes; no rock-concert levels here. My speakers are very efficient (90). PSA claims that the low output impedance of the PowerPlants enables amps to get the power they need. So the obvious is not so obvious, at least to me; thoughts?

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IME my Pass monoblocks sound better straight into their own dedicated 20A circuits. I didn’t like them as much running off my P20 HC outlets. I don’t listen at high volumes or to a lot of raucous music. I’d be surprised if the amps are running much past a few watts under normal circumstances.

Thanks, Tony. Your situation sounds similar to mine, except that the outlet the BHK 250 is now plugged into is not a dedicated line (the one for the P12 is dedicated). That circuit is shared with a few light bulbs and such, but no heavy current-draw appliances. The fact that a non-dedicated line sounded better contributed to my surprise.

Have you tried using exactly the same power cord? Apple to apple comparison.


I don’t have a BHK250, but my M1200’s definitely sound better plugged into my P12.

The one question I do have is was your BHK250 plugged into the “Zone D” outlets (the higher current outlets)?


I had a similar experience with my Pass Labs XA25 and a P15 Power Plant. Can’t say I was all that surprised, but direct to the wall I noticed more performance details, and a greater sense of depth. Servicing my Jay’s CD transport, DAC, Sim Audio 310LP, and Pass Labs XP-15, the P15 gets the job done.

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This is a common question. The common answer is pick what works best for you.
In my case, everything from my 2.3 watt tube amp to my 500 watt Pass amp sounds best when plugged into my P20, the P20 plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit.


I agree Ron. So far all my amps have sounded good either way, but best plugged into the P15.


Not yet. Getting the long cord out from behind the P12 is a task I don’t relish. I will do it at some point.

Yes, the BHK used the HC outlets. But as I recall (and someone will correct me if needed), those HC outlets don’t actually provide more current, but have a soft-start mechanism to prevent power-hungry components from causing any problem at system start-up.

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Dave, you are correct regarding the HC’s.

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If there is more than one variable in a hifi system experiment, it’s impossible to know what you’re really hearing.

My power amp sounds so much better plugged into the P20, but it really is not a fair comparison because I power my P20 with a SR Galileo SX 20amp power cord, so the power is going through 2 Galileo’s instead of one, since my amp is also has a Galileo to it. But even when I had a lesser power cord to the P20, it was till better plugged into the P20 than plugged into the dirty power of my 20 amp dedicated circuit. I can really hear this dirtiness from my power amp in the form of graininess that muddles the sound a bit.

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I like M1200 better plugging into either P15 or Puritan PSM-156, never into the wall directly, but I do not have a dedicated line. This line into the wall outlet does not have other heavy load either.

With the SDFB pairing with P15, I much prefer M1200 and BHK pre plugging into P15 now. MK2, switches, and sources plugging into Puritan still sound a bit quieter so that is my current setup. Nothing is plugging into the wall from my system; not even the PS for Orbi satellite.


Agree with Donald, I remember that my M1200s sounded a lot better plugged into a P12/P20. Maybe Class D makes a difference clearly evident.

Currently my MSB Amp sounds better plugged straight into the wall than into the PSM. Dedicated line.

I always made the comparisons using the same power cord, guessing it should play an important role.

Last suggestion: wait before getting conclusions though, listening sessions along different days and different hours could make you change your opinion.


Power cords before and after the regenerator has considerable infuence to the sound. Thought I’d share that I find the power cord feeding the step up transformer of my preamp also had a considerable inflence to the sound. The difference was not trivial.


Yes, I should try the same (long) cord that I currently have from the P12 to the BHK 250 in the wall to BHK setup.

Interesting – thank you. Even your dedicated circuit was grainy, and I’ve got a non-dedicated one for the BHK250 at the moment. I could get an electrician to put that outlet on its own circuit, but who knows . . . .

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Yes, even dedicated circuits has noise and distortion in it. my P20 is plugged into a dedicated circuit, and it says 2.3% THD coming in and 0.1% going out from it. I can hear the improvement in everything I plugged into it, even my power amp.


The voltage in my neighborhood is close to 120 almost all the time (119-121, according to PowerPlay). That might partly explain why my non-dedicated circuit sounds good with the BHK 250; but the THD is 3.5-4.0% coming in.