Assessing Incoming Power Quality

Other than buy and try, are there ways to assess / monitor incoming power quality to judge if a system would benefit from a regenerator? And as I write this I wonder if I’m stumbling into another measurements vs listening pissing contest…


I ran dedicated lines (10AWG stranded for Audio Equipment & 12AWG Romex/solid for the TV/Computer Crap/Peripherals). Absolutely no noise issues no matter what time of the day.

A friend suggested an isolation Transformer versus ReGenerator (cause everyone hates Paul - why I have no clue). Thankfully I don’t need either. Bought the Cornwall IV’s gently used instead.

My assessment is have a licensed Electrician run a dedicated 10AWG stranded/20A circuit to your Audio rig first. Then decide.

just my 2 cents…

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You can check the incoming voltage with a multi- meter. Mine was low. You can get a ground check thing at Home Depot too, but I’m unaware of anything that will check incoming THD.

While you are at it with your electrician, don’t stop at one 20 amp feed, and consider a spare for future expansion. Just a thought. Fluke makes a power quality measurement device, that possibly could be rented locally. Based on the initial cost I do not recommend purchasing a unit.

Fluke Power Quality Analyzer


Thanks much for the rental idea. I’ll check.

Foolproof way to know is to try a regenerator. If your ears say no, return it.
(And the meters on the regen will describe your power)

Just remember to add in the return po$t should a Power Plant not meet your needs. Still a worthy idea but the measurement capabilities of the Power Plants are pretty rough IME. If you want measurements the Fluke would be the foolproof way to go. If you want sonic improvement regardless of measurements skip the Fluke as there are many options on the market P15/P20 Power Plants, Shunyayta Everest, Niagra 3000/5000/7000, Puritan PSM 156,…

Is the sound quality of your system fluctuating during the day? Does it sound the best late at night? Then you need a power plant.

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Thank much all. At this point I’m not responding to any SQ shortcomings that I’ve noticed. It’s as much curiosity as anything partly fueled by the current sale but nothing I need to jump on. Right now everything is plugged into a Panamax MR4000 purchased more as a surge protector as anything. Just wondering if there is something better suited to the task and if there’s some way to measure to see if there’s even any power conditions that need attention.
I’m a bit of a neophyte so much of the current quest is just setting up a good basic system that’s capable of reproducing what my ear isn’t yet tuned to. Power protection is a basic system requirement. Measuring wall out vs Panamax out to see if either or both might be doing harm is where I’m at.

Also, If you have a smart meter from your electric provider, they can be quite noisy.

I purchased an inexpensive “Kill A Watt” meter to measure consumption to assess if a P3 would satisfy needs. Interestingly enough the GCD plus M1200 and an 11w source pulled less than 75w at sound levels much higher than I’d typically listen. Other than lacking the cool graphics the P3 should be more than adequate in my case.
Another interesting measure was the power factor measured about 0.67. I thought it was partly due to the MR4000 but the reading was no different on a power strip, which I suppose confirms the MR4000 is little more than a surge protector. Do the regenerators do anything to correct or compensate for the power factor?

I’ve settled on an SP3 for all source components and the HV power supply for my 'stats. The two stereo power amplifiers are fed from a dedicated 20A circuit and that helped tremendously with sound quality (and LR lights dimming on music peaks).

The SP3 also does an excellent job of protecting all that pricey source equipment. As thunderstorms roll in I notice the SP3 disabling AC outputs (going into protection mode) which is very reassuring.

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I’ll tell you this. I used to have a good Panamax before I installed a P20. The difference was absolutely startling; no doubts in my mind.

The P20 meter says I have 4% THD; dunno how accurate it is…. Not a great deal, but not inconsequential either.

I’d look out for a used P12 or some such and get one when you find a good deal. If you don’t like of you can sell it.

After seeing how little power I’m pulling I took advantage of the current sale and ordered a P3 yesterday. I’ll likely add another 40W to the load and will still have 150W+ of head room. I’ll worry about a bigger one if If I ever decide to go away from Class D. That is if the P3 makes a difference I can hear. My ears aspire to abilities they may not possess.


Not sure how useful this would be at helping to access the quality of power in standard residential electrical. It’s looks like it’s designed to provide measurements for 3 phase power, which is specially used in industrial applications where dips and surges in power would impact the ability for equipment to function properly. Some homes have 3 phase (electric dryer, electric car charger) but the power coming out of a plain old duplex receptacle is not 3 phase. I could be wrong about it’s usefulness, I didn’t read the entire description but I do agree shelling out for one of those prob not a wise use of money.

Might have a hard time finding a licensed electrician who would be willing to install 10/2 romex on a 20a circuit. NEC ‘requires’ that 10/2 be mated with a 30a circuit (30a circuits are really only used for appliances that pull a lot, electric dryers, water heaters, heat pump, AC, induction stove ext….) Likewise12/2 with 20a and 14/2 with 15a. A 20a direct run would be more than enough to provide enough power for a whole systems worth of gear. How it ‘sounds’ I guess is a completely different matter. My advice would be if you have the headroom in you panel and can instal a 20a dedicated circuit for your stereo I see the advantages. Also using a high quality receptacle like a Hubbell 8300 or 5362 would additionally add benefits….

This is absolutely not true. The practical limit are the lug sizes. In this case, there would be no problems feeding #10 Awg conductor (applies to Romex/nm cable as well) with a 20A circuit breaker. Besides a perceived sound benefit, there are lots of code reasons to up size a conductor and not the over current protective device: voltage drop, multiple conductors in a raceway derating, high ambient temperature derating, etc…

The asterisk in table 310-19, that applies to #10 and #12 conductor (all of this assumes copper) limits the maximum circuit breaker size (you can always go smaller) feeding these conductors to 30A and 20A even though these conductors are theoretically rated for larger loads. This larger rating does come in handy if derating applies.

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That is true, the circuit breaker is what’s protecting the circuit from overcurrent, not the wire. You can use a bigger wire than the code specifies, but not smaller.