Best Regenerator for Source Components

I am resigned to getting a P20 for each BHK 300 -there is no reasonable way to get a power cord from one P20 to both.

The question becomes how to power the source components for best SQ? Should I use one of the P20s, or get something like a Stellar P3.

(The rack will be next to one P20 and hence it would get all the sources… the thought of the asymmetry is causing my audiophile OCD to twitch).

An easy way to think about it is the power coming out of the P20 is better than the P3. It will have less noise, better voltage regulation, and a lower output impedance. Unless your situation requires another PowerPlant for the source gear, I’d stick with the big guns.

Thanks for the response… it is either great news -just use one of the P20s, or expensive news -buy a 3rd P20 for the sources, hmmmm…


That may be true for the old P3’s. But the OP referred to the new “Stellar” Power Plant 3. Are you sure that statement still holds true?

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Yes. When I refer to a P3, it’ll almost always be the Stellar P3. If I’m talking about the old one, I’ll say PerfectWave P3.

Interesting. Thank you.

Can you quantify (numerically) or qualify (non-numeric attributes) why the power coming out of a P20 is “better” than a Stellar P3? Not only is this a learning experience for me, but it could be really helpful for others to know, when making similar decisions.

Please do keep in mind the obvious… “more” is not “better” in and of itself. Naturally, it is often better for certain applications, but “more” is not always “better” an an absolute, abstract sense.


Great question! Just a quick back story, many know that the P12, 15, and 20 were designed by Bob Stadtherr. Darren looked at Bob’s designs and was pretty confident he could something very similar in a smaller package. He used A LOT of Bob’s original designs and ideas in the P3, and he likes to say that the P3 is very much like a paired down P20.

As far as the output power goes, the distortion of the P20 is a little lower than the P3, but this doesn’t attribute much to better sound. The lower output impedance in the P20 is much more important. As output impedance goes down, voltage regulation goes up. Regulating the voltage is one of the most beneficial things you can do on the power side for audio components.

Harumph! Never thought of it that way. So the smaller they get, the less strictly they regulate voltage?

That’s the idea. Not to say that the P3 doesn’t do a killer job at regulation. The P20 does it a lot more effortlessly.

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@jamesh, thank you for the great reply. Clearly you are onto an important attribute of various regenerators. One where the P3 trails, within the PS Audio line. So now for the tough question…

How much does that matter?

I’m not suggesting for a moment that at the highest end of systems, that EVERYTHING does not matter. I’m quoting others on those words, but the point is the same. Namely the lower impedance of the P20 is a good place to improve the performance of a P3’s higher impedance, in top of the line systems.

But how much does the impedance difference mean to less than cost-is-no-object systems?

I understand my question is a little like the absurd “Please put a percentage to how much better is this than just good?” Tough to objectively quantify. So your indulgence is appreciated.


Why? (xyz)

The old one was always called P3. Which is a good reason to call the new one something else - like SP3 - to save any confusion.

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I have a fireplace in between my speakers (the other side of that wall is outside) and I’m not running wires in front of that. I had a conduit built that runs outside “behind” the fire place through which I can run speaker wire or an XLR depending on stereo amp vs mono blocks. I think mono blocks with shorter speaker wire is going to be best for SQ. So it would be a twelve foot power cord to get to the other side, but I don’t really want to run the power cord right next to the XLR -so another conduit physically separated (maybe now a 15ft power cord), a second 15ft power cord on the “short” side to be symmetrical… it’s sounding like 2 P20s is simpler, better, and likely not that much more expensive with a new conduit and two 15ft power cords in the mix.

Why? (abc)

Smart move, XLR in same conduit as power cord or not… cheaper to go 2 P20s… Are the BHK300 P20s plugged into a single run 20A? I would try and see what the cost is going (2) separate 20A runs. That cost me $600 from across the house. Then you just deal with long XLRs and some serious power for the speakers, near the speakers and not spending $3K on each power cord… My SR Alphas were $1500 each for BHK300 and that was 1.75m, not 5.0m… crap, I would get stabbed in my sleep for (2) 5m SR Alpha NR. In addition, think of a 15ft power cable impedance… P20 is 5mohms output impedance and that transfers very serious power slugs… then a 5m power cable… better be 8ga… oops wait a min… that is $3K for SR Sigma NR… wonder what that cost at 5m…:nerd_face: Crap that has to be $5K per power cord… and a cheap power cord is not helping why you went P20 to start… So now we are at $10K for power cords… that is bad ass… dual P20/BHK300 combo plugged into a 20A single run each… gobs of power…


You make a great point. If someone is running a mid-fi system and they were to upgrade from the P3 to the P20, would they hear an improvement? Absolutely. Is this improvement going to be worth more than their entire system? Doubtful.

The improvement that they are going to have upgrading from plugging the system into the wall up to the P3 is shocking! I work with a lot of customers that aren’t sure their system will improve much with the inclusion of a P3. They preface that they only plan to keep the P3 if it makes a CLEAR difference! “I plan to do a lot of AB test.” It’s funny the number of them that call back and say they didn’t do the AB test. “I didn’t need to. The improvement was so apparent right away, I didn’t bother testing it.”

It should go without being said, but exclusively recommending the P20 is disingenuous. When I’m piecing a system together, I build the best system possible with the given constraints. Recommending a P20 for a simple system running a fine integrated and a decent CD player isn’t the right move. Depending on the rest of the system, I’m going to recommend putting the $10,000 else where. New speakers, better source, and getting into separates.


My two cents about this whole thing. I have BHK 300s for my big rig inside the house and a Music Hall A15.2 integrated driving Definitive Technology AW6500 outside speakers. All the head end equipment is the same (tape loop out of my Cary SLP-05 pre-amp into the A15.2 with a DSD and Bridge II as the source). I’m convinced I hear a bigger difference using the P20 on my outside system than my big rig, inside system. I don’t experiment like many here (A/B ing equipment is way too tedious - life is short) so I could be tricking myself. I think the power supplies in the BHKs are more tolerant of power variations than the power supply in the A15.2. It’s amazing how musical my outside system is! I attribute a lot of that to the P20 (I had a P10 previously).


Great reply. Thanks. Just the kind of qualification I was hoping for. And hopefully helpful for others, when pondering such decisions.

Thanks! :slight_smile:


Yeah, the plan is 3 dedicated 20A, one for sources. There is already a dedicated 15A that I will use for dirty necessities.

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very smart, some spend the money on P20 and they don’t get how cheap it is to run 10ga, 20A dedicated line to reduce the AC line resistance to the panel, in essence creating better dynamic energy transfer. I would go the 20A power cords w/ at least 6ga power cords. My DT2000T and P20 have SR Sigma NR & Anaconda CX power cords. After that, then going 8ga to source is fine. I use Delta NR (10ga) for my (4) Farads