Filtered High Current Setting on Stellar Power Plant 3


I was hoping that you guys could help me understand the (sonic) advantages of plugging my class AB amplifier into the High Current plug on my regenerator vs. plugging it straight into the wall? I have found out that my amp is too powerful to use the regenerator function.

The manual says that using these Filtered High Current outlets will bypass the regenerator and provide filtered power up to 13 amps. Does anyone know what kind of filtering this is? Does it limit the flow of current or restrict dynamics in any way? Or is simply intended to clean up the power a bit, just not as much as the regenerator would?

Thanks in advance,

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Hi @George_P

As far as I know, when you set the rocker switch to HC you get conditioned and regulated power as opposed to fully regenerated power.

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It is a big balun that will clean some high frequency garbage off the line. Better than being plugged into the wall, not as good as a regenerated output.

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Thanks, Paul!

Does this cleaning restrict current flow or dynamics in the music?

@George_P The general feeling I’ve read from posters here and elsewhere is that amps sound better overall plugged straight into the wall. There may be some things you like better one way or another, and I think that is why people don’t really go on the record for this; it can be subtle in an absolute difference but very significant in emotional connection.

That has been my experience, as well. I have had a P3 on all my front end stuff - streamer, DAC, power supplies, and am just now trying out a P12 on my 25w solid state class A amp. I do feel the P12 on amp affords a level of clarity, and even more dynamic range than I had before. There is a kind of snap to the sound that isn’t what I call “etched,” it’s, well, snappy!

But. I am not 100% sure I like the relative de-emphasis of the mids. Could this be due to my not using a vibration footer (Herbie’s) like I have on all my other gear (which I can easily hear the midrange benefit of, like night and day)? I may try that tomorrow but to be honest, my physical setup does not allow for the P12 to be on the amp in the long run.

The P12 will move to regenerating the front end and the P3 will probably be sold. I am more than happy with the effect that PS Audio regenerated power has on my system sound and the P12 was always intended to replace the P3 rather than augment it. I just wanted to hear how it would change things since I have the ability to do it for a few days.

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I’ll add that I really like the way the P12 on my amp lets a lot of tonal subtlety through, and combined with the snap I mentioned, makes percussion like snare drum or cymbals feel very dynamic and exciting. There’s also a cohesion to the soundstage and coherence to the sound of instruments in orchestral recordings that is improved upon. These qualities were in my system before, the P12 just removes the noise or distortion that masks these traits and for lack of better words, gives these traits a touch of contrast boost that makes them more “real.”

But, I know how much I liked the sound before because it has all these qualities, and the loss isn’t so much a loss as it is a kind of de-emphasis. And so I think I will find the P12 on the front end a suitable sweet spot. We’ll see.

And for the sake of sharing my system tuning experience, if I were thinking I’d want to somehow make the P3/P12 combo work as I’ve heard about from PS Audio, in my system/room, I’d probably need to either find a suitable tube preamp to pair with my solid state amp, or I’d need to bump up the mids on my Schiit Lokius EQ which is an excellent means of tweaking the frequency (I chose this relatively cheap and very transparent option over some kind of digital EQ which would be more stuff than I want in my signal path).

Other options would be cable but I’ve already invested in the latest Shunyata and find those to be excellent for my taste. So, I’d try the EQ first and if that weren’t enough, maybe some tube preamp I could stomach (I don’t really want to roll or even deal with tubes every couple years).

FWIW, I’m seeing 1.8% THD inbound, which shows up as 10x “improvement” with 120-121v out.

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After typing all the above yesterday, I felt some motivation to give the variations a listen today. What can I say: there is always a certain expectation bias in this hobby.

Sooo, the P3/P12 sounds great, and there is a sort of sparkle to the sound. I think it’s micro-dynamics. Then I switched back to just my P3 on front end gear, and amp to wall. Because it’s a side by side comparison, you can (or I can) hear the difference, and, well, I did miss the extra sparkle, the extra ambient acoustic information, and I determined that I will try everything plugged into the P12.

You just have to try things and see for yourself! Despite what I wrote above, I think I will be keeping my amp plugged into the regenerator.


@kukur9 - Thanks for your posts in this thread. I have found that my system sounds best when my entire system is plugged into my regenerator, using regenerated power. The improvement is so significant that I have found that my Yamaha A-S801 amplifier and Marantz SA-KI Ruby SACD player plugged into the regenerated outlets produces better sound than a Hegel H390 and same SACD player does with the amp plugged into the wall or the Filtered High Current outlet and the SACD player into the regenerated outlet. I feel this is particularly impressive, as the Hegel is supposed to be a much better amplifier. I returned my Hegel yesterday and will be sticking with my Yamaha/Marantz/PS Audio combo.

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