From 2 P12s to 1 P20

I’ve read lots of threads about differences between P12 and P20 (or P15) PowerPlants but never found a post describing the jump from 2 P12s to a bigger single one, this is the reason why I’m sharing here my impressions.

Why 2 PowerPlants? Because the P12 EU model has only 4 outlets, really not enough for my system, so last year I bought 2 units. And I was very happy with them. Until a voice deep in my vain audiophile unconsciousness started tempting me with a whisper “P20… P20… go for a new P20”. Obviously I gave in.

Here a picture before:

And after:

Using 2 P12s I was able to feed all components, except 2 subwoofers that I had to keep plugged directly into the wall. The P12s benefited of a dedicated line (in effect sharing 2 different wall sockets though) while the subs did not. Power cords were/are full loom AQ Dragons, just the subs had/have AQ Tornados.

Now the P20 feeds all and with enough room for future improvements (AirLens and who knows what else).

Here a scheme before:

And after:

I think that during next weeks I will be able to better evaluate the differences the P20 brought in my room, anyway I’m happy after 2 weeks of burning in to report here below my initial thoughts. Using words (less as possible, sorry if you find them not adequate) and numbers (an empirical “listen and take note” method I already used on this forum for cables - see other thread about new XLR Mythical Creature).

Let’s proceed…

WORDS

Settings
P20 seems to sound better following exactly the same preferences I used to set for P12s. Sine Wave mode, 230V fixed value, High Regulation. I found also the same THD values shown on display: 2,0%~2,5 IN and 0,1% OUT even if now I’m using just one wall socket of the dedicated line. While I’m reading different results from the Auto Tune Phase function: it was -7 or -6 on both my previous P12s and it is exactly 0 on the P20 actually. Feeding now also 2 REL subs I suppose can be related with these numbers. I found much more effective the 60 seconds “Clean” function using the P20 than using the P12s: I usually press the Clean button at the beginning of a listening session and each time that I switch from playing records to CDs and vice versa.

Control
The feeling of plain control is immediate, an enormous amount of calm relax and easy suddenly surrounded all my senses. Think about driving a city car on the highway at 100 km/h (60 mph) or driving a V8 cylinder luxury sedan. Same speed but totally different comfort, headroom power, safety. It seems to travel always downhill, ready to promptly accelerate every time if needed.

Bass
This is a critical area. During the first 50 hours of listening I had some doubts. Simply too much basses. I thought it was caused by subs, before plugged to wall and now both fed by the regenerator. While highs and mids were shining, with a sense of openness and spaciousness, basses were ruining any balance, no equilibrium, no synergy with the rest of the spectrum areas. Basses were overwhelming all, distracting me and taking off the pleasure of music. I tried moving speakers and repositioning subs, without success. Patience is a virtue.
Time passing the excess of bass became less and less. Within 200 hours they reached a settlement, now they sound perfectly integrated and immersive, really engaging and enjoyable.

Spaciousness
Bigger and bigger. Compared to my previous P12s the P20 is evident how can improve every dimension. Depth mainly. Width, too. Not as a bigger image in front of you, no. You are IN, really inside a wider sight. You are not looking through a window the horizon, you can feel yourself into the center of the ocean without any other human presence, far far away, looking 360 degrees all around a wonderful warm sunset.

Headroom
With 2 P12s I had lot of headroom. Load max was 15~20% each. Now the same load is shown on the P20’s display, feeding the entire system. Maths a part, is quite different the silence (no fans), the background during listening. With no music playing the white noise is almost the same as before. Maybe my expectations were to hear vanishing it at all, unfortunately it didn’t happen. Anyway I certainly gained more in transients, punchy tightened emotions that suddenly arrives to my chest, directly to my heart. And music then floats again and again, till the next knock.

Mood
It’s hard to define the general sense of satisfaction the P20 are able to bring. More clarity, yes music now shows details and nuances never heard before. Revealing and airy, for sure. But… but… there is something else. Oh yes, how not to mention tridimensionality, realism and soundstage, all the usual qualities that the reviews are full of. No, there is something else. It’s the way you can feel (not only hear) the music, an intimate relationship that let you immerse deeply down the essential soul of sound. Engagement increases, you forget gear and speakers, lost with your fantasies you can librate yourself into a so pleasant mental absence. With no past and future, present seems dilated, expanded, suspended. This is the mood.

No more words, sorry for my Italian enthusiasm.

NUMBERS

Please find here below just a few numbers. I mainly focused on 2 aspects: the % of improvement my ears can perceive comparing 2 P12s vs 1 P20 in the chain and the general “value” (score) that I can actually assign to my system taking into consideration those empirical parameters I can easily recognize during my listening experience.

IMP % SCORE
VINYL CD VINYL CD
White noise/Hum 10% 0% 7 8
Background 30% 20% 8 9
Neutralness 30% 30% 10 8
Image precision 20% 10% 9 9
Soundstage depth 30% 40% 8 10
Soundstage width 40% 30% 10 9
Separation 20% 10% 9 9
Voice 30% 30% 9 9
Hights 10% 20% 9 8
Basses 50% 30% 8 9
Presence 30% 40% 9 8
Transient 40% 20% 8 8
Clarity 30% 20% 8 10
Airy 30% 40% 9 9
Detail 20% 40% 9 10
Unveil 10% 20% 7 9
Realism 40% 20% 10 9
Calm 50% 50% 10 9
Control 60% 60% 9 9
Engagement 40% 50% 9 9
31,0% 29,0% 8,8 8,9

I don’t know any other way to describe the improvement I found jumping from 2 P12s to 1 P20, sorry this is me. As always I apologize for my technical ignorance, I’m not a reviewer and certainly I have no competence to judge in any way the quality of this product. I’m just a newbie who can just share emotions and first impressions, with the aim to be useful to whom that are interested to know how a simple member of this forum found (and happy enjoyed) this wonderful new toy.

Thank you once more Paul for your effort as entrepreneur and music ambassador, you are bringing more joy in our lives. And we never needed it so much as nowadays.

14 Likes

You are doing as great a job as any reviewer out there, to a point that I wonder if I should trade up my P15 to P20. Nah, I have made too many impulsive decisions after great reviews. It is a good thing the sales were over for P20 too.

5 Likes

No multiwave settings or experience to report…?

Thanks for the review.

2 Likes

Sine Wave is my preference, due to naturalness and realism. Multi Wave (also from lowest level) seems to give too much strength, pushing sound a step over the right balance, less pleasant, less controlled and a bit less opened.
Even if actually these differences are subtle, I can say that they are pretty audible. Anyhow not night and day.
High Regulation vs Low Distortion function reacts in the same way as my previous P12s. My choice is HR.
I need more time to experiment, take my thoughts as first first impressions.

Fuses and other tweaks will come after I’ll become more familiar with it as it is now.

6 Likes

10-4.

Thanks for the follow up.

I have the same experience!

1 Like

Very interesting!

Is your incoming current consistently too high, too low or typically wildly fluctuating?

TIA.

My voltage changes a lot. Generally it goes down to 223v and up to 238v. Last Xmas it went above 245v and fried a fridge compressor!

Moreover, I am aware that tubes love stable voltage, so that is better for my BHK preamp :slightly_smiling_face:


1 Like

My voltage too changes a little bit from 223V to 229V even if generally under 230V. I have tubes into a BHK Preamp and into a pair of M1200 amplifiers.

HR vs LD function needs more time to investigate. I think it’s more a trial and error process than a standard rule application.

2 Likes