Garth Powell's Stance on Power Regenerators

I like how Garth picks out the only “worst-case scenario” (over-powered power amplifier) and runs with it as his whole argument against regeneration. I know Garth deserves tons of credit in our industry… Buuut, it seems like he knows best and everyone else is selling snake oil. Odd of his to do this since PS Audio pushes AQ cables on their own website! Any comments @Paul

I guess Gareth has never been to PS Audio’s IRS V music room…

Might could change his tunes… :musical_score: :notes: :musical_note: :speaker: :sound: :sound: :loud_sound: :trumpet: :guitar: :saxophone: :trumpet:

As for me…Gareth your explanation will not pry my P15 out of my system. My
P15 happens to be driving my Parasound JC5 monster amp :grinning: :grin:
very nicely thank you sir!!

Oh and may I say that output thd with system rocking along is .1%…there goes your
theory… :grin: :grinning:

Snake oil, olive oil, or Mobile oil, as long as it sounds good in my system, I am happy with it. LOL.


Come on folks, it’s not like Paul doesn’t have a similar story about conditioners when asked.
They’re all trying to make a living and they believe in their products.
PS Audio’s logic about regenerators makes more sense to me, so I bought a P20 and I’m done thinking about it. For others, there are mfrs making conditioners. Choices and a free market are a good thing.
EDIT—AND the dealer who conducted that interview are a PS Audio dealer…


@RonP yeah, I can understand making a living, etc. It just seems to me Garth stretched a bit - maybe to the point of fibbing to discredit the benefits of regeneration. But I make no claims of understanding AC/DC anywhere remotely close to the likes of Paul or Garth.

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Hey RonP…if Garth can diss regenerators…and this being an
open forum …why not then let Garth know there are those
of us have and do enjoy regenerators and what these accomplish
for our systems and music…and not let him run his theories roughshod
over the products…

Do you like one-sided arguments…with no opposing response …

Best wishes

Sorry, David. I don’t quite know what point you’re making re my earlier comments.

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Come on folks, it’s not like Paul doesn’t have a similar story about conditioners when asked.

Just replying to what you said there…

Best wishes friend

Still confused but
Best wishes to you as well, DavidA

He does make a valid point suggesting that regenerators are of benefit because of the variable current draw of certain amplifiers. Then saying even a regenerator my instantaneously clip when the amp is trying to draw 30A or more - that would be too much for virtually any device or mains system and might blow the main fuse. His point about it all ending up as DC is also of some validity, the solution for some is to have a 24v DC input and outboard power supplies - Naim have been doing that since the 1980s.

Paul said in a recent video that his dislike (if not hatred) for conditioners is their high impedance - something he experienced in 1997. Well, even $600 units these days are low impedance. He also did not like that they don’t fix the sine wave or voltage - which are irrelevant to many modern components with switch mode power supplies.

Paul says PS Audio use ultra low impedance in the current range to block differential mode noise (mainly other components). Conditioners do that by using isolated sockets and filters over an extremely wide frequency range.

What he doesn’t say, and could have, is that mains conditioning can do a good job for much less money than a regenerator, and you usually get at least 8 sockets. The better conditioners can cost as much as regenerators.

Here’s Paul explaining impedance. That may have been the case 24 years ago …

I’m a fan of Audioquest and the Niagara line but after I read Micheal Fremer’s article that his power issues were not resolved by his Niagara 7000 and he used P15 and P20 to restore the sound quality in his system I made my decision for a PS Audio Power Plant.

I don’t think I’d ever have the same issue as Mr. Fremer but I’m happy I bought a P10! I still think the Audioquest Niagara conditioners are good and extremely well built! I also use Audioquest cables throughout my system.


I have a question nothing to do with regen (I have P12), but with conditioners. The following two pictures, one is cheap $350 and the other is $5000 (about same price as P12) both are conditioners. I thought that all conditioners use same kind of technology. Does expensive conditioner works better than cheap one?

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Yet another polemic essay… Are you doing a major in Brodric :slightly_smiling_face:


Well, I could have just said a one-liner that conditioners are better than regenerators, or vice versa, neither of which is true.

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Simple ones, might do as little as surge protection and some filtering, but I have two of those, one I’ve had for 20 years and is still being sold for around $250. More complex ones do a wide range of things. The tech is explained on their sites (IsoTek, Shunyata, AudioQuest etc.).

Your first picture, the $5,000 AQ5000, comes from their website and it says:

  • Transient Power Correction
    From nimble, efficient Class-D to mammoth Class-A mono block power amplifiers, average (RMS) current draw can be modest (2 to 7 amps). However, wide dynamic range audio content can create very fast transient current demands …. as much as ten times that average. Our correction circuit bolsters and stabilizes the power supply of any power amplifier by providing a buffer and an instant current reservoir of up to 80 amps peak (20mS).

Which explains what Mr Powell was saying in his video. So your P12 can produce a constant 10A (1200VA), well in excess of 2A to 7A typical, but his unit, that costs the same, has a buffer that can provide 80A for 20mS. I have no idea which if either is preferable.

So he is designing conditioners that he claims can be used with demanding amplifiers, and that is what he seems to be promoting in his video. My system barely draws 1A, so that feature would be of no use to me.

So at the risk of a post too long for @Dirk, he could have said that regenerators provide a level of constant power, but his device provides short bursts of peak power and has less chance of clipping. It would be interesting to hear from @jamesh if amplifiers ever do demand 30A or more, even if for 20mS, and how regenerators cope without blowing a fuse.


I zoned out at No. On “limp home” mode after that. Did I miss something important! :roll_eyes:

The Pass Labs XA160.8’s (the "XA line being single-ended class A) are spec’d at a max output of 50 amps at 56 volts, which at 2,800 watts I assume to be peak output. Even the Pass XA 60.8’s (nominally 60 w at 8 ohms) show a maximum amperage spec of 30.

I have another question, this time has to do with PSA regen and PSA gears. Suppose regen clipping above certain Amp, assuming the gear uses amp into the clipping level, But, we know PSA voicing(or tune) its gear with regen, does this tune compensate the clipping?
If so, PSA regen + PSA gear will be the best pairing. Maybe, this is why I seems hear sonic improvement from my PSA gears (M700) with P12.

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I’m sorry, but Garth does not appear to understand how power amps work. That 20ms current surge is on the DC rails across the speaker load and never gets to the AC cord due to the caps in the power supply. If It did it would blow the AC fuse. The whole analogy is invalid from an engineering perspective.

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Hey Terrence…should the regenerator’s output come to
a clipping level…I think the regnerator would shut off by
going into auto-protect mode. (for the regenerator)…

That’s a good question for jamesh…

You may wish to ping jamesh with your question…
Best wishes…