My New P20


#1

I wasn’t sure that a Power Plant would help my system so I’ve been on the fence about getting one for a while. When the P20 came out I asked Paul to try one and I’m glad I did.

With two people (and the handles on the front and back) it was easy to get into the system. I grabbed some Shunyata Taipan power cords I had around and put the P20 between the wall and my Simaudio W-10 monoblocks. Then I played some music loud to see how much headroom I’d have. A little louder than I’d ever want to listen for any length of time I was at about 60% capacity on the P20 so there’s plenty of extra headroom.

After listening for just a little I was hearing things I never heard before - I know it’s a cliché, but the new things weren’t subtle, instruments I’d never heard in a orchestras (e.g. in just about every cut of “The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith” Telarc SACD and “Round-up” Telarc SACD) as well as in simpler music.

The second day I moved my EMM Switchman preamp to the P20 as well and did some more listening. Everything has a little more ease, a little more flow, more dynamics, tighter bass, a blacker background which, for example, made it much easier to hear when the reverb on the voice of recordings was different than the reverb on one or more instruments, etc.

But what really matters is that my wife immediately reported similar differences without prompting.

It definitely won’t be returned to PS Audio and will be a welcome addition to my system.

(FWIW the rest of my system: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/3367.html)


#2

I will try one, too this or next year…and a pre!


#3

Ted,
Thank you ever so much for your review of the P20. I have been on a “fence”; covet it or 2 - P12s. The P12 might help me with room space, placement (and obviously my personal desire to support cable makers). Any advice on the 2-P12 v P20 would be appreciated.

Your wife’s approval is huge. I recently saddled up new PSA M700s and my wife instantly started dancing (now that is a technical evaluation I can understand). I see a birthday present coming.

There are many things about your review that schooled me. An intangible that warrants complementing, is your clear, easy to read writing style. I enjoy your forum comments and this is one of those little reasons why. The next time someone tells me that Electrical Engineers can’t write, I will choke them.

Enjoy your new upgrade.
Chas


#4

Nice system Ted. Was the P20 integrated as an additional piece in your system, or did it replace another power regenerator/conditioner?


#5

Great review, Ted.

Yes, it is a cliché, but “hearing things I never heard before” really happens. The phrase struck me as audiophile hyperbole until I experienced it myself.


#6

Hey wait a minute Ted… What are you doing running those Simaudio amps and EMM preamp? You should talk to a real nice guy named Paul at PS Audio and I bet he’d hook you up with BHK electronics! :grinning:


#7

I was thinking the same thing. Ted, have you auditioned the BHK in your home system? Most brands would insist that employees “use” or at least not advertise they are using other brands’ gear.


#8

I think the comment on the Benchmark Audio site for their amp is even better. Look who says it’s the best measuring amp he’s ever measured. Perhaps Ted should consider the Benchmark Amp since BHK likes it. :rofl:


#9

Ted is not a PSA employee. Additionally, if you have been following the forum, it is apparent neither PSA as a corporate entity nor Paul individually are in any way threatened by the existence of competitors’ offerings.


#10

I realize that Ted is not technically an employee of PSA. He does design equipment for the company and acts as a “voice” of the company here on the forums. I’ve read that the new DAC will be a signature model. I was pointing out how unusual this arrangement is. Michael Jordan is not a Nike employee but I wouldn’t expect to hear how he wears Adidas. It’s odd.


#11

Nike pays Jordan ~ $100 million a year to be its spokesperson. This is hardly analogous.

Ted does not speak for PS Audio here or elsewhere. He has repeatedly made this very clear so that no one takes his views as those of PSA.

Oddly, I periodically need to remind forum members that I similarly do not speak for or represent PSA in any way. And I also own equipment not made by PSA. Horrors!


#12

I know you are holding on to the distinction that Ted does not speak for PSA. I bet, however, that if you surveyed the people in this forum they would not agree with this technical hair splitting. I gather that Ted is not doing his work for free and that he has a financial arrangement with PSA. I would assume the more units that are sold would provide him with a royalty. The fact that he doesn’t earn millions doesn’t change the notion that he is not simply a civilian in these forums.


#13

I agree on a lot you’re saying, but I think such openness to other opinions and decisions and not implementing communication rules for PSA near folks, strengthens PSA not weakens.


#14

Not sure how limited the interpretation of this BHK statement better should be.

I heard a very expensive preamp which is considered as one with the lowest measurable distortion, which was a major design criteria of this amp. It was one of the worse sounding in relation it’s price I’ve experienced so far. This is not meant to say, the Benchmark is sounding bad, just that solely such a criteria or its praise doesn’t mean a lot.


#15

I didn’t say it was necessarily a bad thing, but I’m doubling down on the strangeness of this phenomenon. It certainly violates the principle of “skin in the game” or eating your own cooking (especially BHKs endorsing a competitive product). To me, it sends a confusing message that is in contrast to Paul’s frequent insistence that PSA’s products are “the best.”


#16

It appears you misunderstood my comment regarding Michael Jordan and Nike. Mr. Jordan is being paid to represent Nike. His contractual obligation is to endorse Nike over all others. He is in violation of his contract if he wears or endorses competitors’ products.

Ted is independent. He does work for PS Audio and is, of course, paid - just like all the rest of us who do work for others. This does not make us shills for our employers. At least it does not for me. :slight_smile: YMMV.

As jazznut notes, PS Audio’s openness strengthens PSA. Open communication has many upsides. I greatly appreciate this ethic.

It is possible others have not seen or understood Ted’s posts making clear he does not speak for PS Audio. Hopefully, this little discussion will clear up any misunderstanding.


#17

I had never found a power conditioner that made the W-10s sound better. Most power cords were also a problem. That’s part of why I was a little skeptical about possible improvements from a P10 or P20.

My preamp was plugged into a PurePower APS 1050, but I was more using the PurePower to keep the switching supply in the Switchman and DAC6e from interfering with the rest of the system.

The EMM preamp is a 4 input six channel preamp with individual trims on all of the 24 inputs. My system is nominally a multichannel system and I use one of the Switchman’s inputs for the output of my multichannel Simaudio Attraction video amp… I have considered a BHK preamp for the front two channels but how to integrate it isn’t obvious.

I do have a set of BHK amps and they perform well in my system. Still the 750W of the W-10s can do a little better in the bass than the BHKs and the W10s have less noise (tho I can’t really hear any noise from the BHKs in practice.) The W10s have two power transformers (one for each 1/2) each of which is the size of the BHK’s. They cost me a pretty penny in about 2002.

Beside the other statements about PS Audio being open and me not being an employee (which I know that most of you know) I think Paul doesn’t want to intrude on my development system or personal choices. I respect that.

Something I should also have mentioned is that at the moment I’m running the ICONOCLAST SPTPC speaker cables and the 4x4 TPC XLR interconnects from my preamp to my amp. My wife and I didn’t like any of the older ICONOCLAST XLR interconnects as well as our old interconnects, but the 4x4’s were a slam dunk and I haven’t gotten back to doing an A/B with my regular TG Audio high purity silver interconnects.

After I get used to the P20 I’ll go back and listen to the BHKs again and also listen to my older interconnects, speaker wire, etc. again. Also I’ll try some different power cords between the wall and the P20, and the P20 and the W10s. I used the cords which I expected to perform the best, but I could be wrong.


#18

I also wanted to mention that “Chamber Symphony, Op.110a”, Dmitri Shostakovich, on the “Dedicated to Victims of War and Terror” by Schnittke, Shostakovich SACD (performed by Constantine Orbelian; Moscow Chamber Orchestra), one of my all time favorite SACDs, sounded just that much more real - violins in the face :slight_smile:

Also the “Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa” tracks on the “Ira Hearshen: Strike Up the Band” CD performed by United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, conducted by Lowell E. Graham was something new, all over again.

With these and many other discs the improvements from the P20 the differences weren’t subtle (at least to my wife and me.) I’m doing the stereotypical relistening to my whole collection…


#19

Oops I almost missed this question, but I’m afraid I can’t comment, not ever having heard the P12’s. I believe Paul’s been pretty consistently recommending one P20 over multiple other units and I have to say that I have no reason to doubt that.


#20

Ted’s right. While the P12 and P15 are huge upgrades over their predecessors the P20 is just leagues better than any of them.