New P3 vs. used P5

I’m ready to try a regenerater in my system, and it seems like the new Stellar P3 would work.(I’ve got Stellar M700 amps, BHK preamp, DS DAC, an Aurilac streamer and a CD player to plug in.). But for a similar price I could get a used P5, which seems to be significantly more robust. (1000VA continuous load vs 300). Aside from the advantage of having a warranty, is there anything else about the P3 that would make it preferable?

Hi tcatch… I have much the same stack as you do. I can’t speak to the P3, but I do have a P5 and it does a great job. It rarely gets over 20% utilized on the loudest passages. I like the display giving me info on the input side (usually 124v+ and 5-6% THD) and the output side (.1% THD and perfect voltage with optional visible multi-wave). As others at PSA will tell you, it made an audible/welcome improvement to my system.
Let us know what you decide.


There’s a lot of info on the Stellar P3 in this discussion:

Stellar Range Power Regenerator

I asked about the differences between the new Stellar P3 and my old P3. The reply excerpt below pointed out the technology improvements and sound improvements of the Stellar P3 compared to the older P3. The same logic might apply to the Stellar P3 v. the older P5. Hope this helps.

"On the other hand, The P12 and P15 sound better than the P5 and P10 and not by a small margin. What we learned from making the P12 and P15 carried over to the new P3. Things like an improved output stage that offers exceptionally low output impedance and a world class sine wave generator.

Plus we managed to make it fanless.

All things considered, the new P3 is an improvement over the old."

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The choice is simple. If SP3 can carry load, that is what you buy. If it can’t, then your choice is P5.

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Hmmmm. So, if I go with the Stellar, I give up the display (and the information it provides) as well as the ability to plug in more current-hungry equipment that I might acquire in the future. I’ll have to think about it.

I would look around for a used P12 with a warranty. Probably close to the price of a P3.

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Used P12’s seem to be going for more like $3-4K. With trade in, a P3 can be had for $1539. Given PS Audio’s policy of crediting buyers with the original list price of their traded-in gear, regardless of its current market value, the effective price of a P3 is well under $2K for those of us who have an appropriately priced piece of un-needed gear lying around. Used P5’s seem to be in that same ballpark.

The SP3 does have the option to run “more current hungry” stuff, as the third outlet is switchable to filtered and with a 2A fuse. Though in most situations, it will handle bigger stuff on the regenerated setting - such as the 700s. The inrush current is really the thing that may trip it, rather than operating current. I toasted the fuse on mine turning it on (I had accidentally left my amp switched on), and put a bigger one in for the time being. May have to try to whole “fuse thing”…

I can say it is very different from, and much better than the old P3, which I was coming from. Not sure of the differences between the old P3 and P5. For the SP3, Darren was tasked with essentially shrinking the P20 tech down to a Stellar device. Fortunately I don’t care about displays, so I didn’t feel the need for a bigger one, as I do not need anything more robust.

Craig, we should swap for a day - that would be interesting.


Thanks, all, for the suggestions and information. At this point I am thinking that the newer tech in the P3 should produce better sound quality. And that would be the deciding factor for me. But it would be reassuring to have that verified by someone who had actually compared the two. I won’t be able to pull the trigger until I sell some old gear, so there’s still time for such a person to turn up.

Sheesh, you don’t want much​:thinking::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:. calord and I live in the same 'hood. May be able to convince him to swap at some point (though he may not want to know the answer​:grimacing:)

I dunno…:-)). I’m listening through my P5 now and it just told me via it’s display that our local power service has improved it’s supply from a THD of 6.5%+ to the low 4%’s. The P5 is now happily putting out 120.4V at 0.1% THD. Anyway, I’m an info geek so I still like the display and seeing the in/out waveforms, etc. The ‘Beef is coming over soon for some listening…we can discuss. I was a regenerator sceptic until I got one of the last P5’s produced new. Now I’m a convert.

@calord - you are the 2nd post I’ve read with input THD greater than 6%. I have never seen mine above 3% and that is very rare in the peak power of the week and evening. PSA needs to get the power monitoring back on line. Do you know others with worse than 6.5% and what would be the “man that is crap power coming in number… thank goodness I got a regenerator”.

We need a poll on Regenerator THD input @bootzilla.

Like do a histogram bucketing it in 2%…
00% to 02%
02% to 04%
04% to 06%
06% to 08%
08% to 10%
10% to 12%

Not that I’m a data geek too… :nerd_face:

@cardri Yeh, until I got the P5 I had no idea what was arriving at my outlet. And when I the P5 reported that it was 6.5+% THD incoming, I really didn’t know what to think…except my P5 was dealing with it and putting out .1-.2% THD. And then I realized that my sound quality was WAY IMPROVED. So, I started to pay attention and played with multiwave and making sure that everything important was plugged into the P5. It has enough outlets to cover my important stuff. It would be very interesting to see a survey of the quality of incoming power. I can only guess how/why my local juice supplier has improved my incoming to 4+% THD. The Beef has left, BTW, and we didn’t discuss exchanging regenerators.

@calord - yeah, @Elk gave us a link to a meter for watts, voltage… just plug it into the wall and then plug a component into it for measuring power. Cheap and so cool… I have been dreaming up measurement schemes with that baby… I can plug my DSD into that device and plug it into the P20 to take a look at power consumption. Record all my components power consumption…

Be careful of peak usage in neighborhood when you are seeing worse/better THD. They correlate. I was getting 2.4% during peak evenings and 1.2% during the morning hours and the PSA went off line so I got tired of betting up and walking over to P20 and yes I understand you can look at it cause it has a node I can poll… I just lost interest after it wasn’t cool… to track…

Gawdalmighty…you guys Believe what your power device is telling you because it has a display with numbers and all? :roll_eyes::pray:t2::call_me_hand:t2::man_shrugging:t2:

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TT dude… analoger…

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Yes, I can see volts, watts on the P5, but only the P5 tells me about the integrity of the sine wave that’s charging my power supplies…the watt meters don’t. And our power supplies care about the peak/shape/duration of the AC coming in to charge the power supply caps. The current lags the voltage wave, but, the voltage wave indicates the integrity/health of the incoming juice. I wouldn’t see that without the display options on the P5. Happy here with my P5.

@calord - yes but not individually, just as an aggregate. I will use that meter for the individual components. Like understanding what my Sboosters draw individually. I have four. Yeah, the display is very nice. The P20 is very nice. Displaying individual circuit measurements would be very cool. You could keep track of each component’s performance. They could do this very easy. Just mux the measurements and front panel could show each circuit’s performance.

Been trying to get a thumbs up emoji in… anyway, yup! Good.

all good - :+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1: