New P5 enters service


#1

I’ve been a PS Audio powerplant user continuously since 2003. I ran a p300 from 2003-05, graduated to a p600 that I used from then until today, and just installed its replacement, a brand-new P5. Here are my first impressions. I had used the SS1 multiwave on the P600, which fed my preamp (EAR 864) and power amp (VAC phi 170 iq). Both use tubes. I was very happy with the sound, but wanted something with more output capacity that didn’t put quite so much heat into my living room. Anyway, tonight I put the P5 in the system, using multiwave 4. While the general character of the music (a jazz LP and a female vocal one) was the same, there was a a noticeable decrease in what I can only call stridence; high frequencies were more naturally rendered, detail previously unheard emerged, Bass was tighter and midrange tone was more realistic. It’s as if the P5 removed something noxious that I wasn’t consciously aware of hearing. Night and day difference? No, but it was very easy to hear, and once heard, very difficult to do without. I don’t plan on trying to do so. The P600 will shift to my vintage system (based on a Fisher 500-C) or find a new home.


#2

A excellent description of the improvements made by a PowerPlant.


#3

Ok, I’m a few days into my new life with the P5 and…I’m confused. Throughout my previous P600 life, I used multiwave exclusively, either the ps2 or ss1 waveforms. Sine didn’t do it for me. So tonight, on a whim after reading posts here extolling sine by other P5 users I switched to sine from multiwave 4. Bass became better focused and for lack of a better word, tighter. Soundstage depth increased, as did atmospherics in live recordings. It sounded like a smoother version of ss1, but with even more dynamics. To say this experience is counterintuitive is an understatement. Am I hearing things or is there a reason my equipment (EAR 864 tube preamp and VAC phi 170iq tube amp) would prefer straight sine?


#4

It is common for tube equipment to prefer sine and not to sound as good with manipulated waveforms. I do not know why.

I recall with earlier PowerPlants it was unwise to change the frequency to above 60Hz as tube heaters were not designed to work at higher frequencies, resulting in distortion - but this is a different issue.

As always, it is best to trust your ears. But it sure would be satisfying to have an explanation.


#5

Manipulating the power waveforms can add power (and/or lower the peaks) which some power supplies are more sensitive to than others. On one end a switching power supply is fairly immune to power waveforms (but obviously has other problems.) On the other some power supplies don’t expect more than a little THD and may not filter out the higher harmonics as effectively or may not be expecting faster ramps than a sine wave, etc. There are also some digital filters that have a special filter to reject 50-60Hz (or more probably 100-120Hz) and this filter will be less effective with manipulated power waveforms.