P3 or P12 for large amplifter

Thinking about a power plant P3 or P12 (or the new Audioquest Niagara 1200) . I’m a little put off by the price of the P12. I have an Audio Research VT130SE amp, LS22 preamp, ph3 phono stage, Innuous zenith 3 server, PS Audio DS dac, Rega turntable. PS Audio already told me that the 130SE power amp would require too high a load for the P3’s regeneration outlets but that I could use the non regeneration outlets on the P3 for that. I’m wondering if the power amp should be plugged into regeneration outputs anyway , even if I got a P12, based on some opinions I’ve read that this could actually have a negative effect. If so, why not get the P3, plug everything but the power amp into the regeneration outlets and plug the power amp into the non regeneration ones? Compared to the Audioquest 1200, I would get similar filtering for the power amp and regenerated power for everything else… and it wouldn’t cost that much more (utilizing PS Audios trade in policy). Hoping that people who know more about these things than I do can tell me if I’m right or wrong in this approach. Thanks.

Not too sure why plugging the VT130 into the P12 would have a negative impact. Now if you’re running it consistently at or above 80% load, the P12 will get really hot, and it won’t like this. The amp will really enjoy the regenerated power and the lower output impedance from the P12. I just looked up the specs for the VT130. A little bit tricky to find, but with typical listening levels, it’ll probably be pulling around 400-450W. This load plus the other gear won’t be too much for the P12 to handle. (Though I would recommend more headroom)
Using the P3’s regenerated power for your source gear and the filtered for the amp will get you great performance, but you’ll ultimately get better sound with the P12.

Jamesh, Thanks for doing the research and providing advice. My comment about a negative effect from plugging the amp into regenerated power is based on some statements from audiophile friends to the effect that amps prefer unrestricted and unfiltered power and otherwise suffer from power reduction. That’s about the best I can explain it and I am only repeating what was said, not endorsing it. From your post, it sounds like I have to decide whether to go with optimum results at a higher price or good results for half as much. Thanks again.

Unrestricted power is critical for amps. The PowerPlants provide not only unrestricted power, but less restriction than that which comes out of the wall.

The general thought process in the audiophile community is to plug straight into the wall socket without the hindrance of a power conditioner, especially for the amps. This is generally good advice as most power conditioners clean, but rob the music of some

Where they make their mistake is thinking a Power Plant is a power conditioner. It is not. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Power conditioners add unwanted restriction to the AC line because of their filters. A Power Plant does the opposite
by removing restrictions - especially those from the long length of AC wiring in the home. That resistance of wire from the power pole to your equipment harms sound quality, especially with power amplifiers.

By adding a PS regenerator, energy is added back that’s missing, which is why it fills in the missing peaks, lowers impedance, regulates the voltage, and eliminates distortion.

It’s also why we added a scope and distortion analyzer to the Power Plant’s from panel - to show the level of improvement and what the power out of the wall is doing.

So, don’t confuse power conditioners with Power Plants. One restricts and the other enhances and supplements missing energy.


I have a question about which power conditioner I should get. I’m putting together a headphone system using a Pink Faun 2.16 server, supplying the DAC Sr into a Blue Hawaii headphone amp. I’m wondering if a P3 would be the best way to go or if upgrading to a P12 would make much of a difference?

When I was a kid, my mother put up a “cursing” penalty jar. Every time I cursed, I had to deposit a quarter. By my junior year, my parents were able to buy a beach house in Maui.
We should have a penalty jar for every time one of us calls a PS Audio regnerator a power conditioner.:laughing:


I hope you feel good about yourself. I know it’s a power regenerator as well as the next guy. It really is immaterial to the question but I told everyone I know how smart you are.

Come on, it’s just humor.


I’d probably feel differently if you had actually responded to the question

Sorry, really.
Maybe you shouldn’t go with my opinion because I always go 'bigger is better" with things like amps or regens. I initially went from a P5 to a P12 and when I bought a new amp that idles around 400 watts, I traded up to a P20. When I had the P12, I loved the sound quality improvement over the P5.

Actually I have a P10 for a similar system but was wondering if it was overkill for source equipment and a headphone amp. On the other hand I know Paul feels that the output impedences on the bigger units provides benefits with any system.

Do you live in an area where you have access to the 30 day trial? If so, I’d try the P3 and see how it works out. For source equipment and headphone amp, it might be all you need.

Just wanted to get an opinion about whether I need the P12 or can get by with the P3. My main concern is the power amp - Parasound JC5, 400 watts into 8 ohms. I mostly stream from a Mytek Manhattan II into the Parasound, out to PSB T3s.

Which regenerator would meet the power needs of this system and if it were the P3, would I plug the amp into one of HC/regen outlets and flip on the HC switch?

Thanks for any help.

I would somehow find the means to get a P12, then you will have no concerns about taxing the power plant. I run everything into the P12 except the TV. I run the 200w Esoteric power amp into the P12 on any of it’s outlet, it doesn’t matter, and the dynamics will blow you off of the chair without even straining. I believe the P12 will also sound better than the P3, and you can add components in the future without worry.

Thanks for the quick response… I was leaning this direction. The cost is going to pinch but I’ve invested a fair amount already. Might as well get the best out of the equipment I have.

You’re welcome. You won’t regret it. Don’t forget to use a good power cord with it also. I find the power cord does make a considerable improvement to the sound for some reason that I don’t understand, but I have never heard my system ever sounding so good than with the P12 in it.

Let’s say you got a P3 and it wasn’t ‘enough’ for your system. What would that sound like, and how would you know? What is the sonic signature of a struggling P3? Are dynamics crushed, collapsed sound stage, etc?

I just got a P3 via fedex today…currently I’m at the office staring at the clock…


Come on clock!

Hi Yomaha,

I noticed your post and wanted to chime in really quick. If you don’t see your output LED on your Stellar P3 turning red then your P3 is not struggling at all. If it constantly stays yellow/orange than it might be getting close, but most likely the Stellar P3 will go into protection before you notice a sonic difference. The regenerated signal is essentially the same quality at all loads.


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