Power Plant Premier "First" Impression


You can also mix and match, with some outlets on all the time, and some off to be turned on with the main power button. This way you can keep your DAC powered up and warm, but your tube amp off until you listen.


Thanks for the info. As indicated, the only piece that isn’t in warm mode is the cable box. The delay setting is useful to have, but I was wondering while reading through the guide how much use it gets in a largely solid state era. Turntables presumably, but don’t most modern tube pieces have a low current warm mode?


I do not know how the majority setup a Powerplant, but I keep my amps off until ready to listen regardless if I have a SS or tube amp in the system at the time, same with the pre, headphone amps, etc. The only think I leave powered up is the DirectStream, and this only because the power draw is low. I dislike wasting power and I find most pieces warm-up to within 90% of their sound in 15 minutes or so. Besides, I am listening to the music, not the equipment.

Paul McGowen said

Yes, you can set the zones for always on or just leave the P5 always on. It was designed for 24/7 use. Have fun and let us know what you think when it arrives.

P5 arrived today. I assume it needs the usual amount of burnin. In the meantime, the sound is clearer and smoother, although I can't tell much difference with singers' voices. It also seems a little less dynamic, although as I started to experiment that seems in part related to voltage. The outlet here typically shows 122.x volts, while I could even tell a difference in volume and the high end by raising output from 120 to 121 volts.

Two problems:

  • The (Fundamental) System Setup Screen is not coming up when I tap on the touch screen when Initialization starts. Tried powering down/up several times and got no response before the home screen.

  • The instructions say to “use the heaviest shelded AC power cable you can to connect a PP5 to its AC power source,” but the first zone D (high current) plug is so close to the P5’s voltage inlet that it’s impossible to fit a typical aftermarket sized power connector in there (I imagine that I’m not the first to note this). Spacing seems designed for the supplied OEM size connector only. I don’t know if it would make any difference in my case with the ATC powered speakers, but there’s no way even to experiment. What’s behind it being setup this way?

Question: Was the P5’s last firmware update in 2015, as a couple of the file creation dates suggest?


Just had an exchange of emails with Jeremy of PS Audio about the problems I mentioned, especially the second one about power cords. He says the limited space was a design decision about how much real estate to give for the inlet, and thus to the other outlets. Since PS Audio explicitly encourages P5 owners to use the largest power cord they can from the source to the inlet, and such cords almost invariably come with a large connector, in part for better sound, this design decision doesn’t seem to me to the standard that I’ve found the company to have. It’s also a matter of integrity: the effective elimination of one of the eight outlets, and a high current one, is part of the information potential buyers need in making a decision. Yet, unless I’ve missed it, it’s nowhere to be found in the manual or on the site, unless one studies the rear panel view very carefully - and then asks. Let’s be real: there aren’t many audiophile style power cords around that don’t have large connectors on the end, ones that can fit side by side in the inlet and first slot of the P5 (large connectors fit fine side by side in the other outlets, although there’s probably at least one around that would be too large). Whether one buys at full fare or at something less, I wouldn’t think that this is the kind of surprise buyers expect.

With this new information, in hindsight perhaps I should have started a separate thread, to make this matter more visible.

Elk said

I dislike wasting power and I find most pieces warm-up to within 90% of their sound in 15 minutes or so.

I also like to save energy, so I turn my BHK250 amp off when not in use. When I power it up, even after 15 minutes it sounds kind of rough – not terrible, I could use it for background listening. But if I am focused on the music, it’s really not enjoyable – grates on my ears a little. It’s better after two hours, but really takes three to become its sweet, musical self. Wish it weren’t so, but that’s what I hear. Elk is probably right, but that last 10% can make a real difference with equipment of the quality that PSA offers.


There are definitely pieces which take longer to warm up. I also find that whether this is an issue depends a great deal on the music I am playing.

The lack of a complete warm up is particularly apparent when I return from recording a live orchestra in concert and am eager to give a quick listen to the recording. The first time I did this I was convinced that I had seriously screwed up as the orchestra sounded wrong, with the violins particularly steely.

I first thought I had picked the wrong microphones for the task. I was greatly relieved that the recording sounded good after a fifteen minute or so warm-up. I am sure it was obvious that the initial sound is wrong as the last music I heard was a real orchestra in a performance space.


Well, unfortunately, my joy has been short-lived. My PPP is now in bypass all the time, with output distortion identically tracking input distortion. No clicking when powered on or upon startup, so I’m guessing there’s a hard failure in the regenerator.

Guess its time to get in touch with support, again… :frowning:

Dan W.