Sound quality with P12 vs P15 vs P20

What type of sound quality differences can I expect to hear between the Powerplant 12, P15 and P20?

My system (for reference):

Revel F228be
Audioquest William Tell speaker cables
BHK 300 monos with AQ NRG-Z power cables
AQ Water XLRs
BHK Preamp with AQ NRG-Z power cable
Furman Elite 15 PFI with
AQ Tornado power cable

Without even getting into the discussion about sound quality, If you’re going to run BHK 300’s out of a Regenerator, the P20 is the only solution. I have a P5 and my BHK 300’s are out of the wall in a dedicated circuit.

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Can you elaborate on why? A P12 can handle everything I have without problems from a power perspective.

Also, I have a dedicated 20amp (with 10g wire) for everything I listed, and a second dedicated circuit for my sources.

I’m not a scientist or engineer but why do you think that the small transformer on your P12 can supply enough power to two massive transformers on our BHK 300’s plus all of your ancillary devices? The power reserves on a P12 are no different than an amplifier. If you play at low volume, sure it could work. If you play loud music on speakers that dip into low impedance and have a high demand for watts and most importantly AMP’s! Where is that reserve supply to come from? It’s just physics. The P20 has power reserves and low impedance to power these transients on demand. Your P12 will affect the quality of music at best or start clipping when over driven.

I was told by PS Audio technical support that the P12 is “plenty” powerful for the BHK 300 amps. Also, the numbers work if you look at the specs. Perhaps the headroom of a P15 or P20 could help in situations where the volume is blasting, but my room is small, and I already have the BHK Preamp capped at a max volume of “70,” as that’s where my eardrums began to bleed and the sheetrock started to crumble.

Somewhere here in the Forum, Paul said that P10’s where the recommendation for the 300’s. That’s pre the release of the new series of regenerator. So that would have been a P15 now. It wouldn’t take much volume or transients plus your devices to reach maximum output of a P12. Your issue with tech support is they walk a fine line between convincing you your device actually works well and a sale.

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@watchdog507 Thanks for the advice. Certainly something important to consider.

That being said, do you or anyone else have an answer to the original question? Perhaps ignoring my equipment list for the sake of all readers?

What type of sound quality differences can I expect to hear between the Powerplant 12, P15 and P20?

I’m sure that there are many people here who have moved up the food chain and can offer you their experience. My next addiction/addition will be a P20 or if the TSS is released it will be a tough decision.

Only if listening volumes and dynamics require more headroom than the unit can supply they should sound the same.

However, this is a good place to not be short as it affect everything.

I’m very happy with a pre-owned P10 I purchased 2 years ago. Haven’t felt the need to shuffle ~100lbs devices about to find out if a P15 or P20 are any different.

The Revels are pretty efficient and easy load at nominal impedance: 8 ohms. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m

To all electrical engineers, and to better answer that question, @brett66, I took a “Kill-A-Watt” tester, put on some ear protection and took my system all the way to “70” on the BHK preamp. Very loud (so loud I changed it to be a max of “65” going forward, as I will never be it that loud). But at “70”, the meter read that the total system draw was 410 watts. I don’t think this meter is capable of measuring instantaneous transient peaks, but knowing that the steady draw was 410 watts, what would be the most a transient power draw could require? If my system is maxing out at 410 watts, could the P12, capable of producing 3,600 peak VA, handle anything I give it?

I’m afraid the answer is still maybe maybe not. A potent bass passage could demand 10x power for a few seconds or 100x power for a few milliseconds.

Best to try the P12 for a month and find out.

I have no clue, but a short look at PSA’s use of regenerators at shows or in own showrooms let’s us count 2-3 P20 for BHK300 setups.

I guess that’s not only done “because they can”, as showing one is absolutely sufficient would probably be a smarter sign to potential buyers.


Boy this makes me glad that my two amps are 3 and 5 watt models.

To answer SQ differences: I went from a Power Plant Premier to a P5 and the jump in SQ was immediately noticeable and very significant. I then went to a P10 and thought the difference would not be AS pronounced. . . it was. I sold the P5. I now also have a P15. I don’t really think that this difference is as evident, but it is an improvement. Moving the P10 to another system that had only a balanced isolation transformer conditioner sure boosted that system!

The improvements up the ladder are blacker backgrounds, greater micro and macro dynamics, deeper soundstage, and each model has a bit more useful modes and settings. I’m glad to have a regenertor in all three of my systems (I kept the P P P as well–that’s a bargain machine if you get one problem-free as mine has been).


While it is technically true the P12 will handle a pair of BHKs it’s not what I would recommend. First off, you’ll be sucking up quite a lot of their available steady state power capabilities. The BHKs are heavily biased (which is why they can get quite warm to the touch). I agree with Watchdog on the P20 choice, though I know for a fact a P15 is fine. The P20 is just so much more capable of powering that system without batting an eye, and the sonic results are, without a doubt, worth the extra (if you can afford it). So, minimum recommendation’s a P15, preferred is a P20.

The sonic difference between running the BHKs straight from the wall and through a regenerator are significant.

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I started with a P5 and then went to a P12 and finally, a P20. Each step was a satisfying upgrade.
The P20 is in a world of it’s own in sound quality. (I’ve never tried a P15)
I’ve had it about two years and it’s never been turned off, except for vacations or when reconfiguring my system.
You might be able to find a P20 used and with warranty.

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Well I just bought a P20… (and a P3 for my sources on the other side of the room). So that settles that.

You all make very good salesmen. @Paul you can congratulate your employee, James, too. He was very helpful and responsible for selling me the 300’s, the Pre , the P3 and now the P20 (all in the last month).

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James is great and a real asset to the community. I am delighted you’re going this direction, by all means, please keep us in the loop as to what you think and how it all works out.

Ok so I got my P3 today. The P20, while on the same delivery truck, was not delivered. I am assuming it’s because it’s 105lbs and the delivery person said “Um, no, not me. Not today.” Or maybe he just forgot his hand truck.

All for the better, as it forced me to audition the P3 by itself. The P3 is hooked up on the side of my room where the sources are with my phono preamp, DAC, streamer-server and reclocker. The P20 will go on the other side with the amps, sub, and preamp.

Well, wow. Here’s my layman’s description of what I hear: in comparison, before the P3, the music sounded like someone was holding up a picture in a picture frame for me to view, but their hands were shaking, and it was hard to get a clear detailed view of the picture. After the P3, it’s like looking at that picture, mounted on the wall, steady and clear.

All the sounds are tighter. As a result, the instruments are much more distinct and separated. Leaving less "grey"muddiness and more black in-between. Also, things that should be punchy are more punchy.

I love it. Can’t wait to see what the P20 does. I have solar panels, and after watching one of the “ask Paul” episodes about the crappy electric that comes from the inverters, I now no why I felt like my stereo sucks during the daytime. I thought it was a psychological issue related to not being relaxed and “into the music” or thinking maybe I should be outside or working instead.

I’ll post my delight with the P20 next week.


I got my P20.

People say it makes the music sound “more musical.” I hear that too. It’s wonderful. It’s sweet. Others have asked, “well, what does that mean?” Here’s what it means:

 It's like putting ketchup on your french fries.

That’s it. You can’t describe it, just like you can’t explain to someone why you put ketchup on french fries. You tell them to just do it. And that’s that, because almost no one eats french fries without ketchup once they’ve had it. Because ketchup makes the french fries better. French fries need ketchup. I recommend that you call your waiter (@Paul ) and ask for some ketchup (power regeneration) for your fries (music).

My stereo system now feels complete.


how about mayo?