What to plug into Stellar PowerPlant 3

I’ve kind of asked this question here before, but didn’t get a definitive answer, so trying again: I am building a dedicated listening room and have the fortune to be able to build it from scratch in an unfinished basement. My plan is to purchase the Stellar M700 mono blocks. I will also be running an old-but-great Convergent Audio Technology tube pre-amp and a few other front-end devices. After reading about AC power issues, I plan to run at least 2 dedicated 20A circuits using 10AWG wire. I see that the PowerPlant 3 has 2 outlets that can be switched between “Filtered High Current” or “Regenerated” modes. The plan was to plug the mono blocks into the HC outlets (filtered) and other stuff into the Regen outlets. Does the regen system have enough capacity to negate the need for the extra power stuff I’m doing for the monoblocks? In other words, does the PowerPlant when it regenerates have enough “umph” for the Ms? I’m assuming I don’t need to be concerned about “umph” for other non-amp stuff I plug in?

I can’t speak to the power draw of your preamp and source components, but here’s what I’ve done, with no issues whatsoever (and I ran the topology past JamesH, too, specifically the two ideas of a) plugging the M700s into “regen” and b) inserting a Juice Bar, and he didn’t say not to do it):

Two PSA high current duplex wall receptacles on one dedicated circuit:
P3
Turntable motor (VPI Scout)
Subwoofer (Hsu VTF2-MkII)

P3’s four “always-regen” outlets:
Stellar Gain Cell DAC/preamp
Phono preamp (Channel Islands PEQ1-MkII w AC-15 MkII power supply)
Streamer (Node 2i, soon to be replaced with an Aurender N100H)
PSA Juice Bar

P3’s two switchable outlets set on “regen:”
M700
M700

Juice Bar (all digital source components, powered one at a time):
CD transport (NuPrime CDT8-Pro, soon to be replaced with PSA PST)
SACD player (Marantz SACD 30n, soon to be replaced with PSA PST)
Minidisc deck (an old Sony, rarely used)

As I said, I’ve had no problems, and the sound has been fabulous. Take from all that what you will.

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Hi Craig.

Thanks much for the reply. That’s what I’m thinking for my setup. But I guess when I have the option to pretty easily install the special sub-panel, breakers, 10AWG wire, and outlets, it makes me wonder whether that might be better to do that and use the High Current setting. I’m assuming that’s what it’s for. Let’s see if anyone else has thoughts on it.

Jon

You should try changing the power amp selection from regen to high current and see which way the system sounds best.

Hi Dr. Thanks so much for the 4-month-later-than-posted reply! That was indeed my plan, but since you re-opened the door, I’ll provide an update on where my thinking is. My brother, who is an even crazier audio-nut (cracked) than I am, suggests I just totally bypass the PowerPlant for the amp and plug it into the wall using a good cable. His reasoning is that a) any good power amp will be good at wiping out any line-related problems, 2) he worries that the filtering that the PP does even in the “pass-through” stage might cause some impedance, and 3) since I have two 20-amp 10 AWG dedicated circuits, it would be smarter not to share the one to the PP with both of the mono blocks. To the latter point, the whole reason for doing the dedicated lines was for the amps, so I might as well take full advantage. And finally, I do live in an area with very little industry or anything that could add much in the way of harmonics or other mess to our power. It goes out too often, but that’s a different complaint. Thoughts anyone?

Each M700 requires nearly 900W of current, and the total max output of regenerated power from the P3 is only 300W.

I plug my M700s into the regen receptacles of my P3 and have never had a problem, and never had anything but blue LED illumination. That’s with the M700s powering a pair of nominal 4-ohm Maggies, occasionally at fairly high levels.

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Unless one is REALLY pushing the M700s, they’ll never actually pull that. Obviously very system dependent but while the amps are playing, the M700s each are pulling around 35-50W each.

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This is also my experience

Hey I just stumbled upon this and coincidentally was testing some AP ultimate ovals from the wall as well as from the PP3 and yes they are amazing cables.

And were you able to hear a difference between what came out of the wall vs. the PP3?

Yes I was but it wasn’t enough to make me not use the PP3, I decided to use the M700 in the HC configuration.

I’m not thinking of NOT using the PP3 - for front-end stuff. my question is whether the amp should be possibly impeded at all by the filtering. And it sounds to me like you experienced that.

difference yes, enough to give up the protection no, and the difference are subtle it becomes a personal preference IMHO

@jamesh JLawry has the right thought process to utilize the HC ports in non-regen mode, and if you only want filtering that is certainly one option. What a steady state current draw may be from a device, when it comes to power amplification, those can easily require up to 10x the average current at any given time, even Class D. This is why headroom is so important to dynamics. Add a second amplifier, as JLawry will be doing, and you only exacerbate this issue.

My experiences conflict with your ideas above, but you’ve got me thinking that I’m driving the P3 too hard (without the P3 giving me such a signal…red light).

I like it fairly loud sometimes, too. It just hasn’t once complained…sonically or visually. Might have to experiment a bit just to make sure. Maybe move my amps back to the P12, and remove my subs from P3. Hmmm.