Which Power Plant to Buy?

I’m sure this has come up on this forum a number of times but I want to feel good about my decision. The concept of regenerators is compelling but I continue to be a little skeptical because of the seemingly high amount of issues regenerator owners continue to have. If I go down the PS Audio path, I want to make sure that I buy the right regenerator for my application. By “right” I mean nothing more or nothing less than I actually need. There are still some dealers that have P3’s available and I would be more than happy with the monetary savings as long as it will perform with my equipment. I’d like to connect the following 2-channel audio and home theater components to the regenerator. The 2-channel and home theater systems will never be used at the same time. Everyone’s expertise and opinions are appreciated.

McIntosh MC252 2-channel power amplifier

McIntosh C47 pre-amp

McIntosh MCD201 SACD Player

Pioneer Elite PDP-5020 AV receiver

Marantz SR5008 AV receiver

OPPO BDP-103D Blu-ray player

Hi @jayvis

one way to look at this;

how much power is your system(s) going to consume at any time?

You can add up the power consumption of each component at maximum operatiing condition - or you can make an informed guess that your MC-252 or one of your AV receivers will consume the most.

e.g MC-252 = 500w maximum.

There isn’t any way you’d listen to your system at this level so it’s probably safe to say each of your systems wouldn’t exceed that. 500W will give you some ‘headroom’.

As I understand W = VA * PF (PF is a measure of the system efficiency and is usually close to 1 so use 0.9 to be safe). Or W*1.1 = VA

Quoted maximum VA of P3 = 750

Quoted maximum VA of P5 = 1000 (120v)

The P5 has some other features that I don’t think are found on the P3. I’d go for the P5 as I usually over-compensate (I have a P10).

Indeed, but I would go for the P5 vs. the P3 because with the P3 your amp will need to use the non-regenerated outputs and won’t sound as good as it would with a P5 which will have enough to power the entire system.

BTW, reading these forums gives you a very narrow view of things. Those that write on the forums are a minority relative to those that read it. Narrowing that down further, the greatest number of posters are people with either questions or troubles, giving an even narrower view of the world if one were to just read these pages and consider them the norm.

We keep very close track on reliability and Power Plants enjoy some of the lowest reliability issues of any of our products. Far below 1% over history. They are remarkably well built and reliable. I think you’ll be happy.


Few join the forum simply to announce, “My PowerPlant works.”

No, but an awful lot do post my new PS Audio ‘insert product name’ is awesome or amazing. This is of course the PS Audio site!!

This site is generally very “huggy”

Just wait until you visit a BMW forum . . .

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Thanks for the info and opinions guys. I was able to witness a P5 demo at a dealer and based on the improvements I saw and heard, I’m just having a hard time justifying the price of admission into a powerplant. I think I might just try a Dectent to see if it would be a good low-cost and convenient solution. Having an extra $3,000 savings over a P5 would go a long way toward purchasing some other components and tweaks.

I currently have a P5 (system below) and it typically runs around 50%–wondering if any advantage to a P10 or is that overkill in my case??

I was in your shoes. I had a P5 that really wasn’t working too hard that I loved. I kept wondering "would the P10 really sound better and be a better “heartbeat” for my system?

Then those crafty boogers (they know what they are doing) put the P10 on sale for a ridiculous 40 percent off or so. Somehow I managed to scrape together the wherewithal to purchase one. And yes, it sounds better. It feels better to have it–it encourages pride in ownership and rewards that with steady awesome performance. Every component in my system is grateful.

So my honest advice? Either put any thought of a P10 right out of your head right now and enjoy every minute with your wonderful P5, or start saving up for a P10. . . . :slight_smile:

Paul or anyone else, Will a single P10 be enough power for BHK 300 monoblocks, BHK preamp, DS DAC, and a media player? What load % would it consume? I currently have P5 running everything now except the amps an it consumes around 13% while playing. Or do I keep the P5 and add a P10?

Thank you.

Hello Kyle, a P10 should be able to run your system with room to spare assuming your speakers have reasonable sensitivity. That said, running your amps and pre-amp off a P10, and your digital equipment off the P5 would provide better isolation and better sound.

My system is slight different from yours since I have a BHK Stereo 250 and two 1000 watt subs plus sources and my preamp. A single P10 powers everything. It runs between 40% and 45% capacity depending on music played and volume level. My speakers are specced as 3 way, 8 ohms and 93 db. Best, Kevin

I agree with Norton. A single P10 or P20 is sufficient.

Thank you Norton and Paul. Good point on sensitivity. My speakers are Aerial Acoustic 20t v2. They are 90db. I also have 2 subs but run them directly to the wall. They are both JL Audio F212s. Since they are both 3000w each I never planned to run thru a regenerator.

What I do know about P10s after using a single unit and then adding 2 more P10s really makes my music truly enjoyable and never want to visit the outside world again.

I checked out the specs on the P-5 and the P10. Any of the specs are the same. More output for the p-10 of course. But why if the load was not over say 50% on a p5 would a P10 sound better? The impedance specs are the same per the web site?

I currently use 2 P5 units in my system split load of system as even as possible.

Output impedance and power supply grunt. The P10 has half the output impedance, or put another way, more than double the regulation. This seems to be one of the biggest indicators of how a system sounds when connected to a Power Plant. Take for instance the new P20. This thing has even lower output impedance and by a significant amount lower than any Power Plant we’ve ever made or heard and the results are extraordinary.

Even a single DAC or a single power amplifier running on a P20, vs. a P10, vs. a P5 is noticeably improved, one over the other. Don’t think of Power Plants in terms of their abilities to handle the load. Use that as only the minimum spec. Choose which model based on the level of performance you’re willing to afford. In other words, if all three Power Plants were adequate at a minimum to handle your system load, then the choice comes down to how much you’re willing to invest in sound quality, with the P20 being the ultimate expression of improvement and foundational support possible.

Paul, it may be good to change the displayed specs on the website to reflect this, together with an explanation of why this matters. Both are listed with an output impedance of <0.015 ohm.

My experience is that the P10 does indeed sound better than the P5.

Damn. I’ll bet I just copied and pasted the specs when building the form then promptly forgot to update the individual impedance specs. Thanks Elk.

Paul, I plan to wait to see what the P10 changes have to offer. I don’t think the P20 is within budget at this time.

Thanks for that post Paul as it verifies what I hear and makes me feel better about spending the money on the upgrades I made. I went from a Power Plant Premier to a P5 and then years later a P10. Each of these could really handle my system “load” adequately. . . each upgrade though was a serious boost in sound quality.