I’ve been a long-time user of PS Audio’s power regeneration products. Well over a decade ago I used the P600 PowerPlant and later replaced it with a single P10. Recently I added a second P10 to handle power amp duties, and now, a new PS Audio PowerPlant 12 has entered the listening room.

The PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12 (P12) is a remarkable addition to the realm of power regenerators. It is designed to address power quality issues and provide clean and stable power to audio systems’ electronics. In this review, I’ll delve into the technical aspects of the P12 and explain how it improves the sound of the audio system components connected to it.

PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12 Review

Design and Construction:

The P12 boasts a robust and aesthetically pleasing construction. It features a solid chassis with excellent build quality, ensuring durability and longevity. The unit is compact and can be easily integrated into any audio setup without occupying excessive space. It’s around half the height of a P10 so it won’t need extra space on a standard rack, it should occupy the same physical space as a standard-sized component such as a CD Player.

The front panel showcases a sleek digital display with comprehensive information regarding incoming and outgoing power, current consumption, and other pertinent details. The display can be dimmed or turned off completely, which is the way I like to use it.

PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12 Review

Power Regeneration Technology:

At the heart of the P12 lies its sophisticated power regeneration technology. This innovative approach enables the unit to actively eliminate power line noise, voltage fluctuations, and other electrical distortions that commonly plague audio systems. The P12 achieves this through its multi-stage regeneration process, which consists of active power factor correction, balanced power, and a pure sine wave output.

Active Power Factor Correction (PFC):

The P12 incorporates active power factor correction, which significantly improves the system’s overall efficiency. By monitoring the incoming power and adjusting the output stage accordingly, the P12 maintains a near-perfect power factor, thereby maximizing the utilization of the available power. This not only reduces the strain on the power grid but also enhances the system’s performance by ensuring a stable and efficient power supply.

Balanced Power:

Another noteworthy feature of the P12 is its implementation of balanced power. By utilizing a balanced power transformer, the unit isolates the audio components from the common mode noise present in the electrical supply. This isolation eliminates ground loops and reduces the impact of external noise, resulting in a cleaner and quieter audio signal. The balanced power delivery also minimizes the crosstalk between different audio components, further enhancing the system’s performance.

Pure Sine Wave Output:

The P12 generates a pure sine wave output, replicating the ideal power waveform for audio systems. This eliminates any harmonic distortions that may be present in the grid power, providing a pristine power source to the connected audio equipment. The pure sine wave output ensures accurate reproduction of the audio signal, improving clarity, dynamics, and overall fidelity.

Voltage Regulation and Filtering:

The P12 offers exceptional voltage regulation capabilities, maintaining a steady voltage output even in the presence of fluctuations or surges in the incoming power. This stable voltage supply prevents audio equipment from being subjected to potentially damaging voltage variations, thereby extending their lifespan. Furthermore, the P12 incorporates advanced filtering technologies, including multiple stages of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) filtering, effectively blocking unwanted noise from infiltrating the audio system.

PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12 Review

Audible Improvements:

I use two PowerPlants in my system, a P10 for all source components including turntable, phono, preamp, streamer, DAC, etc, and the P12 for powering a pair of monoblocks and the Martin Logan ESL 11a speakers, reviewed here. When integrated into a suitably revealing audio system, the P12 power regenerator exhibits tangible improvements in sound quality. The clean and stable power supply from the P12 allows the audio components to perform optimally, resulting in several noticeable benefits. The background noise is significantly reduced, leading to a heightened sense of detail, improved imaging, and enhanced soundstage. The dynamics become more pronounced, with improved transient response and tighter bass control. The overall tonal balance is also refined, with a smoother frequency response and improved separation between instruments.

It may be that the benefits you will hear will be largely influenced by the quality of power coming into your home. I’m fortunate in that I live in the country, I have a transformer on a pole 50′ from my electrical box, and my closest neighbor is a half-mile away as the crow flies. Furthermore, there’s no industry or commerce in my area, so no heavy-duty AC motors causing disruption to line PF. Given this, one might expect the P12 to make little or no difference to the sound of my system, but that’s not the case. I hear a clear improvement in the areas described above when my components are plugged into the PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12.

PS Audio Directstream PowerPlant 12 Review

Wrapping Up:

The PS Audio P12 PowerPlant is a technologically advanced power regenerator that elevates the performance of audio systems by providing clean and stable power. With its active power factor correction, balanced power implementation, pure sine wave output, voltage regulation, and comprehensive filtering, the P12 effectively eliminates power quality issues. The audible improvements are evident, as the audio system connected to the P12 exhibits enhanced detail, imaging, soundstage, dynamics, and tonal balance. The P12 stands as a very worthwhile addition to any audiophile’s setup, offering a noticeable and worthwhile improvement in audio performance and ensuring a superior listening experience.

My recommendation – buy one. (or two).

CAH 2023