PS Audio's Perfect Wave

Several weeks before CES, I got an email from PS Audio, inviting me to a press conference that will be held during CES but not as part of the official CES itself. They promised to provide transportation from the Venetian to the Wynn, where PS Audio had a suite. I knew that PS Audio was very much into computer-based audio, an area that for the most part I’ve stayed away from, so I wasn’t all that interested in that part of their presentation; however, I’ve reviewed, and use in my system, PS Audio’s Power Plant Premier AC power regenerator, so I was intrigued by word that they would have information on the successor to the Power Plant Premier.

It turns out that they have two successors, both representing substantial reworking of the product while staying with the principle of “regenerating” rather than merely “conditioning” power. Alas, the “power plant” terminology—which I’ve always thought was quite apt—is gone: the two products are called PerfectWave P5 ($2999) and P10 ($4499). They differ mostly in terms of the amount of maximum current they can produce, the P5 putting out 1000VA and the P10 1200VA. The bigger unit also has more zones. Output impedance is lower than ever, and so is distortion.

Extensive computer control is present, and the touch interface includes an oscilloscope, so you can do a visual comparison of the incoming and outgoing AC waveforms. The “green” features include the ability to program the on/off times, so that power is not being wasted by the Power Plant—sorry, PerfectWave 5 or 10—when it’s not needed. Also notable is the fact that, bucking an industry trend, the production of all PS Audio products (except for a few cables) has been brought back from China to Boulder, CO.