Display Replacement For PS Audio P-10 AC Regenerator

Introduction

I periodically (at least once a week) check the power quality statistics as monitored by the PS Audio PerfectWave P-10 AC regenerator that provides power to the preamplifier and source components in my two channel system. During a recent check, I was disappointed to see two horizontal white lines across the display as shown in figure 1.

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Figure 1. It appeared that the display on this 6.8 year old P-10 was going into early retirement.

I thought (hoped) it might have been a software or hardware glitch. Restarting the P-10 three times had no effect. A picture of the display was sent to PS Audio and they confirmed that the display needed to be replaced. Three options were offered:

1. Send the unit back to PS Audio for service at a cost of $250 plus round trip shipping for an 80 pound package plus the risk of shipping damage.

2. Buy an entire front panel assembly, which included the display at a cost of $215.52 plus shipping, and install it myself. The front panel replacement option was offered because the display and control board have gone through several revisions. This option would provide the latest display. The front panel itself is the same on all current and past P-10 models, but the cutouts and mounting hardware are different for the different revisions.

3. Buy a control board for $137.10 plus shipping and install it myself. This option required removing the front panel and taking a picture of the control board and mounting system in order to properly match my front panel and display. This option would have required digging the P-10 out of the equipment cabinet, removing the front panel to photograph the display board, then either letting my system sit idle until the board was replaced OR put every thing back together only to have to repeat the process when the new board arrived.

I chose option 2.

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Figure 2. I hate going behind my 2 channel audio cabinet because of the stress put on the cabinet by pulling and pushing its 675 pound weight from/to the wall. Even more than that, is the aggravation of reconfiguring all those thick, stiff, power cables.

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Figure 3. No, I'm not stashing "bricks" behind my audio cabinet. The suspicious looking white thing is a block of very stiff Styrofoam that is wrapped in plastic. It provides strain relief for the thick, heavy AC-12 power cords.

There was more aggravation to come. As I was pulling the P-10 out of the cabinet, powdery black chunks of "something" started spilling on the floor and on the cabinet shelf. That something turned out to be the P-10's disintegrating rubber foot pads.

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Figure 4. In order to access some of the screws required for removing the front panel, the two front feet must be removed. Removing the feet requires peeling off the rubber foot pads. The P-10's foot pads had become cracked, hard, and brittle with age.

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Figure 5. It's safe to say this foot pad wasn't going back on active duty.

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Figure 6. The debris field. All four feet had reached end of life and were removed.

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Figure 7. The stock rubber pads were "temporarily replaced with the same type felt
pads that are used on the bottom of the audio cabinet's metal feet. Surprisingly, the P-10
sounded better with the felt pads than with the stock rubber pads. I said "temporarily" because I'm not sure I want to go to the trouble of comparing the felt pads to the stock
rubber pads. I could have/should have purchased felt pads in sheet form and cut them to perfectly fit the P-10's feet. Maybe later.


Of course, I was hearing the difference between old and cracked pads and new felt pads. It could be that new rubber pads would sound better than the felt pads. I won't know any time soon. I am enjoying the enhanced tactile sensation and bass clarity and detail brought by the felt feet.

Some might think that the difference in sound could be wholly or partially attributable to "cleaning" the power cord blades and receptacles by removing and replacing the power cords. I have heard differences in power cords, but I have never heard a difference after reinserting a power cord after it had been in place for a length of time. There might be such a difference with other power cords. The P-10's Power Port Premier receptacles have gold plated contacts, as do the blades of the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 power cords.

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Figure 8. I did order a set of replacement rubber pads. In the future, when I am more dedicated to audio than I am now, I will do an evaluation comparing the sonics of the rubber and felt pads. However, by the time I get around to it, the new rubber pads may have become hard, brittle, and cracked.

The P-10 is very sensitive to mechanical isolation devices. The PowerBase isolation platform was specifically designed for the P-10. The 2 channel P-10, and all 2 channel source components, are on PowerBases.

I was very surprised that a component as heavily built as the P-10 would have crumbling rubber feet after only 6.8 years. A month ago, I found that the rubber feet of my Tivo HD XL DVR had crumbled due to age. I can't say that I was surprised considering the "tin can" build quality of the Tivo. A discussion of that sorry episode can be read here:

http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/comment/2345023#Comment_2345023

Installation

The entire process, inclusive of cleanup, took one hour and 59 minutes. The new display is annoyingly brighter than the old one. I had to change the display's brightness setting from the previous room lighting adaptive setting to the medium setting. In a dark room, the adaptive setting set the display brightness too high.

While the P-10 was being operated on, my 2 channel system was put on life support via a PS Audio Dectet power conditioner. Allowing the system, particularly the digital source components, to cool all the way down would have required another 24 to 48 hours for the system to fully warm up and for stereo imaging to snap back into sharpest focus.

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Figure 9. The hardest parts of this process were getting the P-10 out of and back into the audio cabinet and getting the audio cabinet back to the wall while keeping those garden hose sized power cables in the proper place.

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Figure 10. PS Audio sent installation instructions via email. Removal and installation was easy. Inside is a big custom design toroidal transformer and magical circuits that work miracles on utility grade electric power.

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Figure11. New front panel assembly is at top.

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Figure 12. The new display.
"So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
"Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
"Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
"Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK

Comments

  • Measurements

    A Tektronix TDS 2012 digital oscilloscope was used to take time domain (sine wave) and frequency domain (Fast Fourier Transform) analyses of the power signal coming from an ordinary wall receptacle on a shared circuit in the living room, the power signal coming from the dedicated 20 amp AC circuit that the P-10 is on, and the power signal coming from the P10.

    kkzspsxnupjj.jpg
    Figure13. Sine wave plot of the power signal from an ordinary household 15 amp AC circuit. The peaks are flattened due to harmonic distortion.

    aq2bve6mdtfk.jpg
    Figure 14. Sine wave plot of the power signal from a 20 amp dedicated AC circuit terminated by a PS Audio Soloist SE in-wall passive power conditioner. The Pass Labs X600.5 monoblock amps are each served by a 20 amp dedicated AC circuit terminated by a Soloist SE.

    z3idwp1vach7.jpg
    Figure 15. Sine wave plot of the power signal from the P-10 AC regenerator. The output waveform is very close to the smooth distortionless curve of a perfect sine function.

    The following spectral plots show the amplitudes of the power signal's constituent frequencies. Everything other than the 60 Hz power signal constitutes noise that distorts the shape and energy capacity of the power signal. Each horizontal dot represents 10 Hz of frequency. Each vertical dot represents 2 dB of amplitude. The RMS voltage of the fundamental 60 Hz power frequency and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th harmonics at 120 Hz, 180 Hz, 240 Hz, 300 Hz, 360 Hz, and 720 Hz were calculated with the formula:

    Vrms = 10^(dB-27/20).

    q7blrpi4wok5.jpg
    Figure 16. FFT plot of power signal from ordinary household receptacle on a shared 15 amp AC circuit.

    kv8h4dnjtdaw.jpg
    Figure 17. FFT plot of power signal from a 20 amp dedicated AC circuit terminated by a PS Audio Soloist SE in-wall passive power conditioner.

    3rplmy8motp9.jpg
    Figure 18. FFT plot of power signal from the P-10 AC regenerator.

    The amplitudes of the power signal and the harmonics are summarized in table 1.

    a8fb6ep4p4ad.jpg

    Associated Equipment

    Bryston BDP-2 digital player
    dCS Debussy DAC
    dCS Puccini master clock
    Pass Labs XP-30 line level preamplifier
    Pass Labs X600.5 monoblock power amplifiers
    Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver Split Configuration USB cable
    Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver AES/EBU Digital Cable
    Revelation Audio Labs Passage Cryo-Silver DB-25 power umbilicals for XP30 preamp
    AudioQuest Sky XLR interconnects
    AudioQuest Everest speaker cables
    PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 power cords
    PS Audio PerfectWave P-10 AC Regenerator
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL loudspeakers (heavily modified)
    PS Audio PowerBase isolation platforms for BDP-2, Debussy DAC, Puccini U-Clock, and P-10 AC Regenerator
    Black Diamond Racing isolation Pits and Mk IV Cones
    Salamander Synergy Triple 30 audio credenza
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 13,148
    edited September 2017
    can you turn off the display? If so would this help keep this from happening?
  • Yes, the display can be turned off.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,869
    Good info DK. I'm an industrial electrician though I deal mainly with paint application robotics and I'm still learning a lot about the power signal and how it relates to what I hear from my speakers.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • ThortonThorton Posts: 1,214
    Nice write-up Ray. I know what you mean about getting behind the audio rack being a pain in the neck. I'm lucking to have my Salamander on a back wall which no one really looks behind. So I have it pulled out (permanently) just enough to squeeze my body in to make connections. Still a pain but I never have to move the cabinet or pull out the equipment to change wires.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Source: Roon via ethernet to DAC interface
    DAC: Bricasti M1SE
    Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8805
    Tube Preamp Buffer: Tortuga TPB.V1
    Amp1: W4S MC-5, AMP2: W4S MMC-7
    Front: Salk SoundScape 8's, Center: Salk SoundScape C7
    Surround: Polk FXIA6, Surround Back: Polk RTIA9, Atmos: Polk 70-RT
    Subs: 2 - Rythmik F25's
    IC & Speaker Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, Signal Cable
    Power Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, PS Audio
    Room Treatments: GIK Acoustics
  • As always, @DarqueKnight, a great story and fine write up. It is a pleasure to read about the episodes in your audio journey, which is an epic that rivals the Odyssey!"

    I have a few pieces of PS Audio equipment, and one of the characteristics of them appears to be weaknesses in the non-essential parts used in manufacturing.

    It's disappointing, considering the sound quality is generally very good relative to the cost.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC; AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux SM6 MKII Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux Prisma 750 Amps or CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux SM6 Preamp, AQ King Cobra RCAs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,889
    Good job. These things happen. At least you got a few years use before it developed a problem, and even then it was still useable. I bought their FPGA programmable DAC, and the whole display went kaput in less than a day. One more reason why I love my 99.99% passive Shunyata power conditioner.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,456
    I was more PO'ed about the rubber foot pads disintegrating than about replacing the display. I propped up the front of the P10 in my home theater system to inspect the feet and they are in like new condition. The HT P10 was purchased one month after the 2CH P10, (November and December of 2011).

    The current "PerfectWave" generation of PSA regenerators has been very reliable, in stark contrast to the previous generations. I once owned four Power Plant Premiers and they all had to go back for service for one reason or another.




    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
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