I think you are a little late to the party.
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Neil,you were an integral reason why I was not hesitant to spend my "Orpheus fund",on this stuff!!Now I am saving again,but this Exact Power stuff is STUNNING,and adds an almost "SET" like harmonic balance to my sound,which I am in love with.NO coloration,but more like "you have low noise circuitry,so now you can actually hear what such circuitry brings to the table"!
My tube loving friends will definitely be "mouths agasp"!!Guaranteed!!
BTW,I never forget(even a year later)some of your better insights!This was definitely one of them.Big time!
Thanks!....Now,any stock tips?
Can the EP15A be plugged into another line conditioner? I'm using a Jena Labs Model 6.1, and it's by far the best line device I've ever used, but it doesn't regerate AC, which is a problem in my home (i.e., low voltage), so I would use the EP mainly to stabilize the voltage. Would this arrangement compromise sound quality? Any input would be appreciated. TIA.
I had a PS-Audio P-500,which "failed"(broke)after three weeks.PS-Audio,then could not find it,when I sent it back to them,and made me have UPS do a check.It was misplaced by PS Audio.They were nice enough to send me a new unit,which literally burnt out(and I have good dedicated lines,btw)in 6 days.I had enough of that,and got a full refund from my dealer(a class act....Galen Carol Audio).Yet,PS-Audio got upset,and blamed the failure on my lines.NO WAY!!I had an electrician check out what I already knew.My lines were perfect(I live in the suburbs,and have a dedicated room,btw).I even had a 10 dollar radio plugged into that outlet,and it plays just fine.
To me,I would not EVER touch another PS-Audio "active" product.Just the fact that they told me to call UPS,to track a product that they had in their facility,for over a week,without knowing it,tells me they don't have good customer support.
On top of it all,the PS-Audio Power plants run HOT.My friends who own power plants have heat issues as well.I know the new one is suppoded to run cooler,but I believe that is now made in China.Not necessarily bad,but it tells me that PS-Audio is all about profits.
The Exact Power stuff(see the web-site,and every claim made on that site is absolutely true)is FAR better made.Beautiful casings,and attention to detail.Most important,they work extremely well,and do EVERYTHING the mfgr claims.AND RUN ABSOLUTELY COOL.NO heat issues!
Truthfully,The combination of the Exact Power EP-15A/Ultrapure units has taken my system to a level I could not have imagined.I have been a hobbyist for over three decades,but this business of line noise,and "balanced A/C",is something that does not get enough attention.Or is still misunderstood,by many.Including me!
The investment is worth every penny,IMO!
BTW,the tech rep of Balanced POwer is INCREDIBLY knowledgeable,and helpfulHe is NOT a "sales" orientd person,but more inclined to be an "educator"!His name is Quan,and he has greatly enhanced my musical enjoyment,with his insights!
Best to all.
Hooper and others) basically, here's what sets the Exactpower apart from other regenerators:
The Exactpower looks at the incoming power and identifies only the parts of the 60 cycle wave that are noisy or out of spec and then fills in just those parts of the wave with clean power. It uses a Class D amp (used in other low freq. devices like self powered subwoofers) and works via a feedback servo that compares the incoming AC with the ideal. Other regenerators (like the PS Audio and others) take the whole incoming AC power and use it to regenerate a whole new AC wave, which isn't really necessary, since even the worst AC is only 20% out of spec or noisy. But doing it that way (throwing out the baby with the bathwater) is why those units run so hot and can't deliver the current capacity of the Exactpower.
As to plugging the EP into a "regular" conditioner (or vice versa) don't do it! The EP already eliminates noise in a way that regular conditioners cannot, and without degrading sonics. It also offers superior surge protection, again without degrading sonics.
Nsgarsh(btw,my friend affectionately refers to you as "Nonesuch"),two things.....Firstly,when you shut off the EP-15a during thunder storms,would you be better off by powering down individual components attached,first.Thusly eliminating "in rush" current from being a bit too much,when the EP-15a is re-ingaged..Just curious,as I would love the convenience of simply shutting off the EP-15a,too,with only one button.Yet,my amp/cd player and table draw current,when not in use,as does the Ultrapure.Just curious as to your thoughts.
Also,you were just a bit off,when you suggested to me to simply pass on the EP_15a,and get something like the Ultrapure,alone(as I have dedicated lines).I tried the Ultrapure alone,and it WAS fabulous!Almost equal to the regenerated and "balanced" P-500.Really splitting hairs,BUT...the regenerated AND balanced A/C adds a degree of relaxed,and textured ambient performance,that is absolutely addictive!There is definitely more music present,with better bloom and frequency extremes,as well as almost "SET-like" texture.I had to go for the "Full Monty"(EP-15a/Ultrapure).WOW,is this fabulous,beyond a happy hobbyist justifying a purchase.
Thanks for all the thoughtful insight!
I guess you have not heard or tried the new Power Plant Premier from PS Audio. It does not get hot and have heat issues like the older P600 model. Plus its as small as a CDP now and more powerful than a P600. (which is discontinued) You should go to their website and check it out.
I just added one to my system and chose it over the Exactpower unit with no regrets. Seems like PS Audio cleaned up their act because their customer service it top notch now. Go to their site and to the forums where the owner himself answers questions daily!
The Exactpower is a superior product to the PS Audio, and as you say, PS Audio does seem to be all about mass produced profits. You can tell by how they push out new stuff everyday.
I have two EP15As, one in my HT system thats allways on, and the other in a dedicated tube system. They have worked flawlessly. I live in the lightening capital, Florida, so being a little paranoid, I have each one pluged into a audio grade Brick Wall surge protector, which I think IS the best surge protection. The Brick Wall is less than $300 new, so I figure the worse would be that it would be the sacrificial lamb.
But the point is, that even going through the Brick Wall, the EP15a shows no sign of problems or negative change in sound whatsoever.
The stable AC is what sold me on them at first, then the filtering and surge protection is just extra.
In the tube system, I use the one button to power up everything except the amps, which I turn on about 15 seconds after. That way there isn't too much demand on the EP15a reserve before it gets a chance to stabilize.
One other good thing about Exactpower I was told, is that as they improve the models, you can have yours upgraded by them.
Speedy, I'm glad you found the EP a useful addition. I guess there's a limit to what one can expect from dedicated circuits alone, even with the best of power companies? I always shut off my power amp (and put the sub on "standby") before hitting the switch on the EP to turn things off (or on.) All my front end Levinson/Wadia stuff has no power switches anyway, so that's a moot point in my case.
Joey, as far as I can tell, the only substantial change in the PS audio unit is their use of a variable power supply to reduce the heat problem. I question the 85% efficiency figure simply because, if it were so, they'd have made the unit competitive with the 1800 watt capacity of the Exactpower, and apparently they couldn't quite get it there. It has some fun bells and whistles, and features with fancy names, but it still fixes the noise problems with filters, which in my ever so humble opinion, represents a previous technology.
I am not knocking Exactpower. They make a fine product. But in my system, 1,500 watts is plenty. I think the two units are very competitive and it comes down to personal preference and what you need for your particular system. For me, the Power Plant Premier works great. I especially like the 10 outlets it has on the back of the unit. IMO both units should be auditioned and compared. Also, PS Audio has a 30 day money back guarantee.
I have compared the Power Plant Premier to the ExactPower and they basically do the same thing in a different way. They both have low impedance output and reproduce perfect sine waves and have reserve power. IMO it comes down to personal preference. The PPP has 10 outlets and 5 isolated zones. That is what the filters are for so there is no cross contamination of power for each zone. The EP has 8 outlets and is not isolated. The output in watts on the PPP is 1,500 and the output on the EP is 1,650 at 120 volts. It says it clearly on their website. 150 watts is not a big difference. Like I said before, try both units. I prefer the PS Audio PPP.
Soliver,I think you hit it correctly.More filtration,with "balanced A/C",which seems to be desirable.
I don't want to do anymore PS-Audio bashing.The UO's I once had,were superb,and the power cords are very good.
My friend's P-300 works well,and he has added a Balanced Power Technologies unit to his Rowland.He's getting it Friday.
My P-500(both)sounded very good on my front end stuff,and that is why I got so into the "Power Management" business,in the first place.
What got me so pissed off at PSA was that I bought the P-500 to protect my stuff,and two units failed,in short order,back to back.The second replacement P-500 came with a loose surface mount resistor,that I found in the bag.SORRY,this represents poor quality control!Oh,I forgot to mention that my first P-500 came with a broken power cord.The prongs were bent inwardly.Attention to detail?
Also,every time they release something new,the previous models start to sell for enormous discounts.To me this represents an almost "product dumping" onto the market,and with my terrible experience,and the subsequent failures of their product(jeopardizing my expensive system)I am turned off.For the time being.
The Power Plant Premier does look to be a wonderful product,and sold at a fair price.I hope it is long term reliable.My two Statement power cords,which hook up my Exact Power stuff seem very good.
One other point......You MUST educate yourself(web material,etc)as to some of these things,and then form an opinion,based on reading,and feedback from others(btw,The Cable Company has a free lending library,for Exact Power stuff,among other things).I actually had a representative from Shunyata call me(after I had left a message questioning a power cord,that I was considering)and he was almost militant about how the "regenerating" products are a waste of money!Of course he wanted me to purchase a Hydra.I mentioned that I had already purchased my unit,but he railed on,which is a bit much,IMO!
Well,he was wrong.The regenerated A/C DOES sound better.I am absolutely convinced of that.Under any condition!!Even if you have great dedicated lines,as I supposedly do.At least that was what an electrician just told me.
There is s ton of noisey DRECK coming in,through these lines,and we supposedly have quiet,sensitive circuitry.Why would Shunyata sell power cords claiming they make a huge difference,and in the next breath,the guy tells me regenerating does not?Please!!!
I have a friend(very experienced hobbyist,LP collector extroadinaire)who is famous for his statement of "if you put a banana on any piece of audio equipment,you will hear a difference".
Also,I suspect(just a theory)that the really good(elite)solid state products are getting so good,in frequency extention,and distortionless performance,that they will benefit the most from regenerating A/C.Look at the Dartzeel preamp,or ASR stuff.Already,they have addressed the A/C issues,and the response to their products are incredible!
I say this,all,because as I personally prefer the sound of "quality" tube stuff,to SS.Yet my system is a highly modded SS based set-up.The only tubes I have are in my phono section.BUT,BUT...now,with this lowering of noise,which I did not even know was present(I was really quite happy with my sound,before)my system has taken on SO much more "musical beauty",from my software collection,that I truly have a hard time giving the sound a "Tube or Solid State" personality.I cannot wait for my tube loving friends to come over.I am actually considering(as a joke) putting a covering in front of my ultra modded Rowland,and telling them to try to guess which "tube" amp I have bought.They will definitely fall for this,as the sound has SO changed for the better.
Sorry for the length,of my post,and I am done bad rapping PS-Audio.I am sure my experience was not in the usual norm.
Best to all!
AB,wherte can I get info on this "Brick Wall" product.
Also,Nsgarsh(Nonesuch....the record label,in case you were curious)...What are your thoughts on a "pre-surge protector(which comes before the EP-15A),like this "Brick Wall" surge protector,that AB ascribes to?This would be really welcomed,by me,as in summer the NJ area is barraged with thunder storms.Yet,isn't the EP-15A and Ultrapure unit surge protectors in themselves?I cannot see myself(though I guess I would)constantly turning off my stuff,with every crack of thunder!
Check thier website,http://www.brickwall.com/
I think the Brick Wall is what PS Audio tried to copy when they did the UO.I also had a 20amp UO before I found Brick Wall, and every time I would try to pin PSA down on the surge capabilities of the UO, they would be VERY vague about it, like that was secondary.
The Brick Wall also do a bit of filtering, but surge is thier big thing. They have standard models for general household stuff, and audio models that dose not limit current.
Used ones show up on Agon once in a while, you have to keep a sharp eye.
If I am indeed "Nonesuch", I should sue because I was here first!
Anyway, the brick wall unit is effective and doesn't require replacing fried MOV's (that's what's in PS's "replaceable module") and it's unfortunate they can't make one without the inductive/capacitive filters (which have nothing to do with surge protection function) because those devices (the L/C components) are what I gripe about with all power "conditioners."
When I had my own home here in Tucson, the lightening capitol of the world, I did two things, both at the panel:
1. Installed extra-fast tripping breakers on my ded. cts. (check with your elec. supply house -- ie NOT Home Depot ;--) and,
2. Installed an MOV (high speed diode, about 60 cents) from the "house" side of each breaker to ground (inside the panel).
What the MOV does, is it senses a surge/spike in nanoseconds, and closes a circuit to ground tripping the breaker immediately. Making the breaker into an ULTRA-fast tripping breaker. This fries the MOV which must be replaced. I still unplugged my stuff before a t-storm however, and interestingly after may lightening strikes, some quite close to my house, I never lost an MOV.
AB...Thanks,but I like Neil's approach,as the Brick Wall would need another aftermarket P/C to equate with how I am running my current stuff.Right?
Thanks to all!
BTW,Nsgarsh(my friend had trouble pronouncing this.Thus,Nonesuch,as he is an avid vinyl collector)there is a really vast amount of great 20th century recordings done on the Nonesuch label,as a little point of interest.These are mostly spectacularly well recorded,and show up dirt cheap.Also,the New World label,and some CRI's are also worth searching out.These would sound great on your full range CLS/sub based system!A buck a shot,mostly!
"Any other subscribers?" Yes, my EP15A powers my whole system, with my preamp and sources being additionally plugged into an API Power Wedge Ultra 116 that follows the EP. This is a balanced isolation transformer unit, not dissimilar from what EP offers only with more individual transformers (six). The PW also allows the user to switch between balanced and unbalanced AC for each outlet individually, and I can vouch for the added benefits of balanced power, to which I have yet to encounter a downside. Power amps sound best plugged straight into the EP (the PW doesn't provide balanced AC to power amps, its transformers are too small for that).
Aside from the sound quality improvement, another way to see the EP at work is when biasing tubes with a digital meter -- the readings are much more stable, both over time as well as second to second, than with the uncorrected power coming from the wall. I've used this combo for close to three years now since I bought the EP, and haven't had a peep of trouble. Whether the Power Plant Premier can match its performance I can't say, I haven't heard one.
P.S. -- Yes, power cords are still just as critical as without power correction, though as you might expect the cord leading from the wall to the EP isn't as big a factor as the ones plugged into components following the EP.
Zaikesman -- you raised an interesting point about biasing tube amps which is always a pain because of fluctuating 120V. I remember I'd bias my amps when the power was highest so the bias wouldn't go over without my knowing it.
About PC's: When I only had two great PC's (a couple of Dominus) I called Jim Aud at Purist to ask him where in my system he felt they'd be most effective (Jim is a real power maven) and he said use one from the wall to the EP and the other from the EP to the amp. I have a third one now which is for the DAC, the third place in a system that requires a great PC IMO.
Everyone's take on that last point won't always be the same, probably because no two systems are the same. For instance, I've found that if I only have one superior power cord to use with my digital separates, it makes the most difference if I use it on the transport. But it makes sense that if someone has only one good power cord period, they should try it first on the central power distributor (if there is one) or preamp or power amp, since in a multi-source system those are the only positions that stand to benefit the entire system regardless of which source is chosen. But in my system, I can't hear the same degree of difference inserting any particular cord between the wall and the EP as I can inserting the same cord between the EP and, say, the power amp. This makes sense to me if the EP is doing the job it's supposed to, but it also makes sense to me that the first position could be more critical in systems whose power distributor/conditioner isn't of the active-correction type.
Sadly(from a financial point of view)the power cord issue is a BIG one,to me.This has been proven,time and time again,by a dear friend(who is obsessed with PC's,and has about 15 grand invested).I went with a PS-Audio Statement from wall to EP,and another from EP to Ultrapure.I added a(fabulous)Harmonic Technology Fantasy AC to my amp,and a Kimber Palladium PK-10 Gold(no filters)to my REL sub.The rest of my cords are an assortment of Electraglide,and JPS-digital on my CD.Though I am aware cords can continue to make a rather big difference,I am simply not going to allow myself to go further.
Neil,the Orpheus fund begins soon!!It will move slower this time,as I now am incredibly happy,and the "V" has very low hrs!Probably summer/fall.Just a point of interest.
More importantly,than any of this technospeak,I got some new KILLER SOFTWARE to enjoy,which is why I am in this hobby in the first place!!
Best to all!
Clio09: Yes it does. This can be problematic with power amps, which can sound constricted, if clean, plugged into the API. (The power amp outlets of course get only filtration, not isolation transformers. A lower-powered amp I once used didn't suffer this effect with the API, but the higher-power ones I've used since have.) Apparently the filtration doesn't harm sources however, which do sound better additionally plugged into the API than just running them straight out of the EP (and that's true whether or not the balanced AC is selected). I notice that on their website, EP never says that the redundant filtering will cause stuff to sound worse, only that it isn't necessary, so I assume the versions without the filters must be priced lower, enough to make the option attractive.
I am trying to figure out which of the series mode surge supressors will give me the most unconstricted power, can anyone help?
What i have been loosely planning on doing is hooking up an EP15A to a low cost 2-outlet series mode receptacle plugged into a 20 amp wall outlet.
I have been reading about how most or all surge supressors or line conditioners will constrict the power to a noticable degree, however, the specs on this always seem sketchy.
Brick Wall PW2RAUD -- 15A, marketed as "for high power audio applications...specifically designed to handle high current devices...with a masive reactor that will not be stressed or constrict [power]"
Brick Wall PW2R20 -- 20A. Considering that the only thing differentiating the AUD line from 'normal' Brick Walls is duplex isolation (not applicable here) wouldn't this naturally be much better than the PW2RAUD if you have a 20A outlet, although it isn't marketed as being specifically designed to handle high current devices?
SurgeX SA20 -- 20A, seems to have slightly better EMI/RFI filtering (higher "dB" at any given frequency is better, right?). Surgex claims none of their products limit the amout of current available. Surgex states: "In order to get electricity from the generating station to your equipment the power has to flow through copper wire and transformers - A LOT of copper wire! The power companies try to keep the final voltage close to 120V AC but it is usually one or two (or more) volts low or high. The series element inside SurgeX that concerns some people is made from 10 gauge copper wire (a heavier gauge than 15 or 20 amp house wiring). There is less copper wire in a SurgeX than between the local distribution transformer and your equipment. Any slight variation in voltage due to SurgeX will be less than the normal variations caused by power company fluctuations or voltage drops in the copper wiring powering the equipment." Is that a load of bull?
Which of these three do you think would limit the current the least, and would this be something to worry about in the realm of 100wpc stereo + dual class A/B 350w powered woofers? Would using a class D stereo amp help alleviate audible strains on the power supply?
I bought a PS Audio 300 Power Plant here on Audiogon and I'm very happy with it. In fact it is due back to me within a day or two after being modified. I'm expecting it to sound even better now. I have PS Audio power cords from the dedicated line to the plant and to the amp. The most expensvie cord is to the amp. The P-300 might not be the best unit out there of it's kind but it worked so well for me that I have not done one minute of dedicated listening in it's absence. My rig sounds great but the PS Audio took it to another level. Can't wait to get it back.
No one has mentioned APS PurePower?
A reviewer commented that its down to personal choice or more like system synergy or maybe what kind of power your are being suppied with as to what is best for your own system. He noted that one of his fellow reviewers is all for the Hydra 8 (recently upgraded to (V-Ray) and yet another swears by the ExactPower 15A. At the time PS-Audio's PPP was not out as yet.
I recently bought the Power Plant Premier after researching and waiting over a year before pulling the trigger. Nothing really appealed to me before. I favored AC regeneration on purely theoretical grounds but was concerned about its limitations i.e. power handling and dynamic constriction among others. It came down to the Exact Power and PS Audio. The PPP addressed all the issues I was concerned about. The advantages over the EP were unrestricted power delivery(very large bus bars), component to component isolation, real surge and overvoltage protection. You are right, AC regeneration is easily audible, even compared to the passive Tice unit I've had for 10 years that it replaced. Component isolation is also audible and important since I have an amp with a switch mode power supply and a CD player that throw alot of crap into the electrical line. I can't comment on PS audio reliability since this is the first product I've purchased from them but I am very impressed with the fit and finish and overall quality of the Premier. BTW, the PPP produces very little heat. Sorry for the long rant.
The P3 would appear to offer some advantages over the EP in terms of including balanced AC and (so they claim) inter-component isolation without having to add a second unit like with the EP. (And then there's MultiWave.) This makes it cheaper, but does it sound as good, or better? It'd be interesting to hear from anybody who's heard the two companies' latest solutions go at it head to head.
FWIW I have the low end APS product and have to say that I am very impressed for the money. Seems to do it all well. I do however run my Pass directly to the wall. And yes, I feed the APS from my best power cord, a conclusion that the cord manufacturer seconded.
Great discussion guys but I am still unclear about the difference between the two Exact Power products the EP and the SP - enlightement please?
SP units use balanced power transformers and are passive devices, intended mainly to follow the active EP. Companies including the aptly named BPT, API Power Wedge, Equi=Tech and others also offer component units based around balanced power transformers. But to get balanced AC to a power amp, you'd need to go with one of the larger BPT or E=T type units (or use a suitable transformer that's not packaged as a rack component), EP and API don't offer ones that large.
I'd like to second an earlier post asking for a listening omparison between the Shunyata Hydra and the Exact Power EP/SP combo. Has any one auditioned both?
It doesn't appear that the two power solutions compare like apples to apples. The Shunyata webpage says that the Hydra filters noise and isolates the components from each other, but does not claim that the unit regulates voltage.
Shunyata doesn't say how the Hydra's component isolation is accomplished, but apparently it does not offer a dedicated iso transformer for each outlet, as with the PS Audio Power Plant Premier. From the ExactPower webpage, the EP15a only separates the digital outlets from the rest. Can anyone make the case for the further isolation of EVERY component from every other component, via separate iso transformers or other filtering methods; or should it be sufficient to isolate the digital gear only?
A more recent technology comparison would be the New PS Audio Power Plant Premier vs. the New Shunyata Hydra V-Ray. These are both new and updated technologies which should bring power conditioning to a new level. I also heard Furman has recently released some really good conditioners as well. Im interested to hear anyones experiences with any of these fine products.
Ubglub: Neither the P3 nor the EP15A use iso-trannies for outlet/component isolation. The P3 has more (and, it would appear, more extensively) isolated outlets than does the 15A when used by itself, but both units use filters for that purpose, not iso-trannies. The Shunyatas, in common with most PLCs, are passive units that aren't transformer-based, so they can't regulate voltage or provide balanced AC (of course Shunyata would argue for the superiority of their approach based on other reasons).
The API Power Wedge Ultra 116 I use after my EP15A has six individual iso-trannies for source components and preamp, each individually selectable for balanced, floating, or regular operation. In my system balanced is almost always best sonically (but never worse) for each attached device as compared with the other settings, so I believe I can vouch for the general efficacy of balanced AC (which the P3 provides by itself). But there's no meaningful way I can make a comparison of whether the individualized level of inter-component isolation I'm getting is more beneficial than a lesser degree of isolation would be, without also introducing uncontrolled variables which would invalidate the test, though one assumes it couldn't hurt as such -- the possible exception being if the iso-trannies were in and of themselves inferior-sounding to another, filter-based approach (something I can't answer, other than to say that using the PWU results in better sound than just plugging my sources straight into the EP along with my power amp, *even if* balanced AC isn't selected on the PWU).
I have read this thread with great interest. I have an aging EP15A and have been considering the PPP for the reasons people discuss here (more outlets, better isolation) and a few other reasons not mentioned so far (has surge/spike protection for satellite/cable connections and for telephone, also has multiwave). Can anyone tell me how the SOUND compared when powering their system with an EP15A and with the Power Plant Premier?
Blazer, I have some excellent PC's but the best ones are my two Purist Dominus (Domini ?) anyway, I definitely use one on my amp (into my EP15) and I was going to use the other on my Wadia 27 DAC (a popular app for a big cord) but I called Jim Aud at Purist and asked him. He said if I only had two, to put one on the amp and the other on the EP. Of course I asked 'why?' and he said, "Energy transfer" (Jim's a man of few words ;--) But I pressed on and he explained that you want to have the biggest (AWG) and best PC's where you need the best energy transfer (ie where you are pulling the most power.) So (especially) if you have an amp plugged into you EP as I do, you need to feed the EP with a cord at least as big and high quality as the one on the amp.
PURIST DOMINUS.....Whew!!Wouldn't that cord cost more than the EP-15a,itself?No doubt GREAT,though! -:)
I added a new PS Audio Statement,from my wall,to my EP-15a,and another as an umbillical from the EP-15a to the Ultrapure!From Ultrapure to amp,is a "surprisingly good" Harmonic Technology Fantasy 10,which I use on my REL as well.Great results,and Nsgarsh,I can finally start my Orpheus fund!!