Power Re Generator capacity questions


I am looking into purchasing a power re generator for my surround setup.  I have heard many reviews of its benefit in a system.  I do not understand the size of the unit I would need, wattage wise, to handle the system and not get over loaded from too much being put into it.  I suppose the biggest question is does the WPC of each amp translate into the total number needed for that particular component?  For instance, I have three large load components included in my system.  I have a 2 channel and a separate 3 channel amp - each one rated 200 WPC into 8 ohms as well as a 512 watt into 8 ohms powered sub.  The combination of those 3 components would appear to mean that I need a re generator that handles approx. 1500 watts for just those 3 pieces alone.  I would then have a universal player, plasma tv, set top box, tube pre amp and a small surround processor to add in after that.  Am I understanding this correctly?  Do I need to look for a unit that handles 2500 watts or so to cover all of my gear or are these wattage numbers from my gear the wrong numbers to calculate in the first place?  Any help would truly be appreciated.

llippman
Amplifiers have varying degrees of efficiency; there's no strict correlation between current draw and output power. You'll need to add up the current draw of each device that you plan to plug into the power regenerator to ensure you're not overloading the regenerator. The current draw is typically listed on the back of a component, or you can find the spec in the manual.
Good advice- cleeds.

It's very unlikely you will find a 2500w regenerator unless it is a commercial or industrial unit which will be very big .. have a noisy fan and be rather expensive 

It's very unlikely you will need anywhere near 2500w as all that equipment will not be on at the same time and operating at maximum draw ..especially the amps  

So how much do you really need  

Using the 2 channel set up ... 40w for CD player 75w for Tube preamp and about 100w peak on the two channel amp ... that makes about 215watts plus the sub if you use it in the two channel system 

The 512w sub is most likely a Class D amp which is very efficient and I doubt it would pull more than  1 or 2 amps or 240w for 2amp draw 

Total draw on two channel would be less than 500w and if you allow 10% for head room you're still well under 600w total or about 5 amps  

For the HT set up the cable box or DVD player would run about 40w as both would not be on at the same time ... HT pre pro would be about 40 or 50w (my Lexicon MC1 draws 40w) ... for the two amps .. a 2 channel for surround speaker which uses next to nothing compared to the three channel main amp  

The Surround amp would pull 50 to 75w and the Main front 3 channel amp would most likely pull between 100 to 150 watts as it will never run at 200w full bore all the time ... it will most likely approach it's 200w rating on very demanding peaks ... again add 240w for the sub and about 300w for the flat screen  

That's about 855w plus 10% headroom comes to 940w or about 8 amps 

This is why I say you don't need anywhere near 2500w (20amps) ... a 15 amp (1800w) audiophile quality regenerator will easily do the job with plenty of head room 

Some of your choices would be ... APC 15 amp .. reliability issues and poor mfger support ... (search the archives for threads on their problems and poor customer service) ... PS Audio .. their only 15 amp regenerator is the P10 at $4995 new and about half that if you can find one used and or a Exact Power EP15a  used for under $1000

Enter your text ...
Davehrab - you're my 'savior' right now! 

Really, I SO appreciate that you took that amount of time to break it down for me.  I have spoken to a PS Audio rep as well as a store that sells PS Audio gear here on the site (I'll leave the name out due to respect).  They both claimed that I would need a P10 plus another unit (like a P5).  The store that sells on this site claimed I was going to need 2 P10s to run it.  I found that a little hard to believe but wasn't sure.  I was thinking along the same lines as to how you intelligently explained it.  I just wasn't sure if I was wrong. 

Knowing me, I would have purchased two, spent too much bread on something that I could have gotten away with by spending half the price.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your detailed insight.  This is why I always come here with a question.  You are another great guy in a great community. 

One last request of your opinion.  Being that I have 3 high current draw items; 2 channel amp, 3 channel amp and large powered sub.  Would you purchase one P10 and work it heavily or 2 P5s to split up the high current drawing components?  Money wise, if I can get a reasonable deal on a new or used one, one P10 beats out trying to buy 2 P5s I am sure.  However, it means nothing if the P10 couldn't keep up.

Given your breakdown I now think that using one P10 is the way to go.
Please please check your amplifier specs before going any further. Your power amplifiers will draw much more current than their watt output rating. As a for example I looked up the specs on an Arcam P49 2 channel 200 W amp. This is an efficient class G design and is rated at 1 KW peak power consumption, the three channel version has the same rating. Less efficient designs may even draw substantial power while not in use. My VTL monoblocks for example draw 300W even on standby.

FWIW I think regenerators are terrible with power amps and there are much better power conditioning solutions out there from manufacturers such as Synergistic Research and Shunyata that are both better for power amps and cheaper than the P10. By all means consider a P5 for your source components

if you let us know what particular items you have we can look up the power draw and let you know what you really need

Thanks for that offer of researching the power draw of my system.
My system contains the following;
Adcom 5500 2 channel amp
Adcom 5503 3 channel amp
Reimer 1000 Watt sub (through Parts Express)(Class G)
Audio Refinement Pre2 DSP surround processor
OPPO BDP 93 Universal player
Panasonic TC-P65VT30 Monitor
Modwright LS 36.5 Tube Preamp
Motorola QIP7232 2 Settop box
Reimer surround speaker system (not applicable)
OK -- here’s your answer, hope this helps

Item                                                 Standby      Peak    Source

Adcom 5500 2 channel amp            199            855       GFA-5500 Service Manual per HiFiEngine
Adcom 5503 3 channel amp            199            855       GFA-5503 Service Manual per HiFiEngine
Reimer 1000 W sub (Class G)            24          1,000      Could not find, estimate only, standby draw is from a similar model
Audio Ref Pre2                                   5                  45      http://www.audiorefinement.com/handbook/Pre-2DSP-PL-II.pdf, note standby is an estimate (guess!)
OPPO BDP 93 Universal player         1                  35       http://download.oppodigital.com/BDP93/BDP-93%20English%20Manual%20v2.2.pdf
Panasonic TC-P65VT30 Monitor       0                 516       ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/television/om/tc-p55vt30_en_om.pdf
Modwright LS 36.5 Tube Pre             ?                 176       Estimate based on fuse rating 1.6A, manual sourced at http://www.modwright.com/cms/resources/ls-36.5-owners-manual-final.pdf does not provide power consumption
Motorola QIP7232 2 Settop box        ?                   25       Estimate from https://forums.verizon.com/t5/Fios-TV-Technical-Assistance/Verizon-FIOS-Cablebox-Power-consumption/t...

Total                                                428               3,507
Total ex sub                                     404               2,507
The sub seems to be the real question mark here and probably either should be left out or get its own dedicated (more basic) conditioner. Other than that your original back of the envelope of 2.5 kVA was very accurate!
Folkfreak:
Yet another extremely generous member of the agon community.  I so appreciate the time and effort you took to assist me.  

Collectively, through the info I have been shown from you guys I am thinking P10 for the system and maybe something like an older model P600 for the sub OR keep the current API power wedge 114 I currently use for the sub exclusively?.  Another member here on the site has a P600 for sale, for pickup only, here in NY near where I live.  I could use that 600 exclusively for the sub so as to not overload the P10 on peak draw times.  However, maybe the power wedge I currently own would do the trick?  

When you said 'more basic' what did you have in mind for the sub?  Not bothering with a regenerator and just stick to an older heavy duty power conditioner like I currently use (see below)? 

My system is currently going into a standard Monster conditioner for TV and Verizon box only and I have an Audio Power Industries Power Wedge 114.  The API says it is 'Designed
for mid-sized systems with up tp 4 source components. One 150Watt, three 120 Watt and four amplifier outlets.'

Maybe I could just use the API power wedge I currently own strictly for the sub and then only need to buy a P10?  I assume the reasoning is because youre dealing with the bottom frequency range and other than tightness and peak audio punches it would be difficult to hear much of a difference between what you choose to use for it?  In other words, don't bother spending money on the 600 since you wouldn't audibly hear a difference between using it exclusively on the sub as opposed to the power wedge?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

If you want to use a regenerator then I'd stick with the Power Wedge for your sub. The P10 only outputs 1500W of power so is not sufficient for all the rest of your equipment which needs 2500W at peak. Especially with a HT system I worry that peak could happen all around (think big monster footfalls) so overloading the regenerator could be an issue. If I was you I'd buy the cheapest regenerator you can find and plug in all your sources and perhaps the TV in

As I said already in my experience regenerators kills power amps they suck all the life out. Try conditioners from Running Springs Audio, Shunyata or Synergistic Research instead -- these devices are not current limited like a regenerator and will work well with power amps. I have used SR and RSA products in the past and both work really well
If I head down the conditioner road rather than the regenerator road, are you partial to any of the RSA, RS or Shunyata models in particular?

I looked at a couple used offerings like the RS Dimitri (accepts 2400W - the magic number for me) and the Shunyata Cyclops V1...  

They definitely ARE cheaper and less current limitations.  I just hope that it would provide the dramatic auditory difference over how I am hooked up now and as good as regenerating the power.

First up not sure why you expect any of these devices to provide a "dramatic auditory difference". Yes power conditioning matters and in a very highly resolving (often high $$$) system these small differences are very important. I’m not sure your system is quite this level (no disrespect), but they should do no harm and if purchased used you can always resell at minimal loss to you.

As far as regeneration is concerned there is nothing really special, a regenerator is in effect just a big dedicated power amp, and just as power amps are sensitive to power in so are regenerators (cord swapping on your PowerPlant will be quite impactful). Other manufacturers use other approaches to smooth out the issues with the power from the wall and in my experience the solutions from RSA and RS (which I use) worked much better than the PowerPlants. Caveat I owned a First Generation power plant (in fact three of them at one time) and while they worked they ran hot as hell and were quite unreliable. I’m sure the current P10 is much more reliable and efficient

However if I was in your shoes I would jump at the Dmitri, I see one at a good price with an HZ power cord -- this is exactly the model I used to use for all my source components. Unfortunately I cannot speak to its use on Power Amps, at the time I used a Sound Applications RLS-1 for my power amps which I liked, these are pretty rare however but they really get out of the way of big amps which is what you need

I currently use two SR PowerCell 10UEF, one for front end and the other for the amps. I see a bunch of 10SE MkII available and just one should work for you, I only use two because my setup has sources and amps separated (see my System listing). The one possible downside of SR is that SR components like to work with other SR components, so simply buying one piece of kit may not be the best step for you, if you want to get in on the SR bug (as you can see I have) then a PowerCell could be a good first step. Please also note that my power is preconditioned by a Torus in wall power conditioner as well -- so that’s $20K of power conditioning in just these three devices.

I’ve no experience with Shunyata but others rate them, just have never heard. And no I’ve never done a conditioner "shoot out" -- my experience with conditioners is get a good one and then optimize the hell out of it in the context of your system (i.e. fuses, power cords, wall outlets etc). A well optimized (tweaked) system using good to average components will tend to outperform the best components poorly set up, and of course the optimized system will show the impact of your component upgrades as you make them.

Anyway don’t worry about it too much, my main concern is that you not buy a component that will not work for you
I appreciate you caring whether I get the right piece for me or getting something I will just have to roll over on the market.

The gear that you see in my setup (and no disrepsect was taken) is optimized to some degree.  Most of it was purchased and modified.  Both Adcom amps were modded by Stan Warren.  The Oppo player is the modded NuForce Extreme Edition 93.  The Modwright has swapped Russian Military Tubes, A handmade Reimer surround speaker setup.  Upgraded power and 5.1 analog wiring for surrounds.  I have put some work and money into what I plainly listed for the system.  That is why a move of this nature to purchase a good power setup can make a big improvement in my system.  It is the one step I haven't spent enough on in the chain up to this point.

I am seriously considering bidding on that Dmitri on your recommendation.  Trying amps and source gear through it and keeping the sub powered through the Power Wedge (making the wedge now exclusive to the sub].  I understand you haven't used it for your amps so can't speak to it.  It certainly appears from specs to be able to handle the current draw I require.


Sounds like the Dmitri would be a good next step, and with the money you save you can experiment with power cords which I've found to be very impactful. Lots of good options out there and good value and low risk to buy used -- have fun!
Llippman, I'll just add the following thoughts to the excellent inputs and analyses you've been provided with above:

1)Before deciding how to proceed, I would suggest that if you don't already have one you obtain a good quality multimeter and measure your line voltage, preferably during the day and during the evening, on both a weekday and a weekend.  The further removed it is from 120 volts (in either direction), at the times during which you generally listen, the greater the likelihood that a regenerator will be beneficial, IMO.  The reason being that in most cases components sold in the USA and other countries where 120 volts is standard are presumably designed to sound their best at that voltage.

2)Estimate and take into consideration the length of the house wiring between the outlet(s) which power the system and the breaker panel.  For example, if that length is 50 feet, and the breaker is rated at 20 amps, chances are the wiring is 12 gauge, and an increase in power draw of say 1500 watts that may briefly occur on dynamic peaks in the music would then result in a corresponding brief voltage drop of 2 volts, due to losses in the wiring.  If that length is 100 feet, a 4 volt drop would briefly occur on that dynamic peak.  The greater that fluctuation in voltage, the greater the likelihood that a regenerator would be helpful.

3)Keep in mind also that if the system is powered via a single 20 amp breaker, the maximum amount of power that is available from the outlet(s) is/are approximately 20 amps x 120 volts = 2400 watts.  Although power demands above that value resulting from occasional very brief dynamic peaks can presumably be supported without the breaker tripping.

Good luck.  Regards,
-- Al
 
P.S. One additional thought:

4)Keep in mind that a regenerator will in itself consume power. For example the PS Audio P10, which can supply up to 1500 watts, has an efficiency rating of ">85%" when supplying large amounts of power. Which means that on brief dynamic peaks in the music which may result in 1500 watts being briefly demanded from a P10 by the system, the P10 itself would consume as much as 265 watts. 1500/(1500 + 265) = 85%.

So 1765 watts would be drawn from the wall outlet(s) under that condition, in addition to the draw of whatever components are not being powered by the P10.

Regards,
-- Al

Thank you Al - great additional input.  I will get a multimeter and test it out.  I think a friend of mine has one...  I so appreciate everybody's time and knowledge in trying to help me pick the right product.  This is such a great community.  
I'm not sure what the OP's target budget is but I do see mention of a P10 so I'm inclined to think a budget of about $4-4.5K.

Assuming any of the above is correct then I would recommend you give the Torus RM line or Bryston BIT line a close look for your purposes.

The Torus RM20 @ about $3300 will handle 2400VA and is an awesome product. I recently picked one up and it's been impressive to say the least. I am using the RM20 for my Mono Block Amps only which have a load of around 1000VA each @ a 4ohm load.

I'm so impressed with what the RM20 has done in my system that I intend to pickup a RM10 or RM15 now also to cover my front end gear.

I've been running all my gear straight to the wall for YEARS and never felt the need for a power conditioner. I have x 4 dedicated 20A lines in my room. One for each component (total overkill). I decided to try a power conditioner now for several reasons that I won't bore you with. The RM20 is plugged into x 1 of these 20A circuits and it is now responsible for powering both of my amps, which previously, each had their own 20A plug/circuit.

Based on what I'm hearing now I honestly feel the RM20 is providing MORE current to the amps now than the x 2 dedicated wall sockets were before. Seems far fetched but in lookng at the Specs on this unit it's able to supply some serious Juice during transient peaks (400A @ half cycle, 100A for up to 30sec..) which is more then going stright into the wall by a long shot.

Moral of the story, there are other options available I haven't seen mentioned in this thread (until now) that can handle your system requirements with ease. I'll leave one final remark, this is the first time I have ever been impressed with any power conditoner product (I've tried the most popular brand out there more than once whose name I'll keep to myself but isn't hard to figure out) so take my recommendation as you see fit.
Balanced power works better than power regen, cheaper too (been there done that). Best of all, if you can do American 240V, you get balanced power for free.
Use P10, all gear is connected to it, on average idling at 89watts, voltage in 118, voltage out 120.3 volts and using 16% of capacity. THD in 2.7-3.4 THD out 0.1-0.3. When in operation can reach 20%-30%. All this information can be found on the various touch screens in front of unit and also on-line through graphs that collect realtime data from P10 and then be found on Powerplay page on PS Audio website when you login.

Gear connected: Rotel RB1572, (Class D), A250 (Class A/B) each Amplifier RMS 250watts per channel 8ohms. Sim Audio 260D, PS Audio DLIII DAC, Monarchy Audio DIP, (Digital Interface Processor) for 'Clock Jitter', Superphon CD Maxx, (Preamplifier), DCX3400-M HD, TEAC A-400 Deck, (Tape), PSW 505 subwoofer, Sony BDP-S390.