PS Audio UPC-200
I recently purchased an all Cary HT system (pre/pro, amp, DVD player) and Cary surround speakers. OK I got a good price, but it's still a lot of good equipment that needs protecting. So I started the search for a superior surge supressor and line conditioning (while I was at it).
I also installed a dedicated circuit and Porter Ports for outlets.
I called Cary and asked what line conditioners they recommended, and they said PS Audio. I told them they were too expensive, but they really didn't have any other recommendations. Ugh.
So I bought the Brick Wall audio unit after hearing good reviews. As soon as I plugged it in all the warmth in my system just went bye bye. There were some good side effects like better detail, imaging, that you'd expect in a bright system but overall, yuk.
After reading good reviews on the Monster 3600 I took one home from a local dealer. It was better than the brick wall, but it also took away resonance and warmth from the system, and had this more hi fi electronic sound than a more natural high end sound. It actually sounded decent with certain murkier recordings - but HEY! give me back my systems warmth and natural sound! So I gave back the Monster instead.
The more I read, the more PS Audio looked like the best for surge supression and filtering. But come on, I'd need at least 2 ultimate outlets with power cords and I'd get exactly 4 outlets for over $1K once I got the cords - and it could easily make my system as bright as everything else.
But I found the UPC 200 with 4 isolated outlets and I could even use it with the amp for the same price as the Monster 3600. Cool - maybe I coooould afford PS Audio.
Anyway, long story long, I received the unit today from Audio Advisor and plugged it into the dedicated circuit with DVD/CD player and Pre/Pro in one zone for digital and my 200wpc 5 channel amp into the next zone.
All the non essential stuff went into another power strip (STB, Playstation, wireless headphone station, etc).
Knowing this needed break-in I turned it on and held my ears expecting yet another overly bright warmth devoid presentation, at least until it broke in (I had that much faith). I threw in YoYO Ma's "Silk Road" disc because it's well recorded but also has lots of high pitched Asian strings, percussion, voices, etc.
Fresh out of the box, I was/am absolutely stunned. The warmth and ambience was still there, but the soundstage snapped into place, the top end was georgeous and not harsh in the least (as with the prior two). I always thought my system was lacking a bit in detail, but not anymore.
The sound I'm hearing now is pure high end magic (I'm still listening to YoYo). So natural, so detailed, so easy on the ears, so much ambience and bass, and crazy freaky imaging, almost holographic sound. After all the frustration with the others, I'm just stunned at what this is doing for my system.
One other great thing is that I'm able to get the same system performance at a lower volume, without timbral our soundstage collapse. This means for the first time, I'm able to get the full sound from my system at volume levels that I'm more comfortable listening to around this house.
The UPC 200 is basically 2 upgraded Ultimate Outlets in one nice looking case. PS Audio themselves say the Outlets in the UPC 200 are better than the UO's. And it's $499 for the whole shooting much. I'm using the stock power cord.
From what I'm hearing it might be one of the best bargains in audio - and from PS Audio. Go figure.