Review: EXACTPOWER EP15A Tweak

Category: Accessories

I just purchased the new ExactPower EP-15A AC Line Voltage Regulator from a Audiogon Seller " Chichiuno ".

The first thing I noticed when taking it out of the box was the build quality, all aluminum, and heavy. I pluged the EP-15A into the wall and all of my gear into the eight AC outlets on the back of the unit.

I turned the EP-15A on and played Lee Ritenour Rit's House, and I was amazed! It was as if I added another 50 watts to my Power Amp! The volume level had to be turned down from the normal listening position. The sound was smooth and rich. The sonic benefits from this unit are cleaner sound with no hum, and power, power, power! My Velodyne pumped out deeper bass, the Monitor Audio tweeters produced crisp high frequencies without sounding too bright, and the mid-range truly opened up with finer detail.

The EP-15A made a big difference in the sound of my system, but that's not all, the picture quality of my TV increased dramatically with brighter colors and sharper picture.

If you are looking for a cost effective way to give your system the boost it needs, try the ExactPower EP-15A. "You can't go wrong with ExactPower on".

By: Bryan Freeman

Associated gear
McCormack DNA-HT5 AMP, McCormack MAP-1 Preamp, Denon 3800 DVD, Monitor Audio Gold Reference Speakers, Velodyne HGS-10 Subwoofer, Sony Trinitron Monitor.

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Nothing else compares!
i also use the EP-15A. when you first listen to your system with it, you notice a lack of background noise.
i dont know when you recieved your units, but exact power has improved the top cover for these units. i have the silver faced unit with the silver top. these units had a rounded screw head to hold it down. i wanted a black cover to match the silver / black theme of my system. when i recieved the new black cover, it was a heavier gauge metal, and the screws are now philips heads that are longer. you can feel how it draws the cover down tighter and has less noise when tapping on it. you cannot use the longer srews with the older top covers. they round out the holes on the new ones so the screws are now sitting flat, instead of above the cover. if you call for a new top cover at EXACT POWER, let them know you bought if from ANTHONY. they know who he is. it will help in getting a new lid at a very reasonable price. i think the new lid is worth the few dollars to improve the stiffness of the chasis.

Where can I get my Exact Ep15a fixed
The ExactPower EP15A is a great unit, but there was a design flaw in the power supply section of the control PCB. The electrolytic capacitors specified and supplied in ALL EP15A units were undersized relative to the load imposed on them. This causes the capacitors to fail prematurely and the regulated voltages on the control card to drop out of regulation, resulting in lower-than-specified output voltage with LOTS of nasty ripple. So robust was the controller circuitry that the unit still works until the capacitors have completely failed. The cure is the replacement of the factory caps with correctly-sized (much larger and higher quality 105C low-Z) caps. This entirely fixes the problem and prevents its re-occurrance. I recently tested a new-old-stock, never-used unit and its voltage regulators were not working correctly out of the box due to this problem. The primary symptom of capacitor failure is the inability of the unit to sustain full load current and it buzzes loudly as it tries. If you own an ExactPower EP15A and have not had the control board caps replaced and upgraded with larger values (2 x 100uF in original for example on the positive 12V regulator to over 1000uF in the modified unit) then your EP15A NEEDS this fix. If your caps haven't failed completely yet, then they WILL soon. As the caps deteriorate, the performance of the unit slowly deteriorates over time, until it fails completely. Tragically, this slow deterioration of the unit robs the user of the full benefit of the ExactPower EP15A. Recapping the unit gives it better than new performance.
I routinely do the recap of the control PCB and the meter PCB and I am equipped to re-calibrate the unit to factory specs. Email me for details if you would like further info.
BTW I understand that Middle Atlantic (who now owns the ExactPower product line, has been repairing these units, but I believe that they are replacing the defective 100uF caps with new 100uF caps. These replacement caps will fail prematurely just like the old ones. They must be replaced with caps with larger value to prevent recurring failure -- especially the +12V filter caps, which are dreadfully undersized.

Thank you Steve.

I have used EP-15A and SP-15 for 5 years now. Nothing goes wrong so far.

Can you explain in details how to recap the 2x100uf to 1000uf you said? Is there enough room to put the big 1000uf caps?

Thank you
Steve what's your contact info??? Thanks Sam
Steve, I'd like to get more info about this upgrade as my caps just went. How can I get a hold of you?
Steve, I am another person who is experiencing a loud "buzzing" from my Exactpower EP15A. I see that you haven't replied back to other members' posts. I'll try to PM you.
My EP15A is starting to make some funky noises, too. Has anyone had their EP15A recapped? Can you snap some pictures of the insides so that I can do a visual comparison? (I've also sent a note to stevehogan, but no reply so far...)

His phone number is available on his website. I've found he's responsive that way. If you can't find it PM me and i'll provide.
Oh -- he has a website? d'you have the URL handy?

Search for The Sound Steward and you'll find it. Tried to post his number here but mods rejected that.
thanks so much! Found it!
Tortilladc thanks !!
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UPDATE: Steve Hogan has finally completed my ExactPower unit, and it is now in my possession, and online. In the end, Steve did an absolutely fantastic job. He totally rebuilt it, w/ new display, and custom replacement lens. The unit sounds better than new, and the display is brighter than ever!

I'm chalking up the long delay to Steve going through life difficulties, which could happen to anyone; in fact, given the quality of work performed I am sending him my other unit later today.

Highly recommended, just make sure to inquire about his workload so as to temper completion time expectations.
Snsmore...good luck with the unit. I also got mine back from Steve and it didn’t last as long as I wanted. It ultimately took a crap and I was lucky that he bought the unit basically as parts for other projects. I got a pretty decent Penny considering the thing didn’t work anymore. Best of luck to you.
thanks devilboy! i really hope the unit lasts me another dozen plus good years more. the repair in theory should last even longer. we shall see...
I tried this unit in my system many years ago. It along with the ps audio I found would maybe be good if your power was really bad. For me both of these slowed the musicality of the music and restricted dynamics.. Both very restricting vs straight into the wall. I tried a few all within the same time period. Richard grey and shunyata . Richard grey I got rid of quick. The shunyaya hydra was very good although smeared the sound a little. In the end the two that I settled on that did the least damage was the sound application and my favourite, the Original Walker velocitor. Not the latest version. The old one uses QRT technology that I believe they lost the right to use. I may be wrong here but that is what I heard. I live in a small town now with good clean power. I sold my line conditioners about 5 years ago. Recently I bought another Walker and have my preamp and phono stage into it. Very nice unit. The exact power I will say though, it was the best out of the bunch in my theatre when I plugged my projector into it. Huge difference. More clear and colours more saturated. I just couldn’t justify the cost for this use or I would have used it. 
For several years, the display on my EP-15A has been flashing between 120 volts RMS and "under voltage".  Nonetheless, it remains putting out 117 volts and is unfailingly quiet.  Am I just lucky?