August 2, 2009

Power Play! Pure Power APS 2000 PLC.

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

The "Beast" Pure Power APS 2000.

In an over promised world, it is very seldom that you find a product delivers all or most of the sell lines coined up by the ad's copy writers. Pure Power APS 2000 makes bold claims about being the best audio power conditioner your money can buy! We'll find out soon enough.

The unit supplied for this review is finished in brushed black front panel and and steel body. The unit weights a shocking 37kgs! Hauling this "beast" up to my 1st floor audio cave required the help of a very good friend indeed. Most of the weight is contributed by the 6pcs of 12V DC batteries built inside the unit. Other than power conditioning, Pure Power APS claims to function as an UPS, surge and lightning protection, plus EMI/RFI suppressor are amongst the 10 things it'll do. Read more about the product on http://www.purepoweraps.com/

According to my electronics engineer friend, the re generator route for audio power supply is certainly the best way to be assured of good sound. However, with the unit fresh out of the box, I gone thru the manual and very quickly hook up all the input and output power cabling, press and hold down the "ON" button, the unit "clicks" start and here we go!

Upon powering up the batteries only show 51% charge, I proceed to start casual listening. After a few songs, I just didn't want to listen any more! The Pure Power APS 2000 made my system sounded really awful. The highs were grainy, the lushness in the mids had given way to a certain hardness and the bass while sounding powerful but was lumpy. I left the unit "ON" to charge for 48 hours, before returning to a 100% battery charged.

The multi display indicating batteries 100% charged.

Now, with the batteries fully charged, my whole system(mono block power amps included) powered by the Pure Power APS 2000, the sound took on a more confident note. All the previously mentioned qualities are gone. Immediately apparent now is the startling clarity offered by the music playing system, like a window glass that has just been wiped clean. Noise floor is very certainly brought down by a mile. I found my self now admiring to the focus of each and every instrument within the deep, wide sound stage!(Now this is recording dependent, if the recording has it, it'll be reproduced)

The vocals are now very palpable and believable. In fact so good, with recordings that have it, you can certainly hear a face in the room too! This is scary at night. Ha!Ha! Bass now though powerful, like as if my little Audio Physic Sparks had grown a pair of 8 inch woofers! But the bass quality is low, tight and certainly for string bass instrument, like the double bass or electric bass guitar, there's an elastic quality to it that made me wanna boogie!

String instruments like violins and especially the piano, which is one of the most difficult to reproduce instrument by hi fi, had a certain realistic quality to them. In my system when previously playing solo piano recordings, I tend to only have a idea about the key board area, but with the Pure Power APS 2000, the grand piano body is also presented within the sound stage.

The multi display indicating system load 36%.

The Hammond B3 keyboard is another instrument that benefited from using the Pure Power APS 2000. It now has a very like able texture to it, never ear piercing, like it sometimes does in a lesser system. The Pure Power APS 2000, powering my whole system never ran out of steam, with my system constantly loading it between 34% and 48%, based on the switchable multi display, which is really cool. The unit is rated at 8.7 amps and can certainly go very much higher for short burst of time.

Note the big breathing griles for the built in fans. I can hear the fans "whirrrl...ing" away when no music is played.

However, if there was an area that I was not thoroughly convinced, it's the highs. It's got a very airy, extended quality to it, but it almost always sounded just a little ragged. Not that it's unrefined, just somehow not what I am used to hearing from an high end system.

The 2 big red JPS Inwall to power the pair of mono blocks. the black cable powers the Isotek Sigmas, which filters and in turn power my CD player, turn table, preamp and phono stage.

Time to bring back my electronics engineer friend with his tools of trade. We measured the outputs of the Pure Power APS with an oscilloscope attached, and it was reproducing a perfect output sine wave of 240V consistently. However, when we magnified the sine waves and we saw the minute saw toothed shape in the sine wave, indicating the Pure Power APS has Class D switching devices inside. That probably explains the way the highs sounded.

On the advise of my engineer friend, my resident Isotek Sigmas was brought back in to service. This time, we left connected power amps directly powered by the Pure Power APS, but used one of the outputs to power the Isotek Sigmas and all my source and pre amps powered thru the Isotek.

I proceeded to play some music again, and wah lah! This time, I know that I am hearing the right kind off high frequencies that I am used to getting before! All the rest of the other good qualities mentioned earlier are retained! I strongly suspect that if I replaced the Isotek with a Shunyata Hydra, than it'll even be more perfect!

I really liked the Pure Power APS 2000 powering my system, even more so when used with an auxiliary passive filter like the Shunyata Hydra, or in my case the Isotek Sigmas powering the source and pre amps. Used in that context, it's probably one of the best power line solutions money can buy today.

But the competition is heating up in the PLC market, Torus Power just updated their range of PLCs. I've just secured a model 8A for review. It'll left to be seen next if the Torus Power will maintain their supremacy.

Pure Power APS is sold by Sound Precision Sdn Bhd, contact Mr Eng, tel: 012 2353763

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