I promised you some weeks ago I will review a very interesting product I have found through a friend of mine.
If you remember, I have written a little post on power cables & power conditioning withBurson Conductor where I stated I had a Ps Audio Duet Center power conditioner which worked ok with Burson HA-160DS but not with Conductor as it restrained the dynamics, bass and energy.
After that adventure, I sold the power conditioner and started looking for power regenerators to see if it has the same effect or if they actually improve the sound of Burson Conductor.
When I have seen the prices on those things, I calmed down, as the cheapest one I could find here was a PurePower Powerpack at 1500 eur, and I thought I can get bigger improvements by upgrading something more important in the audio chain with that money.
However, in the meantime I always had a little stress knowing that my Conductor is plugged directly into the wall without any protection other than its fuse.
I have tried a normal power surge from Belkin but still thought it reduced a little from the dynamics and bass.
A little over a month ago, a friend of mine gives me the link with PowerInspired AG500 .
I look at the price and I didn’t really think it could be a good power conditioner. It was too “cheap” at 300 GPB .
I must tell you that we have got accustomed to high prices for audiophile grade products but this is not always the case as powerinspired proves to us.
After my friend bought it, he said only good things about it so I bought one too.
I even caught a discount and spent only 200 pounds on it. I never thought I would find a new or even second hand power regenerator at that price.
This is their presentation on their website:
The AG500 is part of Power Inspired’s AG series of AC ReGenerator. Designed exclusively for Audio Visual Applications, the AG500 provides the highest degrees of power protection, yet unlike other power protection solutions is whisper quiet in operation. The AG500 will provide protection against mains voltage variations, harmonic distortion, noisy mains, transients, surges and complete mains black outs.
It’s 500Watt rating means it is suitable for all but the most high powered of systems, and it’s internal batteries can provide hours of runtime in the event of a power cut, allowing your Sky Box or HDD recorder (or even a VHS!) to continue to record your movie or favourite TV series.
You can find the specs of AG500 and its bigger brother, AG1500 here .
They also have a very prompt support. I didn’t see Romania in the supported delivery locations and mailed them. They added Romania the second day.
A friend of mine asked them some questions brought into attention by some members of the headfi community:
A couple of Q/A from the vendors, I am re-posting from another thread. Tony from Power Inspired has been very kind to answer these and they are VERY prompt in their replies as several of us found.
- Q: Is the AG series substantially different, other than wattage or Volt Amps capacity, than the AC Regenerators manufactured by Pure Power or PS Audio?
- A: From what I know about Pure Power & PS Audio, the AG series is very much like the Pure Power design. The PS Audio works in a different topology which we (and Pure Power if you read their literature) believe to give poorer performance than our topology, due to the transformer in the PS Audio product.
Q: Any plans for an AG500 with a mains plug output like the AG1500 version?
A: To be honest, the future of the AG500 is in the balance at the moment with more attention to be focused on the AG1500 and developing a new generation, however sales have been good now we’ve ran the promotion so perhaps we’ll make some changes to have a new backplate. I’ll let you know.
Now I can sleep well, knowing that my sound system is fully protected.
Let’s hear the sound now, see if brings only improvements and lacks the downside of the power conditioners.
The test have been done with Burson Conductor, Audiobyte Hydra-X, Audeze LCD2, Sennheiser HD800 and of course PowerInspired AG500.
I use a Chord SilverPlus usb cable from the computer to Hydra-X, a W&M Audio DC-01spdif cable from hydra to Burson Conductor.
As a power chord I used a Chord Power Chord . The AG500 doesn’t have mains outputs, just IEC, so for the moment I have used this adapter (inserted into AG500).
The tests have been made by switching the Chord Power Chord from the adapter inag500 into an extension chord that goes into a dedicated wall socket.
Let’s get through some songs and see how it stands.
Infected Mushrooms – Classical Mushroom – Sailing In the Sea of Mushrooms
Thought to start with an energetic song to see if it reduces the energy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was not the case, but quite the opposite. The blackground was blacker, the sound deeper, including the bass which had more body and punch. Another thing I noticed is that the positioning was better and the sound clearer.
Silent Strike – Asian Paper Circus
I just love this song and it was a very good test. With ag500 the sound was more opened and deep. The micro details sprung into your ears with joy while the bass catapulted them from the deep black background.
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Time
The layering and imaging is better with the AG500. The clock ticks and the drums had a more precise position and detail.
Leonard Cohen – Here it is
I just love the AG500. The female chorus and Leonard played from one layer through another with such ease and distinction. The bass is fuller, more defined and more controlled. Leonard’s voice has better texture and detail. I sometimes felt that his voice was coming from my throat.
Dire Straits – Ride Across the River
I just love that guitar in the back. With AG500 the background was pure black and the guitar was just amazing. It had better extension & depth. The sound opened up and brought a lot of more details into attention. The position of the instruments was easily distinguished.
Henryk Wieniawski – Polonaise brillante No.1 in D, Op.4
With AG500 the dynamics improved noticeably. You can hear every instrument in the back with each as the front instruments tickle your ears. The sound is more holographic with better positioning and soundstage. Also the instruments go deeper with more details and presence.
So what does the AG500 bring to the table?
Black Background & Clean sound
With AG500 the background could be called blackground as it is pitch black. This leads to a cleaner sound.
Layering , Imaging & Instrument separation
It also improves the imaging and positioning both on vertical and horizontal as the sound has more layers and the instruments have more air between them . It also opens the sound giving a bigger soundstage. Combined, the sound has a holographic feel with it.
Deeper and more controlled bass
The bass goes deeper and it is more controlled and punchier. Without it, the bass feels like it is not full, that is missing something.
Details & Micro-details
The blacker background lets more details and micro-details into the scene.
This is one of the points where I was quite afraid as I thought I may loose dynamics. Fortunately this was not the case. The AG500 did an exemplary job here too. The dynamics were better with it, the sound was more lively, more energetic and all the instruments in the back were more clear now then before, giving e deeper scene and sound overall.
This could be a giant killer in my opinion. Power Inspired did a extraordinary job withAG500. At 300 pounds it is a no-brainer.
When I first saw the discounted price I couldn’t believe it:
If you catch a discount like me and get it at 200 pounds and even at full price, it may be the best bang for the buck you may ever find, as you get full protection for your audio equipment and substantial sound improvement.
- good build quality
- batteries in case of power downs
- better dynamics
- better imaging and positioning with better instrument separation
- larger soundstage
- improved details and micro-details
- deeper, more controlled and punchier bass
- not expensive at all
- good support
I really cannot find any cons for this product.
AG500 earns my full hearted recommendation.