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PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Review

Rate this product:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)/Dangerous

    Votes: 230 97.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.1%

  • Total voters
    237

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the PS Audio Ultimate AC Outlet. It is on kind loan from a member and cost US $299 when available in 2002:
PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio Review.jpg

The device is is the typical noise/surge filter targeting audiophile market. Not much to the front or the back:
PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio AC IEC Review.jpg


I can't see any safety certifications on the device or the manual.

I ran a number of standard tests on the unit measuring noise attenuation, etc. I then decided to test it with a pre-amplifier. I plugged the PS Audio outlet into the wall. Then I brought the AC mains from the pre-amp to it. As soon as the ground pin touched the front outlet, I heard loud popping causing me to immediately pull the plug back. I was quite surprised as only the safety ground pin of the pre-amp had connected and not the main line and neutral. Wanting to see what is going on, I measured the voltage between the PS audio outlet safety ground and chassis ground of my analyzer:
PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio Shorted out.jpg


Can you believe this? The safety ground has become hot!!! No wonder it made that sound when it came close to being shorted using the ground pin of the pre-amp AC mains.

I took the front cover off and there were components in there smoking. My guess was the MOV in there having shorted out between mains and safety ground. With no fuse, it stayed energized.

This is why I am always raising caution on safety matters/certification around audio/power products folks. I could have hurt myself bad or damaged tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

Just in case you are curious, it doesn't do much of anything on measurement front:



Raw AC Distortion and Noise Measurements.png


PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio Distortion and Noise Measurements.png


PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio FFT noise measurement.png


It did however show a few dBs of attenuation when I treated it as an in-band filter:
PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Power Filter Conditoner Audio Frequency Response.png


Conclusions
Dangerous! Avoid at all cost!!!
Please, if you have one, put it aside or better yet, send it to be recycled/destroyed. Do not sell it to anyone. I am glad it is not on the market anymore or I would really lose my cool! And oh, even if it worked, just like a number of audio power tweaks I have tested, it does nothing for your audio equipment.

Needless to say, I cannot in any form or fashion recommend PS Audio Ultimate Outlet. Let's hope the company knows more about safe AC design now than it did then.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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I should add that I am 99% sure the safety earth pin is connected to the case on the unit. This means that the only thing keeping me from getting electric shock, was the thin layer of paint!!!
 

Endibol

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the PS Audio Ultimate AC Outlet. It is on kind loan from a member and cost US $299 when available in 2002:
View attachment 229822
The device is is the typical noise/surge filter targeting audiophile market. Not much to the front or the back:
View attachment 229823

I can't see any safety certifications on the device or the manual.

I ran a number of standard tests on the unit measuring noise attenuation, etc. I then decided to test it with a pre-amplifier. I plugged the PS Audio outlet into the wall. Then I brought the AC mains from the pre-amp to it. As soon as the ground pin touched the front outlet, I heard loud popping causing me to immediately pull the plug back. I was quite surprised as only the safety ground pin of the pre-amp had connected and not the main line and neutral. Wanting to see what is going on, I measured the voltage between the PS audio outlet safety ground and chassis ground of my analyzer:
View attachment 229824

Can you believe this? The safety ground has become hot!!! No wonder it made that sound when it came close to being shorted using the ground pin of the pre-amp AC mains.

I took the front cover off and there were components in there smoking. My guess was the MOV in there having shorted out between mains and safety ground. With no fuse, it stayed energized.

This is why I am always raising caution on safety matters/certification around audio/power products folks. I could have hurt myself bad or damaged tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

Just in case you are curious, it doesn't do much of anything on measurement front:



View attachment 229827

View attachment 229828

View attachment 229829

It did however show a few dBs of attenuation when I treated it as an in-band filter:
View attachment 229830

Conclusions
Dangerous! Avoid at all cost!!!
Please, if you have one, put it aside or better yet, send it to be recycled/destroyed. Do not sell it to anyone. I am glad it is not on the market anymore or I would really lose my cool! And oh, even if it worked, just like a number of audio power tweaks I have tested, it does nothing for your audio equipment.

Needless to say, I cannot in any form or fashion recommend PS Audio Ultimate Outlet. Let's hope the company knows more about safe AC design now than it did then.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
It doesn’t surprise me.. Paul’s ****** Audio again.. Amazing that they are still around after having launched so many crappy products..
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Possible shipping damage? Seem the person who sent it to you would have had issues already.
It seemed fine inside other than the smoke. It has a single PCB and nothing seemed out of sorts there.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Possible shipping damage? Seem the person who sent it to you would have had issues already.
The MOVs probably started to fail before. Without thermal fuses, they will gradually degrade and get hotter and hotter as they work to absorb transients. This will be an even bigger issue if there are no class X2 capacitors to help them out. When MOVs first started appearing in surge protectors, they had a nasty habit of burning down houses without the thermal fuses as the damage is cumulative and continues until it pops. A standard mains fuse will not provide protection.
 

Blumlein 88

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Looking at the standards for these, back prior to 2005 it was allowed to have an MOV directly connected to the safety ground from the line. It no longer is allowed. You have to have fuses or some other combination of devices between the 3rd pin safety ground and line voltage. PS Audio wasn't unique in this, as I've opened a few similar (though cheaper) devices and back then it usually was a trio of MOV's connecting line, neutral and ground together.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Looking at the standards for these, back prior to 2005 it was allowed to have an MOV directly connected to the safety ground from the line. It no longer is allowed. You have to have fuses or some other combination of devices between the 3rd pin safety ground and line voltage. PS Audio wasn't unique in this, as I've opened a few similar (though cheaper) devices and back then it usually was a trio of MOV's connecting line, neutral and ground together.
Yeah I went through my house and tossed all my older power strips due to their rather minimalist construction just for that reason. Not much there to provide any safety if something goes wrong.
 

Blumlein 88

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Yeah I went through my house and tossed all my older power strips due to their rather minimalist construction just for that reason. Not much there to provide any safety if something goes wrong.
I did the same thing. I kept a couple with multiple outlets. I clipped out the MOV's and labeled it as such. So it was just a power strip at that point.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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It seemed fine inside other than the smoke. It has a single PCB and nothing seemed out of sorts there.
Interesting the ground was able to go hot before it blew the fuse. I wonder what is between the front outlets and the ground on the IEC connector? My only thought beyond them just wiring it up wrong for one audiophile reason or another is that it blew some tracks off the board or there was some sort of choke that burned out before the fuse could blow and cut power to it. Definitely NFG.
 
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