PS AUDIO: The invention of MultiWave

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Paul McGowan:

MultiWave is a feature unique to Power Plant regenerators.  Unlike sine waves that come out from the wall to power our equipment, MultiWave gives us a new type of waveform that better energizes our equipment for best sound.  The story of how it was invented is one I think worth the telling.

In the mid 1990′s when I was figuring out how to build a sine wave regenerator powerful enough to run all the equipment in my system, I had to use what was available at the time – which turned out to be a stereo power amplifier and an old HP sine wave oscillator (tube style).

The idea was simple – I would use each of the two channels of my stereo amplifier to produce the output AC needed to power my equipment.  The left channel would produce a perfect sine wave as fed to it from the HP oscillator and the right channel would produce the same thing only flipped upside down or out of phase.  This defines the classic bridged power amplifier you read about where the loudspeaker sits between the outputs of the two channels providing double the voltage and 4 times the wattage of a single channel – only this time instead of a loudspeaker I placed an AC receptacle between the two channels and powered my whole stereo system.

This setup worked great and was the first time I had ever heard my system powered with perfect AC.  It was a real revelation at the time.

The HP oscillator was set, naturally, to 60Hz which made sense because that’s the frequency that came out of my wall socket I was comparing the sound to.  Once I was convinced this new means of powering audio equipment was so much better than what came out of the wall, I no longer had to do A/B testing between the wall and the power amplifier output.  This left open the door for experimentation.

An HP oscillator has a large dial on the front of it to adjust the frequency.  As I listened to the system I began to question the 60Hz setting – why be bound to that frequency?  Products in Europe work perfectly at the lower 50Hz setting although required 25% bigger transformers to work correctly – the opposite being true at higher frequencies.  My experience using oversized power transformers for better sound led me to try feeding the equipment with higher than 60Hz – which could conceivably make the equipment’s transformers “bigger” without actually modifying them – an exciting prospect to say the least.

Tomorrow, part 2 of the story.

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