Puritan PSM136 up and running

So I managed to get a deal on the Puritan PSM136 mains conditioner.
Initial reactions are very favourable with low level details such as reverb, note sustain and soundstage getting a boost. For those of you into photography, the best analogy I can come up with is that of removing the anti-aliasing filter on a camera sensor - there is more detail across the entire frequency range.
It’s not a night and day difference, but the more you listen the more you become aware of subtle musical clues that make a significant difference to ones musical enjoyment. What seems even more significant though, is the effect on sound quality during different times of the day. I always thought that early evening listening often seemed to have a drop in fidelity and this seems to have levelled the playing field somewhat.
I haven’t noticed any loss of dynamics. On the contrary, as noise levels are lower, there is an increase in micro dynamics in my opinion.
I know many of you are running Audioquest Niagara or something else and just as many will advocate not using a conditioner at all, especially on Naim stuff, but I thought you’d like to have some feedback on a unit I think has given my sound an uplift, especially as I’m not interested in the multi-box power supply route and this can be hidden behind the cupboards out of site.

how is the Puritan sounding now you’ve had it a few weeks?
I was thinking of getting one with Schuko plugs with the schuko power cables to replace my standard power cables.

As mentioned in my original post, the improvements are subtle but very noticeable. The air surrounding instruments is much better, with noticeable improvements in note decay and reverb. The tone of acoustic instruments seems more natural to me as well. The noise floor is definitely lower - you can hear it, or not hear it, should I say! Bass seems a little more fluid as well, with no loss of extension or dynamic impact oft noted with the use of power conditioners. I think my Nova might not be of sufficient power demand to cause an issue here. If you are running top tier Naim power amps then a problem may occur with current supply and the 156 might be a better option, but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t auditioned that model, I’m purely going by specs and reviews.
You may be interested to note that a local dealer, whom I’d expressed an interest in mains conditioners to a few weeks ago and who stocked the Audioquest Niagara 1200, now stocks the Puritan and yesterday posted a report on his testing of the Puritan in his subscription newsletter. Although he didn’t specifically mention the Niagara v Puritan, it was pretty obvious from his newsletter which products he was comparing, especially given our recent conversation and the items he stocks. The background EMI noise from the line meter reading mains at his place was 302mV, versus 230mV for the “competitor” and 14mV from the Puritan. He also mentions a reduction in mains transformer noise on his Hegel amp when the Puritan is installed - again this was something I asked him about over the phone when enquiring about the Niagara and he didn’t say there was any reduction then. I don’t think the Niagara has the DC blocking features of the Puritan, which may explain this and one of the reasons why I went to another dealer for an audition and eventual purchase. The sound quality improvements mentioned by him mirror the comments I have made earlier.

Thank you for the very informative reply


You’re welcome. I’m surprised you are the only one who has shown an interest in this. Most seem to be Niagara users and although I haven’t auditioned the Niagara, I can’t see it would outperform the Puritan. Bigger name I guess.

I use a 156, and am really pleased with it. I had never tried any mains “conditioners “ before and was gobsmacked at the difference it made. Removed a load of noise that i didn’t even know was there until it was gone (if that makes sense).

Makes complete sense!
I had considered the 156 but I managed to get a deal on an ex-dem model 136 which made it half the price. Considering the improvements the 136 has made to every component, I think it has been a good investment. Mains quality isn’t going to get any better, unless you install a dedicated line and/or go for mains re-generation which is hugely expensive and probably not worth it for my Nova, as good as it is. I’d be interested to hear comparison between the PSM156 and the Niagara 3000.

What got me very interested in it was the review done on 6moons.com.
What you have described also is making me decide to home demo one & all being good buy one. I might go the second hand route or ex dem if possible.
I also have a dedicated mains.

That is a review I am aware of and have read myself. A demo is definitely in order. Your mileage may vary dependent on how noisy your mains supply is.
Good luck and I look forward to your feedback on how you get on.

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