AC Filtering Where You Want It: PS Audio's Ultimate Outlets
PS Audio's Ultimate Outlet provides an awesome amount of filtering in a small package, not much bigger than a typical two-outlet wall box. With its own dedicated cord, the Ultimate Outlet is portable and lightweight---to such an extent that some home theater fans are using it to supply power to projectors mounted in the ceiling.
The Ultimate Outlet provides noise reduction as well as protection from electrical surges and lightning strikes. Available in one of two power ratings, the 15A Outlet is ideal for video equipment and line-level gear, and the 20A version is suitable for power amplifiers. Peak currents can go much higher, of course. By virtue of a built-in torroidal transformer, each Outlet acts as an impedance-lowering device, with total current limited by the circuit supplying the Outlet.
The Ultimate suppresses both common-mode and differential-mode noise, preventing them from leaking into your system. It is not a voltage regulator, however; the voltage that it provides is the same as that available at your wall outlet, but with a 40dB reduction in noise at all frequencies.
Rather than feed a home entertainment system from a single bulky power conditioner, PS Audio suggests using a few of the Ultimate Outlet dispersed throughout the room. Each one will provide an extension from the wall outlet into which it is connected. One or two Ultimates are sufficient for most systems, according to PS, with the exception of large power amps, which should have one apiece. The company recommends 15A Outlets for most video projectors, except those with 9" CRTs, which should use the 20A model.
By reducing AC-borne noise, video images will appear clearer, with sharper details and better color accuracy. Audio benefits include clearer separation of voices, instruments, and localizing effects, as well as an apparent increase in dynamics. One big benefit of a passive device like the Ultimate Outlet is that is produces no acoustical noise of its own, nor does it draw current simply by being plugged into your electrical system. The manufacturer claims that the Ultimate Outlet's Litz wire and "Balun" transformer design is unique in the realm of AC conditioning products. A 220-volt version is in development.
The 15A Ultimate retails for $299 and the 20A model, for $399. Contact PS Audio by calling 877-772-8340 (domestic) or 720-406-8946 (outside the US).