Harebrained schemes

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We've been discussing why we and other manufacturers don't build regenerators into our equipment. Real estate and expense is certainly one of the biggest reasons. But one of my readers correctly pointed out we actually did build a regenerator into one of our products and I think I remember Mark Levinson (the company, not the man), did as well. If my memory serves, the Levinson 33H monoblock and the PS Audio Classic 250 had regenerators built into them. They were both physically large beasts.

In the case of the Classic 250 the regenerator powered only the amplifier's front end, not the power output stage. The Levinson, I believe, enjoyed regenerated power for both. It also stood nearly two feet tall and weighed 220 pounds. Most of the weight and expense of that amplifier was in the power supply and case work.

But did I ever tell you about the very first regenerator I designed? Remember, this is back in the late 1990's when no power conditioning category existed in the high end. Taking care of the AC was a relatively foreign concept. There was the MIT stabilizer, the Tice Power Blocks and not much else. I wanted to set the world straight on the importance of proper AC and devised a clever way to do it.

I knew it was impossible to filter the problems of AC power: fluctuating voltage levels, flat topped sine waves, misshapen sine waves, shared connections with your neighbors. My first thought? Build your own power generating station in the backyard and remove your home from the grid. Ok, that's probably not a practical approach, even for an admitted lunatic. Second best? A motor and a generator. I could use an AC motor to spin a generator and an electronic servo system to regulate the speed of the motor producing steady, perfect, isolated AC power to my system. It wouldn't matter what evil my neighbors were up to in their homes, I would essentially be isolated from the grid with this scheme. It seemed a rather brilliant solution to a big problem few in our industry were addressing.

There was only one major fly in the ointment of this scheme, which I will cover tomorrow.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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