Strip vs. purifier. On width, the PS106-DC eclipsed the PSM156 by a socket plus. With now two 3m cords on hand—Puritan's UK wall plug was a sane 90° job which has the cord hug the wall rather than put a strained bow on it—I could quickly swap between both devices whilst leaving their wall connections untouched. Still upstairs, the speakers now were the overachieving 4-driver 3-way sound|kaos Vox 3ffrom Switzerland.
The key differentiator in this game of plug'n'play was simple dynamic range. With the PSM156 at the exact same volume setting of '33' on the Bakoon AMP-13R, tunes started even more quietly and peaked even higher. The upshot was more agitated ebb and flow, hence more emphatic expressivity. Imagine a singer's lyrics written out as sung. You'd see certain letters enlarged, others put down with less pressure between pen and paper. With the PSM156, the difference between normal letters and capitals, between ornamental flourishes and contained penmanship, was a bit larger to show that the writer had laboured under greater emotional pressure.
In proper audio lingo, we'd call its cause an even lower noise floor. It's the proper term but applied in the negative. It doesn't explain how less is a benefit which becomes more. In this instance, I didn't observe audible detail that was inaudible before. I really only heard bigger ripples for higher dynamic contrast ratio. If for this setup deep in the rural hinterlands, I'd pin on the PSM156 a performance value of 100—if you found something better, you'd lower that number—I'd call the PS106-DC a 90. From years of experience with Spanish Vibex conditioners, I'd personally never order either Puritan without their DC filter option. The benefits of DC filtering for even source gear where small transformers barely if ever hum tends to be much underestimated. Because our top Vibex is a two-piece job where one plugs into the other, I've experimented with DC+AC vs just DC filtering. In multiple homes already, I concluded that properly executed, DC filtering was the audibly even more relevant. In the context of the PS106-DC/PSM156 comparison, the most important takeaway for the more cash-strapped is that the less than half-priced strip already provides the lion's share of benefits which the range topper gives, making it a Best Buy in this product category.
Spain vs. UK. As in football so in hifi? In the main system, the source stack drew power from either the Vibex Granada/Alhambra DC/AC filter or the PSM156. Plugged into either were our music iMac as server of locally hosted files, a SoundawareD300Ref as USB bridge, a Denafrips Terminator DAC receiving I²S over HDMI, then a Gryphon Zena preamp.
On the other end sat a pair of Gold Note PA-1175 MkII amplifiers bridged to mono driving a pair of Davis Acoustics Courbet N°5. Switching power took only about two minutes between tracks.
For a well-recorded cut with female and male vocals, male spoken voice, drums, percussion, bells, oud and keyboards plus some salty shehnai in a Dead Can Dance reminiscent arrangement, Mamak Khadem's "From Green to Green" on her A Window to Color album was very useful. The surprise result of these sessions? An even score with different personalities on the playing field. Power delivery as conditioned by Vibex played the virtual tube card with softer transients, slightly bloomier textures and less acute magnification. Power by Puritan pulled the transistor card with crisper transients, higher damping and sharper resolution. Both readings had equal validity and presented as on the level but expressed two disparate moods. The PSM156 lived in the broad light of day for maximal lighting of its soundstage. The double-decker Granada/Alhambra combo suggested a time closer to twilight when it's still light enough to see everything but the contrast is already softer and the half shadows are deeper. Preference comes down to personal taste. Your wallet will categorically prefer the Puritan for being significantly more affordable whilst adding non-sacrificial surge/spike protection to its list of attractions.