Combat. Against the purely passive Furutech RTP-6 which sold for €800 in its day, the prior such scenario involving the PSM156 repeated. Only the delta was slightly narrower. The tenor was the same. Again, the secondary and tertiary aspects which in digital parlance live in the lower and least significant bits became more akin to the primary data on substance and fullness. That observation wasn't about raw loudness as though a selective EQ had dialed those up. No, it was about countering the tendency to bleach and thin out the more subtle musical stuff which the Furutech didn't address to the same extent. The difference which the Puritan made then was as though it fed all of its musical subjects the same quality diet so the little people looked as healthy as the big ones. The less significant bits fleshed out to gain in material equality. And that made the overall sound richer and fuller.
It also meant that I heard more of a recording's inherent treble sweetness and harmonic elegance whilst simultaneously hearing the tunes as more articulate, focused and crisp. This was true also versus the Furutech e-tp80 whose low-current sockets are actively filtered whilst its high-current sockets are passive. This explanation by Mike Lester sheds some interesting light on this very combination of sonic attributes:
"I should have explained that we apply the non-sacrificial surge protection not merely as is more normal with a single device across Live and Neutral but comprehensively with three individual arrestors: Live to Neutral, Neutral to Earth and Live to Earth. For our own listening appraisals, whilst 'voicing' a mains cleaner is a seemingly wrong thing to consider as such a product should not set out to alter tonality, we did note that by removing noise, treble for instance sweetens with fresh detail and nuances revealed whilst stepping up individual filtration stages still further could mellow the sound; not unpleasant but we avoided it. There seemed to be a very obvious spot to aim for which provided benefits not only in the treble registers but across the whole frequency spectrum, with bass definition and dynamics in general also improving as well as the depth, breadth and stability of the soundstage, injecting a greater sense of being there into the listening experience."
This suggests that excessive AC filtering can not only hamper unimpeded current flow but also artificially mellow the sound. The latter perhaps has parallels in how output coupling capacitors in valve amps and even class D output filters have a very pronounced effect on their tonality. SPEC Corp from Japan would certainly agree when it comes to their class D implementations. Because I enjoy listening to a lot of rhythmically complex material, I'm quasi allergic to sonic influences which slow down or soften up PRat even if it's done in the name of prettiness. It's why I enjoy such long-lived synchronicity with the Wyred4Sound STP-SE II preamp. It's passive but actively buffered to combine transparency, lucidity and drive. Unlike classic passives whose propulsive force can seem weak, E.J.Sarmento's circuit does proper 'crack'. The same was true for the PS106-DC. It didn't step on the brakes. It could twerk.
Wrap. £675 buys us six outlets, active AC/DC filtering, star grounding and comprehensive equipment protection which won't choke playback current. Providing the lion's share of the award-winning range topper's performance with virtually identical features just lower internal parts density to accommodate the intended 50%+ price slash, Puritan Audio Laboratories have crafted a very effective power delivery solution that doesn't waste your disposable hifi coin on chassis bling. Available with any conceivable power socket type and bundled standard with a very slinky 20A power cord available in white, black or copper-coloured sleeve, it's a serious piece for a happy price.
To fully appreciate how serious, watch this demonstration video on their PSM136 model. It'll have you question the wisdom of plugging your audio kit straight into the wall especially if you're a city dweller.
Friends don't let friends drive drunk.
Friends also shouldn't let friends listen without a Puritan power bar!