The P5 benefited some components more than others, power smoothing/regulation being ultimately something that all electronics designers try to manage. With Rega’s remarkable Saturn-R CD player/DAC used as a converter the improvement was nothing short of massive; the sound gained a radiance and vibrancy that brought out the full flavour of the music. Tone resolution went from being subdued to immediate; it put that very able machine into a whole other league. The Resolution Audio Cantata used as a streamer clearly benefited as well. The way the P5 cleaned up the flute on La Folia was remarkable; its purity was maxed because loads of what one perceives as grit, but which is essentially noise, was removed to let the music through. This really brought home the fact that electrical current is the lifeblood of reproduced music, and when that blood is polluted you can hear it. With electric instruments it’s not very obvious but acoustic ones, including of course voices, change quite dramatically when you clean up the ‘carrier’.
It would be interesting to apply AC regeneration to not only the studio but the electric instruments being recorded, to see whether the music itself would benefit. But you might very well find that musicians like the sound of grunge.
Back in the listening room, I continued enjoying the deburring effect that the P5 was having on a range of music types; the way it removes the electric character from the chain is quite uncanny. Some will not take to it for that reason: if you live on a staple of heavy rock and electronica, the cleaning up may not be to taste. But ultimately, you are hearing more of what the musicians put down in the studio; a sound that in theory is closer to what they heard on the monitors at the time. I would be surprised however if anyone who appreciates good sound would dislike the result that the P5 gives with source components. It even benefited a Naim Unitiserve, which is essentially a well appointed rip/NAS: it put the sound more solidly in the room and produced a better vocal image. Nils Lofgren’s mistakes on ‘Keith Don’t Go’ are laid bare, as is the brilliance of his playing – it’s not perfection that makes a great musician as any Jimi Hendrix fan will tell you.