The PION C 1200 Power Cleaner

The PION C 1200 provides an extremely high level of protection against the large amount of high frequency noise that is almost invariably present on the incoming mains supply. It is derived from our original 8-channel power conditioner and is intended to be used as a dedicated filter for a single high power component such as a power amplifier or large integrated amplifier. It rated at 1,200W continuous power and can provide peaks of up to 2,400W. It is therefore suitable for use with almost any power amplifier currently on the market. Its high peak power capability and low resistance design ensures that it will not restrict dynamic performance when driving large, current hungry power amplifiers. For CD players, D/A converters, preamplifiers and other low power components we manufacture the PION C 250 D.

As part of the research carried out during the design of the PION products, we examined a large number of commercially available mains filters and cleaners. We found that many such devices actually caused more problems than they solved and whilst they removed some noise, they often introduced other undesirable artefacts into their outputs. In the devices that we examined, we found the principle causes of such problems to be the use of an inappropriate filter type and under-specified components. The latter often appeared to be related to the need to meet a particular price point.

pion1200_1Learning from others' mistakes, we took great care to ensure that the PION C 1200 did not exhibit any undesirable behaviour. This involved very careful design of the filter circuit and a program of rigorous testing to ensure that the unit delivered the required level of performance across a wide range of operating conditions.

Top quality components are employed throughout. Over-size inductors are used so that they always operate well away from saturation. Using smaller inductors would have saved money and space, but would also have meant that they operated closer to saturation and therefore added distortion to the output mains waveform. All the capacitors in the design are operated with generous de-rating margins. This approach ensures optimum performance in the circuit and also improves the long-term reliability. The final selection of parts was made on the basis of extensive listening tests.

The unit's internal wiring also has a crucial effect on its performance. The PION C 1200 is wired with heavy duty cable and connections are made with either high pressure screw terminals, or soldered joints. No plugs are used, as the increased resistance they introduce would degrade the dynamic performance of the filter.

The PION C 1200 filter starts operating toward the top of the audio range and extends well into the megahertz region. It has a similar characteristic to the filter used in our PION C 250 D, but the lower end characteristic has been adjusted to meet the requirements of large power amplifiers.

pion1200_2As well as very effectively preventing noise from the mains from entering the component it is driving, the PION C 1200 also prevents noise generated by the component from being passed back into the mains, where it might degrade the performance of other parts of the system. This feature is an important consideration even with power amplifiers. With conventional capacitor input supplies, the large pulses of current taken when the reservoir capacitors charge every half cycle, can produce noise, which could degrade the performance of other equipment if was allowed to enter the mains supply. Also amplifiers with switch mode power supplies can produce significant amounts of high frequency noise, which the PION C 1200 will effectively deal with.

The entire filter assembly, as well as the input and output connectors, are encapsulated in a high density polymer material commonly used in the aerospace industry. This prevents vibration caused by magnetostriction and ensures that the unit runs silently. This is an important advantage with smaller listening rooms where it may be necessary to place the unit close to the listening position. It also protects the unit from external vibration and makes it totally immune to any microphonic effects. The polymer has the additional advantage of having a visually attractive stone finish.

The benefits noticed when using the PION C 1200 include a deeper and more natural soundstage and improved resolution of low-level detail. Background noise is also greatly reduced - inky black is how it is often described by users - and the reproduced sound takes on a more natural and relaxed nature, ensuring that long listening sessions are fatigue free.

To obtain the full benefit of the PION C 1200, we strongly recommend that the filter is connected to the amplifier using our German Physiks PION N 3 ZF power cable. This has been specially designed to avoid the introduction of the high frequency noise often encountered with ordinary power cables. It also provides additional filtering of the incoming power and further attenuation of any noise generated by the source component.

The PION C 1200 Specifications

Maximum continuous power handling



Peak power handling



70mm W x 158mm H x 230mm D