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The Role of a good Power supply and high-end soundcard in a digital output only system


Staxxx

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Hi

Could I please get some learned opinion on the following.

I currently use a computer-based music server which has a Lynx 16 sound card and Corsair 850 PSU. I am being convinced that isolating the PS from the rest of the operating circuitry will assist in improving eventual SQ. This apparently involves some significant hardware tweaking to a new high-end sound card and possibly a new PS.

My server is used to output a S/PDIF digital signal which feeds an external DAC.

The system is definitely resolving enough to pick up any changes in the components. This is a manufacturer recommended upgrade but I would still like to understand (in layman's terms) what the potential advantage could be, since it is a couple of thousand dollars to do.

Look forward to your thoughts.

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The potential advantage is that you may prefer the change in sound (if any), the reason for the perceived changes vary depending on who you ask but is usually put down to noise of some sort affecting other components as you have said - there are lots of threads on here regarding PSUs and there is this on JPlay which covers a lot of discussion.

Linear Power Supply for Pico PSU - Anyone done this? | Computer Audio | Forum | JPLAY - hi-end audio player for Windows

 

I've used Corsair PSUs and I think they sounded really good and your Lynx are very well regarded, I'd probably leave your system as it is if it is going to cost $2k but it's a tough one because you ideally need to try the changes and decide whether it is worthwhile along with things like a decent (Berkeley Alpha) usb to S/Pdif converter as alternatives. You might also find the money better spent on a dac upgrade with asynchronous usb input and use a JCAT or SOtM card etc with separate power supplies but then again you might not. If you are using a SSD for music storage then you could try an Anker E4 battery which is inexpensive and if you hear (and like) a change maybe look into a linear PSU with a picoPSU or go full linear ATX.

 

What dac and server OS, file storage etc. are you using and what is the new PSU and sound card that is being recommended?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What dac and server OS, file storage etc. are you using and what is the new PSU and sound card that is being recommended?

 

Thank you for your response. I am currently using the DAC in a high-end preamplifier/amplifier system called BEHOLD from Germany. It actually has the DACs in the power amplifier and was pretty much state of the art at one time. I am powering the Mobo electricals with a sine-wave generator UPS on which the preamp is also hooked up to.

 

I am still to get details of the new PSU and sound card (but I assume it is also a Lynx card but with the required solders already provided). I will be returning this card for credit if I go with the deal.

 

I am definitely going to try the battery power on the two SSDs. At the moment one SSD (64 gb) has the OS on it as well as is used for playback, while the other is only used for playback (256 gb). I will ask the dealer in the US to help me source the Anker 4 packs and make the connectors for me. I use a tweaked version of Foobar 2000 for playback. External hard drives store my music (in WAV64) and therefore, largely because of the format, the volume is close to 15 tbs. These drives are plugged into the server when I need to copy a music folder onto either one of the SSDs for playback. I have just started to leave the various individual hard drives unplugged (from the USB ports) wondering whether it will help reduce noise in the system.

 

The system sounds wonderful at the moment, but aren't we all after making it sound even better. Sometimes I wonder if at some point better is just different....

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