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CAPS v3 Carbon power supply question


magister

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I have a CAPSv3 Carbon (purchased from Small Green Computer). I was looking at the specs for the v4 Pipeline, the HDPlex Linear Power Supply power supply in particular. I was wondering if I could use this to run my Carbon along with my Synology NAS, replacing two power bricks (those that came with the Carbon and the Synology) for better sound.

 

The issue is this: the Carbon motherboard can take 9-19v, with 12v suggested. I would use the 12v output from the HDPlex Power Supply to run the Synology, per its specs, the 9v for the SOtM card, and the 19v for the Carbon motherboard.

 

Is there any harm in doing this? The Carbon does not run for long periods -- usually I power it up one evening a week, or less. But I don't want to shorten its life or anything by running it at the top of its allowable power input. Thanks for advice on this!

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I have a CAPSv3 Carbon (purchased from Small Green Computer). I was looking at the specs for the v4 Pipeline, the HDPlex Linear Power Supply power supply in particular. I was wondering if I could use this to run my Carbon along with my Synology NAS, replacing two power bricks (those that came with the Carbon and the Synology) for better sound.

 

The issue is this: the Carbon motherboard can take 9-19v, with 12v suggested. I would use the 12v output from the HDPlex Power Supply to run the Synology, per its specs, the 9v for the SOtM card, and the 19v for the Carbon motherboard.

 

Is there any harm in doing this? The Carbon does not run for long periods -- usually I power it up one evening a week, or less. But I don't want to shorten its life or anything by running it at the top of its allowable power input. Thanks for advice on this!

 

Should work well, but ask Small Green Computer. They can give you the most authoritative answer.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Magister, I agree with Firedog and Johann. The Intel DN2800MT motherboard supports voltages from 8-19V so in theory, your setup should be fine. The only challenge for you is that the HDPlex only comes with one XLR to 5.5-2.5/2.1mm cable because it expects most people who want to connect 19V to run an XLR to 7.4/5.0 cable. So I guess you'll have to find another XLR to 5.5-2.5/2.1mm cable, one for the 19V output to the Carbon and another for the 12V output to your NAS. Of course, you can run each device separately first to make sure the connection works and then you can go out and buy the extra cable to power both devices.

 

As for BobAudio, I am a bit confused how you'd want to use the 250W DC-ATX power supply. This is not an AC-DC converter. It is a DC to DC converter. So are you going to go out there, buy a 19V AC-DC power adaptor to plug into this 250W DC-ATX power supply and then run internal power cables into the Intel DN2800MT motherboard to separately power the SATA ports and the motherboard/CPU? I'm not really sure the purpose of this. Is this to bypass the DC-DC conversion on the Intel DN2800MT motherboard? Or to get questionably better DC power to the SATA power connector?

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ecwl, Thanks for you reply. I didn't appreciate the HDPlex DC-DC design. I thought it had AC-DC functionality as well. As to your question, I was thinking cleaner power to the motherboard and perhaps to the SATA ports might be a good idea given all that I've read. However, I was not certain about needing to provide clean power to the SATA ports given I use a NAS for music files. What are your thoughts? Anyone else have a view? thanks

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My HDPlex Linear Power Supply is arriving next week. It's actually stuck at Canadian customs. I can report on the sonic improvements compared to the Seasonic switch mode power supply. But I think there have been many previous reports of sonic improvements with battery or linear power supply to the Carbon compared to the switch mode power supply.

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Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies--in particular to ecwl for clarifying the connector sizes and offering to provide his impressions of the effect the HDPlex LPS has on the sound. I would really appreciate hearing how you make out. The HDPlex unit seems like it has lots of potential, perhaps improving the sound of my server and getting rid of one piece of clutter as well as improving the Carbon, all for not a lot of money.

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The only challenge for you is that the HDPlex only comes with one XLR to 5.5-2.5/2.1mm cable because it expects most people who want to connect 19V to run an XLR to 7.4/5.0 cable. So I guess you'll have to find another XLR to 5.5-2.5/2.1mm cable, one for the 19V output to the Carbon and another for the 12V output to your NAS. Of course, you can run each device separately first to make sure the connection works and then you can go out and buy the extra cable to power both devices.

 

There should be converters converting from 7.4-5.0 to 5.5-2.5/2.1 or just get a 5.5-2.5/2.1 plug and replace the 7.4-5.0 yourself. Takes a few minutes.

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My HDPlex came and I listened to it all night. When setting it up in a hurry, I missed that it was defaulted to 220V and couldn't power anything up properly. I also kept on thinking USB is 5V and forgot that the SoTM PCIe card needs 9V input. Good news for magister though. My unit comes with two XLR to 5.5-2.5/2.1 cables so magister wouldn't need an extra cable or adaptor.

 

Before describing my listening impressions, I actually need to explain how things were setup before. My amp is to the wall. My pre-amp, DAC and Carbon are hooked up to a Torus BX-5 which is a torroid power conditioner. Because of grounding issues, the Carbon has to be in the same ground circuit as the DAC. Even with the Torus, if I were to plug the Seasonic SSA-0601D-12 directly into the Torus, I get significant degradation in sound quality, increase in background noise, some hash/grain with vocals, shrinking and a slightly confused soundstage. To solve/ameliorate the problem, I had the Seasonic plugged into a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet which is then plugged into the Torus. And I add a Nordost Qv2 to the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet. I seemed to get outstanding sound from this setup which was the reason why I deferred getting a battery power or linear power supply. I thought with the old setup, I had virtually no background noise, natural vocals, coherent soundstage, dynamic instrumental sound with just the right amount of musical details.

 

To setup the HDPlex, I simply removed the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet and plug the HDPlex directly into the Torus and the Carbon. While the result was more musical than before, I actually had a lot of trouble pinpointing what changed. In fact, the musicality comes from the sum of a few little changes. Many have mentioned before that the linear power supply has a lower noise floor but I never noticed noise in the background with the additional Ultimate Outlet except the HDPlex did make music seem to emerge from a slightly lower noise floor. The ultimate maximum dynamics of the sound seems the same as before but the lower noise floor created more perceived dynamics and greater musical dynamic range. Also music sounded better at lower volume. In addition, slightly more details were revealed in complex musical passages. Vocals and instrumental sounds seemed just slightly more full bodied and natural. The soundstage was just marginally wider with slightly better instrumental separation. Yet, all these little changes just add up to a better musical experience.

 

Oddly, when I watched some movies later, I noticed that cable and Blu-rays also sound better even though they don't use the Carbon. I have noticed this effect without the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet before. Clearly, the Seasonic was injecting some power noise into the DAC which lowers the sound quality. I thought this was completely resolved with the Ultimate Outlet in the circuit. But clearly that wasn't true and now, using HDPlex removes the Seasonic noise completely.

 

I think for those contemplating HDPlex Linear Power Supply, it really depends on where your starting point is. If you're just plugging all your audio equipment into the same power conditioner/power bar, getting the HDPlex is probably going to provide you with quite a dramatic musical improvement. If like me, you already have the Seasonic plugged into an additional power conditioner before plugging that power conditioner in line with the rest of your gear, you will still hear sonic improvements that would be musically very satisfying, but if you want to classify why, it's going to require you to pinpoint lots of subtle changes which create better sound as a whole.

 

You can tell from my rambling that I will never be an audio equipment reviewer. But I hope my thoughts are helpful to some of you out there.

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So I've had a few more days of listening. I didn't notice a change in sound quality compared to what I noted on Jan 5. However, since I'm no longer trying to analyze specifically what improved with HDPlex, my perspective was a little different. I realized now that the slightly more full-bodied, dimensional sound of vocals and instruments is what actually jumps out the most and made the music much more enjoyable. I think I had great sound before but this is better most prominently because of the naturalness, fullness and dimensionality of the sound. And I am also convinced that at least 50% of the sound improvement is due to the absence of the Seasonic switching power supply injecting power noise into my audio system as I noticed similar sonic improvements when watching Blu-rays or TV, just not to the same degree as playing music off my Carbon. So my perspective is that if you already have a Carbon built, I'm sure your stereo system is worth quite a bit so any major upgrade is going to cost you more than the price of the HDPlex. Hence, you're almost definitely better off getting rid of the switching power supply and getting the HDPlex first as your next sonic upgrade. (Unless your have room/speaker acoustic issues that you can fix by moving the speakers around or DSP'ing the frequency peaks out for free.)

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