Jump to content
IGNORED

Battery powered SSD - a tweak that really works !


Elberoth

Recommended Posts

OK, it is not a new idea. I have been reading about this on various forums for almost two years, but never decided to try this approach myself.

 

For one, I see no reason why separetely powering an SSD (a few chips in a box) could make any meaningful difference on SQ, when there is MoBo with literaly dosens, if not hundreds of chips sitting next to it, that still get the regular MoBo power. Doesn't make sense to me at all.

 

Secondly, all the solutions that people tried were a DIY ones, that required homebrewing various cables, not to mention the need to periodicly recharge the batteries. All too much for me.

 

About two months ago I have learned that Jcat introduced their own, plug & play solution - a complete product that comes with all neccessary cables and autocharging battery, that anyone could install within seconds. It also looked like sth that I could finally place next to my hifi rig ...

 

Unfortunately, I have learned about this too late, and when I finally did - the whole batch was sold out :( I had to wait till mid January to get one and ... it proved to be a true revelation.

 

JCATimage.jpg

 

The Jcat battery PSU powering the SSD gave me one of the biggest SQ improvement in my 5 years long computer audio adventure. It by far exceeds improvement brought by various software, like Windows Server 2012 or Audiophile Optimizer or different USB cables. In my case, the magnitude of changes is eaqual to going full linear PSU from the swichers (both on the MoBo and the USB card).

 

The battery power gives you - for a lack of better word - less noise. Noise, that you were not even aware was there, until it was gone. The resolution increases greatly, as is the overal smoothness and fluidity. Colors become more vivid and saturated. Everything starts sounding more analog and more ... real. It is like going from SD resolution to 1080p HD. This is this kind of a difference that you hear within the first 10s on a recording your are familair with. No back and forth changes neccessary to find out the differencies. And once you hear it, there is simply no going back !

 

This is absolutely amazing piece of gear that I recommend everyone to try.

 

 

And for the record:

 

I have tried the Jcat battery PSU on the Samsung 850 Pro SSD in my C.A.P.S. v4 Pipeline server. The only modification I did to Chris recipe was the inclusion of Jcat USB card instead of the SOtM one + a lower TDP, Xeon 1230L v3 CPU.

 

I did not try this on my C.A.P.S. v3 Lagoon, as it uses the mSATA SSD (that would require installing a regular SSD drive).

 

Jcat comes with all necessary hardware, so all I had to do was to substitute SATA power cable feeding the SSD for the Jcat supplied SATA power cable. I made the cable exit the computer case via the empty PCIe card opening at the back of my Streacom FC-10 case.

 

The PSU is made for Jcat by the Japanese company Bakoon. The PSU features analogue automatic charging circuit. This design allows the connected device for continual operation by utilising two embedded batteries - one of the batteries is always powering the SSD (beeing completely off the grid) and the second one is beeing charged. After the first one depletes, batteries are changed. The change between the batteries is fully automatic and works completely in analogue domain (relays). Needless to say, the power delivery is uninterrupted when it happens.

 

The PSU can be used to power other devices that need +5V DC power - like the Jcat USB card for example. I didn't try that yet, as I only have one PSU and my Jcat card is powered by excellent Teddy Pardo LPSU anyway.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

Sounds great. but wouldn't it make more sense to power the card and the motherboard - not just the SSD - this way. Then the whole board and the SSD would all have clean power.

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 :)

Link to comment

I'm not sure a 'rebadged' is the right word, as it still sports the Bakoon logo. But in principle it is true - it is made by Bakoon, as I mentioned in my OP.

 

The one sold by Jcat is an improved version to the one reviewed by 6moons. Plus it is +5VDC not +6VDC, and comes with the required SATA loom.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

You can easily tell them apart, as the new one has two LEDs on the front panel instead of just one, indicating which of the two batteries is currently in use.

 

No idea if there are any internal changes.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

Adam

Nice review. I put a link to this thread over on the long ongoing 8 page SSD-battery-powered-tweak thread.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/cheap-music-server-power-tweak-very-good-18057/index8.html#post393082

Link to comment

Sure Ted. I have missed that thread. Nice to know other members of CA community share my findings.

 

You should try one !

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment
I've been running battery powered SSD's (and screaming praise about it) for over a year now. :) I told Terry to start that thread.

 

Now I really feel I'm behind the curve :)

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment
What psu was the sata cable attached to that the battery replaced?

 

ATX switcher. I'm waiting for my Teradak ATX linear PSU.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

Sounds very interesting to me as I have yet to move to SSD so thanks for sharing.

 

Just a question as I'm not sure from reading: did you try powering just the SSD with your CAPS and without changing the original SOTM card so as to narrow down the effect to the SSD + battery combination?

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment

You don't need to use a separate battery supply, and the added complexity caused by the need to keep the battery charged.

What you can do to obtain similar results for a music SSD, is to fit a small voltage regulator I.C. (e.g. LM317T) to convert the existing internal SMPS from +12V to +5V.

This has already been done by several other members, and at a very modest cost.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/powering-solid-state-drive-17170/

 

I use a +12V to +5V regulator followed by a John Linsley Hood designed PSU add-on, for a further small but worthwhile improvement. It is a form of Super Regulator with around 4uV noise, and a very low output impedance to well past 300kHz.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Sounds very interesting to me as I have yet to move to SSD so thanks for sharing.

 

Just a question as I'm not sure from reading: did you try powering just the SSD with your CAPS and without changing the original SOTM card so as to narrow down the effect to the SSD + battery combination?

 

Already sold the SOtM card.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment
You don't need to use a separate battery supply, and the added complexity caused by the need to keep the battery charged.

What you can do to obtain similar results for a music SSD, is to fit a small voltage regulator I.C. (e.g. LM317T) to convert the existing internal SMPS from +12V to +5V.

This has already been done by several other members, and at a very modest cost.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/powering-solid-state-drive-17170/

 

I use a +12V to +5V regulator followed by a John Linsley Hood designed PSU add-on, for a further small but worthwhile improvement. It is a form of Super Regulator with around 4uV noise, and a very low output impedance to well past 300kHz.

The nice thing about the Bakoon/JCAT is that it takes away the hassle of keeping the battery charged by having 2 batteries and clever technology. The OP stated there are other diy ways which wasn't for him, a popular one is to use a LiFePO4 (LFP) battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Key here seems to be the avoidance of x-talk, avoid the SSD sharing a power rail with other parts of the system. The actual quality of the rail supplied to the SSD seems less of an issue. The SSD is a big poluter..

 

Using Teradaks full linear seems not the way to go, since it will not fix the x-talk issue. The Teradak thread has some suggestion to work around with some DIY. Note the plain USB powerbanks meet the off grid requirement, but on average do not produce clean power due to buck/booster switching at the output..

Bits to analog: Server [i9-10850k; Win10Pro, Roon Core + HQPlayer4 >all DSD256x] -> mRendu -> Lampi GG

Analog to sound: ASR Emitter II Exclusive, Battery -> Dynaudio Confidence 20 + 2 REL G2's

Details: Audio System

Link to comment

I noticed that the Red Wine Audio PSUs that used the LFP batteries have been discontinued and replaced with a LIO concept:

LIO’s internal power supply uses Vinnie Rossi’s all-new, revolutionary and patent-pending “PURE DC-4-EVR” technology that employs ultracapacitor banks in place of conventional AC power or batteries. While one bank of ultracapacitors are feeding pure DC current to the audio circuits the other bank is charging. The audio circuitry is NEVER connected to the charging ultracapacitor bank and is 100% isolated from the AC mains at ALL times. This approach provides dramatic performance and durability advantages over every other power supply technology whether AC or battery.

Configure LIO - Your Personal High-End Audio System

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
The nice thing about the Bakoon/JCAT is that it takes away the hassle of keeping the battery charged by having 2 batteries and clever technology.

 

It probably charges one battery while the other one is in use, and flip-flops between these two when needed. There's a commercial DAC which does that, but I forgot which one [Actually, it is indeed Vinnie Rossi's modular audio system as mentioned right above].

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
I noticed that the Red Wine Audio PSUs that used the LFP batteries have been discontinued and replaced with a LIO concept:

 

Configure LIO - Your Personal High-End Audio System

 

In response to a forum query from me, Vinnie confirmed that later this year he will release a stand alone PS based on the LIO concept, and that certainly one of the configurations will be to power a music server. I'm thinking of waiting for his LIO PS and getting one with 2 outlets, one to power the MB and another to power the USB card.

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 :)

Link to comment
In response to a forum query from me, Vinnie confirmed that later this year he will release a stand alone PS based on the LIO concept, and that certainly one of the configurations will be to power a music server. I'm thinking of waiting for his LIO PS and getting one with 2 outlets, one to power the MB and another to power the USB card.

This is interesting... Does anyone knows how the LIO DAC module performs in relation to other mid level dacs??

Link to comment

 

The LIO concept external supply shown on their site uses a 24V 5A SMPS plugpack. SMPS plugpacks in general, inject a lot of noise back into the mains supply which often degrades performance of low level devices such as DACs etc.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
This is interesting... Does anyone knows how the LIO DAC module performs in relation to other mid level dacs??

 

He just started shipping the first LIO units (all models) to early adopters, so I think it may take a while before you hear much reaction.

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 :)

Link to comment

See:Power input to LIO

 

I asked Vinnie about this and got his response to your idea. The short version is that he says you are conceptually correct, but the specific SMPS he is using doesn't produce a lot of noise, so it shouldn't be an issue. You can see his full response at the link above.

 

 

The LIO concept external supply shown on their site uses a 24V 5A SMPS plugpack. SMPS plugpacks in general, inject a lot of noise back into the mains supply which often degrades performance of low level devices such as DACs etc.

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 :)

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...