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Power supplies and cables - observations, considerations & commentary

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Just wanted to report that I switched from the Regen supply to an iFi iPower 9V. Sound seems slightly improved. Nothing dramatic.

As far as heat: I live in a very warm environment, the mR gets warm to very warm - definitely not too hot to touch comfortably - which is what JS warned about. My DAC doesn't pull any power over the USB, acc'd to the mfg.

Just remove the USB connection and keep power on and that will give you an indication of what your DAC is / isn't doing with the USB power.

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In case anyone is thinking that they need to wait until they can afford an expensive PS before its worth investing in a microRendu, let me tell you that there is no need to wait. I am working on getting a nice custom LPS soon, but instead of waiting in silence have been listening with an $11 Hosa adjustable PS from Amazon (set at 7.5V) that I grabbed just to hold me over for a couple of weeks. The sound quality is excellent even with this inexpensive supply. It clearly crushes the stock 2009 MacMini/Audirvana+ setup that I had been using.

I'm using in DLNA mode with Lumin as primary control point and mimimserver running from my Synology NAS.


Digital Source: Synology DS415+ > Blue Jean Cable Cat6a > Sonore microRendu with hard USB adapter & Ecco Audio Custom LPS> Schiit Audio Gungnir Multibit

Analog Source: van den Hul Colibri XGP > VPI 12.7 arm > VPI TNT6HR turntable > Walker Audio Motor Controller >

Both: BAT VK51SE > Lamm M2.1 monoblocks > Sound Lab A3 ESLs > 50 yr. old ears(left-handed)

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In case anyone is thinking that they need to wait until they can afford an expensive PS before its worth investing in a microRendu, let me tell you that there is no need to wait. I am working on getting a nice custom LPS soon,

 

Mind sharing some details :-)

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Hi Barrows, my understanding is that the Supercaps in the Uptone LPS -1 are essentially batteries with lower capacity. They are disconnected from the charger during use (discharge). What is the benefit of charging batteries with batteries?

 

Because the charge cycle of the Super capacitors is short, the charger (actually just another power supply) needs to be connected and powered up at all times. So the charger becomes the problem, typically most will use a wall wart SMPS based charger for this, and hence one will have all the problems associated with placing an affordable (read cheap as *hit) SMPS in close proximity to the audio system: it will broadcast a fair amount of interference into the air, and spray a bunch of nasty harmonics back on to the AC line to be shared with one's precious music signal via DAC and amp power supplies. By powering the LPS-1 with batteries, one eliminates any possibility of the supply causing problems with the rest of the audio system and the AC line. Or, one could build a nice linear based charger, either way, a good linear power supply, or a big LiFePO4 battery pack with regulator and charger, there is going to be some additional expense.


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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Because the charge cycle of the Super capacitors is short, the charger (actually just another power supply) needs to be connected and powered up at all times. So the charger becomes the problem, typically most will use a wall wart SMPS based charger for this, and hence one will have all the problems associated with placing an affordable (read cheap as *hit) SMPS in close proximity to the audio system: it will broadcast a fair amount of interference into the air, and spray a bunch of nasty harmonics back on to the AC line to be shared with one's precious music signal via DAC and amp power supplies. By powering the LPS-1 with batteries, one eliminates any possibility of the supply causing problems with the rest of the audio system and the AC line. Or, one could build a nice linear based charger, either way, a good linear power supply, or a big LiFePO4 battery pack with regulator and charger, there is going to be some additional expense.

Thanks Barrows, so a good LPS that minimizes the backwash into the AC side should do the trick? And the output of the LPS1 will be the same regardless?

 

Did I get it right?


nuckleheadaudio.com

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Just remove the USB connection and keep power on and that will give you an indication of what your DAC is / isn't doing with the USB power.

 

Thanks. mR didn't get more than quite warm to the touch (not what I'd call hot) without the DAC - same as with the DAC attached and working. So good indicator my DAC isn't drawing current.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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In case anyone is thinking that they need to wait until they can afford an expensive PS before its worth investing in a microRendu, let me tell you that there is no need to wait. I am working on getting a nice custom LPS soon, but instead of waiting in silence have been listening with an $11 Hosa adjustable PS from Amazon (set at 7.5V) that I grabbed just to hold me over for a couple of weeks. The sound quality is excellent even with this inexpensive supply. It clearly crushes the stock 2009 MacMini/Audirvana+ setup that I had been using.

I'm using in DLNA mode with Lumin as primary control point and mimimserver running from my Synology NAS.

 

I agree. I have the exact same set up, except that I use the iFi power supply. It sound better than what I had before (an Odroid as a streamer) and it outclasses my Denon transport.


Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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Thanks Barrows, so a good LPS that minimizes the backwash into the AC side should do the trick? And the output of the LPS1 will be the same regardless?

 

Did I get it right?

 

While I want a nice LPS like everyone else, I'm wondering if plugging the iFi iPower into a filter like the AC-7A would eliminate/mitigate the kick-back-into-the-AC/system noise issue?

 

This filter was recommended by Jim Smith, author of Good Sound:

http://www.arraysolutions.com/ac-7a

 

So in theory to stop the contaminating "backwash" noise you'd plug the iPower into this and plug this into AC.

 

Is this conceptually accurate/effective? Would it in theory help sound quality?


Fav Gear Schiit Yggdrasil A2 + SR UEF Black power cable, W4S Remedy/Uptone LPS-1, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Naim, PSB, Elac, Uptone Audio USB, Phasure Lush/ZenWave/Transparent Audio cables 

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Any comparisons of any LPS to the SOtM battery PS? Curious because I'm gonna use the uRendu with it (when it finally ships to my direction).


MacBook Pro + Roon > Airport Extreme > microRendu + mbps-d2s > Auralic Vega > McIntosh MC275 > Yamaha NS-2000

Wired with: High Fidelity CT-1 Enhanced RCA, Revelation Audio Labs, Fadel Art Coherence PC

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While I want a nice LPS like everyone else, I'm wondering if plugging the iFi iPower into a filter like the AC-7A would eliminate/mitigate the kick-back-into-the-AC/system noise issue?

 

This filter was recommended by Jim Smith, author of Good Sound:

AC-7A - AC line filter with 1 ft cord with 120 V AC NEMA standard plug and receptacle for Wall-Warts or other AC mains devices.

 

So in theory to stop the contaminating "backwash" noise you'd plug the iPower into this and plug this into AC.

 

Is this conceptually accurate/effective? Would it in theory help sound quality?

 

One of the main design goals of the iFi was to minimize the noise kicked back into the power grid. you shouldn't need a filter.


Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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One of the main design goals of the iFi was to minimize the noise kicked back into the power grid. you shouldn't need a filter.

 

Ifi don't specify what frequencies are transmitted back to the mains. The Ifi wall wart is no angel when it comes to being quiet, if so their aircraft technology should equally work on the AC as well as the output, but there's no mention of this on the Ifi Web pages, so no need to extrapolate into imagination.


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Ifi don't specify what frequencies are transmitted back to the mains. The Ifi wall wart is no angel when it comes to being quiet, if so their aircraft technology should equally work on the AC as well as the output, but there's no mention of this on the Ifi Web pages, so no need to extrapolate into imagination.

 

This is what iFi have said on their iPower thread. I'm sure if more specific info is required they would respond. They are pretty good that way.

 

" Originally Posted by Abee_V

Does the iPower throw switching noise back into the AC main?"

 

"Hi,

Normally yes. But the iPower has a 6-Element Input Array which pretty much stops noise in its tracks from going back into the mains.

 

At shows we run with +20 iPOWERs off the same spur!"

 

Cheers."


LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Bluesound Node 2i (as streamer only)/Qobuz Studio>Bluejeans 1694A coaxial interconnect>iFi spdif iPurifier>Lab12 DAC1 SE>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Lab12 Integre4 (Tung Sol KT150 output tubes) >Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers.

LIVING ROOM:- iFi AC iPurifiers x2>Bluesound Node2i (as streamer only)/Qobuz Studio>Bluejeans Belden1694A coaxial interconnect>iFi Retro 50/LS3.5 Speakers.

 

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" Originally Posted by Abee_V

Does the iPower throw switching noise back into the AC main?"

 

"Hi,

Normally yes. But the iPower has a 6-Element Input Array which pretty much stops noise in its tracks from going back into the mains.

 

At shows we run with +20 iPOWERs off the same spur!"

 

Cheers."

 

Then again, John did some measurement of the iPower and say some very strange things on the scope along with extremely high leakage voltage. He described them here, though he went into a bit more detail with me on the phone. Not to say that the iPower does not "sound" decent. I have one, and it is a modest improvement over the Mean Well 7.5V/2.93A/22W unit we supply with the REGEN.

But the iPower is still a switcher and there is no way they are removing all AC-side noise from it. If they were--and in that tiny case--they could have a patent, exit the hi-fi business and make tens of millions selling it for power supplies all over the world. ;)

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If they were--and in that tiny case--they could have a patent, exit the hi-fi business and make tens of millions selling it for power supplies all over the world. ;)

 

Huh! No one could ever do that, could they?

 

--David


Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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While I want a nice LPS like everyone else, I'm wondering if plugging the iFi iPower into a filter like the AC-7A would eliminate/mitigate the kick-back-into-the-AC/system noise issue?

 

This filter was recommended by Jim Smith, author of Good Sound:

AC-7A - AC line filter with 1 ft cord with 120 V AC NEMA standard plug and receptacle for Wall-Warts or other AC mains devices.

 

So in theory to stop the contaminating "backwash" noise you'd plug the iPower into this and plug this into AC.

 

Is this conceptually accurate/effective? Would it in theory help sound quality?

 

 

In my particular system, powering the mRendu with an iFi iPower, the AC-7A made a very positive improvement to the sound when added to filter any SMPS backwash into the AC mains.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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In my particular system, powering the mRendu with an iFi iPower, the AC-7A made a very positive improvement to the sound when added to filter any SMPS backwash into the AC mains.

 

@MikeyFresh Thank you. (So great that everyone is so helpful here.) I'm trying to eek out some more high freq. transparency and attack from my system. I swapped an interconnect and wow got a ton of it plus prat, but the bass receded (not just balance tipping)...sigh. Y'all know the drill.

 

Anyway, between these filters and LPSes there is plenty to play with. Cheers!


Fav Gear Schiit Yggdrasil A2 + SR UEF Black power cable, W4S Remedy/Uptone LPS-1, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Naim, PSB, Elac, Uptone Audio USB, Phasure Lush/ZenWave/Transparent Audio cables 

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Mind sharing some details :-)

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/d-i-h-built-linear-power-supply-project-sonore-microrendu-28825/#post550377

 

Dev, Here is the story on my LPS. Put it on the other board to try not go to far off topic.


Digital Source: Synology DS415+ > Blue Jean Cable Cat6a > Sonore microRendu with hard USB adapter & Ecco Audio Custom LPS> Schiit Audio Gungnir Multibit

Analog Source: van den Hul Colibri XGP > VPI 12.7 arm > VPI TNT6HR turntable > Walker Audio Motor Controller >

Both: BAT VK51SE > Lamm M2.1 monoblocks > Sound Lab A3 ESLs > 50 yr. old ears(left-handed)

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If I use 6 Panasonic Eneloop Pro Ni-MH AA batteries wired in series for approximately 7.2 volt output, what kind of run time would I expect from the microRendu given this battery's 2550 mAh rating with 2450 mAh as the stated minimum?

 

I said approximately 7.2v output because these batteries are rated at 1.2v each, but when I put my voltmeter on the 6 pack it measures 8.48v, any ideas as to why?


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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If I use 6 Panasonic Eneloop Pro Ni-MH AA batteries wired in series for approximately 7.2 volt output, what kind of run time would I expect from the microRendu given this battery's 2550 mAh rating with 2450 mAh as the stated minimum?

 

I said approximately 7.2v output because these batteries are rated at 1.2v each, but when I put my voltmeter on the 6 pack it measures 8.48v, any ideas as to why?

 

The microRendu by itself (DAC does not draw power from the bus) uses about 200mA at 7V. That comes out to 12.5 hours at the rated capacity. The current draw will increase slightly as the voltage goes down. A safe conservative number is probably 10H.

 

If the DAC is pulling current from the bus, those numbers will go down.

 

John S.

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The microRendu by itself (DAC does not draw power from the bus) uses about 200mA at 7V. That comes out to 12.5 hours at the rated capacity. The current draw will increase slightly as the voltage goes down. A safe conservative number is probably 10H.

 

If the DAC is pulling current from the bus, those numbers will go down.

 

John S.

 

Thank you very much John, I had forgotten to take into consideration the DAC's draw, spec'd at "<300mA".

 

So thats why last night I ran out of juice somewhere between the 5 and 6 hour mark.

 

When the UpTone LPS-1 becomes available, I could put 8 of these same batteries in series for about 11.2 volts (I tested them fully charged they are actually about 1.4v each not the 1.2v in their spec) and 19,600mAh.

 

But some of that added capacity would be offset by the LPS-1 having a 1.5 amp draw as opposed to 1 amp (+ the 300mA DAC draw) right now directly connected to the mRendu?

 

I am still a bit stumped as to why the battery quit when it did last night, the pack still measured 6.5v after I disconnected it, and each of the 6 cells were between 1.04 and 1.12v. At that voltage I guess the pack couldn't provide the needed current anymore?


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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Received my microrendu yesterday; so glad to have squeezed in on this run. I've been like a four year old the week before Xmas. Replaced my Unitiqute that was under utilized performing streaming only functions to a Naim DAC V1 (UQ now moved to the office where I can truly use it). Streaming in upnp mode from minimserver on a Small Green microVortexbox using Kazoo.

 

Wow. Still burning in, but wow. It's night and day out of the box (and the Naim was no slouch) and I can tell it's settling in nicely (USB out on DAC V1 also never used before). Running the iPower though a dedicated circuit and I can see how an lps might bring a bit more weight and gravitas but the "inky blackness" is almost a bit disturbing at times its so clean already! This unit, at this price, its a "game changer" - for me it's game over. My ears are screwed after a life time of being a rock and roll photographer, so the ability to have more come through better defined at a lesser volume without being overly "hifi" is key to taming my roaring tinnitus.

 

I love the simplicity of the design - much smaller than I expected, but feels really nicely built. Runs warm but not hot at all with the ifi (you could fry an egg on the Naim, even just in streaming out mode - will heat my basement office nicely!). I'd say I gained a good few decibels on volume which doesn't hurt my sweet but slightly underpowered amp (NAP 110). It does show off the pros and cons of my amp - amazing with Coltrane; not enough guts for The Doors. The speakers, Kef LS50's are closer to the wall and together than recommended, so the bass needs real taming and focus, and the rendu scores on that account. Still full, but a lot more detailed. Overall, I'm really impressed with the balance. Everything seems to be in the right place. GUI is super easy and everything worked. Tried so far with Kazoo, Kinsky, and Lumin. Prefer simplicity of Kazoo layout and speed of Lumin. Any other open home control software I should consider?

 

If the microrendu is a solution that works for you then I wouldn't hesitate for a second to get one. I'm absolutely over the moon with mine and how its transformed my system. Thank you, and thank you for not putting it in an oversized case with fancy front and charging four times as much for it. ;)


SERVER CLOSET:NUC 7i5BNH with Roon ROCK and OWC external 2.5" HD (ZeroZone 12V on the NUC)>Cisco 2690L-16PS switch>Sonore opticalModule>fiber (HDPLEX 100). Supra MD-06 power strip. {Office Circuit}

LIVING ROOM:Sonore opticalModule (LPS-1.2) {TV circuit} >Ghent Audio JSSG Cat 6a cable>Sonore microRendu 1.4> (Sonore UltraRendu>Ghent Neotech 7N solid JSSG DC cable) {20amp dedicated circuit) Uptone USPCB>Naim DAC V1>Witchhat DIN>Naim NAP 110 {both dedicated 20amp circuit}>Chord Rumor 2>Audio Physic Compact Classics.

OFFICE:TP Link MC110 optical bridge (iFi's - different office circuits)>Naim Unitiqute V1>NACA5>KEF Ls50’ (near field post mounted - sound amazing - one of the few  joys of working from the home basement). Cables: AQ Cinnamon RJ45, Meico RJ45, basic cat6, Naim stock AC cables with Wattgate or HifiKing Plugs. 

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Oh, and insanely good with my Sennheiser HD700's too!


SERVER CLOSET:NUC 7i5BNH with Roon ROCK and OWC external 2.5" HD (ZeroZone 12V on the NUC)>Cisco 2690L-16PS switch>Sonore opticalModule>fiber (HDPLEX 100). Supra MD-06 power strip. {Office Circuit}

LIVING ROOM:Sonore opticalModule (LPS-1.2) {TV circuit} >Ghent Audio JSSG Cat 6a cable>Sonore microRendu 1.4> (Sonore UltraRendu>Ghent Neotech 7N solid JSSG DC cable) {20amp dedicated circuit) Uptone USPCB>Naim DAC V1>Witchhat DIN>Naim NAP 110 {both dedicated 20amp circuit}>Chord Rumor 2>Audio Physic Compact Classics.

OFFICE:TP Link MC110 optical bridge (iFi's - different office circuits)>Naim Unitiqute V1>NACA5>KEF Ls50’ (near field post mounted - sound amazing - one of the few  joys of working from the home basement). Cables: AQ Cinnamon RJ45, Meico RJ45, basic cat6, Naim stock AC cables with Wattgate or HifiKing Plugs. 

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