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UltraCap™ LPS-1 LISTENING IMPRESSIONS thread


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but I also want to emphasize that the change from battery supply to UltraCap has resulted in a major, non subtle improvement.

 

if I had to summarize the effect that each of John Swenson's brilliant designs have had in my system, I'd have to say that the Regen's predominant effect was clarity, the micro Rendu is even greater clarity, and the LPS-1 are spaciousness and refinement.

 

In my system, microRendu and LPS-1 together give me a sound that is more lifelike and more engaging than I ever heard this side of the concert hall or the jazz club.

 

Very cool, thanks for sharing, Guido.

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I've had the LPS-1 in my system for about a week and a half, powering my microRendu and energized from a Mean Well SMPS. Previously, the microRendu was powered by an SOtM "Intelligent" Battery PS. I keep the system on 24/7, though my amp is of course turned off when not listening. I use the microRendu in the Squeezelite mode.

 

I have to report pretty much the same enhancements in sound quality that have already been posted by a number of CA's denizens, but I also want to emphasize that the change from battery supply to UltraCap has resulted in a major, non subtle improvement.

 

if I had to summarize the effect that each of John Swenson's brilliant designs have had in my system, I'd have to say that the Regen's predominant effect was clarity, the micro Rendu is even greater clarity, and the LPS-1 are spaciousness and refinement.

 

In my system, microRendu and LPS-1 together give me a sound that is more lifelike and more engaging than I ever heard this side of the concert hall or the jazz club.

 

Kudos to John Swenson, Alex C., and Jesus!

 

Guido F.

 

Add even more clarity with the Lps1

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Guido F.,

 

By chance, have you investigated the possibility of trying the LPS-1 with your Antimode Dual Core?? If so, any listening impressions with that combo?

 

 

The LPS-1 can't output 12 volts, you'd need two of them in a combined output, one running at 7 volts and the other 5 volts.

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I've had the LPS-1 in my system for about a week and a half, powering my microRendu and energized from a Mean Well SMPS. Previously, the microRendu was powered by an SOtM "Intelligent" Battery PS. I keep the system on 24/7, though my amp is of course turned off when not listening. I use the microRendu in the Squeezelite mode.

 

I have to report pretty much the same enhancements in sound quality that have already been posted by a number of CA's denizens, but I also want to emphasize that the change from battery supply to UltraCap has resulted in a major, non subtle improvement.

 

if I had to summarize the effect that each of John Swenson's brilliant designs have had in my system, I'd have to say that the Regen's predominant effect was clarity, the micro Rendu is even greater clarity, and the LPS-1 are spaciousness and refinement.

 

In my system, microRendu and LPS-1 together give me a sound that is more lifelike and more engaging than I ever heard this side of the concert hall or the jazz club.

 

Kudos to John Swenson, Alex C., and Jesus!

 

Guido F.

 

Thanks for the very informative review.

 

Question... is the battery supply you compared against the SOtM mBPS-d2s?

 

TIA!

 

Greg in Mississippi

Everything Matters!

2 systems... Well-Tempered Refs->ET-2.5->DIY or Lounge LCR MkII phono stages

Standalone digital Sony HAP Z1-ES or SDTrans384/Soekris DAM DAC

Networked digital Zotac PI320-W2 LMS Server -> EtherRegen -> USBBridge Sig -> Katana / Ian GB / Soerkis / Buffalo-IIIPro DACs

Passive S&B TX102 TVC or ladder attenuators -> BHK-250 -> Eminent Tech LFT-VIII / IV / VI

ALL gear modified / DIY'd; cables MIT;  all supplies DIY’d or LPS-1.2s w/HUGE Ultracaps; Audio gear on DIY AC filters + PS Aud P15s; misc gear on separate AC w/filters

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The LPS-1 can't output 12 volts, you'd need two of them in a combined output, one running at 7 volts and the other 5 volts.

 

Hmmm...indeed, the AntiMode PS is 12V, 1.8A....so, forgive my admitted lack of electrical understanding but, given that, what did John Swenson mean in his response in post #103?

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Hmmm...indeed, the AntiMode PS is 12V, 1.8A....so, forgive my admitted lack of electrical understanding but, given that, what did John Swenson mean in his response in post #103?

 

Briefly:

In theory we may be able to squeeze 4 more 10 Farad supercaps onto the board--and do a number of circuit revisions--to offer 12V on the same size board and in the same case. But it will mean going to a 6-layer board, plus the 4 supercaps, plus an integrated charging regulator module that is twice the cost of what we now do discretely. Might even need a higher current external "energizing"/charging supply.

So the price would be higher (and the voltage choices would be an attractive 7/9/12V), but it would still be a 1A unit (well max. 1.15A) like the present LPS-1.

 

Offering higher amperage will require heat-sinked output regulators and physically larger supercaps (to keep the banks from having to switch too often and to keep the supercap heat down). That's a larger case, and still higher cost.

 

And while anyone can today put a pair of LPS-1 units in series (+/-/+/-) to get 12V (one set to 7V, the other to 5V), that's still just 1 amp.

Originally I thought someone could get silly and series/parallel 4 LPS-1 units to get 12V at 2 amps, it would take my hand selecting boards (or pairs of boards in series) to have output voltages within 10mV (0.01V) to have even current load sharing between paralleled supplies. Not going to do that.

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Originally I thought someone could get silly and series/parallel 4 LPS-1 units to get 12V at 2 amps, it would take my hand selecting boards (or pairs of boards in series) to have output voltages within 10mV (0.01V) to have even current load sharing between paralleled supplies. Not going to do that.

 

What - us get silly? On CA? Whatever gave you that idea? :)

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Just switched to NAA without any upsampling of HQPlayer a totally different setup obviously compared to my T&A DAC DSD and it truly is wonderful. Not a huge quantum improvement of the Caps above using JRiver or Caps with NAA but any improvement is welcome and this seems like the ticket for me. The LPS-1 has been burning in since Friday.

 

 

NAA mode, even without any upsampling was a revelation to me with TotalDAC D1-dual.

something about moving the rendering off of the mRendu makes a big difference.

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...

So the price would be higher (and the voltage choices would be an attractive 7/9/12V), but it would still be a 1A unit (well max. 1.15A) like the present LPS-1.

 

...

 

And while anyone can today put a pair of LPS-1 units in series (+/-/+/-) to get 12V (one set to 7V, the other to 5V), that's still just 1 amp.

 

...

 

Hi Alex, I guess the higher price would still be lower than that of buying two of the current LPS-1, right? The saving of space, and an extra PS for the other LPS-1 would be attractive as well.

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Hi Alex, I guess the higher price would still be lower than that of buying two of the current LPS-1, right? The saving of space, and an extra PS for the other LPS-1 would be attractive as well.

 

Yes, but don't expect such a thing anytime very soon. We have a LOT on our plate here--both with product designs and production/logistics/etc.

 

This week's battle is sourcing enough of the $1/each high-speed logic onto-isolators for the next production runs. Each LPS-1 uses 10 of them, and there is a 12 week lead time to get 5,000 pieces. I already have one order another 750 pieces of the Altera MAX10 FPGA we use ($8 each), and there are several other long lead time parts which are part of the design.

 

If we had more staff (trained) such would be easier, but I am waiting to hit the next critical mass step before doing that. At least now we have a very livable and pleasant space for staff to work in. My assistant is thrilled with her "palace" as we call it. The move-in is 90% complete. I'll take some daytime pics and post them soon.

 

Best,

 

--Alex C.

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What - us get silly? On CA? Whatever gave you that idea? :)

 

I've already gotten silly, in addition to the 2 LPS-1's I got with the 1st batch, I ordered another pair a week or so ago... should have done that sooner and gotten in the 2nd batch!

 

And I would love to get 2 of the 12v/1A units... they would round out my high-end PS needs. Even better if they could be pushed up to 13v-14v, but I can work with 12v.

 

Thanks for working so hard, Alex!

 

Greg in Mississippi

Everything Matters!

2 systems... Well-Tempered Refs->ET-2.5->DIY or Lounge LCR MkII phono stages

Standalone digital Sony HAP Z1-ES or SDTrans384/Soekris DAM DAC

Networked digital Zotac PI320-W2 LMS Server -> EtherRegen -> USBBridge Sig -> Katana / Ian GB / Soerkis / Buffalo-IIIPro DACs

Passive S&B TX102 TVC or ladder attenuators -> BHK-250 -> Eminent Tech LFT-VIII / IV / VI

ALL gear modified / DIY'd; cables MIT;  all supplies DIY’d or LPS-1.2s w/HUGE Ultracaps; Audio gear on DIY AC filters + PS Aud P15s; misc gear on separate AC w/filters

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My LPS-1 finally got through UK customs to my place today. Everything works fine and it was a doddle to set up. Early impressions are positive, but I'd rather hold off from commenting further until I've spent more time playing around with it.

 

I'm keen on hearing the difference between:

1) iFi 9V/2A -> microRendu -> USB-to-spdif

2) iFi 9V/2A -> LPS-1 -> microRendu -> USB-to-spdif

 

What I'd like to do is feed the spdif output in both of the above cases directly into the spdif input of my Tascam DA-3000, and then compare the captured files to the original CD rip. It'd be interesting to hear which sounds closest to the original. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do this until next week now due to work travel.

 

Mani.

Main: SOtM sMS-200 -> Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horns + 2x Rotel RB-1590 amps -> 4 subs

Home Office: SOtM sMS-200 -> MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers

Vinyl: Technics SP10 / London (Decca) Reference -> Trafomatic Luna -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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Finally.....at long last my LPS1 managed to be released from the clutches of UK Customs and was delivered earlier today.....I had already prepared a suitable spot within the rack, and lined up the energising supply to be used with the LPS1 a Kingrex 12v PSU.

 

The LPS1 is alleviating the powering duty of the JS2, which can now singly power my MacMini running HQPlayer upsampling PCM -->DSD. The chain is as follows:-

NAS/Roon--> MacMini/HQPlayer (JS2)--> URendu/NAA mode (LPS1) --> Audiobyte Hydra (ZPM)......etc......

 

Very early days, but really there is no contest. I didn't think the LPS1 could improve the sound much over the JS2......well it does and the improvement, whilst not massive, it's a very obvious improvement. I won't repeat what has already been reported in previous posts. But for me this springs out...... Musically, the emotional involvement is soooo much greater. I find myself unable to multi task effectively, whilst listening to music, you just keep getting drawn back in to the music....wow!....and if this is expectation bias, please can I have some more! Oh and I can see another one winging its way here, to try with the Hydra too and maybe replace the ZPM....

thankyou John & Alex......excellent!

ER / Geisman OXCO / Grimm MU1  / Dutch & Dutch 8C / Townshend Seismic Isolation

 

HP - SMSL Sanskrit 10th A’ , Woo Audio WA5 LE, Hifiman HEK v2

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Hi Mani and Alan:

 

Glad to hear you both have your UltraCap LPS-1 units playing in your systems.

 

I just want to clarify something since you both mentioned your LPS-1s "finally getting through customs." Your units were shipped--both via insured Priority Mail Intl. for just $32--on October 12th. And you received them today, October 26. By my count that is just 10 business weekdays.

I point that out so that other overseas clients don't think that getting an LPS-1 is a long, arduous process (other than waiting for us to build enough and ship 'em out). However, we do quote typical delivery worldwide via Priority Mail as 12-18 business days. Really depends upon the country.

What amazes me is that out of close to 4,000 small packages shipped in the past 18 month, we have had not more than 8 go missing--and more than half of those eventually found their way back to us (with a LOT of extra labels and stamps!).

 

 

Alan, the reason why the LPS-1 improves even on the potent JS-2 in your system has much to do with its blocking of leakage current. That is of benefit by itself, but doubly so with the Ethernet-isolated microRendu, helping it more fully create a "moat" between the microRendu/DAC end and the computer side of your system.

 

Cheers,

 

--Alex C.

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Hi Mani and Alan:

 

Glad to hear you both have your UltraCap LPS-1 units playing in your systems.

 

I just want to clarify something since you both mentioned your LPS-1s "finally getting through customs." Your units were shipped--both via insured Priority Mail Intl. for just $32--on October 12th. And you received them today, October 26. By my count that is just 10 business weekdays.

I point that out so that other overseas clients don't think that getting an LPS-1 is a long, arduous process (other than waiting for us to build enough and ship 'em out). However, we do quote typical delivery worldwide via Priority Mail as 12-18 business days. Really depends upon the country.

What amazes me is that out of close to 4,000 small packages shipped in the past 18 month, we have had not more than 8 go missing--and more than half of those eventually found their way back to us (with a LOT of extra labels and stamps!).

 

 

Alan, the reason why the LPS-1 improves even on the potent JS-2 in your system has much to do with its blocking of leakage current. That is of benefit by itself, but doubly so with the Ethernet-isolated microRendu, helping it more fully create a "moat" between the microRendu/DAC end and the computer side of your system.

 

Cheers,

 

--Alex C.

Hi Alex

Yes the JS2 is still an excellent performer. I'm still pondering whether to now use the spare DC jack to power my network switch, or keep the JS2 as is; just powering the MacMini/HQPlayer?

Next challenge, if I ever get around to it, is seeing if the LPS1 can up the ante further using it with the Hydra and replacing the ZPM to give further isolation with USB/spdif converter...but for now the music calls.....

ER / Geisman OXCO / Grimm MU1  / Dutch & Dutch 8C / Townshend Seismic Isolation

 

HP - SMSL Sanskrit 10th A’ , Woo Audio WA5 LE, Hifiman HEK v2

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Like the others from U.K. just received my LPS1 today....UK's end seems taking their time. Very happy with it so far - initial impression very positive even before the caps have properly settled in. Clearly worth every cents. Will of course say no more till things fully settled in.

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12 wildly off-topic posts removed. Do we need to start a "Shipping Impressions" thread? ;)

 

If you guys only knew just how many hours my assistant and I spend on international shipping and documents. And for most countries we charge from $3-8 less than our actual commercial discount rate costs us.

 

(And the next person that publicly prints what we declare for customs will ruin it for everyone.)

 

Ciao,

 

ALEX

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I got mine yesterday and installed it immediately, powering a microrendu. Although I had a spare port on an HDPlex LPS that might have worked, I used the supplied "energizer" based on the manual's suggestion that the power supplied to the UltraCap doesn't really matter.

 

My immediate sense, which is all that I can give you at this point, is that an already low noise floor got lower still, there is much more bass, and that images became more precise. For the relatively modest purchase price, this feels thus far like a no-brainer.

 

I gotta say, though, while, at this point, I've managed to improve my system's sound quality to the best it's ever been, I have so many "tweak" items in my microrendu system that I have zero idea what works any more. LPS's, FMC's, Jitterbugs, LANRovers, W4S Recovery, upgraded ethernet and USB cables and connectors.... I have a dozen little boxes shoved up against one another in the back of a crowded equipment cabinet. I have neither the ears nor the will to understand what each is doing to the sound, whether any is duplicative of any other, and whether any should be removed from the signal path. Suffice it to say that I thought that each thing I added made the system sound better than it had previously and the UltraCap is no exception to that. I just can't say whether it could sound better if I spent more time trying to slice and dice the various possible combinations of these products. :)

Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7 > HQP Embedded > xfinity Xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen w/ AfterDark Empress Sig Clock > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical Tier 2 > Okto DAC 8 Stereo > Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Computer Desk System: Synergy DS-218+ NAS > Dell XPS 8930/NUC 10 i7  > HQP Desktop > xfinity Xfi Router > ultraRendu > Topping D90 DAC > Audioengine A5+'s

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I got mine yesterday and installed it immediately, powering a microrendu. Although I had a spare port on an HDPlex LPS that might have worked, I used the supplied "energizer" based on the manual's suggestion that the power supplied to the UltraCap doesn't really matter.

 

My immediate sense, which is all that I can give you at this point, is that an already low noise floor got lower still, there is much more bass, and that images became more precise. For the relatively modest purchase price, this feels thus far like a no-brainer.

 

I gotta say, though, while, at this point, I've managed to improve my system's sound quality to the best it's ever been, I have so many "tweak" items in my microrendu system that I have zero idea what works any more. LPS's, FMC's, Jitterbugs, LANRovers, W4S Recovery, upgraded ethernet and USB cables and connectors.... I have a dozen little boxes shoved up against one another in the back of a crowded equipment cabinet. I have neither the ears nor the will to understand what each is doing to the sound, whether any is duplicative of any other, and whether any should be removed from the signal path. Suffice it to say that I thought that each thing I added made the system sound better than it had previously and the UltraCap is no exception to that. I just can't say whether it could sound better if I spent more time trying to slice and dice the various possible combinations of these products. :)

 

Well the only item I can comment on is the Intona. Before getting the LPS1, when using the microRendu powered with the JS2, I always preferred the Intona after the microRendu and before my USB/Spdif converter. I always felt the Intona reduced a slight harshness I could hear with the microRendu on its own.

 

Since having the LPS1 powering the microRendu the Intona is now out the system. With the Intona, in the chain, the music now loses a tad of focus, slight blurring - (tiny amount) of soundstage, and overall thickening of sound.....these are small changes, but very noticeable differences..... I also noticed where FMC units are placed in your network can more easily be heard when they make a detrimental impact to the sound, best characterised as a thickening of the sound. When in the right place the PRAT is instantly recognisable. In my opinion, I do think the LPS1 makes recognising upstream changes much easier to detect.

ER / Geisman OXCO / Grimm MU1  / Dutch & Dutch 8C / Townshend Seismic Isolation

 

HP - SMSL Sanskrit 10th A’ , Woo Audio WA5 LE, Hifiman HEK v2

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Just wanted to add a few more devices to the list of those confirmed by users as working well--and sounding great--with the LPS-1.

 

Over in another thread, this post a user confirms the sMS-200, and someone wrote me about his powering of both the PS Audio LANRover and USB REGEN off a single LPS-1.

 

And Jesus from Sonore wanted me to mention that the little SonicOrbiter SE is of course an easy load for our ultracap supply.

 

Oh, and here is a link Michael Lavorgna's review at AudioStream. Michael bought one at full price, waited in line just like everyone else, and even declined my offer of a modest "industry accommodation discount" that I wanted to give him. What a guy. (But he can't stop me from sending him a nice bottle of something.) :)

 

Have a great weekend all.

 

--Alex C.

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Suffice it to say that I thought that each thing I added made the system sound better than it had previously and the UltraCap is no exception to that. I just can't say whether it could sound better if I spent more time trying to slice and dice the various possible combinations of these products. :)

 

Mike,

 

I've learned a lot from everyone else posting comments here at CA, and I've tried to contribute where I could. It has been fun slicing and dicing gear combos because you don't have to try so hard anymore to hear the differences. As Lavorgna says about the LPS-1, these are "damn I'm so happy I bought this" kinds of sonic changes. This is good because all those cognitive biases (expectation, availability, etc.) can muck up your head/ears. (As my audiophile-non-believing "friends" ardently point out.)

 

To be fair to those folks, I have continued to listen to my combo of mRendu and LPS-1, and W4S Remedy over Ethernet/USB and optical/coax into my DAC. Each has its virtues, and now after more extended listening I recant my earlier declaration of intent to sell the mRendu. (I probably need it for HQPlayer eventually, someday.)

 

I know the differences now after listening to the same test tracks over and over, side by side. Either path is great stuff when powered by the LPS-1: The sound is more full, more seamless from high frequencies to low bass. In particular, the bass is not veiled or thick–it's punchy, full, yet distinct and complementary to/balanced with the rest of the frequency spectrum (I have no tone controls or other EQ). It all just fits together and has this fullness and ease or flow. Without the LPS-1, it sounds like there are sonic gaps from low to high. You might not notice them without A/B-ing unless you were used to fuller sound (like tube lovers are), but to my ears it's soooo emotionally involving when the gaps are filled.

 

Thus, I now feel that I know when I add/remove something from my chain, any change in this quality is that change and not the power, not the delivery chain itself. USB vs. coax in my system is pretty darn close (with USB regaining the win by a half-wheel-length in this rematch).

 

Hope this helps.

Sum>Frankenstein: Audirvana, Uptone EtherRegen+LPS-1.2, Rivo Streamer+Uptone JS-2, Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Venom, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Audible Illusions  M3A, Pass XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Shunyata & Transparent Audio cables/cords, P12 power regenerator, and positive room attributes.

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I got mine yesterday and installed it immediately, powering a microrendu. Although I had a spare port on an HDPlex LPS that might have worked, I used the supplied "energizer" based on the manual's suggestion that the power supplied to the UltraCap doesn't really matter.

 

My immediate sense, which is all that I can give you at this point, is that an already low noise floor got lower still, there is much more bass, and that images became more precise. For the relatively modest purchase price, this feels thus far like a no-brainer.

 

I gotta say, though, while, at this point, I've managed to improve my system's sound quality to the best it's ever been, I have so many "tweak" items in my microrendu system that I have zero idea what works any more. LPS's, FMC's, Jitterbugs, LANRovers, W4S Recovery, upgraded ethernet and USB cables and connectors.... I have a dozen little boxes shoved up against one another in the back of a crowded equipment cabinet. I have neither the ears nor the will to understand what each is doing to the sound, whether any is duplicative of any other, and whether any should be removed from the signal path. Suffice it to say that I thought that each thing I added made the system sound better than it had previously and the UltraCap is no exception to that. I just can't say whether it could sound better if I spent more time trying to slice and dice the various possible combinations of these products. :)

 

Time to get a uRendu and get rid of the clutter? ;)

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