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UltraCap™ LPS-1 Troubleshooting, system grounding, etc.


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The system:

TPLink FMC's

MicroRendu

F-1 USB-SPDIF converter (powered by microRendu bus power)

Lampizator Big7 DAC with volume control

Line Magnetic 518ia as amp

Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers

 

LPS-1 setup:

I bought two LPS-1's. One is on the microRendu. The other is powering the FMC feeding the microRendu.

 

Impressions:

 

I first inserted an LPS-1 on the microRendu. Powered by the HDPlex unit that had been powering the microRendu directly. Immediately cleaner, better instrument separation and air, much much cleaner and punchier bass. Increased dynamics. Sound really opens up. Clean clean clean. HOWEVER, not as warm or organic sounding as before. A touch more analytical sound.

 

I suspect this is increased resolution allowing something a touch bright in the system to be more apparent - which had been masked previously. I plug in the second LPS-1 to power the FMC. A touch warmer sound, but not back to the system balance I had before. I am further interested in now liberating my HDPlex, to move it over to the other room and power my router with it now. The other FMC already has a pretty good linear power supply on it. I'm thinking there's some dirt/hash still to be cleansed upstream in my network.

 

Concerns:

 

In the process of removing the HDPlex from the system, I plugged in the Meanwell, and a spare iFi iPower wallwart (9V, 2A). I only ordered one Meanwell. Hmm, I'm now hearing some strange digital hash with no music playing and ear up to the tweeter. This is not present when HDPlex is powering the LPS-1's. A call to Alex this morning, and he suspects it is the iPower being taxed too hard, and the internal fairly cheap SMPS is putting some stuff into my grid that my tube equipment is harvesting. I can confirm it does arrive when the iPower is powering the LPS-1, but not when the iPower is plugged into the outlet, but not powering anything at all. However, I can also hear this same effect with the Meanwell. Under same conditions. And when they are both in the system powering both LPS-1's, the noise is even louder (I would assume double...?).

 

Keep in mind, I'm running all DHT, all SET equipment in both DAC and amp here. These tubes are definitely sensitive to noise. And I'm running them on 96dB speakers. I suspect my amp and/or DAC are not filtering this noise in their power supplies and/or it's somehow infecting the DHT tubes. They do suffer from some minor 60hz hum, inherent to a DHT's design. And this digital noise is only audible from a few feet away - barely audible from listening chair. But it's definitely there, and that's the opposite of the intent of inserting these LPS-1's in the system. Still really clean and clear performance from them, but there's this other noise present for sure. I would assume most systems will not have the combination of elements I'm dealing with here - high efficiency speakers, DHT DAC and amp.

 

I will also say that a while back when I first bought my HDPlex, I made some posts here on CA asking for help with some digital packet noise audible through my speakers - when powering the microRendu. The solution was to unplug one of the microUSB 5V supplies inside the HDPlex. But this speaks to some kind of grounding issue, that was finding its way into my system and hearing noise through the speakers. So, I'm not convinced I don't also have a grounding issue with my system.

 

I'm gonna need to chat more with Alex about the Meanwell situation, as he thought it would really only be the iPower that's doing this, but I'm definitely hearing similar effects from the Meanwell.

Reading your review makes me wonder if you have lifted the GND in your USB cables? Cutting the 5v is surely a good thing...but removing the shield and GND of the USB cables is the final touch towards audio nivana together with a SBooster Vbus2 Isolator to shield out the last capasitive coupling inside the USB plugs.

YMMV of course!

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Ariston RD40 turntable with Denon DL103, Mytek Brooklyn DAC/HPA with Rogers MCP100 SUT, Fostex TH900 HP with balanced Forza Audioworks Noir Hybrid HPC Mk2 & Genelec 8030 CRW              

Knowledge speaks but wisdom listen. Jimmy Hendrix

Link to comment
The system:

TPLink FMC's

MicroRendu

F-1 USB-SPDIF converter (powered by microRendu bus power)

Lampizator Big7 DAC with volume control

Line Magnetic 518ia as amp

Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers

 

LPS-1 setup:

I bought two LPS-1's. One is on the microRendu. The other is powering the FMC feeding the microRendu.

 

Impressions:

 

I first inserted an LPS-1 on the microRendu. Powered by the HDPlex unit that had been powering the microRendu directly. Immediately cleaner, better instrument separation and air, much much cleaner and punchier bass. Increased dynamics. Sound really opens up. Clean clean clean. HOWEVER, not as warm or organic sounding as before. A touch more analytical sound.

 

I suspect this is increased resolution allowing something a touch bright in the system to be more apparent - which had been masked previously. I plug in the second LPS-1 to power the FMC. A touch warmer sound, but not back to the system balance I had before. I am further interested in now liberating my HDPlex, to move it over to the other room and power my router with it now. The other FMC already has a pretty good linear power supply on it. I'm thinking there's some dirt/hash still to be cleansed upstream in my network.

 

Concerns:

 

 

I'm gonna need to chat more with Alex about the Meanwell situation, as he thought it would really only be the iPower that's doing this, but I'm definitely hearing similar effects from the Meanwell.

 

Hi,

 

What you described happened to me as well with my TeraDak LPS....

 

Cheers,

Link to comment
The system:

TPLink FMC's

MicroRendu

F-1 USB-SPDIF converter (powered by microRendu bus power)

Lampizator Big7 DAC with volume control

Line Magnetic 518ia as amp

Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers

 

LPS-1 setup:

I bought two LPS-1's. One is on the microRendu. The other is powering the FMC feeding the microRendu.

 

Impressions:

 

I first inserted an LPS-1 on the microRendu. Powered by the HDPlex unit that had been powering the microRendu directly. Immediately cleaner, better instrument separation and air, much much cleaner and punchier bass. Increased dynamics. Sound really opens up. Clean clean clean. HOWEVER, not as warm or organic sounding as before. A touch more analytical sound.

 

I suspect this is increased resolution allowing something a touch bright in the system to be more apparent - which had been masked previously. I plug in the second LPS-1 to power the FMC. A touch warmer sound, but not back to the system balance I had before. I am further interested in now liberating my HDPlex, to move it over to the other room and power my router with it now. The other FMC already has a pretty good linear power supply on it. I'm thinking there's some dirt/hash still to be cleansed upstream in my network.

 

Concerns:

 

In the process of removing the HDPlex from the system, I plugged in the Meanwell, and a spare iFi iPower wallwart (9V, 2A). I only ordered one Meanwell. Hmm, I'm now hearing some strange digital hash with no music playing and ear up to the tweeter. This is not present when HDPlex is powering the LPS-1's. A call to Alex this morning, and he suspects it is the iPower being taxed too hard, and the internal fairly cheap SMPS is putting some stuff into my grid that my tube equipment is harvesting. I can confirm it does arrive when the iPower is powering the LPS-1, but not when the iPower is plugged into the outlet, but not powering anything at all. However, I can also hear this same effect with the Meanwell. Under same conditions. And when they are both in the system powering both LPS-1's, the noise is even louder (I would assume double...?).

 

Keep in mind, I'm running all DHT, all SET equipment in both DAC and amp here. These tubes are definitely sensitive to noise. And I'm running them on 96dB speakers. I suspect my amp and/or DAC are not filtering this noise in their power supplies and/or it's somehow infecting the DHT tubes. They do suffer from some minor 60hz hum, inherent to a DHT's design. And this digital noise is only audible from a few feet away - barely audible from listening chair. But it's definitely there, and that's the opposite of the intent of inserting these LPS-1's in the system. Still really clean and clear performance from them, but there's this other noise present for sure. I would assume most systems will not have the combination of elements I'm dealing with here - high efficiency speakers, DHT DAC and amp.

 

I will also say that a while back when I first bought my HDPlex, I made some posts here on CA asking for help with some digital packet noise audible through my speakers - when powering the microRendu. The solution was to unplug one of the microUSB 5V supplies inside the HDPlex. But this speaks to some kind of grounding issue, that was finding its way into my system and hearing noise through the speakers. So, I'm not convinced I don't also have a grounding issue with my system.

 

I'm gonna need to chat more with Alex about the Meanwell situation, as he thought it would really only be the iPower that's doing this, but I'm definitely hearing similar effects from the Meanwell.

 

Hi genjamon,

this sounds like you still have a leakage loop in your system, most likely through an active preamp (if you have one). There is no "one size fits all" fix for this, we need to look at your system and figure out where it is and what to do about it.

 

The way to do that is for you to make drawing of connections in your system, include ALL the connections, including AC mains, analog interconnects and digital interconnects. Include computers, routers, switches etc. As well as analog components. For each component connected to the AC mains include whether it is a two pin or three pin connection. For Ethernet connections indicate whether it is shielded connecting ground from one box to another through the cable (some CAT7/8).

 

One other important test is to try turning the volume up and down and see if the "digital noise" changes.

 

I'm not sure what thread Alex wants this sort of thing to be conducted in.

 

John S.

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Interesting. And with Cornan's comment too. I have the microRendu connected to F-1 converter via the hard adapter that came with the microRendu - no USB cable. But I guess I could try lifting the connectors using the tape trick...

 

However, I will say that I can hear this noise even when the microRendu is not connected to the DAC at all. It's definitely riding the power lines into my amp and/or DAC.

 

What was the solution with your TeraDak?

 

Hi,

 

What you described happened to me as well with my TeraDak LPS....

 

Cheers,

Link to comment

This might take me some time to diagram - do you have a recommended software program well-suited for developing this diagram?

 

Can't be an active preamp - mine is a stepped attenuator module built into my Lampizator DAC. I only have the DAC and the Line Magnetic amp.

 

Hi genjamon,

this sounds like you still have a leakage loop in your system, most likely through an active preamp (if you have one). There is no "one size fits all" fix for this, we need to look at your system and figure out where it is and what to do about it.

 

The way to do that is for you to make drawing of connections in your system, include ALL the connections, including AC mains, analog interconnects and digital interconnects. Include computers, routers, switches etc. As well as analog components. For each component connected to the AC mains include whether it is a two pin or three pin connection. For Ethernet connections indicate whether it is shielded connecting ground from one box to another through the cable (some CAT7/8).

 

One other important test is to try turning the volume up and down and see if the "digital noise" changes.

 

I'm not sure what thread Alex wants this sort of thing to be conducted in.

 

John S.

Link to comment

Hi Can you describe how you are using the LPS-1 with your TPLink FMCs? I have the LPS-1 with the microrendu and just using the supplied wallwarts to power the two TMPs. Are you powering both with 1 LPS -1 or two? thanks

 

The system:

TPLink FMC's

MicroRendu

F-1 USB-SPDIF converter (powered by microRendu bus power)

Lampizator Big7 DAC with volume control

Line Magnetic 518ia as amp

Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers

 

LPS-1 setup:

I bought two LPS-1's. One is on the microRendu. The other is powering the FMC feeding the microRendu.

 

Impressions:

 

I first inserted an LPS-1 on the microRendu. Powered by the HDPlex unit that had been powering the microRendu directly. Immediately cleaner, better instrument separation and air, much much cleaner and punchier bass. Increased dynamics. Sound really opens up. Clean clean clean. HOWEVER, not as warm or organic sounding as before. A touch more analytical sound.

 

I suspect this is increased resolution allowing something a touch bright in the system to be more apparent - which had been masked previously. I plug in the second LPS-1 to power the FMC. A touch warmer sound, but not back to the system balance I had before. I am further interested in now liberating my HDPlex, to move it over to the other room and power my router with it now. The other FMC already has a pretty good linear power supply on it. I'm thinking there's some dirt/hash still to be cleansed upstream in my network.

 

Concerns:

 

In the process of removing the HDPlex from the system, I plugged in the Meanwell, and a spare iFi iPower wallwart (9V, 2A). I only ordered one Meanwell. Hmm, I'm now hearing some strange digital hash with no music playing and ear up to the tweeter. This is not present when HDPlex is powering the LPS-1's. A call to Alex this morning, and he suspects it is the iPower being taxed too hard, and the internal fairly cheap SMPS is putting some stuff into my grid that my tube equipment is harvesting. I can confirm it does arrive when the iPower is powering the LPS-1, but not when the iPower is plugged into the outlet, but not powering anything at all. However, I can also hear this same effect with the Meanwell. Under same conditions. And when they are both in the system powering both LPS-1's, the noise is even louder (I would assume double...?).

 

Keep in mind, I'm running all DHT, all SET equipment in both DAC and amp here. These tubes are definitely sensitive to noise. And I'm running them on 96dB speakers. I suspect my amp and/or DAC are not filtering this noise in their power supplies and/or it's somehow infecting the DHT tubes. They do suffer from some minor 60hz hum, inherent to a DHT's design. And this digital noise is only audible from a few feet away - barely audible from listening chair. But it's definitely there, and that's the opposite of the intent of inserting these LPS-1's in the system. Still really clean and clear performance from them, but there's this other noise present for sure. I would assume most systems will not have the combination of elements I'm dealing with here - high efficiency speakers, DHT DAC and amp.

 

I will also say that a while back when I first bought my HDPlex, I made some posts here on CA asking for help with some digital packet noise audible through my speakers - when powering the microRendu. The solution was to unplug one of the microUSB 5V supplies inside the HDPlex. But this speaks to some kind of grounding issue, that was finding its way into my system and hearing noise through the speakers. So, I'm not convinced I don't also have a grounding issue with my system.

 

I'm gonna need to chat more with Alex about the Meanwell situation, as he thought it would really only be the iPower that's doing this, but I'm definitely hearing similar effects from the Meanwell.

Link to comment
Interesting. And with Cornan's comment too. I have the microRendu connected to F-1 converter via the hard adapter that came with the microRendu - no USB cable. But I guess I could try lifting the connectors using the tape trick...

 

However, I will say that I can hear this noise even when the microRendu is not connected to the DAC at all. It's definitely riding the power lines into my amp and/or DAC.

 

What was the solution with your TeraDak?

 

 

Hi,

 

I am just leaving it be. I don't really have "noise" per-say, - just a thinner, more detailed sound. I also have good really low bass, - but a hole in the low mids to higher bass...

 

I'll listen more, maybe pull the LPS-1 and better assess the situation....

 

Cheers,

Link to comment
Interesting. And with Cornan's comment too. I have the microRendu connected to F-1 converter via the hard adapter that came with the microRendu - no USB cable. But I guess I could try lifting the connectors using the tape trick...

 

However, I will say that I can hear this noise even when the microRendu is not connected to the DAC at all. It's definitely riding the power lines into my amp and/or DAC.

 

What was the solution with your TeraDak?

IMO you should get rid of that solid adapter and get a unshielded USB cable. If your DAC does'nt require 5v power get yourself a cable without 5v wire and a detachable GND wire. Both Elijah Audio and Curious Cable would be able to provide such a cable. It will isolate your devices to ensure that no noise (of any kind) is transfered inbetween. Another choise is to buy a Intona..but IMO it is not as good option since it also adds its own noises to the chain.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Ariston RD40 turntable with Denon DL103, Mytek Brooklyn DAC/HPA with Rogers MCP100 SUT, Fostex TH900 HP with balanced Forza Audioworks Noir Hybrid HPC Mk2 & Genelec 8030 CRW              

Knowledge speaks but wisdom listen. Jimmy Hendrix

Link to comment
Hi Can you describe how you are using the LPS-1 with your TPLink FMCs? I have the LPS-1 with the microrendu and just using the supplied wallwarts to power the two TMPs. Are you powering both with 1 LPS -1 or two? thanks

 

I'm powering one of the FMC's with an LPS-1. The one closest to the microRendu - ethernet connected to the microRendu. The second FMC - ethernet connected to router - is powered by a separate linear power supply. So, all of the network elements that are facing the audio system are either galvanically isolated from the network or powered by LPS-1's.

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IMO you should get rid of that solid adapter and get a unshielded USB cable. If your DAC does'nt require 5v power get yourself a cable without 5v wire and a detachable GND wire. Both Elijah Audio and Curious Cable would be able to provide such a cable. It will isolate your devices to ensure that no noise (of any kind) is transfered inbetween. Another choise is to buy a Intona..but IMO it is not as good option since it also adds its own noises to the chain.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

Thanks for the advice. I've owned both Elijah and Curious cables in the past. As well as Dana cable USB. And my buddy's own data-only USB cable (JMaxwell USB) that bested all of the above. But I have found with microRendu that the best USB cable is no USB cable - in terms of sound quality. I can revisit this as an experiment regarding the noise issue, as I still have my buddy's USB cable. But I'm not expecting a different result in terms of sound quality. Although when you have a reduction in overall noise floor of the magnitude of the LPS-1's, there's no telling how previous conclusions can be upended.

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Unless Alex creates a specific trouble-shooting thread, I'll go ahead and start a new thread for trouble-shooting my particular situation - once I have a diagram to share.

 

please post a link here, when you do ;)

I'm using too DHT SET pre and power amplifier and sometimes I hear weird "things" from one of these 102db speakers

I learned, though, to live with it: usually disconnecting/reconnecting one RCA between pre and power amplifier fixes it all

... 'till it happens again (can be the following day or after one week, one month...)

Qnap HS-251+ NAS (powered by an HD-Plex 100w LPS) > Cirrus7 Nimbini v2.5 Media Edition i7-8559U/32/512 running Roon ROCK (powered by a ZeroZone 19v/5A LPS) > Lumin U1 Mini (powered by an UpTone Audio JS-2 LPS) > Metrum Acoustics Adagio NOS digital preamplifier > First Watt SIT 3  power amplifier (or Don Garber Fi "Y" 6922 tube preamplifier + Don Garber Fi "X" 2A3 SET power amplifier, both powered from an Alpha-Core BP-30 Isolated Symmetrical Power Transformer) > Klipsch Cornwall III

 

headphones system:

Cirrus 7 > Lumin U1 Mini > Metrum Acoustics Adagio > Pathos Aurium amplifier (powered by an UpTone Audio JS-2 LPS) > Focal Clear headphones

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Thanks for the advice. I've owned both Elijah and Curious cables in the past. As well as Dana cable USB. And my buddy's own data-only USB cable (JMaxwell USB) that bested all of the above. But I have found with microRendu that the best USB cable is no USB cable - in terms of sound quality. I can revisit this as an experiment regarding the noise issue, as I still have my buddy's USB cable. But I'm not expecting a different result in terms of sound quality. Although when you have a reduction in overall noise floor of the magnitude of the LPS-1's, there's no telling how previous conclusions can be upended.

Comparing a normal shielded 4-wire USB cables to a unshielded 3-wire cable is no comparison at all. Even less with a unshielded 2-wire cable with detachable GND. It is not apples and pears...it is fruits and vegstibles IMO. Curious Cable do only shielded stock cables (but can do unshielded cables per request) and if you want to know how Elijah Audio sounds like you have to try his Konvertible Lite range when you are fully isolated from mains noises! :)

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Ariston RD40 turntable with Denon DL103, Mytek Brooklyn DAC/HPA with Rogers MCP100 SUT, Fostex TH900 HP with balanced Forza Audioworks Noir Hybrid HPC Mk2 & Genelec 8030 CRW              

Knowledge speaks but wisdom listen. Jimmy Hendrix

Link to comment
Comparing a normal shielded 4-wire USB cables to a unshielded 3-wire cable is no comparison at all. Even less with a unshielded 2-wire cable with detachable GND. It is not apples and pears...it is fruits and vegstibles IMO. Curious Cable do only shielded stock cables (but can do unshielded cables per request) and if you want to know how Elijah Audio sounds like you have to try his Konvertible Lite range when you are fully isolated from mains noises! :)

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

I'll have to verify this, but I'm pretty sure the JMaxwell is unshielded - using high tolerance/QC twisted pair wiring. I'm more inclined to this approach after doing my own DIY USB cables using high high purity UPOCC silver and silver/gold wires hand-twisted and then comparing to the JMaxwell. The only thing that's lacking in the JMaxwell from your recommendation is the ability to disconnect the ground after handshake. I may see if Ken will make a prototype version with this approach to see if it will work. But, one problem is the need for the 5V power line for the USB-SPDIF converter I'm using. That's why I've been using the hard adapter to begin with.

 

But yes, the hard adapter is possibly the source of hardness or thinner sound than I'm looking for. I know when I used to have the Auralic Aries, I never preferred the hard adapter with the Regen because of a hardness it introduced. I never heard that with the microRendu, but maybe now there's clean enough power and this is beginning to be audible again.

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Hi Genjamon, sorry a newbie question. What does FMC stand for?

 

You need to look in the networking forum here on CA. Plentiful threads on switching networking connections over from ethernet cables to fiber optics. This is for galvanic isolation in network connections. FMC stands for Fiber Media Converter.

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This might take me some time to diagram - do you have a recommended software program well-suited for developing this diagram?

 

Can't be an active preamp - mine is a stepped attenuator module built into my Lampizator DAC. I only have the DAC and the Line Magnetic amp.

 

Any drawing program can do it, powerpoint can do it, Word can even do it. It is just boxes, lines and text.

 

You can even do it by hand with pen on paper and take a picture with a phone. But a drawing on a computer is usually easier to read.

 

The test about if it sounds the same as volume is changed is still very important.

 

Thanks,

 

John S.

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Only if you thing your system has ground noise issues (which will be found to be unrelated to the LPS-1 really). Otherwise you can just skip this thread and enjoy some music! ;)

Luckily I don't have ground noise issues in my system. I still haven't received my LPS-1 though :)

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]29831[/ATTACH]

 

Here you go guys

 

Thanks for the diagram, that helps immensely.

 

The only leakage loop you should have left is DAC to power amp which goes through the power conditioner. BUT the digital stuff also goes through the power conditioner.

 

Contrary to all "it makes sense to me" thoughts on the subject the way cut down on leakage loop noise with the DAC and pre/power amps is to have the tightest coupling you can get in the AC domain. Since a leakage loop goes through the AC main the higher the impedance in the mains side the higher the noise voltage generated between the boxes. I know the power conditioner is trying to suppress noise on the mains, but the methods frequently used actually increase the impedance between outlets thus increasing the noise from leakage loops.

 

So to test this hypothesis, try taking the power conditioner out of the system and just use a very simple power strip, no filters, nothing fancy, just outlets connected by wires. This will give a very low impedance between the AC to each power supply, which should cut down on the noise generated by leakage loops. Everything you now have connected to the power conditioner should go into the simple power strip, including all the digital stuff.

 

In combination with the LPS-1 and other leakage loop breaking devices doing this can really make a big difference. I did this in my system (replaced a $1k power conditioner with a $35 power strip and Topaz isolation transformer) and it made a significant improvement is SQ.

 

Thanks,

 

John S.

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