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austinpop

A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

The Computer Audiophile

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Most important: please realize this thread is about bleeding edge experimentation and discovery. No one has The Answer™. If you are not into tweaking, just know that you can have a musically satisfying system without doing any of the nutty things we do here.

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Although I have barely posted anything on forums, I have been following this thread from the start and have read every post. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and extremely informative. Especially all of @romaz's posts. Thank you it's been fun ?

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2 hours ago, austinpop said:
PSU Update
Of late, I've had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to PSUs, so it has been educational to compare and contrast them in my system. The 2 latest ones I've had in-house have been the SOtM sPS-500 with a Ghent DC31 starquad cable, kindly loaned to me by @atxkyle, as well as an Uptone JS-2, with the supplied 1.5m Belden cable, which is also a loaner from @Superdad.
 
As shouldn't be particularly surprising, PSU impact varies by component. In my system, I tested 2 locations - the SOtM-modded switch, and the tX-USBultra. More recently, I have a new location to test - the DAC - as I now have in-house a loaner Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. I'll talk about the PSUs in the context of each of these locations.
 
tX-USBultra
This has been the main location I've evaluated PSUs, so I'll start here. Here is my ranking of the PSUs powering the tX-USBultra at 7V.
  1. SR-4 with DC3FSXLR silver cable
  2. JS-2 with stock Belden (starquad?) cable
  3. Tie between LPS-1.2 and sPS-500
    • LPS 1.2 with silver cable - more holographic image, but brighter
    • sPS-500 with Ghent DC31 - slightly smaller image, but smoother tone
  4. LPS-1
Also note - the differences between 1, 2, and 3 were quite small. It took careful listening to tease out these preferences.
 
SOtM-modded switch
At this location, the difference between PSUs was much smaller. Again, with all PSUs set at 7V:
  1. Tie between SR-4, LPS-1.2, and sPS-500
  2. LPS-1
I didn't try the JS-2 at this location.
 
Mytek Brooklyn DAC+
I'll be writing more about my experience with this DAC in the coming weeks. For the moment, I want to focus on it only in the context of PSUs. While the LPS-1.2 lacked the minimum current needed to drive this DAC, I was able to use the other PSUs. Here is my ranking, with all PSUs set to 12V.
  1. JS-2
  2. SR-4
  3. sPS-500
While the SR-4 had really shone on the tX-USBultra, on the Brooklyn DAC+, it was the JS-2 that pulled ahead, and by quite a margin. Compared to the JS-2, the SR-4 (and the sPS-500) seemed to lack dynamism, and sounded strained, and unexciting. What is important to note is that these PSUs did work with the DAC+.
 
This result isn't particularly surprising, since the DAC+ (or any DAC really) has an analog output stage, which really benefits from a PSU with vast reserves of current. The JS-2, with its beefier current capacity, was clearly better at delivering current peaks that the other, smaller, supplies couldn't.
 
Final Thoughts
  1. The JS-2 PSU doesn't get a lot of attention these days, but I was really impressed by its performance.
  2. While the much-vaunted SR-7 may rise above all of these PSUs, there is a caveat to consider. Not all SR-7s are created equal. SR-7 modules are selectable from 3 sizes - S (25W), HD (80W), and EHD (125W). When it comes to powering a DAC like the DAC+, while an S module may technically work, it may take an HD or EHD module to really make it shine. Those of you with SR-7s may want to keep that in mind.

Finally, my experience reminds us that while low output impedance and low ripple noise are valuable qualities in a DC PSU, an equally important attribute is current capacity, which means that  large and heavy transformer cores have their place. While this is perhaps no surprise with analog stages in a DAC/preamp, it was interesting in the context of digital components like the Zenith SE.

 

(PSU) Size matters!

Once again a well thought out and informative review. Thank you for all your reviews!! 

 

Your findings with the sps-500 VS lps1 are consistent with my own conclusions... I find that the sps-500 gives a smaller image compared to the lps1, however the image is more focused and seems to be more solid than the lps1. I am using canare 4s6 dc cable for both supplies. I have found that powering my sonicTransporter i5 and sms200 with a Ghent y cable from the sps-500 and then powering my netgear gs105 with lps1 gives the best results in my set up. ?

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7 hours ago, mozes said:

I followed this up with a shootout between the sPS-500 and LPS-1.2 feeding the sMS-200ultra. With both PSUs set to 9V, the LPS-1.2 is clearly superior. In comparison, the sPS-500 sounded harsh and flat. This tells me that my sCLK server is not showing its full potential yet with the sPS-500 I use. The LPS-1.2 simply doesn’t have enough juice for it.

G'day mozes, 

 

I am just wondering what dc cables you used in the comparison? I am considering an lps1.2 in the future, I have an lps1 and an sps-500 both with canare 4s6 dc cables and I much prefer the sps-500 powering my sms200 (it's not apples to apples though - lps1 @7v and sps-500 @12v)... I have found the sps-500 to be susceptible to the ac that it's plugged into and the ac power cord used... I also thought that the stock cable with the sps-500 was not showing the full potential of the supply... If I remember correctly I think @austinpop compared the sps-500 and lps1.2 and thought they were of similar quality - but I can't remember what component he was powering in the comparison.

 

Were you using the stock 36w charger with the lps1.2? Have you heard any difference with different supplies charging the lps1.2? 

 

Thanks for your listening impressions they are always helpful ??

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39 minutes ago, mozes said:

For the DC cables, I am using 16AWG UPOCC silver 50cm that Steven at Audiosensibility built for me. 

Yes the sPS-500 benefits

from a better power cord and I can comfirm that. Against the LPS-1.2, it is a case by case. For example, on my wireless bridge, I preferred the sPS-500 to the LPS-1.2. Bigger sound stage and more natural flow of music. As for the stock charger, I didn’t like it, I am using an eBay low noise LPS. 

Ah yes I remember you posted about those dc cables before. It looks like something I can aspire to, I assume they would be a decent upgrade from my canare 4s6 cables. It's very interesting that you prefer the sps-500 on your wireless bridge. I wonder what it is that causes one psu to be better on one component but not another. Perhaps because the -dc output is grounded on the sps-500 it might be draining some leakage current in that particular situation that the lps1.2 is not... I am rarely right about things though, so I am probably wrong here also ?

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1 hour ago, ElviaCaprice said:

Your right.  I've been out kicking tires on DAVE's and Hugo 2's, to see what's available.  The more I kick, the more I realize it ain't going to happen.   Can't win, DAVE is over featured/priced for what I need, Hugo 2 has them da* batteries.  I don't care what Rob says about batteries being the benchmark in power supplies, I don't like how they sound.  Must mean I like those noise makers.:ph34r:  Anyways, I love the Chord concept and design up until the power supply.  Chord, please design us a mid level DAC/pre/amp without battery power supply.  

So I shall remain with 2Qute, thus SR7.

What feature does the Hugo2 have that the quetest doesn't have? Is it the volume control for direct driving your speakers? Because I assume you have already considered the quetest powered by the lps1.2 

 

BTW... I found that I got a small but still audible improvement from charging my chord mojo through a usb port on my sonicTransporter i5 that is in turn powered by my sps-500... I have tried lots of different ways of having the mojo plugged in while playing and this was the first time I actually heard any difference to where I had it plugged in ? 

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G'day @lmitche

 

What did you use for insulation between the two layers of braided copper when you did jssg 360 on the Lush cable... I am thinking of trying it on my curious cable - my diy skills are a bit lame and limited though ?. Is electrical tape good enough? 

 

Also if you have any pics of how you joined the two braided layers together that would help people like me understand what you did that would be an enormous help... I'm a bit of a noob if you can't tell ?

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12 hours ago, lmitche said:

Hi Bricki,

 

For some cables I have used clear shrink wrap for insulation, on others shrink wrap + a layer of techflex for more distance between layers.  The Lush cable is a stiff cable to start, and adding the three to four more layers of stuff makes it much worse. The techflex makes things a bit looser in a good way.

 

At the ends I have just let run the insulation short by about 3/8 of an inch so the two layers of tinned copper naturally join under the pressure of one last short, 3 inch,  layer of shrinkwrap on top.

 

Sorry, but pictures will have to wait as I am not at home.

 

Larry

Thank you very much for this extra explanation ?. I am definitely getting a clearer picture in my mind of how to do this.?

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Does anyone know what diameter tinned copper braid is best suited for going over a usb a connector?? ... That is the fattest part of the Curious cable... Usb a connector is 12mm width and 12" braid is 12.7mm....but if the braid can expand over the connector then I can go a bit smaller than 12" braid?? 

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1 minute ago, d_elm said:

3/8" braid can expand to fit over the connectors.

OK thanks for that ?

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8 hours ago, lmitche said:

Hi BM,

 

I'm camera shy so don't expect a video, but I'll try to take some pictures of an Ethernet cable that's a work in progress.

 

Larry

Have you done jssg 360 on your supra cat 8 yet? I have ordered some tinned copper tube and will be doing my curious cable with JSSG 360 and was wondering if the results were good on your supra cat 8? 

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@lmitcheThank you so much for the JSSG 360 tweak! I have just finished it on my curious cable and my initial impressions are "wow, so that's what it's supposed to sound like" ?

 

IMAG0240.thumb.jpg.20cebe3253e6110a02cfe0fa9553111a.jpg

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48 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Bricki, you are welcome! Your picture and written response suggest you've done it correctly. The SQ impact is quite surprising huh?

 

For others, the trick is to avoid electrical contact with any connectors at the endpoints where the tinned copper layers are connected.

 

The simple, passive nature of Jssg 360 and it's outsized contribution to SQ makes it the weirdest tweak ever. Even stranger, it works with any type of cable: USB, network and DC.  Thanks again to John Swenson for the idea.

Indeed the SQ impact is surprising and exceeded my expectations... I can highly recommend it for anyone questioning whether or not to give it a go ?

 

I have only listened for a few hours but everything sounds richer with more decay - everything sounds more natural. 

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1 hour ago, manishex said:

How is the tweak done? A tinned copper sleeve taped on? What parts did you connect the sleeve to, is it preferred to the previous circling the wire around method? 

I will post some more photos that might help you understand 

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9 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

 

 

Thank you for the pictures.

 

My understanding is how Bricki described.  No contact with the metal adapters, each tinned sleeve has contact at the ends.  Insulation between.

 

Bricki, did you insulate the external Curious wire from the tinned sleeve or does it have contact with it?

Did you solder the ends of the sleeves together?

Does it bend at all?

 

 

No I I didn't insulate the the 5v curious wire - I didn't think of that. I didn't solder the ends either, the two frayed ends of the braided tinned copper seemed to come together and "homogenise" quite nicely, so I slightly folded them back together and twisted them together even more before applying heat shrink. The Curious cable is already a very stiff cable, adding the JSSG 360 sleeve has stiffened it a little but I don't need it to bend much in my situation, only slightly off being straight 

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

I have too, and the biggest problem is trying to get them to stay on--and to not chew. :P

 

1169124509_CableFerret.jpg.aa84e682719f1c7e6f4c013102d280c8.jpg

?Indeed, it is tricky. But with good training anything is possible ?

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19 hours ago, TheAttorney said:

 

One final question: what diameter braiding did you use? The first UK supplier I came across had nothing between 6mm and 10mm, which seem respectively too small and too large for the job. The Supra CAT 8 cable looks to be around 7mm diameter.

I used 3/8" braid. I ordered mine from a local supplier here in Australia. It was just wide enough when opened up to fit over the supra connector. It is a bit of a wrestle at first until you figure out whether to push or pull the stuff. A combination of pushing and pulling eventually squeezes it over. Good luck and make sure you share your impressions here when done ??

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14 minutes ago, Cornan said:

 

No, you’re not insane! ? I use 18 pcs Entreq Catfoot’s all over the place with great results (under and over equipment).FF2C24E7-24D6-47CB-A71C-8AFEC7B3CCC8.thumb.jpeg.24088b100e73f2c733eb13a8a2f3bb91.jpeg515606FA-932B-43FA-8F10-8D49907A089F.thumb.jpeg.958551df81cc15c82b5641e8ff21c49a.jpegE3819011-3D6E-4C25-A1E0-035402B67D1B.thumb.jpeg.dbb91e4cfc7bfa711a26e26434f9babd.jpeg8D0D243B-34C2-415D-90A8-F27724D774B2.thumb.jpeg.66d9d0a0534d96f4a54d31c220395b50.jpegE4158F66-AF98-48D1-A390-5384348BC820.thumb.jpeg.43bb2a294cd7f7dbb798822da8ac4739.jpeg14192A92-D760-49EB-B6AD-B616945BF460.thumb.jpeg.bcb90e0387b1bd3363dcd25f18d41917.jpeg Perticularly effective between my Atacama SL400i speaker stands top plate (w/IKEA bamboo butcher board base) and my Gibson Les Paul 8. ? 

 

 

Fantastic! ?. I have seen a number of photos of your equipment and can only imagine how it all must sound. Vibration control certainly can make a significant difference in a system. Those speakers look amazing too ?

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13 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

Sorry - I should have looked more carefully. You did indeed order by diameter not flat.

 

Time for another Amazon order. 9_9

No worries ?

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