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

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@Imitche, so I ordered a bunch of the 6" and 10" Coboc sata cables, they came yesterday and I installed the 6" on the OS SSD, and the 10" on the music HDD.  They definitely made a nice change to the sound.  More space and air between things, higher transparency and leading edges had more forceful attack.  I was very impressed.  99 cents for the 6" and 79 cents for the 10", bang for the buck.

 

@romaz the intel X25E ssd should arrive this week and hopefully I will be trying that in the next week or 2, 

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14 hours ago, Quadman said:

@Imitche, so I ordered a bunch of the 6" and 10" Coboc sata cables, they came yesterday and I installed the 6" on the OS SSD, and the 10" on the music HDD.  They definitely made a nice change to the sound.  More space and air between things, higher transparency and leading edges had more forceful attack.  I was very impressed.  99 cents for the 6" and 79 cents for the 10", bang for the buck.

 

@romaz the intel X25E ssd should arrive this week and hopefully I will be trying that in the next week or 2, 

Quadman,

 

Thanks for the follow-up.  Great to hear it was a successful tweak.

 

Larry

 

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20 hours ago, Quadman said:

@romaz the intel X25E ssd should arrive this week and hopefully I will be trying that in the next week or 2, 

 

I look forward to your impressions!

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Somebody might have asked this before, but who has used the uRendu or SMS200 with the new iFi Ipower PS?  It is a $50 switching supply, various voltages offered, but is a monster compared with previous units.  They claim it's one of the quietest supplies out there at 1uV rms noise floor, quieter than almost any LPS.  Paying $400-1000 for a low-power 12V supply seems overkill in many (but not all) applications.  I expect it's the main reason why the iFi iPhono 2 is so good (according to Michael Fremer), just insanely quiet. 

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Romaz does a good job of explaining power supplies.  The problem with a switching supply is AC leakage and throwing noise back into the circuit thus effecting other components.  Impedance is most important, not sure where the Ifi stands on impedance.  The ifi has been tried, it has not been found to be that good as the preferred supplies mentioned in this thread.

Edited by ElviaCaprice

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1 hour ago, Sam Lord said:

Somebody might have asked this before, but who has used the uRendu or SMS200 with the new iFi Ipower PS?  It is a $50 switching supply, various voltages offered, but is a monster compared with previous units.  They claim it's one of the quietest supplies out there at 1uV rms noise floor, quieter than almost any LPS.  Paying $400-1000 for a low-power 12V supply seems overkill in many (but not all) applications.  I expect it's the main reason why the iFi iPhono 2 is so good (according to Michael Fremer), just insanely quiet. 

iFi PSU is not as good as LPS-1.  Try and make your judgement☺

 

A simple figure like 1uV can't tell the whole story.  0 is not 0 and 1 is not 1 in digital music.  It took a very long  time for people to realize the many issues involved in digital music.  We're still in the discovery era, I'm afraid.

 

Romaz did a great job in summaring the issues of PSU.  John did great explanations.  I recommend you to read them through if u r theory oriented or let your ear decides if u r experimental oriented.

 

Cheers.

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14 hours ago, greenleo said:

iFi PSU is not as good as LPS-1.  Try and make your judgement☺

 

A simple figure like 1uV can't tell the whole story.  0 is not 0 and 1 is not 1 in digital music.  It took a very long  time for people to realize the many issues involved in digital music.  We're still in the discovery era, I'm afraid.

 

Romaz did a great job in summaring the issues of PSU.  John did great explanations.  I recommend you to read them through if u r theory oriented or let your ear decides if u r experimental oriented.

 

Cheers.

 

14 hours ago, greenleo said:

iFi PSU is not as good as LPS-1.  Try and make your judgement☺

 

A simple figure like 1uV can't tell the whole story.  0 is not 0 and 1 is not 1 in digital music.  It took a very long  time for people to realize the many issues involved in digital music.  We're still in the discovery era, I'm afraid.

 

Romaz did a great job in summaring the issues of PSU.  John did great explanations.  I recommend you to read them through if u r theory oriented or let your ear decides if u r experimental oriented.

 

Cheers.

 

I'm familiar with those issues.  Sonore does recommend the iPower among others, but of course it won't match a good $400 supply.  If you want to lower your system's noise with minimal Zout in the audio range, Shunyata is a good start in front of the PS, but expensive.

 

Edited by Sam Lord

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6 minutes ago, Sam Lord said:

 

 

I'm familiar with those issues.  Sonore does recommend the iPower among others, but of course it won't match a good $400 supply.  If you want to lower your system's noise with minimal Zout in the audio range, Shunyata is a good start in front of the PS, but expensive.

 

I think of expensive power cables like usb cables, just trying to color the problem which is not being taken care of.  Get an isolation transformer and save your money on expensive power cables like Shunyata.

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23 hours ago, Sam Lord said:

Somebody might have asked this before, but who has used the uRendu or SMS200 with the new iFi Ipower PS?  It is a $50 switching supply, various voltages offered, but is a monster compared with previous units.  They claim it's one of the quietest supplies out there at 1uV rms noise floor, quieter than almost any LPS.  Paying $400-1000 for a low-power 12V supply seems overkill in many (but not all) applications.  I expect it's the main reason why the iFi iPhono 2 is so good (according to Michael Fremer), just insanely quiet. 

 

7 hours ago, Sam Lord said:

 

 

I'm familiar with those issues.  Sonore does recommend the iPower among others, but of course it won't match a good $400 supply.  If you want to lower your system's noise with minimal Zout in the audio range, Shunyata is a good start in front of the PS, but expensive.

 

I do not understand your logic.  In the 1st post, you asked if using a 400 PSU is(seems) an overkill. I tried to answer your question by pointing out that you should judge by your ear(if that's an overkill) and not by a single figure (1 uV).

 

In the 2nd post, you said that you are familiar with those issues.  If so, why the 1st post?  Then you said that iFi won't match a 400$ PSU.  Again you are using a single value, this time money, as the judgement criteria.  It's not the money but the implementation that matters.  There are PSUs that cost more than $400 but not as good as LPS-1 when pairing with mR.  I'm NOT related to UpTone and am using LPS-1 as an example to illustrate why I can't understand your logic.

 

You mentioned that Sonore does recommend iPower.  Similarly, Sonore does recommend LPS-1 as well.  So combining these two quotes, it seems Sonore does not think using LPS-1 is an overkill.

 

Finally, I did not say I want to "lower system's noise with minimal Zout" but just was answering whether using a 400$ PSU is an overkill or not.  I'm only interested to pay the minimal money to attain the SQ I desire☺

Edited by greenleo

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7 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

I think of expensive power cables like usb cables, just trying to color the problem which is not being taken care of.  Get an isolation transformer and save your money on expensive power cables like Shunyata.

 

Apples and oranges.

 

Shunyata cords benefit by improving what they refer to as DTCD (dynamic transient current delivery). They improve the ability of a component to quickly draw power from the AC circuit, so the component can better serve the demands of the music.

 

Some Shunyata cords also provide filtering.  This is largely to address the noise coming out of components.  

 

An isolation transformer will isolate a component from some AC noise, but I believe they will do so at the cost of harming DTCD.  So the outcome might be exactly the opposite of what one might get from using a Shunyata cord.  

 

Having said that, I'm not sure DTCD matters as much with servers, so an isolation transformer may be fine in that application.  But, I got a nice bump in SQ from powering my microRendu with a better DC cable, so current delivery may still be a factor with servers.  I wish I knew for sure.

 

Shunyata Alpha power cords delivered significant improvements to my analog components.  My DAC, a Chord Hugo TT, runs off batteries and ultracapacitors, so no fancy power cord in use there (though the SMPS that charges it is plugged into a Shunyata Denali).

Edited by kennyb123

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13 hours ago, greenleo said:

 

I do not understand your logic.  In the 1st post, you asked if using a 400 PSU is(seems) an overkill. I tried to answer your question by pointing out that you should judge by your ear(if that's an overkill) and not by a single figure (1 uV).

 

In the 2nd post, you said that you are familiar with those issues.  If so, why the 1st post?  Then you said that iFi won't match a 400$ PSU.  Again you are using a single value, this time money, as the judgement criteria.  It's not the money but the implementation that matters.  There are PSUs that cost more than $400 but not as good as LPS-1 when pairing with mR.  I'm NOT related to UpTone and am using LPS-1 as an example to illustrate why I can't understand your logic.

 

You mentioned that Sonore does recommend iPower.  Similarly, Sonore does recommend LPS-1 as well.  So combining these two quotes, it seems Sonore does not think using LPS-1 is an overkill.

 

Finally, I did not say I want to "lower system's noise with minimal Zout" but just was answering whether using a 400$ PSU is an overkill or not.  I'm only interested to pay the minimal money to attain the SQ I desire☺

 


1) Thanks for replying.  Actually I really like the approach that Uptone takes, in fact I’d forgotten that the LPS-1 was $400.  But if I understand correctly (highest Vout is 7V I think), you need two LPS-1 in series to power the SMS200.  Sure, I don’t judge products from a single claimed measurement, that’s why I asked the question.  But the 1uV figure is *really* outstanding for $50.  And the other figures are likely very good: SMPS can have extremely low Zout and distortion, but most are just made to reach a minimal performance.  I own an SMS100 and battery supply but the latter is kaput, so I’m thinking of the increased capability of the uRendu and the SMS200.  I haven’t heard either, but was curious about the new iPower.


2) I asked about the how the SMS200 sounds with the new iPower.  I’ve built lots of power supplies and regulators: the goals are low noise and low impedance.  SMPSes can be extremely good, but I like to get subjective opinions.  FWIW I didn’t say the iFi won’t match a $400 PS: there is a difference between a *good* PS and a PS.  John Swenson certainly understands how to design good components, and I don’t expect I would ever regret paying for an Uptone product.  It’s just that these days I’m looking harder for great performance/cost.


3) Whoops, sorry.  I meant to say "lower system's noise [and have] minimal Zout.”  Thanks again. 

 

Edited by Sam Lord

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47 minutes ago, Sam Lord said:

I asked about the how the SMS200 sounds with the new iPower.  I’ve built lots of power supplies and regulators: the goals are low noise and low impedance.  SMPSes can be extremely good, but I like to get subjective opinions.  FWIW I didn’t say the iFi won’t match a $400 PS: there is a difference between a *good* PS and a PS.  John Swenson certainly understands how to design good components, and I don’t expect I would ever regret paying for an Uptone product.  It’s just that these days I’m looking harder for great performance/cost.

If you're looking for a cost vs performance power supply you may try the sbooster (12V for the sms-200). It sounds considerably better than the i-power (12V) it replaced in my system, compares favorably with the LPS-1 and doesn't break the bank.

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2 hours ago, Sam Lord said:

 


1) Thanks for replying.  Actually I really like the approach that Uptone takes, in fact I’d forgotten that the LPS-1 was $400.  But if I understand correctly (highest Vout is 7V I think), you need two LPS-1 in series to power the SMS200.  Sure, I don’t judge products from a single claimed measurement, that’s why I asked the question.  But the 1uV figure is *really* outstanding for $50.  And the other figures are likely very good: SMPS can have extremely low Zout and distortion, but most are just made to reach a minimal performance.  I own an SMS100 and battery supply but the latter is kaput, so I’m thinking of the increased capability of the uRendu and the SMS200.  I haven’t heard either, but was curious about the new iPower.


2) I asked about the how the SMS200 sounds with the new iPower.  I’ve built lots of power supplies and regulators: the goals are low noise and low impedance.  SMPSes can be extremely good, but I like to get subjective opinions.  FWIW I didn’t say the iFi won’t match a $400 PS: there is a difference between a *good* PS and a PS.  John Swenson certainly understands how to design good components, and I don’t expect I would ever regret paying for an Uptone product.  It’s just that these days I’m looking harder for great performance/cost.


3) Whoops, sorry.  I meant to say "lower system's noise [and have] minimal Zout.”  Thanks again. 

 

A normal sms-200Ultra may be powered by a 7V LPS-1 if it is used as an NAA or ROON endpoint only with no current drawn from USB.

 

 The 12V version of the 200Ultra should be opted.

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1 hour ago, tedwoods said:

If you're looking for a cost vs performance power supply you may try the sbooster (12V for the sms-200). It sounds considerably better than the i-power (12V) it replaced in my system, compares favorably with the LPS-1 and doesn't break the bank.

Was it a simple sbooster only or you need to add the ultra filter as well?

Edited by greenleo

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2 hours ago, greenleo said:

Was it a simple sbooster only or you need to add the ultra filter as well?

Initially, I started out with the standard one and soon after, I added the ultra add-on, which elevated the unit's performance even more. The add-on is not expensive and you can always add it at a later date, when funds allow.

Overall, I am very happy with sbooster's performance. It's clean, dynamic and reliable and the benefits it brings over a run-of-the-mill psu are quite evident, dramatic even...

Edited by tedwoods

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10 hours ago, tedwoods said:

Initially, I started out with the standard one and soon after, I added the ultra add-on, which elevated the unit's performance even more. The add-on is not expensive and you can always add it at a later date, when funds allow.

Overall, I am very happy with sbooster's performance. It's clean, dynamic and reliable and the benefits it brings over a run-of-the-mill psu are quite evident, dramatic even...

How much with the add-on?  You did compare it with theLPS-1?  What device were they used to power, mR, sms-200 or what?

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@ greenleo and tedwoods, thank you, very helpful.
 

12 hours ago, greenleo said:

A normal sms-200Ultra may be powered by a 7V LPS-1 if it is used as an NAA or ROON endpoint only with no current drawn from USB.  ....The 12V version of the 200Ultra should be opted.

 

 

14 hours ago, tedwoods said:

If you're looking for a cost vs performance power supply you may try the sbooster (12V for the sms-200). It sounds considerably better than the i-power (12V) it replaced in my system, compares favorably with the LPS-1 and doesn't break the bank.

 

 

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6 hours ago, greenleo said:

How much with the add-on?  You did compare it with theLPS-1?  What device were they used to power, mR, sms-200 or what?

I've paid less than 300 Euro for the lot. The add-on was 50 Euro.

I have both the sbooster and the LPS-1, which I recently got from a friend of mine who chose a different path for his system and traded me the LPS-1 against some of my tubes.

I like them both. The differences between them when powering my sms-200 are very hard to pin down in my system.

The sbooster seems to be more ..."in your face", which I like, but then it's 12V as opposed to the 7V of the LPS-1. I really don't know...

Yesterday, I was thinking to my self how dynamic my system was and I was almost certain that I had the sbooster connected, but then I realised I had the LPS-1 on... Go figure...

Maybe it's because I use the sms-200 as NAA, so the demands on the psu are smaller and when the psu is great to begin with, the differences are ameliorated to some extent.

In any case the sbooster is a superb psu for a totally reasonable expenditure.

Hans Beekhuyzen does a comparison between the two here, but it's the LPS-1 with sbooster 5-6V model when powering a mR i think : 

 

Edited by tedwoods

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Great post and feedback info, hols. 

 

To your last comment, I guess this says good things about the SU-1 as it seems to be holding its own against a 3x priced "competitor".  I assume putting the Ultra on the USB path the to Singxer would make no sense, but have you tried it anyway?

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7 minutes ago, ted_b said:

  I assume putting the Ultra on the USB path the to Singxer would make no sense, but have you tried it anyway?

Ted, can you pls explain why you think doing so would make no sense? I intend to put the IsoRegen in front of my SU-1.

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EDIT:  Nevermind, I see now that the LPS-1 works just fine with the TX ultra.  Problem was that your ipower is probably of the 1.5A version and insufficient for maintaining LPS-1 charge. 

Edited by ElviaCaprice

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27 minutes ago, tboooe said:

Ted, can you pls explain why you think doing so would make no sense? I intend to put the IsoRegen in front of my SU-1.

 

Additional good clocking would be my first guess for the TX ultra.  The ISORegen also other than that additional galvanic isolation? 

I think with the ISO Regen I would be more inclined to see if it sounds better direct into the DAC, excluding the SU-1.  Of course I'm sure you will test both.

Questions we all want to know is:

Does the TX ultra in combination with the SU-1 sound better using the I2S?

Is your SU-1 modified with an LPS-1?

Will the ISO Regen be just as good as the TX Ultra at much less cost?  If different, how so?

Edited by ElviaCaprice

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21 minutes ago, tboooe said:

Ted, can you pls explain why you think doing so would make no sense? I intend to put the IsoRegen in front of my SU-1.

I do too (especially for GI), but I was simply referring to the "clock closest to dac", which would be the SU-1 clock, not the Ultra.  I guess I should not have said "makes no sense" but instead said it may not be the best position for it if you are trying to see its maximum effects.  But who knows, and specifically why I asked if he tried it anyway.  :)

Edited by ted_b

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