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Sotm sps-500

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1 hour ago, atxkyle said:

Just ordered an SPS-500.  Planning to try it with my 2Qute DAC and NUC Roon server.  Maybe even both simultaneously with a Y cable.

 

I’ve seen a few comments about need for an upgraded AC cable with the SPS-500.  Any views or advice on that?

There are quite a few people on this forum (in other threads) who reported to use a quality AC power cord to make it sing.

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 The SPS 500 unit arrived yesterday. I’ve swapped it in place of the 12v iFi that was powering my 2qute DAC.  Compared to the iFi I’ve noticed improvements in imaging, soundstage, bass and a more natural timbre in certain instruments and voices.

 

Per my earlier comment, some users have stated this unit needs a different AC cable. I’m not really clear on why a better AC cord would improve it.  I thought this unit was already supposed to reject the noise coming from AC.  Any education on the rationale for upgrading the AC cable would be appreciated. 

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1 hour ago, atxkyle said:

The SPS 500 unit arrived yesterday

You will get more improvement in the qualities you described once the unit has been used for a few days. I disagree that there is a need to change anything as its pretty good as is. But you will get some more refinement by improving on the mains cable and the dc output cable. Cheap mains cables usually have very high impedance and this can impact on sound quality in terms of transients, soundstaging etc, more so I find with amplifiers but they do seem to improve digital equipment to a lesser degree. Also cheap cables are prone to emi/rfi interference a good audio mains cable will either be shielded or braided and there will be less work for the filters to do.

I use a Kimber mains cable which I had spare and it has improved the sound but not by huge amounts.

The dc output cable benefits also from a higher grade cable especially a lower impedance type this will allow the power supply to respond quicker to current demand and will improve sound quality. Sotm sell 2 higher grade cables and ghent make one based on canare cable all have been reviewed and improve the sound to a certain extent.

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Hi,

 

Is there any consensus here as to whether using a Y cable with the SPS-500 in order to power two devices is viable or if it degrades sound quality to any extent? I suspect it may depend upon what you are powering. I currently run a tX-USBUltra and have incoming the sCLK-OCX10 Master Clock and SPS-500 Power Supply which is needed for the Master Clock. Logic suggests that powering them both separately would give the best result, but it would be a positive if I could lose one power supply from the equation.

 

The SotM Y cable is a bit expensive to buy just in the hope that it might work as well as using separate supplies and I’m not up for making my own like some of you - I’m too hamfisted for that.

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13 minutes ago, MNG said:

Is there any consensus here as to whether using a Y cable with the SPS-500 in order to power two devices is viable or if it degrades sound quality to any extent?

It will work just fine running 2 devices. You could get a Y cable from Ghent audio and of course make sure voltages are sorted as above post.

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Just my personal experience, when I used to use the standard DC cable which came with my sps-500, I added a Y-adapter cable to power the tx-ultra & 200-ultra together. I couldn't hear any degradation in sq. (Therotically,  May said it's always better to power the units separately as that can prevent components from sharing ground/noise.) That being said, I didn't hear any degradation at the time ...at least not to a level I could audit. Also I think part of the beauty of sps-500 is that it's plenty of juice to power multiple units where I had tried sharing other ps in the past with far less ideal outcome.

 

On a separate topics related to my sps-500, I had since tried SOtM's upocc copper DC cable and absolutely loved what this short little DC cable brought to my system. It literally transformed my sps-500 from a good PS to a great PS. I didn't realize just how much the standard DC cable limited my sps-500 before, and I urge any sps-500 user to try SOtM's upocc copper or other better DC cable. Since this new DC cable, I had only use my sps-500 to power one component ...until I can to find a reasonable cost, high quality Y-cable to try in the future.

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Sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to mention that I'm selling mine which I purchased new in March 2018 (yes, 2 months old).

I tried to open a thread on the For Sale section but something is not working.

Also, I have a long and excellent seller feedback on another forum so if you are interested I will give you all the details in PM.

 

To contribute more proactively to this thread I am happy to answer questions as this is the second sPS-500 I bought and tried with different devices.

Thanks,

Dom


Mac Mini Roon Server > AQVOX AQ-SWITCH-8 > SOtM sMS-200ultra > SOtM tX-USBultra > Singxer KTE SU-1 DDR > Chord Electronics DAVE > Pathos Acoustics Aurium > MrSpeakers Ether C Flow / Focal Clear

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I've opened up my sPS-500 to see if I could lower the 19V output to say about 18V. My new phono stage has an 18V input.

 

Of course, I already knew that the sPS-500 was an SMPS and from in the beginning I was not really impressed with it. (I gave it the benefit of the doubt when I bought it)

 

As far as I can tell, it is no more than a 16$ MEAN WELL IRM-60-24 followed by a DC to DC regulator board.

I already had it removed from my streamer chain because it was not good enough and used it to power my Zotac server, but today I received a new LPS to power my new phono stage and I thought why not give this new LPS a try and let it power the Zotac. Bingo, it was clearly better than the sPS-500. The Zotac runs HQPLayer and Roon Server, btw.

 

I'm very pleased with my sMS-200 ultra, but now I'm even more convinced, that the next time, SOtM needs to do a better job designing a proper LPS.

 

That said the sPS-500 is probably much better than most SMPS out there. Perhaps I'm partially biased because I want all SMPS removed that are near the audio chain.

 

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9 hours ago, afrancois said:

IAs far as I can tell, it is no more than a 16$ MEAN WELL IRM-60-24 followed by a DC to DC regulator board.

I already had it removed from my streamer chain because it was not good enough and used it to power my Zotac server, but today I received a new LPS to power my new phono stage and I thought why not give this new LPS a try and let it power the Zotac. Bingo, it was clearly better than the sPS-500. The Zotac runs HQPLayer and Roon Server, btw.

 

 

@afrancois - thanks for the very interesting take on sps500. Will you be able to share more on whats negative or bad about it - eg smaller soundstage, noise, reduced dynamics etc. 

 

Although my experience is quite different from yours, I want to hear your take -  partly to keep myself honest (of any possible biases). 

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The sps500 is more than just a powerfull smps, it’s strength lies in it’s filtering and multiple voltage outputs. 

 

Releasing it’s full potention is to use a good A-C power cord and dc cable. It doesn’t have to be expensive; Supra gave me good results for AC, Ghent audio can make a custom dc cable for a reasonable price (swenson 360, y- shaped, sheelding, you name it).

 

Combining it with lt3045 voltage regulators lifts it up another level.

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2 hours ago, afrancois said:

I found that the sPS-500 sounded a bit bright when powering my sMS-200 ultra. The uptone LPS-1 was already better to my ears, it is, even more, the case with the LPS-1.2

 

In the meantime, I turned my sPS-500 into some sort of dual regulated power supply. I've ripped out the SMPS and made a connection to my other LPS. This combination should give some very clean power to my server. I also gets rid of a SMPS in the audio chain.

 

@afrancois Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its an interesting way of using the SPS-500 - does it bring any improvement? Why not try your modded unit with the 200 Ultra? May blow you away :) - am curious to hear your impression of this combo. Am not a technical person but from what I see in the pics - output of the internal SMPS is 24v/ 2A - your LPS is also of the same voltage? Any safety concern - if not I may try that in the future just for kicks

 

I have the same impression that the SPS-500 sounds bright during the first ~60hrs, after that I don't feel that anymore. In fact, I do actually like the sound and share the same sentiments of other SPS-500 users in this thread. Whatever filtering happening in the unit was done extremely well. I did however use an audiophile grade AC cable - DC cable from GHENT is on the plane from China

 

I prefer my audio circuit to be free of any SMPS therefore feel a-bit uneasy at this point - perhaps it is psychological on my part. I'll continue to monitor if it populate the circuit - but so far haven't detected anything negative yet. If I detect any negative issues arising from it - your hack may come in handy. Fingers crossed. 

 

Thanks for sharing that very interesting hack once again - appreciate it 

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2 hours ago, SYM said:

 

@afrancois Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its an interesting way of using the SPS-500 - does it bring any improvement? Why not try your modded unit with the 200 Ultra? May blow you away :) - am curious to hear your impression of this combo. Am not a technical person but from what I see in the pics - output of the internal SMPS is 24v/ 2A - your LPS is also of the same voltage? Any safety concern - if not I may try that in the future just for kicks

 

I have the same impression that the SPS-500 sounds bright during the first ~60hrs, after that I don't feel that anymore. In fact, I do actually like the sound and share the same sentiments of other SPS-500 users in this thread. Whatever filtering happening in the unit was done extremely well. I did however use an audiophile grade AC cable - DC cable from GHENT is on the plane from China

 

I prefer my audio circuit to be free of any SMPS therefore feel a-bit uneasy at this point - perhaps it is psychological on my part. I'll continue to monitor if it populate the circuit - but so far haven't detected anything negative yet. If I detect any negative issues arising from it - your hack may come in handy. Fingers crossed. 

 

Thanks for sharing that very interesting hack once again - appreciate it 

The LPS is sold as a 19V 5.25A version, however internally there's a potentiometer that allows me to push it to the required 24V. Btw. I've always used good AC and DC cables :-)

My sPS-500 has no longer a ground connection. I might in the near future test it with a ground wire.

It is to early now to draw any conclusion whether it's actually better after the mod. I haven't had the time yet to listen.

 

Using the modded sPS-500 with the sMS-200 ultra can be interesting. Of course, in that case, I need an alternative solution to power my server. The test would not be conclusive because I would need to change 2 components.

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I've took the modded sPS-500 out of the chain (It  was in between the server and the LPS) and the server is now powered directly by the LPS. Again I have the feeling that the speakers have disappeared. When the sPS-500 is in the chain the sound becomes somewhat brittle. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the sPS-500 no longer has a ground connection. Or perhaps there's a synergy problem. It's possible that the problem would disappears when upgrading the Ultra to Neo.

For now, based on my experience, I can't recommend the mod.

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