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23 hours ago, barrows said:

Well sure, if you do a poor internal layout and put the supply too near to critical components it can be a problem, but this is a part of good engineering and layout practices.  A poor design is a poor design, and using an external supply to overcome a poor design is not the best approach. 

For line level components the power requirements of the supply are low, and such that radiating interference fields are very small, and can be accommodated inside a standard size chassis with appropriate layout, and perhaps a bit of shielding in some cases.

Separate power supply boxes offered by some manufacturers for line level components are usually an unnecessary added expense (and allow for much additional revenue to the manufacturer).

 

And it is ALWAYS (necessarily) true that distributing DC power over a cable is a poor compromise.

 

Seriously you are saying that MSB, Naim, Audio Research, VAC and others that are using an external supply has poor design, that’s laughable.

 

Why is distributing DC power over a cable a poor compromise?

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On 23/04/2018 at 10:14 AM, Confused said:

 

 

I believe that a REF10 versus sCLK-OCX10 shootout has been planned, so maybe once that one is completed I will discover that I have made the wrong choice!  Meanwhile though, yes, I am very happy with the REF10.  I added it to the system and it just simply made everything sound better, more realistic, dynamic, just all good.  

thanks a lot for this comprehensive answer, really appreciate it @Confused :) 

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14 hours ago, barrows said:

Because the distance over the cable increases impedance.  Low power supply impedance is critical for most circuits in audio, but for digital anything it is especially important, as digital circuitry grabs current in chunks at very high speeds.

It is important to get the power to the circuits with the least impedance possible, hence the use of very good regulators in some power supplies, and large amounts of capacitance, and big transformers, etc, etc...  But a lot of that power supply optimization goes to waste if one raises the impedance of the power supply by asking it to travel through additional connections (DC barrel connectors are especially poor) and wiring distance.

 

Yes a longer cable have a higher impedance than a short cable, if everything else is held the same. But it’s not only the length that determines impedance/electrical resistance. The gauge (thickness) of the wire and the wire material and the material’s purity is of equal importance. A wire is a conductor with electrical resistivity that cannot lower and only increase the electrical resistance so it’s paramount to have as low impedance as possible at the output of the power supply, no matter if the PSU is internal or external.

 

I think company’s like Pass labs, MSB, Naim, Audio Research, VAC and many more that use an external box for their power supplies know very well how things like the length, gauge, wire material and the material’s purity effect performance and SQ. That those, by many considered the best of the best high end manufacturer, would use external power supplies in their top gear if it result in poorer sound is highly unlikely. Have you never heard a MSB Analogue with or without an external PSU? The difference is profound. The same is IMO evident with many other audio gear and not only the very expansive ones.  

 

Let’s be real, the length of the DC cable matters and should be kept as short as possible. The length of the DC cable that most High End companies use is not very long and is normally not longer than 1,5 meter. Their cables are thick and are made of good material to not increase impedance more than absolutely necessary. They of course know Ohm's law and have tested with or without placing the PSUs in the same box as their DAC or preamp and have come to the conclusion that the gain of having the PSUs in a separate box is higher than the small loss of a bit longer DC cable. The electrical resistance is only one factor that a High End manufacturer has to take in to account than it’s comes to design their PSUs. To have separate PSUs for different circuits is often considered very important if seeking to get best sound. To have a separate PSU for digital and another for analogue is common as is to have one PSU for left and right canal. BUT with more PSUs that radiate EMC/EMI and cause vibration etc etc, and the better and more delicate clocks and other circuits one use, the more important it is to keep the PSUs away.

 

Am I saying that DACs that that has internal PSUs are sounding bad? Absolutely not, am not talking in absolute and my DAC for example has 3 internal PSUs (while not in a separate enclosure are kept separated to the digital and analogue circuits by internal walls).    

 

BTW look up Rob Watts explanation to why he don't want to put a M-scaler in DAVE.

 

http://www.daycounter.com/Calculators/AWG.phtml

https://www.cirris.com/learning-center/calculators/133-wire-resistance-calculator-table 

 

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1 hour ago, Summit said:

BTW look up Rob Watts explanation to why he don't want to put a M-scaler in DAVE.

 

There may not be enough room in a single chassis to properly isolate all the EMI/RFI generators that comprise a modern digital component.  So the trade-off is to put them outboard and use good cables to get the power into the component.  Better preamps have been this way for a long time. 

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8 hours ago, Summit said:

Have you never heard a MSB Analogue with or without an external PSU

You might be interested in taking a look at the Stereophile review of the Analog DAC, and pay particular attention to JA's findings that when stacked on the power supply box (as it is designed to do), the transformers in the power supply coupled into the DAC box and produced power supply artifacts in the analog output.

Of course these companies know what they are dong, for the most part, but the fact that they know what they are doing does not mean they produce external supplies for improved performance rather than improved revenue.

 

For every high end component which one might use an example of a high performance component with an external supply, I can reference another component of equal or better performance which uses an internal supply.  It is clear that external supplies are certainly not necessary to achieve SOTA performance in line level components (with the possible exception of high gain phono stages, but that is a separate concern). 

 

Ultimately, my position is that external power supplies are an unnecessary additional expense, and do not improve performance (and may actually hurt performance RE impedance) vs. a well engineered component with an internal supply (again, possibly excepting phono stages as they are a very special case).

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

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18 minutes ago, barrows said:

You might be interested in taking a look at the Stereophile review of the Analog DAC, and pay particular attention to JA's findings that when stacked on the power supply box (as it is designed to do), the transformers in the power supply coupled into the DAC box and produced power supply artifacts in the analog output.

Of course these companies know what they are dong, for the most part, but the fact that they know what they are doing does not mean they produce external supplies for improved performance rather than improved revenue.

 

For every high end component which one might use an example of a high performance component with an external supply, I can reference another component of equal or better performance which uses an internal supply.  It is clear that external supplies are certainly not necessary to achieve SOTA performance in line level components (with the possible exception of high gain phono stages, but that is a separate concern). 

 

Ultimately, my position is that external power supplies are an unnecessary additional expense, and do not improve performance (and may actually hurt performance RE impedance) vs. a well engineered component with an internal supply (again, possibly excepting phono stages as they are a very special case).

 

If stacking (the aluminum milled) power supply box on top of the DAC result in artifacts in the analog output. Just imagine the result if the same power supplies had been inside the DAC box O.o

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19 minutes ago, Summit said:

If stacking (the aluminum milled) power supply box on top of the DAC result in artifacts in the analog output. Just imagine the result if the same power supplies had been inside the DAC box 

Wrong: It is all about the layout.  The way MSB laid it out, the transformers were very close to the critical circuitry when the boxes were stacked, actually closer than they could be if they were in the same box!  Remember, relatively thin aluminum (under an inch thick) has virtually no magnetic shielding ability, so the box itself does very little.  This is pretty simple engineering here.  When dealing with transformer based noise issues, one must understand the radiation fields for the flux lines, and then lay things out accordingly.  

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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On 4/27/2018 at 10:55 AM, barrows said:

Because the distance over the cable increases impedance.  Low power supply impedance is critical for most circuits in audio, but for digital anything it is especially important, as digital circuitry grabs current in chunks at very high speeds.

It is important to get the power to the circuits with the least impedance possible, hence the use of very good regulators in some power supplies, and large amounts of capacitance, and big transformers, etc, etc...  But a lot of that power supply optimization goes to waste if one raises the impedance of the power supply by asking it to travel through additional connections (DC barrel connectors are especially poor) and wiring distance.

 

so... we want the P/S close to reduce impedance in the cable

 

but... we want the P/S far away to minimize noise...

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33 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

so... we want the P/S close to reduce impedance in the cable

 

but... we want the P/S far away to minimize noise...

Yes!  But for line level components, it does not need to be that far away.  For example, in my current DAC the edge of the transformers are about 5" (at the closest) away from any components which could pick up their radiated field, and there is no appreciable noise component in the output.  This will depend on the type of transformer and its position orientation as well and the current being drawn through it.

 

Thanks JS for the increased clarity on AL thickness and magnetic field attenuation.

 

BTW, in the Sonore Signature Rendu SE we use a specially selected alloy (not aluminum) to block magnetic interference from the transformer and it is spaced well away from he critical components.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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2 hours ago, barrows said:

Wrong: It is all about the layout.  The way MSB laid it out, the transformers were very close to the critical circuitry when the boxes were stacked, actually closer than they could be if they were in the same box!  Remember, relatively thin aluminum (under an inch thick) has virtually no magnetic shielding ability, so the box itself does very little.  This is pretty simple engineering here.  When dealing with transformer based noise issues, one must understand the radiation fields for the flux lines, and then lay things out accordingly.  

 

It’s not wrong, the only thing that’s wrong is your understanding of what a separate power supply is and how it should be placed for best performance. Only because it’s POSSIBLE to stacking a power supply box on top of the DAC doesn’t mean that’s the BEST WAY of doing it. It similar to a matching preamp and power amp. They can be stacked on top of each other, but that’s not the way to get the best out of them. Or an ultraRendu which can be placed near a computer but it’s not as good as placing it in another room on a different AC line. Sure you get most of the improvements of the uR, but are not using the designs full potential and the same is true of the use of a separate power supply very close to a DAC or amp.

 

JA didn’t say that the MSB power supply was poor he said “the DAC sat atop the Power Base for the measurements—this lay at –120dB (0.0001%) and will be irrelevant to sound quality. No spuriae were present at the full-wave–rectified power-supply frequency of 120Hz, indicating superb internal grounding and optimal circuit layout.” And finished by saying “It was a pleasure to measure such a good-performing product as MSB's Analog DAC. And I loved the top-mounted volume control, the display, and the ergonomics. It is rare to encounter an audio component so well thought out and so well engineered.—John Atkinson

 

You are IMO giving many conflicting statements all depending on what you have and your bias; things like a LAN input is no good in a DAC because it will need a transformer which radiate a lot of noise, but are not accepting that power supply can be placed in a separate box and its pros. You totally dismiss the benefit of a preamp. I would have expect that someone that design power supplies to understand the pro and cons of using a separate power supply and to know why many manufacturer of High End gear chose to put their PSU in a separate box, but I was obviously mistaking.  

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/msb-technology-analog-dac-da-converter-and-analog-power-base-power-supply-measurements#L8OuDJYb4wKkOaCo.99 

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@Summit, i suspect that you need to up your reading comprehension my friend, I never said:

 

"LAN input is no good in a DAC"

 

Yes, you are "obviously mistaking" ,

 

Given that it appears that english may be your second language I will give you a pass here.

 

To be clear:

 

Yes, a preamp is redundant in a digital only system and can only add noise and distortion.

 

LAN input in a DAC can be good, but only if it is implemented very well, and in most current implementations this is not the case.

 

MSB designed the Analog DAC and its power supply to stack, and in this they made an error as is clearly shown in JA's measurements, otherwise there is nothing wrong with design which I am aware of and I did not say that there was.

 

Additionally, I have no bias, I have direct experience, designing, building, listening to, and measuring components.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

 

so... we want the P/S close to reduce impedance in the cable

 

but... we want the P/S far away to minimize noise...

 

A short well done DC cable of 1-2 meter is not as sensitive like a clock cable for example and a good DC cable are not increasing impedance or electrical resistance in any meaningful ways.

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15 minutes ago, barrows said:

@Summit, i suspect that you need to up your reading comprehension my friend, I never said:

 

"LAN input is no good in a DAC"

 

Yes, you are "obviously mistaking" ,

 

Given that it appears that english may be your second language I will give you a pass here.

 

To be clear:

 

Yes, a preamp is redundant in a digital only system and can only add noise and distortion.

 

LAN input in a DAC can be good, but only if it is implemented very well, and in most current implementations this is not the case.

 

MSB designed the Analog DAC and its power supply to stack, and in this they made an error as is clearly shown in JA's measurements, otherwise there is nothing wrong with design which I am aware of and I did not say that there was.

 

Additionally, I have no bias, I have direct experience.

 

My reading comprehension is okay. JA didn’t say that the MSB power supply was poor he said the opposite and this with the DAC  on top of the PSU.

 

 “the DAC sat atop the Power Base for the measurements—this lay at –120dB (0.0001%) and will be irrelevant to sound quality. No spuriae were present at the full-wave–rectified power-supply frequency of 120Hz, indicating superb internal grounding and optimal circuit layout.”

 

“It was a pleasure to measure such a good-performing product as MSB's Analog DAC. And I loved the top-mounted volume control, the display, and the ergonomics. It is rare to encounter an audio component so well thought out and so well engineered.—John Atkinson”

 

If someone is always promoting what he/she have or make, in my book its bias.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/msb-technology-analog-dac-da-converter-and-analog-power-base-power-supply-measurements#L8OuDJYb4wKkOaCo.99

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7 hours ago, zoltan said:

Just wondering if time has come for a thread on 'Power Supply Optimization' or something like that. I would like to read/learn about it more but also would like to read more information on the Ref 10 in this thread. 

+1.

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The past few posts in particular have been rather distracting.

 

Layout matters; shielding matters; impedance matters; and length of DC cable matters.

 

In particular, the MSB Analog may or may not have an optimal circuit layout but not sure how this relates to the Ref10? Perhaps those interested in that component can open a thread to talk about it in exacting detail, with pictures and graphs and 1000 word essays...

 

But I'm more interested in the Ref10 :)

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On 4/28/2018 at 5:54 PM, zoltan said:

Just wondering if time has come for a thread on 'Power Supply Optimization' or something like that. I would like to read/learn about it more but also would like to read more information on the Ref 10 in this thread. 

Someones asked for new Power Supply tweaks thread so Ok, look here

 

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Quick question..I plan to use Oppo 203 as one of my source. I have already ordered a LPS for Oppo. I have additional option of modding the Oppo with femto clock.  Will that mod be redundant with Ref-10? (Although it will help for Home theater application).

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On 4/28/2018 at 1:53 PM, barrows said:

Yes!  But for line level components, it does not need to be that far away.  For example, in my current DAC the edge of the transformers are about 5" (at the closest) away from any components which could pick up their radiated field, and there is no appreciable noise component in the output.  This will depend on the type of transformer and its position orientation as well and the current being drawn through it.

 

Thanks JS for the increased clarity on AL thickness and magnetic field attenuation.

 

BTW, in the Sonore Signature Rendu SE we use a specially selected alloy (not aluminum) to block magnetic interference from the transformer and it is spaced well away from he critical components.

 

I'm a big fan of the inverse square law.

 

a nickel for your thoughts on the specially selected alloy...

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Dear all,

 

there has been several quite interesting knowledge exchange started within this REF 10 thread on different topics which is good news. On the other hand we are loosing track and others will not be able to recognize the valuable discussion eg about power supply optimization because they will not search for that in a REF 10 thread, will they?

 

@ Chris: May I ask to move all power supply comments not referring to REF 10 to look&listen's thread "audio power supply optimization"

@look&listen: Thank you for starting an own thread on this topic. Maybe you could help Chris recognizing the right postings with naming them to him?

 

Back to our topic:

 

The measurements of the final REF 10 which is in production since a while has been improved against the data I have had available in my starting post a year ago:

Here are the actual measurements:

 

REF 10 phase noise:

1 Hz:                -116 dBc/Hz
10 Hz:             ≤  -145 dBc/Hz (old: -142 dBc/Hz)
100 Hz:           ≤  -160 dBc/Hz (old: -155 dBc/Hz)
1000 Hz:         ≤  -166 dBc/Hz (old: -160 dBc/Hz)
Noise floor:     ≤  -170 dBc/Hz (old: -166 dBc/Hz)

 

My own experience with the REF 10 is very positive. The improvement in music flow, clarity and soundstage is clearly recognized wether with my unmodified MC3+ USB or my modified MC3+ USB which has a floating 6V power supply unit attached.

 

If you have a chance you might take (hear) a look at the High End Munich if you visit Mutec's team.

 

Many thanks for helping us keeping on track ;)

Enjoy the music and relax

 

Thomas

 

 

 

DIY coax tractrix horn system 2 corner subwoofer /// 6 full digital amplifier D802 floating PSU 12V battery & caps/filter /// Active crossover @ Acourate Convolver & room [email protected] /// General 2 PC setup: floating PSU picoless battery & caps/filter powered Bicker DC160W: PC1(Player) - individual stripped MS RamOS with JPlay /// PC2: Server 2016 RamOS - AO 2.0b5 - Acourate Convolver - online convolving & crossover /// Chain: PC1 - USB - F-1 - SPdif coax - Mutec MC3.1+ USB - SPdif coax - FireFace UCX floating PSU 12V battery & caps/filter - USB - PC2 - FireFace UCX - Adat LWL - Mutec MC-4 - 3 x SPdif coax - D802 Low/ D802 Middle / D802 High - 2 Stereo Lab KWH250 with BMS 4590 plus 2 modified corner subwoofer Abacus ABS210

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