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auricgoldfinger

The Linear Solution Reference 1 Linear Power Supply: Viable Alternative to a Paul Hynes SR7?

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2 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

Nice review.  How much was it?  Does Adrian have a breakdown of cost per custom component?

 

Thanks!  I'd rather not publish an exact price, but the cost is comparable to an SR7.  Adrian hasn't updated his website to show the Reference 1 even exists, so you would have to contact him directly to discuss options and pricing.  He can give you cost per component.

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3 hours ago, taipan254 said:

Thanks for the review! Does Adrian have detailed specs on the power supply? Is the regulation discrete or does he use LDOs?  

 

It would be best to ask Adrian.  I'm really not able to answer your questions.

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5 hours ago, Forehaven said:

I was getting excited until I saw the price is similar to the SR7.

 

I think it's roughly $200 less than an SR7DRXL, if that makes a difference.  Still very expensive no matter how you slice it.

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My impressions weren't detailed enough for you lol?  Seriously, I haven't gotten around to applying the EMI absorber or comparing the Audio Magic and Synergistic fuses.  ?

 

Nothing is currently in the works for a comparison to the SR7. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

The most obvious remaining differences are in dynamics and bass.

I believe it has mundorf caps ? These I have been advised take three months to burn in and start performing in terms of dynamics and bass power. So hopefully it will improve further.

The other point is that its 6 amps vs 10 amps? SR7 the larger transformer will IMO always have an edge in dynamics, but 90% is great, I don't think I would stress waiting so many months for 10%.

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7 minutes ago, LTG2010 said:

I believe it has mundorf caps ? These I have been advised take three months to burn in and start performing in terms of dynamics and bass power. So hopefully it will improve further.

The other point is that its 6 amps vs 10 amps? SR7 the larger transformer will IMO always have an edge in dynamics, but 90% is great, I don't think I would stress waiting so many months for 10%.

 

I haven't noticed any recent change in SQ.  They have been running 24/7 for 2-3 months now, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for further improvement.  🤞

 

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3 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

@limniscate recently brought his dual rail, double-regulated SR7 to Houston for a Boxing Day shoot out with my two single rail, double-regulated Reference 1 units.  We were both hoping that the Reference 1 would be a true equal of the SR7; however, the SR7 reigns supreme.

 

I am using one Reference 1 to power my OCX10 master clock and the second to power an AL NUC endpoint.  Initially, we focused on the OCX10.  When I substituted the SR7 for the Reference 1, the improvement was immediately obvious to both Eric and me.  We confirmed by switching them out a second time.  The SR7 has a blacker background with better dynamics.  Individual sounds and instruments are more separate and distinct from one another, so there is more space between them.  Edges are sharper and more focused.  They sound fuzzier with the Reference 1.

 

Next, we left one rail of the SR7 powering the OCX10 and focused on the NUC.  Once again, the difference was easily discernible.  The sound was cleaner and clearer.

 

Finally, we left one rail of the SR7 powering the OCX10, returned the Reference 1 to the NUC, and used the second SR7 rail to power the Hugo M-Scaler.  The improvement we heard over the stock HMS power supply was much more subtle than with the OCX10 and NUC.  To my ears, the change was so minimal that I feel no need to upgrade the stock HMS power supply.

 

The HMS finding was surprising to me.  A couple of HMS owners whose ears I trust heard a notable improvement from upgrading the power supply, while others whom I do not know have heard no difference.  Thus, I was biased toward hearing a benefit and confounded to hear so little change. 

 

I ground a BNC input on the HMS to my SR ground block.  I also ground both of the Habst BNC digital interconnects between the HMS and DAVE to the ground block.  Perhaps the reason for hearing so little improvement is the “noise” from the HMS stock power supply is being shunted to ground.

 

In conclusion, in my estimation, the Reference 1 achieves 85-90% of the performance of a DR SR7.  Immediately after removing the SR7 from my system, I was still able to listen to music with the Reference 1 without experiencing any buyer's remorse.  It is an outstanding power supply, and my system sounds amazing with it.  The SR7 is clearly more refined, but the gap is not so large that I feel my listening experience is diminished.

 

For those who may be contemplating their next steps, I offer the following perspective.  I have been waiting almost 15 months for an SR7 that was supposed to be built in 50-60 working days.  At this point, I'll be happy to have it by the 24 month anniversary of my original order date.  There is the obvious financial risk due to the indefinite delays, plus there is the opportunity cost of putting a key part of your audio system on hold for 1-2 years.  I believe there is a strong argument for getting the best PSU that you can find and enjoying it now rather than waiting years for the Holy Grail which conceivably could never arrive on your doorstep.

 

Addendum:

 

Subsequently, I added EMI absorber on the inside cover above the transformer.  The midrange and treble are now noticeably cleaner.  For the first time, I can clearly make out John Bonham’s spoken words on the introduction of The Ocean by Led Zeppelin.  On other tracks, the tambourine zills sound crisper and more distinct.  I am now comfortable stating that the Reference 1 achieves 90% of the performance of the SR7.  The most obvious remaining differences are in dynamics and bass.

 

 

Thank you for the nice write up.  Are these test done with Reference 1 stock stranded silver DC cables?

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The SR7 used one of Paul's silver DC cables which has a Switchcraft DC connector on the equipment end and an Oyaide 5.5mm x 2.1mm on the device end.  @limniscate  Do you recall which flavor of DC cable you bought?  Paul offers several.

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On 1/7/2019 at 9:13 AM, auricgoldfinger said:

The SR7 used one of Paul's silver DC cables which has a Switchcraft DC connector on the equipment end and an Oyaide 5.5mm x 2.1mm on the device end.  @limniscate  Do you recall which flavor of DC cable you bought?  Paul offers several.

 

I'm not @limniscate, but since I am very familiar with his unit, I'll clarify the connectors:

  • both rails are DR (dual regulated)
  • on the PSU end: Jaeger 3-pin "XL" connectors
  • on the equipment end, Oyaide 5.5x2.1mm
  • each rail is rated at 6A
  • cables are Paul's silver cables - DC6FSXL

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On 1/6/2019 at 8:10 PM, auricgoldfinger said:

Addendum:

Subsequently, I added EMI absorber on the inside cover above the transformer.  The midrange and treble are now noticeably cleaner.  For the first time, I can clearly make out John Bonham’s spoken words on the introduction of The Ocean by Led Zeppelin.  On other tracks, the tambourine zills sound crisper and modistinct.  I am now comfortable stating that the Reference 1 achieves 90% of the performance of the SR7.  

 

What EMI absorber did you use?

I'm thinking of doing the same for my SR7 - there's no reason why it couldn't also benefit.

 

I'd also be interested to hear how you got on with your fuse upgrades. I got an interesting result when adding an SR Blue to my SR7 - more of that later in the SR7 thread.

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1 hour ago, TheAttorney said:

 

What EMI absorber did you use?

I'm thinking of doing the same for my SR7 - there's no reason why it couldn't also benefit.

 

I'd also be interested to hear how you got on with your fuse upgrades. I got an interesting result when adding an SR Blue to my SR7 - more of that later in the SR7 thread.

 

I used this one:  https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/3m/AB5100SHF-210X297/3M155949-ND/5823559  The key is to use it sparingly.  Too much and you won't be happy with the result.

 

I used the Audio Magic Beeswax SHD fuse for a long time.  Eventually, I decided the sound was too soft, so I substituted an SR blue fuse that I had on hand.  I let it burn in for an hour, and I knew immediately that it was my preferred fuse.  Whenever a blue fuse has worked in one of my components, I have noticed improved dynamics and greater focus in the music.  It sounds as if the AC power is cleaner.

 

The wonderful thing about the SR blue fuses is the 30-day return policy.  The primary risk in trying one is the return shipping cost.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing about your results with the SR7.

 

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Just to be clear, we're talking about my experience with the Reference 1.  I didn't take a photo, but I placed the EMI absorber directly above the transformer.  It extends about an inch beyond the perimeter of the transformer. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 3:44 PM, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I used this one:  https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/3m/AB5100SHF-210X297/3M155949-ND/5823559  The key is to use it sparingly.  Too much and you won't be happy with the result.

 

I was thinking of trying some of this paper with my Zenith SE and SR4, and eventually also the SR7 I hope to get at some point this year.  Do you have any tips on how to approach finding tne right amount of paper to use and where to try it?

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20 minutes ago, str-1 said:

I was thinking of trying some of this paper with my Zenith SE and SR4, and eventually also the SR7 I hope to get at some point this year.  Do you have any tips on how to approach finding tne right amount of paper to use and where to try it?

 

I try to place the paper in the areas where I would imagine EMI emissions are greatest.  For the power supplies, start by placing some above the mains transformer.  If the diameter of the transformer is 3", maybe use a 4" piece of absorber.  For the Zenith, I suggest you begin by placing some above the microprocessor.  I'm not sure what would be the next best candidate on the motherboard or elsewhere (such as the SSD, etc.).  You could also consider placing some near the internal power supply. 

 

It's really all about experimentation, but as I mentioned above, you want to err on the side of too little rather than too much.  I put an entire sheet of thin paper inside my former DAC, and it was overkill.  I had to remove most of it.

 

If you happen to have an EMF field tester, you could try moving it around inside the case and see what you find.

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