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The ultimate Power Supply Units for music servers (and other devices for cleaner power source)

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This is a new thread created as a subtopic or side branch from the massive thread : "A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming"

 

This forum is to focus on all types of Power supply units (PSU) used specifically or (adapted) for audio use, mainly music servers but can also apply to other devices like DACs. 

 

Few things I want to discuss include:

What are the few affordable PSU on the markets: 

HDPLEX

Uptone

Mojo

Sean Jacobs - Statement and his own http://www.custom-hifi-cables.co.uk/home/power-supplies/dc3-power-supply

Paul Hynes SR7 etc -- but apparently he is not take available for more commissions ?

Farad - https://www.faradpowersupplies.com

 

How about those cheap Chinese R Core and toroidal ones? Are they any good even to use for small devices and USB bridges

It appears that they are quite different in terms of designs as well as specs ,e.g. most are < 5A and mainly HDPLEX has 10A due to the need to boot its DC-ATX

 

Single rail vs multi-rail

 

What are the differences between a toroidal vs R Core 

 

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I will start with a more technical questions. The other thread created early listed has many brands, may be better for brand comparison.

 

So what are the main difference between Toroidal and R Core LPSU ?

 

IS one better than other or it depends ? 

 

 

 

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As I know, the R-core type is more directional in it's EMI that a designer can work with that and only need to block one side. A torroidal one emits 360 degrees. R-core is also lower noise.

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18 minutes ago, k27R said:

I have a linear solution reference 1 that’s pretty good.  This latest design is supposed to close the gap the original had with the SR7, or so I’m told.

 

I’ve  only compared it to a js-2 and  lps-1.2, and it’s quite a bit better than both.  It’s quite good.

THe Linear solution looks like a toroidal, does not say much else. So it is supposedly similar to SR7?

 

Uptone JS-2 is promising, it looks like R-core. Can boost to 10A which is what i need for my PC that has the HDPlex DC-ATX. Though it can only do 12 V, I need 19V

 

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So, this is about transformers design rather than power supplies? R-Core vs Toroidal? I think we would end up with a discussion similar to vinyl vs. digital, tube vs. solid state, etc.

 

The guys at Uptone, who I respect and trust a lot strongly believe that the R-Core is better. Yet, the best power supplies on the market (i.e. SR-7) that are considered better than the Uptone JS-2 use toroidal transformers. But in a power supply the transformer is only one of the major ingredients. Would an SR-7 with an R-core sound even better? It is considered that Paul Hynes has perfected every component in his reference power supply over the years, so probably not. 

 

As mentioned the R-Core transformers emit EMI directionally, so they can be rotated in your chassis to reduce the EMI affecting other components. Toroidals do emit 360 degrees, but things like EMI shielding, GOSS band, covers, mumetal, etc. help reducing the EMI. And that's not the only thing that matters in a transformer. Materials and quality matter too. Take Audio Note and Kondo for example - they make their own transformers with pure silver wire. They are ridiculously expensive. So how would a toroidal with silver wire compare to a R-Core with poor quality copper wire? Or how will a R-Core with top quality silver wire compare to a toroidal with crappy copper wire? To put this into a prospective, you change a fuse that has a 2'' conductor and that makes a significant difference. Do you realize how much more wire is in a transformer?

 

I have vinyl records in my collection that sound a lot better than digital. I also have digital recordings that sound a lot better than the vinyl. Like almost everything else I guess the overall quality matters more than the type. And it's hard to generalize. 

 

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Isolate the music server from the DAC and don't worry about a PS for the music server.

 

For the DAC, you first want to buy a high quality one with a top notch analog stage - it may have multiple power supplies inside it.  A battery would be the ultimate PS for a DAC.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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14 hours ago, k27R said:

I have a linear solution reference 1 that’s pretty good.  This latest design is supposed to close the gap the original had with the SR7, or so I’m told.

 

I’ve  only compared it to a js-2 and  lps-1.2, and it’s quite a bit better than both.  It’s quite good.

I also recently received a custom spec TLS Ref 1 PSU from Adrian. I've not used other highly regarded PSU like SR7. However, compare to my other PSUs like LPS 1.2 , SoTM sPS-500,  and various Teradak/chinese custom PSU - TLS Ref1 is quite a bit better. Which is expected given it costs almost as much as the SR7 without the years of wait time. I waited almost 6 months for the Ref1. However, I agreed to the delay as Adrian was doing R&D to close the gap with SR7.

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26 minutes ago, shahed99 said:

I also recently received a custom spec TLS Ref 1 PSU from Adrian. I've not used other highly regarded PSU like SR7. However, compare to my other PSUs like LPS 1.2 , SoTM sPS-500,  and various Teradak/chinese custom PSU - TLS Ref1 is quite a bit better. Which is expected given it costs almost as much as the SR7 without the years of wait time. I waited almost 6 months for the Ref1. However, I agreed to the delay as Adrian was doing R&D to close the gap with SR7.

 

I’ve been told the custom TLS Ref 1 is better than the SR7

Please note ‘been told’ and ‘TLS’ in one sentence..

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35 minutes ago, FredM said:

 

I’ve been told the custom TLS Ref 1 is better than the SR7

Please note ‘been told’ and ‘TLS’ in one sentence..

I'm probably one of the first person to have Adrian's latest re-designed PSU that supposedly closes the gap. Given that I do not have access to a SR7, I've no idea.

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24 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

Surprised to see you perpetuate such a myth Fred.  Since you also wrote:

 

And @auricgoldfinger stated this--though he seems to let slide Paul Hynes' even worse communication and delivery track record:

 

So many people report giving away their money and waiting forever with no updates and mostly excuses:

 

I honestly do not understand why people patronize such unprofessional (perhaps not a stretch to say unethical) businesses.  I spend more than 20 hours per week doing nothing but returning client e-mails, and I have never once accepted payment for product without promising and meeting a firm delivery date--typically either immediate of within 2-weeks shipment.  

Guess that is why there are now about 800 JS-2s in the field and close to 3,000 UltraCap units. 9_9

 

My apologies if such discussion of business and reputation is off-topic.  Perhaps the TLS power supply is a fine unit, but nobody knows what is actually in the box.  (And there was this funky incident:

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/38316-the-linear-solution-lps912-design-for-sotm-products/?do=findComment&comment=772398

 

 

Hi @Superdad,

 

My post above was intended as sarcastic, or at least as an attempt.

 

Seriously: You are spot on, and have been spot on from the beginning. Looking back I wish I would have taken your warnings seriously, but I was native. After 1,5 year ‘dealing’ with TLS I’m down a $1500 deposit.. 

 

best regards, Fred

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, shahed99 said:

I'm probably one of the first person to have Adrian's latest re-designed PSU that supposedly closes the gap. Given that I do not have access to a SR7, I've no idea.

Hi Shaded99, sorry I was being sarcastic.

Given my experience with TLS, I doubt if it is close to the SR7

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1 hour ago, shahed99 said:

I also recently received a custom spec TLS Ref 1 PSU from Adrian. I've not used other highly regarded PSU like SR7. However, compare to my other PSUs like LPS 1.2 , SoTM sPS-500,  and various Teradak/chinese custom PSU - TLS Ref1 is quite a bit better. Which is expected given it costs almost as much as the SR7 without the years of wait time. I waited almost 6 months for the Ref1. However, I agreed to the delay as Adrian was doing R&D to close the gap with SR7.

 

My memory didn’t fail me, TLS claimed a custom Ref 1 is better than a SR7:

 

Me: what makes the <custom ref 1> PSU ($2500) special?

TLS: “Simple it will be better than the holy Grail SR7 and $2500 is even better price than SR7 “

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FWIW the Farad Super3 took a matter of weeks to materialise, and payment was not taken till a few days prior to dispatch.  It is performing very well so far but i'll give it some more time to break in (given the amount of caps in the box) before doing any comparisons. 

 

No, I don't have any of the "chosen" PSUs.

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27 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 I spend more than 20 hours per week doing nothing

I love to work at nothing all day. 😉


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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I had no problem with my Ref 1 power supply order from TLS.  I receive it exactly in the time frame promised from when I placed the custom order.  His communication the entire time was good, gave updates when I inquired.

 

Uptone's customer service for my JS-2 order was even better, of course!

 

 

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I will say tho that the TLS Ref one sounds really good on everything I've tried it with so far (SMS 200ultra Neo, tx-USBultra SE, SotM snh-10G switch, sonic transporter i5), but the exterior built quality is far from great.  I haven't looked inside though, too scared to see what's in there :)

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

I honestly do not understand why people patronize such unprofessional (perhaps not a stretch to say unethical) businesses.  I spend more than 20 hours per week doing nothing but returning client e-mails, and I have never once accepted payment for product without promising and meeting a firm delivery date--typically either immediate of within 2-weeks shipment.  

Guess that is why there are now about 800 JS-2s in the field and close to 3,000 UltraCap units. 9_9

 

My apologies if such discussion of business and reputation is off-topic.  Perhaps the TLS power supply is a fine unit, but nobody knows what is actually in the box.  (And there was this funky incident:

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/38316-the-linear-solution-lps912-design-for-sotm-products/?do=findComment&comment=772398

 

The reason people patronize the two businesses you mention is their products sound significantly better than what is available from Uptone.  Multiple people have said the TLS power supply sounds significantly better than a JS-2 or LPS-1.2, so why does it matter what is inside the box as long as it works?  You gave the Farad3 design a good thrashing in these forums awhile back.  Since its sound quality is in a completely different league than the LPS-1.2, I don't really care if you believe their approach is somehow flawed or less than optimal.

 

Most people are perfectly happy with your fine power supplies and have no need to look any further, and of course, your service is the best.  Nevertheless, there will always be some who want or need more. 

 

I would also note that Paul Hynes was not experiencing such lengthy delays when I placed my order, and as you well know, I no recourse other than to "sell" my place in the queue.  TLS has a 4-6 month wait for a completely custom solution.  This is on par with other reputable builders such as Dr. Sean Jacobs.  I find the wait time to be quite reasonable given the nature of the product.


 

 

 

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My experience with Sean Jacobs has been outstanding. I ordered a DC3 on March 27, and it was in my hands (in the US) on May 13. All questions that I had were answered immediately and informatively. This power supply is outstanding, and so is Sean Jacobs' customer service.

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I've heard stories of frustrating experience dealing with Adrian/TLS. I consider myself lucky given that my communication was timely with him and I received the unit around when it was promised.

 

My Ref1 worked flawlessly out of the box. However, I was not bowled over as it was only marginally better than SoTM sPS-500, LPS 1.2. It improved quite a bit after burning for 100+ hours and surpassed those aforementioned PSU by quite a margin. My Ref1 comes with teflon PCB and Vishay resistor. Yesterday, Adrian told me that proper break-in would be around 200 hours.

 

So, I've around 100 more hours to go. Currently, I'm using it through a Equi=Core 1800 balanced power conditioner.  According, to Adrian I should use directly to the wall outlet to maximize the performance. I'm yet to try that. Will report back after later.

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12 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

You gave the Farad3 design a good thrashing in these forums awhile back.

 

Excuse me?  I did no such thing.  Link please.  

If I said anything about them (I don't recall), it would have been over their publishing this bit of mis-information (since removed from their site but still on their reseller site):

"Why is Farad using the Super Capacitor power bank as smoothing caps and don't they switch between one bank while loading the other?

There are several reasons they don't do this. First it means extra switching electronics in the supply lines, second it means that you are using only half of the capacity from the super caps at a time. Third and we think most important reason: A value of 1 Farad means the capacitors are able to deliver 1 A of current for 1 second with 1 Volt drop. Suppose we have 10 F capacitance, deliver 2 A current from our supply and the regulator can typically handle a 0.5 V drop. This means capacitor banks have to be switched every 2.5 seconds... This means the final regulator gets a 0.4 Hz triangle wave with 0.5 V amplitude as an input signal, instead of a steady DC."

 

That last bit is 100% incorrect.

 

As for what is in the box not mattering:  Well I think it does.  Ask the fellow who paid $8K for a TLS One server and received it 8 months later with things rattling around inside. :/
 

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2 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Isolate the music server from the DAC and don't worry about a PS for the music server.

 

For the DAC, you first want to buy a high quality one with a top notch analog stage - it may have multiple power supplies inside it.  A battery would be the ultimate PS for a DAC.

isolate the music server is one way but isolation may have its draw back. I chucked away my ifi Igalvanic as it tends to "color" the sound.  Currently I just use an optical USB cable from Corning that does the galvanic isolation without reclocking, seems to work better.

I think getting rid of the source of the problem is more effective. Besides, isolating the music server would not solve the dirty  current and noise already inside the music server. If there is less noise feeding into the server in the first place, that would be better than trying to filter out the noise downstream

Hence we should work from upstream, starting with hospital grade receptacle at the wall. ( I have not bothered doing that yet since I am renting right now)

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Superdad said:

As for what is in the box not mattering:  Well I think it does.  Ask the fellow who paid $8K for a TLS One server and received it 8 months later with things rattling around inside. :/

 

 

 

Last I remember he was happy with the sound.  If I remember correctly, the quality problems were being addressed to his satisfaction, at least at that point in time.  I am not condoning this type of service.  In fact, I was publicly very critical of it. 

 

Regardless, as others have already stated, the TLS Reference 1 power supply has very good sound quality.  The relevant information is out in the open, and people are free to make their own choices as they see fit.


 

 

 

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