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Effects of a Linear Power Supply


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Hi AS peeps

seems to be the thing to have a LPS.

I’m interested to know once the new supply gets to a pc, how much the pc starts distorting the supply again or does the new LInear current completely change the whole thing so it doesn’t get distorted again?

Not the most clear question ever but i hope you get the drift.

I understand that psu’s are responsible for a lot of distortion so it would make sense to bypass that in some way. Not sure how?

There seem to be so many flaws in using a PC as an audio system to use music files? There must be a cheeper alternative.

I expect there is but I’m not one of those tech geeks?

thanks C

 

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An LPS cannot "fix" bad MOBO components. It can permit good ones to behave better. And its not a magic wand... you need to achieve some level of

"critical mass" in connected system component quality to hear a difference.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Thanks davide256

A can of worms! Or should I say a can of cables!

A very useful comment indeed : )

This is the thing thats starting to worry me!

I mentioned the all in one machine or server as ASRMichael suggested to save buying all these ‘bits’

The problem is obviously the cost!

Years ago I had a Mitchell Focus one with a fluid arm and some nice cartridge that I cant remember the name of and the infamous NAD3020 and Mission 700 speakers. Stick a record on and done.

Im finding that computer based audio is a mine field. Too many options and too many variables.

Time to stop looking at ‘bits’ and listen to some music : )

Thanks guys. C

 

 

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Digital playback is problematic, compared to analogue. Unfortunately, the slightest bit of electrical noise in some area of a system is enough to kill the perceived SQ, stone dead - and the only solution is to go through the setup with a fine tooth comb, and eliminate each weakness, step by step 😉. The big reward for doing this is that the sound will snap into a "magic zone of specialness" - which will be quite amazing if you've never heard it before 😁 ... compared to, say, vinyl, digital is a bit of a "all, or nothing!" exercise as far as achieving high levels of long term listening satisfaction from a rig ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Adding a linear power supply to a computer seems misguided to me for the reasons you mention, there's a lot going on in there to pollute the sound. My laptop sounds the same whether running from AC or battery, so clearly an LPS would not help, at all. 

 

My strategy has been to separate the DAC power from the computer. There are a few ways to do this:

  • If the DAC doesn't need power from the computer, then block the USB cable pin #1, 5V power.
  • If the DAC needs USB power, substitute the computer power using one of the following methods (in no particular order):
  1. Use a split USB cable (one USB B, two USB A connectors), with a 5V LPS on the power leg for the DAC.
  2. Use an iFi iDefender with outboard PSU
  3. Use a USB cleaner with LPS, e.g. Iso Regen, etc.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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12 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

Adding a linear power supply to a computer seems misguided to me for the reasons you mention, there's a lot going on in there to pollute the sound. My laptop sounds the same whether running from AC or battery, so clearly an LPS would not help, at all. 

 

My strategy has been to separate the DAC power from the computer. There are a few ways to do this:

  • If the DAC doesn't need power from the computer, then block the USB cable pin #1, 5V power.
  • If the DAC needs USB power, substitute the computer power using one of the following methods (in no particular order):
  1. Use a split USB cable (one USB B, two USB A connectors), with a 5V LPS on the power leg for the DAC.
  2. Use an iFi iDefender with outboard PSU
  3. Use a USB cleaner with LPS, e.g. Iso Regen, etc.

Have you tried it? The once you have you’ll understand why so many people on this forum have moved to LPS. Highly quality you go the more the SQ increases. I cannot think about using a PC or Laptop without a LPS. I encourage you to. 

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SMPS emits inductor whine audible noise, inductor core physically vibrates and it emits high pitched noise. If you are lucky, vibration frequency is beyond your audible range and not able to hear it, yet kids may detect it and it is able to capture with high resolution recording equipment.

 

Linear power supply does not emit this kind of annoying audible noise from itself and it is more suitable for audio use. Changing PSU to Linear power supply may fix the problem.

 

But graphics cards and other PC components have inductors on their DC-DC converters and these things also may cause audible noise...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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2 hours ago, ASRMichael said:

Have you tried it? The once you have you’ll understand why so many people on this forum have moved to LPS. Highly quality you go the more the SQ increases. I cannot think about using a PC or Laptop without a LPS. I encourage you to. 

Like I said, my laptop sounds the same on AC or battery. What is it you think an LPS will do that a battery won't? Have you tried my solution, clean power for the DAC?

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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Thanks Guys. A picture is becoming clear

Thanks ASRMichael

Thats a great idea and it wont cost anything. Im giving it a try asap : )

I get the message about ‘coils are bad’

Well ive done one thing right and got a fanless pc. Down side is ive got a stinking great 12v adapter that must be making lots of noise!

Ive been looking for a 120w LPS but it needs to be 10amp +.

Ive found one or two but they’re £600 +

Ive got to the point were it seems a bit silly continually spending money on guess work. I’m sure you can relate to that so i was reluctant to go any further without some answers.

Thanks C

 

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Hi AudioBomber.

Just made a post seconds after you posted.

Messed up with names and attributed your post to ASRMicheal.

Apologies to you and ASRMichael.

Im going to try the USB pin thing asap. I have a 12v DAC

Im curious what blocking the #1 pin will do? Im guessing by blocking you mean stick a bit of tape over it or such like?

thanks C

 

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I have four linear power supplies in my main system and one on my router. I tried an LPS on my ethernet switch but it was awful. I'm using an iFi iPower X on the switch now, and it was a big improvement.

 

Linear power is not a miracle cure. I don't use one with my laptop or Raspberry Pi, because they are not for serious listening.  I use a music renderer in my main system for critical listening.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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10 minutes ago, Citrus said:

Hi AudioBomber.

Just made a post seconds after you posted.

Messed up with names and attributed your post to ASRMicheal.

Apologies to you and ASRMichael.

Im going to try the USB pin thing asap. I have a 12v DAC

Im curious what blocking the #1 pin will do? Im guessing by blocking you mean stick a bit of tape over it or such like?

thanks C

 

What DAC is that? Do you connect to it with a USB cable?

Here's the simple mod for blocking the power pin:

https://community.octoprint.org/t/put-tape-on-the-5v-pin-why-and-how/13574

I run the Audiolab DAC in my headphone system this way, as it doesn't need USB power. Blocking the power pin removes some high frequency hash.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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Thanks AudioBomber

At the moment im using my crusty old DAC X6. Thats 12v (amazingly this still sounds far better than some very expensive DACs ive tried!)

Ive got an Audiolab mdac mini thats 5v but thats getting repaired.

Both are connected withUSB.

 

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I absolutely agree about the battery thing as its not possible to generate any noise (I think?)

(I also held a microphone up to one and can confirm it didnt make a sound! Ha Ha!) 

: )

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It might possibly have been a ‘dead battery’ Ha Ha

sorry but ive bean crying to much about LPS units and the frustrations with all the other bits so i need a laugh!

no disrespect 

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13 minutes ago, Citrus said:

Thanks AudioBomber

At the moment im using my crusty old DAC X6. Thats 12v (amazingly this still sounds far better than some very expensive DACs ive tried!)

Ive got an Audiolab mdac mini thats 5v but thats getting repaired.

Both are connected withUSB.

 

The 12V SMPS is powering the X6 alright, but I suspect it still needs 5V from USB to power the DAC. The way to be sure is to do the tape mode. If USB power is needed, you won't hurt anything, the DAC will simply not play.

 

If you want to improve the X6, you could do so by using a linear power supply. I recommend this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/324187931676

 

Another solution I've had success with on inexpensive DAC's is the iFi iPurifer2. There's an improved version called the iPurifier3.

 

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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Thanks Audiobomber.

some good things to try there and I know the ifi stuff isnt mega bucks so it might make my credit card slightly limp but not melt : )

Ill get back with some results.

ill look in to the music renderer too.

C.

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1 hour ago, Citrus said:

Well ive done one thing right and got a fanless pc. Down side is ive got a stinking great 12v adapter that must be making lots of noise!

 

It is real problem for audiophiles, random AC adapters emits audible noise. There should be some regulation or certification of power supplies or other PC parts, monitors or more general electronics, for audio users to know it certainly does not emit audible annoying high pitched noise before purchase

Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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On 4/22/2021 at 7:35 AM, Citrus said:

Hi AS peeps

seems to be the thing to have a LPS.

I’m interested to know once the new supply gets to a pc, how much the pc starts distorting the supply again or does the new LInear current completely change the whole thing so it doesn’t get distorted again?

Not the most clear question ever but i hope you get the drift.

I understand that psu’s are responsible for a lot of distortion so it would make sense to bypass that in some way. Not sure how?

There seem to be so many flaws in using a PC as an audio system to use music files? There must be a cheeper alternative.

I expect there is but I’m not one of those tech geeks?

thanks C

 

Hello....

In my opinion, - I would say that an LPS CAN POSSIBLY be a good thing to have.

 

If you have a $300 Sony DAC, and $600 Sony speakers with a Denon receiver, - no LPS in an multi-function PC on your audio rack is going to matter.


I think that it’s a good idea to think of things as a music playback system, - not selecting or acquiring “good” individual components.

 

For example: my bedroom system performs much worse than my main living room system. I use a Squeezebox Touch and play back music files from a (dining room located) NAS via its internal AKM DAC to an integrated amp. Using a linear power supply for that Squeezebox makes almost no difference compared to the wall-wart. Defeating the LCD screen on the Squeezebox Touch makes more of a difference.

I also have a Squeezebox Radio for the garage that a friend gave me, - it would be foolish of me to put a LPS on that....

 

(Multi-function) computers are noiseboxes IMO. If your file server/computer is on, - or near, - your audio-rack,  a greater difference will likely be made by locating it to another room and using a dedicated DF Player, (or network or USB extender), - that is if you have an analog system of “good-enough” performance.

Finally, - LPSs are not all created equal. You can buy an $11 JameCo LPS & it doesn’t in any way perform as well as (an appropriately used) LPS that are designed and produced by some of the excellent manufacturers that are discussed here. 

 

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Thanks Albrecht and Cab33

So interesting that computers seem to, or act as, the source of media files and the origin of most of the problems at the same time?

I like the idea of a wholistic system. I cant get away from questing the whole thing as flawed from the beginning in my HO. Actually not MHO, just my opinion.

Time for a different line of rendering files based pc music altogether ‘me thinks’ but i know someone else will say there is so what is it? (Presuming there is one)

I keep thinking vinyl, and analog; but scratched records just annoy the hell!

Seems like an exponential question?

Just throwing it out there as they say or IMHO!

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On 4/23/2021 at 2:40 PM, Citrus said:

Thanks Albrecht and Cab33

So interesting that computers seem to, or act as, the source of media files and the origin of most of the problems at the same time?

I like the idea of a wholistic system. I cant get away from questing the whole thing as flawed from the beginning in my HO. Actually not MHO, just my opinion.

Time for a different line of rendering files based pc music altogether ‘me thinks’ but i know someone else will say there is so what is it? (Presuming there is one)

I keep thinking vinyl, and analog; but scratched records just annoy the hell!

Seems like an exponential question?

Just throwing it out there as they say or IMHO!

Hi... thanks for replying...

Sometimes when I take a stop and reflect, - i think that it is very easy for folks to keep “pushing” to try and improve something that has a finite ability to be improved. As a songwriter & musician, - I have to catch myself and tell myself that whatever I’m playing out with the playback system will still NEVER approach my Rickenbacker bass & Gibson guitars making signals through my amps: which is very often 4 or 5 generations of recordings once the recorded music becomes “playable” on a system.

 

I just bought a $150 LPS for my NAS, - 2 rooms away from my main system, and further for each of the bedroom’s, garage etc. I wasn’t expecting any changes in the garage or bedrooms, but heard a slight improvement in the main system. This was worth it as I had that money lying around that i didn’t need for food. (Would anyone buy a LPS for their Dell optiplex PC if they’re plugging in a set of headphones that ship with their LG phone)?  

 

Depending on the rest of your SYSTEM, many of these super low power digital, networked, single-purpose, mini-computers really could use an LPS, “better” clocking, and signal regeneration. If you’ve spent anywhere near the $13K on a Meitner based playback system, - you’re not going to use a wall-wort SMPS, or a wall-wort SMPS with a Razberri Pi, - just like you wouldn’t plug your Meitner into a Denon receiver with a set of stand mount NHT monitors.  If one purchases an OpticalRendu, LPS, USB & optical ethernet SFPs or FMCs, - they’re still never going to push 1/4 of the price of a Meitner DAC. My goal has always been to get the digital file part “closer” to my redbook level playback on my APL. I’ve gotten pretty close so far, - sometimes I can’t tell with redbook discs, but SACD discs still sound better. And I’m lucky enough to flick a switch on the remote and directly compare disc playback with digital file playback. 

 

Would a $600 LPS improve the quality of my $800 (all in) QNAP NAS? I’ll never know. $1000 for my NAS/File Server is as far as I’m willing to go...


Cheers,

 

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Hi Albrecht

The same conclusion here. 
Stop the obsessive silliness before being sucked down the slippery slope of component oblivion!

thanks

C.

 

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I have a linear power supply in my Audio PC and replaced the digital PS in my Oppo 205 with a Linear power supply, definitely worth while. My Oppo already had a LPS on the pre-out. Boy did this make a difference to not only the audio but the picture. Personally Linear all the way is preferable but whether its worth it in some components. My subs have Class D amps switch mode but I'm not going to change these. Always look at the source for large improvements with LPS. A well engineered LPS is always the preference. 

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