Nenon unregulated psu
Building a DIY Music Server
Unregulated LPS update
I am pretty much set on the 3 designs. As I explained in an earlier post, we simply add more parts to each design. You can start with v1 and then go to v2 and then to v3. As you are going up the ladder no parts remain unused.
The first version (aka v1) is very simple. You have an IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Output connector. The version gives you very clean, fast, and transparent sound, but it does not have the body and the full expansive sound as the other two versions. Can too transparent and too fast be a problem? I think it's way too fast and transparent, hence the additional components in the other two versions. But it's all about personal taste. Some may like that version more.
The second version (aka v2) consists of: IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> 3 x Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (each bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Output connector. This is an improvement over v1 in my opinion. It gives you a bit more of everything and is the sweet spot. This is what I have been running for months (until I tried v3). You have about 5mV ripple with this version. You get about 2.3 mOhm output impedance but that's influenced by the wiring you are using and could be higher if you use thin wires or bad connectors.
The third version (aka v3) consists of: IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> 3 x Mundorf HC ( 2 x 47,000 uF + 1 x 22,000 uF, each bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Output connector. This version gives away some of the "clean" sound you have in v1 and v2 but is fuller, bigger, massively expensive. Amazing 5uV ripple and nearly half the output impedance compared to v2 - ~1.2 mOhm + the impact of your wiring.
I don't have the prices of the Noratel transformers and the Taiko rectifier, but just to get some idea, let's assume they are $200 each. Here is what I have for the bill of materials with somewhat rounded prices:
This is just ballpark pricing to get an idea. Leave it to me, and it would get much more expensive as I would add thick pure copper busbars, multiple runs of expensive wire, exotic connectors, footers, etc. I would also have Modushop fabricate the cases for me, so it's easier to install everything. That also adds to the cost. However, if you see how massive v3 is, it would easily compare to the power supplies of very very expensive amps. If this thing was a commercial product (or a part of a commercial product) in the dealer's network I'd expect it to be over $20K. This is the beauty of DIY :). And as far as R&D goes, the amount of time spent here is on par with many commercial products to say the least.
If you are impatient and don't want to wait anymore, you can order a 24VAC 400VA Toroidy Supreme transformer, get a rectifier of your choice, and get this going. Not my favorite rectifier but something like the Vishay GBPC3504-E4/51 could do the job for the time being, assuming it would be replaced with something better in the future.
That was the easy part of the post. It gets quite complicated from here. As with anything else in life, there will be people with all kinds of different preferences. Some would like cheaper. Some would like better where cost is no object. Some would prefer easier to make. Some would prefer someone else to make it for them. Some would have existing parts they would like to use. And so on... It's hard to cover all possible cases, but here are some random notes to begin with.
- If you are on a budget, the above can be made a lot cheaper. You can use a cheaper chassis, cheaper IEC inlet, cheaper connectors, cheaper transformers, cheaper capacitors, etc. You can really make this a budget LPS. It would probably still be better than most linear power supplies on the market (most of them use cheap components too).
- If you are on the opposite end of "on a budget", you can make this even better. You can use even better chassis. You can add good feet to the chassis (i.e. the Gaia I use). You can fabricate copper busbars to screw in the Mundorf caps to (something I am looking to do for myself). You can use the Mundorf copper terminal rings.
- If you are not handy with drilling/milling we can have Modushop predrill all the holes on the rear panel and the bottom panel. That adds to the price - from their price list guessing around 25 Euro for the rear panel (less than 10 holes) and another 35-45 Euro (more the 20 holes for v3) for the bottom panel. BTW, I have not received this chassis from Modushop yet, so I am just speculating that v3 would fit in it at this point. Pretty sure v2 would fit. But you can also use a smaller chassis for v1 and v2.
- Taiko does not have many mosfet rectifiers, so we have to decide if another batch is needed, if Emile is even willing to run another batch. There are a lot of complications with that... We need to see what the lead times would be. We need to know how many to order. Or we can look for some other alternatives. There is something else I have in mind but would require a PCB.
- There is a guy in the US and a guy in the EU who are willing to make these unregulated LPS's for other people. The labor fee negotiated was $500, given that the chassis has all the holes pre-drilled. I will make a couple myself just to get the process started and documented.
- We haven't discussed wiring. I am still making some tests but so far I am leaning towards busbars for the capacitors and a custom OEM copper wire I managed to procure with the Mundorf lugs (which are quite pricey by the way, but I like them).
There is a global shortage of materials. Some of the products mentioned above may be hard to obtain. I mentioned doing a potential group order in the past. I can try to organise that and get the entire BOM. If anyone is interested in that, please contact me on PM before the end of May indicating if you want v2 or v3 and if you want someone to build it for you.
Okay, let's keep it at that for now. I can probably keep writing this post the whole day but have other things I need to do now.
DIY Project High Performance Audio PC with high quality wiring
The background: In Germany there is an audiophile engineer named Dr. Gert Volk. He is known in the community for his modifications of Linn streamers. Lately he's been doing a lot with Sellarz clocks (-172dBc ultra low phase noise). Among other things, he modified the 10GTek media converter. This then becomes the 11GTek. 😀
I tested this constellation:
The result is breathtaking. In addition to perfect galvanic isolation, there is a very high quality reclocking. The space opens up, all sharpness disappears. Quobuz sounds 99% as good to me as it does directly from the NAS.