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Since communication from Paul Hynes is minimal, at best, I have created this thread for people in the SR7 and SR4 queues to share their personal experience and understanding of the build schedules. Please post any information you receive directly from Paul regarding the status of your build so that others in the queue have an idea of his progress or lack thereof.
Being on the quest for high performance power supply for my DAC since several months, I eventually ended by ordering an SR7 to Paul Hynes. The man is known to build terrific good power supply for audio gear, so it looks to be a logical choice to get something crafted by him... Normally, I should now start writing my SR7 user impression in "The Paul Hynes SR7" thread under Equipment>Music Servers, the simple reason I'm not there is that my SR7 is not here... The power supply was supposed to be delivered on December 20, the schedule was very realistic since Paul had everything on hand but the transformer which was confirmed being ordered by him on October 1st, 2018. I'm still scratching my head, why this ended wrong, also why he didn't rise the flag when it was obvious for him our deadline could not be met, also why he did choose to not answer my e-mails inquiring for update... As it seems now obvious I'm not the only one waiting on something to be build by Paul, I believe it's worth to share my whole customer journey with him, let's start with the message I sent him yesterday, after he announced everybody on this forum he will be off for holiday till January 2nd, 2019. My words might sound rude to some here, but I believe it will be enlightening for a majority. Personally I would have appreciated someone else did that before I engage with Paul ...not necessarily that i would have refrained to do so, but it would have made the situation much more clear. Subject: Thank you Paul... Hi Paul, Hereby I would like to thank you for your work, punctuality and customer care. Having delivered my order in time and matter, as promised is really delightful... ...yep, this is the kind of words I would probably have been glad to write yesterday December 20 or any other day before, provided you would have been able to hold your engagement Paul. Also, this is kind of message you would have been proud to receive, as every master workman and gentleman would deserve. Instead of that, I'm let alone with the disappointment of your inability to just finish and ship something that represents barely 3 days of your work. Let alone to come with a clear and simple status of your progress so far on this very job... I'm puzzled by some of the reasons rose to possibly hold you to deliver my SR7 order. Moving premise is known time consuming, but since most of the related tasks and material are late, lost or wrong, I see no point to not work and do progress on your outstanding SR7 custom builds. Those are hand made by you and do not require a full factory to be completed, as all previous SR7 delivery demonstrate. Aside of that, weather conditions, health and family is something everyone has to deal with, be insured I'm with you. I imagine that you will be soon off for holidays - btw, how come you are never late to take holidays ? - such a sense of duty and self-respect. In the meantime, I will think further about our arrangement, the way you manage your part so far and possible consequences. Failing to deliver and not contacting me proactively when it was obvious our deadline was at risk falls clearly below expectations. Not answering to my e-mails asking about update just adds insult to blunder... All in one, your customer care attitude is not in line with the fact that once you took my money you committed to deliver and therefore are in now in debt. I would feel ashamed at your place Paul. As I would like to finish on something positive, may I wish you luck Paul, this is something you could get usage of in 2019. Sincerely, François
Background If you are reading this review, then you probably already appreciate the key role that power plays in the sound quality of an audio system. I own or have owned a JS-2, two LPS-1, two LPS-1.2, and two sPS-500. I have also heard the benefit of a double regulated SR7 powering my OCX-10 master clock. With one exception, all of my DC cables are Audio Sensibility Signature Silver DC cables. The Audio Sensibility cables are made from cryogenically treated Neotech twisted pair 16 AWG solid core silver wire and terminated with cryogenically treated Oyaide connectors. The exception is a Linear Solution DC cable made from Neotech twisted pair 16 AWG solid core silver wire and terminated with Oyaide connectors. I have not had time to compare the Audio Sensibility and Linear Solution cables. Earlier this year, I decided to start migrating to double regulated power supplies for their superior performance. The obvious solution was to buy a second Paul Hynes SR7. However, from my perspective, the SR7 is no longer a practical alternative. I am now in the 14th month of waiting for my first order, and there is still no hint of a delivery date. One day, while looking at The Linear Solution website, I noticed that the LPS-912 power supply specifications were remarkably similar to those of the SR7. Was Adrian using the same transformer as Paul Hynes? Were these numbers even real? I knew some trusted sources had found the power supply that shipped with his OXCO switch to be lacking. Was Adrian capable of building a power supply equivalent to a double regulated SR7? I decided to find out. I had numerous exchanges with Adrian discussing my objectives and expectations while doing my best to assess his ability to build a power supply meeting his published specifications. Ultimately, I decided to take a chance and placed an order. Once Adrian began work, I found his commitment to be exceptional. He went through several design iterations until he was completely satisfied with the sound quality. One of his key goals was to create a circuit that worked equally well for both digital and analog devices. He delivered the power supplies only after he felt that they met his objectives and designated them as Reference 1. I took delivery 5 months after placing my order. The final build is as follows: Single rail 12v/6A with dual regulators Cryogenically treated transformer Class A circuit Parallel super diodes Quad rectifier diodes Neotech 16 AWG stranded silver internal wiring Mundorf capacitors Furutech FI-06 NCF IEC Ground post Black case Dimensions - L: 16” W: 12” H: 4” (ground post adds another 1.75” to overall length) As you can see from the photos, there is a large heat sink attached to the case. Consequently, it is always cool to the touch. Impressions Back in August, I had the opportunity to meet with @austinpop and @limniscate for a master clock comparison. One protocol was to determine the best power supply for my modified OCX-10. Listening to The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (96-24 version) on Eric’s Magnepan 3.7i speakers with dual Rythmik F12G subs, we compared the JS-2 and SR7. The SR7 was unanimously declared the clear winner. I am very familiar with The Chain, but with the SR7 powering the OCX-10, I heard elements of the music that I never knew existed. When I returned home, I was naturally disappointed to find my JS-2 powered OCX10 was unable to reproduce virtually all of those elements through my HE1000 v2 headphones. After the Reference 1 was burned in for a few days, one of the first songs I played was The Chain. Now, I can hear all of the missing elements just as I remember them on Eric’s system. Am I claiming that my headphones now sound like Eric’s speakers? Certainly not. I am simply saying that to the best of my memory, the previously missing musical elements are now all present just as I heard them in August. More generally, detail and dynamics are enhanced, with a better sense of space and image separation. The bass is tighter and more well-defined, extends deeper, and sounds more natural overall. The texture of instruments and voices is richer and more complex. For example, I have been enjoying and appreciating the vocalizations of Mark Knopfler and Robert Plant more so than in the past. It is as if the microphone feed goes directly to my headphones. Overall, the music has more energy and is more palpable. Limehouse Blues from Jazz at the Pawnshop (192-24 version) has always sounded dynamic and lifelike on my system, but now I seem to be present in the room, a mere 15 feet in front of the musicians, and surrounded by others in the audience. I also have experienced Jimmy Page’s guitar in a new way. There are now times when I can feel the speed and energy emanating from it. I have made a few tweaks that have yielded varying results. First, I connected the ground post to my Synergistic Research ground block via a Synergistic Research HD grounding cable. Grounding the Reference 1 in this way had a surprisingly noticeable and positive effect. The primary enhancement was to further extend the bass with even better definition. Second, I replaced the stock fuse with an Audio Magic ultimate beeswax SHD fuse. I could hear a small improvement, but I believe Adrian did a good job of selecting a fuse. I would recommend first applying those funds to a better power cable. Finally, I replaced my Audio Sensibility statement power cable with a Synergistic Research UEF blue high current 10 AWG power cable. This cable had a dramatic effect in terms of lowering the noise floor while improving the soundstage and dynamics. I highly recommend it. At some point, I will compare a Synergistic Research blue quantum fuse to the Audio Magic fuse. The blue quantum fuse produced a startling improvement in sound quality with my Auralic Vega DAC. I will also place some EMI paper on the inside of the case. Adrian has endorsed EMI paper as long as it is applied in moderation. In conclusion, the Reference 1 is an excellent product worthy of consideration by anyone who is interested in a bespoke, custom linear power supply as a means of extracting the best performance from their audio system. It is clearly head and shoulders above all of the other power supplies that I have owned. Until I am able to hear one side-by-side with an SR7, there is no way to conclusively state that they are truly equal. Hopefully, @austinpop, @limniscate, and I can find a time and place to perform such a comparison. For perspective, my chain at the time of these listening impressions can be described as follows: FMC > switch > sMS-200ultra > tX-USBultra > DAVE > HE1000 v2 The OCX10 re-clocks the sMS and tX, which in turn re-clock the switch and both FMCs. (The FMCs and switch were modified by SOtM.) The OCX10 and tX are each powered by a Reference 1, the sMS and switch are each powered by an LPS-1.2, and the downstream FMC is powered by a JS-2 rail. I utilize a Synergistic Research ground block and HD cables to ground various components and cables, as well as a Gutwire HD cable to ground the DAVE.