Audinst HUD-mx1: does it make sense to upgrade its power supply?
Aug 6, 2010 at 9:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

AlexKny

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Hi,
 
The question is, will I get an actually better sound, into SONY MDR-SA5000?

Audinst HUD-mx1 portable DAC and headphone amp takes 12-15V or can rely on USB power entirely. Their tech emailed me that (1) if connecting a power supply, it feeds the analog section, while digital section still relies on USB, and (2) 15V, the max, is optimal (if properly stabilized).

I wonder if connecting a good power supply would provide an audible upgrade in sound vs (1) just using USB power for the entire unit, and / or vs (2) just using the supplied wallwart power adapter.
 
I am looking at laptop grade power supplies such as:
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/PS-1233/12VDC-3.33A-SWITCHING-POWER-SUPPLY//1.html
http://www.trcelectronics.com/Meanwell/gs18a15-p1j.shtml
 
Are these typically better than the tiny wallwarts or do such regulated power supplies in fact tend to be noisy? I figure, the reduced size constraint and grounding at least gives them the chance to be better...
 
Are there any better options I should be looking into? I am not looking at anything that would cost more than the Audinst HUD-mx1 unit itself though.
 
Many thanks for your input
 
Alex
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 9:52 AM Post #2 of 13

ROBSCIX

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It may help, if the power is cleaner in comparison to the stock unit.  It will also depend on how good the clean-up and ripple surpression circuitry in the unit are.
You have to do the testing to know for sure.
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 10:02 AM Post #3 of 13

leeperry

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The question is, will I get an actually better sound, into SONY MDR-SA5000?


You very much will, but only from a proper linear regulated PSU...the best bang for bucks would be to build(or get someone to) a TREADS PSU, its ripple figures are some of the lowest you can get.
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 3:49 PM Post #5 of 13

leeperry

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haha, are these ppl trolls too? http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/410199/firestone-audio-supplier
 
the SQ diff. on my Firestone Spitfire between the wallwart and the Supplier PSU is shocking...of course you've never used a good PSU, you just "know"
afrojojo.gif

 
Are you affiliated w/ Chuck Norris somehow?
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 5:20 PM Post #8 of 13

AlexKny

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The way I look at it, if a blind test would consistently show a benefit to normal listeners with good/normal human hearing through good headphones ($150-$400 range), then it's a benefit. If a few people say there's a benefit with specific cans for specific type music, then more power to them, but I would not probably be going for it.
 
Aesthetically I like the idea of an audio-specific power supply, but in this case I would like to stay pragmatic and bound by common sense and $20-$100 for the power supply (incl shipping).
 
 
 
My basic question is:
 
Would a larger 15V laptop grade grounded power supply, assuming it is properly implemented and functioning, be better than the wallwart Audinst is supplying with its HUD-mx1, or would acoustical difference in all likelihood be nil / objectively undetectable?
 
Regards
Alex
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 5:29 PM Post #9 of 13

ROBSCIX

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Quote:
My basic question is:
 
Would a larger 15V laptop grade grounded power supply, assuming it is properly implemented and functioning, be better than the wallwart Audinst is supplying with its HUD-mx1, or would acoustical difference in all likelihood be nil / objectively undetectable?
 
Regards
Alex


It would mainly depend on how bad the stock power is.  If the stock power is messy, ripply with lots of noise in it, then it can affect the output quality of the circuitry.
The stock power may be perfectly fine and not need any modification but it may also be a big mess and when fixed will produce higher quality sound.
I can't say because I don't have the device/power supply to measure and test.  Do some research and see if this is a common modification, if it is chances are there are some gains to be had.
 
Aug 7, 2010 at 8:05 AM Post #10 of 13

leeperry

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Would a larger 15V laptop grade grounded power supply, assuming it is properly implemented and functioning, be better than the wallwart Audinst is supplying with its HUD-mx1, or would acoustical difference in all likelihood be nil / objectively undetectable?

 
not worth the trouble IMO...wallwart against cheap SMPS prolly won't make a big difference, if any. You need a proper linear regulated PSU, and possibly use an ADuM4160 dongle between the Audinst and your computer.
 
Aug 19, 2010 at 7:25 PM Post #11 of 13

intrasnow

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How can one build a tread psu now that it appears that the kit and pcb are no longer being offered by tangentsoft? Does anyone know of anyone building/selling this psu in either kit or complete form? Does anyone have experience making one specifically for the hud-mx1?
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM Post #13 of 13

project86

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As an mx-1 owner I can say: to me, the difference is minimal between USB power and the supplied wall wart. The only time I think I hear a difference is loud listening with a more difficult headphone, like 300ohm HD600 or 600ohm AKG K240DF. And even then the difference, to me, is fairly minimal, and it sounds good either way.
 
It might be that the wall wart is too similar to USB, and is not really an improvement. Maybe a good external PSU would be a huge improvement, but I haven't tried anything besides stock, so I can't confirm. I think Audiofil has, maybe he can chime in?
 
Ultimately I would bother spending a ton of money on it, but as a DIY project it could be fun.
 

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