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Audio Power Supplies - PART3 - SMPS, LPS. SuperCap, Battery, DIY route. New devices opens up new options.

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by rb2013, Oct 5, 2016.
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  1. Narayan23
    Check this one out:  http://www.ebay.ca/itm/TeraDak-AURALIC-ARIES-mini-upgrade-linear-power-supply-DC16V-1A/252423691260
    I´m not sure if the Auralic PSU has an R-Core transformer or not but look for something that has it, Rob has stated more than once that in his experience  R-Core transformers have much better AC noise rejection than toroidal transformers.
  2. ReelDeal
    Thanks for that. Whatever the Auralic brand PSU has, this is half the price. 
  3. G_T_J
    Sorry for the off topic but I thought this is the most appropriate thread I could post my question.
    I have a 5V LPS and there's a voltage adjustment screw at the back of the unit which adjusts +/- 10% the output voltage. I suppose the range, whichever side - or +, should be ok and within the tolerance range of my device. My question is in terms of audio performance how does the sound change with a lower or a higher given voltage? What possible difference there can be for eg. between 4.9 and 5.1V ?
  4. Superdad

    Basically, no sonic difference is likely--nor will there be any danger.
    What is the device you are powering?
    Whatever it is, it is taking that nominal 5V and regulating it to the voltages that its various circuits actually use.  All LDOs (low dropout linear regulators) need to receive an input voltage a little bit higher than the  output voltage they are regulating to (otherwise they have nothin to regulate).
    Your device that is labeled for 5V is likely taking that down to 3.3V, 1.2V and/or 1.1V.   Most all of the drop from nominal 5V gets dissipated as heat.  So you can see that 4.9V still gives its regs plenty of drop, and 5.1V is not so high as to generate a ton more heat for the regulator (likely just heatsinked by its mounting on the PCB).  Heat amount is dependent on the current draw, and volts (of drop) times current drawn (by the chips the regulator is powering) equals watts of excess heat.
    In the end you are talking fractions.
    The math goes a little differently if the device you are powering uses switching regulators instead of linear regulators, but no point in walking through that without knowing what you are powering.
    Hope that helps a little.
    --Alex C.
    G_T_J likes this.
  5. G_T_J
    Thanks a  lot for your helpful and informative reply Alex.
    Well, I'm powering a Raspberry Pi with a HifiBerry Digi+ Pro board and have soldered a connector onto the second to bypass RPi's voltage regulator. This way both boards are being powered through this 2 pin connector I soldered.
    My LPS came with an output ranging from 4.8 to 4.9V and thought about increasing it to 5.0-5.1 if i'm going to get any difference for good :)  
  6. Superdad
    Well I can't seem to find detailed specs on the Digi+Pro and there does not seem to be ANY voltage regulators on that board.  Heck there is almost nothing on that board!  So perhaps one pin of the Wolfson chip does take 5V directly, in which case ignore my above advise and dial your voltage to 5V.  I'm sure you can play around a little bit to see if you hear a difference, but my advise assumed you were powering some typical box that had its own regs.
    Actually, based on your application, what you really want is a ultra low noise PS with the best regulators possible.  Unless your external unit falls into that category you likely want to consider a small board with something like an LT3042 or LT3045.
    Have fun and good luck!
    G_T_J likes this.
  7. G_T_J
    Thank you very much for all your help Alex!
    My limited knowledge says that the Hifiberry board doesn't feature any regulators because it is built to be powered through the GPIO pins of the RPi.
    That said, the only regulator in the chain is the one of the Raspberry Pi. Feeding the RPI through its micro USB port, power goes through the Pi's regulators and subsequently powers other peripherals either attached on the GPIO pins (Hifiberry boards etc) or on the USB ports of the Pi itself.
    The idea of soldering a connector on the Hifiberry board is to bypass any power regulating ''restrictions''.
    Therefore, all your assumptions do seem to be correct as I believe there is no regulator in between this chain of components.
    I got one of these LPS's http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142141538526?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    and I will try to higher the voltage a notch (0.1-0.2%) as you suggest. Do you believe it's worth trying the opposite as well - lowering it a few decimal units?
    So far there is a noticeable difference with this mod and the specific LPS, mostly in the background of playing music which is blacker and quieter.
  8. gmplus
    Chinese 100VA ULPS with R-core arrived to me yesterday
    purchased from https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/0.html?orderId=84156990983044&productId=32691902812


    GZLOZONE or MEIYAN is the same construction based on Sigma 11 solution

    Feeds my DAC Mytek Brooklyn. In the first hours work well. The sound changes substantially after next hours, everything is more, resolution, scene... I think they need more time to break in, maybe after 50 hours I will be able to say more.
    He cost me in total $250 (plus shipping, excise, tax) for this you get very good implementation,
    great R-core transformer, metal casing and pretty good electronic components
    - any upgrade: capacitors for replacement Mundorf Mlytic $20 piece
  9. gmplus
    Hi, I wonder, did you replace to Mundorf caps ? If yes, you noted any changes ?
  10. JDUBS

    Any recommendations for a similar LPS for use with that LT3042 board? I want to do something similar and I don't think that Breeze LPS is available anymore.

  11. drez
    These IC based regulators aren't that great. They might work we as an LDO but AFAIK are soundly beaten by aomething like Sjostrom regulator, Jung Superreg, Salas Reflektor. The specs you see are when they are used as an LDO. When they are used in conjunction with a transistor to boost the output the performance is not the same. A lot of the Chinese boards aren't even designed properly.

    My advice: get one of Sjostrom's regulators built and put properly sized trnasformer, rectifier and filter cap behind it. PSU designer 2 should help.

    As a caveat - I don't really know anything about PSU design. I'm just passing on what I've picked up from others.
  12. JDUBS
    "aren't that great" in what way? I mean, the noise level of the ic-based solutions is pretty ridiculously good.

  13. drez
    IIRC: Better noise rejection, lower inherent noise, lower impedance, subjectively people report better sound quality. I don't trust random chinese LDO/transistor circuit design either. At least two I have read reports of incorrect design. Lots of them don't even follow datasheet.
  14. dragon1952
    occamsrazor likes this.
  15. dragon1952
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