REVIEW: Comparison of 5 High End Digital Music Servers - Aurender N10, CAD CAT server, TotalDac d1-Server, Auralic Aries, Audiophile Vortex Box
Jul 4, 2016 at 3:04 AM Post #466 of 1,483

romaz

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  What's MCRU? With the GBP the way it is these days, UK-based suits everyone better.

Check out smial1966's post, #408.  No output impedance values are provided but several are reporting great results with this PSU relative to the iFi.  The price is certainly attractive.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 5:03 AM Post #467 of 1,483

Crom

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  With the Chord DAVE, my USB Regen made no difference but the mR has made a very noticeable difference.  There is more to the mR than just a USB regenerator.  Much more.
 
With the mR, connecting a clean PSU to it is not nearly as important as a PSU with very low output impedance and therefore rapid transient current delivery.  We're not talking high peak currents, just rapid transient currents meaning the power supply has to be extremely responsive.  This is where the best PSUs excel and why you would pay several thousand dollars for a PSU above and beyond the $50 iFi PSU which already boasts noise levels in the low microvolt range (about as good as even the best linear PSUs).  Unfortunately, LiPo batteries are not known to have low output impedance until you get to the giant capacity LiPos which are very expensive.  These batteries are typically as large as car batteries and cost several hundreds of dollars.  Unfortunately, as they discharge, their output impedance will start to worsen and so these batteries sound best at full charge and degrade as they discharge.  LiPo batteries are also plagued with varying voltage.  Fully charged, a LiPo could put out 9V but by the time they have been nearly discharged, their output could be down to 5V, unless, of course, you get a battery with a voltage regulator.  The problem with these voltage regulators are they are the switching type and these are noisy and essentially defeat the benefits of using a battery to begin with.  Bottom line, LiPos are not a good option for the mR.  You're better off with the iFi.

Thanks for your thoughts romaz.
 
To clarify, I was questioning the ratio of hysteria to performance increase that I found to be exxagerated (on my system) regarding the regen and that this made me initially hesitate in trying the MR, as opposed to the construction of the MR which I fully appreciate is more than a regen.
 
I agree with your comments if I was talking about the older lithium ion cells. For this job I would recommend these which maintain their output voltage for a large % of their discharge period and offer a very low impedance: http://www.a123systems.com/Collateral/Documents/English-US/A123%20Systems%20ANR26650%20Data%20Sheet.pdf
As you say, I would certainly not recommend using batteries with any sort of voltage regulator. This would negate the point of using them in the first place.
My initial hunch would be that using the above performance would be leagues ahead of an iFi.
 
Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and I got hold of an MR and tested things out. It isn't yet run in and I will report back. However, out of the box using a Paul Hynes 7.5v PR3 for the MR (I also have one of his shunt regulators to try but I haven't got around to this yet) things sounded pretty good but not quite (literally fractionally, please note!) as good as my dual motherboard DIY PC. Yesterday I tried replacing the Paul Hynes supply with 2 of the above cells (supplying a voltage of around 7-7.2v). This worked perfectly and the sound quality enjoyed a significant boost. I ran out of time to play this off against my DIY system but I suspect that he gap has been closed, if not exceeded - again, I will report back.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 1:51 PM Post #468 of 1,483

romaz

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  Thanks for your thoughts romaz.
 
To clarify, I was questioning the ratio of hysteria to performance increase that I found to be exxagerated (on my system) regarding the regen and that this made me initially hesitate in trying the MR, as opposed to the construction of the MR which I fully appreciate is more than a regen.
 
I agree with your comments if I was talking about the older lithium ion cells. For this job I would recommend these which maintain their output voltage for a large % of their discharge period and offer a very low impedance: http://www.a123systems.com/Collateral/Documents/English-US/A123%20Systems%20ANR26650%20Data%20Sheet.pdf
As you say, I would certainly not recommend using batteries with any sort of voltage regulator. This would negate the point of using them in the first place.
My initial hunch would be that using the above performance would be leagues ahead of an iFi.
 
Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and I got hold of an MR and tested things out. It isn't yet run in and I will report back. However, out of the box using a Paul Hynes 7.5v PR3 for the MR (I also have one of his shunt regulators to try but I haven't got around to this yet) things sounded pretty good but not quite (literally fractionally, please note!) as good as my dual motherboard DIY PC. Yesterday I tried replacing the Paul Hynes supply with 2 of the above cells (supplying a voltage of around 7-7.2v). This worked perfectly and the sound quality enjoyed a significant boost. I ran out of time to play this off against my DIY system but I suspect that he gap has been closed, if not exceeded - again, I will report back.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Crom.  Very interesting.  I agree with the hysteria created around the USB Regen.  Even with my previous system, it barely made a difference.  With my current system, it made no difference.  A similar hysteria has probably developed with the mR already and so I can't blame you for your skepticism.  I suspect for other systems where jitter matters, the mR makes an even bigger difference but even for the Chord DAVE, which is much more immune to the source than anything I have previously owned, the mR still makes a very worthwhile improvement.  An easy recommendation given its asking price.
 
Your DIY build obviously performs at a high level and so it's nice to see the mR with a good PSU can at least match it. Your battery is interesting.  The 6 milliohm impedance it cites is indeed low but it only cites it at one frequency (1 kHz) so it's hard to know how it performs throughout the audible frequency range and beyond.  Paul Hynes' best regulators have measured output impedances of <3 milliohms from DC to 100 kHz and covers the range that John Swensen considers the most important for the mR.
 
As for the Paul Hynes PR3, which is very similar to his SR3, this is based on the same good fundamental design as his better power supplies but it incorporates off-the-shelf components and are designed for the budget-conscious buyer.  This may not be better than the other offerings you see advertised.  The SR5 handily improves upon the SR3/PR3 in terms of performance and begins to utilize his custom designed 160VA mains transformer which offers lower mechanical and electrical noise and avoidance of core saturation, which Paul believes can seriously impair current delivery.  The SR5 also utilizes even higher power Schottky Barrier rectification, higher power output stage as well as more low ESR energy storage.  The SR7/SR9 go even further as these are custom designed to much more precisely match the needs of your particular component(s).  These power supplies, depending on the number of rails, can sell for $3,000-4,000 and are not for the faint of heart but many owners have commented that the difference is there.  Obviously, the challenge with Paul is that he has many things on his plate and so turnaround can be painfully long.
 
Regardless, I will be interested to read more about your battery supply with the mR.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 5:41 PM Post #469 of 1,483

paulchiu

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  Thanks for sharing your experience, Crom.  Very interesting.  I agree with the hysteria created around the USB Regen.  Even with my previous system, it barely made a difference.  With my current system, it made no difference.  A similar hysteria has probably developed with the mR already and so I can't blame you for your skepticism.  I suspect for other systems where jitter matters, the mR makes an even bigger difference but even for the Chord DAVE, which is much more immune to the source than anything I have previously owned, the mR still makes a very worthwhile improvement.  Any easy recommendation given its asking price.
 
Your DIY build obviously performs at a high level and so it's nice to see the mR, with a good PSU can at least match it. Your battery is interesting.  The 6 milliohm impedance it cites is indeed low but it only cites it at one frequency (1 kHz) so it's hard to know how it performs throughout the audible frequency range and beyond.  Paul Hynes' best regulators have measured output impedances of <3 milliohms from DC to 100 kHz and covers the range that John Swensen considers the most important for the mR.
 
As for the Paul Hynes PR3, which is very similar to his SR3, this is based on the same good fundamental design as his better power supplies but it incorporates off-the-shelf components and are designed for the budget-conscious buyer.  This may not be better than the other offerings you see advertised.  The SR5 handily improves upon the SR3/PR3 in terms of performance and begins to utilize his custom designed 160VA mains transformer which offer lower mechanical and electrical noise and avoidance of core saturation, what Paul believes can seriously impair current delivery.  The SR5 also utilizes even higher power Schottky Barrier rectification, higher power output stage as well as more low ESR energy storage.  The SR7/SR9 go even further as these are custom designed to much more precisely match the needs of your particular component.  These power supplies, depending on the number of rails, can sell for $3,000-4,000 and are not for the faint of heart but many owners have commented that the difference is there.  Obviously, the challenge with Paul is that he has many things on his plate and so turnaround can be painfully long.
 
Regardless, I will be interested to read more about your battery supply with the mR.

 
I have also stopped using the Regen, which sounded great with the Chord Hugo but made no difference with my main DACs.  
Although the power supply that came with the Regen proved useful.  With the Chord DAVE, using this supply versus the iFi lowered the temperature of the MR from 111 to 101 on average.
My office is without AC at about 84 and 35%H.
The sound was pretty much the same between the Regen stock brick and the iFi.
 
I am interested in any battery solution as well.
Thanks
 
paul
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 8:37 PM Post #470 of 1,483

Liu Junyuan

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I have recently received my microRendu but have not had a chance to listen since I am still debating on which linear power supply to purchase.
 
Since I cannot afford the uber Sonore Signature Series at the moment (too many major purchases recently), I have pared my choices down to the MCRU with fuse and cable upgrade or the Teddy Pardo 7V 2A LPS. Does anyone have any advice on which would be most suitable for the uRendu? 
 
Here are links to the two products: 
 
http://www.mains-cables-r-us.co.uk/power-supplies/1313-regulated-linear-power-supply-for-sonore-microrendu.html
 
http://www.teddypardo.com/powersupplies/teddy7-2.html
 
Thanks very much.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 9:31 PM Post #471 of 1,483

paul79

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Why hasn't anybody here tried the SBOOSTER supply with the MR? This is an absolutely killer supply and is very affordable.
 
I will say they are not the prettiest but they sure do a nice job. 
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 9:40 PM Post #472 of 1,483

romaz

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  I have recently received my microRendu but have not had a chance to listen since I am still debating on which linear power supply to purchase.
 
Since I cannot afford the uber Sonore Signature Series at the moment (too many major purchases recently), I have pared my choices down to the MCRU with fuse and cable upgrade or the Teddy Pardo 7V 2A LPS. Does anyone have any advice on which would be most suitable for the uRendu? 
 
Here are links to the two products: 
 
http://www.mains-cables-r-us.co.uk/power-supplies/1313-regulated-linear-power-supply-for-sonore-microrendu.html
 
http://www.teddypardo.com/powersupplies/teddy7-2.html
 
Thanks very much.

They both will probably represent an improvement over the iFi based on user reports but I don't know to what extent as I have no personal experience with either.  You don't have to go too far back in this thread to read comments by others about how good the MCRU sounds with their mR compared to the iFi.  Personally, I like the options they provide such as UP-OCC grade silver DC cabling, SR fuse, etc.  This PSU also looks specifically designed for the mR.  Given the exchange rate (assuming you are not in the UK), this could be one of your better values, for sure.
 
Teddy Pardo has a solid reputation here in the U.S.  Here are a few comments about the Teddy Pardo with the mR on CA:
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f26-sonore-sponsored/post-images-microrendu-your-system-here-28448/index3.html#post550113
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f26-sonore-sponsored/sonore-microrendu-power-supply-unit-observations-considerations-and-commentary-28480/#post539866
 
Since these supplies are not real expensive, they are probably worth taking a chance on.
 
Possibly the best value PSU for the mR, however, is one that hasn't been released yet (possible release in 1-2 months).  It will be the Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1 designed by John Swensen himself and designed specifically with the mR in mind.  It will sell for $395 and is not a standalone power supply in the sense that it has to be fed (or charged) by some other power supply because it is based on supercapacitors.  It could possibly beat anything out there as John obviously has a design advantage given that he created the mR.  I mentioned earlier that battery supplies are considered less than ideal for the mR.  The exception would be battery supplies based on supercapacitors like the one in the Vinnie Rossi Lio and soon, the LPS-1.  These caps are supposed to have very low output impedance and will be completely immune to the quality of your mains power or the supply that you choose to feed the LPS-1.
 
In theory, if you buy an MCRU or Teddy Pardo and it is determined down the road that the LPS-1 is better, you could then use the MCRU or Teddy Pardo as a feeder supply for the LPS-1 as long as they output at least 7.5V.  To be honest, however, these become expensive feeder supplies since any wall wart that outputs 7.5-12V will do the job (7.5-12V will be the necessary input voltage to charge the LPS-1).  If you can be patient, getting the $50 9V iFi to start with would not be a bad idea and then you can buy the LPS-1 once it is released.  The iFi can then be used as the feeder supply for the LPS-1.  Here is more info on the upcoming LPS-1:
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f27-uptone-audio-sponsored/mystery-revealed-uptone-audio-ultracap%99-linear-power-supply-1-a-28609/
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 9:43 PM Post #473 of 1,483

romaz

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  Why hasn't anybody here tried the SBOOSTER supply with the MR? This is an absolutely killer supply and is very affordable.
 
I will say they are not the prettiest but they sure do a nice job. 

The SBooster was regarded very highly by Hans Beekhuyzen in his review of the mR.  
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XRi9utNBl4
 
Obviously, another very good option.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 10:16 PM Post #474 of 1,483

paul79

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The SBOOSTER has a very elaborate and nicely done mains filter built in, and is one of the reasons why this supply works so well with so many products. Matter of fact, with the Auralic Aries, I prefer the SBOOSTER to the Hynes SR5 and of course the stock Aries LPS.
 
Jul 4, 2016 at 10:36 PM Post #475 of 1,483

Liu Junyuan

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  They both will probably represent an improvement over the iFi based on user reports but I don't know to what extent as I have no personal experience with either.  You don't have to go too far back in this thread to read comments by others about how good the MCRU sounds with their mR compared to the iFi.  Personally, I like the options they provide such as UP-OCC grade silver DC cabling, SR fuse, etc.  This PSU also looks specifically designed for the mR.  Given the exchange rate (assuming you are not in the UK), this could be one of your better values, for sure.
 
Teddy Pardo has a solid reputation here in the U.S.  Here are a few comments about the Teddy Pardo with the mR on CA:
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f26-sonore-sponsored/post-images-microrendu-your-system-here-28448/index3.html#post550113
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f26-sonore-sponsored/sonore-microrendu-power-supply-unit-observations-considerations-and-commentary-28480/#post539866
 
Since these supplies are not real expensive, they are probably worth taking a chance on.
 
Possibly the best value PSU for the mR, however, is one that hasn't been released yet (possible release in 1-2 months).  It will be the Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1 designed by John Swensen himself and designed specifically with the mR in mind.  It will sell for $395 and is not a standalone power supply in the sense that it has to be fed (or charged) by some other power supply because it is based on supercapacitors.  It could possibly beat anything out there as John obviously has a design advantage given that he created the mR.  I mentioned earlier that battery supplies are considered less than ideal for the mR.  The exception would be battery supplies based on supercapacitors like the one in the Vinnie Rossi Lio and soon, the LPS-1.  These caps are supposed to have very low output impedance and will be completely immune to the quality of your mains power or the supply that you choose to feed the LPS-1.
 
In theory, if you buy an MCRU or Teddy Pardo and it is determined down the road that the LPS-1 is better, you could then use the MCRU or Teddy Pardo as a feeder supply for the LPS-1 as long as they output at least 7.5V.  To be honest, however, these become expensive feeder supplies since any wall wart that outputs 7.5-12V will do the job (7.5-12V will be the necessary input voltage to charge the LPS-1).  If you can be patient, getting the $50 9V iFi to start with would not be a bad idea and then you can buy the LPS-1 once it is released.  The iFi can then be used as the feeder supply for the LPS-1.  Here is more info on the upcoming LPS-1:
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f27-uptone-audio-sponsored/mystery-revealed-uptone-audio-ultracap%99-linear-power-supply-1-a-28609/

Yes, it was the comments here regarding the synergy between the MCRU and uRendu that piqued my interest, but I was unsure how it would compare with the Teddy Pardo. With all the upgrades included for the MCRU and with the lower exchange rate due to the fall of the British pound, the two power supplies are within 10 dollars of each other. 
 
I very much appreciate you also including links to the Teddy Pardo on CA; I have not seen those yet and will read them shortly. 
 
I also really appreciate your comments on the upcoming UltraCap LPS-1. Although I knew it was to be released, I was ignorant of much of the information you provided here. 
 
Perhaps I shall decide to be patient and go for the iPower for the short-term.
 
Best wishes.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 4:13 AM Post #476 of 1,483

TheAttorney

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Perhaps I shall decide to be patient and go for the iPower for the short-term.
.

I had a similar dilemma about going straight for a better supply, but in the end went for the iPower, if only as stop gap, and in no way do I regret that decision.
And with the possibility that it could be re-used to drive the LPS-1, then nothing will go to waste. With iPower being a wall wart design, it even keeps the number of separate boxes and cables to a minimum.
 
I'll wait and see how the LPS-1 pans out, then decide between that and the MRCU and Paul Hynes. So many good choices, but the LPR-1 design does look intriguing.
.  
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 8:59 AM Post #477 of 1,483

TheAttorney

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You should have a CAT6 ethernet cable between the microRendu and your router.
That's how mine is set up.

Anyone noticed if any advantages of using CAT 6a or 7 over the CAT 6? They all cost must the same, so why not go for the highest number?
Same question about audiophile versions of these cables.
 
I'm more interested in practical experience of comparisons, rather than theory.
 
Finally, I'm using an old Linksys WAG200G router from my spares box. I think this has bandwidths of 100Gb cable and 50Mb wifi. Any point in getting this upgraded?
The only issue I've found so far is that HQP occasionally pauses for 1 or 2 seconds when my laptop is in the next room to the router (but still adequate 2 out of 5 bars wifi signal strength)..
This problem disappears if laptop and router are in the same room..   
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:02 AM Post #478 of 1,483

paulchiu

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  Anyone noticed if any advantages of using CAT 6a or 7 over the CAT 6? They all cost must the same, so why not go for the highest number?
Same question about audiophile versions of these cables.
 
I'm more interested in practical experience of comparisons, rather than theory.
 
Finally, I'm using an old Linksys WAG200G router from my spares box. I think this has bandwidths of 100Gb cable and 50Mb wifi. Any point in getting this upgraded?
The only issue I've found so far is that HQP occasionally pauses for 1 or 2 seconds when my laptop is in the next room to the router (but still adequate 2 out of 5 bars wifi signal strength)..
This problem disappears if laptop and router are in the same room..   

 
If you do get CAT7 and the extra shielding helps stop the any interruption of DSD tracks, let us know.
I have tried CAT5 and CAT6, both sounded the same and pauses with DSD256 tracks still persists with MR in my system.
 
Intel 2.8  i7
16GB RAM
1TB Apple SSD
 
Router is a Arris TG1672G
I am ordering a Netgear gigabit switch to see if it can help stop the pauses.
https://goo.gl/8jpe3y
 
I got this suggestion from the Roon forum people.
 
paul 
 
 
 
 
post 1400
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:19 AM Post #479 of 1,483

sfoclt

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I added the 8 input version (GS108) and have both my NAS' ethernet ports connected, along with everything else, and my music and videos start up almost instantly.  Really made a difference for the responsiveness of my network. It's a dual-PC set-up with roon running on the NAS so lots of talking in between everything.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 1:19 PM Post #480 of 1,483

adamaley

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Can someone expand on why a switch will be needed after the NAS aside from needing to propagate the signal to additional ports beyond what the NAS comes with? Does it boost the signal? Ensure better packet delivery etc? Please school a noob.
 

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