< or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons

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fado

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< or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« on: 21 Feb 2018, 01:35 am »
I recently got a used Acoustic Plan Digimaster Tube DAC which uses a 15V / 2A DC input with a 2.1mm connector. Acoustic Plan makes an optional Linear Power Supply called Powermaster. Three reviewers agree that this upgraded power supply offers sound quality improvements unfortunately a new one is $2000 which is above my budget. Paul Hynes can modify his S4 model to the correct voltage and Mojo Audio can also supply a modified Joule v5.0. Both are in the $600 - $700 range. The Paul Hynes unit is less until all the shipping & handling fees are added (~$120). The Mojo Joule v5.0 is factory refurbished. KECES also makes a 15v model in this price range. There is currently a Powermaster on Audiogon but it is still more than I want to spend for a 5+ year old unit.
 
1. Is there anything about these three options - Hynes vs Mojo vs KECES - that would make one clearly preferable to the other?
2. There are other options in the ~$370 - $500 range such as: Teddy Pardo, Accubasston Steady, etc.
3. In addition to clean power specs, would there be other aspects of a linear power supply that is built specifically to match components built by the same manufacturer that another brand will not have? The Acoustic Plan Powermaster can drive two of their components instead of just one but I do not foresee that I would use their Phono or CD products so I only need to drive their DAC. 

Thanks



WGH

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 2018, 04:11 am »
A boutique power supply will give you totally awesome bragging rights.
But if all you need is pure clean linear regulated power then pick up a used Acopian B15G200 on eBay for $55 - $65.
The A15MT300 will give you a little more headroom and has tighter specs for a little more. You can also order new for a lot less than $500.
Acopian power supplies are made for 24/7 industrial use and will outlast any electronics you plug them into. You will need to make your own connector and power cord but that is super easy.





Acopian has other models to choose from
https://www.acopian.com/power-supply-voltages/15-volt-power-supplies.htm?search=15



rodge827

Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #2 on: 21 Feb 2018, 12:46 pm »
I can only comment on the Hynes power supply. I had a 12v 3a unit that sounded superb with everting I plugged it into. The Sbooster linear power supplies are getting some good press. They are in the <$400 range.

https://www.sbooster.com/
https://www.sbooster.com/usa-resellers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_i8UTa4rw4

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #3 on: 21 Feb 2018, 02:51 pm »
Tough part is the 2A which sounds awfully power hungry for a dac. I have my doubts about that but if accurate your choices are pretty much what's been stated.

Oh it has tubes. Hm.

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #4 on: 21 Feb 2018, 03:18 pm »
Here's a good budget option below. Very low noise. Discrete components. Pretty serious build. Says it's good for 1A continuous and higher peak currents. If the DAC has 2A listed this means the actual current draw should be a lot lower.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100VA-Ultra-low-Noise-100W-LPS-R-core-Linear-power-supply-DC-5V-24V-With-display/131867485038?hash=item1eb3ea236e:g:MzMAAOSwWWxY-A~u

If the stock PS for the Digimaster is indeed an SMPS as the website states then pretty much ANY linear power supply, like the Acopian mentioned, will be a step up in sound quality.

Here's another:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Finished-65VA-Ultra-Low-Noise-linear-Power-supply-5V-9V-12V-15V-18V-etc/121970182193?hash=item1c65fd4831:g:VCsAAOSwT6pV3oqJ

Mike B.

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #5 on: 21 Feb 2018, 04:16 pm »
The concern I have is how low is the noise level? Very seldom do you see scope data. Regulators and circuit quality can make or break power supply output. Stable voltage is one thing and low noise another. Does the unit deliver both?

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #6 on: 21 Feb 2018, 04:18 pm »
The concern I have is how low is the noise level? Very seldom do you see scope data. Regulators and circuit quality can make or break power supply output. Stable voltage is one thing and low noise another. Does the unit deliver both?

Which unit?

fado

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #7 on: 21 Feb 2018, 06:45 pm »
The Acoustic Plan DAC uses four EC86 tubes. Also, I am more inclined toward power supplies that are built for audio applications as opposed to those for industrial or scientific use just because there may be more involved than just specs - (this is my feeling even though I know nothing about electronics).

Has anyone had experience with the Mojo Audio power supplies, the newest model is Illuminati and the previous is the Joule v5.0?

One manufacturer mentioned that a unit with slightly higher amperage (3A vs 2A) would be okay because the DAC will only draw what it needs. What about voltage e.g. 16V vs 15V?

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #8 on: 21 Feb 2018, 08:19 pm »
I would adhere to the 15v specified by the manufacturer. Amperage has some wiggle room, but I wouldn't mess with the voltage if there are tubes involved.

The Powermaster appears to be a well built but typical 15v regulated power supply. I don't see anything about it that warrants $2000, at least based on the pic below.



The power supply search is a rabbit hole. If you want the very best then just get the Hynes or perhaps an Uptone. Not a tube expert, but if there are tubes in the output then I think ultimate lowest noise floor is not as crucial and any of the <$400 options will suffice.

maty

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #9 on: 21 Feb 2018, 09:29 pm »
Power Supply (8+) Group Test, LPS and SMPS

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/31119-power-supply-8-group-test-lps-and-smps/


Quote
My Conclusions

I hope the translation was not too difficult to read :)

To help the readers here, I have put together a scoring system (our of 100, IMHO) and a few conclusions:

1. 95 Nanfu 9V alkaline battery

2. 93 iFi iPower 9V SMPS

3. 90 ZERO-ZONE SUPER-PSU

4. 80 TeraDak TeraLink X2

5. 65 Breeze Audio DC-1 / S.M.S.L Panda dual 9V (both flawed)

6. 55 Apple charger

7. 50 Xiaomi 10040mAh battery bank

Quote
The best is the 9V battery (not surprised).
 
The SMPS based iFi iPower is so close to the battery was a surprise.
 
Many LPSs didn’t do well at all was another surprise.
 
LPS is NOT guaranteed to have good performance, need to pick very carefully too, e.g. Zero Zone will be a good one.
 
SMPS is generally not as good as LPS except the iFi iPower, which has better performance than the LPS.

Johnny2Bad

Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #10 on: 21 Feb 2018, 09:41 pm »
You will still want the lowest noise power supply, regardless of whether the unit is tube or solid state ... especially with small signal tubes which can be a *very* low noise application.

Although I prefer linear supplies for some applications, I must admit that the switch mode supplies available today and not necessarily designed specifically for audio applications can offer extremely low noise. The key of course is selecting an known good unit.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is that such a well selected switch-mode supply will not have the 60Hz line frequency and it's harmonics (120, 180 Hz etc) as noise, which is something a linear supply can minimize but never eliminate. Especially for small current applications (under 3A and 24V) the options in the market are quite attractive, and offer lower noise than linear alternatives.

If the recommended current is known (it appears it is in your case) then I would not choose a supply that cannot reliably meet that current demand without voltage sag. You can safety use a supply that is capable of higher current (but keep voltage to spec), as it was mentioned by someone here, it will only use the current it actually needs.

Regardless, there is absolutely no justification for the prices quoted in this post. I can see $500 for a retail price for a finished, bricks-and-mortar limited distribution supply unit in a nice retail box. For a direct-to-consumer marketing model, I would expect to see $100~200 less (not including shipping).

I am a DIY'er so I would simply build one, and it would not cost me much more than $100 in parts with nice cosmetics, and quite possibly less. It would not be my first power supply build.


Johnny2Bad

Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #11 on: 21 Feb 2018, 09:44 pm »
Power Supply (8+) Group Test, LPS and SMPS

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/31119-power-supply-8-group-test-lps-and-smps/


The iFi 9V 2A really has 2 Amps of ripple? The Apple 5V 1A has 1 Amp of ripple?

maty

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #12 on: 21 Feb 2018, 09:48 pm »
Talking about DIY, Aleksandar (ATL Hi-Fi) sells a modified Sulzer regulator, ensambled or only PCB.

https://www.atlhifi.com/shop/populated-pcb/modified-sulzer-regulator-assembled-and-tested/

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Modified-Sulzer-regulator-mini-version-fully-assembled-and-tested/131821456029?hash=item1eb12bca9d:g:bXcAAOSwrnNXP1w3

Regulator's measured performance with output voltage 15V, 40 Ohm load (375 mA load current):

[Big IMG] https://www.atlhifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2j1ofo1.jpg

Quote
For the tests was used a 35VA toroidal transformer with two secondary windings; souncard used - E-MU 0404.

The regulator is offered with the following standard output voltages: 9V, 12V, 15V, 18V, 24V.
Make sure to inform me for correct output voltage immediately after purchase.



maty

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #13 on: 21 Feb 2018, 09:53 pm »
Ripple is always voltage,

iFi 9V with 1A only has 0.15uV (ripple). And is cheap.

The cheap SMPS from Asia are very noisy and add noise to mains. Its proliferation is one of the causes of the electrical network having so much noise at present.

fado

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #14 on: 22 Feb 2018, 05:38 am »
Here is a link that shows the inside of the Powermaster and can be enlarged to full screen for very good detail. Other than the fact that it is two power supplies in one enclosure - is there anything that unusual about it? I have no doubt that Acoustic Plan does use high quality parts but I'm other manufacturers do as well.

https://www.hifistatement.net/tests/item/1735-acousticplan-digimaster-drivemaster-und-powermaster?start=4#prettyPhoto/0/

maty

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #15 on: 22 Feb 2018, 08:25 am »
The more important thing -with low power- is the regulation quality and not the number of little transformers.

How many ripple? Measures?

Mike B.

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #16 on: 22 Feb 2018, 03:59 pm »
Which unit?

any unit for sale without data showing noise floor. John Curl is considered the father of low noise audio circuits. He uses multiple stages of regulation with components he has measured. Carl Thompson does the circuit layout. Carl was a designer for Grass Valley Group. They are a television production equipment manufacture. 

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #17 on: 22 Feb 2018, 08:03 pm »
Here is a link that shows the inside of the Powermaster and can be enlarged to full screen for very good detail. Other than the fact that it is two power supplies in one enclosure - is there anything that unusual about it?

It's just a typical regulated power supply.

fado

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #18 on: 22 Feb 2018, 10:11 pm »
Thanks for taking a look at it. That is the information I wanted about the Powermaster specifically. Based on others comments on this thread as well as other reading some sources do say that all switching power supplies are not automatically inferior to linear supplies. Some of the linear supplies suggested here at relatively low cost are likely worth a try. Based on more than 50 years of DIY projects – none in electronics - I have finally learned that I need to buy an off the shelf product. Thanks all for the education and for saving me some money.

During my internet searching I did come across a series of YouTube videos by Hans Beekhuyzen:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR4tuhqPppVp-PD0q17sPEA  and http://www.thehbproject.com/en 
These were more understandable for me than many other semi-technical explanations of digital audio. 

I still wonder if anyone has heard much about the Mojo Audio power supplies.

wushuliu

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Re: < or = $700 Linear Power Supply Comparisons
« Reply #19 on: 22 Feb 2018, 10:26 pm »
Thanks for taking a look at it. That is the information I wanted about the Powermaster specifically. Based on others comments on this thread as well as other reading some sources do say that all switching power supplies are not automatically inferior to linear supplies. Some of the linear supplies suggested here at relatively low cost are likely worth a try. Based on more than 50 years of DIY projects – none in electronics - I have finally learned that I need to buy an off the shelf product. Thanks all for the education and for saving me some money.

During my internet searching I did come across a series of YouTube videos by Hans Beekhuyzen:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR4tuhqPppVp-PD0q17sPEA  and http://www.thehbproject.com/en 
These were more understandable for me than many other semi-technical explanations of digital audio. 

I still wonder if anyone has heard much about the Mojo Audio power supplies.

The Mojo throws a lot of splashy verbage around. I don't have a problem with that typically, but it's a bit much here: "From our unique low-resonance polymerized aluminum composite chassis, to our multi-stage ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic filtering, to our self-resetting protection circuitry, there is nothing that compares."

Mmkay, great. So based on the pic it looks like the Mojo is a combo of choke filtering and a ~$50 low noise Belleson regulator with boutique caps. Looks like a solid design. Certainly much better than the Powermaster. Is it worth $1000? For some, maybe.