Building an audio system with notebook as main player. Power cord its relevant?

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emajluf

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Good morning everyone, I would like to know if anyone has experienced improvements by changing the power cable of a notebook or laptop with an "audiophile" connected to the audio system. (IEC - C5 or mickey mouse). The only cable I've seen on the internet grade audiophile with c5 connector is the Audioquest NRG X3. The other alternative would be a normal power cable inserting an adapter (for example, Pangea has one, https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGC5ADP ).

In forums I have not found anyone to talk about it. Someone knows something about this topic, especially because I want to boost the purchase of music downloads in high resolution and listen to them from the computer.

Thank you,

Elizabeth

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a laptop always has a power supply box with a cord to the laptop. I would suggest finding a better power supply. Often the better models have a bigger power supply when they also have high powered video cards in them. I still use a big power supply from a gaming laptop that died. It is three times the size of the little wall wart of my current laptop.
For a desk system, most use a standard IEC into the power supply. Cheaper aftermarket powercords might help.

Speedskater

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Notebook & laptop have SMPS (power supplies). A SMPS doen't give a darn about the AC power cord. It doesn't much care  about the line line voltage or the noise on the line. It takes what it's given then chops it up into high frequency bits and starts all over.

emajluf

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It is assumed that the audiophile power cables have EMI, RF filters, ... which would improve the performance of the SMPS when the current gets cleaner. I do not understand much about it, but recently I bought an "Audience Forte F3" cable for my DAC and the results are amazing.

rollo

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I would try a different power supply for notebook. iFi comes to mind. Condition the AC as well.


charles

emajluf

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The IFI iPower is for up to 15 volt / 1.2 A output. The power supply of my notebook indicates 19 V / 4.74 A output. So it would not work for me.

Thanks Charles.

charmerci

How new is your notebook? I found a big difference in sound between my 2010 Dell laptop and my 2014 Asus hooked up to an external DAC, the Asus being much better. Why? The hard drive? Who knows? It even sounds better (slightly) than my 2018 Lenovo. Maybe a notebook with a solid state hard drive would be best.  :scratch:

emajluf

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It is year 2013. It is also an ASUS model K45V.

But, I would go into other types of expenses, and go in a spiral of changing the notebook's sound cards, .... I just want to know if anyone has experimented with changing the power cable before the SPML. I would not spend much on the cable either. Around 100 to 150 dollars. As they say there, bits are bits, so I do not think that changing the notebook, cards, MB, ... significantly improves.

Again, thank you Charles.

emajluf

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Now, in my system, CDs and SACDs are more musical than the digital files (of better resolution) that I have in the notebook. Much of it is for having changed the power cable, from the Xindak FP1 to the Audience Forte.

charmerci

I found this cheap USB - DAC cable (wireworld $20 click bottom right side photo) very close to sound as a much more expensive one.


http://www.schiit.com/products/pyst-cables

jcotner

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I don't have a system like this, but have designed a few power supplies.
So since it's a laptop, why don't you just disconnect the charger when
playing music? Any noise from the supply will go away.
A lot of amp people do the same thing with external batteries.

Keep in mind that laptops have internal power inverters (small switchers)
that convert and regulate the battery voltages to what the laptop
electronics need, so some noise there anyway.

You say Sound Card, so I assume no external DAC, so in that case running
on batteries will most likely produce cleaner audio of the "Sound Card".
If you are using an external DAC, then power conditioning on the Laptop should
not have a lot of effect, unless it's so bad it contaminates system clocks or
put disruptive noise into the logic (chips).

This is all digital domain until it comes out of the DAC and hits the filters and
amps post DAC. So to me it depends more on where the DAC is, Sound Card
or External DAC and where the DAC is needs the cleanest power.

rollo

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I don't have a system like this, but have designed a few power supplies.
So since it's a laptop, why don't you just disconnect the charger when
playing music? Any noise from the supply will go away.
A lot of amp people do the same thing with external batteries.

Keep in mind that laptops have internal power inverters (small switchers)
that convert and regulate the battery voltages to what the laptop
electronics need, so some noise there anyway.

You say Sound Card, so I assume no external DAC, so in that case running
on batteries will most likely produce cleaner audio of the "Sound Card".
If you are using an external DAC, then power conditioning on the Laptop should
not have a lot of effect, unless it's so bad it contaminates system clocks or
put disruptive noise into the logic (chips).

This is all digital domain until it comes out of the DAC and hits the filters and
amps post DAC. So to me it depends more on where the DAC is, Sound Card
or External DAC and where the DAC is needs the cleanest power.


 BRILLIANT !!!

WGH

I found this cheap USB - DAC cable (wireworld $20 click bottom right side photo) very close to sound as a much more expensive one.


http://www.schiit.com/products/pyst-cables

 :thumb: The Pyst (Straight Wire) USB is an excellent cable for the money, much better than a generic USB cable. I used one for years.
Also try an AudioQuest Jitterbug, in many situations it can improve the sound.

If you are serious about sound then the $285 computer music streamer in the trading post will have better sound than the laptop
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=157887.0

If you are technically inclined then the $200 Raspberry Pi would be fun to play with
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=159562.0

And the Logitech Squeezebox 3 w/ Bolder Mods and Ultimate PS for $300 is a screaming deal, the squeezebox was the darling of streaming audio a few years ago until it was discontinued.
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=155564.0

Years ago I used a laptop as a source I tried plugged and unplugged and the results was meh. It is the noise produced inside the laptop that makes the biggest difference in the sound, that is why the Jitterbug works.


emajluf

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Fantastic answers Rollo and WGH, thank you very much.

Excuse me, what the sound card indicates in general. I have an excellent external DAC (Bryston BDA-3), also the pre (SP2) and power (9B SST) Brystons and a Bluray Oppo 203. I will try disconnecting the battery from the notebook as Rollo points out.

Thanks agains.


WGH

I have an excellent external DAC (Bryston BDA-3), also the pre (SP2) and power (9B SST) Brystons and a Bluray Oppo 203.

Well in that case you can certainly afford a better USB cable than the Pyst. I recommend the JMaxwell USB, it is just as good as the really, really expensive ones.
http://www.jmaxwellusb.com/

I did a blind comparison between the Pyst and JMaxwell USB cables. Early versions of Windows 10 updates confused network and sound settings so after an update everything looked like it was working but no sound was coming out the speakers. After trying some solutions and nothing worked I switched out USB cables, going back to the Pyst. After a frustrating afternoon of resetting network settings and rebooting electronics I finally got sound again but it just didn't sound right, the sound was flat. Then I had a revelation, I forgot the Pyst was still in the system. I switched back to the JMaxwell and the world was in harmony once again.

emajluf

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WGH, ok, what happens is that I already have a reasonable USB cable (Mirage of DH Labs). It is somewhat cheaper than the Jmaxwell. At this moment, I think the weakest link is the electrical issue (Cable, Power supply, ... ???). Well, apart from wanting to change my speakers and subwoofer, which means entering another economic field. When I win the lotto, which I do not play. :(


charmerci

I too, personally found that plugging/unplugging my Asus laptop didn't make a difference - maybe I should try it with the Lenovo. I had forgotten that I do have an Audioquest Jitterbug and it makes for a slight improvement. I also have an Uptone Regen (first basic model) that improved the sound somewhat also - though for some strange reason, it stops my Lenovo from sending out the digital signal - but it works on my Asus.  :scratch: 

emajluf

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jcotner, Sorry for not thanking you before, I got confused with Rollo, your answer has been the best.

Thank you,

emajluf

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So far, analyzed all the post, I will buy an adapter for IEC to C5 power cable and I inserted it into a Xindak FP1 cable that I have left over.

Unless someone reports another improvement or ratifies that an audiophile cable makes a big difference when connected to a notebook, versus a stock cable.

RDavidson

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WGH, ok, what happens is that I already have a reasonable USB cable (Mirage of DH Labs). It is somewhat cheaper than the Jmaxwell. At this moment, I think the weakest link is the electrical issue (Cable, Power supply, ... ???). Well, apart from wanting to change my speakers and subwoofer, which means entering another economic field. When I win the lotto, which I do not play. :(

Maybe see if Sbooster makes a linear power supply that would work for you. They make various sizes. Not sure how much it will help since I assume the computer is running off the battery. Something to look into.