Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators

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panomaniac

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #20 on: 6 Oct 2009, 06:29 pm »
Quote
( Vinnie might be able to change its output/voltage to accommodate future components/upgrades

I think this is true, at least for the 36V version. There is a place for a 4th battery inside.

littletree76

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #21 on: 12 Oct 2009, 12:45 pm »
I intend to purchase DC power line noise filter and voltage regulator such as Black module offered by Travagans (http://www.travagans.com/product.htm) to be inserted between DC power output of 30V/130w switching power supply and DC power input of Virtue Audio's One amplifier. The 30V output voltage of switching power supply is reduced to 24V and regulated by the Black module. The purpose of the Black module is to improve noise rejection as I suppose noise level of switching power supply is much higher than linear power supply for any audio equipment.

There is one concern for this configuration: the big capacitance (22000uF ?) present at DC power input of Virtue One might trigger current protection circuit (maximum 3A) of the Travagans's Black filter module (according to finding done by Travagans vendor).

Do you think there will be improvement in sound quality after the Travagans Black module has been installed to filter and regulate DC power output of the switching power supply? Will the big capacitance trigger the current protection circuit and the DC supply to Virtue One amplifier will be shut down?

littletree76

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #22 on: 13 Oct 2009, 06:56 am »

Referring to my previous post, a better way to phrase the same question is: what is the initial current drawn from switching power supply when Virtue One is powered up? Apparently the current should be the initial charging current to charge the capacitor at DC power input of Virtue One. Is this initial charging current higher than 3 ampere? I don not have any current meter to make measurement.

virtue

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #23 on: 13 Oct 2009, 03:58 pm »
Our big reserve cap is unique in our price/class ... and functions as a dead-short for a micro-volt or so.   On turn-on, initial onrush could be well over 20A.  The cap on the switch stops most of the arcing and the with the 130w supply, the switch only occaisionally fuses ;-)  Click it a few times and it will come back.  With batteries - forget it.  A welder couldn't do better job of soldering the contacts.

panomaniac

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #24 on: 13 Oct 2009, 05:17 pm »
Your Black module may do well to limit the inrush current.  In fact, a lot of switch mode supplies already do this.  It's when you get to the really bug supplies that can deliver a lot of current before limiting that the problem arises.  Batteries will pop the fuses, for sure.

That is why the new amps will have a soft start circuit.  I slows the charge of the big caps, then gets out of the way.  The Red Wine battery packs also have this built in, so you would use the switch on the battery pack instead of the switch on the amp.

If you can find out more about the current limiting function of the Black module, we might be able to better judge.  Does it reset itself?

Hogg

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #25 on: 15 Oct 2009, 11:23 pm »
I purchased a custom 30 V PS from Paul Hynes.  http://www.paulhynesdesign.com/.  To say it transformed my Virtue 2 in an understatement.  Results I've noticed over the premium PS offered by Virtue (30 V 130W) are:  darker background, more authority, and deeper bass.   The treble remains the same, a little rolled-off in the highest frequencies.  It was expensive mostly due to the weakening dollar.

                                                                           Jim

droht

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #26 on: 16 Oct 2009, 01:48 am »
Jim, I'm curious why you'd go with this option rather than batteries?  I seem to be reading more and more how batteries are at least as good as a good PS, plus they bring the added advantage of negating any need for power conditioning/filtering.

I'm not trying to be critical of your purchase, just trying to figure this whole power thing out.  Stupid me used to think that whatever power supply the manufacturer supplied was all that I'd ever need.   :duh:

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #27 on: 16 Oct 2009, 02:14 am »
Jim, I'm curious why you'd go with this option rather than batteries?  I seem to be reading more and more how batteries are at least as good as a good PS, plus they bring the added advantage of negating any need for power conditioning/filtering.

I'm not trying to be critical of your purchase, just trying to figure this whole power thing out.  Stupid me used to think that whatever power supply the manufacturer supplied was all that I'd ever need.   :duh:

From Mr. Hynes
"These power supplies were designed to exceed the performance of all other supplies currently available for powering digital and analogue audio products including the Optima Red Top battery. The power supplies have an output impedance three times lower than the Red Top battery and this is maintained over a wider bandwidth. This allows three times less reaction on the power supply output, during load current changes. You can hear the difference this makes to your music as there is less signal inter-modulation from the power supply. For DIY enthusiasts the SR1-M shunt regulator module for DC input, and the SR1-MR shunt regulator module with on board energy storage and Schottky rectification for AC input, can be customised for any voltage from 3.3volts to 24 volts and for any current from 0.25 to 3 amps. Maximum SR1-M regulator dissipation is 40 w"

http://www.paulhynesdesign.com/page7.html

Sounds like he thinks he has batteries whipped! :o  Not sure if that is the end of the story...

panomaniac

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #28 on: 16 Oct 2009, 04:03 pm »
Here is the "Birdseye Lowdown" (whatever that means).

The power supply is half the amp.  Good power supplies are big, heavy, expensive.  Great ones are even more so.  At least they don't smell bad! (unless you fry them)

So....  where is an easy place to cut costs, weight, size?  Yep, the power supply.  Because the amp will work with a lesser supply - so that what you do. All about trade-offs. Remember the big brute amps and receivers of the 70s? Not huge power by today's numbers, but real strong amps.  And even they were under built.  You don't see that in common consumer gear today.

What is the best power supply?  There isn't one.  So a manufacturer has to make a choice.  The choice in extreme Hi-Fi is usually big, heavy and very expensive.  We are not really in that market, our amps don't cost kilo-dollars. So we offer a choice of power supply levels as well as advice on 3rd party power supplies.  They DO make a difference.

Are batteries best?  No.  They are fairly low noise, of course, but do have some disadvantages.  The don't have low impedance at higher frequencies, tho this varies depending on type.  Batteries do sound very clean and smooth with our amps. A nice choice for a lot of people.  The down side is that some listeners find batteries to be not as dynamic as a good regulated supply.

Are linear supplies best?  No.  They can sound very, very  good if done right.  But that gets back to the big, heavy, etc...

Are switching supplies best?  No.  But they can sound great if well done - very dynamic.  It's harder to do a good switching supply for audio than linear.  But there are 1000s of switching supplies on the market to choose from.  We test and listen to lots of them.  Most don't make the cut.  We sell or tell you about the ones that do.

Maybe the "best" supply would be a good, regulated battery supply.  I've never heard one, but it could have a lot of sonic advantages.

Still, the sound of a power supply can come down to your taste.  What is important to you.  Just like music.  You would like to have a choice, right? ;)

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #29 on: 16 Oct 2009, 04:45 pm »
Thanks very much for those insights...

dvenardos

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #30 on: 16 Oct 2009, 04:47 pm »
That is the best summary I have seen to date. :thumb:

Danny Richie

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #31 on: 16 Oct 2009, 05:17 pm »
In my personal experience the batteries won't limit dynamics at all unless they are too small. In fact I think you'll get more dynamics from a good sized batter power supply than with just about any other power supplies.

Vinnie R.

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #32 on: 16 Oct 2009, 05:57 pm »
In my personal experience the batteries won't limit dynamics at all unless they are too small. In fact I think you'll get more dynamics from a good sized batter power supply than with just about any other power supplies.

I agree with Danny -

If you use a large enough battery (and one with low internal resistance such as sealed lead-acid) - you can obtain HUGE amounts of instantaneous current.  If you ever accidentally short an SLA battery with a wire (don't do this!  :!:), the wire melts and becomes the fuse.  There is THAT much current - and having that kind of high current on demand is essential for dynamics.

Unlike batteries, power supplies need to convert AC to DC.  This involves a step-down transformer (which does choke instantaneous current), diode bridge (rectification of AC to pulsed DC, voltage regulation (if it is a regulated supply) - all of which are limited in instantaneous output current.  For this reason, you see large storage capacitors to compensate for this (especially in large power amps - it is required or your supply rails will collapse during the transients... just because your wall outlet can supply lot of amps does not mean the power supply can!  :nono:).

Going what I like to call "DC Direct" (ala high current battery - thus skipping the entire AC to DC conversion process) gives BIG dynamics, as well as removal from the noise from the AC grid.  Even if you have theoretically perfect AC (no noise, perfect 60Hz), you still need to go through the AC-to-DC conversion process of the power supply used.  Some are much better than others (and I have read very good things about the quality of the Paul Hynes supplies), but there is noise created in the ac/dc conversion process, there is EMI from the transformers and switching of diodes, and no 12V power supply used in home audio (that I know of) can supply the hundreds of amps required to crank over your automobile engine - but the Optima Red Top certainly can!

Does your home audio amp even draw hundreds of amps - no.  But my point is - like Danny mentions - if you are using the right battery for your application, you will get awesome dynamics and current delivery.

Using alkaline AA batteries on the other hand....  :roll:  :green:

Not all power supplies are created equal - and the same applies for batteries...

All the best,

Vinnie

al128

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #33 on: 16 Oct 2009, 07:58 pm »
In my personal experience the batteries won't limit dynamics at all unless they are too small. In fact I think you'll get more dynamics from a good sized batter power supply than with just about any other power supplies.

I agree with Danny -

If you use a large enough battery (and one with low internal resistance such as sealed lead-acid) - you can obtain HUGE amounts of instantaneous current.  If you ever accidentally short an SLA battery with a wire (don't do this!  :!:), the wire melts and becomes the fuse.  There is THAT much current - and having that kind of high current on demand is essential for dynamics.

Vinnie


I agree ... a good "12v car" battery can caugh up 100s of amps, it will instantly weld your wedding ring to your car's body if you aint careful ...
 

you might give it a try  :nono: ...


or you can trust google, where "car battery weld wedding ring to car" produces 37,000 hits  :thumb:

should be enough in order to NOT limit the dynamics of a, what, 50w or so amplifier ...

Hogg

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #34 on: 16 Oct 2009, 10:59 pm »
Jim, I'm curious why you'd go with this option rather than batteries?  I seem to be reading more and more how batteries are at least as good as a good PS, plus they bring the added advantage of negating any need for power conditioning/filtering.

I'm not trying to be critical of your purchase, just trying to figure this whole power thing out.  Stupid me used to think that whatever power supply the manufacturer supplied was all that I'd ever need.   :duh:

TraderXfan summed up the reason I went to the Paul Hynes supply.  It would be good to do some A-B testing with someone using a battery supply.  I've done the comparison with the Virtue 30V 130 W PS as stated above.
                                                                                     Jim






virtue

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #35 on: 23 Oct 2009, 06:11 am »
Guys, if you're using batteries, just remember to build your own soft-start circuit as well.  Vinnie's Black Lightening supplies come with them -- just remember to leave the Virtue amp "on" and turn it off from the battery supply!  If you turn on the amp after the battery supply is already on - you'll weld the push-button switch every time.

You see, the Virtue amps are quite unique -- they have more capacitance than other "brick" powered amps in the market.  This is great for sound, bad for start-up.  When we started designing these things they were 30wpc amps... we had no idea that they'd become 90wpc amps hooked up to high-current battery supplies (which we did not embrace initially).  The amps love current acoustically, but the switches just can't handle start-up onrush.  As a result, the new models will ALL have soft-starts. 

littletree76

Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #36 on: 31 Oct 2009, 05:54 pm »
Apologize for late reply as I was rather busy in past two weeks. I did not manage to obtain details on Travagan's Black module from vendor located in Taiwan.

On second thought, big capacitance at DC power input of Virtue One amplifier is to serve as reservoir to supply sufficient instantaneous current to maintain dynamic performance of the amplifier. Inserting the Black module power conditioner between big switching power supply and the amplifier might interfere/defeat original function/purpose of the big capacitance (correct me if I am wrong).

So I decided to look for better power supply instead of power conditioner (unless anyone from Virtue Audio tell me that it is futile and not necessary at all).

Is there soft-start module I can purchase from Virtue online store and incorporate it into Virtue One amplifier? How do I confirm whether such module already incorporated in my Virtue One amplifier (bought half year ago)?

Your Black module may do well to limit the inrush current.  In fact, a lot of switch mode supplies already do this.  It's when you get to the really bug supplies that can deliver a lot of current before limiting that the problem arises.  Batteries will pop the fuses, for sure.

That is why the new amps will have a soft start circuit.  I slows the charge of the big caps, then gets out of the way.  The Red Wine battery packs also have this built in, so you would use the switch on the battery pack instead of the switch on the amp.

If you can find out more about the current limiting function of the Black module, we might be able to better judge.  Does it reset itself?

virtue

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #37 on: 1 Nov 2009, 03:16 am »
We don't yet have such a module on the website yet although it's been designed and is being prototyped.  I've specified a quick and dirty little board that you can put between your power supply and the unit - don't even need to open it up.  If you bought an amp from us directly, you'll get it free for the price of shipping and handling when it comes out.   

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #38 on: 17 Nov 2009, 03:46 pm »
Any ETA on this soft start circuit?  Or a schematic you could share?
I haven't used the batteries I bought yet, for fear of problems...

-Tony

virtue

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Re: Quiet power: batteries, power conditioners, and regenerators
« Reply #39 on: 18 Nov 2009, 02:19 am »
We should see the soft-starts in late December.  Ask Michael for the circuit - he designed it.