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quality of power and quality of sound

Wharfedale Speakers

amit11

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Hi Friends,

Recently i had opportunity to try out 'how power quality affects sound quality'. The opportunity was not across all scenarios, rather it was limited to digital conversion. e.g.
DAC where digital is converted to analog signal
DDC where digital is converted to digital again

In both the above things, i observed changes in sound when power adapter / power supply was changed. Sounds surprising and hard-to-believe since this is digital.

My most varied experiment could happen bcos one of my device requires 5 volts. (normally 12 volts or 12+ are required in most devices)
After purchasing the high-end device and listening to almost one month, i was not feeling comfortable about the sound. Yes it took me one month to realize that 'something' is not correct.

Since it required 5v power, I had many options to try this out. These options b,c,d and then e did not occur to me immediately, rather they came to my mind gradually. step-by-step. I could not afford Linear Power Supply, hence following experiments were made possible:

a) power adapter which had come with the original device. The output was 5 volts.

b) power adaper of another DAC which outputs 5V. The DAC was Fiio D03k.

c) Phone chargers which normally output 5 volts. so i tried
- apple phone charger
- apple ipad charger
- samsung note5 charger
- samsung note3 charger
- samsung j7 charger


d) Then came into my mind battery power. But how to get 5volt battery. Here is what i tried first
- Apple ipad USB out - 5 volts
- samsung note5 USB out - 5 volts
- samsung note 3 USB out - 5 volts
- samsung j7 USB out - 5 volts

e) Then one more better option came to mind. Battery pack which is used to charge mobile:
- Intex battery pack - i borrowed from my friend as i do not still have one.

In the order of sequence, i found the last option was sound best to my ears. :)

Now WHY this happens, i will write separately in the same thread.
I know this topic might have been discussed before, but it always haunted me HOW it can happen :rolleyes: since this is all digital....
So my limited understanding might be useful for some. Thanks for reading.


Amit.
 
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rikhav

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Infact I am not at all surprised as I feel any equipment with clock oscillator and which does digital to analogue is always sensitive to power

For me among the phone chargers, The apple IPAD2 charger worked best for me

Also, i could drastically improve my DAC sound which has inbuilt linear supply with a change in power cable

Ditto for the CDP as well
 

Hari Iyer

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One of the reason I narrowed down on the Marantz player was it's excellent smps power supply. I analyzed it's PSU for two days before making my decision. It's awesome. The quality of your audio isalways going to be decided by its power supply and it's implementation.

I have seen some good smps powerfully available in 12 v if that works for you to try. They are mostly used by Electricians to power strip led and they look good. You can try too as they are less than 500/- bucks.
 

amit11

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I have seen some good smps powerfully available in 12 v if that works for you to try. They are mostly used by Electricians to power strip led and they look good. You can try too as they are less than 500/- bucks.
Any links to those? And how does the output look on a oscilloscope if anybody has experimented with those led power supplies.
 

arj

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I have found a great difference in sound with computers on and computers off. digital power supplies ( including those of CDP/DACs) also throw back high frequency hash into the powersupply and these can greatly affect Preamps and Amps. Thats why in the night, music sounds so much better (not just due to ambient sound)

thats the reason having an isolation transformer for just your DAC/CDP can really help
 

Hari Iyer

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Any links to those? And how does the output look on a oscilloscope if anybody has experimented with those led power supplies.
No links, just go to a good electric shop in your locality and ask for 12v smps power supply for LED and ask for variety. He may show you couple of PCB. These are not Finished good but assembled PCBs.

Have any of you tried ferrite cores on your power cord?
Yes, but I was not able to fully quantify the benefits from them. I used them for my amplifier
 

prem

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My experience is ferrite in power cords kills the sound and robs music of all its top end making it uninvolving. Yes it will make background silent but at the expense of music. What you lose is much more than what you gain. Try and avoid such band aids when putting together a system.
 

dheerajin

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there are ferrite cores available with varied Mega hertz frequencies....it depends on what frequency Cores you are using..generally 100 Mhz are suitable for power cables...still it depends on many factors...ferrite cores are effective, if you can choose accordingly
 
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prem

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Normally you would use above 50-100 mhz ferrite cores only on power cords. But it still completely messes it up
 
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dheerajin

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Normally you would use above 50-100 mhz ferrite cores only on power cords. But it still completely messes it up
In my case it was not a subtle difference , 2 of our forum members have also found great improvement in my system , after ferrite cores...
 

prem

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Then there must something terribly wrong with your power supply or the power supply design in one of your components is not good. Any well designed component needs no ferrite rings on power cords

A Hammond choke attached in parallel at your outlet is a far far better option than ferrite rings.

Usually ferrite rings, Bybee filters and similar such products work best when placed in the component just before the DC conversion. Not on power cords.
 
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dheerajin

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Then there must something terribly wrong with your power supply or the power supply design in one of your components is not good. Any well designed component needs no ferrite rings on power cords
may be possible, but when its working fine with little investment, then there is no harm in putting ferrite cores...
anyway we are derailing this thread IMO...lets continue to give suggestion to OP for better power supplies...
 

prem

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I agree Dheerajin:)I guess we all hear differently and there’s nothing right or wrong. Amit11, get an isolation transformer of adequate capacity and be done with. At least most of the power issues will get resolved. For a dac you can consider battery power from Vinnie Rossi and get off the grid. Else get a Monarchy regenerator and connect your phono or dac to it
 
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amit11

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Linear Power supply / hifi power supply not in budget. So step-by-step experiments had lead me till here.

a) for DAC which needs 12 volts
I had bought a router ups, which has a battery. its main purpose is for powering a router uninterrupted, but i used it for my DAC.

b) transport (spdif purifier ifi)
currently attached a normal power bank which is used to charge mobiles. It was borrowed from my friend and he took away. So i am now using USB out of mobile for 5v.
 

dheerajin

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People are using Om Mishra's power supply for the CNC phono stage and its quite good, I have also used this in past.

See if you can source it. It has dual power supply output and you can use both output for your two equipment wich can be adjusted internally.

Only issue can be the current adequacy (ampere) for each of your equipment.
 
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sound_cycle

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Recently i had opportunity to try out 'how power quality affects sound quality'. The opportunity was not across all scenarios, rather it was limited to digital conversion. e.g.
DAC where digital is converted to analog signal
DDC where digital is converted to digital again
I was on this digital is digital think a while back. The inclusion of an LPS in my chain made a nice big audible difference. I was expecting a gain, the extent was what surprised me. As I have detailed in my threads, controlled step by step additions were not possible for various reasons so I am not able to apportion contribution. I think there may be more gains if I get the money for better AC, in progress some day.

ciao
gr
 

hifitoaster

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In my experience it varies from DAC to DAC. Some of them are implemented in such a way that no matter where it is powered it sounds the same. Some benefit from better power source. No hard rule here.
 
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