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Bluesound Node 2 vs "pimped" Node 2i with linear PSU

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15 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

 . . . .and just on this, sure Chord do use SMPS on all their DACs but equally I have proved to my satisfaction that a good LPS when used instead sounds better than the factory SMPS.

I can vouch for that, bought the Ifi after watching Darkos review of the Qutest and certainly a difference to my ears at least. Actually even a better power cord into my node 2i (audioquest) made a difference which I deemed to be better.

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Posted (edited)

Just found another test on PSUs: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/31751-psu-noise-pollution-ifi-meanwell-teddy-pardo-uptone-js-2-and-others/

Teddy Pardo came out the best but it's $369 plus a load of duty and delivery charges to the UK, which would probably push the price up to around £400. The UpTone which was the most expensive at $925 did not perform very well, it was worse than the CoMing apart from under heavy load. I would think that the Bluesound Node will not require that much load?

The iFi did not fair too badly but the CoMing was the best of the cheaper ones, it is around £14 in the UK, I may give that a go. Or I may try the battery pack, as I can use that when travelling to charge my ipad.

Edited by BeeRay

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For the purposes of testing I would be inclined to get a low noise linear lab PSU ...something like this for about £65/£70:

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/reviewthepeaktech6080alabpowersupply

An adjustable PSU is always is always a good thing to have around anyway so you could test 5V/9V/12V/15V ... up to 3A

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1 hour ago, t1no said:

For the purposes of testing I would be inclined to get a low noise linear lab PSU ...something like this for about £65/£70:

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/reviewthepeaktech6080alabpowersupply

An adjustable PSU is always is always a good thing to have around anyway so you could test 5V/9V/12V/15V ... up to 3A

What do u want to test with that PSU ?

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, K4mil3k said:

What do u want to test with that PSU ?

@t1no Also, there is so much more to consider for a power supply for audio use in addition to low noise so a lab bench supply may well disappoint for audio use. 

Edited by Fourlegs

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2 hours ago, t1no said:

For the purposes of testing I would be inclined to get a low noise linear lab PSU ...something like this for about £65/£70:

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/reviewthepeaktech6080alabpowersupply

An adjustable PSU is always is always a good thing to have around anyway so you could test 5V/9V/12V/15V ... up to 3A

Do you use one? Read one bad review of them, apparently they are not LPS but SMPS.

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3 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

 . . . .and just on this, sure Chord do use SMPS on all their DACs but equally I have proved to my satisfaction that a good LPS when used instead sounds better than the factory SMPS.

Devil's advocate: might it be having the PSU outside the main DAC housing that made the difference, rather than the type?

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Super Dealer

First you have to determine if there is a difference.

Keith

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As I use a node 2i I am very interested in everyone’s findings on this subject of changing the power supply. One thing mentioned up thread is that at least some of the improvement may be due a LPS not chucking so much rubbish back into the mains. My question is, to get the improvement would I have to disable all my other SMPSs? I’ve lost count of how many I have dotted around the house but phones, Philips Hue, routers, chargers, network switch etc, etc use them. 

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1 hour ago, K4mil3k said:

What do u want to test with that PSU ?

It's just an LPS which is allegedly low noise which one could use in a general context e.g. to power your Node 2i interface or other piece of audio equipment you might want to try out if an LPS has a beneficial effect.  It's just as valid to use this PSU rather than some random purchase off the internet.

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1 hour ago, Fourlegs said:

@t1no Also, there is so much more to consider for a power supply for audio use in addition to low noise so a lab bench supply may well disappoint for audio use. 

Perhaps, but starting off with the premise that it is a low noise LPS, it's a good starting point.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BeeRay said:

Do you use one? Read one bad review of them, apparently they are not LPS but SMPS.

No, I have a Thurlby PSU. But only for general purpose electronics use.

The Peaktech is an LPS - that's what they say on their data sheet, and has a fairly chunky transformer in it.

Edited by t1no

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Super Wammer
37 minutes ago, MartinC said:

Devil's advocate: might it be having the PSU outside the main DAC housing that made the difference, rather than the type?

That is a good point. So the first thing I tried was taking the factory SMPS out of the Dave and putting it in an external case with and umbilical cable linked to the Dave. There was a clear improvement in sound quality from doing this simple thing (smoother top end, more defined bass) but the big jump in sound quality was using a high end LPS. Interestingly I was able to power the digital circuits in the DAC separately from the analogue circuits and they were both susceptible to improved power supplies. I had thought the digital circuits might be more tolerant of the power supply but this was not the case.

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Posted (edited)

I honestly don’t understand why it is such a contentious idea that a better psu would improve something like the blue node. The quality of the power supply in any audio unit has long been understood in the industry as a major determinant of sq and one that engineers spend a lot of effort on. I am sending my Densen CDP back for repair and was looking into whether to take up the upgrade offer that Densen have. I asked them what changes would be made to bring my unit up to the next model in the line and they said that the dac was the same but the power supply was better.

Ive tried a few streamers over the years, last one being Zen Innuos, and now Bluesound - used into external DACs all of them showed an obvious and immediate improvement when fed a better power supply. This was always characterised by less of that etched quality that tends to be present in lower end digital sources in favour of a smoother and more natural presentation. I also found this to be the case with usb to spdif converters - upgrading to a better one made the same difference. It’s all about noise. 

Psychoacoustic?  Nah. Anyone with ears can hear these differences, they’re not subtle. I really have better things to do than worry about measuring them - like enjoying my hi fi.

Nothing here that others have not said but my two penneth.

Edited by culturecrammer
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