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LPSU Finding decent units without huge costs


bencat
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Now I know that the topic of using an LPSU or any enhanced power supply is a little dividing here . Some think it is essential to get the best power supply they can and put their money where their mouth is by buying hugely expensive ones.

I have over the last two years slowly become convinced that power supplies do matter and that a low noise power supply will make a worthwhile difference to the final sound quality for digital music . I also am convinced that adding good quality LPSU units at each stage has a better effect as each wall wart is replaced.

Problem for me at least has been the cost of and buying a good quality LPSU that will work safely and coolly with the UK Voltage which in my house runs at 246 V most of the day . The China made units are mostly okay but they are almost always 220 V and they run hot , not ideal for things like Music Servers which are left on 24/7 .

The Allo Shanti is a decently priced option but it has only a single voltage suited to the Raspberry Pi .

I had tried a 220 v e-bay LPSU for my router and this needed to be 12 v - 3.1 Amp the unit supplied worked and sounded fine but after about six or seven hours it was really hot which was not something I wanted. Cost was under £100 delivered so good and would work with a player or other item which is not switched on all the time.

In the end I found an alternative supplier which has a variety of LPSU units that are all well made sound excellent (not able to compare one against the other but these sound very good) and come in a range of prices that seem to me to be very fair . Baldwin Hi Fi - www.reelaudio.co.uk is the site and you can look through the standard offers . Prices start at £139 next up is £159 plus P&P . I think this is very competitive and means you could change one at a time as and when funds are available. There a number of standard outputs which are the best prices but Paul will as he has for me make one offs to your requested specification . All units can be specified 240 V which I think is vital and the build quality is top class .

I have mentioned this as with the various threads on power supply additions to Node 2 etc this is another source that might be of interest .

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If you are handy with DIY then Salas L-Adapter is a great LPS, Ive built 3 of them. https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/power-supplies/336685-adapter.html

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19 minutes ago, killie99 said:

If you are handy with DIY then Salas L-Adapter is a great LPS, Ive built 3 of them. https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/power-supplies/336685-adapter.html

Thanks for that but sadly my skills are very limited in this area and given that this would be a power supply on all the time I would not trust anything i made .

Having looked at the design have you any idea what the cost including a case would be ? Not really too well up on things but looked to me like it would be about £40 - 60 in parts then maybe £20-25 for a case . Given this and the work it does show that the Baldwin HiFi units are well priced .

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I upgraded the smps that was supplied with the melco cd drive/ripper to great effect, lps made to measure by mcru, not cheap but the quality of rips was improved no end. 
 

I bought a ifi wall wart to try on router, sound was cleaner and clearer but musically dull. Picture on tv with Netflix improved tho. I have found over years that testing power supplies and cords via tv and monitors is a good test of abilities, as eyes seem to register subtle differences that are useful to exhibit benefits especially to non hifi obsessives.

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I've played around with a Chinese LPSU quite a bit. This one has a handy voltage display in the front. I have tried to tweak it to run the voltage below the transformer rating and learnt a bit about how they work.

From what I can tell (given my basic knowledge) the variable resistor inside tells the voltage regulator to put a resistance in series with the output load to reduce the voltage supplied to it by the transformer. The regulator sits on a heatsink and dissipates the unwanted energy as heat.

The lower the output voltage, the higher the voltage across the regulator, and the warmer the heatsink gets. (As it limits the current by increasing the resistance it might actually reduce the power dissipated at some point, I haven't done the "math" (Ohm's law should do it).

Therefore the LPSU works best closer to the output voltage of the transformer. If the LPSU has been fitted with a higher output one, and then they tweak the voltage by varying the resistor, then it might get hot. You're better off getting one where you know the transformer output voltage is just over the voltage you want.

The one I use has 2 110v input windings and 2 12v output windings. I assume these are in series giving 220v in and 24v out. Someone sold it to me to run a 12v DAC off and "kindly" set it to that voltage - it ran very hot. I changed it to run at 24v for a Graham Slee Solo and it runs cool for hours, despite being rated at 220v. Therefore I think the internal settings are more the cause of heat than the 220v spec trafo.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, bencat said:

Having looked at the design have you any idea what the cost including a case would be ? Not really too well up on things but looked to me like it would be about £40 - 60 in parts then maybe £20-25 for a case . Given this and the work it does show that the Baldwin HiFi units are well priced .

£60 plus a transformer (the cost of the transformer will depend on what rating you require) plus a case. My parts were a bit cheaper as I bought enough parts for 3 boards so nearer £50 per board.

The Baldwin supplies look decent, at least they are made in the UK and will be built with the correctly rated transformer. I don't see any technical details on their website regarding PSRR but I still think they'll outperform the chinese equivalent but won't be as good as the L-Adapter. I wouldn't buy a chinese made supply, underrated transformers and parts of dubious origin.

I'd rather build my own with parts from Mouser/RS/Farnell then at least you can be almost certain you are getting genuine parts. 

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Lawrence, you are correct, if you use too high a voltage on the transformer secondary then it will dissipate as heat, resulting in very hot heat sinks as you noted. Best to get a transformer with secondary no more than 3-4 volts higher than your desired output voltage. 

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4 hours ago, Frizbriz said:

but the quality of rips was improved no end. 

I find that very surprising, I don't go with the 0s and 1s lot but actually improving recorded 0s &1s is stretching it surely?

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I’ve a friend in London with a system using full vitus rig and melco, he’s had same experience with a upgraded lps from another Korean company that sells a power supply specifically marketed at melco users.

also worth upgrading the supplied usb umbilical, heresy I know. 

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It easy to forget that most of us are probably recieving a mains voltage similar to bencat. UK voltage supply is given as 230v -6%  to +10%, giving a range of between 216 to 253v. At the higher range a LPS a designed for a 220v supply would probably have to dissipate nearly 15% more heat that it was designed for. 

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I've been using a Teradak LPSU for a few years. It's rated at 230v - 9vdc and has never got hot. I often forget to switch it off and have never had trouble with it.

That said, I have no idea what voltage my mains supply is.

May be worth trying if not DIYing.

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I'm curious as to what exactly the benefits are for swapping out the wall warts on none hifi equipment e.g. router/switch wall warts and other devices which are dumping noise back onto the mains.

I've suspected I had noise on my power for a while, last week I went to the effort of putting Ferrites on every power cable in the house, with wall warts being plugged into power bars with ferrites on them (I've seen ferrites just been put onto the cable after the wall wart but this seems counterintuitive to me, surely you want it between the PSU and the socket?). This made a very noticeable improvement to the hifi.

I get the basic concept of what's going on, EMI/RFI noise and/or DC being dumped back onto the mains.

what I'm unsure of is if just using a ferrite is enough for EMI/RFI or if it's worth swapping out some of the PSUs for something like in the OP (though I like the idea of giving self build a try too). I know ferrite's won't tackle the DC, but I'm not sure I have an issue with that, need to figure out a way to test that's the case.

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I am using an L-PSU from Audiophonics. It is fit for purpose as far as I am concerned.

Have you looked there? They also sell other brands:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/hifi-power-supply-c-617.html

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26 minutes ago, tuga said:

I am using an L-PSU from Audiophonics. It is fit for purpose as far as I am concerned.

Have you looked there? They also sell other brands:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/hifi-power-supply-c-617.html

Under current new Brexit non existant rules (UK Goverment yet to publish any guidelines) buying anything from EU is not easy . Either the seller charges you local VAT and then you get charged UK Vat on top of that plus Import duty over a certain level which can add quite a bit to the final price. I have no doubt that we will get some clear and definitive rules for personal; imports but at this time they are just not in place. The Audiophonics LPSU are Far East made so not too sure of the specifications . At this time a UK produced item with full 240 V capacity is what i need and these Paul Baldwin units provide that .

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Look for the TeraDak LPSU, the slightly more expensive one in the £100 range. It does make a difference. I was skeptical till I heard it.

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