I have put this question in Tinkering as i’m not sure where else it should go. I have an RPI3 running roonbridge to an AQ dragonfly black and am happy with the sound, but like many of us I cant stop tinkering…
I have now bought a linear PSU to power the Pi. Its on order and is several weeks away, and i’m already thinking I may be suffering from advanced audiophilia. Do these really make a difference ?
I should state that my Pi (for domestic acceptance reasons) resides in an area where there are lots of other electrical devices generating noise and currently runs from a standard pi power unit plugged into a power board
I’m not sure about the Pi, but when I upgraded from an iFi to the LPS-1 UltraCap PS with the microRendu there was a definite and appreciable improvement in dynamics. It wasn’t just me noticing it either, one of my tube amps (Manley Snappers) has always been a bit over sensitive and it started blowing B+ fuses on a regular basis.
Power supplies are certainly all the rage now, in fact i’m pretty sure the Uptone LPS-1 will end up on Oprah’s “favorite things” list lol.
Having said that, i’m in the camp that they can make a difference based on my experience with the MicroRendu and unfortunately now I’m wanting to ‘re-power’ other components like my router, modem and Mac Mini…where does it stop!
I’ve just upgraded the power supply to my Hifiberry Dac+ Pro.
Like Hans beekhuyzen found in his review of the Dac+ Pro, I found that adding higher quality power supplies to the Pi3’s microUSB port didn’t make a big difference.
But when I bypassed the pi3’s internal SMPS and powered the Dac+ Pro directly with an iFi iPower 5V, things improved. I’ve just tested with a 5V battery supply and things now really got interesting in my system.
The Pi’s internal SMPS is what may limit the effects of better power supplies. I’m not really confident with DIY stuff. Luckily for upgrading rhe Dac+ Pro I didn’t need to solder anything but I will need to soldee to upgrade my Digi+ Pro’s.
I should have the required solder and tools by Friday hopefully, so I can do the upgrades on the weekend. Fingers crossed I don’t destroy the boards or the house lol
Btw with the sonicOrbiter SE, which is based on the cubox-i, one of the things they did is take out the internal SMPS and allow users to power everything externally with cleaner 5V DC power. So no soldering required but it’s a little pricier than the Digi+ Pro and Pi 3 combination. There are other advantages that unit has too, like very good software.
I do not know any of the devices tested but I do think all of them are just ordinary motherboards, what means they are full of the usual SMPS regulators you will find in all ordinary motherboards, and not the “ultralow noise ones”, you find on SOtM products for instance, neither linear ones.
That said the use of linear power supply would make little to no difference, it is expected.
It make me remember another faulty experiment I saw years ago but about balanced mains.
Making the story shot, and assuming they correctly built and installed the transformer on that recording studio, they did all the test they wanted, and then made their statement about balanced power being useless.
The only problem with that experiment rely on the fact they did not swap their ordinary un-shielded studio structural wire to shielded ones (what indeed they should be using from the beginning).
So, does not matter if you have clean (or even god blessed) mains at the entrance of your house if you do not protect it until the point you need it. EMI/RFI everywhere theses days.