Playing with power - 5v 2.5A LPS options

After sorting out room correction at the beginning of the year through HAF and being very pleased with the results I promised myself there would be no more ‘upgrades’ to my system. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can hold out much longer :grinning:

My starting position was to be intensely sceptical of PSU upgrades but I had a hankering for experimenting with my DAC (MF MX-DAC) power source. I tried out an Ifi IPower and initially didn’t notice any difference. However, over time it seemed brighter and fatiguing compared to the stock wallwart. So much so that I’m no longer using it in this system. I also hear a high pitched pulsing sound from it. On the flip-side though, on tracks with a decent bass line, there was clearly more texture and depth. I didn’t notice any change to the sound stage. I take from this that power source to the DAC can have an influence on sound in my system.

All this made me think that maybe a higher quality LPS could bring additional benefits without some of the apparent downsides. Does this seem plausible or rather optimistic? If so, is there anything to choose between the Teddy Pardo, Sbooster and MRCU units (all similar in price)? I don’t have the knowledge or experience to feel comfortable regarding the safety or quality when buying an eBay Chinese option.

Thanks for any thoughts.

How many LPS units are you in need of? W4S makes a very nice multivoltage, multidevice capable LPS that uses PS modules.

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Thanks Robert, that does seem like a good unit but I’m only after one at the moment and the high current module is pretty pricey.

I lucked out on mine. I picked one up used with three low power modules. (1.2a)

You asked for my thoughts … :slightly_smiling_face:

£260 for a linear PSU on a £650 DAC. Upgrade your DAC.

I think it’s a fair comment :grinning: However, I already have a long term upgrade path in mind…it’s just going to be quite a while before it’s possible! In the meantime I just want to make the most of what I have, and I’m already pretty impressed with my little DAC. Plus I can always return or resell if I don’t think the cost is justified in my setup, as I have done on other items.

I’ve taken the plunge and gone for a Teddy Pardo…Will report back in case it’s of interest to others.

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One way to scratch an itch! :smile:

Please do, have been looking at one of these for a while, although @rrwwss52 has peaked my interest in the PS-1 Modular.


I am powering a 12v headphone amp/DAC, 9v microrendu, and 9v Sonore ultradigital. (no 7v option) If I need to add one more device, I’ll order an extra module from W4S for $125. (may end up putting my 5v switch on it- using an iFi PS now).

Just ordered an upgraded Ghent Oyaide 4s6 cable (today) to connect power to the headphone amp. W4S is really well made equipment.

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@dhusky, if you want to try LPS on the cheap look on fleabay and search for elpac/jerome power supplies. You can get a decent 5v >2amp LPS on the cheap side. You might have to do some minor surgery to get the correct barrel adapter for your requirement.

The other option is HDPLex 200W Linear Power Supply

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Thanks @shadowlight - the HDPlex looks like a beast! I’ve read a bit about it and it certainly seems well respected. Will take a look at the fleabay options too, out of curiosity.

Well, my first impressions in my setup are positive - this may or may not be a placebo effect. The most noticeable but obviously subjective effect seems to be a soundstage with greater depth and instrument separation. Vocals also seem a little more life-like. Of course, until I have some time for a/b testing this could be complete rubbish but that’s my first thoughts fwiw. Ymmv.

In terms of degrees of effect, it’s nothing like, say, the effect of room correction but at this stage seems more apparent than any cable changes I’ve made.

Ordering was straightforward - purchased on the Tuesday night and received by the following Monday in the UK. Emails were also answered helpfully. The device appears solidly constructed - I can’t tell you anything intelligent about the insides.

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Glad you’re happy with your new Teddy Pardo. Really. But it’s going to take you even longer to achieve your long-term objective now! :smile:

Still saving for my next pair of speakers.

Martin, given your apparent concern for my fiscal management you may be interested to hear that I have returned it. @oneofmany by my ears the psu gave me the best soundstaging I’ve heard on my system. The upper frequencies (e.g. female vocals) too, sounded as if a veil had been lifted. However, it also seemed to me that the system sounded a lot ‘brighter’, with noticeable sibilance…listening was more tiring and less enjoyable overall as a result. This despite a strong hope and expectation bias to the contrary.

I’m curious as to what might lie behind this, as I’d previously noted an increased ‘brightness’ with the iPower which I take to have the same origin. A few possibilities include oddities in my own perception, an unconscious nocebo effect, the unlikely possibility that the stock wallwart filters RF interference better than 2 specialist PSUs or perhaps interference by the stock wallwart masking brightness that is otherwise present in my system. I suspect I’ll never know…for now I’ll try to stop chasing rainbows…let’s see how long I last :wink:

Thanks for that @dhusky

It’s funny you said this. I have been powering the sparky with the supplied Allo PS and the USBridge with an iPower, it blows me away how good it sounds. I thought replacing the Allo PS with another iPower might make a difference and somehow improve it.

It didn’t. It sounded exactly as you said. I think I will leave it as it is.

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Thanks @oneofmany, I find it interesting that we had similar experiences on very different devices, despite both of us expecting something quite different. I wish I understood enough about all this to know what the most likely interpretation is. As for the iPower itself, I know that elsewhere on the forum both Allo and John Swenson have expressed misgivings about its performance - I’ll be interested to hear how Allo’s new PSU (Nirvana) performs when development has finished. FWIW I now use that iPower on an IQAudio Dac+ to clear benefit over the stock RPi PSU.

On a whim, I tried powering by battery (tp-link tl-pb20100) to eliminate mains noise - as I understand it these are still SMPS though. No brightness but neither was there any improvement in soundstaging, if anything it was worse and the music sounded less impactful. In addition, it seemed to generate audible HF noise from the DAC itself so definitely not a keeper.

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