sonicTransporter i9

I do believe LPS’s improve sound, from the server, even when using renderers with isolation. The JS-2, which I also have, is only 12V, whereas the STi9 needs 19V (Andrew says it will work, but I question that, especially if you’re using the other rail for the OR).

Most of the small gadgets use 2.1mm center pins. Ghent Audio is one supplier of high quality DC cables.

Anytime you eliminate SMPSs you will hear the improvement because you’re adding less noise to the AC line. This is separate from the benefit of feeding components with better power. I haven’t heard a component yet that didn’t benefit with good quality power.

I upsample to as high as DSD512 (using less-demanding filters) and often to DSD256 with HQP. Haven’t noticed any smoke so far.

My sonicTransport i9 is electrically isolated (on a different circuit in a different room) from my DAC and the rest of my 2 channel setup. An SMPS vs an LPS is going to make zero difference here. I have bigger concerns about what time of day it is as that has a much larger effect on power quality.

Yes, I have dedicated AC circuits too. It will still make a difference. Maybe not as much as using using the optical out of the STi9 to an opticalRendu, but still a worthwhile upgrade.

Make a difference? How? The SMPS is on a different circuit in the house. There are much nosier devices used elsewhere in my house. There are TVs, LED lights, an air conditioner, washer and dry, computers, dimmer switches, clock radios, an air compressor, refrigerator, freezers, ovens, microwave, etc. I am sorry but there is no way in heck the SMPS I use to power the sonicTransporter i9 is going to make even the slightest difference in sound quality from my 2 channel setup.

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Darryl, I have not noticed any issue with the i9 and heat. That said I have 50 vacuum tubes in the room and 2 Tons of AC dedicated to it.

I run the i9 via ethernet to the UltraRendu/upgraded power supply. From UR via USB to my Playback Designs I-Stream that re-clocks and allowed the upsampled DSD signal to travel via fiber to my Playback Designs MPS-5. All of the music I listen to is upsampled to 256DSD.

My uRendu continues, occasionally, to lose the USB handshake with an adjoining component. Sometimes, restoring the handshake can be a pain. This may not be an issue if you always play through USB. I do switch the Element X connections fairly often (using USB or ethernet for HiFi, optical for television).


I agree. But of course it’s relative to the resolution of the other components in the system, and impacted by any compromises in the design of the server itself. It remains to be seen if it will help the STi9, since the only variable is a single 19V DC input.

Thanks for the info Brad. So many unique setups all.

True. I think I’ve optimized everything else so I suppose small differences might seem more significant than they are. But I’ve never replaced a SMPS without hearing some improvement. In my case I have a spare UpTone JS-2 available so it’s an easy one to try. Or it would be if the DC connector I ordered would show up. The power connector on the back of the STi9 is a unique size.

Please post back your findings. I’ve a JS-2 too, but given the voltage requirements of that board and the i9, am doubtful.

PS - I’m waiting on some fiber optic cable from CA and its bottled up somewhere, even with UPS.

Darryl, it appears you are correct. My DC adapter finally showed up. The i9 did not work with the JS-2. I only tried this because Andrew Gillis said 12v would work fine and others had used the JS-2 to power an STi9 in the past. However, the current version may require more juice. Mine does have the opticalModule built in, which is one change from previous versions.

I like the Sonic Transporter products. I have an i5 and feels its a good product. However, I am reluctant to invest in the more expensive (core i9) products because the hardware is not up-gradable. If I buy a PC and a faster processor comes along, I am able to upgrade it. Without this ability in the sonic transporter products, I am reluctant to make a @$3000 investment.

Actually this is not 100% true. Intel changes chip sets, RAM types, and CPU sockets. So you can only upgrade the CPU is if matches your existing motherboard.

Typically if your PC is more then 2 years old you can no longer use the latest CPU with it.

The latest HD-plex 300w linear supply can run the i9 but I don’t recommend using it.

If you have an opticalRendu the fiber is filtering out 100% of the noise from the server so adding a linear supply to the server doesn’t make a difference in the sound.

Actually this is not 100% true. Intel changes chip sets, RAM types, and CPU sockets. So you can only upgrade the CPU is if matches your existing motherboard.

Typically if your PC is more then 2 years old you can no longer use the latest CPU with it.

While this may be true of intel (and often the time period is longer), it is not true of AMD. However, this begs the point. I see that the latest nucs have the capacity to be upgraded when new CPUs come out. Do you have any plan to incorporate this type of technology in future sonic transporters?

We we start selling a new unit it has all the latest parts. Latest CPU, RAM, NVMe. etc

We have found just upgrading one part like the CPU only provides a small upgrade in performance.

We already we already sell the fastest Roon server on the planet. It can do DSD512, DSD1024 and DSD 2048 upsampling (if there was such a thing) I’m not sure there is any reason to get a faster CPU.

I have an sT i9.
For many combinations of HQ Player filters/modulators, I cannot get DSD512 without stuttering. If I use Roon DSP instead of HQPlayer, the highest offered is DSD256. So while the CPU itself may be fast enough to support DSD1024 (or even more) there must be other limiting factors.

Yes this is correct. Jussi the creator of HQplayer has stated that there are combinations of settings in HQPlayer that would require a CPU that is 4x faster then any CPU available on the market.

So these combinations are not possible at this time. Hopefully some day there will be a CPU fast enough to run all the combinations.

I would love it it somebody would publish a list of what is possible and what is not but I have not seen a list like this yet.