I am happy with microRendu, used as a Roon endpoint for my headphones setup. I also have a Singxer SU-1 feeding my DAC via i2s. However, I keep reading that mRendu would perform better with some modifications. Therefore my questions:
1 - Would mRendu benefit from a good power supply, such as Uptone UltraCap LPS-1? Currently using it with the stock iFi iPower (the $49 device).
2 - If yes, what types of improvements would I be able to notice?
3 - Is there a similar-performance power supply with LPS-1 out there at a lower price? LPS-1 is expensive for me.
4 - Is there improvement for further “cleaning” mRendu output using a device such as iFi iUSB3.0 Nano or Micro, or is this unnecessary, and / or redundant?
As you can tell, I am really suffering from an upgrade itch
I’m toying with the same questions. Currently using a uRendu with the iFi PS. From the many posts I’ve read, I do believe the Uptone LPS-1 will significantly improve SQ. I suspect the degree to which it does will depend on your DAC. But for $400, it’s probably a very worthwhile improvement if your dominant listening is via the uRendu. I haven’t heard of a cheaper PS that is as good or better than the LPS-1. But if that itch is really bothering you, the Sonore Signature PS is one sure way to deal with it.
There’s also high-priced USB and ethernet cords. Many swear they hear significant improvements. I’ve tried a few but haven’t been convinced… Then again, it was that itch that got me to try to them begin with.
@thyname & @mdconnelly I am a new microRendu owner. I have also been eying the Uptone LPS-1. But it is larger than the microRendu - I don’t like that. I also question if I can hear the difference. I do not question that some people can hear it and that the difference is important to them. But I don’t think I am in that exclusive club. But then again, what if I’m missing something that I would have regarded as important
I’m using an LPS-1 with an mR. The main thing I noticed when swapping to the LPS-1 from an iFi was increased transient response. Edges became more sharply defined. This wasn’t just a subjective perception. One of my tube power amps (Manley Snappers) has always been a bit more sensitive than the other and has blown B rail fuses about twice a year. With the LPS-1 feeding the mR it blew 3 in a week. I upped the voltage rating of the slo-blow ceramic fuse to solve the problem, but thought that was a reasonable demonstration that the signal had sharper transients with the LPS-1.
I don’t know a lot about power supplies so can’t say if there is anything similar available at a lower price. Batteries are similarly isolated but I understand they have impedance issues. There are devices that will swap between battery banks but they are more expensive than the LPS-1.
I second @andybob’s observations. I did not have anything to blow up, solid-state amps, but the attack and decay (plucked strings, piano, cymbals) became better defined, closer to the live instrument experience (which I’m lucky to enjoy frequently). Before the LPS-1, I had a similarly-priced Teddy Pardo LPS, which was good relative to lesser power supplies, but not as good at the LPS-1. I looked around quite a bit and the LPS-1 was the best choice in quality and size in its price range. I now own two powering two microRendus.
I doubt that any of the current USB decrapifiers will do much to improve over microRendu+LPS-1 provided your DAC has a good USB input stage. However, converting from USB to S/PDIF or, even better, I2S, might be a win. Looks like you have a SU-1 already
Funny, just waiting for my Holo Spring KTE 3, the SU-1 just arrived. They’ll go on one of my systems, the other has an Yggdrasil.
As an alternative or as powering PS for the LPS-1? I’m pretty skeptical of replacing the Meanwell SMPS that comes with the LPS-1 by a fancier power supply, it seems a waste. Yes, some people worry about the noise that SMPSs put on the power distribution system, but our homes are already so full of that that an additional SMPS – and a good one at that – won’t break the camel’s back.
I’m guessing the Sbooster is more comparable to a TeddyPardo unit than it is to the LPS-1. It’s perhaps worth noting that the LPS-1 was designed specifically with the microRendu in mind, by the same guy — John Swenson — who designed the mR.