Additional power supplies

I have a unity star with a 2 TB Samsung SSHD mounted in a SATA caddy but has a USB3 connection back to the naim. I see there are lots of additional power supplies (up tone audio for example) which claim to improve the power supply for USB devices.

I also say there are power supplies for your ethernet port or broadband rueter?

Does anyone else have experience of using these are can I confirm if they improve sound quality? I have to be honest I don’t hear anything wrong with the flac files I have ripped from my CDs.

I thought I would ask the question before investing which seems to be quite a lot of money in additional equipment.

Thanks for those who respond

Welcome! Well, inevitably you will get a myriad of responses for and against; pros and cons; believers and non-believers. I, personally, am a proponent of good linear power supplies. For me it’s more about peace of mind for an OCD type when it comes to audio. I’m less so inclined this way than I used to be. Still, in my recent experience I have found they each have a ‘house’ sound; or rather, what they contribute gives whatever component a particular brand is powering a kind of sound signature. Hynes, Farad, sBooster, UpTone or Jacobs…they all have their followers. I’ve even read as I’m certain you will as well where a highly touted LPS sounds terrible on a given component but brilliant on another. Who knows?

For me, regardless of which I have used in my system, a well-designed LPS has brought about a very small, perceptible improvement in areas of dynamics, separation, holography and ease (following the music, so to speak). Again, these are highly subjective, but what isn’t subjective, at least in my mind, is the fact that on many hot recordings I’m familiar with, they have helped mitigate a great amount of high-frequency glare that was normally quite unbearable to endure (think in the vein of artificial electronica effects or a poorly mastered guitar crunch). Albums with certain tracks known to contain this kind of edginess from the likes of Sigur Ros, Modest Mouse or Sonic Youth, for instance, are actually listenable on such passages now. To me, that is not subjective or an artefact of my imagination.

Ultimately, LPSs and Network Switches will be a YMMV proposition. However, you mentioned your FLAC files already sound good, so you might be looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Streaming services from the likes of Tidal or Qobuz to a network player…that might be something different versus solely streaming local files.

Anyway, I can recommend LPSs. I have two Hynes SR4 models—one powering my Chord Qutest, the other an EE8 switch. I also have an UpTone JS-2 that powers both my turntable motor and DSP/bass management unit. The rest of my system is likely overkilled by a power regenerator, audiophile outlets on dedicated 20a circuits and an isolation transformer feeding my router. So, who knows what’s benefitting what? Due to this, I’d also take my experiences with a grain of salt. It certainly doesn’t hurt to purchase one and experiment. If you can’t identify any differences or positivity, they’re easy to unload, as these things are certainly the flavor of the month with digital/networking audio. Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I think you’ve confirmed what I initially thought that this is an absolute minefield

I shall try and make a few small tweaks here and there as the 'suck it and see ’ approach it’s probably the most sensible and logical. I’m sure my ears will tell me what is making an improvement or not :sweat_smile:

Thanks again Tony

1 Like

If you have a quick search for ‘switch’ you’ll find a wealth of posts from people who have gone down the path of not just exploring different network switches, but switch power supplies… To my mind the network electrical noise aspect is better addressed with a streamer or DAC that is unaffected or only minimally affected, but of course for people who have one that isn’t, or who are of the constant tweaking mentality, then these things are there to play with. In terms of power supply to an SSD attached to a computer device (including NAS or a store/renderer) it is likely that the computer generates far more electrical (RF) noise than the power supply, and to my mind what matters most is effectively blocking that from the computer output, or the device it feeds blocking or in some other way being immune to the effect of noise superimposed on the digital signal.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.