Cheap power supply in audio mains extension block


I have Wireworld Matrix V2 extension block. My Uniti Atom is connected to this block. Also TV and TV box are also connected to the same block.

TV box has cheap China power supply. Should I be concerned? Maybe it can introduce noise to audio system. Also TV box has a coaxial cable connected to it. This is another worrying thing.

Should I replace this power supply to linear? If yes, what could be possible options for that? (reasonable priced)

Best way to find out if it’s causing a problem is to unplug it. Does your Atom sound better ?

Not sure about the comment about the cable box coax connection - are you concerned about ground loops. How is your TV connected to the Atom ?

Sorry for very big delay, I somehow managed to miss your reply…

Yes, I’ve tried to unplug it. I don’t notice differences immediately. But they are noticeable after prolonged listening. When everything is unplugged except switch and Atom, music becomes more enjoyable and clearer. Of course it can be partially placebo. But I want to be sure, that Atom gets clean power and clean Ethernet signal as much as possible. At least on a theoretical level.

I’ve made a detailed plan of my connection setup.

As you can see, all equipment is connected to each other via Ethernet, HDMI, and power lines. So some noise from cheap power supplies and from coax cable should really reach Atom. And I want to avoid that.

So first of all I want to deal with cheap power supplies. Maybe to replace them to linear. TV box power supply is the worst and cheapest one. What could be possible options for that? The next step would be to isolate coax cable, but I’m not sure how to do that. I’ve read somewhere that coax cables are usually extremely noisy and should be avoided in hi-fi connections as much as possible.

As for switch I’m going to replace it with AQVOX audiophile switch. It has already optimized high quality power supply.

1 Like

As far as I can see, the Aqvox seems to be a very cheap consumer grade switch (£15 on Amazon) that has been modified. I would be inclined to get a used Catalyst, which is a solidly built, electrically silent switch that you can easily pick up on ebay for £50. Then, a dedicated mains circuit for the Atom might not be too expensive, and would give some isolation from all the other stuff.

1 Like

Yes, Aqvox is modified switch and modifications were made purposefully to improve sound quality. I couldn’t find negative reviews about this switch. It seems that modifications are huge and they really improve audio quality. I’ve heard that Cisco Catalyst is also good solution, but I have a feeling that Aqvox would give much better results, because it was specifically modified for audio, what can’t be said about Catalyst.

As for dedicated mains I don’t know how to do it cheaply. I should have to remove all the walls in my apartment for this purpose :slight_smile: . Now all the outlets in my apartment are connected to one fuse. And from this fuse goes only one cable. So it is multiplied to other outlets inside the walls.

Also I’ve thought about Isotek EVO3 Sigmas. It is expensive filter. But I’m planning to upgrade my audio system in the near future, so it should be useful device. Seems that it improves SQ even on Naim equipment. I’ve read some reviews about it.

Luc - The Cisco switch, by virtue of its design, already addresses the issues the modifications made to the Aqvox try and address (better clock, lower EM footprint etc). I wouldn’t get hung up that that the Aqvox is marketed as designed for audio - whatever that means. As Chris mentions - i’d take a look at the Cisco and spend the money saved elsehere.

Might be worth a read of this - Hifi Critic - audio networking

You will improve not much with the Isotek. Think of the switch, I guess the improvement was very small and haven’t relation to the investment.
Better would be to replace the loudspeaker cable (try Tellurium - incredible) and also the HDMI cable.
Are you German? Then try HMS Energia MK II + HMS Energia SL/V for the Atom and read what Mr. Strassner is telling us.

Reply to your Question: I separated the cheap power supplies (Switch and HDD for TV) from the mains extension block HMS Energia MK II DCS (DC blocker). I connected soundbar and TV also in the mains extension block to benefit from it too. They have own extension block and own wall socket. Important is that the devices are not connected via NF cables. That’s not the case in your configuration. And the next is to use a better power chord for the Atom.

My advice. Don’t worry about it and enjoy the music. There is too much of this trying to improve things for the sake of things. I’ve changed switches, linear PSU, cables. They really make insignificant changes in my experience. Obviously your experience may vary but spending that much money on a switch is silly and would be better spent elsewhere.

This is my CU.
Circuit breaker No 12 is free.

Would it be considered as ‘dedicated mains circuit’ if I run high quality AC wire from this circuit breaker to audio outlet?

I’ve read other posts about dedicated mains. And people suggest to connect to feeding cable before it reaches CU. But I’m not sure if it would be possible in my case. So I’m thinking would it be benefit to run the wire as I described.

Also my AC wire would be external. I would run it in wall-ceiling corner. It would be too complex to hide it in the walls. This is another thing I’m not sure about…

Thanks, James. I’ll look more closely to Cisco Catalyst 2960. But anyway I want to try dedicated switch. Aqvox has 30 days return policy. I will not lose anything by checking it.

Also there are more brands of dedicated switches. For example the linear solution, sotm-audio. They do not modify existing switches, but do them from scratch. They should really be better than Cisco.

Spending 15K Eur on Naim Classic separates and the same amount on speakers – this is silly :slight_smile: . Or maybe not, depends on situation.

The biggest sound improvement I’ve got from my Atom was by going from wi-fi to wired connection. I couldn’t believe my ears how sound quality improved. I understood that network connection is one of the most important parts talking about network music streaming.

Maybe you are right, it is silly, but I have to try it. Maybe it will bring me the second biggest improvement in my system.

Thanks for your suggestions. I will have them in mind before upgrading my system.

No I‘m not from Germany. But it is not the problem. Most online shops are international.

What do you mean by saying ”NF cables”?

Sorry, RCA audio cable.

To invest in a Cisco Catalyst 2960 instead of your Aqvox (a modified Netgear) :thinking: For me the dicussion is odd. I bought a Netgear switch in metal housing with better power supply than the plastic one, that’s it.

Written in german, but you can translate it in Google.

This is the mains extension blog from HMS (right side) for Nova, TV and Soundbar that uses the same housing of the normal extension block from Kopp (left side). The big cable is connected to the Nova and the same type as used for the mains extension block.
The right plug of the mains extension block for the Nova has other filter settings (for power amplifier) than the two on the left are for digital sources. The difference in price between the two is 600 EUR :flushed:.

1 Like

Hi, the optimum way to instal a dedicated mains circuit is to use a small separate consumer unit just for the HiFi. The components are not very expensive, but you need to find somewhere to mount it. As you are short of sockets, you may still benefit from running it from that spare breaker so that it doesn’t have to share a power strip. You could always get a quote from an electrician.

1 Like

Funny I never noticed any difference in sq between wired and wireless myself. It made the Atom more responsive and less likely to crash but that was it. Biggest improvement for me so far has been to use a much better power block. This suprised me it may well be placebo though.

I also spent no time in network switches because the improvement may very small compared to other investment. So I bought 3 network cables from QED, 1 Netgear switch to connect TV and Nova and 1 HDMI cable from QED to connect the soundbar to the TV (was a big surprise how the sound improved to the basic HDMI cable from Amazon). I have cable TV so a TV box is not needed :smiley:.
The network is connected trough from a stroreroom at the other end of the apartment where the router is placed and connected to the internet. From the 4 Mbit outputs of the router, every room in the apartement is connected as shwon in the picture. Could be not better! There is also a switch behind the router because there is my NAS and Lupusec alarm device (in summary I need 6 connections).
Sorry for the picture. The HMS mains extension block is connected on the right wall plug that you can’t see in the picture.

Thank you all for your suggestions and valuable information.

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