I recently got an MCRU Linear Power supply upgrade for my Chord Qutest. The Qutest covers TV, Core and Bluesound Node 2i duties. First impressions of listening to the core were very positive and latterly the TV seems to have benefited also. Listening to some vinyl on the LP12 this evening is surprising though. I’m not sure if it’s just due to late night listening sounding better or if binning the SMPS wall wart has benefited everything else. They share the same dedicated mains.
Has anyone else noticed similar corollary benefits from ditching cheap SMPS on non directly related equipment?
Some years ago I replaced the wall wart on my Clearaudio Ovation with a MCRU LPS. It was nearly $400 shipped to the U.S. but big bang for the buck. The Clearaudio rep encouraged me to get their $1200 Professional Power Plus LPS, but when he learned I have the MCRU said I’m good and don’t need to make a change.
Cheap SMPS put out a lot of ‘dirt’ back on the house grid. Think LED light bulbs for instance. So, if the equipment shares the wall connection, you will hear a difference. Using a clean SMPS has the same effect as using a LPS in the influence on other equipment through the mains connection.
Interesting. I replaced the supplied SMPS on my BT router with a MCRU linear supply. The router is connected via an EE8 switch (original SMPS used) and Chord Co. ethernet cable to my Melco N100 music storage/server. Now the interesting thing here is that there is no music signal going through the router at all. My Melco is connected via USB to a Chord Qutest DAC - no music is streamed over my local network. The only thing passing through the router to the Melco is control data from the Melco App on my iPad. Despite this, there were very clear improvements using the linear supply on the router. Less digital glare, pitch of notes became clearer, timing and dynamics improved and musical phrasings became more obvious and explicit. The same sort of improvements as one typically gets by upgrading to a better quality source component, though to a lesser degree.
So, how could this be? I reasoned that although no music signal passes through the router the fact that it is connected to the Melco means that noise can still be transmitted into the system via this path. So the linear supply lowered the system noise floor which bought about the improvements. Interestingly Melco suggest disconnecting the N100 from the router for the very best sound quality so this seems to back-up mt theory.
I have a couple of wall warts near my system but not part of it, except that they share the same ring main. Since they might be ‘polluting’ the system supply and I don’t want to stretch to replacement PSUs (yet), does anyone have experience or opinions on whether fitting ferrite chokes to the existing PSU leads might be beneficial?
I confess that it’s only recently that I started to pay much attention to the whole question of ‘noise’, and of lowering the system noise floor. I had read about it of course, and I was aware of the various devices that have started to appear to combat the problem. However I didn’t take any of it very seriously - I thought that at worst it was a minor peripheral problem, certainly not worth spending serious money on.
How very very wrong I was! I now have three devices specifically aimed at lowering the system noisefloor - a linear PS for my router, an EE8 network switch and a Chord Power Array for my S6 mains block. Each of these has brought about a very obvious improvement to the sound and the music. That’s over £1K spent and it’s been well worth it.
It seems to me that in this modern world where wireless networks and wireless devices of all descriptions have proliferated beyond all imagination we have entered unknown territory. The noise radiated from all this both directly as EM radiation and as induced effects in cables and mains supply has the ability to seriously degrade the performance of hi-fi systems. We are now only just beginning to understand this and to do something about it. Rather like the early days when people had just started to understand the significance of proper equipment supports. That’s where we are now with the whole question of noise. We still have much to learn.
Many years ago (*), the first version of the Linn Lingo was found and/or believed to adversely affect Naim systems. The reason given was that the Lingo used a filtered IEC inlet. Removing this inlet socket and fitting an unfiltered one to the Lingo was the ‘cure’.
With both Lingo 4 and Radikal, having a Linn PS on mains power too close to the Naim boxes is still not quiet, at least not for me.
All Naim boxes on a Hydra ( so star-earthed) works better than not to my ear, but plugging 1 Hydra lead into Lingo 4 or Radikal and the rest into Naim boxes is appreciably less quiet. The effect is a bit like that of dreadful cable dressing.
The best result in my house comes from running all Naim boxes from the Hydra and plugging that into a dedicated mains line run from the meter, but having the LP12 powered from the standard ring mains sockets, i.e. as far from the Naim boxes’ mains supply as I can get it.
I am under the impression that this annoying degree of sensitivity is much less noticed with some other turntables, but I have not checked this. Perhaps Rega, Vertere and Brinkmann users could comment?
Has anyone tried replacing the stock SMPS on the EE8 switch with a linear supply? Chord seem to suggest that this will degrade the performance as they found that linear supplies were not ‘fast’ enough (?) and also that the stock supply is designed with filters which protect against high frequency noise.
Also the Chord Qutest DAC contains a warning in the instructions of dire consequences from replacing the stock SMPS. Anyone gone ahead anyway and were there improvements? Apart from the OP that is!
The Farad 3 is a noticeable upgrade over the stock SMPS with EE8 in my system. I had a friend over and used it as my second switch ( he has an EE8 and wanted to hear the comparison) with Phoenix Net acting as first switch and I’m in no hurry to swap them back.As in Phoenix put back as number 2
That would make sense. The Lingo supply will have a mains filter built into the IEC socket. This increases the earth leakage current and so better to let this find its way back to the incoming supply earth point via the ring, rather than via your dedicated supply that the Naim kit hangs off.
Hell no it’s just another one of those myths out there. Bass stops and starts better with the Farad and general transient speed better if anything. I can’t speak for other LPS’s but this one is great and that’s in it’s basic guise cable and fuse wise.