LISTENING EXPERIENCE for linear ps and switches

I agree, but there are so many now on different forums who have observed important uplift in sound with audiophile switches as Sotm, Etheregen…and the majority reported improvement still with linear ps.
The sources were very different.
To be 100% sure, only one way: try it yourself.

one was a Russ A (not much I could say), the other Fidelity Audio (not bad and admittedly one of their less expensive versions)

@Michaelb thinks that Russ Andrews makes only SMPS. But don’t know personally.

I simply had a brief look at their website… :sweat_smile:

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You were right.
Just checked, their best psu specs :

  • Extremely high performance 60w switchmode power supply

  • Robust XLR DC output socket

  • Fitted with Silencer™ mains filter

  • Incorporates Kimber Kap capacitors and Panasonic audio-grade capacitors

  • Internally wired with Kimber Kable

  • Link cable made with Kimber PBJ

  • 10A IEC input (mains cable not supplied)

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Well, it’s been around one month from the arrival of my new Sean Jacobs DC3+ power supply and I’m still not entirely sure that the burn-in is over.

The PSU made a massive difference to the two EtherRegens it is powering right from the off, but the subsequent burn-in has seen a very gradual but continual improvement with little by way of up and down and that only initially.

Having Covid hasn’t helped with the evaluation obviously, though I’ve been listening every day. Going back to stuff listened to a few weeks ago does reveal new nuances, however, and on some music has been so impressive that it roused me to post this update.

Overall, the PSU has brought a significant increase in scale, detail and texture as well as the layering and coherence of complex instrumental interplays. The difference is probably as great as the gain from adding the EtherRegens in the first place.

I’m so happy with the sound that I will probably not bother with adding a reference clock, not least of all since the word seems to be that some of the latest switches (e.g. Melco and Telegartner) powered by a good LPSU like the Sean Jacobs are outperforming switches like the SoTM and EtherRegen with even the quietest reference clocks such as the latest Cybershaft, so a future generation switch is likely to cost less than a clock and save me the space of an extra box.

At over a grand less than the Mutec clock I was considering, I may give a demo Melco switch a whirl, but I am so satisfied with things now I will probably not bother and just enjoy the music for a few years…


Thanks for the update.

Get well buddy.

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Only the car part. The Aero side is still a UK company I believe.

Yes, I was only thinking the car part, given the original context

Well the local Vitus dealer has sent me a Melco to try, which should be arriving today.

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Which model, the n1z 2?
I advise you Michael to set the bridge ( Ethernet) mode. And music library to wav. However personally i prefer uncompressed flac.
Then connect the Nd555 to the Melco by Ethernet cable.
I am waiting for your impressions. If new, it opens after 30 hours burn in…

No, it’s the Melco switch, the S100. I’m not interested in their servers. At least there’s something I’m not interested in! At least for the moment… :scream:


Of course, I should have guessed…but my curiosity now is just transferred for the S100.

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Well it’s stuck in a UPS depot for the time being, hopefully with me tomorrow. Richard very kindly sent out a new one, so it will need to burn in. I’ll let it do that with its own SMPS initially but will give it a while before mouthing off, unless it stuns me immediately, of course…

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Well the Melco S100 switch has now turned up. In terms of box size, there’s nothing to touch it. The packaging was enormous and as you can see the unit itself is a giant compared to the EtherRegens, but not tremendously larger than the Catalyst with internal PSU. Naim remote provided to help get the scale, while the rest of it is just my usual untidy clutter…

I’m now burning it in using its own switch-mode external power supply, partly because I’m curious to hear how they sound together and partly because it seems like the right thing to do: if I don’t prefer it to the EtherRegen/s, then the next person receiving the demo unit (which is currently brand new) will at least be aware of its full potential immediately.

It comes with a tiny little SMPS with separate mains cable (2 are supplied, one for UK plugs and one for Euro 2 pin plugs). They are at least longer than the EtherRegen, so less trouble reaching racks and things. The cable seems OK, but those with better cables may want to play around. I will try it with a Powerline at some point. A Buffalo Cat 6 ribbon Ethernet cable is also supplied, which I may play with later, but I don’t want to confuse my little brain with that at present. Buffalo is Melco’s parent company - or sister company, should anyone be wondering about the brand choice.

That said, I can’t wait to hear what happens when I power it from the DC3. But I will wait… why in a second…

Plugged in, the first thing I liked about it was that you can switch the LEDs off. I haven’t read the manual yet, so I have no idea whether this is supposed to help the SQ but it certainly gets rid of an irritation. For the time being, they’re on though, so everything is even in the comparisons.

Anyway, to try and keep things clear I am currently running the system only through the Melco switch only. The EtherRegens are still powered up but entirely out of the system. I can mess around later, but for the time being I just wanted to find out what the Melco sounds like with its supplied SMPS. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting much - partly due to the reviews I’ve read and partly because it’s stony cold new. Well, it’s surprised me is all I can say at the moment, because it’s definitely too early to come out with anything definitive, but it’s really rather good (as it should be for the price). It has a very natural, unforced sound at the moment, with good rendering of instrumental textures (like trombone, trumpet, drum skin and cymbal, which can easily become flat and only percussive without resononce). It also has very nice soundstaging that doesn’t just splatter detail, but maintains the integrity and positioning of individual instruments. As a result it captures the interplay in jazz very well. The tonal detail is also very organic and nuanced in texture. That’s pretty impressive straight out of the box and all I can say now, since I’ve just been listening to jazz and work calls…


Excellent Michaelb, I await your findings with interest.

Here’s a slightly more intelligent view with the EtherRegens behind, liberally sprinkled with my own patented sonic damping dust.

The Melco switch is already very impressive, listening to the high-res Naim version of Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls album Propaganda and it is capturing things very nicely indeed…

I also like the fact that all the connections are on the back.

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very interesting to hear your first impressions, thanks a lot. I believe someone previously commented about the Melco switch as reminding him of the “Linn sound” rather than outright Naim if you like - do you have any thoughts on this compared to the Cisco or the ER? Well, may be too early to say but as you get to spend more time with it?

It’s definitely too early to say and a bit of a moving target as it burns in, so I shall definitely be keeping quiet for a few days. The EtherRegen took 100 or so hours before giving of its very best, but Richard of Lotus HiFi reckons the Melco is already close to its peak at 50, so maybe not long before I start droning on…

One thing I can add though is that Melco reckon switching the LEDs off improves SQ, so I shall certainly have fun playing with that switch on the switch when the thing’s burnt in.


Is this trend something you have spotted on this forum, or others?