I reccommend you swap out the SMPS for an IFI SMPS, they are an order of magnitude less noisy than stansard SMPS and even quieter than the dedicated Linear power supplies. They are virtually noise and RFI free and i highly rate them for improved SQ. I also suggest you ground the dc output of the SMPS for an even greater noise free SQ improvement. I did this on my V90 dac and the iprovements in SQ were quite startling. It just goes to show how much design of certain hi fi products are restricted in some way as they are built up to only a certain standard. The IFI smps costs 50.00 and is well worth the outlay for what you’ll be recieving.
Looked at these and will investigate further. That would be two items sorted…
The other one is an LED clip on lamp, but that uses a USB plug into a wall charger. Any thoughts?
What’s a SMPS and IFI SMPS please?
Switch Mode Power Supply are little power plugs which are very cheaply made from china and are very poor in delivering clean power, they are mostly built to a very low standard and sound accordingly. They are used when powering small electronics like dvd players and dacs and various other things as well.
The IFI SMPS is an hugely upgraded virtually noise free power supply with corresponding improvements in picture and sound and it has active noise cancellation which works extremely well too. You can find more on the IFI SMPS on their webpage, explaining how they work. I really rate them for the price/value which they bring. If i ever buy any AV electronics in the near future they will be on my shopping list.
I’ve tried a few iFi iPowers, and was rather underwhelmed by their performance. So I tried the AM radio test that I mentioned above, and found that they were churning out a fair amount of RFI, albeit not as much as some other wall warts I tested. Besides, if they were really so quiet, they wouldn’t need to put a ferrite on the DC output cable.
Not that I’m suggesting you should ditch them just because of what I say, if you’ve had good results from them that’s great.
I also use a ferrite on the cable too but it’s a 75mix one a quarter of the cable up, the more wraps the better too, this supposedly helps with the bass. The SQ improvement was quite large combined with the IFI as i went from the cheapo light one which came with the dac which gave a very flat average sound with no dynamics whatsoever so i was quite taken aback when first hearing the new SMPS. But the biggest SQ improvement i recieved was when i grounded the dc power connector and this really blew me away as it felt like a typical box upgrade. I was quite startled at the time and was watching live athletics at the time:- the whole stadiums ambience and atmosphere was lit up and the minute details of competitors, judges and crowd could be easily heard where previously this was non-existant. I got the dc grounding tip from a forum member pointing me to a 43 page webpage describing how to ground the dc connector. I used the IFI groundhog connector but an even better DIY grounding connector can be used too. Basically there’s a large amount of dc leakage from the connector and grounding it solves this problem. Don’t know the forum webpage anymore but it’s definately worth investigating for large SQ improvements.
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