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Superdad

UltraCap™ LPS-1 LISTENING IMPRESSIONS thread

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Superdad   

Since the first UltraCap LPS-1 units will begin arriving to USA buyers this week (with all first-batch overseas orders departing today), it makes sense to start a thread where people can post their impressions of our highly innovative 1-amp supply.

 

It will be fun to read about the uses you find for it and what you hear with it in your music systems.

 

Yet we have one favor to ask: If you have operational questions, issues, or concerns--or pre-sale questions--please post them in the new UltraCap LPS-1 Operation and Pre-purchase thread.

 

Many thanks to all for your patronage and enthusiasm. The launch has been great so far, now we will all find out if this crazy new power supply delivers on its promise. ;) What counts is how it sounds in YOUR systems!

--Alex C.

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romaz   

My LPS-1 arrived earlier today. I'm possibly the first one. I've been listening for several hours straight.

 

First test was to compare the included Meanwell feeder against the iFi 9V/2A, HDPlex and a 9V battery supply as feeders. No difference that I can tell.

 

In my system, with my mR feeding my Chord DAVE which then directly powers both Omega ALNICO speakers and headphones (Abyss, HE-1000, TH-900), I have previously used the iFi 9V, HDPlex 9V and a 9V battery supply to power my mR. iFi and HDPlex sounded equally good. 9V battery supply sounded only slightly better. This suggested to me that leakage current from the iFi or HDPlex were not impacting my SQ as much as I expected.

 

Installing the LPS-1 was extremely easy. I set the output to 7V and it was basically plug and play from there. Even after several hours, it ran warm but never hot to the touch. My mR is now being powered by a 7V supply for the very first time and is running cooler than it ever has, slightly cooler than the LPS-1. Audio gear is plugged into a dedicated 20A line and my Meanwell is plugged into a separate circuit so no worries at all about backwash noise, even if it's minimal.

 

How did my mR sound with the LPS-1 compare against my 9V battery supply? The improvement was immediately apparent. Bass was immediately louder and so I had to turn down my subwoofer a couple of notches and so obviously, this difference was not subtle. Bass is also tighter and better defined. In fact, everything is better defined. Vocals are clearer. There is sparkle in the treble that I feared could be fatiguing but has not been. The presentation for sure is more dimensional. There is more air around voices and instruments. The perception of depth is improved. Perhaps the most impressive improvement is the enhanced dynamic contrasts, especially impressive with microdynamics, which Bob Katz defines as music's rhythmic expression, integrity or bounce. There is a more effortless agility to the sound. Loud to soft and soft to loud is just impressively good. Attack is more incisive which then can stop on a dime. Simply amazingly tight control. I suspect this is the benefit of a low output impedance. As these stark improvements are noted in contrast to a 9V battery supply, once again, at least in my system, leakage current seems to play less of a role and low output impedance is perhaps what is more important.

 

If low output impedance is the largest contributer to the improvement I am seeing, it leaves me to wonder how this could be improved further, if at all. I have on order a shorter 12-inch DC cable made of UP-OCC grade silver (6N purity) and terminated with Oyaide barrell connectors. If this makes a difference, I may consider ditching the barrell connectors at some point and hardwiring LPS-1 to mR using this cable since all connectors affect impedance.

 

How will LPS-1 compare against the best linear power supplies that plug into the wall? John already indicated that the LPS-1 improves upon the JS-2. Next week, my Paul Hynes custom SR7 finally arrives. This unit was ordered 6 months ago (Paul Hynes works slow) and is the finest LPSU Paul knows how to build. Ripple noise is <5uV and output impedance from DC to 100kHz is <3 milliohms. Since John has not yet been able to measure output impedance of the LPS-1, this should give me some reference of just how good it is. This unit incorporates Furutech's newest NCF IEC inlet, annealed silver DC wiring from the transformer onward and including the umbilical. Paul is also using his ultra low impedance SL connector (<1 milliohm) to connect the umbilical to the PSU chassis. This umbilical will also incorporate an Oyaide barrell connector on the mR end. Fuse has been upgraded to the new Audio Magic Beeswax SHD. If the LPS-1 can outperform this PSU, I will be suitably convinced that I cannot do better than the LPS-1 and will happily repurpose my Paul Hynes unit. Based on what I am hearing with the LPS-1, this wil be tough to beat. Nice job, John and Alex!

 

As a second test, I tried the LPS-1 on my TP-Link FMC (receiving module). This module was already being powered by a 5V battery supply so ground noise from leakage current was not a concern. With an Aurender N10, these FMCs made a significant difference. With the mR, it was subtle at best but I kept them in the chain since I already owened them and since they didn't appear to be doing any harm. I didn't expect the LPS-1 to make a difference here but somehow, there is an improvement although no where as large as with the mR. Once again, this can't be a leakage current issue since I had been already using a battery supply. Input impedance should have no bearing here. It could be the LPS-1's ultra low ripple noise compared to the noise generated by my battery supply's internal switching regulator. I have to convince myself that this improvement is real as it is definitely more subtle. If it is real, it's probably not enough of a difference to justify buying another LPS-1 but if the Paul Hynes is somehow better with the mR, then I may repurpose the LPS-1 to FMC duty. Interesting times ahead. All I can say is "finally!"

 

If mR in NAA mode using Roon/HQPlayer improved upon the Aurender N10 by about 20% with my Chord DAVE, I would estimate improvement with LPS-1 to be at least equivalent if not more compared to what mR brings by itself. Just amazing. The mR has taken on new life.

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Albrecht   
My LPS-1 arrived earlier today. I'm possibly the first one. I've been listening for several hours straight.

 

 

I will be suitably convinced that I cannot do better than the LPS-1 and will happily repurpose my Paul Hynes unit. Based on what I am hearing with the LPS-1, this wil be tough to beat. Nice job, John and Alex!

 

As a second test, I tried the LPS-1 on my TP-Link FMC (receiving module). T

 

If mR in NAA mode using Roon/HQPlayer improved upon the Aurender N10 by about 20% with my Chord DAVE, I would estimate improvement with LPS-1 to be at least equivalent if not more compared to what mR brings by itself. Just amazing. The mR has taken on new life.

 

Thanks for this post and all your testing here. These are the kinds of impressions & reporting that are incredibly helpful to us all. Really appreciate it!!! And I really look forward to your impressions of the Paul Hynes supply.

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Wow . The first thing I've noticed is the clarity at low volume levels is substantially improved . As someone else mentioned, bass is better defined.

 

Had to turn down the amp a little .

 

Very impressed .

 

I was using the ifi 9v power supply with my microRendu.

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Cyrus   

LPS-1 arrived an hour or so ago.

 

Have it running (just now) in system, powering the mR.

 

Right out of the box, and cold, definite improvements (vs iFi).

 

My system is going through some changes at present, therefore it's difficult for me to be specific at this time. More in time.

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Arrived earlier today and is now powering the microRendu in the den. Very noticeable lowering of noise floor, improved dynamics, clarity, bass tactile impact, as well as a more "colorful" tone. Plucked/strummed strings, piano keys, and vocals seem more natural, round, and live-in-the-room.

 

I am VERY happy.

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Doak   

Was on the doorstep when I arrived home from Louisiana Philharmonic open rehearsal.

Feeding W4S Recovery with LPS-1 which itself is fed via 12v output of HDPlex 100w LPSU. Been playing continuously for 3-4 hours and system is sounding great.

 

Made some major changes recently - not to the system but the room. Preparing for a move and stripped out all of my room treatment stuff. So,,, that no doubt affects the sound I'm hearing. What I can state though is that the sound I'm hearing has never been better - very detailed, very quiet, lots of ambience. At some point, I'll pull out the LPS-1 and go back to the straight 7.5v HDPlex feed --- though that may not happen very soon. ;)

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EVOLVIST   

I've been listening to mine for the last hour feeding my microRendu.

 

Yes, I listened to all of the boring "audiophile" recordings - you know, the usual culprits - while everything sounded as if light etchiness has now turned into rounded edges, pure, moving and delightful.

 

But give me a break. Give me some Prince!

 

I cued up "Controvery," and that's where the real magic started to happen. A dense mix with an amalgamation of synthesized and analog instruments, vocals sounded more real than I had ever heard in my system. For the first time since his passing in April, I heard his voice as it really is, and it made me want to cry. But I bopped along, enjoying the space between the layers, all of the little blips and bloops, with harmonies galore, the PSU-1 is a real winner with anything you throw at it. I'm smitten with clarity.

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Albrecht   
Since the first UltraCap LPS-1 units will begin arriving to

Many thanks to all for your patronage and enthusiasm. The launch has been great so far, now we will all find out if this crazy new power supply delivers on its promise. ;) What counts is how it sounds in YOUR systems!

--Alex C.

 

Woot....

 

Up and running with microRendu & F-1 USB to SPDIF. First impression is that it's thinner sounding than the 9V Teradak alone. But, there seems to be a significant improvement in soundstage and overall clarity and separation & a "truer" sound to each instrument.

 

I am listening to Peace Orchestra, Lila Downs, peter gabriel, & St Germain.

 

IMG_8111.JPG

IMG_8108.JPG

Edited by Superdad

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gsquared   

WOW! Quite honestly, I was expecting the LPS-1 to make perhaps a subtle improvement powering my uRendu. But I was wrong! The improvement is anything but subtle. I'm hearing much more clarity, micro-detail, much more realism... it's scary.

 

I was using an El Cheapo LPS powering the uRendu and I have a very nice fiber network and I've been very happy with the overall sound. But wow... the LPS-1 really takes it up another level. It's the real deal!

 

At the moment, I'm using the Mean Well SMPS to power the LPS-1 and here are some notes I took as I listened to the same set of tracks that I just listened to 20 minutes prior to connecting the LPS-1:

 

Details in the attack and decay are much more prominent - very real sounding. Bass is deeper, vocals are much more clear, and it seems like the overall volume is increased. I have my DAC set to the same volume level as I did before connecting the LPS-1 and I had to turn it down.

 

On tracks that have vocal passages that are indistinct are now much easier to hear, much more defined. The guitar on Back to Tupelo by Mark Knopfler sounds so incredibly real... it's really quite amazing!

 

The LPS-1 has made such a remarkable improvement to my system, I'm sure I will be buying more to power my FMCs.

 

Great job Alex and John! You guys definitely have a winner with the LPS-1.

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WOW! Quite honestly, I was expecting the LPS-1 to make perhaps a subtle improvement powering my uRendu. But I was wrong! The improvement is anything but subtle. I'm hearing much more clarity, micro-detail, much more realism... it's scary.

 

I was using an El Cheapo LPS powering the uRendu and I have a very nice fiber network and I've been very happy with the overall sound. But wow... the LPS-1 really takes it up another level. It's the real deal!

 

At the moment, I'm using the Mean Well SMPS to power the LPS-1 and here are some notes I took as I listened to the same set of tracks that I just listened to 20 minutes prior to connecting the LPS-1:

 

Details in the attack and decay are much more prominent - very real sounding. Bass is deeper, vocals are much more clear, and it seems like the overall volume is increased. I have my DAC set to the same volume level as I did before connecting the LPS-1 and I had to turn it down.

 

On tracks that have vocal passages that are indistinct are now much easier to hear, much more defined. The guitar on Back to Tupelo by Mark Knopfler sounds so incredibly real... it's really quite amazing!

 

 

I'm just going to quote the above because these would have been my exact words. I was also using an El Cheapo, have fiber running to the microRendu, and am presently using the Mean Well to power the LPS-1.

 

Remarkable the improvement from the LPS-1.

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sdube   

Should get my LPS-1 tomorrow, one of the first among the international shipment recipients. (Only Mexico, Fedex besides, no gloating.) Looking forward. To be fed by JS-2, into the second of two Regens. Details to follow.

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SackATK   

First Post!

 

Not too long ago I added the Intona USB isolator to the system and it provided a big boost in performance. This made me a believer in galvanic isolation. I added a Regen (borrowed from my car system) post Intona in the USB chain but this slightly lessened the performance. I was powering the Regen with the 5V from an iFi iUSB. So off came the Regen and back to the car it went. Then I read about great performance from an Intona and Regen USB chain with the Regen powered by battery. This provided the excuse I needed to get the LPS-1.

 

I came home today and found the LPS-1 in the mailbox. I grabbed the Regen from the car, hooked up the LPS-1 and I was listening for 5 hours straight. The music was spectacular. I was a little surprised really because the Intona was already a big boost by itself and I didn't think it could get much better. But the LPS-1 powered Regen was yet another big boost.

 

Three "words" describe the re-introduction of the Regen and the introduction of the LPS-1: weight, clarity, and PRAT.

 

Weight: the kick drums kicked more, the bass punched more, the blips blipped a little harder, everything popped more

Clarity: clarity was everywhere from low end to high end, but I sensed that the clarity in the high end was extra special compared to past system changes

PRAT: I was tapping my toes and getting into the rythm

 

I was hearing things in familiar recordings that I haven't heard before or I heard them before but now I'm hearing them in a different but better way. Kudos to Uptone!

 

I also tried the LPS-1 with the iFi SPDIF iPurifer and the Coaxial input of my DAC but it didn't sound as good as the USB chain. This reconfirms that my DAC favors USB over SPDIF.

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Cornan   
A noticeable change in using the LPS-1 is an increase in volume, much like the Regen IIRC. Why is this so?

 

+1 I would also be very interested to know why since many of the best SQ improvements is the other way around. I can actually turn up the volume quite a bit without hurting my ear drums.

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firedog   
A noticeable change in using the LPS-1 is an increase in volume, much like the Regen IIRC. Why is this so?

 

Lowering of noise is perceived as increase in volume, even though actual volume is the same. This also enables us to listen actually louder, b/c much of what bothers us at louder volumes is the perception of more noise, even if we aren't specifically aware of the noise per se.

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sandyk   
Lowering of noise is perceived as increase in volume, even though actual volume is the same. This also enables us to listen actually louder, b/c much of what bothers us at louder volumes is the perception of more noise, even if we aren't specifically aware of the noise per se.

 

In other words , an improved dynamic range. I wonder if it also has something to do with instantaneous current capabilities, as the manufacturers of the higher quality electrolytic capacitors used in amplifier power supplies for energy storage specify "slew rate"

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Andyman   
Lowering of noise is perceived as increase in volume, even though actual volume is the same. This also enables us to listen actually louder, b/c much of what bothers us at louder volumes is the perception of more noise, even if we aren't specifically aware of the noise per se.

 

No - it's more sinister. JS designed both the mRendu and LPS-1. He actually wrote code, stored in the supercaps, transmitted with the output of the LPS-1 instructing the mR to digitally boost volume by 1.5dB. Just enough to give his power supply a seeming aural advantage over others.

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No - it's more sinister. JS designed both the mRendu and LPS-1. He actually wrote code, stored in the supercaps, transmitted with the output of the LPS-1 instructing the mR to digitally boost volume by 1.5dB. Just enough to give his power supply a seeming aural advantage over others.

 

He he, I like this explanation :)

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