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Superdad

UltraCap™ LPS-1 LISTENING IMPRESSIONS thread

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Cornan   
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"

 

Good point Alex! Slew rate seems like a plausible explenation to me as well since battery power actually lower the volume slightly compared to a LPS for example. It is the major advantages with Ultracaps compared to batteries that they respond much quicker (faster charge & discharge) and the power density is much higher than batteries...but fall short in energy density.

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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.

 

When I switched to a AC balanced supply, or installed the Intona/Mutecs, the noise tanked, and I would increase the volume to hear instruments with better clarity.

If members report to lower the volume, would it be possible that the volume increase is causing disturbing artifacts of another kind?

Or maybe the music selection wasn't that good to begin with, time of day, other reasons that causes annoyance.

 

Reduction of noise increases the level of the noticeable bass, since this has the greatest energy in music, maybe that's it. By reducing electrical noise at the lower frequencies, seems to increase the bass, since it's not opposed by 'opposing' signals like leakage currents.

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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"

 

The LPS-1 supplies the Microrendu as well as the USB power for the DAC. Since the LPS-1 is more or less a close to zero output impedance (compared to a standard 1A PSU), no matter what the load did, the voltage would remain unmoved and remain stable, regardless of current loading (subject of course to short circuit protection).

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Ricky B   

Don't have much time now. My ice is melting.

Got the LPS1 PS Super-Capacitor unit. Mind blown. Didn't expect it to make a difference because I was already using a $1000 JPS2 LPS. Also the Regen has its own 5volt regulator supplying the DAC so i didn't think it would matter. This super capacitor supply is feeding the regulator in the Regen. It's unreal. Never heard my EMM Labs DAC sound like this. Bass is full, tight and solid. Instruments have life. Air around all instruments. Crazy good. I actually bought this not knowing if it could outdo the Uptone JS2 but it surely did in leaps. Figured i'd buy it and then probably sell it, but i'm thrilled. I am feeding the LPS1 with 9 volts from the JS2. Like others have said you can't stop listening. Thank you Alex and John.

 

JS2 powered MacMini & Regen - EMM Labs XDS1V2 - VTL S-400 - BW 802 Diamonds or Pathos Aurium - Hifiman HE1000V2 cans

(USB Curious Cables)

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Folks - a plea!

 

When you describe the wonderful impressions with the LPS-1, could you outline your system chain as well, please?

  1. What component did you power with the LPS-1?
  2. What's the rest of your chain?
  3. And - what is powering the rest of your chain?

 

Thanks!

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Folks - a plea!

 

When you describe the wonderful impressions with the LPS-1, could you outline your system chain as well, please?

  1. What component did you power with the LPS-1?
  2. What's the rest of your chain?
  3. And - what is powering the rest of your chain?

 

Thanks!

I agree this would be really helpful to have this included in the impression.

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Probably the best 400 bucks I have spent on computer audio.

 

 

It all starts with the packaging, really professional so you begin with the expectation that you have something special. Then the sound, I was immediately struck with the new clarity focus in familiar material. There is a feeling of space around both instruments and voice.

 

 

Definitely exceeds my expectations.

 

 

I am using my LPS-1 to power my microRendu.

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Blake   

If any users are trying out aftermarket footers on the LPS-1, I would be curious to read about any sonic impacts.

 

I will be trying out several different footer models, but since my LPS-1 is a few weeks away, I must live vicariously through the posts of early adopters.

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genjamon   

The system:

TPLink FMC's

MicroRendu

F-1 USB-SPDIF converter (powered by microRendu bus power)

Lampizator Big7 DAC with volume control

Line Magnetic 518ia as amp

Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers

 

LPS-1 setup:

I bought two LPS-1's. One is on the microRendu. The other is powering the FMC feeding the microRendu.

 

Impressions:

 

I first inserted an LPS-1 on the microRendu. Powered by the HDPlex unit that had been powering the microRendu directly. Immediately cleaner, better instrument separation and air, much much cleaner and punchier bass. Increased dynamics. Sound really opens up. Clean clean clean. HOWEVER, not as warm or organic sounding as before. A touch more analytical sound.

 

I suspect this is increased resolution allowing something a touch bright in the system to be more apparent - which had been masked previously. I plug in the second LPS-1 to power the FMC. A touch warmer sound, but not back to the system balance I had before. I am further interested in now liberating my HDPlex, to move it over to the other room and power my router with it now. The other FMC already has a pretty good linear power supply on it. I'm thinking there's some dirt/hash still to be cleansed upstream in my network.

 

Concerns:

 

In the process of removing the HDPlex from the system, I plugged in the Meanwell, and a spare iFi iPower wallwart (9V, 2A). I only ordered one Meanwell. Hmm, I'm now hearing some strange digital hash with no music playing and ear up to the tweeter. This is not present when HDPlex is powering the LPS-1's. A call to Alex this morning, and he suspects it is the iPower being taxed too hard, and the internal fairly cheap SMPS is putting some stuff into my grid that my tube equipment is harvesting. I can confirm it does arrive when the iPower is powering the LPS-1, but not when the iPower is plugged into the outlet, but not powering anything at all. However, I can also hear this same effect with the Meanwell. Under same conditions. And when they are both in the system powering both LPS-1's, the noise is even louder (I would assume double...?).

 

Keep in mind, I'm running all DHT, all SET equipment in both DAC and amp here. These tubes are definitely sensitive to noise. And I'm running them on 96dB speakers. I suspect my amp and/or DAC are not filtering this noise in their power supplies and/or it's somehow infecting the DHT tubes. They do suffer from some minor 60hz hum, inherent to a DHT's design. And this digital noise is only audible from a few feet away - barely audible from listening chair. But it's definitely there, and that's the opposite of the intent of inserting these LPS-1's in the system. Still really clean and clear performance from them, but there's this other noise present for sure. I would assume most systems will not have the combination of elements I'm dealing with here - high efficiency speakers, DHT DAC and amp.

 

I will also say that a while back when I first bought my HDPlex, I made some posts here on CA asking for help with some digital packet noise audible through my speakers - when powering the microRendu. The solution was to unplug one of the microUSB 5V supplies inside the HDPlex. But this speaks to some kind of grounding issue, that was finding its way into my system and hearing noise through the speakers. So, I'm not convinced I don't also have a grounding issue with my system.

 

I'm gonna need to chat more with Alex about the Meanwell situation, as he thought it would really only be the iPower that's doing this, but I'm definitely hearing similar effects from the Meanwell.

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genjamon   
Agree. Perhaps a trouble shooting thread?

 

Unless Alex creates a specific trouble-shooting thread, I'll go ahead and start a new thread for trouble-shooting my particular situation - once I have a diagram to share.

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I'd agree with all the comments on improved bass clarity and impact, as well as the removal of high-frequency "hash", for want of a better term. But from a musical stand point, the thing I notice most immediately is anything that has strummed or plucked acoustic guitars somewhere in the mix is way more realistic than before. Notes start and stop as they should, and the harmonics are properly palpable (a phrase I might have to register :-))

 

This is all from Roon on my MacBook Pro over standard networking to Rendu. Impressions are the same going into different DACs I happen to have lying around. Great job, guys!

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Superdad   
Unless Alex creates a specific trouble-shooting thread, I'll go ahead and start a new thread for trouble-shooting my particular situation - once I have a diagram to share.

 

Hi I created a new thread for discussion of troubleshooting, grounding, weird noises, etc. It is obviously called:

"UltraCap™ LPS-1 Troubleshooting, system grounding, etc."

 

And I've moved all those posts from this afternoon over there.

 

Just to be clear, none of these issues Benjamin is wrestling with have ANYTHING to do with the DC outputs from his LPS-1 units. Those are totally clean an isolated. And from our telephone conversation, his issue goes away when he removes the iFi iPower from the equation. I have two LPS-1 units powered by the Mean Wells playing right now and there is zero noise anywhere.

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sdube   

Yes, greater see-throughness, an even closer sense of actual music, and that is with a very well sussed out system already.

Simply put the LPS-1 inserted creates an intimacy with the music I’ve not experience to date…. and I was stoked with the way my setup sounded already. Productivity just took a big hit!

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Got the LPS1 PS Super-Capacitor unit. Mind blown. Didn't expect it to make a difference because I was already using a $1000 JPS2 LPS. Also the Regen has its own 5volt regulator supplying the DAC so i didn't think it would matter. This super capacitor supply is feeding the regulator in the Regen. It's unreal. Never heard my EMM Labs DAC sound like this. Bass is full, tight and solid. Instruments have life. Air around all instruments. Crazy good. I actually bought this not knowing if it could outdo the Uptone JS2 but it surely did in leaps. Figured i'd buy it and then probably sell it, but i'm thrilled. I am feeding the LPS1 with 9 volts from the JS2. Like others have said you can't stop listening. Thank you Alex and John.

 

I didn't expect there to be as much difference as there was switching a Regen from the JS-2 to the LPS-1 either. Switching from the MeanWell to the JS-2 had brought a pretty big improvement. Going from the JS-2 to the LPS-1 was an even larger improvement, not what I expected at all. System is in signature.

 

My experience is similar to how folks have been describing the improvements with the Microrendu.

 

I had been thinking that there wouldn't be a huge difference between the JS-2 and the LPS-1 powering the final Regen in my chain, and that I would be able to use the LPS-1 with my transportable system. That isn't going to happen.

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DanRubin   

Agree with all the rave reviews. After years of playing with DACs, software and cables, the microRendu was the biggest improvement I had ever had with computer audio. The LPS-1 powering it seems to be a similarly huge leap. Major kudos to John and Alex.

 

i had been thinking that I should replace the Mac Mini wth a dedicated server solution, but now I wonder if these Uptone products have made that unneccessary.

 

Dan

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firedog   

I'm going to find all these testimonials suspicious till at least one person says the LPS-1 didn't make much of a difference . :)

 

Waiting on mine in the second batch - hopefully at my door in about 3 weeks.

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zettelsm   
Agree with all the rave reviews. After years of playing with DACs, software and cables, the microRendu was the biggest improvement I had ever had with computer audio. The LPS-1 powering it seems to be a similarly huge leap. Major kudos to John and Alex.

 

i had been thinking that I should replace the Mac Mini wth a dedicated server solution, but now I wonder if these Uptone products have made that unneccessary.

 

Dan

 

I pretty much agree with with Dan (other than the part about DACs). The LPS-1 powered by an IntoCircuit 32000 mah battery supply, in turn powering a microRendu is easily the best digital sound I've gotten from my system. The LPS-1 has been a very nice upgrade over the IntoCircuit battery alone supplying the microRendu -- more dynamic, better micro-detail, better sense of space and ambience. And a more relaxed, less "digital-sounding" tonality.

 

I went with the microRendu after using both an Auralic Aries with the Auralic upgraded power supply, and an Aurender N100H. I've stopped looking for a dedicated music server since using a microRendu. Adding the LPS-1 only reinforces this decision. As good as the microRendu is, the LPS-1 helps me hear its full potential.

 

For those who have requested specific details about how the LPS-1 is employed:

 

Signal path: Thecus N5550 and Thecus N5200 Pro NAS > Mac Mini/Roon/HQPlayer in pass-

 

through mode > Apple Airport Extreme > AudioQuest Carbon/Telegartner ethernet jumper > TP-

 

Link MC210CS > 10 meters 9/125 SC/SC fiber optic > TP-Link MC210CS > AQ

 

Carbon/Telegartner jumper > microRendu (powered by an IntoCircuit 32000 mah battery pack

 

supplying an Uptone Audio LPS-1) > Audience AU24SE USB cable > Playback Designs MPD-3

 

The rest of the system is in my signature.

 

Thanks Alex, John and Jesus for making digital music playback so enjoyable!

 

Steve Z

Edited by zettelsm
correct weird spacing/punctuation issues

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Superdad   
I'm going to find all these testimonials suspicious till at least one person says the LPS-1 didn't make much of a difference . :)

 

Well Danny, it didn't do squat for my cordless phone or my electric shaver!

Calls still cut out when I walk the dog down the driveway, and my wife says I still have stubble on my face. I'm going to return the darn thing--after I use it to charge my cordless drill. Maybe my holes will come out straighter and I'll stop dulling drill bits...

;)

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sdube   
I didn't expect there to be as much difference as there was switching a Regen from the JS-2 to the LPS-1 either. Switching from the MeanWell to the JS-2 had brought a pretty big improvement. Going from the JS-2 to the LPS-1 was an even larger improvement, not what I expected at all. System is in signature.

 

My experience is similar to how folks have been describing the improvements with the Microrendu.

 

I had been thinking that there wouldn't be a huge difference between the JS-2 and the LPS-1 powering the final Regen in my chain, and that I would be able to use the LPS-1 with my transportable system. That isn't going to happen.

Agree, totally, on LPS-1 on final Regen -- after iFi USB 3 and first Regen-- all three powered by one 9v output of JS-2, the other output feeding a fully Uptoned Mac Mini. Besides, the deal is the sweeter paying just 18 USD on customs after a two-day international delivery by Fedex. (Of course, I have had to face grief from the formidable Ishita on the multiplying boxes: "Do you really need *all these* thingamajigs"?, she asked with a toss of her head. Who knows, but don't have the heart to take out the iFi and the first Regen.) Thank you Alex and John and team.

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EVOLVIST   

Imust say, I didn't think it would happen, but after a few days of the LPS-1 feeding my microRendu, the sound has gotten better over the first day. I've kep both mRendu and LPS-1 on at all times. The sound is even more realistic, without a trace of edginess.

 

Now, as soon as I can get my Focal Utopia cans in, I believe my system will be pretty damn complete.

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Jud   

 

OK, time for a little more detail. ;)

 

First, some background may be useful. For the past several months I've been occupied, with the help of good friends, in successfully reducing the noise in my system. Much of the reduction has come from changes in system topology, and two other changes that have helped have been a Baaske Ethernet isolator and a small B&K Precision iso transformer. The Baaske (bought used on eBay) is on the Ethernet connection between an eero router and either my MacBook Pro (when using Audirvana+) or the Cubox TV that serves as an NAA (when using HQPlayer). The B&K (less than $100) is what I plug the SMPS into that powers the MacBook Pro. (The SMPS put quite a bit of noise into the system when it was plugged into a power strip or the wall, and the B&K stopped it.) The Regen in my sig is powered by an El Cheapo. (Though I usually run the DAC from its battery, the Regen is connected to the DAC through the USB cable.) The B&K, the El Cheapo, and everything else are plugged into the wall or an old MIT power strip I've had forever (and the MIT is in turn plugged into the wall).

 

This arrangement eliminated all audible noise, even from quite sensitive components, and has made the music sound very good, so I didn't know what to expect from the LPS-1.

 

The LPS-1 hasn't made my system sound totally different. My listening impression is that it has removed more low level noise and allowed more low level details in the music to come through. This has made for more relaxed listening, with a feeling of not having to work hard to hear subtleties like inflections in the way instruments are played and vocals are sung, and a sense of more palpable imaging and soundstage. Overall, in a system that already had low noise levels, this is a very nice improvement.

 

One additional thing I have tried is to unplug the MacBook Pro and run it from its battery while plugging the El Cheapo into the B&K, to see whether any possible noise the El Cheapo was putting back into the mains might be stopped that way. To me it sounds as if this has made a further improvement, and since the B&K is quite inexpensive, I've decided to get another one in order to plug both the MacBook Pro and the El Cheapo into them.

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