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vortecjr

A novel way to massively improve the SQ of the microRendu / ultraRendu

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I'm noticing some differences in high frequency detail depending on where i plug my router in... one of my dedicated lines or on my old common line. Also I have a bunch of satellite Directv stuff here and where that plugs in also changes things.

 

My first dedicated line has a PS audio dectet with S300 in the HC section, SGCD in zone 1, and then we have zone 2 that has the MW, blu ray player, tv... and router.

(1) With router in dectet the highs are very pronounced... much too forward for my liking placing the bulk of the music behind them.

(2) Moving the router to another strip on the common line I don't have harshness but the sound is a little lifeless. There is alot plugged in here possibly leaking including 3 directv components including that coax gear.

(3) Moving the router to my second unused dedicated line (for future power of Triton towers) the highs are still pronounced but they are backed off a bit. Sounds pretty good but its still fatiguing.

 

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11 hours ago, Cxp said:

I have noticed however there is a slightly fatiguing sound using the UltraRendu... in the high frequency range where cymbals are a bit too forward and exaggerated. I have never heard any fatiguing sound out of this PS Audio SGCD/S300 setup... even with straight USB from Mac it has never been fatiguing. 

 

How long have you had it?  I heard something similar the first few weeks with the 1.4 update.  By week three or so it was gone.  You may need to give it some more time. 

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In reply to above... I have had the ultra for about 1 week. However, there is a very fatiguing nature to this sound... almost like there is ultrasonic noise or something that is just extremely jarring. I can't turn the volume up too high otherwise I just don't like it.

 

Two more important experiments

(1) When I unplug the the router.. I get about 30 seconds of music and it sounds completely different with a much more smooth tonality. The cymbals fall back into the mix and everything is balanced.

(2) Unplugging the coax from the router, I get about 10 min until the UR doesn't like it and stops working. Here the router and its SPMS are still going but we eliminate any noise from the incoming coax. Bingo... music is music again and I can crank as loud as I want and it is smooth and musical. Cymbals are not trying to tear into my skull anymore.. no fatigue. This is very enjoyable. Its hard to say whether this is as good as unplugged router this is much better and I would conclude the majority of my problem is the coax.

 

Leaving the coax unplugged is counterproductive and moving to a switch might not work since I don't see how a switch can completely filter all of this coax induced noise plus we may be adding in more unnecessary SPMS noise by adding another component. To get around this I have ordered two TP link FMCs (MC110) and single mode fiber to connect. I will power the receiving FMC with my 9V iFi Power.  If this works out I will likely be in contact with SotM to obtain modified FMCs with linear regulators.

 

 

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I don't think unplugging our cable feeds will be a poplar tweak, but I have been wrong before:) If I can locate one...I'm going to have you try one of our Sonore Signature Power Supplies.    

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As mentioned in a previous post in this tread, I am very pleased with the Aqvox "audiophile" switch.   The company website says that their SMPS power supply has been "optimized" and that other SMPS and linear power supplies are mostly useless.  I have no knowledge whether the claim is true or not because the supply that came with the Aqvox switch was DOA.  Aqvox said this was the first reported power supply failure and credited my account rather than shipping a replacement PS from Germany.  I was fine with the arrangement and spent $50 on an IFI IPower PS, which is supposed to be less noisy than a typical SMPS.   Down the road, I may try a linear PS on the switch or router.  

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2 hours ago, hfxrzw said:

Hi, for those who asked (gstew) or are interested. I run it of the 6.5V outlet of the SS with a standard phone charger feed into the SS. Brgds, Rene

The real question is if it's a low noise solution or not. 

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1 hour ago, Kendrick said:

As mentioned in a previous post in this tread, I am very pleased with the Aqvox "audiophile" switch.   The company website says that their SMPS power supply has been "optimized" and that other SMPS and linear power supplies are mostly useless.  I have no knowledge whether the claim is true or not because the supply that came with the Aqvox switch was DOA.  Aqvox said this was the first reported power supply failure and credited my account rather than shipping a replacement PS from Germany.  I was fine with the arrangement and spent $50 on an IFI IPower PS, which is supposed to be less noisy than a typical SMPS.   Down the road, I may try a linear PS on the switch or router.  

The Aqvox states that their supply is a "Linear Power Supply".

 

Can you confirm that this is the power supply you received?

http://www.aqvox.de/usb-power_en.html

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23 hours ago, vortecjr said:

Any tweak related topic is fine here. My only issue is the current is right on the edge and it's a DIY project. I may ask you for it, but not at this time. Thanks though.

 

 

Jesus,

 

If it is powered by a 9V source instead of a 5V phone charger, it is said to handle 1A output. I haven't tested this, but that is how it is spec'd.

 

23 hours ago, Theobetley said:

Great generosity as always. Not sure where I would use. Already running the microRendu (version 1.4) off the the Vinnie. Sounds like there is not enough current to run some of the 3.3/5 volt inputs into my pc. What do you think?

 

Ted,

 

You are welcome... and of course.

 

AND your Mini should be about the best available supply for your setups.

 

As far as your PC, see above for the max current limits of the Silent Switcher. Not sure what MB you are running now, but the old G31's did not pull much current on the 3.3V line... A Silent Switcher set to 3.3V and fed from a 9V supply should work ok. Would it be an upgrade? No telling without trying.

 

On the edge of on-topic, but related, I've done a moderate amount of comparing SMPS's versus Linear supplies (including LPS-1s) and linear regulator versus DC-DC converters in several applications (I can list of anyone is interested). While there is some variation in magnitude, in general SMPS and or DC-DC converters sound a bit more exciting and dynamic at first. BUT when I compare to good linear PS / regulation, I can hear that PART of the difference is some added hash from the SMPS / DC-DC converters. The Silent Switcher and the iFi iPower 5V had the least amount of that... other more 'generic' or less-well engineered solutions had quite a bit.

 

Still, the best of the SMPSs I have here (the iPower 5V) is overall very good and dynamic sounding. And even the lesser units still maintained an edge in dynamics if I tried to compensate for the effect of the 'hash' by tweaking up the volume of the setup when using the linear (supply or regulator). 

 

What I found I needed on the linear supplies was ensuring sufficient energy storage in the linear setup. As these are all DIY'd, I have set them up with pretty large amounts of capacitance for their size. AND I've been trying .33F supercapacitors as recommended in the first post of this thread on DIYAudio:

 

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/279349-practical-implementations-alternative-post-dac-filtering.html

 

These supercaps have a fairly high internal resistance (ESR), think 10s of Ohm's instead of a fraction of an Ohm, so they won't draw large amounts of current at power-on. BUT to my ear and in my setups, they seem to help add back the dynamics I found missing in the  Linear supply / regulator comparisons with SMPSs / DC-DC converters.

 

This is all in the DIY world... of course, only try this if you know what you are doing... and YMMV. 

 

Also, I should add that my reference 5V (could be set up to about 6.5V) supply is using a no-longer available dual output regulator board from a poster on DIY Audio  (OPC) that paralleled 4 LT3042 very low-noise regulators per side AND included almost 36,000uf per board (think power supply for a small amplifier). He designed it as a very low-noise headphone power supply. I feed each side of the board with an LPS-1 set to 7V, so using 2 LPS-1's total. AND then parallel the 2 outputs of the dual paralleled LT3042 board. I've tried this powering both an SDTrans384 SD Card player and Raspberry Pis with various RPi DAC Hats on top and it has bested all comers.

 

Again, a DIY-ish project, but for those able (and those who have a couple of LPS-1s to use), worthwhile.

 

Greg in Mississippi

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4 hours ago, vortecjr said:

I don't think unplugging our cable feeds will be a poplar tweak, but I have been wrong before:) If I can locate one...I'm going to have you try one of our Sonore Signature Power Supplies.    

That would be great :)

(1) Would using a better power supply mask the noise from the coax/router or make it a non-issue?

(2) If a better supply doesn't resolve the issue, then isolation from the coax is absolutely necessary. But if (2) is it then it doesn't mean there isn't a use for better power supply. Then we can see how much synergy we get from isolation + better power supply.

 

Of course we have a good control test... how does the UR sound with a SSPS with and without coax sound compared to LPS-1 with and without coax. And in addition, how each power supply sounds using an FMC.

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Jesus -  The Aqvox Low Noise 5 Volt Isolated (linear) Power supply you linked is a different product from the standard SMPS power supply included with the Aqvox switch.  The former costs about $150 US and works with USB sources to strip away the power and regenerate a clean signal.   Similar to the Uptone Audio Regen, I think.  The images on the company website also show a slightly different design between the linear and SMPS supplies.  My credit for the defective PS was only $17 which is about what a basic SMPS power supply should cost.   Hope this helps.    BTW, I absolutely love the sound of UltraRendu, Uptone Audio LPS-1, Cardas DC cable, and Curious USB cable.   A big jump over the mR with Cardas adapter and worth every penny, IMO.  Bruce

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2 hours ago, Cxp said:

That would be great :)

(1) Would using a better power supply mask the noise from the coax/router or make it a non-issue?

(2) If a better supply doesn't resolve the issue, then isolation from the coax is absolutely necessary. But if (2) is it then it doesn't mean there isn't a use for better power supply. Then we can see how much synergy we get from isolation + better power supply.

 

Of course we have a good control test... how does the UR sound with a SSPS with and without coax sound compared to LPS-1 with and without coax. And in addition, how each power supply sounds using an FMC.

I was able to find him a used Signature Power Supply if he wants to go down that path. 

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1 hour ago, Kendrick said:

Jesus -  The Aqvox Low Noise 5 Volt Isolated (linear) Power supply you linked is a different product from the standard SMPS power supply included with the Aqvox switch.  The former costs about $150 US and works with USB sources to strip away the power and regenerate a clean signal.   Similar to the Uptone Audio Regen, I think.  The images on the company website also show a slightly different design between the linear and SMPS supplies.  My credit for the defective PS was only $17 which is about what a basic SMPS power supply should cost.   Hope this helps.    BTW, I absolutely love the sound of UltraRendu, Uptone Audio LPS-1, Cardas DC cable, and Curious USB cable.   A big jump over the mR with Cardas adapter and worth every penny, IMO.  Bruce

Understood...I could not find a pic and wanted to now if it was similar to one to their linear supplies. Thanks for the feedback...enjoy! 

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From AQVOX concerning the power supply for their fancy switch:

 

POWER SUPPLY
 ...as we get many requests about this topic.

Would there be any benefits to substituting a linear or better power supply?
- no, we optimized the included power-supply to the max. We and customers tried already many other ps linear and smps: mostly useless. Just take it as a very optimum. It is matched. Linear does not mean automatically better, they do have a different distortion spectrum. Very expensive PS can get a bit better, but the SQ gain will be a fraction and not worth the stunt. eg. our LAN cables will bring many times more improvement as other highend power supplies.
 
I did have better results with their SMPS plugged into a Shunyata DPC-6 than with an HDPlex 100w. But I'm sure a better sounding linear supply can be found.

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I'm powering my ultraRendu with an Uptone JS-2.  My Cisco switch is also powered by the same JS-2.  Does anyone have enough experience for an educated guess as to whether or not adding an LPS-1 to power the ultraRendu would be a significant upgrade or would a better switch be the best way forward?  Presumably the LPS-1 would separate the switch from the uR better and have the benefit of a much shorter DC run to the uR.

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12 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

More testing is needed to figure out exactly what is going on and how best to deal with it.

Thanks, John.  This is really valuable work.

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13 hours ago, Mercman said:

From AQVOX concerning the power supply for their fancy switch:

 

POWER SUPPLY
 ...as we get many requests about this topic.

Would there be any benefits to substituting a linear or better power supply?
- no, we optimized the included power-supply to the max. We and customers tried already many other ps linear and smps: mostly useless. Just take it as a very optimum. It is matched. Linear does not mean automatically better, they do have a different distortion spectrum. Very expensive PS can get a bit better, but the SQ gain will be a fraction and not worth the stunt. eg. our LAN cables will bring many times more improvement as other highend power supplies.
 
I did have better results with their SMPS plugged into a Shunyata DPC-6 than with an HDPlex 100w. But I'm sure a better sounding linear supply can be found.

Famous last words:)

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11 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

There are two very different aspects of any supply as far as noise is concerned:

 

1) Differential Noise -- this is what is between the - and + DC outputs. This is what most supply manufacturers focus on. It is easy to measure and spec. It sounds like AQVOX is focusing on this and providing an input to their switch which is supposed to clean up any noise on the input. (no clue how successful they are at doing that, a lot of devices that say they do, really don't)

 

2) Leakage Current -- this is common mode noise, the same on both - and + outputs, so it does NOT show up when you look at the voltage across - and +. Leakage current can cause a voltage drop in two ways, to earth ground, the traditional "ground loop", or from power supply to power supply, I like to call this a leakage loop. The leakage loop does NOT have anything to do with an earth ground, is between the leakage of two different power supplies, which can even be two prong plug supplies.

 

Anything powered by a supply will pass along the leakage current to either something earth grounded (ground loop) or to another devices power supply (leakage loop). It doesn't matter how good the regulator is, how good the input filter is etc, none of these touch leakage in any way, since it is not between the - and +.

 

How this affects Ethernet systems needs some more testing (I shall be doing so in the next couple weeks), but from recent testing it looks like the hi frequency component of SMPS leakage current will pass through Ethernet transformers thus allowing leakage current from the supply powering a switch, router etc to pass on to a streamer even if the cable is UTP (non-shielded) .

 

Exactly how to deal with this I have not fully worked out yet. It can get tricky, because it may not be enough just to put a linear supply on the last switch, leakage current could still be coming from the router etc. At this point I don't know how much attenuation the common Ethernet transformers achieve so I can't speculate on whether the last switch is all that is necessary.

 

The optical connections guarantee that the leakage current from other network devices will not get into the system, BUT the supply for the optical to electrical interface should be a linear supply in order to prevent THAT from injecting leakage current into the system.

 

Again I have not done the research on this yet so I cannot specific advice on any of this, so please don't ask. I hope to do some testing with the next few weeks I shall be in better shape to make some recommendations then.

 

An interesting tidbit of the recent testing is that SMPS that tout themselves as "low noise" usually have the highest leakage current. Whatever they do to cut down on the differential noise (- to +) increases the leakage current. For example the iPower has the highest leakage of any supply I have tested. I have a little cheap SMPS that has a lot of noise on the output (- to + noise) but has the lowest leakage of any SMPS I tested. The it is still worse than the worst linear I tried.

 

Summary: the cheap SMPSes that comes with most IT equipment have large leakage which can very well be causing significant sonic degradation, even with UTP cable.

 

More testing is needed to figure out exactly what is going on and how best to deal with it.

 

John S.

SMPS the Audiophile Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. What we have to achieve is balance and determine when one aspect of the SMPS or the other is acceptable.

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11 hours ago, Ultrarunner said:

I'm powering my ultraRendu with an Uptone JS-2.  My Cisco switch is also powered by the same JS-2.  Does anyone have enough experience for an educated guess as to whether or not adding an LPS-1 to power the ultraRendu would be a significant upgrade or would a better switch be the best way forward?  Presumably the LPS-1 would separate the switch from the uR better and have the benefit of a much shorter DC run to the uR.

This setup would appear to defeat the galvanic isolation over the network. As for "significant upgrade" I'm skeptical you will achieve this. John has a hypothesis (working on the proof) and we have anecdotal evidence, but nothing concrete yet.   

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11 hours ago, rickca said:

Thanks, John.  This is really valuable work.

If you are concerned about about the leakage current from SMPS down at -120db or lower use the balanced output on your DAC...this should take care of things for you. Simple tweak and crisis obverted.

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14 hours ago, Mercman said:

From AQVOX concerning the power supply for their fancy switch:

 

POWER SUPPLY
 ...as we get many requests about this topic.

Would there be any benefits to substituting a linear or better power supply?
- no, we optimized the included power-supply to the max. We and customers tried already many other ps linear and smps: mostly useless. Just take it as a very optimum. It is matched. Linear does not mean automatically better, they do have a different distortion spectrum. Very expensive PS can get a bit better, but the SQ gain will be a fraction and not worth the stunt. eg. our LAN cables will bring many times more improvement as other highend power supplies.
 
I did have better results with their SMPS plugged into a Shunyata DPC-6 than with an HDPlex 100w. But I'm sure a better sounding linear supply can be found.

 

My personal experiances with the Aqvox switch-8 is that battery supply improves upon Aqvox included power supply. I got even better results using a SMPS bench supply (Gophert csp-3205II) with floating DC output connected to a isolation transformer with floating secondary (which BTW is also connected to a AC mains DC blocker trap filter). So, IME Aqvox included power supply is not better than anything else.

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