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The new generation UltraCap LPS-1.2: USER IMPRESSIONS and QUESTIONS thread

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I'll break the trend and post a listening impression. My LPS-1.2 arrived yesterday courtesy of the ever reliable Martin Smith of Vortexbox UK. 

 

I was excited at getting my hands on the latest gizmo wizardry from our friends at UpTone so immediately did a hot swap. I swapped the LPS-1 that was powering the TX-USBultra with the LPS-1.2 mid-track and resumed playing in the short time it took for the lights to go green (on the LPS-1 and TX-USBultra). 

 

It sounded simply better. Was immediate and noticeably better. 

 

And my system was already sounding terrific. It's the Zenith SE > TX-USBultra > Directstream DAC. So lifting this SQ even further is no mean feat! 

 

Great work Alex / John! Well done on raising the bar even further. 

 

Two questions. 

 

The LPS-1 was powered by a 12V IFI Ipower simply because I had one lying around and because it takes up slightly less space behind the rack than the SMPS the LPS-1 comes with. @Superdad you wrote a few posts back that the SMPS shipped with the LPS-1.2 is pre-shunted (not sure that's a word!). So does that mean the new SMPS on paper gives better SQ than the IFI? I guess I'll have tested myself before the sun rises in California but would still appreciate your thoughts?

 

Also, and apologies if I missed it, but do you feel that the LPS-1.2 needs burn in? Just curious because mine sounded great from the very first minute. 

 

Many Thanks, 

Alan 

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

Can I use an el cheapo Chinese LPS rated at 9v/30w to energize the LPS-1.2?

 

No.  36W is the requirement for the LPS-1.2.  Besides, I have had that exact model Chinese unit on my bench and:

a) It came nowhere near being able to put out its rated 3.3A at 9V--got it to about 2.5A before the voltage starting dropping quickly;

b) I ran VERY hot when pushed.

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1 minute ago, Superdad said:

 

No.  36W is the requirement for the LPS-1.2.  Besides, I have had that exact model Chinese unit on my bench and:

a) It came nowhere near being able to put out its rated 3.3A at 9V--got it to about 2.5A before the voltage starting dropping quickly;

b) I ran VERY hot when pushed.

 

Yikes. That's what I feared. 

 

And same deal with the HDPlex 100 (the old one) - correct? As I recall, you said it can cause overvoltage spikes that will damage the LPS-1.2? Is this a danger even if I use the 9V rail?

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Also one observation regarding the LPS-1.2. I've noticed that any time I change voltage via the rotary on the back panel, it is easy to get in a mode where the LED stays RED. This happens either if you make the voltage change:

  1. while the unit is on. LED will go red, and never cycle to green
  2. while the unit is off via the push buttion, but energizing supply is still connected. Same thing - LED stays red on restart with the button.
  3. when the energizing supply has been disconnected, the LED has gone dark, but only a very short time has transpired. Again - perpetual red LED.

The only way I can reliably get it to work after a voltage change is to:

  • physically disconnect the energizer supply
  • wait 30 seconds or so
  • plug back in and turn on.

This works 100% of the time. Just a weird quirk, but it did worry me initially.

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3 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Also one observation regarding the LPS-1.2. I've noticed that any time I change voltage via the rotary on the back panel, it is easy to get in a mode where the LED stays RED. This happens either if you make the voltage change:

  1. while the unit is on. LED will go red, and never cycle to green
  2. while the unit is off via the push buttion, but energizing supply is still connected. Same thing - LED stays red on restart with the button.
  3. when the energizing supply has been disconnected, the LED has gone dark, but only a very short time has transpired. Again - perpetual red LED.

The only way I can reliably get it to work after a voltage change is to:

  • physically disconnect the energizer supply
  • wait 30 seconds or so
  • plug back in and turn on.

This works 100% of the time. Just a weird quirk, but it did worry me initially.

 

You may call them quirks, but EVERY ONE OF THOSE BEHAVIORS IS EXACTLY AS DESIGNED!  :D  

Such is even briefly mentioned in the manual.  Every time the output voltage switch is changed, every time the input power is applied or removed, the entire unit has to go through a discharge and diagnostic routine.

The original LPS-1 also did this, but the reboot time was always the same 74 seconds.  With the LPS-1.2 John's charging circuits and software routines are more complex, so he was able to make it so that 5V boots faster that 12V--again, depending upon prior setting and state of charge.

 

We ask that people power off the LPS-1.2 (with the button is fine) and wait for the LED to go dark before changing output voltage setting.  No harm will come if you change the switch while the unit is powered on, but you will still have to wait through a discharge/reboot cycle.  If you try hard enough, there are probably a couple of ways to fool the LPS-1.2 and cause it to get pissed off and just flash red, so please don't that. :o  In any case, removing charge power, letting it go dark, and then rebooting will make everything right.

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39 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

No.  36W is the requirement for the LPS-1.2.  Besides, I have had that exact model Chinese unit on my bench and:

a) It came nowhere near being able to put out its rated 3.3A at 9V--got it to about 2.5A before the voltage starting dropping quickly;

b) I ran VERY hot when pushed.

In a previous post you listed various input voltages that would work with the LPS-1.2 but you did not have 19v.  I assume this is also fine as long as 36W is available?  I have a spare 19v output available on my HDPlex that I would like to use to power 2 LPS-1.2 (just ordered one btw!)

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36 minutes ago, austinpop said:

And same deal with the HDPlex 100 (the old one) - correct? As I recall, you said it can cause overvoltage spikes that will damage the LPS-1.2? Is this a danger even if I use the 9V rail?

 

No, the original HDPLEX 100W (and maybe some 200W?) that were acknowledged not to have over-voltage protection--and would sometimes throw some big spike or simply go high--were a separate case entirely.  And really related more to the original LPS-1 which did not take kindly to spikes above about 15-16V (a particular regulator chip in the charge circuit would get a nice little hole burned into it).

 

The LPS-1.2 has a much wider input voltage range: 7V-24V.  Its current requirement at a given charger voltage is easy to find: Just take 36 watts and divide by the voltage you would like to use.  So 36W divided by 9V tells you that to use a 9V supply it needs to be capable of  4 amps.  With a 24V supply you would need just 1.5A.

 

The UltraCap LPS-1.2 does not actually draw that much current on a continuous basis (and if tin its lower-current, under 0.5A output mode it draws much less), but it does draw upwards of 36W during charge cycles.

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10 minutes ago, tboooe said:

In a previous post you listed various input voltages that would work with the LPS-1.2 but you did not have 19v.  I assume this is also fine as long as 36W is available?  I have a spare 19v output available on my HDPlex that I would like to use to power 2 LPS-1.2 (just ordered one btw!)

 

Hi Tommy,

 

Saw your order, thanks!

 

Yes, the input voltage range and wattage requirements are different between the original LPS-1 and the new LPS-1.2.

 

LPS-1 needed about 18W and 12V was the highest allowed (so 7.5V/2.5A, 9V/2.0A, 12V/1.5A).

 

LPS-1.2 needs 36W, and the input range extends up to 24V.  So 7.5V/4.8A, 9V/4A, 12V/3A, 18V/2A, 24V/1.5A.  Since your HDPLEX 19V output is capable of more than 2A, that will be fine. :) 

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

No, the original HDPLEX 100W (and maybe some 200W?) that were acknowledged not to have over-voltage protection--and would sometimes throw some big spike or simply go high--were a separate case entirely.  And really related more to the original LPS-1 which did not take kindly to spikes above about 15-16V (a particular regulator chip in the charge circuit would get a nice little hole burned into it).

 

The LPS-1.2 has a much wider input voltage range: 7V-24V.  Its current requirement at a given charger voltage is easy to find: Just take 36 watts and divide by the voltage you would like to use.  So 36W divided by 9V tells you that to use a 9V supply it needs to be capable of  4 amps.  With a 24V supply you would need just 1.5A.

 

The UltraCap LPS-1.2 does not actually draw that much current on a continuous basis (and if tin its lower-current, under 0.5A output mode it draws much less), but it does draw upwards of 36W during charge cycles.

 

It’s lovely to read that a HDPLEX 200W can be used to feed the LPS-1.2, because no matter what anyone says, am sure not going to put a simple SMPS in the same power strip as my audio gear ;)

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Just to say that I am enjoying the LPS 1.2 (set at 7 VDC & with its supplied smps) feeding the Sonore ultraRendu. I get the same feeling of upgrade from the LPS 1 that the Sonore uR gave over the mR. 'Grace and timing' improvements that make the music that more captivating.

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I've been running my ISO Regen/LPS 1.2 for a couple of weeks now and thought I'd share my experience.

Initially the sequence was PC>>Lush USB>>ISO Regen>>USPCB>>DAC.

Unfortunately, this caused the static ticks & pops to start and made listening all but impossible, I was constantly listening for noise rather than absorbing the music.

I turned off the galvanic isolation on the IR and this cured the problem, but wasn't that supposed to be an integral part of the IR's function?

The sound was great and a definite step up from the original Regen. I'd always perceived a very slight channel imbalance with the Regen, which meant that I had to carefully position myself to get the best sound.

 

Back to the drawing board...

 

I reversed the sequence from the PC to:

PC>>USPCB>>ISO Regen>>Lush USB>>DAC

 

Two things happened...

 

The ticks have stopped, nothing interferes with the music.

 

Listening to music is now immensely pleasurable. The textures, details and bass are tangible. I've not had this much fun with music for a while. 30 year old, poorly recorded, rave & hip hop tunes are getting me dancing again.🤣

 

Recently produced music sounds fantastic. Soundstaging is not something the SBLs do, as a rule, but somehow they are being coaxed to portray music in the most natural presentation I have experienced.

 

Well done John & Alex! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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On 3/14/2018 at 4:45 AM, Twinja said:

I reversed the sequence from the PC to:

PC>>USPCB>>ISO Regen>>Lush USB>>DAC

I think quite a few people have found the Lush to sound best as the last usb cable in the chain.  I am also going to get one and try this out as soon as my LPS-1.2 arrives.

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I had to switch my internet service the other day and am now using the Linksys Velop extenders thru the house. My digital took a pretty large step backwards but still plays my files, but not as well as before.  Then the LPS 1.2 showed up ( thanks Alex) and now my digital sounds a lot better. More articulate with better drive from each instrument. Larger soundstage with much better air around each performer. All from a battery upgrade just on the IsoRegen! I am now ordering a second LPS 1.2 for my UltraRendu. It's a slam dunk! I'm also VERY interested in anyone with a better ( read audiophile) ethernet switch. I'm positive that is the weak link in my digital system at this point. Great product and excellent customer service!

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Hello, 

I use lps-1 to power my SMS-200 with great results, but when I read your comments here, I start consider to switch on the new lps-1.2.

Please share your experience.

Have a nice day ! 

 

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2 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Hi Harry:

Thanks for your nice report.  So glad you are enjoying the UltraCap LPS-1.2 in your music system!

 

You might want to sit tight on the "audiophile Ethernet switch" thing for a few months.  Were are working on something (yes a switch, but from the ground up, not a modification of anything) but we are not ready to discuss the details.  As usual for UpTone, it will be radically different, very effective, and a great value.  B|

 

Count me as interested.  The ultraRednu and LPS-1.2 are magic

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On 3/13/2018 at 3:36 PM, bit01 said:

Just to say that I am enjoying the LPS 1.2 (set at 7 VDC & with its supplied smps) feeding the Sonore ultraRendu. I get the same feeling of upgrade from the LPS 1 that the Sonore uR gave over the mR. 'Grace and timing' improvements that make the music that more captivating.

I should mention the perceived improvements in bass detail/definition as well. Please note that the LPS 1 is no slouch either especially when powered by the likes of the excellent Paul Hynes SR4!

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It's not that hard to re focus on the LPS-1.2 power supply.  EVERY  time I play my digital files,  I am reminded of the sheer force and drive it brings to the event. It can play nice and delicate, and shrink down the soundstage when needed, but it has a GIANT soundstage when combined with the IsoRegen if the recording warrants it. Mine was great in a couple days but is quite a bit better after a week of playing. Does anyone have the new supply on both the UltraRendu and the IsoRegen yet?

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1 hour ago, hifiveharry said:

Does anyone have the new supply on both the UltraRendu and the IsoRegen yet?

Meaning powering both at once with a lps1.2, or ...?

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Either I guess. I was wondering if anyone had one 1.2 on each piece. I'm getting in line for a second supply to power my  UltraRendu. I'm also wondering if anyone has tried in on both the IsoRegen or the UltraRendu , and which piece did it make the best difference. Thanks in advance.

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