Going Battery Powered


I have a number of components that run off of 12V DC power. This includes my DAC, preamp, tube buffer, etc. I’m looking into powering them with batteries instead of 120V AC power supplies. Does anyone have any input on if this is worth my time? Seems like DC power is the cleanest power you can get in this situation. I’ve heard batteries can have reduced dynamics but I plan on using as big of a battery as is reasonable, most likely a large sealed AGM type battery. Do I need power supplies/voltage regulators if I use a large battery and only power low draw components (no power amps); e.g. the max amp draw is probably around 1-2 amps, if that. If I do, does anyone have a link to a design for the power supply/voltage regulator? Thank you.
mkgus
I suggest you search using the term "yeti 1400". Look for a thread titled something like "sell your expensive power cords and try this". The Yeti 1400 is is a lithium-ion battery powered electrical generator. It generates a perfect sine wave. I tried it in my system and it is superb. It dramatically lowered my noise floor (I didn't have a "noise floor problem" and didn't have any expectations about how or whether this thing would make a difference). because of the lower noise floor it seems like the volume is turned up and the dynamics are much improved. Music seems to jump from the background. It seems more effective to me than sophisticated filters.
Battery has always got better noise figures, from what I've measured powering the Lightspeed Attenuator. Saying that the "very best" regulated linear power supplies are "almost" as good as battery.

Cheers George
As someone who went battery power 4 years ago (my, how time flies) I can testify to the drop in noise and distortion compared to house AC power. Even though I’m using a Lithium battery powered Sony Walkman CD player with SONY MDR-v700 headphones, a modest set up, I’m sure you will agree. In fact my set up probably wins the low mass award and the low cost award. No more AC noise, AC ground issues, no more power cords, no more speaker cables, no more interconnects, no more digital cable, no more transformers, no more big honking capacitors, no more fuses. You know, all the things that produce noise and distortion. Hel-loo! No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks. 🧐
Hey, I remember the Reflections Audio dude, Stephen Balliet. I met him at the show back in 2000 or maybe even 1997. He had just finished working on the set of the Matt Damon and Jin Voight movie by Francis Ford Coppola, The Rainmaker (1997)-  the tobacco industry legal case flic. We were thinking of getting together for a show but never did.
So does it go without saying that gear that can accept 12V DC will always sound better running off batteries instead of a 120V power supply (assuming you have enough capacity to not choke dynamics)?
gear that can accept 12V DC will always sound better
Base line background noise is what your gain is with battery and you can measure it if you have a good crow, it's a sense of being even blacker between notes, in a quite room.
  
(assuming you have enough capacity to not choke dynamics)?
And a battery is not current limited, it's how long it can give that current for that important, and this dictates the amp hours needed in the size of the battery

Cheers George


I recommend the inverter route.....I have the Yeti 400 (modded) on my modded Oppo 205 and will be adding a modified 2000 watt pure sign wave inverter on my class D power amp.  Cost will be about $800 including a battery and charger.  Then I will be completely off the grid.  You still need to use the PPT stuff......still makes a big difference.
I like the idea of the inverter. Seems like that would be good for my 120V devices. For the components that run off 12V DC, wouldn’t a battery be the better option for clean power as long as you don’t mind the maintenance of charging it? Best of both worlds: battery for 12V gear and inverter for power amps/120V gear?
In my experience batteries do not have good current delivery.  You must use thousands of microfarads of capacitance across them and also bypass those caps with high speed super poly caps (at least styrene.).  I would use an inverter to get off the grid and then a super low impedance 12V regulator system with all state of the art parts (caps, regulator, wires, etc.).  And then use PPT stuff everywhere.
I like the idea of the inverter.
Like I said it all depends on the amp/hrs of the battery, for the job it’s to do, you can charge it with whatever you want, but never have it charging while your listening, defeats the whole purpose.
I have a very nice sounding MSB discrete R2R Dac that has 5 x half brick size gel batteries in it for the different power supplies in it, it charges the batteries when your not listening and disconnects the charger when listening.

Also My Lightspeed Attenuator runs on 12vdc Li-Ion batteries lasts up to 2 weeks before a recharge is needed , most of my customers buy it also as a "purest" power option, as I only supply a linear wall wart with it.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/US-Portable-Super-Rechargeable-Li-ion-Battery-Pack-DC-12V-6800mAh-for-CCTV-Cam/153537757150?hash=item23bf903fde:g:CSwAAOSwq7JT5MSO

Cheers George

In my experience batteries do not have good current delivery.
Someone needs to go back to school, better still, put a dead short across the terminals of a small 12v SLA battery, but get "real close" as you may not see the current arc. 🤦‍♂️ https://ibb.co/4ZwDct1

ricevs,
I'm a dummy; what does, "PPT," stuff mean? 
first,to the OP, Great! insightful question. And, in both theory and reality, yes.
now, practice is the hard part.  Back in the 80s, a friend and ex business partner suggested and ran, so "battery parties" where 8+ folks would get together and donate, for a while, car batteries so we could get + and - 48 Vdc with stupid hgih current (commenting on a sub thread above).
Sound: superb. Practicality: Zero.  But that was 40 year ago.
Today, for low power draw products, Lithium Ion batteries are a great way to go - but probably you will have to roll your own.  Charging is nto as simple as hooking p 12 (or whatever) volts.
 It is quieter. "blacker" as one put it. And more nuanced and dynamic.  Compared to a really good power supply, its very subtle. Compared ot the typical one, well.... your definition of typical may stray from mine. I'm not impressed.  Everything I build a power supply for gets way better.  Off topic note: wait for my rant on an Intel NUC as a ROON ROCK server, and the lessons in reality i learned.... but i digress.
It will be a project.  but the end goal may prove worthwhile.
G
I use batteries for my DIY phono/pre. It’s black, and I would not go back. I use 120VAC power for the DIY amplifiers with very fast and very quiet bridge rectifiers and LCLCLC filter circuit. A hundred kilograms of inductors and a Farad of capacitance. Not cheap.

An AC power supply typically is made from a step-down transformer and a rectifier, at which point the power peaks at nearly 1.5x the voltage of the transformer's secondary, and sags to 0. 120 times per second. Obviously this is pretty lousy power, so it must be smoothed with reactance (inductance and capacitance).

The best AC power supplies follow the rectifier with an inductor (L) followed by a capacitor (C), with two or three stages of LC. These serve to smooth the voltage variation, known as the ’ripple voltage’. Lower is better.

It costs an arm and a leg to get ripple voltage down to 1ppm, which corresponds to .012mV. Not even the worst battery is that noisy. Which is why it’s better to power directly from batteries than to regenerate and then go through the transformer and rectifier and LC filters to achieve an inferior result.

The downside is that batteries store energy and can deliver it pretty fast, so it’s wise to have them fused. And have quality connectors that can’t be pulled apart by accident.

Just my views. YMMV
jzzmusician
I'm a dummy; what does, "PPT," stuff mean?
Just another BS voodoo snake oil product like ($1) $150! ac mains fuses, but this ones a $300! contact cleaner
https://perfectpathtechnologies.com/product/total-contact/

Electronic engineers use as good if not better one for $22, but it's not got an "audio" snake oil signature to it.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DeoxIT-Mini-Gold-spray-GN5MS-15-14g/401602406187?epid=6024006287&hash=item5d815e672b:g:954AAOSwgHpa28-g&frcectupt=true

Cheers George 
  
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Just to mention there is no power or dynamics issue with low-powered portable CD players. That’s actually one really big advantage of low mass systems, the ability of teeny tiny AA or AAA Lithium batteries to provide full dynamic range without constricting dynamics. You just can’t use certain headphones like some Sennheisers. I use a vintage SONY MDR-v700 and Grados and others, no problemo.
The areas where DC power gives you the best return is where the signals being amplified are tiny such as in a phono preamp or turntable. I have an turntable that is battery operated and a Nagra phono preamp that runs off a 9 volt battery. Unlike others, I cannot say there is a big difference sonically in the phono pre with the battery Vs the wall wart, but with the turntable where I am using a low output moving coil the noise floor and degree of hum are much improved.

I would not bother going to the expense of using a battery/inverter with the downstream electronics contrary to what others have said. If you think you are dealing with dirty or fluxuating AC try a good power conditioner first.
The other part of this equation is how sensitive your speakers are. If you have 100 db efficient speakers (as I do), getting as much hum out of the system as possible by isolating and grounding your speaker and interconnect cables will give you a bigger return than going off grid (IMHO). Good Luck!
Don't stoo at the 12V parts, get a battery that handles it all ;-)

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superioraudio/equipment/0218/Stromtank_S2500_Battery_Power_Review.htm

It is probably good but it costs a lot.
I'm going off grid with a solar system using LiFePO4 (probably Battle Born). Front end is Allo DigiOne Sig. and Mytek Brooklyn + and I'm considering a Clearaudio Basic plus RIAA phono stage. The problem is power amps. Currently 300B PP and a 60s McIntosh 225 which will have to stay in the city. Are there any Class-D amps with "warmer tube" SQ that can be powered with DC? Perhaps I'm asking too much.

Maybe this is just my simplistic view, but basically isn't half of a power conditioner a DC to AC inverter. I've tried to find a low noise sine wave solar inverter for my HiFi gear, but so far not seen any.
Any insights are appreciated. 
Are there any Class-D amps with "warmer tube" SQ that can be powered with DC?

This probably isn’t what you’re after, but have you considering “higher end” class D car audio amplifiers? They can connect directly to a 12V DC battery source. Just something to consider for your situation. Otherwise, you can build or purchase DC regulators and modify a 120V piece of equipment to run off a DC power source.