The Small Green Computer 5V LPS goes for $160 + shipping.
It does the job. Only potential negatives ... it does run hot (I keep mine on all the time), and the blue LED display is rather intense. If you check out my system in the Virtual Systems section here on Audiogon, you'll see that I have the power supply facing the side of the cabinet it resides in to minimize the intensity of the LED display. Overall I give it a thumbs up.
I recently made some improvements to my front end which includes a linear power supply for my CD player and battery power for my tube preamp buffer. Things have never sounded so analog. Digital glare? What’s that? I also added a VPI brick on top of the LPS transformer. Seems to help smooth things out. Strange.
Here’s some recent test data for linear power supplies. Looks like no audible difference. I was considering buying a Small Green Computer, but when I talked to the company they tried to sell me power supply magic that cost more than the server. When I questioned the need for the power supply equipment, they reported Mac mini ports are noisy. There is also little negative date about noisy usb and many professionals are using 2018 Mac mini’s for audio mixing. I’m going to save my money and stick with my Mac Mini.
Every LPS I've had experience with has improved upon the supplied stock SMPS.
As I've moved up the LPS ladder: improved outcomes.
Moving from stock DC cables to custom DC cables: improved outcomes.
Isolating the LPS: improved outcomes.
Changing power cables to the LPS: changes in results and when paired with the right power cable > improved outcomes.
Feeding the LPS via a custom power supply / power conditioner: improved outcomes.
I'm afflicted with a preponderance of misfortune in improved outcomes. I should read more and listen less.
I don’t know what VPI claims. I always go back to this quote from @dgarretson in another thread:
I read in one of my father's old MSEE textbooks from the golden age of hifi in the 50's, that a block of iron or other magnetic material in proximity to a transformer will improve coupling action between the primary & secondary windings.
SMPS can be better depends on who makes it and what it's in.
THIS MYTH GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
I used MCRU LPS with my Chord 2qute.
The result was a very odd, unbalanced, not organic, unmusical sound.
I read a number of other people reported similar bad results with LPS.
Yes, there are more positive reviews about usage LPS with Chord DACs.
But my Chord 2qute sounded so horrible with MCRU LPS, so I don’t believe to these positive reviews at all.
I guess these people just try get positively anything they bought and changed in their systems.
LINEAR POWER SUPPLIES CAUSE HUM
Anyway I wasn't referring to only LPS or power supply in general but any noise in the signal that can get to the speakers. Power supply or transformer hum is harder to get rid of short of replacing the offending item or getting rid of the component.
No, not really.
Hum in a system could have several causes:
- DC offset
In the three residences, I’ve lived in the past 20 years, hum has been completely eliminated each time depending on the cause. None of the cures included replacing any equipment at all. I’ve never had a LPS that caused a hum whatsoever. Each LPS significantly improved the SQ. They generated clean power.
I've lived in 8 residences in the last 20 years and never had or heard any hum. I've never noticed it with wall warts or linear in amps. This thread is about DACs and if a linear would improve or is it placebo so whether you use linear, switched that came with the DAC it doesn't really matter since we don't listen to those wires anyway their waveforms are filtered by the DAC.
Just go near any SMP with a portable AM radio tuned down low in the dial somewhere 5-8 hundred kilohertz where it’s quite turn up the volume make sure it’s not auto muting and see the noise it put out when you wave it around an SMP.
And this is radiated RF, it penetrates everything bar a Faraday cage, then also add what’s going back through the mains wiring of the house.
Many amp manufactures that use SMP's in their better higher end models they have linear supplies in them, think why??
I'll be sure to stay away from my wall warts with a portable transistor AM radio. I have a wall wart for a DVD player plugged in my panamax conditioner with my other stereo components never had a problem. Just use what comes with your DAC if you can actually hear it make noise then by all means replace it but replacing it with a linear with never hearing any noise doesn't make sense.
Has anyone experience w/ linear power supply with Schiit Modi3 DAC?
According to one reviewer who gave a very positive review of the DAC said he tried other wall wart types and linear power supply with it and there was no difference in sound with the Schiit., That would definitely save me money if there is no improvement. Does anyone have a different experience w/ Schiit Modi3?
@lowrider57 , email Bob to inquire. The Matrix DC cable doubled the benefit of the LPS, it's that good. I had him use 2.1mm Oyaide plugs on both ends with standard wiring using the center pin as positive.
VHAudio sells a V-Quad cable that you can DIY. I have 2 feet of it but I have yet to complete the project with a pair of 2.1mm plugs.
I can put an AM radio next to the usually poorly snubbed diodes of a big linear amplifier and hear things too, and usually much larger current spikes at 100/120Hz on the AC line.
I would be far far more concerned about the power quality on the DC end of a wall-wart that is highly unlikely to be designed for optimum noise rejection for audio equipment than radiated EMI or what goes back on the AC line, which at least, if you buy approved stuff, has to meet some standard.
I want to upgrade the sound I have. I just purchased a Swagman Labs Linear Power Supply on ebay for my Arcam DAC. The wall wart it came with is not factory and is just a small universal one with the correct voltage but it does not fit securely into the back of the arcam dac. I hope my sound will improve. The Dac is a bit lean right now but oh so open in highs and midrange. Arcam was one of the earlier companies to design dacs I think. Any suggestions guys? I am using a Schitt Asgar 2 headphone amp into nice Grado cans. When I play an analogue source like my nakamichi it is still better (fuller). I need the dac for my music on my phone.