• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Looking for a good not overly expensive linear power supply

Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#21
Like I said, if the power supply makes a difference, there's a severe design flaw in the amp, and you'd do better replacing it rather than try a band-aid.
Why is that a design flaw? A lot of amplifiers have a built in linear power supply, this one doesn't. Isn't an external power supply better than an internal?
 

SIY

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
2,715
Likes
4,635
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#22
Why is that a design flaw? A lot of amplifiers have a built in linear power supply, this one doesn't. Isn't an external power supply better than an internal?
Any competently designed amp will have sufficient power supply rejection, i.e., immunity to noise and voltage variation.

No, assuming competent design, there is no advantage to external vs. internal.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
27
Likes
18
Location
Texas
#24
I don't think measurements tell the entire story, what matters is how it sounds at the end and measurements don't tell you about for instance dynamic range or how detailled the sound will be.
Jeepers, after all these years you'd have thought they'd invent a measurement of dynamic range. Can't be that hard to devise.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#25
The Graham Slee Solo looks pretty, but you would get more improvement purchasing a JDS Lab Atom, according to these measurements:
http://en.goldenears.net/5452
than with a LPS.
So you are saying the JDS labs atom will sound better than the Graham because it measures better? look if it was up to me i would just buy the THXAAA 789 but next drop will be in august and last time it was sold out in 90 minutes. Not in the mood to wait til end of august only to miss the train. It measures good and sounds good.

As far as the JDS labs atom, i have considered it, but wouldn't a more expensive amplifier sound better? For instance https://www.project-audio.com/de/produkt/head-box-rs/ costs nearly 1000usd retail and i found it for less than 400usd 2nd hand but basically like new condition.
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
822
#26
So you are saying the JDS labs atom will sound better than the Graham because it measures better?
It will sound at least as good because it measures better, yeah.

Maybe not better because with yours, our hearing ability limit is perhaps already reached.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#27
It will sound at least as good because it measures better, yeah.

Maybe not better because with yours, our hearing ability limit is perhaps already reached.
I am simply worried that with a budget of 400usd i can get something thats sounds better than the JDS labs atom

Basically, i have a Asus XOnar essence stx soundcard and a Technics A900s amp. The Technics is much more reavling than the Asus, i can hear tones in music i can't hear with the Asus. The soundstage is also larger and a greater separation.

I had 3 people blind test it and they confirmed this, my mother, my mothers boyfriend and my aunt. They barely know what an amp is, let alone a soundcard. They were astonished by the difference in detail.

Recently i had to swap back to my soundcard, because the amp keeps switching channels but it was for sure a downgrade.

The reason i am simply not buying right away the JDS Labs Atom, which would be the easiest solution, is simply because my budget is 400usd and for that money i can get an amp that retails for 1000usd 2nd hand.

I know that price doesn't mean necessarely better, but my thinking is if there was such a big difference between the Asus and the Technics couldn't there be a similar difference between an entry level amp and a high end one?

Becuase 100usd is hella cheap for an amp made in the USA.
 
Last edited:

invaderzim

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
305
Likes
485
Location
NorCal
#29
... And my budget is higher than the 100bucks for the Atom.
....
Sadly, a lot of really good products seem to get overlooked because they aren't:

1. Expensive enough
2. Boutique enough
3. The current 'in' product for many forums

Consumers end up rewarding the BS artists that spin great stories about their latest creation rather than those that engineer quality products that are better.
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
822
#30
But the measurements don't tell me how detailled the sound will be. I had 3 people blind test my Technics A900 Reference built in headphone amplifier vs my Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard. And it's simply amazing how many more details i can hear with the Technics espeically the soundstage and separation between the instruments. Trust me, that's not bias.

Those 3 people don't even know what a soundcard is and barely know what an amplifier is. The moment the headphones were running from the Technics they told me right away that they could hear way more details.
I hear you but it could come from a bad driver installation! Are you sure all was set-up properly for the Asus Xonar?
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#32
Or scant attention to level-matching and double blinding. Which I strongly suspect.
Bro, i didn't tamper anything, the Asus was still running as a DAC for the technics, Of course, i had to adjust the volume for the listeners. But i did that for both tests on windows.

I mean cmon, it's not that i would subiliminally tamper with the settings to make the Asus sound worse so that the listeners would say that the Technics sounds better to confirm my own bias, so that i can have absolutely no 2nd thoughts that the Asus may sound better.

And sorry i cant double blind test it because someone has to unplug the headphones and change the output channel in the Asus control panel.

The Asus was set to 24bit 192khz, with some EQ, and the headphones were plugged in to the rear jack of the soundcard which has a 6mm input contrary to the 3.5mm from onboard audio (my headphones have standard 6 mm, i dont even have a 3.5mm adapter).

Bad driver installation hardly will impact the sound, the device won't simply work at all. Besides that i have been building PC'S for the last 12 years. I had the soundcard for many years and reinstalled windows many times. I know if something is wrong.
 

SIY

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
2,715
Likes
4,635
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#33
It's not about tampering, it's about not implementing the most basic controls necessary to come to conclusions from listening tests.

If you want affirmation that audiophile myths are accurate and that you should pull out your credit card, this isn't the place for it. If you want to learn about how to set up listening tests and how measurements characterize the performance of electronics, you are in the right place, all you need to do is read the reviews and ask questions.
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
822
#34
Bro, i didn't tamper anything, the Asus was still running as a DAC for the technics, Of course, i had to adjust the volume for the listeners. But i did that for both tests on windows.

I mean cmon, it's not that i would subiliminally tamper with the settings to make the Asus sound worse so that the listeners would say that the Technics sounds better to confirm my own bias, so that i can have absolutely no 2nd thoughts that the Asus may sound better.

And sorry i cant double blind test it because someone has to unplug the headphones and change the output channel in the Asus control panel.

The Asus was set to 24bit 192khz, with some EQ, and the headphones were plugged in to the rear jack of the soundcard which has a 6mm input contrary to the 3.5mm from onboard audio (my headphones have standard 6 mm, i dont even have a 3.5mm adapter).

Bad driver installation hardly will impact the sound, the device won't simply work at all. Besides that i have been building PC'S for the last 12 years. I had the soundcard for many years and reinstalled windows many times. I know if something is wrong.
Was it ASIO, WASAPI, DirectSound, ... ?
 

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
6,352
Likes
5,941
#35
Bro, i didn't tamper anything, the Asus was still running as a DAC for the technics, Of course, i had to adjust the volume for the listeners. But i did that for both tests on windows.

I mean cmon, it's not that i would subiliminally tamper with the settings to make the Asus sound worse so that the listeners would say that the Technics sounds better to confirm my own bias, so that i can have absolutely no 2nd thoughts that the Asus may sound better.

And sorry i cant double blind test it because someone has to unplug the headphones and change the output channel in the Asus control panel.

The Asus was set to 24bit 192khz, with some EQ, and the headphones were plugged in to the rear jack of the soundcard which has a 6mm input contrary to the 3.5mm from onboard audio (my headphones have standard 6 mm, i dont even have a 3.5mm adapter).

Bad driver installation hardly will impact the sound, the device won't simply work at all. Besides that i have been building PC'S for the last 12 years. I had the soundcard for many years and reinstalled windows many times. I know if something is wrong.
Key question, how did you adjust the volume? If it was by ear, that isn't accurate enough. By ear you'll get within 1 db of matching. But a difference of .2 or .3 db will make the louder one sound better in a direct comparison. So not saying you did anything to intentionally mess up the test, but lots of people thinking matching volume by listening and adjusting is good enough when it isn't.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#38
Key question, how did you adjust the volume? If it was by ear, that isn't accurate enough. By ear you'll get within 1 db of matching. But a difference of .2 or .3 db will make the louder one sound better in a direct comparison. So not saying you did anything to intentionally mess up the test, but lots of people thinking matching volume by listening and adjusting is good enough when it isn't.
Like i said, i probably had to readjust the volume because the 2 amps will hardly run at the same volume even if it's the same volume within windows. The Technics also has it's own volume control, but i left that on whatever it was, only regulated within windows.

But the difference was so night and die that volume regulation hardly matters. Imagine this, you plug your headphones in to your IPhone s7 and then you plug in to your good amp+dac combo, there will be a huge improvement of sound quality regardless of volume control.

@daftcombo

I have been a PC enthusiast for nearly 15 years, i've tried it all, sure not scientic, but the player hardly makes a difference. The only difference i ever heard was when watching movies between Potplayer and MPV player. But i won't put my hand in the fire of this statement, minimal difference if any.

Besides that doesn't matter which player you use. And if there is a difference, it might be microscopic.
 
Last edited:

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
822
#39
Like i said, i probably had to readjust the volume because the 2 amps will hardly run at the same volume even if it's the same volume within windows. The Technics also has it's own volume control, but i left that on whatever it was, only regulated within windows.

But the difference was so night and die that volume regulation hardly matters. Imagine this, you plug your headphones in to your IPhone s7 and then you plug in to your good amp+dac combo, there will be a huge improvement of sound quality regardless of volume control.
When I plug my headphones in my Samsung Galaxy J5, I don't have worse sound than in my JDS Lab Atom. It is just not loud enough for some kind of music (like classical music).

I would suggest reading this: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eed-an-external-dac-headphone-amplifier.4116/
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
6
Location
switzerland
#40
When I plug my headphones in my Samsung Galaxy J5, I don't have worse sound than in my JDS Lab Atom. It is just not loud enough for some kind of music (like classical music).

I would suggest reading this: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eed-an-external-dac-headphone-amplifier.4116/
If i go from my Samsung S7 to my PC there is a big improvement in claritiy, especially claritiy, if i go from my onboard audio to the Asus there is also an imprvement in clarity and detail.

Look, i make an example.

You can buy the Burson Fun audio amp, you can swap the OP amps, you will get better sound with different OP amps, the stock amps aren't that good. But you can also use OP amps that make the sounds more transparent and others more "tubey".

Same goes with the 2nd version of the Asus, the STX II, you can also swap the OP amps, a few are included when you buy them, and it will make a difference soundwise.

So idk why according to this forum here 3 to 4 audio devices can't sound different.
 
Top Bottom