• 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.

Testing and checking PSU for DAC

Nango

Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
35
#1
We all hear and read often that a better power supply always improve the performance of a D/A conversion. I dont know if your equipment @amirm is capable of detecting how this really works, if any. And I would really like to understand from a science/expert point of view why this works and how, whats is important and what is not, etc.

It is just a suggestion for further gear checking after the 30st test of the DAC itself.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
15,255
Likes
9,072
Location
Seattle Area
#2
I have done a lot of testing of this. Sometimes there is a measured difference, sometimes there isn't. When there is, it can actually make things worse, not better! I can do more tests but for now, this is folklore.
 

Nango

Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
35
#3
Ok, but what exactly makes a psu better (or even worser) than other?

The less ripple and noise the better, or is this also not that relevant? ....What else? Stability of the applied voltage, current ..... Is this today important, relevant?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
15,255
Likes
9,072
Location
Seattle Area
#5
Ok, but what exactly makes a psu better (or even worser) than other?

The less ripple and noise the better, or is this also not that relevant? ....What else? Stability of the applied voltage, current ..... Is this today important, relevant?
The main difference I see are how much mains noise or spikes from rectifiers bleeds into the output of the DAC. I would ignore any power supply specs by themselves. The only thing that matters is how much they change the output of the DAC.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
15,255
Likes
9,072
Location
Seattle Area
#6

LarsS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
570
Likes
212
Location
Sweden, Stockholm
#8
I do love the influx of (derailed) subjectivists into ASR and some may even be converted into enlightened, conscious, critical consumers. Have to confess I'm one of them in certain aspects, just sold off my Musical Paradise MP-D2 DAC ... ;-)
 

solderdude

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
485
Likes
638
Location
The Neverlands
#9
Ok, but what exactly makes a psu better (or even worser) than other?

The less ripple and noise the better, or is this also not that relevant? ....What else? Stability of the applied voltage, current ..... Is this today important, relevant?
With a very simple circuit you can actually listen to the power supply in a circuit.
This is educational.
Unfortunately there is pollution on power lines above 13-18kHz which you cannot hear but.. may very well be there, certainly in digital circuits.

For those digital circuits the quality of the PCB layout and proper usage of so called decoupling caps (selecting the best ones for the task is essential) is far more important than the used voltage regulator.
For higher speed amps local analog circuit decoupling is also more important than the used regulator.
Also the PowerSupplySuppressionRatio of the used circuits is important.

For switchers common mode 'garbage' and high (and low) frequency noise/hum/tones can be problematic in certain cases.
Most circuits fed by switchers as well as USB fed devices usually have local onboard regulators and decoupling which is more important than the power supply that feeds it.
As Amir already mentioned switchers usually have more spikes and nasties than transformers/linear power supplies but is no 'rule'
There are also switchers (SMPS) that exceed many linear power supplies in 'performance'.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom