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Vinnie Rossi Ultracapacitor Power Supply Review and Comparison to UpTone LPS-1

Blumlein 88

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#21
Well, the B&K 9801 retails for $2,000 so not cheap :). I plan to do some special testing with it later to see sensitivity of general audio electronics to AC variations.
What do you mean not cheap?

Makes perfect sense to me. Buy a $99 Modi 2. Buy an ISO Regen for what like $315. Buy a BK Precision 9801 power supply for $1995. For such clean power creating such clean USB there'll be nothing available in one unit to compete with this $2409 assemblage of gear. All one could do to improve it would be adding a $8k power conditioner between the wall socket and the BK 9801.
 

Don Hills

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#22
... @ Don Hills, was what Amir described your understanding?
No. I misunderstood his original description. But this is worse. O. M. G. Why would they do that? With that, and the overall design, and the safety issues (I agree with Amir's analysis of those on all counts), I wouldn't touch one of these. It puts the lie to the saying that no-one ever died from hi-fi. If that thing caught fire and burned a house down, I suspect the insurance company would be somewhat hesitant about paying...

Amir, please get the permission of the owner to do some safety mods. At a minimum:

- Do the ground connection properly:
- Screw goes in from outside the case. Clean the paint off on both sides of the hole.
- Star washer.
- Nut. Tighten securely.
- Lug with the wire crimped (they got that part right, not soldered.)
- Another star washer.
- Another nut. Tighten securely.

- Redo the mains wiring at the IEC socket - heat shrink over each connection, and a big piece over the whole socket. Do something to stop that X capacitor waving in the breeze.

The output circuitry between the main board and the output terminals is a bit "how ya doin'" as EEVBlog Dave(*) says. That little board with the regulator and the caps appears to be supported only by the legs of the regulator screwed to the heatsink. The caps on the board appear to be floating, and the electro / ceramic combo at the output terminals is a pure bodge job. It's all too dodgy for words. You're right, the output terminals should be moved to the front panel.

I don't know how much heat that regulator dissipates at full output, but the thermal design sucks.
Regulator - silicone pad - paint - steel panel - paint - heatsink.
For the cost of a couple of small components they could have used the big transistor on the heatsink as the pass transistor for the regulator.

(*) Is there someone in Aus who has one of these and could send it to Dave for a teardown? I can see it now... it woud be epic. :D
 

tomelex

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#24
Amir, you have helped those folks with low knowledge of electronics but the intelligence to listen to Science. WELL DONE!
And also a shout out to all the rest here who post science and facts. What a great site we are!
 

Wayne

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#25
Thanks Amir for the testing this power supply and explanation. It is really eye opening... Who would have thought? Not me anyway.

Sorry, did not see the below (read too quickly):

The whole story comes together this way: I firmly believe they bought a linear power supply which used that TO-3 transistor and transformer for its functionality, and butchered it to create this supply. The replaced the input supply with the switchmode supply and are using off-the-shelf regulator for the output:
 

Mivera

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#26
Why don't you test a real power supply like a Daitron? Since they're designed for critical medical gear applications, they must meet spec or people die. They also have 70 years of experience. Truly SOTA units, and only $200 in single quantities for the 30w models.
 

amirm

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#27
Why don't you test a real power supply like a Daitron? Since they're designed for critical medical gear applications, they must meet spec or people die. They also have 70 years of experience. Truly SOTA units, and only $200 in single quantities for the 30w models.
I am testing what audiophiles may purchase. Their supplies are open cage and for OEM system builders. It is not something anyone would buy from retail channel.

Why don't you buy and measure it?
 

Mivera

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#28
I am testing what audiophiles may purchase. Their supplies are open cage and for OEM system builders. It is not something anyone would buy from retail channel.

Why don't you buy and measure it?
Smart audiophiles would buy them. They aren't open cage. They are closed in. And have screw terminals on them. Not an Audiophile bling case, but could be used directly behind gear on an equipment rack. I already have tested them. Meet their advertised specs perfectly. They aren't popular in most Audiophile gear because it's much cheaper to just build a run of the mill linear supply. With typical Audiophile gear markup, by the time it was placed in a fancy case, with some nice discrete post regulators, it would be a $3000+ supply.
 

jtwrace

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#29
Smart audiophiles would buy them. They aren't open cage. They are closed in. And have screw terminals on them. Not an Audiophile bling case, but could be used directly behind gear on an equipment rack. I already have tested them. Meet their advertised specs perfectly. They aren't popular in most Audiophile gear because it's much cheaper to just build a run of the mill linear supply. With typical Audiophile gear markup, by the time it was placed in a fancy case, with some nice discrete post regulators, it would be a $3000+ supply.
Can you post some measurements?
 

Mivera

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#30

jtwrace

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#32

Mivera

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#33
Yeah put an array of 4 paralleled LT3045 post regulators after it for only 0.2uVripple noise. Leakage current only 30-50uA. Put a choke filtered ground EMI filter with 2uA leakage current before it to drop leakage to 2uA.

That's our base supply configuration in our gear.
 

jtwrace

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#34
Yeah put an array of 4 paralleled LT3045 post regulators after it for only 0.2uVripple noise. Leakage current only 30-50uA. Put a choke filtered ground EMI filter with 2uA leakage current before it to drop leakage to 2uA.

That's our base supply configuration in our gear.
Perhaps you should make a standalone power supply. :p
 

Mivera

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#35
Perhaps you should make a standalone power supply. :p
The way I see it, any gear worth buying already has a supply of this caliber built in :)
 

bibo01

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#36
Perhaps there is an explanation why there is a big trans and an SMPS tucked in there.
The charge circuit is very taxing on this charger as large currents get drawn intermittently. Apparently there were some hum problems with the trans in the first units. So it is likely that people were not only hearing hum from those first units, but that it was intermittent—every little while the box would make a big hum when heavy charge current was drawn.
Therefore, the designer fixed those units by introducing, I believe, an SMPS in the architecture.
Obviously, this does not absolve the whole device.
 

FrantzM

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#38
I am reading this while trying to shake off the disbelief...
Do they call this unit a "linear" Power supply? Is this legal ?
 

Cosmik

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#39
Apparently there were some hum problems with the trans in the first units. So it is likely that people were not only hearing hum from those first units, but that it was intermittent—every little while the box would make a big hum when heavy charge current was drawn.
I believe this to be a general phenomenon that makes many people's obsession with noise, digital minutiae and jitter a little ridiculous. Power supplies - even switched mode - make acoustic noise. Even worse than this, the noise may be correlated with the signal which is, apparently, the ultimate audio no-no. At the -100dB levels at which people are obsessing over jitter, the power supplies in their equipment may be producing higher acoustic dBs. Do all reviews and listening tests take this phenomenon into account...?
 

Jakob1863

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#40
I am reading this while trying to shake off the disbelief...
Do they call this unit a "linear" Power supply? Is this legal ?
No, afaik they don´t call it a "linear" power supply. It is mentioned on the website that it incorporates a "linear regulated constant current" charge circuitry. If i´m not mistaken, the idea behind these supplies is that the capacitor banks were charged and intermittently switched in and out to provide the dc to the external device, which is therefore intended to be "totally isolated" from any circuitry before the capacitors.

Basically it is imo quite irrelevant if there is a switching power supply before the charging circuit or a "traditional" one.
 
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