Spec an Audiophile PC With Me Using CAPS 3.0 as a Starting Point, Adding HDMI for Multi-Channel Hi Rez Audio!!! - Page 27 - AVS Forum
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post #781 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 07:34 AM
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But I plan to try RO HQ.
I think you will need a newer GPU to make ROHQ worthwhile, the higher quality options are quite demanding to say the least.
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post #782 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 08:34 AM
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I'm all sorted out with the new MCH server with Lynx and HDMI card. Still use the CAPS 3.0 for 2 channel. Works beautifully. I run Dirac on both machines. For good measure, I also replaced my MSB + 2 x NAD m51 DACs with 3 x PS Audio Directstream, and my Arc Ref 5SE and class A monos, with all spectral amplification. I literally have 100s of hours of ripped MCH content (SACD, Blu Ray, DVD-A, DVD) to rediscover. I'm done with hardware swapping in in full content enjoyment mode. The MCH Server sits behind the rack.
How is the new Perfectwave Directstream DAC? I've been dying to hear it.
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post #783 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 08:45 AM
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How is the new Perfectwave Directstream DAC? I've been dying to hear it.
Close enough to the 5x more costly MSB for me to decide to sell it. To be fair, I did a four way DAC shootout (I had four DACs receiving the exact same input signal - mapped 2 channel source to 4 x 2 channel output on my Lynx card, running into a preamp), and I was shocked how close the four DACs were, despite massive price difference. The lineup was Mytek, NAD M51, MSB Signature Plus and Direcstream.

Just two years ago, I found a big gap between PS AUdio PerfectWave and EMM Labs DAC2X, which was subsequently bested by the MSB. I conclude technology has progressed to the point that spending 5 figures on a DAC does not make a whole lot of sense anymore....
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post #784 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 08:53 AM
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Close enough to the 5x more costly MSB for me to decide to sell it. To be fair, I did a four way DAC shootout (I had four DACs receiving the exact same input signal - mapped 2 channel source to 4 x 2 channel output on my Lynx card, running into a preamp), and I was shocked how close the four DACs were, despite massive price difference. The lineup was Mytek, NAD M51, MSB Signature Plus and Direcstream.

Just two years ago, I found a big gap between PS AUdio PerfectWave and EMM Labs DAC2X, which was subsequently bested by the MSB. I conclude technology has progressed to the point that spending 5 figures on a DAC does not make a whole lot of sense anymore....
That's great to hear. Now that I'm a JRiver/Dirac convert, upgrading my DAC is the next step. I'm currently using a Benchmark HGC DAC2 as my DAC and preamp and am more than happy with it for now. For now...
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post #785 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 09:12 AM
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That's great to hear. Now that I'm a JRiver/Dirac convert, upgrading my DAC is the next step. I'm currently using a Benchmark HGC DAC2 as my DAC and preamp and am more than happy with it for now. For now...
If you do MCH, the Exasound would be the ticket. For a 2 channel application, the field is wide open, with the DirectStream being one of the contenders.
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post #786 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 09:14 AM
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If you do MCH, the Exasound would be the ticket. For a 2 channel application, the field is wide open, with the DirectStream being one of the contenders.
It's a 2-channel application. I use my Integra pre/pro for HT. So the Benchmark DAC 2 is great as a 2-ch preamp with HT bypass. But it's easy enough to add a separate preamp when the time comes to upgrade the DAC.
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post #787 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 09:20 AM
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It's a 2-channel application. I use my Integra pre/pro for HT. So the Benchmark DAC 2 is great as a 2-ch preamp with HT bypass. But it's easy enough to add a separate preamp when the time comes to upgrade the DAC.
I found to get a material improvement over "DAC direct (with well implemented VC)" you need to spend close to $10K on preamp + additional cabling. Unless resources are not constrained, you are probably better deploying the funds to move up the DAC foodchain. What I am saying is I expect a $7K DAC with volume control to yield better sound than a $3500 DAC + $3500 preamp. Hard to prove/backup this type of hypothesis, but I have moved a lot of DACs and preamps through my system over the last three years, so this is not just speculative.
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post #788 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 09:38 AM
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I found to get a material improvement over "DAC direct (with well implemented VC)" you need to spend close to $10K on preamp + additional cabling. Unless resources are not constrained, you are probably better deploying the funds to move up the DAC foodchain. What I am saying is I expect a $7K DAC with volume control to yield better sound than a $3500 DAC + $3500 preamp. Hard to prove/backup this type of hypothesis, but I have moved a lot of DACs and preamps through my system over the last three years, so this is not just speculative.
I really wish the PS Audio unit had an analog input so I could integrate it into my HT system. My limited experience is right in line with yours and I'd much rather put the extra money toward a better DAC with integrated volume control, particularly since I care about my 2-channel source considerably more than anything else, so all that extra $$ on a better preamp wouldn't also be benefiting (for example), a turntable, etc.
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post #789 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 09:53 AM
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I really wish the PS Audio unit had an analog input so I could integrate it into my HT system. My limited experience is right in line with yours and I'd much rather put the extra money toward a better DAC with integrated volume control, particularly since I care about my 2-channel source considerably more than anything else, so all that extra $$ on a better preamp wouldn't also be benefiting (for example), a turntable, etc.
Even if you get a DAC with analog input, it will probably digitize the incoming signal. I would consider inserting a passive high grade 2 x 1 switchbox into the chain. I looked into something like this at some point.

http://www.goldpt.com/sw2x.html
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post #790 of 805 Old 07-28-2014, 10:31 AM
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Even if you get a DAC with analog input, it will probably digitize the incoming signal. I would consider inserting a passive high grade 2 x 1 switchbox into the chain. I looked into something like this at some point.

http://www.goldpt.com/sw2x.html
That's a good idea, thank you. There aren't many, but some DACs with HT bypass operate in the analog domain, my HGC DAC2 being one of them.
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post #791 of 805 Old 08-08-2014, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Beatis has a new reference home theater pc/audiophile pc for "only" $13,995!

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...urce=email-275

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #792 of 805 Old 08-08-2014, 08:54 PM
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Beatis has a new reference home theater pc/audiophile pc for "only" $13,995!

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...urce=email-275
"The Baetis Reference is the ONLY media computer on the planet that has an AES/EBU 110 ohm XLR digital output that is dedicated, galvanically isolated, and fully shielded, straight from the motherboard, without using a PCI card!!  The world’s best DAC makers prefer AES for 2-channel music mainly because of the higher voltage it employs.  If you are a dealer or owner of one of the world’s truly great 2-channel DACs you must arrange a hearing of this new front end.  No CD/SACD turntable, no matter how expensive can compare, and the most expensive “music servers” do not produce sound this good nor have the format flexibility of this server.  Meanwhile, none of the custom computer builds have this critical AES feature except via a digitally noisy PCI card. "

What a bunch of crap!

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post #793 of 805 Old 08-09-2014, 12:34 AM
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"The Baetis Reference is the ONLY media computer on the planet that has an AES/EBU 110 ohm XLR digital output that is dedicated, galvanically isolated, and fully shielded, straight from the motherboard, without using a PCI card!!  The world’s best DAC makers prefer AES for 2-channel music mainly because of the higher voltage it employs.  If you are a dealer or owner of one of the world’s truly great 2-channel DACs you must arrange a hearing of this new front end.  No CD/SACD turntable, no matter how expensive can compare, and the most expensive “music servers” do not produce sound this good nor have the format flexibility of this server.  Meanwhile, none of the custom computer builds have this critical AES feature except via a digitally noisy PCI card. "

What a bunch of crap!
I'll say. It isn't hard to pull an SPDIF signal off a motherboard header, add an impedance transformer and simple circuit to boost the signal voltage etc. I even have here a circuit for doing exactly that. But to what avail? Pointless.

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post #794 of 805 Old 08-09-2014, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Precisely why none of us would ever consider Baetis!!!@@@

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #795 of 805 Old 08-17-2014, 10:56 AM
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I'm all sorted out with the new MCH server with Lynx and HDMI card. Still use the CAPS 3.0 for 2 channel. Works beautifully. I run Dirac on both machines. For good measure, I also replaced my MSB + 2 x NAD m51 DACs with 3 x PS Audio Directstream, and my Arc Ref 5SE and class A monos, with all spectral amplification. I literally have 100s of hours of ripped MCH content (SACD, Blu Ray, DVD-A, DVD) to rediscover. I'm done with hardware swapping in in full content enjoyment mode. The MCH Server sits behind the rack.
I was able to complete my server and would define it as a complete success. Wishing to no longer be confined to shiny disc, the goal was to build a server that could match Oppo for picture quality with Blu Ray and serve audio as well. My previous attempts with less powerful hardware were not successful. I just could not run "high enough," setting with the hardware I was using. Shoot outs with my friends, Oppo resulted in my quickly seeing the Oppo was superior with Blu Ray, not by a lot but clearly visible.


Now I am running an Asus R9 290x Directcu II GPU and i7 4790k CPU which allow me to run madVR at very high settings. I can beat the Oppo for most sources. Anytime upscaling is needed, 720p or 1080i, the server clearly wins. I only see about a 5% improverment with 1080p as Oppo has done a fine job there.MadVR however offers further tweaks with dithering for example than does Oppo. My friend however is more excited and prefers the server's picture to his Oppo. I am certain as I move to a 4k display, madVR will continue to show it's clear advantage for upscaling. If one's viewing is only 1080p with no Sat or cable tv, then the Oppo is all you need imo. I am going to use the server to upscale cable tv and quite a few blu ray concerts I have that are not 1080p.


What has come as a surprise is audio quality over HDMI. I fully expected my server to sound better than the Oppo as my lap top does. I did not, when I first tried it, I expect the modest lap top to offer better sound over HDMI than the Oppo 103 but it does. In fact, I did not expect there to be much difference over HDMI with any sources. For audio, my server does not really have any advantage over the Oppo 103 with concert movies. They do have a different "character" to the sound but I would not describe either as superior. The Oppo seems darker sounding and smoother, while the server has very clear vocals and is a bit harsher. I am using Seasonics best Platinum power supply which measures very well in the server. The difference in the sound quality between the server would not be a significant reason for me to chose one over the other. In the next couple of months, I will add a linear power supply just to see if it makes a difference. http://www.teradak.com/products/55.html


It's been a great project. With my home finally selling, I am on a march to a new house and hometheater. This will include at least a 132 inch wide screen and a 4k projector. This is where I expect the abilities of the server to provide the most benefit.
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post #796 of 805 Old 08-17-2014, 03:41 PM
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In the next couple of months, I will add a linear power supply just to see if it makes a difference. http://www.teradak.com/products/55.html

I would do a lot of homework before buying that power supply or certainly before spending more than a couple of hundred £ for it. First, it's current capability is nuts. I'd be wary that it's even true, especially given the small size of the toroids. You won't need the -12V at all and I doubt you will need anywhere near that current in the 5V and 3V3. (Think more like 3-5A max.) You will want a lot of 12V capability to drive your graphics card. Make sure it includes management of the ATX power-on sequencing - without it your motherboard may not boot. I'd also ask a lot of questions regarding how that supply is regulated. One of the big advantages of linear power supplies is that they can be relatively simple and easy to build (a bridge rectifier, a couple of filter caps, an IC regulator and an output cap and you're done). It doesn't take much to build a high-current linear supply, but building one with superb noise rejection and low impedance is more difficult. Ask how they've done the rectification circuit, snubbed rectifier/transformer ringing etc. Just because it is linear doesn't mean it's good. (Switching power supplies can be designed with very good specs - one of their disadvantages is that they are rather more complex to design and build.)

From what I can see it all looks very "basic". I love the way they have the lone LT1085 regulator for the 5VSB clamped to the bottom of the enclosure like they forgot they needed it...

Good luck!

Egglestonworks Andra III, Andra III Centre, Rosa (as surround). Rel Stentor II. Theta CB IV. Krell FPB 200 and two KAV 150a amps. Custom-built audio server. Oppo 103EU. Apple TV. Pioneer PDP-LX608D. Synergistic Research "Element Copper" front speaker cable. Cardas Clear Light bal interconnects.
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post #797 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 08:51 AM
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What has come as a surprise is audio quality over HDMI. I fully expected my server to sound better than the Oppo as my lap top does. I did not, when I first tried it, I expect the modest lap top to offer better sound over HDMI than the Oppo 103 but it does. In fact, I did not expect there to be much difference over HDMI with any sources. For audio, my server does not really have any advantage over the Oppo 103 with concert movies. They do have a different "character" to the sound but I would not describe either as superior. The Oppo seems darker sounding and smoother, while the server has very clear vocals and is a bit harsher. I am using Seasonics best Platinum power supply which measures very well in the server. The difference in the sound quality between the server would not be a significant reason for me to chose one over the other. In the next couple of months, I will add a linear power supply just to see if it makes a difference. http://www.teradak.com/products/55.html
Congrats on what looks like a great project. It is unfortunate you need post processing and (I believe) more than 8 channels. Otherwise you could just sell your CBIV, stick a Lynx card into your server, run Dirac on it and run AES/EBU outputs straight into a stack of DACs (3 x Gen VIII, funds permitting, 1 x Gen VIII + 2 x NAD m51 as a good alternative) directly, avoiding HDMI audio and its compromises altogether.
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post #798 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 11:30 AM
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I would do a lot of homework before buying that power supply or certainly before spending more than a couple of hundred £ for it. First, it's current capability is nuts. I'd be wary that it's even true, especially given the small size of the toroids. You won't need the -12V at all and I doubt you will need anywhere near that current in the 5V and 3V3. (Think more like 3-5A max.) You will want a lot of 12V capability to drive your graphics card. Make sure it includes management of the ATX power-on sequencing - without it your motherboard may not boot. I'd also ask a lot of questions regarding how that supply is regulated. One of the big advantages of linear power supplies is that they can be relatively simple and easy to build (a bridge rectifier, a couple of filter caps, an IC regulator and an output cap and you're done). It doesn't take much to build a high-current linear supply, but building one with superb noise rejection and low impedance is more difficult. Ask how they've done the rectification circuit, snubbed rectifier/transformer ringing etc. Just because it is linear doesn't mean it's good. (Switching power supplies can be designed with very good specs - one of their disadvantages is that they are rather more complex to design and build.)

From what I can see it all looks very "basic". I love the way they have the lone LT1085 regulator for the 5VSB clamped to the bottom of the enclosure like they forgot they needed it...

Good luck!
I too see a lot in that chassis I don't like. Once you get above 3-4 amps, linear power supply design does get complicated. Multuiple pass transistors are needed, MOSFETs, can help reduce that need, but still you need to design the error amplifier and drive amp. Slapping in a three terminal regulator driving a pass transistor is sloppy and wrought with problems. My first choice would be an ancient 723 chip but there are also much more modern parts from TI and Maxim. I can't tell exactly what Teradak is doing but there doesn't seem to be enough parts on those boards to properly get the current levels they specify. There could be rear surface mount chips we can't see.

Another very important feature to have is OVER VOLTAGE PROTECTION. This is highly desirable in a high current regulated linear power supply. If one of the pass transisitor were to fail and short across (which power transistors always do), the higher raw unregulated power will come across to your mother board. This will surely irreparably damage it and will could destroy the processor and memory as well. Don't forget disks and PCI cards. Again I can't tell if the Teradak has OVP but there doesn't seem to be the parts count for it. I would check before even considering this unit.

The more glaring issue is that unless you are outputting analog from your HTPC, this linear power supply idea provides no benefit whatsoever and may quite possibly compromise system stability. The digital processing is not affected by EMI/RFI noise inside the chassis and while the AV clock generation PLLs would be, a competent HDMI or AES card will filter that locally, and if they don't, a quiet linear master power supply won't help. The raw power rails will have a lot of noise from the computer circuits. using a linear master supply won't fix that. If a circuit such as a clock PLL needs clean DC, you have to filter it locally at the circuit.

I recently moved to JRiver from VLC/CollectorZ and now have all my BluRays ripped which VLC didn't support (at least for me). I run two audio profiles. For my ripped DVHS library I output bitstream via SPDIF into a Lexicon MC8. For BluRay rips I use a Lynx AES16 which goes around the Lexicon.

My audio is very good. I can't see any room to improve it on the server side. I even think the AC3 sounds better versus the VLC player but I know that can't be as both were bit streamed though the exact same hardware. Placebo effect in my case.

P.S. Looks like somebody forgot to shoot those yellow sleeves on the connectors with the heat gun. I'm sorry but this box is yet another product in the long line of audiophile foo foo boxes. Not well thought out at all IMO. Just use a good name brand PC power supply - about $100. You will be much better off.

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post #799 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 12:25 PM
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I recently moved to JRiver from VLC/CollectorZ and now have all my BluRays ripped which VLC didn't support (at least for me). I run two audio profiles. For my ripped DVHS library I output bitstream via SPDIF into a Lexicon MC8. For BluRay rips I use a Lynx AES16 which goes around the Lexicon.
How are you ripping the Blu Rays? Are you extracting the full resolution DTS-HD audio stream?
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post #800 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 12:55 PM
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How are you ripping the Blu Rays? Are you extracting the full resolution DTS-HD audio stream?
Well you may remember I asked that very question months ago here so I did what was suggested by several people.

SlySoft AnyDVD. Very easy to use, much simpler than the DVDfab/Imageburn I use for standard DVDs. And yes it brings all the audio CODECS across. Now it's not free beyond a 21day trial. And you can by a lifetime license or yearly licenses. I'm not sure if the yearly licenses stop the program when expired or just the ability to get updates. I just bought the lifetime version. The trial is full featured except for storing presets IIRC so give it a try.

I recently tried standard DVDs under the JRiver ROhq. It is very good, in fact one of the best PC based upconversions I have seen from these semi free players. But in my case the old Xcard with Tvedia still has quite an advantage image quality wise. I do run this through some older standard def studio processing gear then through a Teranex upconverter and that's why I need 480i untouched from the player. Not for everybody but I find the extra quality worth the effort. I gotta tell you though the Jriver user interface is tempting to just throw away the old SD DVD server to spite it's image quality edge.

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HD storage is a separate RAID running Unraid with 30TB capacity.
SD storage is another identical raid with 15TB capacity.

For the old VLC I got away with an i3 CPU and 1GB RAM. Not good enough however for MC19. 4GB RAM upgrade helped but only when I upgraded to an i7 did the frame dropping go away for good.

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post #801 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 02:05 PM
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Another very important feature to have is OVER VOLTAGE PROTECTION. This is highly desirable in a high current regulated linear power supply. If one of the pass transisitor were to fail and short across (which power transistors always do), the higher raw unregulated power will come across to your mother board. This will surely irreparably damage it and will could destroy the processor and memory as well. Don't forget disks and PCI cards. Again I can't tell if the Teradak has OVP but there doesn't seem to be the parts count for it. I would check before even considering this unit.

The more glaring issue is that unless you are outputting analog from your HTPC, this linear power supply idea provides no benefit whatsoever and may quite possibly compromise system stability. The digital processing is not affected by EMI/RFI noise inside the chassis and while the AV clock generation PLLs would be, a competent HDMI or AES card will filter that locally, and if they don't, a quiet linear master power supply won't help. The raw power rails will have a lot of noise from the computer circuits. using a linear master supply won't fix that. If a circuit such as a clock PLL needs clean DC, you have to filter it locally at the circuit.
If it has ATX power on/power good management (e.g. with a TPS3510) it will likely have over and under voltage protection. If any of the three voltages go under or over spec then the power supply to the motherboard should be shut off. The pass transistors (to turn the connection of power to the motherboard on and off) will of course still be a weakness but that's the same with any power supply of this nature.

There's a lot of debate regarding your following paragraph...


BTW a dead giveaway as regards quality, or lack thereof, is the use of trimpots to set output voltages...

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post #802 of 805 Old 08-18-2014, 02:49 PM
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There's a lot of debate regarding your following paragraph...
R.E. The benefits of audiophile grade PC power supplies.

Yes I know but you need to look at who is debating. As far as EE theory and practice there is not much debate at all. Countless digital products in the professional AV mastering and broadcast industry use commodity power supplies. These products are at a price range where a custom linear supply is certainly an option if needed. The debate only comes around with audiophile discussions just like cables.

As for the PC Power good it does look like there may be an SSR on that board with the blue transformer which could be a master shut off.. Still I would not plug my motherboard into this box.

It's one thing to try exotic USB cables and power cords to spite the naysayers. At least these products do no harm even if they don't provide any improvement. But when it comes to replacing a computer power supply with a product of unknown origin, a lot of damage is quite possible.

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post #803 of 805 Old 08-19-2014, 12:08 AM
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Not necessarily. I know plenty of EEs who are converts to improving the power supply of all-digital audio products.

Whether it is linear or switch-mode is neither here nor there - what matters is the quality of power delivered. The former are easier and cheaper to design. The latter are more efficient and compact but more complicated to do well. Both can be made well - few PC power supplies are made well because the design criteria can afford to be much more lax in that application. As to which is deployed in a given product depends on many factors including production and design costs, the skill set of the designer and prospective purchasers' biases. Just look at the Theta Prometheus versus Bruno's Mola Mola amps - it would be very interesting to do a test of these side by side given the only difference between them is the power supply. Theta decided to use a linear power supply. It could have been because it was cheaper for them to deploy (they could readily design and construct their own rather than buying Bruno's module given in-house skills), they genuinely think there's some benefits to linear over switch-mode in an amp or because they simply think their customers (most of whom don't know any better) would expect the supply to be linear. Now a power amp isn't a computer and so perhaps there's more weight on the second element. The main reason switch mode power supplies are used for computers is because of their compact size versus current delivery. (Who would want that Teradak unit sitting at their office desk?)

In any event, it's not hard to design and build a very high quality linear power supply for a computer. The design elements are extremely well understood - there's little new discovery going on (unlike in class D amp design). It does require some effort to learn about electronics but everyone here is smart enough to do that were they to allocate the time. Hell, even I am currently designing PCB boards for a 5A capable linear supply with PSRR of around 150dB at 100Hz. (Just to put 150dB in perspective, that means it will attenuate AC ripple by a factor of around 31,622,800.) And, yes, it will manage all the necessary power-on, power_good features required by the ATX specification. Just for fun.

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Not necessarily. I know plenty of EEs who are converts to improving the power supply of all-digital audio products.

Whether it is linear or switch-mode is neither here nor there - what matters is the quality of power delivered. The former are easier and cheaper to design. The latter are more efficient and compact but more complicated to do well. Both can be made well - few PC power supplies are made well because the design criteria can afford to be much more lax in that application. As to which is deployed in a given product depends on many factors including production and design costs, the skill set of the designer and prospective purchasers' biases. Just look at the Theta Prometheus versus Bruno's Mola Mola amps - it would be very interesting to do a test of these side by side given the only difference between them is the power supply. Theta decided to use a linear power supply. It could have been because it was cheaper for them to deploy (they could readily design and construct their own rather than buying Bruno's module given in-house skills), they genuinely think there's some benefits to linear over switch-mode in an amp or because they simply think their customers (most of whom don't know any better) would expect the supply to be linear. Now a power amp isn't a computer and so perhaps there's more weight on the second element. The main reason switch mode power supplies are used for computers is because of their compact size versus current delivery. (Who would want that Teradak unit sitting at their office desk?)

In any event, it's not hard to design and build a very high quality linear power supply for a computer. The design elements are extremely well understood - there's little new discovery going on (unlike in class D amp design). It does require some effort to learn about electronics but everyone here is smart enough to do that were they to allocate the time. Hell, even I am currently designing PCB boards for a 5A capable linear supply with PSRR of around 150dB at 100Hz. (Just to put 150dB in perspective, that means it will attenuate AC ripple by a factor of around 31,622,800.) And, yes, it will manage all the necessary power-on, power_good features required by the ATX specification. Just for fun.
What you say about power supply design is true. This issue is the inside of a PC. It doesn't matter how clean the power supply is alone. The power rails become infested with RF noise due to the hundreds of millions of transistors switching between rail and ground at countless harmonics of the master clock frequency. Then there are also the asynchronous clocks within the systems as well further producing random harmonics.

You have to clean that up locally at any circuit that is sensitive to it. A PLL clock generator is about the only circuit in an all digital system that has this issue. An analog DAC card would also be sensitive but further complected by the airborne RF nature of this noise.

If your AES or HDMI card local PPL (if it has one) does not have that local filtering or it's it not done well, putting a clean power supply on the system is not going to help. The issue is the contamination caused by the motherboard circuitry, while additional noise from the power supply certainly contributes to the problem, it is not significant in light of the system generated power rail noise.

I have an old Pioneer Elite Laser Disk player. It has a separate winding on the power transformer and a full isolated power supply for the audio section. Pioneer was known for this on the Elite product line. I think Oppo may also do this on one of their units IIRC. It's an old audiophile sales tool. It does have some merit in the last two examples but in a standard PC it is basically useless to provide ultra clean DC when the lions share of the noise is from the connected load, not the power source.

Also note that any claims of low source impedance on that Teradak power supply is irrelevant. Those long power cables, (yes three feet is quite long at several hundred mhz), have a significantly high impedance at the frequencies of the PC RFI. I didn't see any filtering on the PC side mounted connector panel to try and address this issue. These guys clearly don't have a background in RF systems design. The level of engineering in this product is that of a hobby electronics magazine. Most inadequate in today's world of large power supplies for high speed digital circuitry.

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post #805 of 805 Old 08-23-2014, 05:46 AM
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PS audio uses no DAC chip but a field programmable gate array.
Stereophile magazine just published test results of the PS Audio Perfectwave Directstream DAC in the Sept 2014 issue (pg. 70). Interesting to compare performance of this "FPGA DAC" with a true SOTA DAC like the Benchmark DAC2, reviewed in Feb 2014 issue.

For instance, compare 50 Hz distortion of the PS unit (Fig-8) with 50 Hz distortion of the DAC2 (Fig-7). Or, compare -90 dBFS 1 kHz undithered waveform of the PS unit (Fig-7) with undithered performance of the DAC2 (Fig-5). Pretty obvious as to which is the superior performer.

So their FPGA design may be a novel approach, but why would you want to spend 3 times as much money for demonstrably poorer (less accurate) performance?
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