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Thread: Linear vs Switched mode PSU

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 390
    I'm Edward.

    Default Linear vs Switched mode PSU

    So I was chatting with Jez (Arkless) today about him possibly finishing of a part built linear PSU I have (using Paul Hynes regulators etc).

    Jez is happy to look at the PSU but did mention that I would not notice any difference. I have not tried to use a linear PSU on any audio product after using a switched mode PSU so I don't have a firm view on this. However I imagine some AoS members have so would appreciate hearing what differences (if any) were obvious.

    Of course I have looked at the interweb thingy and see opinions all over the place but with a slight tendency towards an improvement for well built linear PSUs. I certainly don't understand the electrical theory behind all this - but I do have well tuned ears.

    My particular application is for my HTPC and a Paul Pang USB card. Currently I'm using a Leicke switched PSU for the HTPC which, to me, sounds just fine. The Paul Pang card needs a separate 5v supply and I was hoping that the linear PSU I have would power that. My power amps, preamp and dac I have all have linear PSUs already.

    So grateful to hear of anyone's experience when switching from a switched PSU to a linear PSU (or the other way round) on an audio item?

    cheers
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

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    I'm Chris.

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    I think you will find that Jez also thinks there are no sonic differences between interconnects or mains cables.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Rossendale

    Posts: 8,062
    I'm AMusicFanNotAnAudiophile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwardlon View Post
    Jez is happy to look at the PSU but did mention that I would not notice any difference.
    Sounds like he's snowed under with work ....
    Chris



    Once we've made sense of our world, we wanna go fuck up everybody else's because his or her truth doesn't match mine. But this is the problem. Truth is individual calculation. Which means because we all have different perspectives, there isn't one singular truth, is there?

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,643
    I'm Jez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpy View Post
    I think you will find that Jez also thinks there are no sonic differences between interconnects or mains cables.
    No I don't believe it I know it to be fact. Certainly in the case of mains cables. Small differences will sometimes (rarely) be heard with interconnects which have nothing to do with the interconnect itself, ie what make it is etc, but only to do with the capacitance and the way in which a particular source copes with this.
    Last edited by Arkless Electronics; 20-07-2017 at 12:47.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,643
    I'm Jez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratmangler View Post
    Sounds like he's snowed under with work ....
    At the moment pretty much yes... but I often "put my money where my mouth is" and advise customers that, whilst yes I can carry our a specific job they are enquiring about, it is unlikely to give any improvement.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

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    I'm Shaun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkless Electronics View Post
    No I don't believe it I know it to be fact. Certainly in the case of mains cables. Small differences will sometimes (rarely) be heard with interconnects which have nothing to do with the interconnect itself, ie what make it is etc, but only to do with the capacitance and the way in which a particular source copes with this.
    LOL... so I guess just because you 'think' there is no difference between interconnects, there cannot possibly be a difference...? It cannot possibly be because your ears cannot hear a difference...??
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

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    I'm Neil.

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    In theory a well executed switch mode should sound the same as a Linear, but the reality for many is that Linear PSUs seem to sound better.

    If I was having a PSU built for any application I would go Linear rather than Switch, but that's just me. As they say, others mileage may vary.
    Regards Neil

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2011

    Location: Coventry, England UK

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    I'm Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    LOL... so I guess just because you 'think' there is no difference between interconnects, there cannot possibly be a difference...? It cannot possibly be because your ears cannot hear a difference...??
    Sure we've been over this before in various other threads. It's just an opinion (just like most posts are on a forum).

    I struggle to hear a difference if I'm honest, but then I could just not have good enough gear or my ears are shot I've only tried ''lower'' tier stuff, like Mark Grant, the Klotz/MS Audio cable, Van Damme with Rean plugs, around the 25-60 mark, nothing like hundreds of pounds stuff.

    Not sure I believe it myself either, and if there is a difference it is extremely slight but if others do then fair enough and if it works out then that is the main thing here for me. If a person is happy with something they've purchased and happy with the price/performance ratio, etc then fair play.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

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    I'm Jez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    LOL... so I guess just because you 'think' there is no difference between interconnects, there cannot possibly be a difference...? It cannot possibly be because your ears cannot hear a difference...??
    I wish I had a tenner for every time I've visited a foo believing hi fi enthusiast and within seconds of the first track starting I've been able to say that the speakers are out of phase.... or a tweeter has blown altogether on one channel and there's nothing above 3KHz on that channel....

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkless Electronics View Post
    I wish I had a tenner for every time I've visited a foo believing hi fi enthusiast and within seconds of the first track starting I've been able to say that the speakers are out of phase.... or a tweeter has blown altogether on one channel and there's nothing above 3KHz on that channel....
    I remember visiting one chap who demonstrated the difference in sound when he placed something underneath his CD player. Somehow he seemed oblivious to the fact that the system sounded absolutely horrible either with or without the thing under his CD player.

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