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Thread: Linear vs Switched mode PSU

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 146
    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
    Source: Win10 server, Win10 Mini-ITX Renderer running JRiver
    DAC: Chevron Paradox NDF16 DAC
    Preamp: Radford Revival Prototype
    Amp: Radford Revival STA25, Paul Baldwin 405C
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 389
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    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: 7,857
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,366
    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.
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,366
    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.
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,425
    I'm Shaun.

    Default

    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...??
    Marantz CD6005 into Audiolab MDAC
    Nottingham Analogue Interspace turntable with Origin Live Onyx tonearm/Denon DL103/Dynavector P75 MkIII phono stage

    Prima Luna Prologue preamp
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    Mainly electronica and modern jazz/funk

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 16,014
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2011

    Location: Coventry, England UK

    Posts: 393
    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

    Posts: 4,366
    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....
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 610
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    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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