Power supply

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Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

In this thread we discuss the musical performance of various power supplies, when used to power HAKAI.
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

My post is not specifically about a psu, rather it's about mains isolation.

I came across these articles:

https://andreweverard.com/2015/06/08/hi ... ded-fibre/

https://www.audiostream.com/content/ele ... pBWQKvt.97

Has anyone tried to use this approach to isolation with the Hakai and/or Hakai NAS?
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

FairPlayMotty wrote:My post is not specifically about a psu, rather it's about mains isolation.

I came across these articles:

https://andreweverard.com/2015/06/08/hi ... ded-fibre/

https://www.audiostream.com/content/ele ... pBWQKvt.97

Has anyone tried to use this approach to isolation with the Hakai and/or Hakai NAS?
I haven't tried exactly what they did (I just skimmed the articles), but have experimented with similar opto isolations. It has a very noticeable effect but from my limited experience doesn't seem to do anything good.

But I've once come across an installation where an opto bridge between a bunch of servers and stuff and the streamer seemed to improve things. My suspicion is that the success in that case was due to the digital installation being far away from ideal (no separate switch to which only NAS and streamer connects), so that it acted as a problem-isolator.
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Re: Power supply

Post by Lego »

lejonklou wrote:
FairPlayMotty wrote:My post is not specifically about a psu, rather it's about mains isolation.

I came across these articles:

https://andreweverard.com/2015/06/08/hi ... ded-fibre/

https://www.audiostream.com/content/ele ... pBWQKvt.97

Has anyone tried to use this approach to isolation with the Hakai and/or Hakai NAS?
I haven't tried exactly what they did (I just skimmed the articles), but have experimented with similar opto isolations. It has a very noticeable effect but from my limited experience doesn't seem to do anything good.

But I've once come across an installation where an opto bridge between a bunch of servers and stuff and the streamer seemed to improve things. My suspicion is that the success in that case was due to the digital installation being far away from ideal (no separate switch to which only NAS and streamer connects), so that it acted as a problem-isolator.
...and in that ideal setup where would the router connect ?
I know that tune
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

Thanks Fredrik, interesting to hear your views as always!
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

Lego wrote:...and in that ideal setup where would the router connect ?
To the same switch.

Apologies, I forgot to mention the router.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

FairPlayMotty wrote:Thanks Fredrik, interesting to hear your views as always!
Thanks for the question! This is not easy.

There are many areas in a HiFi system where one can choose to isolate, to tightly connect or something in between. Digital signals and grounds, analogue, power and chassis grounds, etc. They're usually really important to musical performance and the only certain way to find the best solution is extensive trial and error. Theories are valuable but must be questioned. Previous experience and conclusions are valuable but need to be retested when something new turns up.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

I have something important to add to everyone using the Streacom NanoPSU power supplies.

First of all, apologies for not posting this sooner, but the reason why I haven't come across this problem before is that I've been using my own 12 Volt adapters to power my streamers. Now that I recently built a new HAKAI using the Streacom Nano160, I found that the mains-to-12 Volt-adapter supplied with the Nano160 kit is an IEC class I power supply that ties its negative output to mains ground.

IEC class I is a power supply that has a ground pin on its mains input connector. So there's three pins on the inlet and the middle one being ground. If the device has only two pins on its mains input, it's Class II. Most chargers for phones, tablets and laptops are class II. All adapters approved for medical use are class II. (Roman letters are used in this case, class 1 and 2 means something entirely different.)

The ground on the mains input isn't a problem in itself. What is a problem, however, is that the adapter supplied with Nano160 also ties the negative barrel of its 12 Volt output to mains ground. This causes your entire HAKAI (and the same thing applies to your HAKAI NAS, if you have one) to be tied to mains ground. And this ground is then transferred to the Gigaport DAC and it's RCA outputs, and also to the ethernet cable connected between your HAKAI and Ethernet switch. This creates multiple ground loops in the system and the result is both a significant loss of musicality and the possibility of high pitched noise from the HAKAI and/or HAKAI NAS to be heard faintly in your speakers. Not optimal.

The safe solution in this case is to replace the mains adapter(s) with a medical/class II device (12V and at least 150 W is recommended). That will remove all the ground loops. Another way is to somehow make sure the Streacom adapter doesn't tie its output to mains ground. This can be accomplished in two ways:
The first is to remove mains ground from its input. The Streacom adapter works just fine without mains ground, but unfortunately it affects the filtering of the incoming mains. And in my role as a manufacturer, I can't recommend such a procedure. One must not mess with protective ground.
The second is to open the Streacom up and make a thorough analysis of how it's designed. After doing so, I found that this design is already prepared for both class I and class II. So there's a rather simple procedure for how to convert it. It requires a screwdriver, soldering equipment and a wire cutter. No components.

Naturally, I would never advise anyone to modify their electronic equipment. And I would never publish such instructions.
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Re: Power supply

Post by OscarH »

Thanks for the update Fredrik,

If one was inclined to use puns (I’ll blame my paternal grandparents being from Gothenburg) the news might even be called groundbreaking...

I have both HAKAI and HAKAI NAS but have Not noticed the high pitched noise.

Could this ground design in the Streacom Nano have had something to do with the hum in combination with the Entity as reported by David Neel?
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

OscarH wrote: 2020-05-21 18:11 If one was inclined to use puns (I’ll blame my paternal grandparents being from Gothenburg) the news might even be called groundbreaking...
Ha ha! Indeed this is groundbreaking news.
OscarH wrote: 2020-05-21 18:11 Could this ground design in the Streacom Nano have had something to do with the hum in combination with the Entity as reported by David Neel?
Yes
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Re: Power supply

Post by fatjulio »

I've been having a look on the web for a power supply with that much current, and none of them seem to have a barrel output connector. Can you find a link to a suitable one Fredrik?
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

fatjulio wrote: 2020-05-22 02:43 I've been having a look on the web for a power supply with that much current, and none of them seem to have a barrel output connector. Can you find a link to a suitable one Fredrik?
Unfortunately the standard for medical power supplies is that annoying round 4-pin connector. It needs to be replaced with a 2.5 mm barrel.
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Re: Power supply

Post by fatjulio »

Is this an opportunity for another Lejonklou product? Hakai power supply. I bet it would sound a lot better than the standard one.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

I have considered it several times. But I always end up in the conclusion that I want to do the whole thing or nothing at all.
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

fatjulio wrote: 2020-05-22 02:43 I've been having a look on the web for a power supply with that much current, and none of them seem to have a barrel output connector. Can you find a link to a suitable one Fredrik?
My best sounding streamer uses a power supply recommended by the Australian Forum. It's a Z2-200W pico powered by a mains block from the RGeek official store on Aliexpress. The motherboard is an Intel D2500cc. I also bought the Z2's little brother which is a Z1-160W pico again powered by a mains block from the RGeek official store.

The Australians typically mod the Z2 by replacing the caps with higher quality ones. I may do that in time but I'm enjoying the music too much at the moment to be bothered getting my soldering iron out.

I finished off my second server - there's no detectable SQ difference between it and the Hakai server but using the Jonsbo C2 case gives way more room and ventilation. The additional space gives me more room to add storage capacity but there's 4TB in there plus an Intel 320 for the OS. My Hakai server has 2TB and holds 4,162 albums with, I estimate, room for another 2,000 so I'm fine for a few years.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

FairPlayMotty wrote: 2020-05-22 18:08 My best sounding streamer uses a power supply recommended by the Australian Forum. It's a Z2-200W pico powered by a mains block from the RGeek official store on Aliexpress.
Haven't tried any of those two, but perhaps I will. The impact that the power supply parts have on the musical performance of HAKAI is fundamental.

Which mains block are you referring to? The 200W one from RGeek? From what I can see, that's a class I adapter, which means you will have ground loops in your system. Same problem as with the Streacom (which I described above).

There are 3 other 24-pin ATX DC-DC adapters at RGeek. Have you tested any of them?

Have you made a direct comparison between any of these parts and the ones I recommend?
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

Which mains block are you referring to? The 200W one from RGeek? From what I can see, that's a class I adapter, which means you will have ground loops in your system. Same problem as with the Streacom (which I described above).

There are 3 other 24-pin ATX DC-DC adapters at RGeek. Have you tested any of them?

Have you made a direct comparison between any of these parts and the ones I recommend?
Yes Fredrik, the only 200W one I could find on Aliexpress was the RGeek one. Rather annoyingly almost every Z2 Pico seller on Aliexpress sells only the pico.

I have one other DC adapter from RGeek. It came as a package with the case and pico. To me, that's got no audible difference when housing a Hakai relative to the Streacom. The RGeek cases are inexpensive, very well made and they added a vented lid option which would be useful if building a server in a small case.

I will make direct comparisons, I have one more player to finish off. After that I will make the direct comparisons.

So I have three Hakais (including one server), the Jonsbo C2-based server, two Intel motherboard-based players in Swedish Fractal Design cases, one Intel player in an RGeek case and two Asus Tinkerboard S players.

For me the best sounding motherboard so far is the INTEL D2500cc (£16) which is why I bought the Z2 pico.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

Thanks!

I have ordered the RGeek 200W adapter and also the Z2-ATX-200 plug in board.

Looking forward to comparing them with the Streacoms!
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

I have ordered the RGeek 200W adapter and also the Z2-ATX-200 plug in board.

Looking forward to comparing them with the Streacoms!
RGeek delivery is usually very fast. The Z2 was held up for me but there are post virus backlogs I think. I hope it all arrives quickly.

Some of Australians mod the Z2, replacing the capacitors with ones by Panasonic from memory.
Paul Pang does a similar thing but charges a significant markup for the pico.

There's a few of those guys are well qualified engineers.
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

FairPlayMotty wrote: 2020-05-24 23:51
I have ordered the RGeek 200W adapter and also the Z2-ATX-200 plug in board.

Looking forward to comparing them with the Streacoms!
RGeek delivery is usually very fast. The Z2 was held up for me but there are post virus backlogs I think. I hope it all arrives quickly.

Some of Australians mod the Z2, replacing the capacitors with ones by Panasonic from memory.
Paul Pang does a similar thing but charges a significant markup for the pico.

There's a few of those guys are well qualified engineers.
My main problem with replacing capacitors (or other components) with supposedly "better" types is that in 9 times out of 10, the result is less music. Just don't do it.

The only way you can end up on that 10% side where there's actually a musical improvement is if you 1) know the design very well, and 2) evaluate every step you take with the tune method. I have never heard of anyone how does.
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Re: Power supply

Post by FairPlayMotty »

I did a little searching for a class II power supply.

The specifications for the one I found are attached. Other output connectors are available from this company. I already own a couple of four pin to barrel adapters.
rps20200804_164816.jpg
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Re: Power supply

Post by Spannko »

lejonklou wrote: 2020-05-24 23:35 Thanks!

I have ordered the RGeek 200W adapter and also the Z2-ATX-200 plug in board.

Looking forward to comparing them with the Streacoms!
I’d forgotten about this. How did you get on?
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Re: Power supply

Post by lejonklou »

Spannko wrote: 2020-08-04 21:59
lejonklou wrote: 2020-05-24 23:35 Thanks!

I have ordered the RGeek 200W adapter and also the Z2-ATX-200 plug in board.

Looking forward to comparing them with the Streacoms!
I’d forgotten about this. How did you get on?
The plug in board has arrived, but not the adaptor.

After my vacation I'm going to try them both.
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Re: Power supply

Post by Spannko »

OK. Thanks.
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Re: Power supply

Post by tokenbrit »

lejonklou wrote: 2020-05-21 13:32 I have something important to add to everyone using the Streacom NanoPSU power supplies.

First of all, apologies for not posting this sooner, but the reason why I haven't come across this problem before is that I've been using my own 12 Volt adapters to power my streamers. Now that I recently built a new HAKAI using the Streacom Nano160, I found that the mains-to-12 Volt-adapter supplied with the Nano160 kit is an IEC class I power supply that ties its negative output to mains ground.

.. the adapter supplied with Nano160 also ties the negative barrel of its 12 Volt output to mains ground. This causes your entire HAKAI (and the same thing applies to your HAKAI NAS, if you have one) to be tied to mains ground. And this ground is then transferred to the Gigaport DAC and it's RCA outputs...
Hi Fredrik,

Can the single input switch on the Sagatun Mono help at all with regard to the ground via the Gigaport's RCA outputs? If a phono stage is plugged in to the single source input, and the preamps switched to single source only, does that break the loop from a Hakai plugged in to IN1-4? At least when listening to LPs...
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