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About a month ago, I learned that John Swenson has an inexpensive DIY DC power cord recipe that he claims improves the sound. How? Gauge and geometry, the latter of which he says is very important since it lowers inductance.
I ordered the supplies last month and while the Canare wire came in quickly, I only received the connectors today literally via a slow boat from China. Here's his pic from CA:
While I spent a lot of time yesterday enjoying the Indy 500, beautiful weather and the pool, I listened a bit more upstairs. What I find is that this experience mirrors that of first hearing my current preamp a couple of summers ago. I find myself initially setting the gain too high so that eventually a passage clips the amps. I'm continuing to explore more of the bottom of the scale with a sharper rise to the top.
Sidebar: For many years, I did not appreciate the value of a good active preamp in the role of low level dynamics. Years ago, I discussed this with Charles Hansen and didn't get it then. Now I do.
The opening title of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them delivers a wonderfully emotional ride of contrasts - opening with the familiar John Williams theme to fanfare and "startle-the-crap-out-of-you" bass drum slam to exploring the softer end in the second track "There are Witches Among Us". Gain on SP20 at set 22 or a click or two lower than I recall before running out of (bass-driven) power. A pair of Siegfrieds would be nice here.
Another current favorite is the 96/24 version of The Force Awakens . With "The Scavenger", we hear Rey's theme unfolding. Here again, the beauty lies at the pp end of the scale. The melody is fully developed in the track with her name where both dynamic extremes are explored ending in a whisper. Beautiful. Same gain setting.
Next, I took out an old favorite for dynamics - The Rite of Spring in a Telarc recording of Maazel with the Cleveland Orchestra. There's plenty of contrast to be discovered starting with the slow soft introduction. Which leads to the more familiar and powerful "Dances of the Adolescent Girls" theme. Check your gain if you're cranking "Game of Abduction" as the brass and bass drum are liberally exercised at fff. As with all Telarc's, recording level a bit lower, so gain set at 25. Some others I should play are The Firebird and Carmina Burana . I heard the latter in Atlanta years ago in row "C" with the full chorus where the hairs of my arm stood up with the explosive dynamic swings.
Lastly, I played a new tune that isn't particularly dynamic, but there is some tasty low octave synth found with Katy Perry's Bon Appetit single on Tidal Hifi. While much is dynamically flat, the chorus is surprisingly punchy. Just a fun mix. Gain 18.
Will upgrading the cheap DC power cord improve the dynamic punch and reach of your player? Don't have a clue as there are too many variables. If you've got an LPS-1, however, you really must spend another $6 and a half hour of your time to exploit its capabilities. Like Charlie before, Mr. Swenson was right. :)
Or should we all be buying rolls of Canare 4S6 and replacing all of the DC cables on all of our Wall Warts and DC power supplies?
I'm tempted to try some on the Jameco transformer adapter but I can't seem to get the case apart without breaking it.
maybe it's all about starquad.
Most wall warts use wimpy cable - I thought about applying it to my Jameco too, but as you say the case is sealed.
Had to reduce usual gain levels due to increased dynamics.
Not a subtle improvement. :)
Make sure you wire this up correctly being a star quad cable.
John notes: "The 4S6 has a solid red, clear red, white and clear wires. The two red wires are connected together and the white and clear are connected together."
Make sure you wire this up correctly being a star quad cable.
Yes, I paid particular attention to this comment since my cable is visually different from his:
" Diagonally opposite conductors are connected together at both ends of the cable. "
Interesting reference. He still seems to be using a Squeezebox Touch!?!?
The post can't be that told !?!?
These stupid connectors are ten time worse then the (any short) cable!!!
And it'll get worse over time!
You can gain a lot more if you'd solder your supplies
right to your device connected via a kept-really-short silver wire.
Probably it's not that easy to accomplish with his supplies though.
PS: I also cut off the connectors of my iPowers and shorten the cable.
And. Not to forget. Reattach the ferrite bead to kill the HF stuff.
You can gain a lot more if you'd solder your supplies right to your device connected via a kept-really-short silver wire.
I won't be directly soldering to the microRendu innards. :)
Further along in the thread are comments about soldering. Point taken, but this is an interesting starting point.
edit: All my DIY power cords also used screw connectors. It is quite easy then to disassemble the plugs and clean the contacts with DeoxIT over time.
such that he didn't have test equipment or a soldering iron with him.
Plus, he was using the headphone out of the 'touch'.
Could be what he uses as his 'travel' system?
Still, interesting post.
Been threatening to cobble together some new speaker cables and that looks like it would do the trick (flea power amps and horns so gauge not critical).
A few extra feed for a DC cable looks like a project I might be able to handle.
Where did you get the connectors?
With those pictured, I won't even have to fire up my soldering station.
Picked up the connectors from A'zon here .
$2.29 including shipping for five pair! Just be prepared for a bit of a wait.
If you just need one pair, drop me a PM and I'll send them to you and a length of the Canare. I only needed a foot and a half, but bought eight since it was dirt cheap. :)
I'm not much of a 'cable guy' so the Canare looks good to me.
Might ever buy a few feet extra to try my hand at a new balanced headphone cable.
Can't imagine investing $400 for the LPS-1 in order to power a Raspberry Pi, but ya never know.
> Can't imagine investing $400 for the LPS-1 in order to power a Raspberry Pi, but ya never > know.
I wish someone would give this a try. I know eventually I'll end up with a microRendu. And I know eventually I'll get a Uptone power supply to go with it. But I am curious what that power supply would do for the Rpi.
And I'd be able to tell you if I weren't stupid...
Took it over to a friends house today try it on an LP-1 supply and THOUGHT I'd reset it to DCHP so we could use it on his network, but no.
It was locked to a static IP address (which I did not know) so we couldn't use it on his network.
Still got no idea.
Wait a couple weeks and we'll try again.
Looks like a fun and simple project. I have connectors like those. I think I ordered them off Amazon but they probably came by way of the slow boat from a seller in China.
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