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Bilbo

Laptop Replacement - SOtM SMS-200 Impressions

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I am using the 12V 5A LPS for the hard drive dock and run the sMS-200 on a Yellow Top battery.

If you have a look at page 3 of this thread I give my reasons for this configuration.

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3 hours ago, rotur said:

Two things...can someone please give me more detail on the QLD power supplies mentioned on this thread? ie how to order and through who... 

Am using one of these:

PM Clay @Gieseler Audio 

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@Snoopy8

I note that Clay says that after 1.8A current limiting comes into play.

I have measured the sMS-200 current draw under load and the maximum reading was 1.7A.  That doesn't leave much headroom.

The SOtM sPS-500 matching power supply is rated at 5A at 12V so plenty of headroom.

https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/sps-500/

 

Having tested various power supplies (including the Giesler) for the sMS-200 the higher rated ones (>3.5A) always sounded better.

Edited by Bilbo

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Hi Guys,

I do actually make a 12v 3A supply as well. Cost on those is $350 which includes delivery.

It comes with a nice beefy 12v 6A potted external transformer & the 3A rating is fairly conservative.

It is interesting that the > 3A supplies sound better as SOtM quote 15W max power requirement for the SMS-200

so at 12v that works out to 1.25 A

http://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/sms-200/

I guess it depends how much current you are dragging out of the USB port too. 

Bilbo the 1.7A current drain you measured on yours sound a bit high - did you have a external USB drive plugged in at the time?

 

 

 

 

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@Gieseler Audio

I have a self powered HDD dock so that's not the reason.  I measured the current draw because when I upgraded to the "Ultra" it sucked the Yellow Top battery dry in less than half the time it took the base sMS-200 unit.  The maximum current arises for a second or two during boot up then idles at about 650mA.  When the Eunhasu web link is activated it rises again to about 1.2A for a couple of seconds.

 

The LPS of yours we tested was 12V and rated at 1.5A but it didn't matter which low current supply we tried the higher output (>3.5A) supplies always sounded better.

In fact the HDD dock is fed by a 12V 5A LPS and anything less than that made the sound very "polite" but lacking dynamics.  The power supply provided with the dock is rated at 3A.

I would therefore encourage your customers to go for the extra grunt (3A+) even though it seems to be overkill based on the specs of the product it's supplying.

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Hi Bilbo - thanks for the very detailed reply.

I looked up the specs on the SMS-200 ultra & it definitely draws more current (2A) than the standard SMS-200 so that explains why battery drained quicker.

Yes I agree it sounds like it would be better to use  higher (> 3A) PSU's - they will run cooler as well which is always a good thing.

 

 

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Most interesting @Bilbo.  If you had to rate on the various tweaks and upgrades that you have done, where would this higher current come in?  I assume the biggest improvements came from std to ultra, std power plug to battery. You also tested powered usb vs not, network, 9V vs 12V plus other things I may have missed.

 

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Upgrading to the Ultra was a very worthwhile step up from the base unit but the other tweaks are more subtle.

Using a self powered USB HDD dock was clearly better than a USB stick or HDD that required the Ultra to provide power.

Direct USB connection Vs networked drives was much more subtle but better to our ears.

 

The search for the best power supply for various bits and pieces began with the battery to achieve galvanic isolation initially for the Regen (Amber) and then the sMS-200.  One upside to this quest was that we found most DC powered devices that could accept either 9 or 12 volts sounded better at 12V than at 9V.  The Regen demonstrated this easily and the original sMS-200 likewise.  The power supply type is probably the next most important and so we tested everything we had using 12V DC with either low noise LPS or battery.  The battery is best for the Ultra and Regen whereas the LPS proved the winner with HDD docks, preamps (Tortuga) and the DSP Antimode 2.0.  The biggest surprise was that even though most of the gear required less than 2A according to the manufacturer's spec, when we provided more than 3A it always sounded better with a sweet spot at 5A.  For some reason the extra headroom (that some would reasonably argue is not required) always sounded better.

 

In order of improvement value it would look like this:

sMS-200 Ultra > self powered HDD dock > supply's @12V + minimum 3A > power supply type > direct USB not networked audio file access

Edited by Bilbo

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