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PeppaPig

Questions about SOtM SMS-200Ultra

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Hi I am considering SOtM SMS-200Ultra, there are options I am not sure which is better, can any one give me some idea?

 

- 12V vs 9V power supply, which is better option? are it doesn't matter?

- Clock Connector: 75 Ohm vs 50 Ohm, which is better? or doesn't matter?

 

Also how the SMS-200Ultra compare to the dCS Network bridge? 

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I believe you are referring to the SMS -200 Ultra's internal 9v or 12v option.  This is different to the 9v/12v PSU.

 

There are claims that the internal 12v option is better than the internal 9v option but I have yet to find a comparison online (but if someone does, please post). I think this claim came about because a 12V PSU  is better than a 9V PSU on standard SMS-200.  People have (invalidly?) extended this thinking to the internal option of the Ultra. So I think there is no difference between the internal 9v and 12v options.

 

What is more important is what PSU you use and at what voltage.  I know that @Bilbo has played around with different voltages and he recommends a 15V PSU for his Ultra.  I am using a Gieseler 12V PSU.

 

The online reviews say that pairing the Ultra with a SOtM SPS-500 PSU is the way to go, and there are comparisons pairing Ultra with a number of PSUs. If you have the budget, go with Ultra + SPS-500.

 

Do not have the external clock connector option so cannot comment. And cannot recall a discussion on SNA about it. 

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@Snoopy8 makes valid comments. Don't confuse the standard sMS-200, which has a very high input voltage range to the sMS-200ultra, which has a more narrow input range.  For SQ, worry more about the quality of PSU you use than the internal voltage you select.

 

Firstly, if you buy a new sMS-200ultra, the internal input voltage can be changed quite easily by moving jumpers, so if you choose the std 9V, you can always change it to 12V later. Older models required some soldering to make such changes. New models don't.

 

If you also buy the sPS-500, it can output 7, 9 or 12V so you are covered for both 9V and 12V (and 7V; the jumpers can also be set to 6.5-8.5V input).  IMO, the primary reason to choose 12V input would be if you already own a really good quality 12V PSU that you plan to use with the sMS-200ultra. Otherwise I'd lean towards the 9V as I think it will generate less heat. Someone here might suggest that 12V sounds better but make sure they are talking about the ultra with the same PSU. The quality of PSU makes an obvious difference to SQ so focus on that decision.

 

The master clock input costs extra. You don't need to use a master clock if you get this option. It will work without one. If you do connect a master clock, you would ideally match the Ohms for best SQ. I believe that 50 Ohms is the more common master clock output so if in doubt, perhaps choose 50 Ohm input for the ultra. The SOtM master clock has 50 Ohms as standard but can be ordered for 75 Ohms. Other master clocks have both types of output. However, if you have a specific master clock in mind, then check which it uses. I just did a very quick google and saw some dCS clocks using 75 Ohms.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I believe you are referring to the SMS -200 Ultra's internal 9v or 12v option.  This is different to the 9v/12v PSU.

 

There are claims that the internal 12v option is better than the internal 9v option but I have yet to find a comparison online (but if someone does, please post). I think this claim came about because a 12V PSU  is better than a 9V PSU on standard SMS-200.  People have (invalidly?) extended this thinking to the internal option of the Ultra. So I think there is no difference between the internal 9v and 12v options.

 

What is more important is what PSU you use and at what voltage.  I know that @Bilbo has played around with different voltages and he recommends a 15V PSU for his Ultra.  I am using a Gieseler 12V PSU.

 

The online reviews say that pairing the Ultra with a SOtM SPS-500 PSU is the way to go, and there are comparisons pairing Ultra with a number of PSUs. If you have the budget, go with Ultra + SPS-500.

 

Do not have the external clock connector option so cannot comment. And cannot recall a discussion on SNA about it. 

Slight correction required here Snoopy8.  I use a 12V power supply for my Ultra and mine is an Optima car battery like this:

https://automotivesuperstore.com.au/optima-8051-187?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9N-Vpt-Y2wIVlA4rCh20BwI7EAQYASABEgKWrPD_BwE

I went with the 12V version simply because that was what I had power supplies for.  I think if you don't want to muck around with power supplies then the SOtM SPS-500 PSU is the way to go.

Edited by Bilbo

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@JDWest are you using a master clock with your setup?   You are correct; I did have an existing 12V PSU, hence chose internal 12V option. One day, I may experiment with changing the voltage of both the PSU and Ultra to 9V but I am currently happy with 12V.

 

@Bilbo sorry for mix up. Did you consider going with the master clock connector option? I didn't, saw it as an exercise in chasing the exotic with lots of dollars and rapidly diminishing returns. Besides, have non dedicated which will ultimately limit any improvement.

 

@PeppaPig am very satisfied with my setup using the Ultra with no clock connector, Gieseler PSU, ISO Regen with PSU and a Gieseler Groß DAC.

 

As JDWest said, you can get the clock connector now but not use a master clock. I  believe until you update your DAC in your setup, the Devialet will be the limiting factor and hold back any gains you plan with a master clock.

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I'm a SOtM dealer. Hence my last reply being factual and sterile to meet forum rules. Kinda frustrating at times; keeping my opinions to myself does not come naturally to me 😉especially when it's a brand that I've spent a lot of time experimenting with.

 

I own a master clock (non-SOtM) that I've used with the sMS-200ultra and with a DIY server containing the same SOtM clock board (sCLK-EX) coupled to their tX-USBexp PCIe-USB card. I have also tried many different power supplies with both. It seems that @Snoopy8 and @Bilbo are advising that @PeppaPig should save money by forgoing the master clock input and instead put that money towards the power supply because the SQ benefits are greater there; especially per $.  So now I don't need to express my own opinion other than to commend those guys for their sound advice 😉😁

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4 hours ago, JDWest said:

@Snoopy8 makes valid comments. Don't confuse the standard sMS-200, which has a very high input voltage range to the sMS-200ultra, which has a more narrow input range.  For SQ, worry more about the quality of PSU you use than the internal voltage you select.

 

Firstly, if you buy a new sMS-200ultra, the internal input voltage can be changed quite easily by moving jumpers, so if you choose the std 9V, you can always change it to 12V later. Older models required some soldering to make such changes. New models don't.

...........

Otherwise I'd lean towards the 9V as I think it will generate less heat. 

Your earlier post set me thinking.  I am running 12V on the Ultra using a 12V PSU and it does get warm.  Some questions:

  • Is there any difference in AQ between 9V and 12V? I assume no?
  • Given that the Ultra has a narrow input range, will a 9V Ultra take a 12V input?  Thinking of repeating SMS-200 experiment, but maybe no point if no AQ difference?
  • What PSUs have you tried and what would you recommend apart from the SPS-500? (Assuming you can take your dealer hat off?)

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23 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Your earlier post set me thinking.  I am running 12V on the Ultra using a 12V PSU and it does get warm.  Some questions:

  • Is there any difference in AQ between 9V and 12V? I assume no?
  • Given that the Ultra has a narrow input range, will a 9V Ultra take a 12V input?  Thinking of repeating SMS-200 experiment, but maybe no point if no AQ difference?
  • What PSUs have you tried and what would you recommend apart from the SPS-500? (Assuming you can take your dealer hat off?)

9V vs 12V;  I couldn't hear the difference moving from a 12V ultra unit to a 9V ultra unit. That doesn't mean there was no diff. I wasn't really trying to pick small diffs.  The thought has occurred to me that warmer temp of electronic components when run at 12V might be the reason that people seemed to prefer 12V for std sMS...but I speculate. 

 

SOtM would advise strongly against ever feeding a 9V unit with 12V. There is some leeway on voltages but feeding lower is safer than feeding higher. Maybe it would just run extra hot and shorten its life rather than blow up in the short term...but I'm not gonna try and would never recommend it to anyone.

 

Uptone Audio JS-2 sounds excellent with Ultra IMO. Costs more than sPS-500 but you get a 2nd DC output. A well known Chinese brand of LPS that I also own cost much less and sounds like it cost much less...still better than a wall wart.  

 

 

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Thanks everyone's input. Its very informative!! 

I don't plan to purchase any external clock at the moment, wanting the connector just in case future's need, very likely i will never need it :)

 

The SPS-500 is a switch mode power supply, I surprised for its price not using toroidal...

 

Anyway have compared the 200 Ultra with other network streamer like dCS Network bridge and Aurender? 

 

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This thread has got me thinking about the PSU.  🤔 

18 hours ago, Bilbo said:

Slight correction required here Snoopy8.  I use a 12V power supply for my Ultra and mine is an Optima car battery like this:

https://automotivesuperstore.com.au/optima-8051-187?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9N-Vpt-Y2wIVlA4rCh20BwI7EAQYASABEgKWrPD_BwE

Why that particular model?  How long does ít last? And I assume any car battery charger can be used to recharge it? It is likely too big to hide in my family room, but maybe worth exploring?

12 hours ago, JDWest said:

9V vs 12V;  I couldn't hear the difference moving from a 12V ultra unit to a 9V ultra unit. That doesn't mean there was no diff. I wasn't really trying to pick small diffs.  The thought has occurred to me that warmer temp of electronic components when run at 12V might be the reason that people seemed to prefer 12V for std sMS...but I speculate. 

 

SOtM would advise strongly against ever feeding a 9V unit with 12V. There is some leeway on voltages but feeding lower is safer than feeding higher. Maybe it would just run extra hot and shorten its life rather than blow up in the short term...but I'm not gonna try and would never recommend it to anyone.

I wanted to try 9V. I carefully opened mine up, unhooked the front cable and slid it out (and made sure that the boards aligned with slots when I put it back). Had a quick look,  saw a couple of possible places for changing but did not see a jumper on them for my 12V unit (purchased a few months ago). Is there any official instructions?  Hate to blow it up and unlikely to be covered by warranty!

 

And noted advice about matching voltage and not try going outside specs.

13 hours ago, JDWest said:

Uptone Audio JS-2 sounds excellent with Ultra IMO. Costs more than sPS-500 but you get a 2nd DC output.  

Hmmmm, twice the price but 2 outputs...  And not many used ones of either around to experiment.

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