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Snoopy8

Review of M18PSU – Gieseler Kraftwerk 12V 4A PSU

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Thanks for the comparison, its interesting and i would have thought it sounded similar..

 

I'm pulling the trigger (just did) on the GK PSU 4A. 

 

Along with the upgrade to Neo, John from Sublime Hifi also changed mine to 12v. So this should be good..!

 

Still cant believe something almost half price sounds better..! will keep you updated. 

Edited by NKMA

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Don’t forget that the SOtM power supply is switch mode.  Having had a chance to use it in my system I found the 5A linear power supply to be superior. The SPS-500 sounds a bit “digital” compared to the LPS but the battery still sounds best of all.

Amps ain’t amps - it depends how they are delivered!

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Clay’s 3A multiple voltage PSU is not the only higher current Gieseler option for driving a 9V Device such as 9V version of SMS-200 Ultra. He can just as easily make a 9V version of the 4A Kraftwerk. He advised me that the only difference is a single resistor, and the “performance would be identical to the 12v 4A unit but just now at 9v out”. So those running a 9V device effectively have a choice of the multiple voltage 3A or the 4A Kraftwerk.

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14 hours ago, RussB said:

Clay’s 3A multiple voltage PSU is not the only higher current Gieseler option for driving a 9V Device such as 9V version of SMS-200 Ultra. He can just as easily make a 9V version of the 4A Kraftwerk. He advised me that the only difference is a single resistor, and the “performance would be identical to the 12v 4A unit but just now at 9v out”. So those running a 9V device effectively have a choice of the multiple voltage 3A or the 4A Kraftwerk.

So are you tempted ? 😜

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I’m planning on getting an Iso Regen and will need a new power supply for it. Main options I’m considering are buying Clay’s multi voltage 3A supply for the Iso and keeping my SOTM SPS-500 on the SMS-200 Ultra Neo, or using the SPS-500 for the Iso and getting Clay to make a 9v 4A Kraftwerk for the Ultra. Based on your review the latter might be better, but I’d prefer to at least compare SPS-500 and 4A in my own system first. Fortunately I know someone who might be able to help with that! [emoji3]

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On 19/10/2018 at 9:22 PM, NKMA said:

Still cant believe something almost half price sounds better..! will keep you updated. 

Any update?

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18 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Any update?

When i received the Kraftwerk 12v 4A, I was thinking of keeping my it as a spare alongside Sotm SPS. However as soon as I connected the Kraftwerk, I could see what you were talking about in your review as it has brought depth to the instruments and made it bright. I love listening where there is a prominence on instruments, so I just loved it.  Another thing i noticed is the base got tight. A overall loudness to the music.  The SPS-500 was a bit laid back and had prominence on voice, at least thats what i felt. I am yet to listen for longer periods, but this is my immediate feedback.. Hence let go of my power supply, one of them..! (still have my HD Plex left powering the Sotm modded switch).

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Thanks @NKMA. Good to hear you have experienced an improvement with the Kraftwerk. My system has tended to be a bit on the bright side and I have deliberately chosen some components to be more laid back as a result. I didn’t realise the SPS-500 may also be a little laid back! Before I decide between the two approaches I mentioned in my above post it is probably desirable that I give the Kraftwerk a test run in my system if possible before committing the $.

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3 minutes ago, RussB said:

Thanks @NKMA. Good to hear you have experienced an improvement with the Kraftwerk. My system has tended to be a bit on the bright side and I have deliberately chosen some components to be more laid back as a result. I didn’t realise the SPS-500 may also be a little laid back! Before I decide between the two approaches I mentioned in my above post it is probably desirable that I give the Kraftwerk a test run in my system if possible before committing the $.

Agree, with the comparison.  How do you do a seamless comparison on the same song without stopping and starting? Is there an easier way other than recording and playing back (I use my iphone to do this)?

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Agree, with the comparison.  How do you do a seamless comparison on the same song without stopping and starting? Is there an easier way other than recording and playing back (I use my iphone to do this)?


I was imagining just playing one of my favourite test tracks two or three times using one power supply and then swapping power supply and repeating, and then repeating that process again for same song as necessary until I feel I have sussed the differences on that track, before moving onto a different type of track. At least that’s what I tend to do. But I certainly wouldn’t claim it is seamless. Open to other suggestions that people may have. Interested to hear more about how you use your iPhone.

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1 hour ago, RussB said:

 


I was imagining just playing one of my favourite test tracks two or three times using one power supply and then swapping power supply and repeating, and then repeating that process again for same song as necessary until I feel I have sussed the differences on that track, before moving onto a different type of track. At least that’s what I tend to do. But I certainly wouldn’t claim it is seamless. Open to other suggestions that people may have. Interested to hear more about how you use your iPhone.

 

I would be inclined to leave it in for a few hours to warm up and then spend an hour listening. Disconnect PS1 and connect PS2, go away for a few hours and then listen again. Hopefully you would have found one more enjoyable than the other.  A/Bing is very difficult in this situation.

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17 minutes ago, PKay said:

I would be inclined to leave it in for a few hours to warm up and then spend an hour listening. Disconnect PS1 and connect PS2, go away for a few hours and then listen again. Hopefully you would have found one more enjoyable than the other.  A/Bing is very difficult in this situation.

Agree that PSUs need to warm up. 

 

The only way to do a proper  A/B comparison is to have 2 SMS-200 Ultras with the different power supplies, 2 same DACs and hook them both to  a pre-amp.  I do know a number of people who I can borrow gear from but is it worth the effort???  And please do not mention double blind testing; that has started many a debate and caused threads to be shut down. 

At the end of the day, if you can hear a difference, and it improves your enjoyment of music, that is all that counts.

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To what extent can a PSU be warmed up by simply being powered on as opposed to being powered on and actively running a device?

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Well I thought I would make

a 9v version & see how it measures.

All good as you can see .

With a 2 ohm load voltage was 9.05v & current 4.11A

I will add this as a optional output voltage for the 12v 4A Kraftwerk model.

 

 

IMG_3002.JPG

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Yes this is great thanks Clay! Im sure those with 9v SMS-200, SMS-200 Ultra or other 9v device will be very interested in this, myself included. And thanks for the evidence!!

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That is very kind of you Clay! I’d be delighted to take up this offer. It will be great to try your 9v Kraftwerk in my system. Thanks again.

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3 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Sounds good - OK I will ship it to you tomorrow & then you can pass judgement.

I'll stick my neck out and say that Clay's 9V 4A PSU will beat the SPS-500 ! :shocked: 

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I received Clay's 9v 4A Kraftwerk last Thursday and after giving it a good few days to burn it, have now had a chance to compare it to my SOTM SPS-500 PSU in powering an SOTM SMS-200 Ultra Neo 9v into a Gieseler GroB DAC, AR Ref 3, JC1 monoblocks and Osborn Epitome's. 

 

Similar to what  @lumholtzii mentioned in relation to the 12v 4A version of the Kraftwerk,  I found the 9v version to produce a warm, musical, sound.  It is warmer and a little darker than the SPS-500, giving vocals and certain instruments a richer sound with more body. In some cases the bass was a little more authoritative.

 

On some tracks I found this provided a more enjoyable overall listening experience. For example, the second track of the Hoff Ensemble’s Quiet Winter Night DSD was more musical overall and a little more coherent in how instruments were placed.  On Go Go Penguin's track 'Prayer', the piano sounded more natural and full bodied with the Kraftwerk.  The warmer sound of the Kraftwerk was particularly well suited to tracks that were leaner or had a lot of top-end energy.

 

However, I also found the SPS-500 to provide a more enjoyable listening experience on some other tracks. The main reason for this is that in my system the SOTM PSU tended to produce a slightly more three dimensional soundstage.  While the Kraftwerk produced excellent depth, there was more going on within the soundstage when using the SOTM, including extension of the stage outside the main speakers, and front/back separation of instruments and sounds (e.g. Prayer).  While the Kraftwerk provided a more distinct and coherent separation of instruments etc in some tracks, the SOTM was more coherent, detailed, or clearer on others (e.g. Etana's 'Reggae').

 

 @frednork  was present for one of the listening sessions.  The main thrust of his observations, unprompted by myself, were similar to mine.  

 

Both the SPS-500 and Kraftwerk 9A are clearly excellent PSU's and way better than the PSU that came standard with the Ultra.   Overall, I am preferring the SOTM by a small margin in my system mainly because it seems to integrate well with other components in producing an interesting soundstage.  But I think which PSU provides the best overall SQ for those needing 9v will be system dependant. For example, the warmer tonal balance of the Kraftwerk will be especially well suited to systems that would benefit from a bit more warmth.

 

Given the fact that the Kraftwerk is less than half the cost of the SPS-500, it is clearly better value for money.

 

Given @Snoopy8 and others' reviews of the 12v version of the Kraftwerk, it is clear that Clay is onto a winner with his Kraftwerk series of PSU's!     

 

 

 

 

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Owning 2 of Clays power supplies I was interested in how the Kraftwerk may compare with the SPS-500. Thanks @RussBfor allowing me to have a listen to the 2 on his system.

 

The first comparison was done (single) blind, not intentionally but I just wasnt paying attention. A couple of things stood out. the soundstage was just a bit more cohesive with the distance between instruments easier to discern and the piano notes struck a bit clearer and more dynamically. When I asked RussB which was which he told me the SOTM was my preferred.

 

 Its fair to say generally the Gieseler was a little mellower than the SOTM but the SOTM didnt have any glare or harshness. On one or 2 of the tracks the Gieseler seemed to suit the track better tonally but generally the SOTM overall was my preferred supply in that system. I think  @RussB has covered it pretty well in his review so wont repeat any further.

 

At half the price the Kraftwerk is amazing value and  even though I preferred the SOTM  I am not planning on getting an SPS-500 anytime soon. 

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Initially upon reading that article it would appear that Toroidal transformer are the best choice for audio equipment but after a little research the situation is not so clear.

The main problem with a EI frame core transformers is the radiated magnetic field which can induce hum in nearby circuitry. This is totally irrelevant with all my products because the transformer is located externally.

Now the negatives with a Toroidal transformer is their high bandwidth which can let a lot more HF noise come through vs EI core which are much lower bandwidth. Also Toroidal transformers are very susceptible to DC offset in the mains. This causes the core to saturate which can produce physical noise &  also can induce noise in the output.

Don't just take my word for it though - plenty of backup info here.

https://www.audialonline.com/topics/psu-transformers-ei-vs-toroidal-and-more/

https://www.soundstage.com/maxdb/maxdb071998.htm

Some high end companies like Audio Note will only use EI core transformers due to sonic reasons.

Now if I was building a big power amp a Toroidal would be the first choice but in low current situation like a DAC the EI core transformer for me anyway gives a better result.

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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16 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Initially upon reading that article it would appear that Toroidal transformer are the best choice for audio equipment but after a little research the situation is not so clear.

The main problem with a EI frame core transformers is the radiated magnetic field which can induce hum in nearby circuitry. This is totally irrelevant with all my products because the transformer is located externally.

Now the negatives with a Toroidal transformer is their high bandwidth which can let a lot more HF noise come through vs EI core which are much lower bandwidth. Also Toroidal transformers are very susceptible to DC offset in the mains. This causes the core to saturate which can produce physical noise &  also can induce noise in the output.

Don't just take my word for it though - plenty of backup info here.

https://www.audialonline.com/topics/psu-transformers-ei-vs-toroidal-and-more/

https://www.soundstage.com/maxdb/maxdb071998.htm

Some high end companies like Audio Note will only use EI core transformers due to sonic reasons.

Now if I was building a big power amp a Toroidal would be the first choice but in low current situation like a DAC the EI core transformer for me anyway gives a better result.

I actually read the article to indicate that r-core would be a better choice than toroidal or ei….     appreciate the response though Clay. Made for some more interesting reading.

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