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Gieseler Audio

Power supply upgrade for Gross, Fein & Klein III DAC’s.

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Yes I agree - Gross stays the same & the DC PSU is a simple upgrade path.

 

I'm really keen to try the DC supply with a Klein III - almost finished building one so I will post the result here soon.

I expecting it to make big difference as the Klein III is very basic so should benefit big time.

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OK - just finished listening to a brand new Klein III with std external transformer/plugpack  vs a Kraftwerk M18 12v 4A PSU.

 

OMG! what a difference - I did it five time with different tracks - it is a night day difference - everything gets better with the Kraftwerk PSU. 

Now I know everyone thinks sure he is going to rave a about it obviously as he makes them - but honestly there is a serious jump in sound quality 

that is dead easy to hear on repeated tests. Listening on the normal plugpack you think yes that all sounds good then you change to the Kraftwerk PSU.

What the heck just happened! All of a sudden the instrument  just sound way more real - veil removed - separation between everything is way better etc etc.

Anyway I know a couple of Klein III owners who can do some independent evaluations so I will try & get that happening ASAP.  

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11 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

 

Hi Clay,

thanks for reporting.

Did you have the possibility to try 14VDC as well?

 

Matt

Edited by matth

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Hi Matt,

no I haven’t tried 14v yet. With 12v DC in there is more than enough for the internal 

regulators to output the correct voltages so 12v is probably fine.

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On 10/11/2018 at 10:39 PM, Gieseler Audio said:

Now 12v is not the ideal external dc voltage due to the voltage drop from the DAC’s internal bridge recifiers but it is safe & works very well. My next step is to modify the 12v 4A unit for 14v output which will be the optimised voltage for all the DAC’s internal PSU to work correctly. 

Thanks Clay,

just a question because you mentioned 14VDC in your first post.

Maybe there is a sweetspot to explore between 12 and 15VDC.

 

Matt

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Yes Matt that is definitely a good suggestion.

I might use 12v as a reference point & then compare it to 13v, 14v & 15v.

The problem is finding the time at the moment as I am continually busy building stock to process orders.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Hi Clay,  is my Gross compatible with these? I know it's one of the earlier ones. I find it hard to believe improvement is possible though I'm always up for it if possible ;)

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12 hours ago, MattyW said:

Hi Clay,  is my Gross compatible with these? I know it's one of the earlier ones. I find it hard to believe improvement is possible though I'm always up for it if possible ;)

@MattyW I had a chance to try the power supply on a Fein DAC and it transformed it. Hard to believe but the improvement was so profound and so immediately obvious I messaged Clay within minutes and put in an order. If anyone reading this post has a Fein or GroB that can take the new power supply I’d highly recommend it. Puts these DACs on par with the Chord Hugo TT2 and within spitting distance of the Hugo TT2 and M Scaler combination. I’ll write a small review later today, but trust me when I say it will be the best money you can spend fir a dramatic upgrade. 

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Hi Matty - yes - yours was the first 3 - input unit with the new boards so good to go with DC.

Just as a double check take off the lid & make sure there is no blue transformer.

OK so DC in - 12v to 15v range & at least 2A capable.

I normally run + to the centre pin but it does not really matter as the internal bridge rectifiers auto correct for polarity.

I should have a Silmic version of my 12v 4A Kraftwerk ready at the end of the week so that will be really interesting.

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2 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Matty - yes - yours was the first 3 - input unit with the new boards so good to go with DC.

Just as a double check take off the lid & make sure there is no blue transformer.

OK so DC in - 12v to 15v range & at least 2A capable.

I normally run + to the centre pin but it does not really matter as the internal bridge rectifiers auto correct for polarity.

I should have a Silmic version of my 12v 4A Kraftwerk ready at the end of the week so that will be really interesting.

I'll double check that this week and get back to you on it Clay. Having a power off switch on the transformer will also be incredibly useful as a full power off is occasionally necessary to deal with an occasional glitch when changing inputs. Absolutely love this DAC. Never heard better. :)

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I've not had a chance to check though I'm happy to be added to the list of orders for these thanks Clay :)

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Thanks Matt.

The ETA is tomorrow for my big pcb order & the new  Silmic 12v 4A PSU is included.

As soon as they arrive I will get a Silmic version built ASAP & have a listen.

 

A couple of reasons why I want to try the Elna Silmic capacitors in the PSU.

1. Nelson Pass gives them a big wrap.

2. They were the pick in this Audio PSU capacitor group test.

http://tech.juaneda.com/en/articles/electrolyticcapacitors.html

The only unpractical/un-economic side is the biggest value they make in the voltage I need is 1000uf.

That means I have to use a massive bank of x18 to get a decent value for the main filter cap.

However there is a nice bonus from this in that the ESR (series resistance) comes down a lot vs a single cap.

Also the big string of filer caps produces a pysdo CRCRC....... filtering effect so the noise level at the end is extreamly low.

I know it all sounds good in theory but the bottom line is the sound so the real test will be listening to one.

Hopefully in the next day or so .......stay tuned

 

 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Tap tap tap... my foot is tapping with nervous energy while I wait impatiently for Clay to test his new power supply with the Elna Silmic capacitors...

 

A little info as to why I am eagerly awaiting to hear news of success or otherwise - basically I HAVE HEARD the M18 Kraftwerk 12v 4A PSU powering my Chord 2Qute DAC and a Gieseler Fein DAC. And all I can say is WOW.

 

No I'm not one to jump onto some product because I can't afford anything more or different, so whatever I can afford is the best 'I have ever heard'. I laugh when people say that. Best in comparison to what? Your $500 low-fi or mid-fi component? Don't get me wrong, I've had many many hours pleasure and enjoyment from the cheaper systems I pieced together early on in my 'listening' career, but often you get more and better sound quality the more you spend. Not always, as I've discovered at a cost to my hip pocket. Also, I have a system which is resolving enough and sorted enough to show the difference, improvement or lack of when adding or switching components or cables in my system. 

 

Recently I've been getting the urge to upgrade my DAC among other things. You know how it gets - you're quite happy with the sound of your system but you wonder what improvements you could gain by tweaking and changing components. I've previously borrowed a PS Audio DirectStream to compare, and was totally underwhelmed. The Chord 2Qute was better in every way so the DirectStream wasn't going to be an option. I'd also had the GroB to try out at the same time and it wasn't even a fair competition. The GroB sound significantly better than both the DirectStream and the 2Qute. (To be fair I recently heard it combined with PS Audio BHK Pre/Power combination, connected to a pair of $40,000 PMC speakers, and it sounded alot better - goes to show system synergy is important. Having said that I put the Gieseler Fein DAC into the same system, and it made the DirectStream sound soft, muddled and fuzzy).

 

I'd also borrowed the Hugo and Hugo TT, and while I thought they improved on the 2Qute, I didnt feel the improvement was significant enough to warrant the expense. I also felt that the sound of the 2Qute was perhaps more well rounded and consistent so I didn't feel motivated to upgrade in the Chord range. The GroB was significantly better, especially in the bass and lower frequencies - felt like I had new speakers with deeper and more controlled bass. 

 

Life sort of got in the way and the upgrade to a GroB didn't happen but I'd been in contact with Clay and managed to get my hands on one of his M18 Kraftwerk 12v 4A power supplies for a loan. Plugged it into my 2Qute. Oh... my... god! It had improved the 2Qute so dramatically, that if you currently have a 2Qute, and are look for an upgrade but dont want to spend too much, just get the M18 Kraftwerk 12v 4A PSU and be done with it.

 

I was running an MCRU linear power supply on my 2Qute, but it just didn't compare. When I switched back from the Kraftwerk power supply to the MCRU, the 2Qute sounded more forward and like the music was being squeezed through a pipe in the middle of my speakers. Switching back to the Kraftwerk power supply, the sound spread out beyond the speakers, the sound stage growing and improving dramatically, and moved behind the plane of the speakers. I was shocked at how bad it sounded without the Kraftwerk power supply.

 

I'd also managed to get my hands on a Geiseler Fein DAC around the same time, along with a Chord Qutest, Hugo2, Hugo TT2 and M Scaler. If I was just going to upgrade in the Chord range, I would have been happy as they were all an improvement on my 2Qute. The Qutest was better, and the improvements as I moved up the model range were subtle but obvious. But I couldn't help thinking, I'm paying more, perhaps alot more, to get a slightly better sound, but it wasn't dramatic. As a footnote to this I spoke to a salesperson in a Melbourne hi-fi store and he said he's not that inspired to buy a new DAC even though his current DAC is quite a few years old. He felt that DAC's sound quality hadn't improved dramatically to warrant or inspire an upgrade. I wondered if I'd gotten to a point (and if the 2Qute was just that good) that improvements were going to be slight unless I spent dramatically more and started looking at spending silly money for a DAC. I don't really want to spend much more as the technology is improving rapidly. It's not like spending some serious money on a turntable - it sounds incredible and is not necessarily superseded by next years model. Having said that, if I had the money to spend I would probably buy the Hugo TT2 and M Scaler at the drop of a hat - its the best DAC I have heard. Instruments timbre and tone just so much more real and natural than any other DAC I had ever experienced. TBC...

 

 

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Let's just hope that Clayton has enough Elna Silmics on hand or that the suppliers don't run out of them 😁

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Hi Richard,

that is an excellent point - The suppliers don’t keep big quantities of the Silmic’s & they have run out before

with the ones I use.

Well the new PSU’s boards arrived yesterday but due to a rush on Gross & Klein III orders I did not have enough 

Silmics left to finish a PSU - Dam!

 I reordered another x 100 yesterday - shipping via FedX so I will have them Monday.

I don’t want to stockpile too many Silmic’s just yes as I haven’t actually heard a PSU with all Silmic’s as the the main filter cap. As soon as I hear one & if it is as good as I expect I will stock up big time on the caps.

The other particularly nice sounding electrolytic capacitors I have heard are the Nichicon Muse series.

I also ordered enough of those to try in the PSU so it will be good to compare them to the Silmic version.

The plus with the Muse’s is they don’t need the big run in time like the Silmic’s.

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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1 hour ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Richard,

that is an excellent point - The suppliers don’t keep big quantities of the Silmic’s & they have run out before

with the ones I use. 

Well the new PSU’s boards arrived yesterday but due to a rush on Gross & Klein III orders I did not have enough 

Silmics left to finish a PSU - Dam!

 I reordered another x 100 yesterday - shipping via FedX so I will have them Monday.

I don’t want to stockpile too many Silmic’s just yes as I haven’t actually heard a PSU with all Silmic’s as the the main filter cap. As soon as I hear one & if it is as good as I expect I will stock up big time on the caps.

The other particularly nice sounding electrolytic capacitors I have heard are the Nichicon Muse series.

I also ordered enough of those to try in the PSU so it will be good to compare them to the Silmic version.

The plus with the Muse’s is they don’t need the big run in time like the Silmic’s. 

Love the R&D effort there Clay!

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12 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Richard,

that is an excellent point - The suppliers don’t keep big quantities of the Silmic’s & they have run out before

with the ones I use.

Well the new PSU’s boards arrived yesterday but due to a rush on Gross & Klein III orders I did not have enough 

Silmics left to finish a PSU - Dam!

 I reordered another x 100 yesterday - shipping via FedX so I will have them Monday.

I don’t want to stockpile too many Silmic’s just yes as I haven’t actually heard a PSU with all Silmic’s as the the main filter cap. As soon as I hear one & if it is as good as I expect I will stock up big time on the caps.

The other particularly nice sounding electrolytic capacitors I have heard are the Nichicon Muse series.

I also ordered enough of those to try in the PSU so it will be good to compare them to the Silmic version.

The plus with the Muse’s is they don’t need the big run in time like the Silmic’s.

 

Ooh, nice! I actually meant my comment in a joking manner but it's good that you have a supply. Though if it does turn out the Elna Silmics makes a difference in the PSU compared to stock, I'll be ordering!

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Anybody care to elaborate on what areas are improved with the new PSU?

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Finally finished a Silmic version but it will need a few days to run in before I can do any serious comparisons.

IMG_3127.thumb.JPG.7d0b8b1d1b54b5537f8e154cc3932629.JPG

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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59 minutes ago, buddyev said:

Anybody care to elaborate on what areas are improved with the new PSU?

My interim impressions.  Interim because I had to switch my 12V 4A PSU running my SMS-200 Ultra Neo to the Gross.

There was improved resolution of the music, with improved detail of individual instruments.  As well, depth was added to the sound stage.  Overall, a very worthwhile upgrade, definitely a much bigger jump than using the same PSU on the Ultra. I am keeping the 12V 4A PSU on the Gross.

 

I hope to borrow another 12V 4A PSU soon and will do another comparison with both the Gross and Ultra running better PSUs.

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11 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

My interim impressions.  Interim because I had to switch my 12V 4A PSU running my SMS-200 Ultra Neo to the Gross.

There was improved resolution of the music, with improved detail of individual instruments.  As well, depth was added to the sound stage.  Overall, a very worthwhile upgrade, definitely a much bigger jump than using the same PSU on the Ultra. I am keeping the 12V 4A PSU on the Gross.

 

I hope to borrow another 12V 4A PSU soon and will do another comparison with both the Gross and Ultra running better PSUs.

Thanks Snoopy. 

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6 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Finally finished a Silmic version but it will need a few days to run in before I can do any serious comparisons.

IMG_3127.thumb.JPG.7d0b8b1d1b54b5537f8e154cc3932629.JPG

 

 

Despite Clayton mentioning earlier that this special version of the PSU did use a fair amount of Elna Silmics, I did not think it would look so...chock full of caps!

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16 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Finally finished a Silmic version but it will need a few days to run in before I can do any serious comparisons.

IMG_3127.thumb.JPG.7d0b8b1d1b54b5537f8e154cc3932629.JPG

 

 

Gee that's a lot of Silmic'y goodness crammed into that PSU! Droooooooool!

 

 

 

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Ok I thought it is time for a little feedback on the Silmic version vs the standard version.

Well the results were not what I was expecting - I really thought the Silmic caps would add more richness & enhancements but that was not the case. In fact I was really struggling to hear much difference & surprisingly after many A/B’s prefered the standard version. What! - how can this be.

Then looking at the bare facts the standard version actually has a total capacitance of 29,000 uf vs 18,000 uf of the Silmic version so that may be effecting the outcome. However even 18,000 uf would normally be considered plenty for a 12v 4A PSU.

Also Silmic  caps are notorious for requiring long run in times to sound the best so maybe I just need to give it more time.

The other options are.

1. Mock up a prototype version with 30x Silmic 1,000 uf caps giving me a total of 30,000 uf. Only negative there is a bigger case would be needed plus the extra caps whic would probably bump the price up arroud the $600 mark.

2. Replace just a few of the Simic’s In the current model with higher value caps (eg Panasonic FM)

That way I would end up with 30,000 uf & 90% of the caps are still Silmic’s.

Anyway it makes me realise that the standard Kraftwerk PSU is pretty darn good & great value at $375.

OK I will post some more feedback in a week or so once I have tried some of those other options.

 

 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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You know,  I rather suspect that I'd be very happy with the standard version Clay..... Just as I'm currently very happy without it. Though knowing there's more performance on the table I'll need to get one though ;)

Edited by MattyW

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