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New Kraftwerk 12v 4A PSU versions

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The 12v 4A Kraftwerk PSU has proven to be very popular especially with Gross & Klein III owners as it offers a nice upgrade in audio performance.

As you know I am constantly looking at ways to improve things but the 12v 4A Kraftwerk has proven to be a hard act to follow.

Well finally after a lot of R&D I have come up with some slightly improved versions.

1. Nichicon Gold Tune version.

2. Nichicon Gold Tune Enhanced version.

Now it is not a big audible difference but definitely noticeable with careful listening & I have proven this with in the field owner tests.

 

Version 1 vers the standard has increased total capacitance & most importantly achieves this using multiple Nichicon Gold Tune capacitors.

These capacitors are especially designed for high quality audio use. I also added a bit more film cap decoupling & some track width/layout changes.

 

Version 2 is pretty special as it has all version 1 improvements as well as a fairly complex ripple elimination circuit.

Basically this circuit is applied AFTER (important) the regulator & eliminates any minuscule amounts of AC ripple that may be present.

It  also has the advantage of lowering the output impedance over a very large band width.

 

Results.

OK  Version 1 has been tested in the field with positive results -  it’s offers a small audio improvement over the standard version.

Snoopy8  may care to comment.

 

Now with version 2  I need to do more listening tests to see if it is an improvement over version one.

 

Prices

Version 1. Nichicon Gold Tune. $450

Version  2. Nichicon Gold Tune Enhanced.  $550

Both versions in stock.EC10C9D6-5021-4745-9C7C-79F391A93404.thumb.jpeg.106aa9728f8be5559e83338461be2d8f.jpeg21E41C35-B547-40A1-BE95-D9712E69EC25.thumb.jpeg.98d42b6c5c428de72bf851a422fef394.jpeg4B3DF157-8E36-4D91-8379-56423D19ADA2.thumb.jpeg.8f418d07ebccbd03781dd7d2785151c8.jpeg

 

 I have added some photographs showing all three units together for comparison  as well as close-ups of the two new versions 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
Grammar

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Nice work. Can the original Kraftwerk be retrofitted to these versions?

Edited by naggots

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Unfortunately no but I will be offering current 12v 4A Kraftwerk owners a one off discount via PM.

Also  current owners could utilise the excisting  power transformer  so that will reduce the cost a bit more as well.

 Anyway leave it with me and I will work out the costing for the current owners to upgrade.

 As I said before it is only a small audible improvement over the standard power supply.

Snoopy8  will no doubt have something to say about this.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Great stuff Clay! I’ll be ordering one of these.

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OK I've just done some quick calculations regarding existing Kraftwerk owners optional upgrade.

This would be just supplying the PSU box - no DC lead or transformer as you could use your current ones.

I have taken the cost of these parts off &  added a discount.

 

Version 1. $375  no transformer or DC lead. 

Version 2. $475  no transformer or DC lead. 

 

Owners will need to email or PM me for this offer as it won't be available via the website.

 

 

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Wow! Didn’t even know a Gold Tune Version 2 existed!  :shocked:  


Thank you, Clay, for giving me the opportunity to test Gold Tune Version 1 (Gold V1). Please note that I have no affiliation with Gieseler Audio other than being a happy customer.


Compared Gieseler standard 12V 4A with Gold V1 on a Groß DAC and a SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo 12V.

 

For the Groß, adding a standard 12V 4A PSU provided a significant upgrade, but the jump from standard to Gold V1 is smaller. Gold V1 provided more body (subtle) and slightly more bass compared with standard.   Unless you compare them side by side, it is not easy to tell the difference between standard and Gold V1.

 

Should Groß owners with standard PSU upgrade to Gold V1?  Unless you are chasing subtlety ** and do not mind the loss on re-selling or pay for the upgrade **, I am suggesting no.  Another question is which PSU to get for Groß owners with the AC plug?  I believe standard PSU is best good value at $375. Whether you go for Gold V1 or V2  is up for debate, ** but the Gold V1 is tempting for not many dollars more. I bought a Gold V1 for my Groß **.

 

For the SMS-200 Ultra,  a standard 12V 4A PSU provided a big jump in AQ over a wall wart. The Gold V1 provided slightly wider sound stage compared with standard 12V 4A PSU.  

 

If you have both a Groß (or Klein III) DAC  and a 12V SMS-200 (or Ultra), recommend getting ** at least **, 2 standard 12V 4A PSUs.  They dramatically improve AQ.  Did not have 2 Gold V1 (or V2) to test, so can only speculate that they will be slightly better for a price premium.  


If budget is tight, do not fret about getting the standard 12V 4A unit. It is very good at $375.  I will more likely consider purchased the Gold V1 which is 20% more expensive at $450 than a but undecided on Gold V2 which has a 50% premium over standard at $550 (caution, have not heard Gold V2).  Note that Gieseler PSUs are cheaper than overseas ones, backed up by superior customer service from an Australian manufacturer.  

Edited by Snoopy8
Typo, ** added, edited to clarify ownership

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My previous post did not say I own the Gold V1 and using it on my Groß DAC.  Have amended it.

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I have a Gross dac which I’ve been very happy with. I auditioned the standard kraftwerk PSU before Xmas. It’s not night and day and TBH I would have been perfectly happy with the wall wart - the gross is excellent as standalone. But for me it was worth the upgrade so I finally got round to ordering the nichicon gold tune PSU.

 

I’ve been fiddling with my system quite a bit recently - rack, cables, speaker isolation - so I can’t give a reliable or authoritative comparison between the various power supplies. But I will say that the gross/nichicon combo is very very nice. It does all the  hifi stuff you’d expect, but what i particularly like about it is that it doesn’t draw attention to itself with accentuated effects or dramatic staging - forgive the old cliche but its a very musical combo. 

A PSU is not a cheap upgrade and you shouldn’t expect to be blown away by it - if you have a gross already its a bit of extra icing on an already very tasty cake. 

Edited by buddyev

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My 2 cents worth as a new owner of a Klein 3 with standard psu vs the kraftwerk 12v 4a (standard version) in my rig.  Definately more heft and authority to the sound, esp on the lower notes/bass.  Mids and upper freq's - i couldnt hear any differences.  Soundstage and depth improved a bit, but not by a significant margin as one would say.

 

As the Klein 3 has less parts & filtering i would imagine (reflected on the cost), the effects of a better linear PSU would be noticable.  Hell for argument sake, i even fitted an IFI DC Purifier 3  to the output of the 9v stock psu and compared it with the Kraftwerk.  The stock with the Ifi sounded mellower, which some would like, but the Kraftwerk's was a winner here for me.  I think the additional 3v and 2 amps made a diff to my ears..

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On 12/02/2019 at 2:58 PM, Snoopy8 said:

If you have both a Groß (or Klein III) DAC  and a 12V SMS-200 (or Ultra), recommend getting ** at least **, 2 standard 12V 4A PSUs.  They dramatically improve AQ.  Did not have 2 Gold V1 (or V2) to test, so can only speculate that they will be slightly better for a price premium.  


If budget is tight, do not fret about getting the standard 12V 4A unit. It is very good at $375.  I will more likely consider purchased the Gold V1 which is 20% more expensive at $450 than a but undecided on Gold V2 which has a 50% premium over standard at $550 (caution, have not heard Gold V2).  Note that Gieseler PSUs are cheaper than overseas ones, backed up by superior customer service from an Australian manufacturer.  

Agreed.  If you could probably stretch it, makes sense to get the Gold V1.  Otherwise, the Standard Kraftwerk is just as good.

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Hi Richard,

I only had a quick test but it definitely added some subtle improvements.

A local Gross DAC owner has since purchased it.

 Initially he noticed improvements in the mid-range & top end but the bass hadn’t changed much.

 Then after  a certain time the magic happened.  He said it was almost like flicking a switch so 

 I think they do definitely need a certain amount of running time to come good.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Well I finally got  around to building another enhanced Kraftwerk PSU & gave it a few days run in.

 First up I took some measurements  and the noise levels are lower again compared the gold tune version which I was expecting.  However the noise levels are already very low in all the Kraftwerk PSU’s  so I’m not sure  reducing them even more will have a significant effect on the sound.  The enhanced version does have a much lower output impedance over a broader bandwidth  and I think that is having an effect in a positive way.  With careful listening there is a definite improvement over the gold tune version.  It’s not huge but there definitely is some in improvement  there.  Subtle areas like slightly better separation, a little bit more control  and the image is a bit more focused. 

 For existing Kraftwerk  power supply owners  I wouldn’t recommend upgrading as it is only a subtle difference.

 However for new buyers wanting the best the Enhanced version is definitely the way to go  especially with revealing systems.

Suopermani  has lashed out on one  so no doubt he will provide us with some feedback.

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Hello everyone! Still making my mind up about the Enhanced Kraftwerk PSU. As Clayton has hinted, it is a subtle different betwen this and the normal Kraftwerk.

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