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Author Topic: PSU Filter in a DAC  (Read 6227 times)
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Jud
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« on: April 04, 2013, 08:20:54 pm »

Trying to decide whether the extra work involved in making and installing a PSU filter in a DAC I'm putting together is worth it.  Just posted a new thread in the General forum of Computer Audiophile asking about it.  This note is an invitation to anyone here (especially all of you DIYers) to drop by the thread and give me the benefit of your knowledge and experience, either there, or here if you prefer.

Thanks in advance - much appreciated.
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Win 7 64-bit; i7-950@3.07GHz; 16GB RAM; OS on SATA 6GB/s SSD; AIFF files on external FW HDD; XXHE and Playback Drive on separate RAMdisks; no page file; Audioquest Dragonfly DAC/preamp; PSE Studio IV amp; Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers or Etymotic Research ER-4P in-ear monitors.  XXHE 0.9z-8-3a settings for the moment: Peak Extend; Arc Prediction; Redbook files upsampled 2x; KS Adaptive Mode; Phase Alignment off; buffer=512; Straight Contiguous; Playerprio=Low; ThreadPrio=RealTime; Unattended; OS minimized; all services off; Q1=17, factor=2; SFS=2.1; XXTweaks=Ultimate; Time Performance Index=Not the best.
PeterSt
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 11:35:03 am »

Jud,

It depends on what you call a "PSU Filter" *hence* what the filter works upon. I can tell you : it won't work on any PSU which doesn't exhibit "frequencies" as such. So, filters work upon frequencies and any good PSU does not exhibit frequencies, hence filters won't filter a thing.

This becomes different when other sources exhibit frequencies, like USB will do so. But now you are in bad luck, because USB produces frequencies in the audible range, and I am fairly sure you don't want to filter those out.

Lastly, trying to tie together things like this is fairly much the same as working in the blind. Others may have different opinions, but all you can do is try by ear, and that for sure won't work. It takes nothing to judge things as being better (more bass and such) while actually it is the opposite.

Advise : don't do a thing. Maybe do so when all doesn't work (sound) to your satisfaction. And of course use a good PSU to start with.

HTH
Peter
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XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 14/28 cores in BIOS and set to 10/20 cores via Boot Menu) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/0/*1*/ Q1Factor = *4* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *10ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *10.13*  (max 10.13) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *62* / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / Custom Filtering *Low* (16x) / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^3
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Jud
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 02:18:36 pm »

Thank you Peter, that is as always very helpful.

Since I have another project I can use the filter on, I will likely build it anyway, and I may do some listening with it connected and not.  (Though first I will listen for a good long time without it.)  As you say, one must always be very careful, especially when thinking about whether one is hearing an improvement and not just a difference.

Luckily, I'm not inclined to listen for stuff like "more bass."  That way lies madness!    grazy

I always think, "Who ever walked out of a Pavarotti [or Stones, who I've actually seen, Pavarotti not] concert raving about 'more bass'?"  I listen for more "reality," elusive as that idea is.  But I know the sound of a real acoustic guitar, piano, or Jordi Savall playing the viola da gamba.  And even more, I know when listening to something like that drum track you sent around a while ago that musicians play with each other, and if you hear good musicians who suddenly don't seem capable of playing with and off each other in a way that creates drama and joy, then something is quite wrong. 

But hey, I am as capable of making mistakes as anyone else (maybe more than most!), so I will be careful if I decide to do comparative listening.
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Win 7 64-bit; i7-950@3.07GHz; 16GB RAM; OS on SATA 6GB/s SSD; AIFF files on external FW HDD; XXHE and Playback Drive on separate RAMdisks; no page file; Audioquest Dragonfly DAC/preamp; PSE Studio IV amp; Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers or Etymotic Research ER-4P in-ear monitors.  XXHE 0.9z-8-3a settings for the moment: Peak Extend; Arc Prediction; Redbook files upsampled 2x; KS Adaptive Mode; Phase Alignment off; buffer=512; Straight Contiguous; Playerprio=Low; ThreadPrio=RealTime; Unattended; OS minimized; all services off; Q1=17, factor=2; SFS=2.1; XXTweaks=Ultimate; Time Performance Index=Not the best.
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