What about all those SMPS?

jturbo

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
82
93
Lexington, KY
#1
Hi WBF

So over the past year, Ive been watching all the forum talk about avoiding Switch mode power supplies in audio, in an attempt to avoid electrical noise.
Numerous examples about related to ONTs, Edge Routers/Firewalls, Ethernet Switches booth Audio Grade as well as the rest of the house.

And good results are often reported.

The Part of all this that confuses me is ... what about the rest of the SMPS in a typical house?

As I think thru my own situation.

I have USB Chargers for IPhones/Ipads, Microwave with clock, Stove with clock, Washer/Dryer, Fridge, Laptops, Fixed computer, several monitors, printer, Alarm clock, TV, 18V Tool chargers, Garage door openers, motor controls on a compressor, HVAC Low voltage control boards, Solar MIcro inverters. And probably many more.

Based on all the above, the Audio Ethernet switch, Internet ROuter and Wireless APs are simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of the pollution inside of the house and im figuring that all of the above travels quite easily across the house wiring.

Currently Im using a Torus Wall mount ISO Transformer to 'isolate' the house from the Audio system. However, I dont know how much pollution crosses that Hot / Neutral boundary and the ground and Neutral is often common anyway.

Im thinking this may be an interesting topic to discuss.
 

tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
104
112
248
Cologne
#2
Great topic!

I too have found that placing all (except for the kitchen) SMPS behind an iso transformer (mine is a modest 500W Peaktech) brought significant benefits. I feel that even seemingly non active SMPS (like a iphone charger without a phone connected) do degrade the sound. While before the Peaktech arrived about a year ago I always unplugged everything before critical listening, I can now enjoy the music without going on a SMPS hunt in my flat.

To what extend the transformer is blocking the noise....I don't know. I am sure something gets through still.

Christoph
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,888
2,661
653
E. England
#3
I've got the power feed to my audio room split from before feed to house, to dedicated balanced traffo. My GF is on her laptop some of the time, my occas use of mobile data...WBF mainly to blame there!
So, no 24/7 internet, streaming music or Netflix, and we're 50m from one neighbour, 150m from the other, in a quiet backwater (unlike my London apartment, one of 39 live/work units where broadband was teeming).
Hoping this is a good basis for low noise streamed music.
I did hear a report that our SQ generally is adulterated by the haze of GigaHerz miasma that is 2020 broadband immersion 24/7, esp in Western cities but I'm sure also high density developing world.
 

jturbo

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
82
93
Lexington, KY
#4
Marc,

You bring up a good point. The step up/down transformer at the street pole may or may not also provide isolation from the neighbor electronic pollution.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,888
2,661
653
E. England
#5
My bigger point is that 99% of us are living in a haze of this stuff. I'm absolutely sure it's contributing to poorer SQ overall.
 

jturbo

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
82
93
Lexington, KY
#6
I guess the best methodology would be to develop an audio side and a house side of the power grid in the house. If sucessful, then one could avoid needing LPSes on all the Access Points, Firewalls, ONTs and the rest of the house - Just let this be dirty, and just focus on the audio switch into the server/streamer/DAC on the audio side of the house grid.

Question is : Is this possible?
 

jturbo

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
82
93
Lexington, KY
#7
My bigger point is that 99% of us are living in a haze of this stuff. I'm absolutely sure it's contributing to poorer SQ overall.
Sure, Absolutely. However, since many are spending big money on switch upgrades, are we really ignoring the bigger problem?
How do we cut out the haze from all the 'other' stuff. That may be a better investment vs a LPS upgrade on an audiophile switch, while leaving the rest of the house co-mingled with the audio power network.
 

jturbo

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
82
93
Lexington, KY
#8
Great topic!

I too have found that placing all (except for the kitchen) SMPS behind an iso transformer (mine is a modest 500W Peaktech) brought significant benefits. I feel that even seemingly non active SMPS (like a iphone charger without a phone connected) do degrade the sound. While before the Peaktech arrived about a year ago I always unplugged everything before critical listening, I can now enjoy the music without going on a SMPS hunt in my flat.

To what extend the transformer is blocking the noise....I don't know. I am sure something gets through still.

Christoph
When a system is running well, it is so much more engaging then when it is just working ok. Id like to just set it up to be optimal all the time, so that the engagement factor is just there by design.

Your observation re the ISO transformer is good info.

So maybe an ISO between the Audio and rest of the house is a good start. But, it is the end game in terms of the design?
Thats what Id like to ponder with everyone.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,888
2,661
653
E. England
#9
J, it was my good fortune to move from a London apartment to a big house in the country. And that enabled me to firstly install a big headroom main breaker 100A fuse. And then split that feed to the audio room before the house. I am sure there is some "wash back", but short of a totally seperate system, this is the best I could do.

Now it's impossible to divorce the positives of the impvd acoustics from impvd power, but I did temporarily plug my gear into the non-audio circuit power points in the room, and SQ was deffo colder and greyer.

My guess is this semi-isolation from house, balanced power/dedicated lines, minimal broadband haze in the house, separation from neighbours and minimal commercial power use/broadband in the village, has all contributed to as calm and quiet power as could be reasonably expected, no contest wrt my adulterated situation in London.
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
302
23
423
Houston area
#10
My entire audio and theater video systems are isolated via a giant 20A UPS (believe but not certain it’s 50A in and 20A out - it’s built for critical care hospital equipment) that feeds a dedicated fusebox panel, one leg of which feeds a giant isolation transformer (240V in to 120V balanced out). Then non-critical digital equipment and SMPS power supplies are on a separate (but downstream of the isolation transformer) Sound Application distributor/isolator. Elaborate but works great.
 
Last edited:

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing