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Since "Power Supply" is so crucial to Analogue gear, Do 500 Series sound different? Channel Strips
Old 8th August 2015
  #1
141550
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Since "Power Supply" is so crucial to Analogue gear, Do 500 Series sound different?

i gota question. i dont know any technicalities, im mainly a user but i was just wondering and curious to know.. i read here on gearslutz from designers of gear that the power supply is crucial to designing any analogue gear, it has an impact on sound. how does that apply to the the 500 series by using different chassis from different companies. do 500 chassis has any sort of sonic impact? Radial, Heritage Audio, Rupert R6 and countless others? is there a sound difference or no? since they all designed differently or a cheap power supply would do the same job?
Old 8th August 2015
  #2
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Hi

A cheap power supply will never do the job.

The power supply is a crucial part of the audio path through an amplifier. Your modules noise floor is controlled by the power supply ' s noise. Hum on the power supply will be hum on your modules.

Rack manufacturers are being forced to put beefier and more expensive supplies in their racks to accomodate greedy power consuming modules.
Old 8th August 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Hi
There are a couple of aspects to this:
The supply should be 'clean' (having minimal hum or 'hiss' or any discernible 'tones' present) which is pretty much a requirement of anything audio. Even 1 Dollar regulator chips can manage this easily if used properly.
Beyond that, individual modules should NOT be 'sensitive' to small disturbances on the supply and it is the module designers responsibility to get this correct. The cabling/backplane for a 'rack' CANNOT be presumed to prevent one module from influencing others as they are all different so therefore modules themselves MUST take small interferences in their stride.
Matt S
Old 9th August 2015
  #4
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

A cheap power supply will never do the job.

The power supply is a crucial part of the audio path through an amplifier. Your modules noise floor is controlled by the power supply ' s noise. Hum on the power supply will be hum on your modules.

Rack manufacturers are being forced to put beefier and more expensive supplies in their racks to accomodate greedy power consuming modules.
yea but does it impact the sound? even if its negligible or small since power supply is so important from what i gathered on the forums.
Old 9th August 2015
  #5
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
There are a couple of aspects to this:
The supply should be 'clean' (having minimal hum or 'hiss' or any discernible 'tones' present) which is pretty much a requirement of anything audio. Even 1 Dollar regulator chips can manage this easily if used properly.
Beyond that, individual modules should NOT be 'sensitive' to small disturbances on the supply and it is the module designers responsibility to get this correct. The cabling/backplane for a 'rack' CANNOT be presumed to prevent one module from influencing others as they are all different so therefore modules themselves MUST take small interferences in their stride.
Matt S
how about the sound? does the power supply impact the sound due to different designs from different manufacturer? or no?
Old 9th August 2015
  #6
I'm going to go out on a limb here. I'm no expert but generally speaking if the power supply is clean and well regulated it shouldn't effect the tone of the module. The transformers that do affect how a particular piece of gear sounds are the input and output signal transformers usually. This is my understanding. If I'm wrong, I'm sure others will be quick to point it out.

Last edited by countrymetalguy; 9th August 2015 at 01:21 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 9th August 2015
  #7
RTG
Gear Maniac
 

I keep reading you will have some lower headroom with 500 series modules as compared to rack mounted equivalents due to power supply matters. Personally, mine sound wonderful and don't get in the way of me being famous for my musical compositions. (Nor do they help much, for that matter)
Old 9th August 2015
  #8
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

I haven't noticed any sonic difference between my API 6b and my Lindell 506 Power. And I've swapped modules between them.
Old 9th August 2015
  #9
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scvo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_Likey View Post
I haven't noticed any sonic difference between my API 6b and my Lindell 506 Power. And I've swapped modules between them.
No, that's not what the OP is asking. It's a design question.

500 Series rail voltage is +-16 volts (total of 32 volts)… thus modules are designed to operate at this voltage.

Various dedicated hardware operates at a higher rail voltage. An example would be Rupert Neve Designs rack mount gear operates at 72 volts (-36/+36 volts) and this results in designs that have higher headroom.

So the original question is a good one. I don't know the definitive answer for. But I would guess 500 series gear would be at a slight disadvantage technically. But in the practical sense, would we even notice it?
Old 9th August 2015
  #10
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by scvo View Post
No, that's not what the OP is asking. It's a design question.

500 Series rail voltage is +-16 volts (total of 32 volts)… thus modules are designed to operate at this voltage.

Various dedicated hardware operates at a higher rail voltage. An example would be Rupert Neve Designs rack mount gear operates at 72 volts (-36/+36 volts) and this results in designs that have higher headroom.

So the original question is a good one. I don't know the definitive answer for. But I would guess 500 series gear would be at a slight disadvantage technically. But in the practical sense, would we even notice it?
the question is a bit of both,. what scvo said and what you said altogether. i remember this one particular manufacturer, cant recall the name but the designer was saying that power supply makes a big difference of what the unit supposed to sound like (maybe it was forsell, if im not mistaking). so when i see so many different manufacturer with different 500 series chassis, im wondering if one better than the other in terms of bringing better power supply for your modules and has any sort of impact on sound quality or not. or power supply doesnt matter?. i was just curious.
Old 9th August 2015
  #11
Gear Addict
This was discussed awhile back:

API Chassis vs Lindell Chassis
Old 9th August 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Hi
The difference in 'headroom' between working at plus and minus 16 Volts and plus and minus 18 Volts is a couple of dB at the most, hardly significant.
Because 'old' Neve designs ran on only 24 Volts but used transformers on the outputs to get a greater level before clipping they may actually have better headroom than some transformerless designs with greater voltage rails, it is all down to DESIGN.
A 'clean, quiet and stable' DC supply whose output does not vary will 'sound' exactly like any other, whether it is implemented by a bunch of cheap parts or 'gold plated wonder parts', the outcome is THE SAME. The implications of the words are rooted in basic physics, the same 'laws' that prevent the rest of the universe from falling apart so are not negotiable by salesmen.
SOME supplies may not live up to the definition of 'clean, quiet and stable' which then could lead to some issues depending on exact performance.
Any module that IS significantly influenced by small variations in the supply (and it's distribution) is essentially 'sub standard' and of poor design.
Matt S
Old 9th August 2015
  #13
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scvo View Post
No, that's not what the OP is asking. It's a design question.

500 Series rail voltage is +-16 volts (total of 32 volts)… thus modules are designed to operate at this voltage.

Various dedicated hardware operates at a higher rail voltage. An example would be Rupert Neve Designs rack mount gear operates at 72 volts (-36/+36 volts) and this results in designs that have higher headroom.

So the original question is a good one. I don't know the definitive answer for. But I would guess 500 series gear would be at a slight disadvantage technically. But in the practical sense, would we even notice it?
No, he is actually asking about the impact on the sound.

"how about the sound? does the power supply impact the sound due to different designs from different manufacturer? or no?"

That's why I said I didn't hear a difference between the API and Lindell.
Old 10th August 2015
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by unmasked truth View Post
how about the sound? does the power supply impact the sound due to different designs from different manufacturer? or no?
Yes. Different 500 series racks sound different. I didn't expect them to make a significant difference. I wasn't really a willing accomplice to a shoutout which took my place at my studio. But there was a very clear difference.

To make matters more complicated, different racks affected different modules differently (if you get what I mean).
Old 10th August 2015
  #15
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joemeek's Avatar
this was my experience also!
clearly hearable (if you really listen)
i compared it especially with my IGS Rubberbands and with these modules the Adesigns HR500 sounded best to me.
could be different with other modules though.
pls note: i am one of these who do hear differences with powercables also:-)
pls note too: i would never say these differences are very important but they exist and for a mastering chain they matter (recording probably not so much).

peace!
Old 10th August 2015
  #16
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

im not an electrical engineer, but i can attest that my shadow hills Quad Gama's sound worlds better than the 500 series. The only 500 gear i actually own is API and i use those in the VPR chasis and have not had an opportunity to test out another chassis.... so i guess though i wanted to chime in i have nothing to add.
Old 11th August 2015
  #17
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yes. Different 500 series racks sound different. I didn't expect them to make a significant difference. I wasn't really a willing accomplice to a shoutout which took my place at my studio. But there was a very clear difference.

To make matters more complicated, different racks affected different modules differently (if you get what I mean).
ok that pretty much answered what i was looking for so infact, it does affect the sound so which tells me to get the best chassis out there. thank u..
Old 11th August 2015
  #18
141550
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by joemeek View Post
this was my experience also!
clearly hearable (if you really listen)
i compared it especially with my IGS Rubberbands and with these modules the Adesigns HR500 sounded best to me.
could be different with other modules though.
pls note: i am one of these who do hear differences with powercables also:-)
pls note too: i would never say these differences are very important but they exist and for a mastering chain they matter (recording probably not so much).

peace!

haha ur not alone, i hear differences in audio cables, no experience with diff power cables though so i cant speak on it.

Last edited by 141550; 11th August 2015 at 04:14 PM..
Old 11th August 2015
  #19
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Hi
You are only claiming 'difference' and not making any attempt to quantify or qualify in any way or even saying which is 'better to you.
My statement a couple of days ago about the power rails being 'quiet, stable and clean still stands as it is basic physics. Obviously if there ARE any differences one or another supply / box must be deviating from the requirement.
IF a module performance is related to the 'quality' of the supply it does not bode well for using several modules in the same rack as it would strongly suggest interaction between modules.
The 'supply' is actually 2 elements, the supply unit itself, and the way that it is delivered to each module in the rack, which includes the cables and the motherboard arrangement.
'I like this one over that one' is NOT a meaningful argument when attempting to catagorise units for OTHERS to chose as it is purely subjective. The performance of a supply is measurable with even half decent gear.
Matt S
Old 12th August 2015
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
You are only claiming 'difference' and not making any attempt to quantify or qualify in any way or even saying which is 'better to you.
My statement a couple of days ago about the power rails being 'quiet, stable and clean still stands as it is basic physics. Obviously if there ARE any differences one or another supply / box must be deviating from the requirement.
IF a module performance is related to the 'quality' of the supply it does not bode well for using several modules in the same rack as it would strongly suggest interaction between modules.
The 'supply' is actually 2 elements, the supply unit itself, and the way that it is delivered to each module in the rack, which includes the cables and the motherboard arrangement.
'I like this one over that one' is NOT a meaningful argument when attempting to catagorise units for OTHERS to chose as it is purely subjective. The performance of a supply is measurable with even half decent gear.
Matt S
Correct. I'm not trying to say which is better or why. I'll explain why below. Fundamentally we clearly live in different worlds. I care only about making great sounding records. In your world a module might be underperforming because it isn't achieving it's design spec. In my world if a module isn't meeting its design spec but sounds better as a result, I'm happy.

As for what is 'better' that is entirely subjective. I am not trying to categorise units for 'others'. That's why I haven't commented on which is 'better'. I now know what I prefer, in what situations and why. If others want to know which they prefer, they need to do a shootout themselves. Simples.
Old 30th October 2015
  #21
I just want to add to this thread, do you know if getting a rupert neve designs R6 is going to make any difference at all to the sound compared to my lindell audio 506? I have noticed the lindell occasionally hums but I don't know if it's a domestic power thing...
Old 8th November 2015
  #22
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Maybe someone can tell me what happens to channel 7 & 8 on the API 6b Lunchbox, are those extra channels on the D-Sub just Thru connectors or closed off? Yes I'm talking about API and their last revision of the 6b which has XLR inputs/outputs and D-subs?
Thanks!
Old 9th November 2015
  #23
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Swurveman's Avatar
This is anecdotal, but my former studio partner had a 500 series 573 Vintech preamp. When I brought in my Vintech X73i's with their own Power Supply he listened, told me my Vintech's sounded better than his 500 series one and never used the 500 series one again. I didn't think about it because I never needed his 500 series preamp. So, I never compared them and can't confirm his opinion by saying I heard a difference, and it would be my opinion and everybody has their own ears so to speak. Nevertheless, I found it interesting.
Old 9th November 2015
  #24
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

I'm considering going 500 series.


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