Power supply for Raspberry Pi

edited July 25 in Digital
Anyone experimented with power supply upgrade for Raspbery Pi that had significant impact on sound quality? Any experience with the Official PSU?

Comments

  • I have the official wall wart supply with all three of my RPi3s, so I've never actually tried any of their rivals. At this stage of the game, I just wanted to make sure my supply provided enough current to keep the RPi stable. That it does.

    However, I'd like to try an audiophile supply, and will probably spring the £50-ish on the iFi iPower 5V.
  • Ah, yes, that's another option I hadn't considered. I'm an iFi fan, so would expect great things.
  • It's interesting that plugnplay review samples of music players from several suppliers have not included the RPi Official PSU, yet it's readily available and not expensive.
  • I'm guessing the pi psu is a pretty standard smps affair. A really well designed smps should be better (ifi?), a nicely put together linear would be better but 2A might be pushing it a bit on value.
  • 2A might not be required depending on how much load is being placed on the Pi. I use a 1.5A PSU with my Pi3 and it works fine, although I don't use any of the USB ports.

    Here's the one I use:

    http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/audio-kits/89-08uv-ultralow-noise-dac-power-supply-regulator-3357v-15ax2.html

  • Interesting, Chris.

    Now you've got me wondering what to get.
  • edited July 27
    I obviously don't have experience of the Pi but where I have used good quality linear psu's (DIY) there has always been a noticeable improvement, be it better dynamics, more detail or WHY. Apart from amplifiers I've used them in sensitive digital areas like 5v and 3.3v for DACs, oscillators etc. I also have a dual "5vdc USB injection" (sounds a bit Vrooooooom!) which I use between any sound USB device and PC for both recording and playback and wouldn't be without it now. All of these also have simple ripple rejection circuits to improve their quality further, very handy if you're not a super sonic PSU designer like Colin for example!

    If anyone wants pics you'll have to wait as they're on my main PC which is in transit and I have deleted my photo-racket account after they went from £0 to £400/A for 3rd party sharing!  On which subject...

    They must have really wanted to seriously clean out their servers. How many folk would actually go for that? A miniscule fraction of 1% maybe? If it was a cost thing a more reasonable, say, £25/A could have maybe seen 10% + sign up if the adverts died with it. I bet that would add up to some serious revenue. Then there's the advertisers, what will there reaction to costs be when they learn they're talking to a very reduced market after accounts have been closed/deleted/deserted?
    Mini rant over.
    :((
  • Yes, I've pretty much always got a good hike in SQ from adding a better PSU - digital and amplification.

    The iFi has had some pretty good things said about it, and TBH, I'm intrigued if is good as some people report. But, then I'id need to buy one of the others as a comparison...
  • Hi Alan and I built a few PSU's for the Pi with a new design not often used because of cost and got great performance. 
  • AntiCrap said:
    Hi Alan and I built a few PSU's for the Pi with a new design not often used because of cost and got great performance. 
    Care to tell us more? Are any of them a DIY proposition or are they just high-end retail?
  • edited August 6
    I found a PIC of my diy DAC on an old digi-cam sd-card, lots of PSU stuff going on.
    It's basically 2 DACS in one. A heavily modified Silicon Chip DAC kit based on S/Pdif and then a USB DAC based on an Amanero USB to I2S converter with isolation board, and a DIYHK I2S DAC board (can't remember model). A single switch on the front to change between them.

    How do you get pics hosted on flickr to show here?



  • cj66 said:
    I found a PIC of my diy DAC on an old digi-cam sd-card, lots of PSU stuff going on.
    It's basically 2 DACS in one. A heavily modified Silicon Chip DAC kit based on S/Pdif and then a USB DAC based on an Amanero USB to I2S converter with isolation board, and a DIYHK I2S DAC board (can't remember model). A single switch on the front to change between them.

    How do you get pics hosted on flickr to show here?



    Use the Insert Image button in the toolbar above. Click on it and paste in the URL for the image. 
  • edited August 6
    I canna get it  ta work cappin
  • edited August 6
    image
    Aha! gave up flikr, imgur works ok though...
  • cj66 said:

    image
    Aha! gave up flikr, imgur works ok though...

    Wow. There's a lot of work in there. =D>
  • It was a fun build, getting better with each tweak to the basic design. It was a group effort on another forum.
    Just remembered that the I2S DAC is a Curryman from minidsp, not a diyhk.
    As long as you don't require super hires rates via s/pdif the sq is amazingly good. Possibly the most rewarding self build I've done. The USB side is no slacker either.
  • Looks complicated. One day I may be able to do such a thing.
  • Well, I sprung the £48.95 for the iFi iPower.

    I listened to it for an hour or so last night, and there's some difference, but not a great deal. But I did fail to let the SECAs warm up before starting my listening - they need 1 hour to 1.25 hours to really come on song.

    I'll probably have to wait until the weekend before I get enough time to really figure out what's going on, and then in a week or two, I'll switch back (did you see what I did there?) to the RPi standard supply.
  • Munch, munch, munch..,

    That's me chewing contentedly on a corner of my hat. The little iFi PSU is coming on song, peeling back the oniony layers of complex mixes and finding playing nuances I hadn't noticed before.
  • More effective than you'd expected / hoped / predicted...?
  • Go brush your teeth, onion breath! Then report back...
  • Docfoster said:
    More effective than you'd expected / hoped / predicted...?
    I was hoping for good/great things as there have been good things said on t'interwebs.
  • Alan said:
    Go brush your teeth, onion breath! Then report back...
    I've listened a bit more. It seems to have pushed the noise floor down a bit and given be even more detail. Fr'instance, I'm now hearing low-level guitar effects on Jakob Bro's album Streams at points where I thought he was playing straight electric.

    So it appears to be taking me along my detail/nuance route, which I know from previous conversations, may not be where you want to go, Alan. 

    The PSU seems to be still improving, or I'm becoming more aware of what to listen for.

    As I've said before, the real test will be to switch back to the previous PSU, the official RPi 3 one.
  • I had a bit of time last night to listen properly (ie Sam was out!) and spent the time listening to the whole of Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby. These are the albums where you can almost follow the audience's conversations.

    Where it's usual to fall victim to the urge to play this music slightly hushed, I played them loud - which may have coloured my thoughts about what's happening PSU-wise. The strange thing about these recordings is that fidelity-wise, they're decidedly dodgy - surely the Village Vanguard didn't insult its performers with a piano that bad! But the ambience is fantastic. It's a bit akin to being at a fantastic gig with a less-than-perfect PA; the sonic problems tend to melt away.

    So, here I'm getting the detail, shape and nuance of Scott La Faro's acoustic bass even if the instrument sounds a bit weird.

    I can hear Paul Motian's brushes clearly for the first time, even if the kit is lacking reality.

    It's the most I've enjoyed these albums since the first time the music's brilliance dawned on me as it broke free of my cocktail jazz prejudices, many years ago.

    It looks as if the PSU's 50 quid well spent.
  • Power to the power supply? \m/
  • cj66 said:
    Power to the power supply? \m/
    Thank you Citizen! 
  • uglymusic said:
    I had a bit of time last night to listen properly (ie Sam was out!) and spent the time listening to the whole of Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby. These are the albums where you can almost follow the audience's conversations.

    Where it's usual to fall victim to the urge to play this music slightly hushed, I played them loud - which may have coloured my thoughts about what's happening PSU-wise. The strange thing about these recordings is that fidelity-wise, they're decidedly dodgy - surely the Village Vanguard didn't insult its performers with a piano that bad! But the ambience is fantastic. It's a bit akin to being at a fantastic gig with a less-than-perfect PA; the sonic problems tend to melt away.

    So, here I'm getting the detail, shape and nuance of Scott La Faro's acoustic bass even if the instrument sounds a bit weird.

    I can hear Paul Motian's brushes clearly for the first time, even if the kit is lacking reality.

    It's the most I've enjoyed these albums since the first time the music's brilliance dawned on me as it broke free of my cocktail jazz prejudices, many years ago.

    It looks as if the PSU's 50 quid well spent.
    Nicely written Dave.
    Clearly a good news story about recordings of which you are very fond.
    50 quid sounds like a steal for a "the most you've enjoyed" the albums experience.
  • Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    I had a bit of time last night to listen properly (ie Sam was out!) and spent the time listening to the whole of Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby. These are the albums where you can almost follow the audience's conversations.

    Where it's usual to fall victim to the urge to play this music slightly hushed, I played them loud - which may have coloured my thoughts about what's happening PSU-wise. The strange thing about these recordings is that fidelity-wise, they're decidedly dodgy - surely the Village Vanguard didn't insult its performers with a piano that bad! But the ambience is fantastic. It's a bit akin to being at a fantastic gig with a less-than-perfect PA; the sonic problems tend to melt away.

    So, here I'm getting the detail, shape and nuance of Scott La Faro's acoustic bass even if the instrument sounds a bit weird.

    I can hear Paul Motian's brushes clearly for the first time, even if the kit is lacking reality.

    It's the most I've enjoyed these albums since the first time the music's brilliance dawned on me as it broke free of my cocktail jazz prejudices, many years ago.

    It looks as if the PSU's 50 quid well spent.
    Nicely written Dave.
    Clearly a good news story about recordings of which you are very fond.
    50 quid sounds like a steal for a "the most you've enjoyed" the albums experience.
    Thanks Ben

    It feels as if the PSU is a good improvement for a lot of the music I listen to, I still need to switch back to the original PSU to be absolutely sure I'm not imagining things.

    Like the Raspberry Pi, itself, it looks like the PSU is a bargain. The whole kit and caboodle comes to around £120!
  • We use this circuit on the PI at Alan home and it works very well.
    image

    image
  • It would be good to compare the two sometime.
  • Well, earlier today (Friday), I did the deed and switched back to the standard RPi 3 PSU. I also asked Sam's opinion by getting her to listen to one after the other.

    The result was
  • "Unmentionable"....?
  • That could be it.

    I wonder what happened to the rest of it?
  • I genuinely thought it was a stylistic ploy to build the suspense. To make us hungry for it.
    :-D
  • May have been ;-)
  • I'd better finish off what I started. Then the committee can come to its own conclusions.

    I'm quite certain that it's £50 well-spent. To my mind, there's a clear benefit to be had from the iFi PSU. But there's a fly in the ointment.

    I asked Sam if she'd noticed any differences to the sound of the system over recent weeks as I'd made a change. She hadn't, although she's picked up changes in the past.

    So I asked her to listen to some music of her choice to compare the effect of the two PSUs. At first, she said there was no difference, but with three more tracks, she did find a preference.

    Needless to say, it was for the original RPi PSU. She felt she could hear guitar strings more clearly and that the bass was better. 

    I see what she means. But I completely disagree as to which is better. 

    How so? The iFi PSU sets up more detail. There's more going on around a deeper, richer soundstage. The guitar strings stand out less because there's more 'on stage' than with the RPi PSU. Bass guitar sounds more direct, as there's much less of the strings' own sound and nuances on display.

    To my ears, the RPi PSU sounds dryer and less organic, although no slouch in either dimension.

    I believe we just have a personal preferences situation here and am not going to worry about it. I know I like the extra detail and nuance, as long as the rhythmic stuff doesn't become all flabby.

    I nearly said: Maybe I'd better get me some valves and a turntable ;-)
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