Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

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Rutger
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Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Rutger »

Linn has apparently lowered the switching frequency a lot compared to the former dynamic power supply.

Read more here:

https://www.aktives-hoeren.de/viewtopic ... &start=210

”This is a ripple of 34mV for the dynamic and 20mV for the Utopik. Well, not exactly the finest DC voltage imaginable, but you keep in mind that there are a lot of filters and regulators behind it, that'll be fine. But something completely different only opens up at second glance: at the bottom left. At what frequency does the fidgeting occur? And lo and behold, the dynamic range is 831kHz. This is right in the middle of the medium wave band. That's a lot of HF, and you can create as many filters as you want, the relatively high frequency is transported everywhere through the air. Also in the circuits behind the filters, where you can find the HF again. And now let's look at the value for the Utopik: 33.9kHz. This is just above audible and is in the ultrasonic range. Nothing is being sent yet.

So, the main difference between dynamic and utopian lies in the frequencies used. The joke with a switching power supply is that you don't need such huge transformers as with the 50Hz power supply and therefore you rectify the voltage first. Then it is transmitted via the transformer at a higher frequency in an electronic inverter. The higher the frequency, the smaller the transformer required. But if you go towards MHz, like with dynamics, you have built a juicy HF transmitter at the same time. With Utopik the specification for the frequency was obviously as high as necessary and as low as possible.

Now I want to put the Utopik in my G-ADS3 and I'm curious to see how it compares to the dynamic. I don't have a direct comparison, but I know the G-ADS3 Dynamic vs. G-ADS3 G-LNT comparison well from the Selekt Edition Hub tests. I immediately notice whether the difference is larger, smaller or roughly the same. Although I hardly believe that things will get worse with utopianism ”

————

”So the Utopik is screwed into the G-ADS3. First boot test on the laboratory bench: The G-ADS3 insulted goes into error mode. There are four small green LEDs south of the processor and normally the boot sequence goes like this: first three light up and shortly afterwards the fourth comes on, namely the third from the left. It does, but immediately afterwards the second one from the left goes off again and the display remains dark. What's going on now? Undervoltage.

The Utopik has a slightly lower voltage at the output than the Dynamic. That's enough, but now the G-LNT makes things a little more difficult: I have to put a diode in along the digital voltage of 6.5V to prevent the G-LNT from flowing back. For this I use a so-called Schottky diode, which only has 0.3V forward voltage instead of the usual 0.7V for silicon. But in this case that is already too much. I find a diode in the almost infinite number of my drawers that only needs 0.15V, and now it boots. At least when you switch on-off-on. There's something else about the G-ADS3: I have distributed so many voltage-calming electrolytic capacitors with the lowest internal resistance on the circuit board that they pull the voltage down the first moment they are switched on. If you switch on-off-on, they are already a bit pre-charged the second time.

A bit of a bumpy start. But normally there is no G-LNT in it when you retrofit the Utopik. Something else shows up: If you have plugged in both power supplies, you can normally easily do the switching test with the G-LNT; this can be done on the fly, even while music is playing. With the Utopik, this also works from the Utopik to the G-LNT, but the other way around, the Akurate first reboots because the tension has dropped a little too low before the Utopik has fully taken over. Cosmetic defects now in the test, but as I said, if you put the Utopian into it, you actually don't have a G-LNT.

Hearing test. I'm exhausted. This plays almost as well as with my super complex linear power supply. This can score points with a slightly better authority in the bass range, but the main shortcoming of the previous switching power supply ("dynamics") is completely gone: this blurred, somewhat lame and opaque sound in a direct comparison with the G-LNT. That wipes away everything utopian. Cheers!

If the G-ADS3 with dynamics is at 100 (see the Selekt test) and the G-ADS3 with G-LNT is at 200, I would use 180 for that. The arbitrary definition of 100 and 200 was made here.

In principle, you can retrofit the Utopik yourself. If someone wants to retrofit the Utopik in their G-Linn, I would prefer that they send me the device for conversion, then I could take countermeasures if there are any problems when starting up.”
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Diogenes »

Hello Rutger, Thanks for posting this. Just so I understand, is there isomeone in Germany making a linear power supply for the ADSM? If so, can you post a link for the source? I couldn’t find it. Thanks..
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by lejonklou »

The senseless modifications of Linn gear, made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music, have been mentioned on this forum before.

Do not give these people your money and don’t let them near anything that you own.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by matthias »

lejonklou wrote: 2024-01-07 19:59 The senseless modifications of Linn gear, made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music, have been mentioned on this forum before.

Do not give these people your money and don’t let them near anything that you own.
Indeed,
what Rutger posted above is obviously written by this guy...
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Diogenes »

lejonklou wrote: 2024-01-07 19:59 The senseless modifications of Linn gear, made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music, have been mentioned on this forum before.

Do not give these people your money and don’t let them near anything that you own.
Part of the linked thread refers to linear power Supplies. It is good to have an alternative to Linn’s own supplies because their stuff is expensive and power supplies are not available for older products. Naturally, it is important that the supplies don’t damage the DSM.

Looking at the post on the forum by the designer, he does not come across as being unaware of what he’s doing.. So I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?

Thanks.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Defender »

Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16

Looking at the post on the forum by the designer, he does not come across as being unaware of what he’s doing.. So I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?

Thanks.
I think you have misread Fredrik‘s post he stated:
„…made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music…“

Fredrik doesnt question what he is doing on the electronic/technical part but more how these changes influence the music presentation.

Measuring his products does not help but rather evaluating it by hearing.

I have not had a chance to listen to any of his products but I see them too often on the used market so that could be an indication how happy the customers are over a longer period of time.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Spannko »

Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16 I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?
What do you think you can learn from the measurements?
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Diogenes »

Spannko wrote: 2024-01-08 16:48
Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16 I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?
What do you think you can learn from the measurements?
That depends entirely on what the measurements are and how well they are done, which is why I asked the question the first place.
Last edited by Diogenes on 2024-01-08 18:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Diogenes »

Defender wrote: 2024-01-08 16:32 Snip

Measuring his products does not help but rather evaluating it by hearing.
It all depends on what is being measured. doesn’t it? Just curious how do you know measurements don’t help?

Edit: I see dozens of LP 12s for sale online here in the US every month. Does that mean it’s not a good product?
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Defender »

I agree with you that measuring helps to create a reproducible and stable comparison when you measure the right thing and when you know what you measure is important/ is responsible for the difference you hear.
So yes for sure it depends what you measure.

One example from my job experience: you can measure aberrations of the eye (those are non perfect optics). Everyone would assume that the eyes with the least aberrations are the best seeing eyes as the eye presents the brain perfect optics so also perfect pictures. But de facto studies have shown that people with eyes which have a slight amount of aberrations are the ones which see sometime 160% and higher and are the ones which generate the best visual acuity.
What is the conclusion: the brain is able to deal very perfectly with imperfections if the imperfections are kept in certain limits.

What I meant when I answered is: lets rather hear if the modified device is better with respect to musicality.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Spannko »

Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 18:09
Spannko wrote: 2024-01-08 16:48
Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16 I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?
What do you think you can learn from the measurements?
That depends entirely on what the measurements are and how well they are done, which is why I asked the question the first place.
Do you know of any measurements which correlate with sound quality or our enjoyment of music?
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by lejonklou »

Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16
lejonklou wrote: 2024-01-07 19:59 The senseless modifications of Linn gear, made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music, have been mentioned on this forum before.

Do not give these people your money and don’t let them near anything that you own.
Part of the linked thread refers to linear power Supplies. It is good to have an alternative to Linn’s own supplies because their stuff is expensive and power supplies are not available for older products. Naturally, it is important that the supplies don’t damage the DSM.

Looking at the post on the forum by the designer, he does not come across as being unaware of what he’s doing.. So I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?

Thanks.
First of all, I think we need to consider what we want from our HiFi equipment. Hopefully everyone on this forum agrees that we want it to give us a musical thrill. We want it to move us emotionally. This quality of the equipment can only be evaluated by listening to music. Those who believe they can tell from a measurement whether the equipment performs better musically are delusional and most likely unable to judge differences in musical performance (what Ivor used to refer to as 'deaf').

Both of these traits are common among engineers and you can easily tell by how they describe their work process (pick a random component that "they know is good", insert it into the circuit, measure and exclaim "it measures better!"), how they rarely critically evaluate their modifications or fine tune its values and, finally and most importantly, never critically evaluate by ear what each change does.

The guy in question here measures the noise on the power supply lines with an oscilloscope and has decided that less noise equals an improvement. This is plain false and proves that he exhibits both traits mentioned above. To accomplish his goal on an ADS, he solders big capacitors across the ones already present on the board, like in the picture below. This is guaranteed to make the unit perform worse musically, because Linn know how to treat the regulators they use. Adding more capacitance causes a lot of side effects. I would estimate that a successful change of capacitors around the regulators would require around 100 carefully structured tests, each including listening to the result, and likely involve changes to other components as well. And then you might still end up with something that sounds different but isn't necessarily better musically.

Naturally he praises his own linear power supply as the best way to power a Linn digital music player. Although I think this beyond unlikely, I can understand the wish and hope for this to be true and wanting to give it a try. But before doing that I recommend paying close attention to how the designer himself describes his development process and what the musical results are. Usually they reveal themselves very quickly.

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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Diogenes »

Spannko wrote: 2024-01-08 20:25Yes
Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 18:09
Spannko wrote: 2024-01-08 16:48
What do you think you can learn from the measurements?
That depends entirely on what the measurements are and how well they are done, which is why I asked the question the first place.
Do you know of any measurements which correlate with sound quality or our enjoyment of music?
Yes
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Spannko »

Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-09 00:24
Spannko wrote: 2024-01-08 20:25Yes
Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 18:09

That depends entirely on what the measurements are and how well they are done, which is why I asked the question the first place.
Do you know of any measurements which correlate with sound quality or our enjoyment of music?
Yes
Would you care to share your experience with the group?
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by Rutger »

lejonklou wrote: 2024-01-08 22:28
Diogenes wrote: 2024-01-08 04:16
lejonklou wrote: 2024-01-07 19:59 The senseless modifications of Linn gear, made by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing to the music, have been mentioned on this forum before.

Do not give these people your money and don’t let them near anything that you own.
Part of the linked thread refers to linear power Supplies. It is good to have an alternative to Linn’s own supplies because their stuff is expensive and power supplies are not available for older products. Naturally, it is important that the supplies don’t damage the DSM.

Looking at the post on the forum by the designer, he does not come across as being unaware of what he’s doing.. So I’m curious to know if you’ve actually measured any of his products?

Thanks.
First of all, I think we need to consider what we want from our HiFi equipment. Hopefully everyone on this forum agrees that we want it to give us a musical thrill. We want it to move us emotionally. This quality of the equipment can only be evaluated by listening to music. Those who believe they can tell from a measurement whether the equipment performs better musically are delusional and most likely unable to judge differences in musical performance (what Ivor used to refer to as 'deaf').

Both of these traits are common among engineers and you can easily tell by how they describe their work process (pick a random component that "they know is good", insert it into the circuit, measure and exclaim "it measures better!"), how they rarely critically evaluate their modifications or fine tune its values and, finally and most importantly, never critically evaluate by ear what each change does.

The guy in question here measures the noise on the power supply lines with an oscilloscope and has decided that less noise equals an improvement. This is plain false and proves that he exhibits both traits mentioned above. To accomplish his goal on an ADS, he solders big capacitors across the ones already present on the board, like in the picture below. This is guaranteed to make the unit perform worse musically, because Linn know how to treat the regulators they use. Adding more capacitance causes a lot of side effects. I would estimate that a successful change of capacitors around the regulators would require around 100 carefully structured tests, each including listening to the result, and likely involve changes to other components as well. And then you might still end up with something that sounds different but isn't necessarily better musically.

Naturally he praises his own linear power supply as the best way to power a Linn digital music player. Although I think this beyond unlikely, I can understand the wish and hope for this to be true and wanting to give it a try. But before doing that I recommend paying close attention to how the designer himself describes his development process and what the musical results are. Usually they reveal themselves very quickly.

Image
Agree.
One cant explain why a good open reel to reel taperecorder (containing the master tape ) sounds better than the best modern digital recorders regardless of price, - if the lowest noise would give the best perceived soundquality for two ears with a brain . The brain is far to refined to judge musical quality than any noise measurements or SINAD values.

However, on a technical view it might be interesting why Linn has chosen a much lower switchfrequency at 33,9 KHz for the Utopik, when the former dynamik had 2,5 higher switch frequency than the non-dynamic power supply before that. The voltage output is also slightly lower from the Utopik than with the dynamik. I guess the main reason for this is because it sounds better.

The new Utopik powersupply is a big upgrade soundwise, no doubt about that.

Thanks for the information about more capacitance at the wrong place may often sound worse.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2024-01-11 14:26 However, on a technical view it might be interesting why Linn has chosen a much lower switchfrequency at 33,9 KHz for the Utopik, when the former dynamik had 2,5 higher switch frequency than the non-dynamic power supply before that. The voltage output is also slightly lower from the Utopik than with the dynamik.
In the past Linn released a "white paper" together with their new devices to explain their technical merits.
Does something like this exist for Utopik?
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by ThomasOK »

Nothing available to end users and the info for dealers isn't particularly detailed technically.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by matthias »

ThomasOK wrote: 2024-01-11 21:56
Thanks Thomas,
I am curious about the technique of (upcoming?) Utopik for power amps.
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Re: Measurements of the Linn Utopik power supply

Post by ThomasOK »

I believe you won't have to wait long to find out.
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