Upgradability

There will be three amplifier quality levels. Level 1, the lowest quality level, will be powered by the mains via a filter and then a d.c. regulator with electrolytic capacitors. This is the standard way of providing power for virtually all power amps regardless of their quality. The only ones that do otherwise are those using batteries or Switched Mode power supplies. I’m not a big fan of the switched mode route as the high frequency switching generates a lot of high frequency interference. Batteries have a low effective output (series) resistance (ESR) and generate no interference. That is the reason Liquiphonics’ amps use batteries for the higher quality levels of 2 and 3 (Level 3 amps are exactly the same as Level 2 only with better quality components). The low ESR gives the ability to provide short bursts of high current very quickly which gives fast transients.

Level 1 PSU Diagram.

Level 1 PSU Diagram.

The only way to improve on the filter/transformer/regulator/electrolytic type of PSU is to improve the size (current rating) of the components e.g. bigger transformers, more capacitance, or to improve their quality e.g. using exotic electrolytics with special construction or solid silver wire instead of plated.

So, Level 1 amplifiers use a mains PSU and Level 2 and 3 amplifiers use battery power with the mains PSU used for recharging and ‘back-up’ power.

I believe one of the benefits of buying into the Liquiphonics range of amplification will be the ability to upgrade easily, with relatively low cost and without the loss of what has already been bought. This means that a customer who has bought the Level 1 amp can purchase the Level 2 battery pack as a ‘plug-in’ addition. The original mains PSU will then act as the recharging supply for the batteries as well as powering the amp for listening when the batteries are low on energy.

Level 2/3 PSU Diagram.

Level 2/3 PSU Diagram.

To provide this facility I have realised I need to make a compromise. I do not like anything in the signal chain (of which the PSU is a major part – not a separate thing) unless it absolutely needs to be there. Components, connections, wires, semiconductors, integrated circuits – adding any of these to the signal paths always adds distortion and noise. None of these objects know what the original music signal was and although they may solve a major problem, they cannot perform magic and change the signal back to the original.

The compromise I need to make is to add a couple of series connections to the power supply lines. This will allow easy upgrade by unplugging the connections between the PSU and the Amps and inserting the Relay Board which will allow the batteries to be powering the amps.

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About Matal

Hand made HiFi, photos, a friends poetry.
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