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Turntable Power Supply

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  • Turntable Power Supply

    How many members have replaced the stock turntable PC with an aftermarket power cord?

    It was 25 years ago that I stumbled upon the improvement that a new PC can bring to the sound of the turntable. That was at the time when using with a VPI PLC with my VPI TNT. So why should a power cord improvement the sound if the AC to the motor is being "regenerated?" Not unlike why a power cord makes with power line conditioners. Or is it a function of blocking what goes back into the AC line from a turntable motor?

    Found these two interesting testimonials from from a couple of members a while back too!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post
    Phono cartridges are transducers converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. If your table is powered by AC from your wall outlet, that is where the energy comes from to drive the cartridge. If you follow the energy path from the wall outlet to the cartridge, there are many steps which impact the power delivery. Following is a simple energy flow example:

    AC wall outlet > power cable > motor PSU/speed control > AC or DC motor > belt or direct drive > platter speed (rotation) > mat or no mat > coupling to LP > walls of LP groove displaces stylus (distortions even at a fraction of a millionth of an inch is significant) > energy travels up cantilever > coils move in magnetic field > electrical energy created at phono cartridge output.

    This is an oversimplified example but it illustrates many of the parts of energy transfer to the transducer. EVERY part preceding the transducer has an impact on the resulting quality, timing and dynamics (micro and macro) of the music.

    Music only exists in time. Static measurements are meaningless.

    But just because a platter is massive or is belt driven or direct drive, sound difference could be due to other things like resonance characteristics of the platter, its bearing, the motor/speed controller, bearing lubrication and temperature, set-up, LP/mat/platter interface and slippage, electrostatic fields, EMI, AC power quality, the phase of the moon, etc.
    Joe - You are absolutely correct about the energy flow to the turntable. You cannot believe the difference a high quality power cable can make on a turntable. I have personally heard substantial improvements (not subtle) on VPI and other turntables when removing the stock power cord & adding a high quality one... I have a customer who is an electrical engineer and he was dumbfounded on the sonic improvement (better bass responses & better PRAT) when he replaced his stock power cord with a quality one on his SDS speed controller (AC to DC to AC) on his VPI deck!!! Even I was surprised when he informed me, and I was a "true believer" when I heard it on his system!

    Well Tempered Reference turntable/ Clearaudio Maestro 2... CD Player: Goldenote Stibbert IV with 60's Mullard 6DJ8's... Preamp: Loesch & Wiesner Western Electric 417A w/Phono & Line Stage... Amplifier: BorderPatrol S10 EXD with Western Electric 300B tubes... Power Conditioner: PI Audio Group UBER buss w/ Furutech receptacles... Cables: Triode Wire Labs Cable loom... Speaker: 1974 Klipsch Klipschorn (KB-RO), hot-rodded with all Volti Audio horns and drivers, including the Volti Audio crossover.


    • #3
      I've heard the improvement using a better cable on the turntable speed control, where everything is supposed to be regulated and not make a difference, but it does.

      You want to see what power cords can do? Try a better one on your TV set. Obvious and amazing improvement there.


      • #4
        Yes, I am a true believer regarding power cables. I am a Genesis dealer in the Seattle area near the Genesis factory. Gary Koh's Absolute Fidelity cables are my reference (and I have tried many brands over the last 30 years). Several years ago Gary designed a power cable specifically for turntable power supply/speed control and it blew my socks off and I have been using them ever since. Gary considers power cables as an extension of the power supply that's why he calls them power interfaces. He has subtle differences in the design of power cables for turntables and amps versus preamp/source components, as turntables and amps have different load issues than preamp/sources. You can hear the difference.
        Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
        Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
        Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
        Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
        Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
        Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
        Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
        A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
        Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM


        • #5
          Even more advantageous than power cords in my experience is low impedance high current and excellent regulation power supplies for turntables Tubes can offer some other unique advantages in this application as well.

          My Brinkmann employs this:

          Click image for larger version

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          Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
          Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
          Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
          Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
          Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
          Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222


          • dcc
            dcc commented
            Editing a comment
            The Brinkmann power supply is just a must have. I cannot imagine removing it. I however hooked a good quality PC to it.

          • kcin
            kcin commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed, a good PC+PS usually = excellent performance.

        • #6
          Must be 7 years ago and I was in Stereo Unlimited knocking around. Ted Denny was there in a room with a VPI TT. He had a few new generation of PCs. He first hooked one up to the VPI controller and there was a very big and positive difference made. He then put another PC on the motor itself and I think even he was surprised at how much better it sounded.
          Turntable: TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

          Digital: Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

          Amplification: PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp, VTL 6.5 preamp Series II, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

          Loudspeakers: Piega C711 Loudspeakers

          Isolation: Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

          Misc: PS Audio Noise Harvesters, Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

          Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            what did Bruce and Ray think? I never saw Synergistic being sold there.

          • 1morerecord2clean
            1morerecord2clean commented
            Editing a comment
            Don't know what they thought. They were tied up with other things and I had to leave. The differences were easily discernible. Yes, Bruce carried synergistic for a few years. I think that while he now is primarily a Shunyata dealer he will still get you Synergistic product if you like. Bruce was very high on them at one time.

        • #7
          Can someone explain to tyros like myself how you hook up a power supply (Brinkman) to a turntable like to a VPI Prime Signature for instance. Not sure how that would work or fit or be placed. Or what it actually is. I do get the use of a high quality power cable.


          • #8
            Originally posted by kcin View Post
            Even more advantageous than power cords in my experience is low impedance high current and excellent regulation power supplies for turntables Tubes can offer some other unique advantages in this application as well.

            My Brinkmann employs this:

            Click image for larger version

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            Could you (or anyone else) say more on the advantages of tubes in power supply regulation? Thanks!


            • #9
              Well I can't contribute much to the PC part of this thread, my Redpoint runs on DC power so I that comes with it's own PS...