Decided to use Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, but slightly more unusually, the DVD-A rip so the source is 24/96. Unlike quite a few DVD-As, this one appears to have some content above 22k. Amazing though, that given the total available dynamic range they still needed to ‘clip’ the recording. Still sounds rather good though.
To start I compared the standard power supply with the Maplin L54BR. Pleasant surprise, the Maplin delivers a subtlety of delivery that doesn’t emphasise any particular instruments. The original PS, in comparison, seems to make the bass line and the hi-hat a little more obvious in the mix of Dreams and decreases the importance of Stevie Nick’s voice.
Using track 7 , The Chain, showed the original as having a slightly ‘sharper’ delivery, more detail perhaps but certainly less music. The main difference was in the low end but this changed the overall presentation. The Maplin just delivered more music but in a controlled and balanced manner.
I then dug out the 500VA transformer I’d tried before – now in an aluminium box and with a ferrite on the output – in common with the original Dacmagic’s supply. This PS delivered more power to the presentation, more extension apparently but was slightly slower. It had better separation of instruments, but not really more music.
The more comparisons of power supplies I do with the Dacmagic the more impressed I am of the overall balance of the design.
I will carry on using the Maplin PS. It is easier to hide away, as it isn’t a walwart, and more importantly it improves the performance making it just that little more balanced and even handed.
The music playback system was a HP2133 netbook running Foobar and ASIO drivers connected by USB2 to a M-Audio Transit sound card which was connected with a Chord Optichord to the Cambridge.