MCRU introduce the XLCR Fully Regulated Linear Power Supply to fit the Naim Unitiserve. Improves sound quality, proven by customer feedback. The unit has been reviewed by respected UK audiophile Jason Kennedy, here is the review on Jason’s website “The Ear”
The XLCR power supply is designed and manufactured in the UK by Longdog Audio who are also responsible for a multitude of award winning power supplies sold by MCRU. EVERY product we have submitted for review in the UK Hi-Fi press has won the top accolade, with several hundred power supplies sold throughout the world this is a well proven design.
The XLCR was designed specifically to power the Naim Unitiserve which requires 12V DC at 4.8 amps. Un-like the existing power brick supplied with the unit our supply is a fully regulated linear design and according to the first customer to use it it makes the sound much better as we would expect. It is well documented that switch mode power supplies can degrade sound quality, a linear design takes away a lot of the grunge that a smps injects into the mains system resulting in far better sound quality which after all is why we listen to music in the first place.
The Longdog Audio 5A power supply is designed as a high quality low noise power source for the current generation of computer based audio components. Even the most costly digital audio source from established high quality audio manufacturers are supplied as standard with a small, efficient (and cheap) switch mode power supply (SMPS). Modern SMPS’s are wonders of electrical technology, offering many features, small size, wide range of input voltages, high current output. But the one thing the all fail at to some extent is the job they are actually used for, providing smooth, quiet, regulated power to feed the audio sources. Looking at the output of a typical SMPS (using an oscilloscope), shows they produce a sea of noise on top of the direct current. A typical 12v DC power supply may produce 500mv or so of wide band noise. As someone in the HiFi industry was heard to say, many years ago, “source first”. Well, to the digital components that we are using today, the original source of any audio that it produces starts with the power supply. Yes, its possible to clean up the noise to some extent by the use of filtration, but for every reduction of noise the filter will add a corresponding increase in power supply impedance, and that means that the power supply is less able to cope with the changing demands of the component.
As the demands of the component change, the DC level of the supply changes at the same time. This is a phenomenon that is beloved in the guitar amplifier world, and there its called “Sag”. In guitar amps it increases the distortion and adds more “character” to the sound. But “character” and distortion are the last thing we want to introduce to our HiFi components. Longdog Audio has been supplying solutions to the problems of SMPS’s for some years now, we have been making small ultra low noise linear power supplies and providing them to power DAC’s and other small source components. However getting such a low noise with a linear (non switching) supply does come with a cost, that cost is efficiency. Each of the regulation stages in a LDA linear supply requires 3 volt or so of headroom to work with. So a 12v output supply, will need to start with a 18v source. The supply discards the excess voltage in the form of heat. That works just fine if the supply is expecting to supply 500ma or so of current. A 12v 500ma supply will be creating 3W of heat, noting troublesome to dissipate from the casework of the supply. However if we try and simply scale this solution up to 5A or more, we start having to deal with 30W-80W of heat. Suddenly our nice quiet power supply starts to resemble a large class A amplifier, and starts to grow large heatsinks to dissipate this unwanted energy.
The Longdog Audio 5A supply avoids this problem by making use of the latest semiconductor technology. High current MOSFET transistors are now available that can be used to regulate power with less than half a volt voltage drop, that means a 12v 5A supply can operate with only 2.5W of wasted heat. However to control these devices, we need a voltage that is still much higher than the required output voltage. So to provide the quietness of a linear supply with the efficiency of a SMPS, the LDA design makes use of voltage doubling techniques to get the best of both worlds.
High current, high efficiency and quiet power. The LDA design is so efficient that it does not require the use of external heatsinks, making use of its quality aluminium casework to dissipate the small amount of heat generated. This means that the supply can be operated continuously at full power yet still only become warm to the touch.
The unit is made in 230V and 120V versions, we ship globally and supply the appropriate mains power cable to suit your country in with the package. The unit connects to your Unitiserve via a short cable terminated with a 4 pin DIN connector to connect to the power supply and an audiophile Oyaide DC plug to connect to your Unitiserve. The lead is 1 metre long as standard.
On/off switch and IEC mains power inlet on the rear, the unit has a green LED on the front panel. Specially chosen rubber feet are fitted to absorb micro vibrations.
Dimensions 205mm wide | 320mm deep | 130mm tall.
230V | 120V AC Input
12V DC 4.8 amps output
Here are some positive thoughts from the latest owner of the Power Supply Mr Harvey….
The old saying goes, you don’t miss something until it is gone.