Going Battery Powered

I have a number of components that run off of 12V DC power. This includes my DAC, preamp, tube buffer, etc. I’m looking into powering them with batteries instead of 120V AC power supplies. Does anyone have any input on if this is worth my time? Seems like DC power is the cleanest power you can get in this situation. I’ve heard batteries can have reduced dynamics but I plan on using as big of a battery as is reasonable, most likely a large sealed AGM type battery. Do I need power supplies/voltage regulators if I use a large battery and only power low draw components (no power amps); e.g. the max amp draw is probably around 1-2 amps, if that. If I do, does anyone have a link to a design for the power supply/voltage regulator? Thank you.
I suggest you search using the term "yeti 1400". Look for a thread titled something like "sell your expensive power cords and try this". The Yeti 1400 is is a lithium-ion battery powered electrical generator. It generates a perfect sine wave. I tried it in my system and it is superb. It dramatically lowered my noise floor (I didn't have a "noise floor problem" and didn't have any expectations about how or whether this thing would make a difference). because of the lower noise floor it seems like the volume is turned up and the dynamics are much improved. Music seems to jump from the background. It seems more effective to me than sophisticated filters.
Battery has always got better noise figures, from what I've measured powering the Lightspeed Attenuator. Saying that the "very best" regulated linear power supplies are "almost" as good as battery.

Cheers George
As someone who went battery power 4 years ago (my, how time flies) I can testify to the drop in noise and distortion compared to house AC power. Even though I’m using a Lithium battery powered Sony Walkman CD player with SONY MDR-v700 headphones, a modest set up, I’m sure you will agree. In fact my set up probably wins the low mass award and the low cost award. No more AC noise, AC ground issues, no more power cords, no more speaker cables, no more interconnects, no more digital cable, no more transformers, no more big honking capacitors, no more fuses. You know, all the things that produce noise and distortion. Hel-loo! No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks. 🧐
Hey, I remember the Reflections Audio dude, Stephen Balliet. I met him at the show back in 2000 or maybe even 1997. He had just finished working on the set of the Matt Damon and Jin Voight movie by Francis Ford Coppola, The Rainmaker (1997)-  the tobacco industry legal case flic. We were thinking of getting together for a show but never did.
So does it go without saying that gear that can accept 12V DC will always sound better running off batteries instead of a 120V power supply (assuming you have enough capacity to not choke dynamics)?
gear that can accept 12V DC will always sound better
Base line background noise is what your gain is with battery and you can measure it if you have a good crow, it's a sense of being even blacker between notes, in a quite room.
(assuming you have enough capacity to not choke dynamics)?
And a battery is not current limited, it's how long it can give that current for that important, and this dictates the amp hours needed in the size of the battery

Cheers George

I recommend the inverter route.....I have the Yeti 400 (modded) on my modded Oppo 205 and will be adding a modified 2000 watt pure sign wave inverter on my class D power amp.  Cost will be about $800 including a battery and charger.  Then I will be completely off the grid.  You still need to use the PPT stuff......still makes a big difference.
I like the idea of the inverter. Seems like that would be good for my 120V devices. For the components that run off 12V DC, wouldn’t a battery be the better option for clean power as long as you don’t mind the maintenance of charging it? Best of both worlds: battery for 12V gear and inverter for power amps/120V gear?
In my experience batteries do not have good current delivery.  You must use thousands of microfarads of capacitance across them and also bypass those caps with high speed super poly caps (at least styrene.).  I would use an inverter to get off the grid and then a super low impedance 12V regulator system with all state of the art parts (caps, regulator, wires, etc.).  And then use PPT stuff everywhere.
I like the idea of the inverter.
Like I said it all depends on the amp/hrs of the battery, for the job it’s to do, you can charge it with whatever you want, but never have it charging while your listening, defeats the whole purpose.
I have a very nice sounding MSB discrete R2R Dac that has 5 x half brick size gel batteries in it for the different power supplies in it, it charges the batteries when your not listening and disconnects the charger when listening.

Also My Lightspeed Attenuator runs on 12vdc Li-Ion batteries lasts up to 2 weeks before a recharge is needed , most of my customers buy it also as a "purest" power option, as I only supply a linear wall wart with it.

Cheers George

In my experience batteries do not have good current delivery.
Someone needs to go back to school, better still, put a dead short across the terminals of a small 12v SLA battery, but get "real close" as you may not see the current arc. 🤦‍♂️ https://ibb.co/4ZwDct1

first,to the OP, Great! insightful question. And, in both theory and reality, yes.
now, practice is the hard part.  Back in the 80s, a friend and ex business partner suggested and ran, so "battery parties" where 8+ folks would get together and donate, for a while, car batteries so we could get + and - 48 Vdc with stupid hgih current (commenting on a sub thread above).
Sound: superb. Practicality: Zero.  But that was 40 year ago.
Today, for low power draw products, Lithium Ion batteries are a great way to go - but probably you will have to roll your own.  Charging is nto as simple as hooking p 12 (or whatever) volts.
 It is quieter. "blacker" as one put it. And more nuanced and dynamic.  Compared to a really good power supply, its very subtle. Compared ot the typical one, well.... your definition of typical may stray from mine. I'm not impressed.  Everything I build a power supply for gets way better.  Off topic note: wait for my rant on an Intel NUC as a ROON ROCK server, and the lessons in reality i learned.... but i digress.
It will be a project.  but the end goal may prove worthwhile.
I use batteries for my DIY phono/pre. It’s black, and I would not go back. I use 120VAC power for the DIY amplifiers with very fast and very quiet bridge rectifiers and LCLCLC filter circuit. A hundred kilograms of inductors and a Farad of capacitance. Not cheap.

An AC power supply typically is made from a step-down transformer and a rectifier, at which point the power peaks at nearly 1.5x the voltage of the transformer's secondary, and sags to 0. 120 times per second. Obviously this is pretty lousy power, so it must be smoothed with reactance (inductance and capacitance).

The best AC power supplies follow the rectifier with an inductor (L) followed by a capacitor (C), with two or three stages of LC. These serve to smooth the voltage variation, known as the ’ripple voltage’. Lower is better.

It costs an arm and a leg to get ripple voltage down to 1ppm, which corresponds to .012mV. Not even the worst battery is that noisy. Which is why it’s better to power directly from batteries than to regenerate and then go through the transformer and rectifier and LC filters to achieve an inferior result.

The downside is that batteries store energy and can deliver it pretty fast, so it’s wise to have them fused. And have quality connectors that can’t be pulled apart by accident.

Just my views. YMMV
I'm a dummy; what does, "PPT," stuff mean?
Just another BS voodoo snake oil product like ($1) $150! ac mains fuses, but this ones a $300! contact cleaner

Electronic engineers use as good if not better one for $22, but it's not got an "audio" snake oil signature to it.

Cheers George 
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Just to mention there is no power or dynamics issue with low-powered portable CD players. That’s actually one really big advantage of low mass systems, the ability of teeny tiny AA or AAA Lithium batteries to provide full dynamic range without constricting dynamics. You just can’t use certain headphones like some Sennheisers. I use a vintage SONY MDR-v700 and Grados and others, no problemo.
The areas where DC power gives you the best return is where the signals being amplified are tiny such as in a phono preamp or turntable. I have an turntable that is battery operated and a Nagra phono preamp that runs off a 9 volt battery. Unlike others, I cannot say there is a big difference sonically in the phono pre with the battery Vs the wall wart, but with the turntable where I am using a low output moving coil the noise floor and degree of hum are much improved.

I would not bother going to the expense of using a battery/inverter with the downstream electronics contrary to what others have said. If you think you are dealing with dirty or fluxuating AC try a good power conditioner first.
The other part of this equation is how sensitive your speakers are. If you have 100 db efficient speakers (as I do), getting as much hum out of the system as possible by isolating and grounding your speaker and interconnect cables will give you a bigger return than going off grid (IMHO). Good Luck!
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Are there any Class-D amps with "warmer tube" SQ that can be powered with DC?

This probably isn’t what you’re after, but have you considering “higher end” class D car audio amplifiers? They can connect directly to a 12V DC battery source. Just something to consider for your situation. Otherwise, you can build or purchase DC regulators and modify a 120V piece of equipment to run off a DC power source. 

The OP seemed to ask in the original post if bypassing the AC to DC PS in his equipment and connecting a battery would benefit his playback. 

A battery power supply converting 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC is not the same topic.

Ron Sutherland use to use battery power for his phono stages.  He says he gets better performance with 120 volt AC power supplies.   I don't see many equipment manufacturer use battery.   Some do.  Dartzeel on the preamp.  My Lino Channel D phono pre.  They are used.  I don't know of any amps that use them.

Batteries are current limiting.   Lithium less so than led acid.   A deep cycle lead acid is very slow to release power.  


There are so many variables you can not make a carper statement one is better than the other. You could modify a piece of equipment and make a judgement on that one piece.  

As to wall power vs a battery, most people have crap wall power.  Even those that add circuits usually have some issues.  An isolation transformer is also a benefit.  But you need a good one.  Not some deal you scored off ebay. 

Getting your electrical to a premium level is money.  So is a true battery system providing 120 volt to a rack.  I calculate it to about $18k in parts if your  going to drive a whole home system.  The battery are the lion share.  The inverter is a critical link.  

And after all that, you still have not addressed RF that is entering through the equipment itself.  

FWIW.  The best inverters I have seen have about 3%thd.  Depends on the load to some extent.  The worst houses I have measured have about 5%thd.  Most are about 3%.  

Low frequency inverters give better peak power than high frequency.  Never use a modified sine wave inverter. 

Remember, lithium batteries do have a tendency to burst into a fire ball durring charging.  Don't buy some cheap piece of crap and use it in your house.  Buy a good one.  And get the $500 charger they want to sell you that is made for that battery.

You can also just buy a Tesla powerwall and plug directly into it.  Or a Stromtank.  Or a PS Audio.  Or a Pure Power.  Funny how so many people have owned and sold that gear because they like the wall better.  And yet audio forum members who may or may not have any relevant understanding of electrical components are going to cobble together some parts and outclass a full scale corporation. Not saying it cant be done.  Just saying, real business are trying and partially succeeding.  

Due to my summer home location I am off the grid so I am using a fairly substantial solar installation ie six 425 watt panels four 465 AGM amp hr batteries a 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter the system has no issues powering an Audis Fortissimo integrated tube amp a Sugden a21se signature pure class A amp and Goldnote PA10 mono blocks and DS 10 pre/dac/streamer I also have an AYON S10 MK ll signature pre/dac/streamer I have had nothing but pure listening pleasure on my Audiovector R6 Arette speakers I just purchased a Nordost QB8 MK 3 power bar for fine tuning 

It’s been awhile so I feel like I should chime in with my findings. What I’ve found is that I get better sound with the following setup rather than going direct to a 12V battery with my equipment that can take 12V DC. It seems counterintuitive because it’s adding so many extra components compared to just a battery but I swear it sounds better. 

For example, here is how I have powered my preamp which needs 12V DC to run:

12V DC 75 Ah sealed AGM battery -> 600 watt, 120V AC, pure sine wave power inverter -> 12V DC extra low noise power supply -> preamp.

It know it seems funny to start with 12V DC and end up with 12V DC but it just sounds better than plugging the 12V DC battery directly into the preamp. If you think about it, it’s not all that different than a PS Audio Power Plant, and it seems to avoid many of the problems with direct battery powered systems. 

I called Giandel.  Someone said their inverter was light years ahead of other.  They told me their inverter was not the best for audio.  2nd inverter manufacturer that told me as much.   They do get feedback from people trying this stuff. 


I talked with a guy who supplies Equitech with inverters for homes with power sags.  They use a large UPS.  About a $30k unit.  I don't get it.  Its full of deep cycle battery.

Every direct to the wall vs a battery system such as I noted above, the wall is always better on amps.  If you add a Torus, the wall is way better.


The front end is the hmmm, well, maybe part.  But then again, a AQ5000 gives a black background if thats what you want.

  A Denali is also quiet with some snap.  

A Torus is quiet with more life and air.  Pretty similar to a Denali.  Just the transformer does amps very well. 

I want to try an inverter and battery.  But I want the unit capable of powering a class A 150 watt amp.  Or tube amp with a ststic draw of say 6 amps with peakes.  As well as a preamp, phono pre, DAC, server, switch, TT motors.  It has to power a stereo.  Not a walkman or headphone rig.  And it should be compared against wall power that is 4 didicated 10 awg circuits not longer than 40 feet.   The electrical panel should be refurbished with new breakers and the grounding polished and reading 5 ohms or less.

Yesterday I was assessing a home.  The wall had 3.2%thd on the 3,5,7.  When the Denali was plugged in, rhe wall jumped to above 13.5% thd on the 3rd and up quite a way.  Massive backfeed noise into the main line.  The load side of the Denali had the exact same 3.2 or so thd in the 3rd and 5th.  More on the 5th.  

I bet you would get very similar readings on the load of an inverter.  A true isolated battery system would not pollute the mains.  That is a benefit.  

What are "...many of the problems with direct battery powered systems."? I’ll reveal my thinking by typing this: you’re making this up try to rationalize your irrational actions.

Hesitant to reply to such a negative comment, but I will in the off chance you’re actually here to learn something. There are many threads on this forum that discuss the technical aspects of battery powered audio gear, both pros and cons. I recommend using the search function. I’ll leave a quote by Erik Squires that sums up one of the major issues quite succinctly:

"The negative side of battery power supplies is the supplies themselves have inherently high output impedance compared to their AC counterparts, leading to higher cross-talk, and potentially weak bass and dynamic range."


Thanks mkgus.  And I apologize for my assertion; clearly I was wrong to think that I could have any insight into your psychology, let alone to then assert such.

As self reported in the other thread that I'm posting in today, the 'system details' thread, I'm lazy, so pretty much no chance I'll go searching for info related to my question...which makes me all the more grateful for your answer, thanks again.

Gotta say though, Mr. Squires remark makes no sense to me; to wit: Dodd Battery Powered Preamp has an output impedance of 200 Ohms...this is lower than most 120 volt powered preamps.

I noted georgehifi stated earlier in this thread:

"And a battery is not current limited..."

So, apparently, at a minimum, there's a range of thinking on the subject.

Glad you're finding the setup you're using is providing a sonic benefit.  


Not sure if this is the most recent battery thread, but thought I would share my experience.  I'm getting 50 mph wind gusts tonight so decided to switch to batteries in case of power fluctuations or loss.  I have two solar generators, an Ecoflow Delta 2 Max and a GroWatt 1300. Both are pure sine wave generators and LiFePO4.  


I connected my AGD Duet amps to one battery, and DAC and streamer to the other.  The AGD amps were drawing about 25 watts total for the pair.  The DAC and streamer were drawing about 40 watts.  I can run the stereo for over 30 hours at that rate. The sound quality is excellent, but with noise from the high wind I don't want to compare to wall power yet.  

Let you conscience be your guide

Li is a RARE earth mineral. Do a search and see what gigantic holes are being mined and who the labor force is made up of. There has to be a better material than Li