Simplest Linear PSU?

Which linear power supplies can you recommend that have the least amount of miniaturized SMD and semiconductor nonsense?

I wish Audionote made a stand alone PSU. I know Weiss does, it looks good, but pricey. Looking for something simple already made to DIY with.

thanks in advance!!





So many things to unpack.

Look i dont really care what you believe, but i want you to understand, and every reply proves more and more that you are not following my points.

1. I don’t like the sound of SMD components, so seek to reduce as many as possible.

No really valid. there are garbage SMDs and great ones. What you are not getting is that as a design engineer i KNOW that many are identical, and some better.

2. Therefore, SMPS are definitely out. Hence the title - LPS desired.

SMPS and SMDF have nothing, repeat nothing to do with each other. I also dont like SMPS. See my comments above, apparently missed. Easy in this mess of a thread.

3. Many LPS still have extra circuitry and pack in a ton of SMD components. If they were at least through-hole, I could upgrade to audio grade (Audionote, discreet regulators, etc).

Whatever. Confused. (me)

4. KISS concept is the goal, and I intentionally left more details about my application out to research recommendations from people. Thanks for all the recommendations.

I agree with KISS. I also agree with Albert Einstein, who wryly said "everything ought to be made as simple as possible, and no simpler"

Please, please please uncouple SMD from SMPS. I have a SMPS attached to a commercial DAC down in my LR. Actually disconnected since i replace d it. There is not one SMD component in it.

I contract design for some of the high end houses.

If i may add - most SMD components are as cheap and crappy as possible. But one can get transistors, resistors and capacitors that are either identical or better than THT. They cost more. A ***lot*** more. They are hard to get at mega Chinese fab houses. But you can, and i do. And in the end lot more for SMD is much cheaper than THT after assembly, error rates, etc.

SMD provide much better QC and better assembly quality. They are cheaper, allowing me to spend money where it actually matters, rather than where amateurs have heard it matters. Sorry, tough but true.

Lighten up and get a good power supply. That, i agree, is a brilliant idea.

I had this argument with an old engineering prof of mine, oddly. Old (very!), cranky, but still sometimes brilliant. He finally did his home work and came around.

Back to our friends and the party, and some outstanding wine and music.


Wow, such a great discourse here regarding Power supply. The distinction I haven't seen mentioned, but implicitly described is the amperage and voltage requirement of the component. In my understanding, source components for obvious reasons require the most silent power supplies. It is the source after all that gets amplified, so any aberration, distortion, etc. in the source, again gets amplified. My sources include PS audio Perfect Wave DAC which has SMD. Downstream, I can comment about the benefits of through hole. My PS Audio 6.2 preamp had some low hanging fruit with burson and the best modern caps in the direct wire signal path. The pre is  direct wired to my Hafler 9500 (funny how people pay $$ for connectors) which has been thoroughly reworked with all of the best modern components. The output stage all Mundorf with CRC and bypass near the fets with .01 and 100uf Mundorf. But back to the point, that amp, I believe came on to its own with a Sparkos Labs dead silent AFE power supply feeding those toshiba jfets with 24v of sweet  sweet sweet straight line dc ( > 100db of ripple rejection) .  Thats right. A discrete regulated PS for the input stage, which was imagined by Jim Strickland, but reimagined with the best modern components. Yes, Sparkos uses SMD components in their PS regulators. It has taken me some time as a builder to come to terms with SMD, but like it or not it is the modern reality. And it really works. Sparkos! I think my next move is to power the 6.2 with a Sparkos. Maybe my point is SMD in small steps. PS regulators are a big deal when you pay attention to PS noise. Sparkos has is it figured out. Peace

In my understanding, source components for obvious reasons require the most silent power supplies.

Absolutely. I go nuts getting really quiet power for moving coil RIAA phono stages. Think about the impact of even a small amount of noise on something that may be amplified 20,000X by the time it reaches the speaker. How do i get that number? In farmer’s math, my MC stage has a gain of 66dB, 2000X, my power amp about 20X, preamp about 3X, but of course the volume is mostly turned down significantly, lowering the effective gain. BTW when i say "my" they are both what i use but also designed by me - so i know them well. My daily drivers are all prototypes of some form, some from long ago.

Given the above 1/10,000th of a volt of input noise becomes two volts of output noise. Which is normal listening level! It would be all noise! A signal-to-noise ration of....... 1. :-) Puts things in perspective eh?

DACs are actually much more forgiving, since the voltage levels on a DAC are nominally much higher.  But still you are right - whatever goes into the beginning of the signal chain gets amplified.

Regulation done right typically reduces noise. Done wrong or badly or with defective parts, I suppose it could add noise. Even for a home built LPS, there are excellent prefabricated regulators available as add on devices. Most important is to plan ahead for voltage and current needs and to account in advance for the headroom that any regulator needs.