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 Post subject: MCRU X10 Power Supply
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:28 pm
Posts: 35
Have you noticed that Mains Cables R Us are selling an improved power supply for the X10? Link: You may wonder, as I did, whether this would provide any improvement in the sound from the X10. I decided the only way of knowing was to try it out so I bought one. My previous experience over several years of upgrading mains cables for my hi-fi etc had shown me that each upgrade produced a very definite improvement, so I thought I had the odds in my favour.

I've now had this power supply working for just over a fortnight and to say that I'm overwhelmed with the improvement it's made would be very much an understatement. It's difficult to describe improvements in listening experience using just words - you really have to hear it for yourself - but I'll have a try. The overall effect is one of increased resolution. Hi-fi journalists often talk about space around instruments - that is very noticeably improved. Individual instruments are more clearly heard and therefore their lines of music more easily followed. This provides an improvement in musicality. Dynamic response is improved - transients are more precise, with the attack of individual notes being cleaner. There's a greater dynamic range and the frequency extremes are purer, in that all bass lines allow their tune to be followed and instruments of a higher pitch come across more cleanly.

High resolution files are sublime and that extends down to the 16 bit 44.1 kHz of CD rips. CDs I've ripped to the X10 now sound better than the original CD played through a £1500 CD player. Differences become less noticeable as you enter the lossy world of mp3 etc, with 320 kb/s down to 128 kb/s sources showing a downward sliding scale of improvement. I try not to listen to below 128 kb/s but as the improvements rendered by this improved power supply outlined above affect areas of the sound lost to lossy codecs it's not surprising that a good source of the original music is needed to reap the benefits of the power supply.

I should add that I'm listening to all this through 6 grands worth of amplifier/speakers and cannot vouch for any universality of an improvement whatever the amp/speakers used. As the power supply costs slightly more than a third of the cost of a whole X10 (depending upon size of HDD), this is a serious consideration. For me it's definitely been worth it, as it's transformed my X10 into an input source well worthy of that level of amplification and speakers.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:20 pm
Posts: 104
Nice review voiceedit.
I have seen the MCRU power supply before and did consider giving it a try, but the price and lack of any reviews put me off doing so.
It would be interesting to know what level of improvement it could bring to an X10 that is used solely as a stand alone device, or connected to a modest DAC/amp. I have a distinct feeling that it wouldn't give the best results for the money (over half the price of an X10 and a 2tb HDD) when used with the X10 on a stand alone basis, but may prove to be a good value upgrade for anyone using it with a separate DAC/amp.

With the ability to connect a high qualiy PSU, the only thing holding the X10 back from being a great source component is the lack of an audio output via USB. As the option to use an asynchronous USB DAC would enable far better sound quality than using the optical output. You could also use a bluetooth dongle for wireless headphones etc.
Maybe on the next Cocktail Audio models?

It looks like the X12 and the X10 use the same PSU, as the output voltage and current are the same (although the power tip could be a different size or polarity). So perhaps the MCRU power supply could be used on that too.

Oink Oink!...................................KEF LS50 Wireless/Partington Dreadnought Broadside.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:47 pm
Posts: 44
Seriously Guys....£250.00 for a power guess you wont be wanting to borrow my £14.99 Argos headphones

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