Sonore microRendu Part 2: Uptone Audio Ultracap LPS-1
Before we get into the Uptone Audio LPS-1 impressions, I want to take a moment to comment on what we’re doing here at thenewold.co.
If this isn’t your first time here, then you know I am generous in my “reviews”. Well, that’s because almost every bit (unless otherwise noted) of gear I’ve written about I purchased. Often, after much research and consideration. I’m not a critic, or a professional commentator/reviewer. I don’t earn revenue from the site. I do it because I like it, and hope that some of you may find the content useful.
If you do, please let me know in the comments, or via email. I’d love to hear from you, even if it’s critical feedback. I’m always thinking about how to improve the site design and content. As always, thank you for reading.
Now, on to “The world’s first bank-switching, microprocessor-controller, ultracapacitor-based, ultra-low-noise external linear power supply…”
Much like Sonore and their microRendu, most computer audio enthusiasts likely know Uptone Audio. Their USB Regen – the first of their products I caught wind of – was hugely popular with those among this group running USB D/A converters. It sat between your computer and USB DAC and regenerated the data signal to address the issues inherent in USB audio signal processing.
Then came the Ultracap LPS-1 linear power supply late last year. Built to juice devices like the mR, the ultracapacitor based psu garnered high praise for it’s ability to elevate the performance of whatever it powered.
What’s the Matter
Okay, it’s a power supply. I know. May be tough to get excited about a psu (kinda like cables), but the results are anything but boring. If you’ve not experienced what clean power will do for your hifi, it may seem ridiculous or even impossible that switching between a $50 psu and the the LPS-1 could produce audible improvements to sound quality. It does. What you actually hear, of course, is very much dependent on your system. Everything matters in this game. You need only decide what’s important to you.
I’ve got a dedicated Win10 machine running Fidelizer Pro, Roon server and Tidal wired to my router. In my listening space, the microRendu is connected to a Schiit Yggdrasil via an Anticables reference USB cable. I am using the Yggdrasil’s dual RCA outputs to send signals to both my Bottlehead S.Ex. headamp and the ampsandsound Mogwai. The Audioquest Nighthawks remain my primary headphone, tethered by a Double Helix Molecule SE cable. Everything is powered by a PS Audio Power Plant Premier, and now the LPS-1 is in the mix.
A note on operation:
The LPS-1 has an indicator light on the back (see photo below). Initially when powered on the light is red, and then moves to orange. When operating normally the light will run green.
What I’m getting now, spinning through a well worn playlist made for critical listening, is immersion. The noise floor dropped further, drawing me in. Dynamics are more tangible. Tone and timbre are infused with more life. While about halfway through the outro of Nothing But Heart (Low – C’mon) I realized I could hear further into the mix. Instruments were better separated, yet not to the detriment of overall cohesion. I’m never looking for a forensic analysis of a tune, but simply want to ride that wave all the way to the end. All those audiophile concerns contribute to that kind of listening experience – a means to an end. Music.
I think I’m running the volume higher than usual, because there’s such an ease to the sound. No fatigue. The stage sounds deeper and wider, though only slightly. The distorted guitar part in Nothing But Heart sounds huge. Textured. As it should. It sounds like an amplified and heavily distorted guitar, and not some tiny tinny digital simulation.
There it is. For me, the LPS-1 is a worthy investment because it removes much of what we don’t want in this scenario and leaves the music intact.
The Ultracap LPS-1 further enhances the microRendu’s remarkable talents, bringing us closer to the music. Together they deliver digital music with an ease and immediacy that keeps me riveted for long sessions.
Thanks for reading.