Anyone tried the new Musical Surroundings Linear Power Supply?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by PiperAtTheGates, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A few months ago I bought a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ and like it a lot. looks like now the company has released a few new products including an upgraded linear power supply. I'm curious to try one but at $650 I'm understandably hesitant. Anyone picked this up yet or curious as I am about it? I can't find any promotional documentation online about what benefits its supposed to provide.

    Here's a link to the product:

    Musical Surroundings-24V Linear Charging Power Supply-Line Conditioners|Acoustic Sounds

    So I'd like to know anyone else's thoughts...

    Happy voting day!
  2. Twinsfan007

    Twinsfan007 Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    $650?! That's just about the price I paid for my Phonomena II+. Well I was looking forward to maybe picking up this new power supply but for that price I'll pass and wait to hopefully pick up a used one online.
    PiperAtTheGates likes this.
  3. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah very hard to justify. I would potentially be interested in getting one as a sort of scientific experiment if they at least could articulate what impact this would have.
    ls35a and Twinsfan007 like this.
  4. Twinsfan007

    Twinsfan007 Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a really tough time spending just about the same on a power supply as I did for the whole flipping unit!!
    Frost and 500Homeruns like this.
  5. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Brando4905 likes this.
  6. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    I'm a bit confused about the MD ad. It states it can be used with the Nova II, but it's a battery powered unit, so why would this power supply be needed?
  7. Kyle Mooney

    Kyle Mooney Kwisatz Haderach

    Central PA
  8. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Michigan, USA
    I can't stand things like this that give zero indication of why it costs so much. What's so special about it? At least Uptone Audio explains their power supplies in detail and shows you the inner workings. This is a $650 black box of mystery.
  9. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Sunshine State
    My thoughts exactly!
    Twinsfan007 likes this.
  10. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Vancouver, BC
    I suggest that you read the review of this power supply in Stereophile, by Herb Reichert. He likes the upgrade provided by the power supply so much that the combination of the two together have become his new reference phono preamplifier.

    It might just answer the questions that you have rather than feeling that it is some sort of over priced cash grab : )

    I don’t own a Phenomena II+ but I used to quite enjoy the Phenomena II.

    Good luck and happy listening!
    Sugar Man and PiperAtTheGates like this.
  11. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    From what I understand the LCPS unit is a DC/DC power converter and supply, vs a AC/DC converter wallwart. The new LCPS gives a lower and more even impedance in the power supply which allows music to have more/better focus in all frequencies.

    I have been told that Michael Yee is designing an upgrade chip for the Nova II so in the "Charging" mode you can utilize the new LCPS unit, as well as have the Battery option, seems to me like best of both worlds.
    As far as price, this seems inline with some custom PSU made by Teddy Pardo for example.

    See how much cash I get for Christmas, I might get one for my Nova II.
    F1nut likes this.
  12. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Beside the connector I do not have, I can build a linear power supply for about $50 in parts. A linear power supply does not vary in quality. It is all in the IC regulator chip, not the builder. About 3-5 mv AC ripple on the output vs 30mv on switching power supplies.

    Or, you can buy this if you can put a power cord & the output connector on the power supply. The Music Sorroundings will not perform better. I will do it for you for $100 if you send your old power supply to me.
    #070 NEW Sola SLS-24-012T Power Supply Linear 24 Volt DC 28.8 Watt | eBay
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    Frost and Fishoutofwater like this.
  13. Brando4905

    Brando4905 Forum Resident

    Marion, NC
    I’ve been on a “rid my tt of noise” kick recently, and after finding my refrigerator inducing RF into my system due to the outlet it was plugged into having a faulty ground, I noticed the wimpy switch mode wall wart for my Phonomena ii+ was actually making a noise on its own. I could hear something inside the wall wart hissing each time I unplugged it and plugged it back in. It has been plugged in for over three years now so I figured why not let it rest and try one of these very reasonably priced linear power supplies from Jameco.

    There is a substantial difference between this new one and the lightweight flimsy one that came with Phonomena. It probably weighs three times what the old one did and is at least twice as big, which could be a downside if there’s not room to plug it in.

    I wanted to research why one was better than the other even though they are both wall warts, here’s an interesting article I found....

    Power Supply Design: Switch-Mode vs. Linear | Simply Smarter Circuitry Blog

    Brief paragraph that states the noise a switch mode supply might induce....

    “Each type of power supply operation has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A switch-mode power supply is as much as 80% smaller and lighter than a corresponding linear power supply, but it generates high-frequency noise that can interfere with sensitive electronic equipment. Unlike linear power supplies, switch-mode power supplies are able to withstand small losses of AC power in the range of 10-20 ms without affecting the outputs.”

    I’m pleased with the new linear PS, especially how little it cost. I can’t say it boosted the performance of the Phonomena ii+ into the stratosphere , but I do feel it made a noticeable improvement in sound quality. Just for instance, over the weekend I played Stevie’s “Original Musiquarium 1”, these records never sounded that “full” to me, always lacking something and just sort of thin sounding. After the PS swap I put these on again, could be psychological, but to me they sound way better now. So does every other lp I’ve played since the swap. It’s a subtle improvement for sure, but I’m happy with subtle as cheap as the upgrade was. I needed to replace the OG wall wart anyhow.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  14. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curiosity got the best of me and well I bit the bullet and went ahead and ordered one $650 power supply. This thing BETTER be good! I just know I'm going to regret this, despite what Herb Reichert says =) Review to come....
    5-String and F1nut like this.
  15. Kyle Mooney

    Kyle Mooney Kwisatz Haderach

    Central PA
    I've been debating buying one for my Phonomena II+ I eagerly look forward to your review.
    PiperAtTheGates likes this.
  16. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    I swore I'd never buy another after market power supply. At $650 I think that won't be a hard promise to keep.
    PiperAtTheGates and Frost like this.
  17. slimpikins5

    slimpikins5 Active Member

    Southern, ME
    I would love to read your impressions of the LPS after using it for a month or so.....
    I recently picked up a new Nova iii and thus far (using the supplied wall transformer supply) I really like it. The sound stage and holographic imaging is outstanding as is the lower end. This has very powerful and detailed bass; but I only have about 15 hours on it total time now and am hoping that the mid range develops a little more with time. I was told by Musical Surroundings that it needs at least 40 hours use to fully open up and that the LPS would enhance all ranges including the mids a little more.
    I am using a vintage Audio Technica AT 20ss MM cartridge and for the first time I am able to set the input loading at 100K ohms.... wow, what an improvement that made over using the 'standard' 47K ohm input on most all phono preamps. The upper mids and upper range just came alive and smoothed out dramatically.

    I would not order the Linear Power Supply until this unit is well broken in as I would prefer to hear any differences after the preamp itself is fully settled in.
    PiperAtTheGates likes this.
  18. Would you mind posting a pic of the "wall transformer supply" that came with your Nova III? I have been searching for a pic of it but it seems difficult to find! Thanks in advance!
  19. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    And while you're at it, maybe take off the cover of the main unit for some inside closeup beauty shots :)
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  20. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    I've got a friend who now works for Musical Surroundings. He told me to try one and he's never steered me wrong before.

    It's the BEST outboard power source upgrade I have ever heard. Bar none.

    Buy one without delay. It will knock your socks off. No one is more surprised than me.

    I had a good $700 phono preamp now I have an AMAZING $1400 phono preamp. And that works for me.
    PiperAtTheGates and Catcher10 like this.
  21. slimpikins5

    slimpikins5 Active Member

    Southern, ME
  22. slimpikins5

    slimpikins5 Active Member

    Southern, ME
    It appears that you are quite pleased with the performance of the LPS with your Musical Surroundings preamp. I plan on ordering one too, unless if come up with a good deal on a used one. The Nova iii is on a slow break in period and it's opening up nicely. If I can extend all of the ranges even more with some enhancement in the mids, I'll be really happy.
    PiperAtTheGates likes this.
  23. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Alright guys, so here's my take on this $650 linear power supply...

    Upon first handling the device: Wow this unit is really heavy and solid, much more weighty than the phono stage itself. It seems very well built indeed. Has an IEC socket so you can connect your favorite audiophile power cord should you so choose.

    I want to start out by pointing out that I bought this with the expectation that my system wouldn't be revealing enough to detect much if any change I was extremely skeptical about this product. Here's the thing... this LPS made a BIG difference for the better. I was really caught off guard about how much more in focus the music sounded right off the bat without any warmup time. It's exactly likeLike Ls35a said: "I had a good $700 phono preamp now I have an AMAZING $1400 phono preamp." I don't have any other phonostages to compare this combination with to tell you if its better, worse or in the same league as other $1400 phonostages. I can tell you that if you have a compatible stage and want better sound, this unit will get you where you want to go. The music is SO much more fluid and tactile than before. I could spend quite a lot of superlatives talking about my experience with it. The cool thing about it is that every part of the frequency range is improved. Its not an upgrade where you say oh, 'well it sounds similar but theirs less noise.' Its more along the lines of "Cymbals sound better, bass drum sounds better, voices are much more real, EVERYTHING in the audible range is improved from top to bottom. With this power supply my turntable sounds quite a bit better than my Sony 5400ES SACD player on identical mastering titles. That's a ringing endorsement if I've ever heard one...

    Do I think you need to rush out and buy it? No I don't, do I wish it were cheaper? Of course! is it worth it? Every penny!
    Twinsfan007 and Kyle Mooney like this.
  24. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As an addendum to my previous post I’d like to share also that you don’t need an ultra highly resolving system to get improvements with this linear power supply unit. (Nor do you need to be using a low output moving coil cartridge. Where I’m sure the magnitude of impact is even greater given how much more gain is required in those situations.) I was using a run-of-the-mill Ortofon 2M Blue with a stock Rega P3. Hardly Hi-Fi, more like “Dip-Your-Toe-In-Fi”

    If anyone has questions feel free to ask.
    Slippers-on likes this.
  25. PiperAtTheGates

    PiperAtTheGates Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I thought that the Nova III already converted power from the wall to an internal DC battery making this upgrade useless for a Nova owner... I must be wrong about that then. I’ll have to look up the reading material about the Nova again. In any case, for someone who has a phono stage even better than the phonomenia II+? I would think the upgrade would be well worth it. No need to rush things though. Take time, it just hit the market in Oct 2018 So used ones are highly unlikely...

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