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PSU1 Enigma Micro-Signal Power Supply

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: And the rest
Forum Name: Power Sources
Forum Description: Where the power comes from has always been a hot topic - even more so now with new World legislation
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4532
Printed Date: 10 Apr 2020 at 6:05am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: PSU1 Enigma Micro-Signal Power Supply
Posted By: Graham Slee
Subject: PSU1 Enigma Micro-Signal Power Supply
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 7:54am
Introducing the PSU1 Enigma Micro-Signal Power Supply

I've been holding off announcing this whilst some beta testing has been taking place, but it would seem that the above named power supply is actually delivering the audio goodies.

Perhaps it's now time to announce it?

Yes? OK, here goes...

What's in a name?

Why Enigma? Well it is one, because when I try and explain it to you, you might find it as unfathomable as I almost found it myself.

It is not however psycho-acoustic BS!

It was indeed "a very difficult code to crack".

Also, it may well be limited edition because I don't know when the makers of a particular component will call time, and as far as I can make out, there is no alternative. This is not a sales gimmick!

Price?

I'll be upfront about this, it is not cheap!

It is a tweaked up PSU1 (as I will explain) and will retail at £385. Yes, I know, that's more than twice what a PSU1 costs. Surely the components aren't that expensive?

They're not, but time is also money, and I usually go to all this trouble and get paid back through sales, but this has taken an inordinate amount of time and the risk is sales simply stop due to one manufacturer pulling out. I will repeat, it may well be limited edition because I don't know when the makers of a particular component will call time, and as far as I can make out, there is no alternative. This is not a sales gimmick!

What's it for?

It was developed for the Accession MC, and that's all I will be recommending it for today.

It might bring benefits to other products, and that may depend highly on other items in your system which might or might not allow you to hear any benefit

I noticed an improvement using it with my Majestic DAC but that was playing one well known FLAC rip.

What does it do?

Regular readers will know my personal aversion to moving coil. My records never sounded quite the way I expected with moving coil. Was it because MM didn't reproduce them properly and I'd been so used to MM in this way like an addiction?

I'd have to disagree. I have CD and FLAC versions of many of my records to compare MM results with, and MC was always the odd one out.

I had to keep on trying because there had to be something that would make a difference, and that something turned out to be in the power supply.

For me "the Enigma" makes MC listening using the Accession MC a real pleasure.

In what way?

Going back to when I launched the Reflex and Revelation M versions, I used to talk about "pronunciation" and the way stages (and other items of equipment) either "pronounce sounds properly" or not. Note here I am using quotation marks - "pronunciation" is my way of explaining what I mean. Perhaps detail retrieval would explain better?

And what I mean is I like to hear not only the lyrics, but how they're expressed. If you have a load of instruments going on at the same time, that's hard to hear.

And my other MC moan is MC brightness... why? Surely high fidelity doesn't mean that?

But now, with the use of the PSU1 Enigma with the Accession MC, I'm suited down to the ground, so much that I'm actually enjoying the Hana EL currently on the turntable, and I have no inclination to change back to MM anytime soon.

Now that's saying something!

Shielded Cable

One of the first things you'll note is the shielded DC cable.

So is that it? Absolutely not!

A beta tester asked that very question - a valid question - so I said give it a try with a normal PSU1, and it did not do the same.

The shielded cable is part of the "solution" but it is not the solution.

How does it work?

First a look at the MC cartridge

MC outputs on average one tenth of what an MM does and even less with some more-exotic cartridges.

Also factor in the output at -60dB. Yes, according to some reviewers there are sounds so soft way down in level, arguing that it is within the dynamic range of vinyl. I'm not disagreeing with them.

Also realise the advertised output is stated for 1kHz. Being a constant velocity device its output falls from 1kHz at 6dB per octave, and it also rises from 1kHz at 6dB per octave.

If it were not for record EQ (RIAA etc.) the output at 100Hz would be a mere tenth of that advertised, and at -60dB, one ten thousandth!

Going the other way it can be around 13 times bigger at 10kHz with just 2dB headroom added in.

So far we have a dynamic (versus frequency) range of 102dB. That's massive!

The record's RIAA EQ helps through its "shelving" by 12dB, making it a bit better at 90dB - still massive.

90dB describes a ratio of 31,623:1 - the ratio of the loudest 10kHz signal to the quietest 100Hz signal.

And here we have only covered 100Hz - 10kHz out of the usual 20Hz - 20kHz.

In a real MC cartridge, say one advertised as doing 0.2mV at 1kHz, it can range from a few nano-volts to a few milli-volts. Roughly around a million to one.

The MC phono stage

What we're doing is basically asking the impossible really. I've seen scientific engineers struggle and give up with voltages in micro-volts, never mind nano-volts.

This is because we're right down in the noise - the stuff generated by all electronic materials whether they be semiconductor junctions, resistors, capacitors, even wires (due to inductance), you name it.

But if we managed to fight off the generated noise by making clever decisions, we then have to consider real world effects.

And here I mean the power supply. It's not about brute force, it's about where the signal current flows and ensuring its flow won't just allow the "survival of the fittest". The fittest being the stronger signal. We want all of it!

The Accession MC is a different build but uses the same board as the Accession MM version. It is so carefully laid out with solid ground plane, and decoupling capacitors which guard against high frequency oscillation due to stray inductance on power pins.

Want to read up on this some more? Take a look at https://pdfserv.maximintegrated.com/en/an/TUT5450.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://pdfserv.maximintegrated.com/en/an/TUT5450.pdf - not an identical  application, but it applies to preamplification in as many ways.

Even with the solid ground plane, additional hard wired "star earthing" was found to improve detail retrieval (the wires lowering the impedance of a solid ground plane), but only on the MC version (all Accession MC's have this).

On the link I just gave you, and after the introduction, it talks about following the current, and I'll quote a little here:

"Remember that we call a collection of connected electrical or electronic components a "circuit" because currents always flow from a source to a load and then back via a return path—a circle of sorts. Keeping in mind where the current flows, both in the direction intended to do the desired job as well as the resultant return current, is fundamental to making any analog circuit work well."

And just before anybody picks up on the word "direction", the direction involves positive and negative signal current. I know it's AC and so do Maxim!

So after being "star earthed" and still not reaching my standards as regards absolute detail retrieval, what else could be standing in the way?

The Enigma question - where does the signal current actually flow?

DC current flows from the power supply, round the circuit, and back to the power supply. That is the obvious bit.

But we are interested in the AC signal current being drawn by the circuit. This also starts at the power supply, and unless at some considerably high frequency where local bypass capacitors come into effect, it has no other option but to flow back to the power supply.

In a mains derived conventional transformer power supply, the reservoir or energy storage capacitor(s) become the dominating source for any signal above the rectifier frequency which is 100 or 120 Hz for a full wave rectifier, depending on mains frequency. As frequency increases the reservoir capacitors become more the dominant source.

Below the rectifier frequency (below 100 or 120 Hz) the entire transformer/rectifier/reservoir circuit is source.

Because instruments can be identified it must mean they have signatures which are a mix of harmonics and intermodulation, so a bass instrument fundamental below 100 (120) Hz might well have some or most of its signature in the range where the reservoir capacitors are dominant.

Therefore the vast majority of musical signal has the reservoir capacitor(s) as source. And this being so, must return to that exact point?

Kirchhoff's loop law on the conservation of charge confirms that current must flow back to its origin.

Is there any other route such as local decoupling which signal current could take instead? In other words, can we eliminate this power supply effect within the preamp stage box?

It all depends on the impedance of the power supply. Preamp stages are supplied via a voltage regulator of some sort which is essential to expel power supply ripple and glitches on the supply.

For it to perform its regulation a very low output impedance is implied. The actual output impedance will vary with current drawn, but values of 0.02 ohms are often quoted in specifications.

If we stick a (big) 1000uF capacitor on the voltage regulator output the corner frequency will be 8kHz. Surprised?

We would need in excess of 50,000uF to reduce that to 100Hz. It is doubtful the regulator would perform with such a capacitive load, or even start.

But won't signal current flow back up the voltage regulator itself? No, if we follow the current flow you will find it cannot. Examination of both series and shunt voltage regulator reveals the same outcome.

One suggestion which on the face of it might work, is a capacitance multiplier circuit. An exhaustive discussion of its workings would be inappropriate here as this is already a very wordy piece to read. But I will say I have tried these in several circuits and each has led to various levels of subjective disappointment. I am willing however to discuss the workings of the capacitance multiplier if pressed.

That aside, we have to conclude that the majority of audio frequency signal currents find their way back to the power supply, that being the path of least resistance.

In the range 100Hz to 8kHz (8kHz because of the voltage regulator decoupling referred to above) its origin is dominated by the reservoir capacitors. So here we should expect to hear the biggest improvement. I cannot risk an improvement which is so subtle that few hear it. And it has after-all been a mission to improve the performance I get from moving coil.

So what effect do reservoir capacitors have?

The first thing we note is they are electrolytic, universally despised by the "all capacitors are bad" brigade, but physical science being what it is, nothing can be done to change this fact.

The first thing we have to realise is that all frequencies of signal current (100Hz to the 8kHz we established earlier) flow through these capacitors. They dominate at these frequencies. The signal current must, by Kirchhoff's loop rule, actually flow in them!

But anybody with an ounce of understanding of electrolytic capacitors will know they are not very linear when it comes to audio frequencies. And a number of fixes have been proposed in a bid to improve this.

Fixes include "cap-rolling" where numerous different makes of electrolytic capacitors are tried, and listened to. Other fixes are bypassing them using film capacitors.

It should be obvious that I've already been there, as the existing PSU1 is known to bring an improvement over nearly two decades of "stock" power supplies, and with all the products which work with it.

But by understanding where signal current flows the problem can be overcome.

All capacitors have a capacitance versus frequency curve (whether published or not), which will falls off with increasing frequency, and this is the non-linearity.

(some have proposed batteries but they exhibit a far worse curve)

If different frequencies must pass through these capacitors as in music, each frequency in-effect passes through a different capacitance.

Quote taken from "Audio" Feb 1980:

"It is not at all hard to imagine how a capacitor whose value actually changes with frequency might distort an audio signal's integrity, particularly with regard to phase. If we can visualize the complex frequency relationships of music passing through a capacitor (it doesn't really), while impedance is simultaneously changing with the complex frequencies of the music, it is possible to appreciate how it can be relatively easy to upset the subtle harmonic/fundamental phase and amplitude relationships."

The answer therefore is in the choice of reservoir capacitor. What is wanted is the flattest possible capacitance versus frequency curve, and for that we either need to see the curve, or to understand the factors which make it flatter, and in so doing we are able to obtain and use suitable capacitors.

I was surprised to find how difficult putting this into practice was. Manufacturers of such high value capacitors tend not to go into such fine detail. For them only some of the required factors are of interest, which tends to suggest few designers demand such information, and therefore, few designers understand such workings.

In the event I was able to track down just one value from one manufacturer which complied with all the wanted factors. The existing capacitors of a PSU1 were changed for them, and the sonic improvement was immediate.

Rather than stopping just there I wanted to try to make the improvement more noticeable, and where the use of a shielded cable had proved fruitless with a regular PSU1, on this occasion it "zoomed-in" on the improvement.

It might also be down to the choice of cable and its dielectric (insulation) which anybody studying capacitors for high performance will realise, is, in itself capacitive. Not only that but different dielectrics have different degrees of "memory" - they don't give up electrons that easily.

The result is the PSU1 Enigma Micro-Signal Power Supply. The above should explain the choice of name.

The above explanation has taken me the best part of two weeks to compile and to make it make sense without going into mathematical proofs or making it overly technical. I trust I have not lost you along the way.



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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...



Replies:
Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 8:34am
Jeez, I think I need to go back to school and start my education all over again...


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 11:04am
For the past month or so I've been beta testing the Enigma ps with my Accession MC. Aside from the colour of the cable this looks just like any other PSU1. But for the AccMC though it really does the business of improving what was already a stellar sound. 

The effect of the Enigma is to bring the sound even more into focus - not making it "sharper", but just more defined. (Think Blu-Ray video versus DVD). Dynamics are also improved. This was most notable with Pink Floyd's "Division Bell". I'd just completed a video of a few tracks from this when the Enigma arrived so I re-ripped the audio and compared the waveforms. Sure enough, with exactly the same level into the ADC, the loud peaks were obviously louder visually, and sonically this translated into not only a more exciting sound but one where the inner detail within those peaks was more noticeable, more tangible.

This doesn't only benefit rock music; jazz and classical stuff I've played has even more immediacy and going back to the vanilla PSU1 is like dialling down the colour saturation and contrast slightly. It's still a very, very high quality sound, and if you've never heard the Enigma you'll be very happy with it. But . . .  once heard!

Having been around on this forum for many years I've known of Graham's antipathy to MC cartridges. It seems that the Accession MC + Enigma ps has performed a miracle - not on the road to Damascus maybe, but on the A6195. Wink

I've been an audio cynic for quite a while. Cables were just bits of wire until I chanced on Graham's CuSat, Lautus and Spatia offerings. Power supplies were necessary but boring until I swapped a plug top supply on my then Solo SRGII with a PSU1 I had on loan - I thought nothing of it until I swapped back and my headphone sound shrank and became duller. 

From anyone else the Enigma would have all the hallmarks of creative marketing, but knowing that everything Graham releases is based on sound electronic design and painstaking testing to standards very few makers seem to aspire to in these days of quickly churning out products to keep the bottom line afloat, it is no surprise that the Enigma really does work. Graham says that it's not cheap. The Accession MC isn't cheap. But their combined performance is in such a different league that comparisons with phono amps costing 2, 5 maybe 10x more would not be unreasonable. You may miss out on fancy bling-tastic casework, microprocessor switching, remote controls - but for the music lover who's gone to the dark side and uses MCs the AccessionMC/Enigma combo is a no-brainer.


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 8:22pm
As ever a well researched and thoughtful solution to a particular issue and what appears to be a niche but excellent product, well done Graham.
If as I read this correctly the capacitors are electrolytic and as I understand it degrade over time?  If correct where does this sit with either leaving powered up 24/7 or the potential inability to replace them in years to come?
 
It is good to see that Graham has investigated the use of the upgraded DC cable; which focuses on eliminating a specific problem.  In my experience going back 3-4 years the 'standard' AC & DC leads supplied tended to sound a little thin, splashy and lacked body, naturalness and fine detail.  Whilst not suggesting either would necessarily work around the problem Graham identified these do remain a relative weakness within the excellent standard units.  Differences were not huge (nowhere near the significance of other mains leads) but collectively in my case two upgraded mains and 1 DC lead (other is captive to from Elevator PSU) did provide a smoother, more integrated presentation with greater naturalness and notably less splashy and better separated mid-high frequencies.
 
 


Posted By: BAK
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 10:08pm
morris_minor wrote "sound electronic design". I translate that to "a truer audio reproduction design".

There are "bad" electrolytic (and other) capacitors being used in electronics of all kinds. All electronic components can leave their signature on a signal. By selecting "good" components that compliment each other, this can cancel most of (or all of) that signature. Each part of the circuit is selected to contribute to the synergy of the desired result.

 There are ways to select parts to compliment each other AND extend the life expectancy of all circuits.
This design process involves much more R & D and testing. A price of £385 for Graham achieving this design is cheap.


 The power source is very much part of the signal produced in all electronic circuits.
After all, each active amplifying component is really just modulating the power supplied to it.

 I feel Graham has worked his "art" again to produce the Enigma!


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Bruce
AT-14SA, Pickering XV-15/625, Technics SL-1600MK2, Reflex M, Lautus, Technics SH-8066, Dynaco ST120a, Eminence Beta 8A in custom cabs;; Using Majestic DAC
Enjoy Life Your Way!


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 10:16pm
I was also a beta tester on this project and recommend the Accession MC with the Enigma Micro-Signal PSU1. Please try it and hear your music properly through an MC cartridge.

In the testing I listened extensively to the AccMC, EXP and AccM with various PSU1 combinations quickly swapped over. I also tried various low voltage cables including the standard PSU1 cable, the new shielded cable and some of my own with chokes on them. In my opinion the new cable helps the PSU1 with the AccMC and the EXP stages but it is a fraction of the benefit from the Enigma PSU1 itself. I think there is a synergy between the Enigma and the new cable, with the cable being the finished touch adding a little extra or rather not adding anything which I'll come back to. Crudely put the EXP with Enigma and new cable gets a bit closer to the AccMC, the AccMC and Enigma/cable is something else entirely.

Unsurprisingly I did play a lot of music on vinyl that fortnight and found it all sounded much better. Frankly I enjoyed listening to everything I played and it wasn't just my favourites. On rock tracks the tracks in the mix were easily separated but sounded right together, with the dynamic sound of drums bieng most remarkable. Cymbals and other percussion sound much more lifelike, rich not white noise or the sound of metal sheets being hit - hits on the bells sounded right, they chimed and I could hear the stick hitting. On good orchestral recordings it is like being in the hall and some opera I picked up whilst away was presented in front of me with the singers moving around on the stage. The AccMC delivers the promise of MC, fine detail from low moving mass bringing out more of the music. With the Enigma PSU1 it is just the music - pure without the pollution of environmental noise.



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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 10:42pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:


If as I read this correctly the capacitors are electrolytic and as I understand it degrade over time?  If correct where does this sit with either leaving powered up 24/7 or the potential inability to replace them in years to come?


The projected life according to http://www.illinoiscapacitor.com/tech-center/life-calculators.aspx for the rated use is 131,400 hours or 15 years approx.

Hopefully by the time I'm 78 I will have worked out what to do... Wink



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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 8:36am
Great work as ever Graham.
Will the Enigma be available to buy with the Accession MC as an extra cost alternative to the PSU1?



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: RichieCactus
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 1:52pm
Sounds great and almost makes me want to try MC...

Now, if only Graham could invent some Tinnitus-Cancelling headphones ?!

Ouch LOL


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Rega RP8/Cartridgeman MM3/Thorens TD166/AudioMods VI/Accession/Croft RIAA/Arcam A85/Quad 21L


Posted By: latinaudio
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 6:03pm
Great news indeed!
But I´m a MM user, and owner of a  "green" Reflex M.
Some hope that in the future we´ll see an appropiate version for MM preamps?


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"Music nourishes the spirit"


Posted By: msphil
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 6:49pm

Very interesting Graham! I would really love to know whether it shows a similar improvement if used with the Majestic. If so, it's possible I might be interested. I was also wondering if the 3 to 5 V PSU was likely to be available soon?



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'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 9:40pm
Phil just listening to one of the Beatles double albums I acquired from you about 4 years ago, sounds superb (never better) though suspect It would sound better still with the A MC and new EMSPS! 

kind regards


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 7:00am
The PSU1 Enigma micro-signal power supply will be made available on the loaner program shortly.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 7:20am
Originally posted by msphil msphil wrote:

Very interesting Graham! I would really love to know whether it shows a similar improvement if used with the Majestic. If so, it's possible I might be interested. I was also wondering if the 3 to 5 V PSU was likely to be available soon?



Hi Phil, it's thanks to your requirement for the 5V 3A power supply that the PSU1 Enigma came about. I'd be interested in your findings on it with the Majestic (need to set up a loan).

The 5V 3A PSU is still at the metalworkers, and they're waiting for the mill-finish heat sinks which are a Fischer (from Germany) product, but unfortunately they sent samples of the black finished item, so we're now into another 3 weeks wait... great! (not). If I'd wanted black I'd have simply bought them from Farnell in Leeds, but we need them plain mill-finish because they have to be machined first. I suppose the black ones could be machined then the resulting chipped or scratched anodise could be stripped, and then re-anodised. Not very cost effective.

I could get our own heat sinks extruded in Gateshead, and perhaps one day I will, but its a risky investment especially when there are only 5 orders in the queue at present... Ermm


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 10:31am
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Great work as ever Graham.
Will the Enigma be available to buy with the Accession MC as an extra cost alternative to the PSU1?


I'll assume then that you'll only be selling the Enigma separately. 
Best wishes.



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 12:03pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Great work as ever Graham.
Will the Enigma be available to buy with the Accession MC as an extra cost alternative to the PSU1?


I'll assume then that you'll only be selling the Enigma separately. 
Best wishes.



Sorry I missed this (I had to turn into IT-bod to hardwire the office network... funny how everything worked on plug adapters before swapping to plusnet...)

It will be available with the Accession MC (£1400 instead of £1200); separately (£385); or as a factory upgrade or part-exchange (£200). Prices do not include shipping.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: msphil
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Originally posted by msphil msphil wrote:

Very interesting Graham! I would really love to know whether it shows a similar improvement if used with the Majestic. If so, it's possible I might be interested. I was also wondering if the 3 to 5 V PSU was likely to be available soon?



Hi Phil, it's thanks to your requirement for the 5V 3A power supply that the PSU1 Enigma came about. I'd be interested in your findings on it with the Majestic (need to set up a loan).

The 5V 3A PSU is still at the metalworkers, and they're waiting for the mill-finish heat sinks which are a Fischer (from Germany) product, but unfortunately they sent samples of the black finished item, so we're now into another 3 weeks wait... great! (not). If I'd wanted black I'd have simply bought them from Farnell in Leeds, but we need them plain mill-finish because they have to be machined first. I suppose the black ones could be machined then the resulting chipped or scratched anodise could be stripped, and then re-anodised. Not very cost effective.

I could get our own heat sinks extruded in Gateshead, and perhaps one day I will, but its a risky investment especially when there are only 5 orders in the queue at present... Ermm

Hi Graham, it's great to know that something good came out of my asking if you could produce a 5V 3A PSU I was beginning to wonder if I had put you to too much trouble and expense with my request. I would be more than happy to try out the new PSU 1 Enigma power supply with my two Majestic's. As you know I'd love to try anything that will tweak my systems into producing even better performance if this is the case. Perhaps John would be willing to pop it in when he is next visiting your supplier in Chesterfield?

I will of course, as before, report back to you and the forum with the results of my investigations as it settles in.



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'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2018 at 3:08pm

Sorry I missed this (I had to turn into IT-bod to hardwire the office network... funny how everything worked on plug adapters before swapping to plusnet...)

It will be available with the Accession MC (£1400 instead of £1200); separately (£385); or as a factory upgrade or part-exchange (£200). Prices do not include shipping.
[/QUOTE]

Excellent news that it's going to be available with the Accession MC - thanks.Thumbs Up


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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 10:28am
Interesting allusion to Elgar's popular work in the 'Enigma Variant' email received recently.
Elgar's enigma possibly referred to a hidden melody in the music - perhaps the new PSU reveals previously hidden melodies or the name refers a mysterious component..?



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 11:30am
Rich - that conjured up the same thought about Elgar! The PS didn't have its proper name when I started using it, and "enigma" seems very appropriate . . .

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: ServerBaboon
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2018 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Hi Phil, it's thanks to your requirement for the 5V 3A power supply that the PSU1 Enigma came about. I'd be interested in your findings on it with the Majestic (need to set up a loan).

The 5V 3A PSU is still at the metalworkers, and they're waiting for the mill-finish heat sinks which are a Fischer (from Germany) product, but unfortunately they sent samples of the black finished item, so we're now into another 3 weeks wait... great! (not). If I'd wanted black I'd have simply bought them from Farnell in Leeds, but we need them plain mill-finish because they have to be machined first. I suppose the black ones could be machined then the resulting chipped or scratched anodise could be stripped, and then re-anodised. Not very cost effective.

I could get our own heat sinks extruded in Gateshead, and perhaps one day I will, but its a risky investment especially when there are only 5 orders in the queue at present... Ermm

Is one of those mine?

Have I missed the price ordering link?



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Steve

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Various bits of GSP Kit ..well two so far, unless you count the cables that is.


Posted By: BackinBlack
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2018 at 8:33pm
Same question as Steve, am I also on the order list for the 5V 3A PSU?

Ian


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Just listen, if it sounds good to you, enjoy it.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2018 at 9:36pm
Phil: 2
Ian: 1
Steve: 1
Jon: 1
Bob: 1

Sorry, can't count. 6 it is.



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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2018 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Phil: 2
Ian: 1
Steve: 1
Jon: 1
Bob: 1

Sorry, can't count. 6 it is.

What about Ash?

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Ifor
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Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2018 at 11:12pm
Yes, I want one for my Bitzie. I've just gone quiet whilst I sell some of my other things.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2018 at 6:38am
Now that's what I call community spirit... Wink


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2018 at 7:17am
5V 3A power supply adventures continue over here: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/5v-3a-psu_topic4221_post56233.html#56233" rel="nofollow - https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/5v-3a-psu_topic4221_post56233.html#56233


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 8:45pm
I will consider one of these PSU1 for my Majestic. Smile


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2018 at 10:43am
Well, the European loaner Enigma arrived here yesterday and, having tried it complete with it's DC cable, I totally agree with the findings of both Bob (morris minor)and Jon (fatmangolf). The difference is clear from the first few bars of the music and there is no question as to the improvement made to the already blinding Accession MC, highly recomended in my opinion for anyone owning or considering buying the MC and at a relatively low cost for the lavel of improvement gained.

My name is on the waiting list to buy a production unit as soon as they are available.

I will get around to experimenting with the differences that swapping just the DC cable make on a standard PSU1...that's when I can force myself to pull the Enigma out of the systemSmile

Yet another Graham winner, well done sir Clap


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Derek


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2018 at 12:04pm
^^ Thumbs Up

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: ServerBaboon
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 4:15pm
Not sure if the question has been asked, feeble search said not, Fatmangolf briefly mentioned trying though.

Would the Enigma make a big improvement to the Elevator, its not mentioned on the sales page?

Being a one turntable household I would like to keep my unused phono stages down to just the Revelation on the shelf here so I had always thought that if I ever changed to an MC that I would use an elevator with my current Accession MM (old case).

Although the new 70's amp has piqued my interest now...


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Steve

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Various bits of GSP Kit ..well two so far, unless you count the cables that is.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 7:03pm
When my name comes up on the loan scheme I will let you know!  Presumably the figure of 8/reversal still applies to the enigma??


Posted By: Ernie
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 10:53pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

When my name comes up on the loan scheme I will let you know!  Presumably the figure of 8/reversal still applies to the enigma??

Hi Richard,
The fig. 8 reversal?

Chris


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There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 11:03pm
It’s witchcraft, but it works.

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Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 11:30pm
For Majestic DAC into Solo ULDE, would there be an audible benefit of both devices having an Enigma PSU1 instead of a standard PSU1? I'd try the figure of 8 thing with these too.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2018 at 6:08am
Originally posted by Ernie Ernie wrote:

Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

When my name comes up on the loan scheme I will let you know!  Presumably the figure of 8/reversal still applies to the enigma??

Hi Richard,
The fig. 8 reversal?

Chris

A number of users have noticed (with my findings at least very) subtle differences by reversing the figure of 8 plug in to the PSUs Chris.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2018 at 8:19am
Originally posted by Ash Ash wrote:

For Majestic DAC into Solo ULDE, would there be an audible benefit of both devices having an Enigma PSU1 instead of a standard PSU1? I'd try the figure of 8 thing with these too.


Ash, you, like everybody on here are so much like family I feel I'd be taking advantage of you by trying to sell you something...

But it's like this: I use my Majestic with a PSU1-Enigma, and I'm enjoying it more than I did with the std issue PSU1. So I made it available here: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/power-supplies/#psu1-enigma" rel="nofollow - https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/power-supplies/#psu1-enigma without the DC cable for use with the Majestic (see second add to basket panel). Now, I reckon that if I'm getting more enjoyment out of it, there could be a remote chance that you (and others) might reap the same reward...

I tried it with my Solo ULDE and I didn't detect any difference, and so I'm not pushing it for that.

Neither am I pushing it for use with the Accession MM phono stage but when HiFi Corner demonstrated it with the PSU1-Enigma, they and their customer were so suitably impressed that the customer left the shop with both items, and they recommend the combination.

Just because I don't hear the benefit doesn't mean there isn't any, so that's why there's one in the toy cupboard to play with (the loaner program).



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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Ernie
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2018 at 12:32pm
Hi Graham,
Seem to remember a part ex was mentioned on this thread for current Accession MC owners. Would this include Majestic owners too?

Chris


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There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 10:18pm
Oops, I still haven't tried the Enigma PSU1 with my Majestic DAC. Something new to try this week and report back on!



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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 8:54pm
Well I like it and can see an upgrade coming up.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 8:59pm
Originally posted by Ernie Ernie wrote:

Hi Graham,
Seem to remember a part ex was mentioned on this thread for current Accession MC owners. Would this include Majestic owners too?

Chris


I'm sure John C will be accomodating. Best send him a contact form.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 9:04pm
Thanks Graham.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 9:13pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

Well I like it and can see an upgrade coming up.
I’m not happy about this.

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Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 10:09pm
With apologies to Ifor. I could rationalise the impact of the Enigma on the microvolts handled by the Accession MC but the Majestic signals are much higher so why does it sound just a little nicer? I liked the sound with the Enigma PSU1 and sometimes you just have to go with the flow.



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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 10:17pm
For what worth Jon I have found that digital sources tend to benefit more than analogue sources when it comes to improvements in mains components in my system so wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Majestic does see unusually significant improvements.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 25 Oct 2018 at 7:10am
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

Well I like it and can see an upgrade coming up.
I’m not happy about this.


I feel I must apologise Wink


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 25 Oct 2018 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

For what worth Jon I have found that digital sources tend to benefit more than analogue sources when it comes to improvements in mains components in my system so wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Majestic does see unusually significant improvements.

Thanks Richard. That fits with my experience here.


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 25 Oct 2018 at 2:50pm
...and again in my experience ties in with a commonly held view that CD players can sound a bit prominent in the upper mid, flat and undynamic with some bass issues. 

I am sure there is a fundamental flaw in the CD design but many if the issues can be heavily reduced though can't comment on other digital sources as I do t have any(other than TV).


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 25 Oct 2018 at 9:12pm
I can appreciate that the Enigma could improve the Majestic because the Majestic handles signals below line level in amplitude? Lower signal levels than in some parts of a Solo ULDE anyway. I can envisage that the absolute resolution of an electromagnetic system like an electronic circuit could be limited by the tiniest noise aspects of the power supply.


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2018 at 12:35am
Hello Fellow Forumites,
I wanted to share my experience having recently added Enigma PSU1's to my system—one for my Accession MM and one for my Elevator EXP. The first play after installation struck me immediately that everything was quieter. More blackness and a deeper silence from which the music emerged. The second impression was that the music was more dynamic, especially the bass. Just bolder contrasts in dynamics and in instrumental colors. Like peeling another layer from the onion. I didn't try the older PSU1's to see if perhaps it was my imagination, I just continued to enjoy what I was hearing. I've learned over time to trust my impressions. At any rate, it's enough for me that I really, really liked what I heard, and I'm thrilled with the improvement. I love my AccessionMM/Elevator and Enigmas. I'm sitting listening to the Julliard quartet play the Schumann string quartet in A minor Op. 46, no. 1, and it's simply stunning how believable and tangible it is. The Scherzo 2nd movement makes me want to jump to my feet. But for me, every style and genre of music has benefitted in the same way. Adding the Enigmas was a significant step towards realism.

I haven't yet listened to the Enigma Variations with the Enigmas. 

What was I thinking! That's gotta be next up.



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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Apogee Duet II, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 10:41am
Thanks for posting this Kory! It's good to know the Enigma is doing it's mystical stuff for you! Smile

Out of interest, what performance(s) of the Enigma Variations do you have? (A bit off-topic, but hey  . . .LOL)


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 2:19pm
Hi Bob, it's a timely question. The only LP I have is Barbirolli and the Halle orchestra. Which I listened to on Saturday, and loved it! But, I've been really researching some others and have been seriously considering adding a few more. I want another Barbirolli with the Philharmonia, Boult, Beecham, Previn, Mehta, Stern with the Kansas City, and Rattle with Birmingham(though this is only on CD I think). I'm conducting it again in January and again in another two years, so I want to gather some more ideas of how it's been done best. 

Do you have a favorite? Have I left any off my list?


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Apogee Duet II, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 6:04pm
Boult and Vernon Handley (both with LPO on EMI) are favourites of mine, but Mehta's Los Angles PO on Decca is an equally good performance and benefits from a sumptuous recording. This one is worth https://www.discogs.com/Elgar-Ives-Los-Angeles-Philharmonic-Orchestra-Zubin-Mehta-Enigma-Variations-Symphony-No-1/master/775082" rel="nofollow - seeking out on vinyl , and it's coupled with Charles Ives' 1st Symphony.

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 6:42pm
I ordered the Mehta this morning and more to order. I'll definitely get the Boult.
Thanks.


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Apogee Duet II, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2018 at 11:39pm
another vote for Boult. It’s on an EMI CD coupled with The Planets. The performances make both works seem so obvious in their form and inner construction, like it’s all laid out on two pages for us.
Gold.
Mick.


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 8:06am
Another recommendation here for Boult's Enigma Variations with the LPO.
Classics for Pleasure LP also has a very good Introduction & Allegro for Strings.





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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 9:38pm
I've been enjoying my Enigma PSU1 with my Majestic. Despite being on a digital source I think what Kory wrote above says it really well. I really heard the difference with my EXP too.



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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: msphil
Date Posted: 03 Dec 2018 at 6:57pm
For the last couple of weeks I have been testing the PSU1-Enigma Power Supply with the Majestic Pre-/DAC and comparing it to its supplied PSU1 Power Supply. As most of you will know the Enigma was originally designed by Graham for the Accension MC, where he found it made a noticeable improvement to the sound. 

Because there is a difference in price between the two PSUs I thought it would be useful to find out how noticeable a difference there was between the two devices. In order to do this I have been running the Majestic using the Enigma PSU for the last two weeks. At the same time I left the original PSU1 powered up in order that in the near future, once the Enigma has had time to bed in, I will switch the cables over and make a comparison.

I am posting this report before swapping the cables over so that I can give you my first impressions. I will then write a second report letting you know how much difference I noticed going back to the original PSU. It is worth saying that although I am trying to be as unbiased as possible any impressions are necessarily subjective and are my opinions only.

Initially I spent no time running the Enigma PSU in. It was completely new and fresh from the test bench. As soon as it was plugged in I did notice a difference. The sound seemed to have greater clarity, was very detailed and seemed to have more space within the soundstage. One was able to position the instruments in a way that I hadn't noticed before. I found this quite inspiring though it was a little clinical.

A week or so later I noticed that there had been a noticeable change. There was an increased warmth and musicality that had begun to appear. I noticed that there was no longer any suggestion of the sound being cool or clinical. Everything seemed to be much more natural, fuller and in its place. On most recordings there was a noticeable improvement  which I found hard to believe and at times incredibly exciting. Everything had taken on a more natural depth and grain without losing any of its detail. The high treble rang hi and clear without any trace of strain or annoyance and while the bass and midrange (as time progressed) took on an individual depth, grain and natural quality which showed the nature of the instruments played and the ambiance of the studio, echo, and the amplification used. There seem to be an air and breath around the vocals which added to the atmosphere of the recordings.

There were some recordings which I noticed immediately became much more interesting and vital. Bob Dylan's song 'Forever Young' was especially exciting. Previously I had not realised what a good recording it had been. I was also greatly impressed by Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach cello sonatas. This had a quality of detail and naturalness which normally only manifests when hearing the instrument played live and close. There were tracks by the Portuguese Fdao singer Mariza there was a depth of silence in the background which added presence atmosphere and quality to the music.

As you can see I have been very impressed and astounded by the improvement that a PSU can appear to make. It is my intention in the next day or so to swap the two units over to find out if or how much I will notice any difference. I will report back when I can. I would also be really interested to know whether other people with the Enigma PSU agree with my findings.


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'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 03 Dec 2018 at 7:16pm
Thanks Bob, will see what you find when switching back.  Am awaiting my loan enigma to try and will report on my Accession MM & Elevator shortly.


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 04 Dec 2018 at 6:51am
I suspect that removing it will seem like something in your hi fi has broken...that was the effect that I noticed most. Stand by to raid your piggy bank Phil Big smile


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Derek


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Dec 2018 at 8:13am
After I moved my burned-in Enigma PSU1 from my AccMC to power the Majestic, I had a similar listening experience with Maj to Phil's. Then the dilemma of which unit benefitted the most from the Enigma PSU1 and the almost inevitable placing of my order for a second Enigma PSU1.




-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 06 Dec 2018 at 10:11pm

Thank you Jon for the loaner Enigma which arrived yesterday and left powered up for 26 hours before use.

By way of comparison, I have listened to my Accession MM & Elevator through the standard PSU although both have pure silver mains cables and the Accession pure silver DC lead and upgraded DC plug (Oyaide).
 
Assessment 1 Current set up Vs out of box Enigma with Enigma DC lead on Accession MM.
I first listed to Wind & Wuthering Genesis (new spare copy - replaced due to scratch on one track).  First observation, Enigma DC relatively slack in Accession vs tight fit from Oyaide plug.
 
Moving to the Enigma the overall sound appeared perhaps smoother but possibly with more sibilance.  The sound was likeable but thinner and softer throughout the range.  In some ways first impressions were of vocals a little more separated, possibly more natural.
 
I next played a second hand copy of Donna Summer's Bad girls - side 2 of 4 on the Enigma set up before switching back to my normal set up.
 
Moving from the Enigma vocals were now more projected, more raw (not a criticism/or compliment) but the most noticeable effect was the greater drive and rhythm to the music and apparently bigger dynamics.
 
Before concluding my initial assessment I spun side 4 on my existing before going back to the Enigma to confirm the findings (sounding really good, huge soundstage and very fluid, with great speed to bass lines and tempo/speed changes on 'Sunset People' in particular).
 
On going back to the Enigma using Side 4 the balance was immediately lighter in the bass and less dynamic.  Vocals were projected less with a little sibilance back again.  Donna's voice was 'less raw' and a little smoother albeit conveyed less emotion.  The presentation was now different, smaller with slightly less width and depth, not recessed though.  The overall sound was less engaging (feet stopping tapping and the tempo changes in sunset people had now disappeared) with a lot of the power and impact also gone - more so as the side progressed, albeit very pleasant and lacking any real vices (marginal sibilance apart though vocal on later tracks did lack some known clarity).
 
From what I have heard this evening I do prefer my existing configuration although on balance I will be very interested in tomorrows findings.
 
I have deliberately not looked back at other Enigma comments so as not to be unduly influenced.
I will have an extended session tomorrow evening and this time will use my upgraded mains cables and hopefully then compare the DC Leads assuming time permits.
 
time for bed as work tomorrow Disapprove but cant wait for tomorrow evenings session....
 
 


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 06 Dec 2018 at 11:17pm
Silver interconnects can cause/exacerbate sibilance.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 07 Dec 2018 at 7:04am
I am not sure which silver cables you have tried Ash but I have never noticed that feature with interconnects but will I suppose like most things it will depend on how they are designed.  The sibilence occured WITH the standard mains cables here and NOT the pure silver cables.  

I noticed this (to a greater degree) when switching from the standard cable on my Era Gold/Revelation some years ago also so I know I am not hearing the Enigma at its best (yet).


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 07 Dec 2018 at 11:14pm
Sadly my listening window was closed this evening and by the time I was able to listen I was past it so chose to leave it for the night and have another try in the morning......


Posted By: Drewan77
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 5:43am
Although I have not heard the Enigma Richard, some of your findings sound similar to my own when I flipped over the figure-8 mains lead on a standard PSU1. Only one way sounds absolutely 'correct' to me.

Does the Enigma use the same arrangement & have you tried swapping polarity?


-------------
Older than I once was, younger than I'll be
.............................
Andrew


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 10:04am
Thanks Andrew.  It had occurred to me that the F8 could be a factor but I decided not to add yet another element in to the comparison- my previous tests when I first installed the cables a few years ago provided me with sufficient evidence that whilst there was a F8 difference it was a lot smaller than the cables and on my Elevator the differences were difficult to reach a conclusion on i.e. so small unlike the phono stage.

Since my current mains/f8 has a fixed position I can insert the Enigma in the same config as my current PSU; the only question then is will two PSUs have the same directionality!!!!

I still have the new DC lead to try if I get time also!




Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 10:38am
I have not settled in to some further listening directly swapping the Enigma with my existing PSU and cables.

Assuming the config of both PSUs is the same (which is sounds so) initial impressions are of quite small differences on my Accession MM.

I have at times had to go and look at which one is in circuit (and have left the unused PSU plugged to a spare cable to maintain powered up status).

Whilst I will try again later the Enigma does appear very slightly lighter in balance, perhaps more crack/less punch to the bass (reflecting the reduced weight).

Mid range/vocals are a little different possibly the Enigma is maybe more cultured and refined.

Rhythm, soundstage and fine detail a paper very little different and not enough currently to comment on.

I am currently enjoying both and in some ways reminds me of the types of differences when I changed from my mark 1 to mark 2 Leema Tucana amp though not as prounounced.

Should get a little further time later to update again.


Posted By: Ernie
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 11:16am
Which way round are you plugging in your figure 8 leads? Live to top or bottom?

-------------
There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 1:23pm
Not sure to be fair I settled on one F8 combo some time ago by ear and this is what I am currently using.  I think I am now getting to understand the differences more.

Extending the variety of material has now started to focus my thoughts.

std PSU - bass does appear a little softer, maybe less detailed but certainly a little more weighty.  Presentation blacker in some ways and seem closer to a more spacious soundstage and possibly conveying a fraction more emotion on vocals. Noticed feet tapping more on same tracks.

Enigma - I satisfied the bass is a little tighter, crisper with potentially a little more detail if less power though on balance in my system to my ears preferable.  I am not wholly convinced by the mid/upper and vocal areas.  Whilst I wouldn’t exactly describe as being slightly nasal it does lack the air and space of the standard unit.  Also feel the Enigma does a marginally better job minimising low level surface noise.

Material used - Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Genesis, Elton John, fairground attraction and B52s.

As it stands I could easily live with either -the differences in my system remain very small; you could argue the Enigma provides a slightly more refined, lighter and tighter presentation whilst the standard unit is slightly heavier and has a more open, airy mid and upper ranges.

At the moment I wouldn’t propose upgrading with my Accession MM ..unless the DC cable makes a significant difference in my system at least.

I cannot see I will get the time to try the loan unit on the Elevator but in my system the differences are small and certainly nowhere near the differences the mains input cable and DC lead upgrade gave me.

In this context all my mains feeds have been highly upgraded, from dedicated consumer unit, 10mm twin and earth feed to upgraded wall socket, power HUB and leads to individual devices oh and an earth rod too - suspect the effects may be cumulative.

Will get back after adding the new DC lead but unsure when that may be as have a busy few days.


Posted By: Drewan77
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 1:48pm
Hi Richard, interesting findings & it looks like any differences are very subtle (familiar 'audiophile' words…. 'perhaps, possibly, slightly, maybe, marginally' are used, sometimes frequently!). 

Your posts suggest that most likely my Accession M & Reflex M  wouldn't benefit from one of these.


-------------
Older than I once was, younger than I'll be
.............................
Andrew


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 4:00pm
from my experience probably not Andrew though sure system to system and ear to ear my result in slightly different opinions. Will see if the DC lead makes any difference to the enigma. From others comments likely to be different with the Accession MC 


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 4:08pm
I think the dc lead helps and recommend comparing the combo with the standard PSU1. Most of my testing was with the AccMC, then I used the Enigma and its lead with my EXP. More noticeable on either than the AccM in my system. The Majestic definitely benefitted when I tried that later.

-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: DeadWax
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 4:45pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

In this context all my mains feeds have been highly upgraded, from dedicated consumer unit, 10mm twin and earth feed to upgraded wall socket, power HUB and leads to individual devices oh and an earth rod too - suspect the effects may be cumulative.


Am I understanding that here you are saying that you've upgraded/changed the electrical outlets in your house?


-------------
Andy R
Lincoln, UK


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 6:10pm
yep furutech


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by Drewan77 Drewan77 wrote:

...Your posts suggest that most likely my Accession M & Reflex M wouldn't benefit from one of these.


That's what I originally told people, but some thought it did.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: DeadWax
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 11:14pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

yep furutech
Blimey, was this in response to a specific interference problem you were having, or is this a fairly standard practice to get the best out of a system?


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Andy R
Lincoln, UK


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 09 Dec 2018 at 7:45am
All resulted in my case in significant sonic improvement interference related or otherwise.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 9:36pm
I have now added the Enigma DC lead to the mix.

It is clear that the new DC lead is a good improvement on the standard PSU lead - the differences between the Enigma and my own solid silver are quite small -unlike when I compared mine against the standard one.

These were all used on the enigma and my upgraded mains cable.

The enigma DC lead was a little more forward in the vocal ranges and heavier in the mid bass frequencies - my silver lead was a little crisper, Lighter, tighter and more detailed in the bass mid band with no great notable character.  This appeared the OPPOSITE of the findings of the PSU which led me to believe they may actually compliment one another leaving the combined results very similar??

Using the enigma + cable with my standard PSU + silver DC cable the results were now closer than before.

The enigma vocals were now more forward but perhaps a little more open in the midband.  The standard PSU & silver DC by comparison displayed crisper, maybe dryer bass, vocals marginally smaller but a tad more front to back depth.

My overall conclusions (all with my upgraded mains cable) are as follows:

1) the combined effect of the enigma and own DC leave is little different from the standard PSU with my upgraded DC cable - a little different rather than better or worse.
2) given I found my DC lead made a bigger difference than the Enigma/enigma DC combo i suspect the new enigma DC lead MAY be a worthwhile improvement to the standard unit (and I really like new screw collar on the Enigma/lead!) and I suspect quite a bit cheaper than my bespoke pure silver unshielded lead.
3) my mains inlet Cable provided a far bigger and genuine improvement Vs the Enigma/cable combo and indeed my own DC lead upgrade.
4) from what Graham indicates these results would not be replicated with the Accession MC, so I am not in any way suggesting suggesting these results would be repeated with the Access MC or again with Majestic or any other items.
5) if I ever look to upgrade my Access MM to MC I am sure the Enigma would be the way to go...

Since I am not using my ‘best’ mains cable I will try this with an F8 converter I have as I suspect this will improve my current performance - a very short length version would be similar cost to the Enigma so one for another day I think.

Thank you Jon for the loan provision and will be looking to return these very shortly.


Posted By: DeadWax
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 10:12pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

All resulted in my case in significant sonic improvement interference related or otherwise.
 
Hmm ok so this brief exchange caused me to lose 2 hours of my Sunday once i'd peeled away the first layer of the onion! I really had no idea that this was a thing Embarrassed

I may start another thread as my initial scratching at the surface has left me with way more questions than answers (furutech/tacima/russ andrews... hydra/mains block/conditioner/spur/etc/etc Confused)


-------------
Andy R
Lincoln, UK


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 3:46pm
In my system I could hear the benefit of the Enigma PSU1 and its new cable for powering the Elevator EXP and the Accession MC, any impact on the Accession MM was inaudible to me. The Enigma PSU1 did improve my Majestic's sound IMO.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: msphil
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by msphil msphil wrote:

For the last couple of weeks I have been testing the PSU1-Enigma Power Supply with the Majestic Pre-/DAC and comparing it to its supplied PSU1 Power Supply. As most of you will know the Enigma was originally designed by Graham for the Accension MC, where he found it made a noticeable improvement to the sound. 

Because there is a difference in price between the two PSUs I thought it would be useful to find out how noticeable a difference there was between the two devices. In order to do this I have been running the Majestic using the Enigma PSU for the last two weeks. At the same time I left the original PSU1 powered up in order that in the near future, once the Enigma has had time to bed in, I will switch the cables over and make a comparison.

I am posting this report before swapping the cables over so that I can give you my first impressions. I will then write a second report letting you know how much difference I noticed going back to the original PSU. It is worth saying that although I am trying to be as unbiased as possible any impressions are necessarily subjective and are my opinions only.

Initially I spent no time running the Enigma PSU in. It was completely new and fresh from the test bench. As soon as it was plugged in I did notice a difference. The sound seemed to have greater clarity, was very detailed and seemed to have more space within the soundstage. One was able to position the instruments in a way that I hadn't noticed before. I found this quite inspiring though it was a little clinical.

A week or so later I noticed that there had been a noticeable change. There was an increased warmth and musicality that had begun to appear. I noticed that there was no longer any suggestion of the sound being cool or clinical. Everything seemed to be much more natural, fuller and in its place. On most recordings there was a noticeable improvement  which I found hard to believe and at times incredibly exciting. Everything had taken on a more natural depth and grain without losing any of its detail. The high treble rang hi and clear without any trace of strain or annoyance and while the bass and midrange (as time progressed) took on an individual depth, grain and natural quality which showed the nature of the instruments played and the ambiance of the studio, echo, and the amplification used. There seem to be an air and breath around the vocals which added to the atmosphere of the recordings.

There were some recordings which I noticed immediately became much more interesting and vital. Bob Dylan's song 'Forever Young' was especially exciting. Previously I had not realised what a good recording it had been. I was also greatly impressed by Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach cello sonatas. This had a quality of detail and naturalness which normally only manifests when hearing the instrument played live and close. There were tracks by the Portuguese Fdao singer Mariza there was a depth of silence in the background which added presence atmosphere and quality to the music.

As you can see I have been very impressed and astounded by the improvement that a PSU can appear to make. It is my intention in the next day or so to swap the two units over to find out if or how much I will notice any difference. I will report back when I can. I would also be really interested to know whether other people with the Enigma PSU agree with my findings.

I'm sorry this second stage of my review has taken so long to appear, but things have been extremely hectic with the preparations for Christmas.


After allowing the Enigma about three weeks to burn in I have spent several hours  over the weekend making comparisons between the standard PSU 1 and the Enigma when used with the Majestic. The first thing I would like to say is that they are both excellent PSUs. However, the Enigma (to my ears) is a subtle, though noticeable, improvement over the standard PSU 1.


When compared the Enigma seemed to produce a warmer, more musical sound. Full of detail with the instruments sounding more realistic, tighter and more natural. Above all the Ambiance and soundstage seemed more real and atmospheric. The vocals on many tracks seemed a little more forward when compared with the standard PSU 1. One could almost imperceptibly feel the air moving around the singer and microphone.


My first action was to listen very carefully in turn to a number of tracks that I know very well. I then quickly swapped the input lead over to the other PSU. This allowed an instant comparison, seconds apart. This showed the subtle differences but was revealing with even my wife noticing the difference. After doing this with a number of tracks I then proceeded to play, at random, various pieces of music from one of my playlists one after the other. This confirmed that to me the Enigma was easy to live with and was the one which proved to be the more enjoyable unit when used over an extended period of time. In the end I was left with a broad smile on my face!


As I said before both units are excellent. Anybody would be more than pleased with the results either of them produce. I myself found the Enigma the one I would prefer to live with even if I had to pay a little extra for the privilege.


I hope this has been helpful. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.



-------------
'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 5:19pm
Maybe I should tried it on the Elevator Jon!


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 8:06pm
Indeed! When I was testing the 'beta PSU1' that became the Enigma I let myself consider the effect of a better supply with lower noise, and so I veered towards the very low signal levels of my moving coil cartridges. I spent time trying the beta and standard PSU1's with the top of the range Accession MC (loan unit, since bought my own) and my own Elevator MC, both of which became more natural sounding (well the records did!) to my ears. I spent many hours with these and a side or two with the Accession M which didn't give me enough to judge that really. Casey's work on MM and yours are much more extensive so more valid than mine.

The real surprise for me later was trying the Majestic after Graham and Phil drew attention to the benefits of the Enigma PSU1 on this. I must acknowledge the listening pleasure I have had since buying another Enigma for the Majestic, which turns the best DAC I have owned into an even better musical experience.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 20 Dec 2018 at 9:33pm
I have now had a listening window to try my ‘best’ mains lead from my CD player using a figure of 8 converter plug on both Accession MM and Elevator with my standard PSUs.

Given that the cable I am currently using provided a significant improvement over the standard cable and is already very vapable if expensive the results still suprised me more than expectee. These proved unequivocally an improvement in all areas on both units on all material tried, using some of the albums used on the Enigma trial so was very familiar.

I am not proposing to go in to any detail of my findings but if the Enigma with my Elevator provided anywhere near the level of improvement seen on either unit I would have one tomorrow.

The biggest improvements I would say were on the Accession MM but sure they will be cumulative on both as I have found previously.


Posted By: musicdude
Date Posted: 08 Jan 2019 at 7:19pm
Originally posted by msphil msphil wrote:

Originally posted by msphil msphil wrote:

For the last couple of weeks I have been testing the PSU1-Enigma Power Supply with the Majestic Pre-/DAC and comparing it to its supplied PSU1 Power Supply. As most of you will know the Enigma was originally designed by Graham for the Accension MC, where he found it made a noticeable improvement to the sound. 

Because there is a difference in price between the two PSUs I thought it would be useful to find out how noticeable a difference there was between the two devices. In order to do this I have been running the Majestic using the Enigma PSU for the last two weeks. At the same time I left the original PSU1 powered up in order that in the near future, once the Enigma has had time to bed in, I will switch the cables over and make a comparison.

I am posting this report before swapping the cables over so that I can give you my first impressions. I will then write a second report letting you know how much difference I noticed going back to the original PSU. It is worth saying that although I am trying to be as unbiased as possible any impressions are necessarily subjective and are my opinions only.

Initially I spent no time running the Enigma PSU in. It was completely new and fresh from the test bench. As soon as it was plugged in I did notice a difference. The sound seemed to have greater clarity, was very detailed and seemed to have more space within the soundstage. One was able to position the instruments in a way that I hadn't noticed before. I found this quite inspiring though it was a little clinical.

A week or so later I noticed that there had been a noticeable change. There was an increased warmth and musicality that had begun to appear. I noticed that there was no longer any suggestion of the sound being cool or clinical. Everything seemed to be much more natural, fuller and in its place. On most recordings there was a noticeable improvement  which I found hard to believe and at times incredibly exciting. Everything had taken on a more natural depth and grain without losing any of its detail. The high treble rang hi and clear without any trace of strain or annoyance and while the bass and midrange (as time progressed) took on an individual depth, grain and natural quality which showed the nature of the instruments played and the ambiance of the studio, echo, and the amplification used. There seem to be an air and breath around the vocals which added to the atmosphere of the recordings.

There were some recordings which I noticed immediately became much more interesting and vital. Bob Dylan's song 'Forever Young' was especially exciting. Previously I had not realised what a good recording it had been. I was also greatly impressed by Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach cello sonatas. This had a quality of detail and naturalness which normally only manifests when hearing the instrument played live and close. There were tracks by the Portuguese Fdao singer Mariza there was a depth of silence in the background which added presence atmosphere and quality to the music.

As you can see I have been very impressed and astounded by the improvement that a PSU can appear to make. It is my intention in the next day or so to swap the two units over to find out if or how much I will notice any difference. I will report back when I can. I would also be really interested to know whether other people with the Enigma PSU agree with my findings.

I'm sorry this second stage of my review has taken so long to appear, but things have been extremely hectic with the preparations for Christmas.


After allowing the Enigma about three weeks to burn in I have spent several hours  over the weekend making comparisons between the standard PSU 1 and the Enigma when used with the Majestic. The first thing I would like to say is that they are both excellent PSUs. However, the Enigma (to my ears) is a subtle, though noticeable, improvement over the standard PSU 1.


When compared the Enigma seemed to produce a warmer, more musical sound. Full of detail with the instruments sounding more realistic, tighter and more natural. Above all the Ambiance and soundstage seemed more real and atmospheric. The vocals on many tracks seemed a little more forward when compared with the standard PSU 1. One could almost imperceptibly feel the air moving around the singer and microphone.


My first action was to listen very carefully in turn to a number of tracks that I know very well. I then quickly swapped the input lead over to the other PSU. This allowed an instant comparison, seconds apart. This showed the subtle differences but was revealing with even my wife noticing the difference. After doing this with a number of tracks I then proceeded to play, at random, various pieces of music from one of my playlists one after the other. This confirmed that to me the Enigma was easy to live with and was the one which proved to be the more enjoyable unit when used over an extended period of time. In the end I was left with a broad smile on my face!


As I said before both units are excellent. Anybody would be more than pleased with the results either of them produce. I myself found the Enigma the one I would prefer to live with even if I had to pay a little extra for the privilege.


I hope this has been helpful. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.



Thanks for that very thorough and informative review! I'm going to get me the Enigma in the near future for my Majestic. ClapThumbs Up


-------------
Andy

ProJect Xtension 10 with Clearaudio Charisma V2, Reflex M, Majestic DAC, CuSat50, modified Kenwood DP-8020, Yamaha M-80, Revel F-52.


Posted By: musicdude
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2019 at 10:59pm
My Enigma has been powered up for three weeks now and the Majestic sounds better than ever.
Listening to CDs is more enjoyable than ever. I can't hear any digital nasties as before and no glare. On some CDs I could hear them but with the Enigma it's gone. Most CDs have improved and I can clearly hear more nuances of instruments and voices. The sound stage is much wider, deeper and so much fuller. This was apparent after I put on the first CD. The deep bass is more pronounced and the highs are clear and clean and never annoying. Seems to me the Wolfson DAC is quit power hungry and to show its full potential the Enigma is the perfect partner for it.  Beer I would go as far as to say, if the Majestic and Enigma come as a set for $3000 it would still be a bargain, it's that good!!!
Ordered the Enigma and ten days later it was at my door step. Thanks for the fast service John!



-------------
Andy

ProJect Xtension 10 with Clearaudio Charisma V2, Reflex M, Majestic DAC, CuSat50, modified Kenwood DP-8020, Yamaha M-80, Revel F-52.



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