I am pleased to announce that Audio Therapy is now an authorised dealer for Plixir!
I’ve a lot of information about the brand and what they do on the main Plixir product page, but essentially they manufacture a brilliant range of the Balanced DC power supplies and Balanced AC conditioners, more will follow on the BAC units in due course, but for now I am focussing on the DC supplies.
DC power supplies are quite commonplace these days with many different bits of equipment utilising them, they are inexpensive, light in weight (cheap to ship as a result) and accept a wide range of incoming, the downside to all that is the quality of components are generally very poor, they pollute AC mains (affecting other equipment), all they have do is simply work, but invariably they will be holding back the performance of the connected product, supply it with clean, regulated and noise free power and well, the difference is there to be heard!
All Plixir DC supplies are designed with the above flaws taken into account, plus they have superb noise specification and safety aspects as well. With the Elite Balanced DC power supplies there is no signal ground noise injection and no ground loop problems, however the downside to this design is the transformer needs to be doubled in size to deliver the same power hence the larger size and weight. There is 2 stage voltage regulation, the first stage removes the majority of the noise and also removes the heat from the second stage voltage regulator. This 2 stage design effectively acts as a barrier to prevent pollution upstream to AC mains and Plixir refer to it as the ‘brain and brawn method’. The pre-regulation stage (the brawn) handles most of the issue mentioned above and isolates the actual regulator stage (the brain) from these ill artefacts. Free from negative influence this allows the voltage regulator to be able to perform optimally in terms of noise, slew rate and output impedance.
They make a fairly extensive range of DC supplies but I am only carrying the bits that are relevant, the list will grow in time though.
Elite BDC 12V 2 amp – 1 output (£500), suitable for Melco N100, S100, D100, Exogal Comet, etherRegen, SOTM.
Elite BDC 12V 4 amp – 2 outputs (£850) power 2 devices at once, e.g, Melco N100 and D100
Elite BDC NUC 19V 4 amp – 1 output (£750) designed specifically for Intel NUC and Roon Nucleus
Elite BDC Chord MScaler 15V 4 amp – 1 x 2.5mm output (£800) designed specifically for the Chord MScaler
There is also a more basic range called Elementa, they make a 5V version with a micro USB adapter perfect for a Chord Qutest DAC for example, this is £400.
As you can see there plenty of options. If you have a Melco S100 or N100 for example the single output 12V, 2 amp model at £500 is perfect. The 4 amp dual output version is ideal if you are running 2 devices in your system (providing those 2 items don’t exceed 4 amps), but there is also a 6 amp version available as well which is £950.00
I’ve spent some time with a couple of different BDC models, powering an S100, a Roon Nucleus and an N100, in different systems and all together and I’m pleased to report in all cases each BDC model offers an fairly instant and obvious improvement to overall system performance.
Streaming Qobuz to the Vitus RI-101 mk2 DAC module via the S100 always sounds excellent, but with the S100 powered by a BDC the presentation had a really nice uplift in clarity, there was more detail and resolution but it was never forced in the way it was presented. Running with this BDC in place for a few days and switching back to the S100’s standard supply and the differences were quite obvious. A Vitus RI-101 and an S100 never sounds poor to be fair, but it was certainly more enjoyable and engaging with the BDC in play.
Much the same occurred with the 19V BDC connected to a Roon Nucleus, when using Roon I always find the Nucleus and the Intel NUC very sensitive to improvements (Stillpoints and Entreq spring to mind here) and adding the BDC was no exception. The Nucleus is connected to a Gibabit port on the S100 and I ran the S100 with and without a BDC connected to it and in both cases playback from Roon was better, simply more engaging with greater clarity. Roon is processor intensive and you can really make it sound a lot better.
Lastly I connected a Melco N100 to a Gold Note DS-10 DAC (via USB), connected to 2 Gold Note PA-10 power amplifiers and to be fair it was simply more of the same. With the BDC connected up the N100 become more open sounding with better resolution, the improvement had as much to do with what you couldn’t hear as what you could, that old hi-fi cliche of an inky black background was very evident here and the soundstage become more solid and 3 dimensional. In the context of a £2000 Melco being used with a £2300 DAC the £500 power supply is a really cost effective upgrade.
If you have use a piece of equipment that operates on a basic DC power supply there is certainly scope to take the performance up a level or two with a Plixir power supply of whatever form it may take. We have a selection of DC products available for home demonstration as well, please get in touch for more information. Plixir also produce a range of brilliant AC models called Elite BAC – more to come on this range in due course.