Volent Audio Custom LPS for MSB DACs
A fellow headfier informed me of a company that is known to produce some very good custom linear power supplies for the MSB Dacs. After some initial research on the matter I found out that his products are highly regarded by lots of the msb dac owners which also bought these LPSs.
Some say that it sounded even better than the Signature Power supply upgrade from MSB. Unfortunately I cannot confirm this as I didn’t have one to test it side by side with the custom LPS from Volent Audio.
After talking to the fellow headfier that introduced me to this manufacturer, I decided it was worth taking the plunge and test this product, so I exchanged some emails with Ben Lau the owner of Volent Audio. Ben was very helpful and quite fast in his responses. He was very informative and easy to talk to.
He also informed me that besides the 4 rcore output transformers that he usually uses for the LPS for analog dac, I can also opt for an additional isolation transformer which reduces noise and isolates the circuit from the mains. Basically, I it does the same thing as the Isolation Base from MSB.
Ben is the one that makes the actual LPSs and he seems to be a very big fan of MSB dacs. He has years of experience with them and tailored the LPS after lots of time spent with these dacs. He uses a big R Core isolation transformer which isolates the dac from the noise found in the mains. After this isolation transformer he uses 4 more R Core output transformers for each individual voltage set.
The LPS has a very sturdy build quality having a thick metal case. It has a 42 cm x 31 cm x 7 cm (L x W x h) respectable size and it’s not lite at all.
It’s quite impressive when we look inside of it. Ben proved to be very clean and meticulous in his work.
Listening impressions and tests
The tests were performed with MSB Analog DAC with quad usb, Custom LPS for Analog DAC made by Volent Audio, Audio Gd Master 10, Xindak A600 Integrated Amplifier , Piega Premium 5.2 Speakers, Audio Gd Master 9 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD800, HiFiMAN He-560, Schiit Wyrd & Sotm TX-USBexp , Neotech Pure OCC Silver XLR interconnects, Kimber Kable Silvear Streak RCA interconnects.
I won’t get into details as I usual do on a bunch of songs but going to get straight to the summary of improvements.
The bass was one of the very first things I’ve noticed to substantially improve with the this LPS. It received more extension but also more details and better texture. It actually managed to put more meat on the bones of the sounds without making any compromises at all. The bass is just amazing with this LPS. I clearly noticed this big improvement on both headphones and speakers. It’s that kind of bass than gives you the feeling of being pushed or pulled in with the extension. I just love it!
The midrange became even more emotional than before. The instruments and voices are more alive, detailed and rich bringing them to another level of enjoyment.
The treble is just as bit as detailed and sparkly as before but a little more natural and less sharp than with the default power supply.
The voices are considerably more natural, more guttural and better textured, being fuller, cleaner and more present in the same time. The LPS improves an already strong point of this DAC and makes the voices even more magical than with the stock power supply.
Transparency & Background
The sound is just crystal clear, it flows with a hypnotizing fluency that transports you inside the very heart and soul of the music. The background should be called “blackground” as it is pitch black. It’s just you and the music and nothing else matters.
Soundstage & Holography
The soundstage becomes larger and gains space especially in width and depth. This was not a small improvement as the stock lps sounds flat compared to it. The scene decompressed even more than I expected. If I close my eyes I can see the sounds layered in a 3d holographic space with many layers and pinpoint location accuracy.
The attack seems to have more impact than with the stock PSU and the decay is better and more naturally extended. When I’ve switched to the stock PSU I’ve felt that the sounds ended too abruptly in an unnatural manner.
Couldn’t have believed it until I heard it but the tonality improved to an even more natural state. Everything is closer to real life, from instruments to voices. It’s even easier to close your eyes and live the music.
Because of the more natural tonality, more natural transients and the fuller bass, the sound also gained in musicality. The songs are even more enjoyable and you can listen for hours and you might still find that you did not get enough.
Is this a worthy investment? This is up to each and every one of you but I certainly found it worthy. I think that it is a pity to have Analog Dac and listen to it with the stock power supply when you can get so much more out of this DAC. Now, is it better than the power supply upgrades from MSB?
I cannot tell you that as I didn’t have the chance to compare them directly. However, the LPS from Volent Audio also includes the isolation transformer and has the same functionality with the Isolation Base from MSB which costs another 2000$ to which you would also have to add 3000$ for the upgraded power supply.
Consider that you can get this custom LPS for approximately 800 EUR, I say it’s definitely a bargain and must have if you want to get the most out your DAC.
- Excellent bass with deeper extension, more impact, texture and detail
- Even better and more emotional midrange
- The treble is more natural but still very extended and detailed
- Superb voices with better textures, presence and tonality
- Excellent transparency and pitch black background
- Superb larger soundstage with better holography
- Excellent transients with more impact on attack and better, more natural extensions on the decays
- The tonality is more natural and closer to real life
- Better musicality
- Nothing I could find