What about "Super Cap" power supplies?

Super Caps were engineered to have a high micro-farads storage capacity in a small package. That is what makes them "super." They were engineered to keep CMOS memory in computers during power brown outs. There were never intended for use as a permanent battery bank in audio equipment.

As Super Caps discharge their output voltage changes significantly. This means when the charging controller switches between the discharged and charged banks, the fully charged bank of Super Caps will have a significantly higher voltage than the discharged bank. This results is a "saw-tooth" pattern with sharp peaks and valleys.

In contrast, a linear power supply has constant voltage with relatively subtle ripples (noise). It requires far less additional filtering to remove the subtle ripple in a linear power supply than to remove the deep saw-tooth pattern coming from a dual-bank Super Cap power supply.

Also, Super Caps have poor durability. There expected life is roughly 3-years. Now you know why the best of Super Cap power supplies are never warrantied for more than 3-years. In contrast, a properly engineered linear power supply will last for decades.

And in the end, what you are really listening to is the final regulator that fixes the output voltage and polishes any remaining ripples from the DC power. Most Super Cap power supplies use inexpensive low-noise IC regulators that only have modest levels of performance. Mojo Audio uses Belleson ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic regulator modules - the finest regulators in the audiophile industry. Not only is their noise remarkably low, their dynamic response is <10uS from zero to full current output assuring incredibly clean and stable DC power regardless of ever changing current requirements.

But what sets our Illuminati series of power supplies apart from nearly every ultra-low noise power supply in the audiophile industry is our input choke filtering. By adding a choke between the rectifier and first capacitor of a power supply the crest factor, heat, and parts wear are reduced by literally 50%. The choke also acts as a reservoir for power and pre-regulates the DC doubling the efficiency and effectiveness of each consecutive stage of filtering. Choke input power supplies have been the gold standard for roughly 90 years. Their only disadvantages are higher cost, larger size, and additional weight. No Super Cap power supply uses choke input.

Super Cap audiophile power supplies are just a gimmick. If Super Caps were actually a good way to provide low-noise DC power than why are they not used this way by the military, aerospace, and telecommunications industries?


Don’t batteries have the purest DC power?

Though better than the inexpensive switch-mode power supplies that come with many audio, video, and computer products, battery performance can’t compare to the performance of an ultra-low noise linear power supply.

Batteries use a chemical reaction to generate DC power, and each chemical reaction from each type of battery has its own audible noise signature. This is why a specific type of battery, such as LiO4, sounds better than another type, such as SLA. The noise level of a battery also changes significantly during different phases of the discharge and recharge cycle, making batteries an inconsistent-sounding power source as well. And then there's the additional expense of replacing batteries every few years.

Batteries also have much slower dynamic response than linear power supplies, so they don't respond as quickly to changes in current requirements. Their slower dynamic response results in batteries making music sound slower, less dynamic, and less articulate when compared to a linear power supply.

If battery power has the lowest noise, then why do the military, aerospace, and telecommunications industries only use them for portable devices and uninterrupted AC power supplies (UPS)?


What is the difference between a linear and a switching power supply?

Switch-mode power supplies (SMPS) are in wall warts, external brick style power supplies, and all computers. The advantages of SMPS are that they are significantly smaller, significantly more efficient, operate with much less heat, and are significantly lower cost to manufacture. Smaller, cheaper, and more efficient...what's not to like?

The disadvantages of SMPS is they have significantly more noise than linear power supplies. The best SMPS have peak-to-peak ripple (noise) roughly equal to the most basic of linear power supplies. But ripple is not the only noise SMPS produce. They also radiate inductive noise that can be picked up by cables and components in close proximity. And they dump noise onto the common AC ground that pollutes the power of any component plugged into the same AC circuit.

Also, when compared to high-performance linear power supplies, SMPS have very slow dynamic response. When reproducing music, slower power supplies sound awkward and less liquid, restrict dynamic passages, mask micro-details and micro-dynamics, and distort the time and tune.


How does an ultralow-noise power supply improve computer performance?

All computer communication works on a system of checks and error correction (check sum). If a packet of data doesn’t pass the check, a new packet of data is sent to replace the original. The lower the power supply noise, the fewer bit read errors, the fewer errors to correct, and the greater the system resources.

When you free up system resources with a cleaner power supply a computer will perform as if it has a faster processor, faster storage drive, and more RAM. When a low-noise power supply is used with a computer-based music server or streamer the result is more liquid and articulate sound, combined with greater depth, detail, and dynamics. 


Are there any options with your power supplies?

To power USB devices (reclocker, regenerator, or converter) and other low current components our power supplies have an optional second regulated output that is selectable for 5V, 7V, or 9V.