Author Topic: Switch! in line  (Read 5632 times)

Offline msch997

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2021, 05:04:37 PM »
I use a sOTM SMS200 EVO before my DAC, It is supplied with a normal switching power supply.  It was upgraded first to an iFi iPower and then to a Croak LPS.  Each upgrade provided a positive improvement.  Definition/ Clarity.

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2021, 06:21:30 PM »
This afternoon the Watts Switch returned with the Wyred for Sound linear PSU. Much to my relief as I could have merrily blown the thing up through arrogant stupidity:

Pierre had sent me the Switch with a specific warning: Do not use this Switch with a PSU that has the negative DC point connected to earth, it will destroy the Switch. Now listen, this WFS PSU cost a lot of money. Surely they would not do that! Pierre also encouraged me to experiment with earthing the Switch's chassis. I did and every single LED on the Switch lit up. I quickly pulled the earth. I kept measuring a voltage between the Switch's chassis and my system earth. Pierre asked again: "Are you sure the DC negative is not connected to earth?" Reeman and my Tech scratched heads. I was in a panic: Had my, carefully planned, earth arrangement a fundamental flaw that may well kill me, or worse, blow up my audio equipment?

The answer was simple: The Wyred for Sound PSU does connect the earth to the negative DC pole. Idiot me! Earth duly disconnected (By the ever suffering Garth) from the dc but not from the WFS device,  everything was reconnected in the proper way and earthed as suggested. Mercifully, I had caused no damage. The lesson, to me, is as simple as it is powerful: In audio, as in life, never assume anything!

And yes, the iFi iPower is a remarkable gadget. It costs $50 or so ( Sorry Francois, I have had this from long before AE became the agents) and is a definite upgrade over the standard supplied SMPS found in many computer/audio gadgets. However, at more than 10 times the price, a proper linear power supply remains my preference.

After a 36hour hiatus, I am delighted to say that all my conclusions about the sound stand. It was not my psyche, the weather or whatever. The Pierre Watts Switch remains a remarkable achievement
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 06:27:26 PM by Agaton Sax »

Online oradba69

Switch! in line
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2021, 06:28:06 AM »
Going a bit off-topic but since we are currently talking power supplies. I have long been the Trichord agent in SA(passed it on Guillaume but he never had the chance to start marketing it so may just restart selling it) and am using their Diablo as my phono stage. Their 'never connected power supply' is an interesting power supply unit and makes a huge difference to sound quality.

https://trichordresearch.co.uk/diablo-power-supply-options/
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 06:41:30 AM by oradba69 »
Manufacturer of Audio Video furniture.
http://www.lerange.com

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2021, 09:21:55 PM »
Come on. Say you don't want one!






Offline naboo

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2021, 06:56:59 AM »
It sure does look nice, it's so weird to see made in RSA proudly displayed on electronics.

How thick is the metal?

Offline FranZAR

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2021, 09:11:59 AM »
Come on. Say you don't want one!






Very nice. Pierre be Watts, who be Voltage?

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Exclamé 150|Whisper|Croak SL1200|SP10|Moth Audio MK808|Sumiko Pearwood|AuraLic|Cardas|Sonor Claro

Offline AlleyCat

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2021, 10:38:25 AM »
Well done Mr Watts!
"Not everything meaningful is measurable, and not everything measurable is meaningful" - Floyd Toole

Online johanhp

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2021, 08:20:39 AM »
Come on. Say you don't want one!






I want one

Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk


Offline pwatts

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2021, 09:09:39 AM »
It sure does look nice, it's so weird to see made in RSA proudly displayed on electronics.

When I did the graphics design it looked weird even to me.
Truth be told, the primary reason I put it there was to emphasize to the international community that the time and transportation costs etc. are a bit more challenging than had it all been made in Europe, Asia, America.. or well any continent except ours.

How thick is the metal?

1.5mm steel with a 3mm aluminium heatsink/sub-chassis and engraved acrylic faceplate. Total weight 1.1kg so at least when using thick cables it doesn't topple over.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 09:15:19 AM by pwatts »

Offline pwatts

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #54 on: September 20, 2021, 09:11:45 AM »
I want one

I want one too - demand got so high that the one I originally reserved for myself is now allocated too. Three also had to be completely built by hand using the last scrapings of materials, any further ones will take minimum 36weeks just for the core switch IC to arrive, let alone everything that has to happen afterwards to end up with a finished product.

Offline pwatts

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #55 on: September 20, 2021, 09:14:19 AM »
Very nice. Pierre be Watts, who be Voltage?

At the moment it's a placeholder for whatever happens in the future, be it a technical or commercial entity.
I do credit Achim with coming up with the name though :)

Online johanhp

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #56 on: September 20, 2021, 10:44:45 AM »
Looks like a good opportunity if demand is that high.

Keep me in mind if you decide to do this again please.

Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk


Offline Agaton Sax

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2021, 07:33:00 AM »
I feel I owe it to @pwatts to conclude this.

It has been a while since Pierre's prototype Switch was here. I ordered a final version and set about preparing for its arrival. These "housekeeping" measures improved the sound of streaming music to such an extent that I started wondering: Is it really going to be worthwhile? Did I really hear what I thought I did? Finally, my recent encounter with Apple Lossless Streaming directly from my laptop to DAC made me wonder about my allegiance to Roon. I mean, an expensive Switch before the laptop is surely not going to make any sonic difference?

E2B5F259-1CA7-4FC5-9CD1-B0B60EF1A18B_1_201_a by jdza, on Flickr

Finally, the Watts & Voltage Topaz Audio Grade Switch arrived.  Pierre sent a few instructions on things to try. I was not looking forward to fiddling again. Fortunately, it took exactly 15 minutes to settle on (I hope) the final configuration. Any doubts I had about its effect and how to set it up were promptly settled as the sound of a few notes only was needed to make a definite choice.

So how does it make difference?

Ssh,Quiet

You know the old hackneyed sayings about trees falling in a forest, one hand clapping etc. but how does nothing sound? In the early days of digital(and solid-state) people often referred to black backgrounds, sound popped from an inky blackness etc. Yet that very blackness is a colouration of its own. A black cloth masking other evils. You can't hear it but you can hear when it is gone. The Watts Switch does that, strips that black mask to show what is underneath. Of course what is underneath in digital is nothing but no longer do we have a painting of a damnation scene with the arms and heads of the lost grasping from a black sea, no they are just grasping from nothing, amputated arms and heads floating in the aether. Mad, aren't I?

 Marte Argerich and Friends is a superb recording where the sound of the acoustic instruments swell from a sea of absolute quiet. This makes for the riveting purity of sound. On the other hand, Moby's recent album Resume is deliberately noisy. There are hisses and hums underpinning the music. Almost as if he is doubting the strength of the production and prefers to anchor it in a foundation of noise. Maybe capture the magic of 1971? This same reliance on noise and distortion can be found on the soundtrack to the film Donny Darko. The Watts Switch allows those distinctions with absolute clarity.

But it is so big!

I remember this aspect from the prototype Switch. I get the noise thing but this size thing I can not understand how that is achieved.  Sonic images just become huge. This is not the ten feet wide head that big speakers (Infinity, big Maggies etc) can produce. Rather it is swelling that can thrill and in quite a few cases scare. . My speakers are big, really big but sometimes I find the sound disappointingly small . However, in Analogue the sound can sometimes bloom and swell which can be totally magical. It is that aspect that digital reproduction always lacked here. Not anymore. One of my often visits is Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball' Amongst the hard-driving instruments, her delicate voice can sometimes appear lost. However getting to "Waltz Across Texas", for the first time her voice rose and rose until I almost felt threatened by the shear size . Bob Clearmountain's superb production Of "woman in Chains" from Tears For Fears' superb album has  Roland Orzabal's solo voice enfolded and cocooned by the phenomenal power of Oletta Adam's entry. Shear Magic

Needls and pins

It is probably related to the lower noise levels but I am hearing detail, I have never heard before. Buzzes, hums, instruments being knocked, little yelps of feedback, promptly squashed

The Watts Switch is not inexpensive. It costs Euro 500, to which must be added a similar amount for superior PSU but right now I can think of no way I can spend a similar amount anywhere in my system that will deliver even a fraction of the results. Yes I use it in line with Croak's Switch, no I have not listened to it without G's Switch in line and lastly, no, I have not compared the 2. But Then I don't have to, Guillaume started on the path but Pierre took it further, much further.


Offline pwatts

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #58 on: September 25, 2021, 05:58:51 PM »
As it now is concluding the production phase, I feel I also owe a few people some gratitude, Oscars-style.

1) Agaton Sax, for being my guinea pig and be willing to poke and prod around a dog-eared initial prototype instead of listening to his beloved analog records. Had it not been for his feedback I would have never invested the amount of time and capital into this venture.

2) Ghostinthemachine for the mechanical construction. It admittedly had a fair amount of growing pains, stresses and misunderstandings but in the end it worked out and on schedule and a next round, should there be one, shall be far easier. It also changed from just a utilitarian rectangle into something appeasing to the eye. Thanks Dewald!

3) My good friend Achim for offering to introduce the units to commercial entities, agreeing to mule the units to Europe in his luggage to avoid lengthy shipping delays and coming up with the W&V name. At first I was not a fan but now I quite like it.

4) Last but not least, Guilleaume who encouraged me to pursue a custom design based on his successes with hot-rodding commercial switches and some guidance of what would tickle audiophile fancies. How I wish he was here today to offer further input and enjoy the result.

For further background, no 500EUR is not cheap. That is relative though, as a small-scale sophisticated digital device built with quality materials in a time of massive shortages it's peanuts compared to what cables and power supplies that will be used with it cost. Also, had it been sold as a commercial venture the price in its current guise should be at least 2000EUR. For commercial usage a combination of cost-cutting and retail price increase would be required to be both profitable and competitive. And this is the whole purpose of this exercise: building a small batch and giving them at near-cost to a selected test audience with the finest ancillary and alternative equipment for comparison. Based on the feedback it will be established whether a more serious commercial attempt is feasible.

Regardless how it ends though, I shall never forget that it all started one sleepless night on holiday in Paternoster last December when I idly began editing an old industrial design; never thinking that it will end like this.

Offline handsome

Re: Switch! in line
« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2021, 09:28:06 AM »
Stunning!
Suggestion: next batch should say "Designed and made in RSA"