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JZatopa 13th December 2012 08:08 PM

Which PS for my zen
I recently picked up a diy zen amplifier that is missing it's power transformer. I have an amp with a EI transformer I hooked up to test the amp but I don't feel like cannibalizing one amp to make this one complete. Now I am a crossroads. Do I buy a transformer and just complete the amp or for about the same money do I try a resonant SMPS like the one here or reviewed here. Has anyone done a good write up comparing the same amp circuit on a linear and SMPS PS? Considering that a later modification to the zen amplifier series is a regulated PS, I would think the SMPS would be a great way to go. Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

JZatopa 16th December 2012 07:14 PM

Wow, 100 views and no reply?

vdi_nenna 16th December 2012 07:43 PM

Get a 25v 300-400va Antek with shield. You cant go wrong.

Antek - AS-3225

Antek - AS-4225

6L6 17th December 2012 02:54 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestion of a shielded Antek. They are fantastic.

However, the SMPS is awfully interesting...

I don't think you can make a bad choice.

JZatopa 17th December 2012 04:48 AM


Originally Posted by 6L6 (
I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestion of a shielded Antek. They are fantastic.

However, the SMPS is awfully interesting...

I don't think you can make a bad choice.

Lol my problem restated perfectly.

vdi_nenna 17th December 2012 11:49 AM

The SMPS might be overkill, and will have to be perfectly quiet. The Zen circuit is sensitive to PS noise, that's why the coils were added in version II.

JZatopa 17th December 2012 07:27 PM

output ripple is also below 200mV for >35V - is this low enough? I don't know how to figure out the circuits psrr and correlate that with a power supply's noise/ripple.

vdi_nenna 17th December 2012 09:42 PM

DJNUBZ, I"m not trying to convince you, but you have to consider that one might sound better or different than the other type of PSU, regardless of the ripple.
It's like comparing CCS to resistor to choke loading. In a simple circuit like the the Zen, they will all sound different.

JZatopa 17th December 2012 10:13 PM

I understand they will both sound different. If I expected them to sound the same, I would just buy the cheapest. I was hoping that I wouldn't be the first one going down this path and that someone could give me some anecdotal information. My hunch is that SMPSs have reached the point of outperforming linear PSs when properly built. They generally have low output impedance and can source current very fast. I am still very much an amateur though so I don't want to end up spending money on the SMPS to find out that it is to noisy to use or has some other issues I am not able to overcome.

If I had the money to spend I would buy an smps and build a linear one to a/b. I still could do that using the transformer from my other amp I guess. I am leaning towards the smps but want to be 100% sure I am not tossing the money out the window as I would have no other use for it currently.

6L6 17th December 2012 10:44 PM

Reading your original post again make me as a question - Because you have cannibalized a different amp to get the Zen working, why don't you get the SPMS and determine in which of the 2 amps the linear sounds better and then where the SMPS is better.

This way you get to mess with 2 amps and get twice the experience with the SMPS.

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