As a software-controlled platform, Hypsos sees itself as rather future proof. Its present features impress already. It starts by combining linear and switching elements to harness the strengths of either for low noise, fast transient response and high efficiency. Sweet-spot tuning you saw mentioned already. There's also a trigger port to wake up an attached device via its own standby command and compatibility with Apple's TV remote. Pre-configured settings scroll through a library of likely device candidates. The extra power-sensing cable poles claim to eliminate the effects of cable resistance for better transient response while automatic transformer voltage adjustments and protection against over-voltage/current and dead shorts create peace of mind. It did rather all read like a perfect go-faster mod for us nutty lads at the hifi race track. I couldn't wait to take Hypsos for a spin. With it and my speakers both from Poland, wouldn't I have PolskiFi squared? I've long thought of Poland as Europe's other Germany whose resourceful people share the Teutonic work ethic. On paper, Hypsos certainly ticked off those boxes. It also looked ultra contemporary and compact. That's not easy to do for a plain power supply. Would it give my Midi 150 boxes that overdrive injection I didn't even know they secretly dreamed of?
Another firm which believes in hybrid power supplies are music-server specialists Antipodes Audio of New Zealand. In our recent review of their S30 & K50 models, chief engineer Mark Jenkins opined that "linear power supplies are fundamentally quieter but also lazier than switching equivalents whose higher speed can audibly profit specific sections of digital circuitry". His solution is to combine both. Meanwhile Manley Labs have switched exclusively to Bruno Putzeys-designed custom SMPS for their tube gear because, among other things, those supplies eliminate the power line's 50/60Hz hum and its harmonics to make their electronics quieter. The aspect of Hypsos I couldn't wrap my head around without further intel from its designers was its Variac-style adjustable DC output.
The parts which make up a Hypsos front panel.
One usually expects best results from circuity with a fixed reference voltage. Think of premium voltage regulators like Teddy Pardo or Belleson super regs. Post power transformer, those deliver discrete non-fluctuating voltages to various sub circuits. But Hypsos steps proudly out of line. It advertises variable precision voltage as its unique selling proposition. How could variability and peak performance coexist? How does Hypsos accomplish its anything-between-5-to-30V trick to better its fixed elders?
I sent Fram designer Jarek a link to the above and got back that "as the Americans say, no fun without risk. This will be an excellent test! The boys from Ferrum will do their own and try my Midi 120 minis with their PSU on Tuesday. I'm very curious about their impressions and yours." Here you see my current Midi 150 setup on the desktop. It's simplicity itself. A Win7/64 HP workstation outputs USB to an Audiobyte battery-powered Hydra X1 reclocker. Via coax that hits the speakers, via BNC the COS Engineering H1 DAC/pre for headphones. In her smaller upstairs atelier, my wife runs Midi 120 off a vintage 160GB iPod's S/PDIF in a ProJect dock. Don't fix what ain't broke. Hypsos would go there as well.
While I had Jarek's ear, a mandatory question was what if any escalation of his 24V/5A value the Midi 150 and 120 would tolerate. Why stress out parts beyond their intended tolerances to begin with? I certainly didn't want acrid smoke signals or shorter life expectancies. From the Greek, "hypsos is a philosophical concept comparable to the modern concept of the sublime; or a moment that brings oral speech to an astonishing and monumental pause. Its root hypso literally means 'aloft', 'height' or 'on 'high'."
Sublime would be fantastic. So would struck deaf if it be me and not the attached components. "According to my Texas Instruments data sheet, their maximum allowable voltage is 30V, maximum recommended 26V. I will test all this in my lab because the Texas IC has lots of protection circuits inside. Those will probably kick in well before anything burns. I have other doubts but let me check everything step by step. A Midi 120 parcel is waiting on Monday's courier so Ferrum can test it in Pruszków on Tuesday. I will test some spare Midi electronics when my Hypsos lands in Kraków. So no worries. You will have all the necessary info to conduct a safe review." Properly resourceful, nothing left to chance.
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