[sdiy] Opionions on Switchmode PSUs for analog synths?

Neil Harper metadata at gmx.com
Wed Oct 30 21:45:24 CET 2019

so i'm putting together a new diy modular system, it's been over a
decade since i built my last ones. my knowledgebase is firmly in the
horowitz & hill era, so my previous psu was an lm317/lm337 based affair
that took a 16VAC wallwart to power.

that psu worked fine, but i'm noticing the 16VAC wallwarts are
increasingly hard to find, almost impossible in europe. more of my gear
is now coming with a switchmode dc wallwart and an internal switchmode
power supply to generate internal bipolar (+/-12VDC) supplies.

i was always told that switchmode power supplies suck for audio, so
taking a switchmode dc wallwart and then putting it into another
switchmode powersupply seems like it would be a recipe for noise - but
this seems to be what is inside almost every product now. the forgiving
input voltage range (9 to 18VDC for example) is very appealing and so is
the availability of dc supplies.

there's a lot of these encapsulated supplies, delivering +/-12VDC:


anyone successfully using these things in synths? how are they comparing
to old school rectified linear regulated power supplies? what's your
favorite pizza toppings? are you doing anything special on the rails to
filter for switching noise, etc?

/// Neil Harper
/// Every Wave is New Until it Breaks

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