Ripples

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Ripples
Ripples are a mixed bag. They are gently welcomed in a pond, not good when it comes to branding wine, and definitely unwelcome in a power supply. Power supply ripple is what we get when looking at the filter capacitors in a supply. Here's a picture of it. What would be perfect is for the red line to be straight. Note in the picture the dashed lines. That's the output of a diode rectifier used in all power supplies of any kind to separate + from - in an AC voltage (like what comes out of the wall socket). The red line is the result of adding big capacitors to the supply. Each capacitor acts like a battery, charging up as the dotted line rises and releasing that stored energy as the dotted line falls back down. The bigger the capacitors, the greater the storage, the lower the ripple. When, in the early 2000s, I was thinking hard about improving performance in all products, I toyed with figuring out a way to increase the power supply caps inside a unit externally. I knew that we could get dramatically better sound if we could add a big bank of extra power supply caps. Ripple would be lowered in direct proportion to the number of caps added. The goal was great. The practicality of that idea was out the window. No one wanted to open up their amps or preamps and attach wires for an external box. Not only would it be dangerous it was about as clunky as it comes. My good friend and (at the time) director of engineering at Northrup Gruman, Doug Goldberg, had a better idea. "Since you already make a regenerator that generates a new AC wave, why not extend each cycle's charging time?" Bingo. Look at the picture again. Note how the red line only appears at the top of those dotted lines. That is because the incoming AC has to reach a fairly high level before it can charge the capacitor (because the capacitor is already mostly full). Now, imagine changing the shape of the AC wave so that the peak (where it is charging the capacitor) stays on longer. Longer charging time, lower ripple. Doug had just invented MultiWave. It's why all Power Plant owners can instantly improve their connected equipment's performance and sound quality at the press of a button on the remote. Power Plants are more than just impedance lowering devices. Here's a flashback video if you want a good laugh.
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Paul McGowan

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