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The Big Eurorack PSU List, Update 3.0

An article to help you find the right PSU for your system

HannesHannes

If you’re looking to buy a PSU for your DIY case, or searching for a replacement, I might have some info for you!

UPDATE 1 (July 2015): the list has been updated with the Mean Well P50A13D-R1B, a more skiff- and beginner-friendly counterpart to the popular RT-65B that comes as an external power brick with 5-pin DIN connector.

UPDATE 2 (September 2015): the list has been updated with the Synthrotek Deluxe Power.

UPDATE 3 (January 2016) lots of new info added by John Loffink, see end of article for a complete changelog.

First, a little background

In the past I have been repeatedly doing some research to find the most appropriate power supply solution for my eurorack modular. While on the search, I collected all of my findings in this thread over at the Mutable Instruments Forums and later also on Muff Wiggler. The list started to grow thanks to other forum member’s contributions and suggestions, turning what started as a simple discussion, into a long list of possible choices.

To make this list accessible for everyone I decided to collect all this info into an online document, which can be accessed through the link at the end. Despite this list being pretty long, I’m sure there’s probably even more solutions out there, so please feel free to add links and specs in the comments

Some general thoughts and guidelines

  1. If you’re not very experienced, please avoid anything that will involve mains voltages (remember it’s up to 230V, depending on where you live). PSUs like the Meanwell RT-65B need to be connected directly to mains, which can be a risky thing if you’re not sure what you’re doing. There’s safer PSUs out there, which will work with external 12-15V power bricks.
  2. If you search online, you’ll find a lot of people arguing over switching vs. linear PSUs. To make the long story short, the main advantage of linear is that it delivers a more stable current, the advantage of switching is low heat dispersion and better efficiency. There’s a couple of really good switching PSUs out there, like the aforementioned Meanwell, but there’s also some pretty bad ones, so be careful when choosing. The side effects of a bad switching PSU can be ripple noise and high minimum load requirements. If the minimum load is not met, this might result in modules going crazy, especially digital ones . To work around this problem, some PSUs like the Tip Top uZeus will let you add some resistance to the circuit, so it will work even if you only have a handful of modules to power. Others, like the Tracopower one I’ve tested, won’t. So check the specs before buying.

Which PSU type is good for me?

First of all, let’s see what the main types for modular cases are:

  1. Self-enclosed switching PSUs (e.g. Meanwell RT-65B), these need to be connected to the mains directly
  2. Self-enclosed linear PSUs (e.g. Doepfer PSU2), these need to be connected to the mains directly
  3. PSUs with external power bricks (e.g. Tip Top uZeus)
  4. other types of PSUs (e.g. Elby Designs ED126), including power distribution boards with built-in PSUs

Which type of PSU is right for you might depend on many factors, but here’s some suggestions:

The big PSU list

The Big Eurorack PSU List on Google Docs

Chagelogs

Update 3 – January 2016

Doeper DIY Kit 1/10/16 – updated details, no internal only switching version
Doepfer PSU2 1/10/16 – updated details, separated new unit to PSU3, added PSU3 line item
Synthrotek Deluxe Power 1/5/16 – confirmed switching
4ms ROW Power 30W 1/5/16 – type unknown, 1/6/16 note on type, AC & DC external lumps
4ms ROW Power 40W 1/5/16 – type unknown, 1/6/16 note on type, AC & DC external lumps
4ms mini power 1/5/16 – Deleted, not on web site
1/5/16 – added Intellijel TPS80W
Intellijel TPS80W 1/5/16 – switching, details.
Elby Designs ED126 1/5/16 – linear, 1/6/ 2016 updated details, price
Elby Designs ED111 1/5/16 – linear, 1/6/ 2016 updated details, price
Elby Designs ED122 1/5/16 – linear, 1/6/ 2016 updated details, price
TRACOPOWER – TXL 035-1212D 1/5/16 – switching
EOWAVE DIY PSU 1/10/16 – updated to switching, added details.
FC Power DIY 1/5/16 – Linear type, wall wart and regulator details in description
Acidlabs PSU module 1/5/16 – Linear type, wall wart info
HBB15 1.5 AG 1/5/16 – updated note for sources, description
Hinton Instruments PSUs 1/5/16 – added multiple details
MFOS Wallwart PSU 1/5/16 – added linear, regulator part numbers
MFOS LM317/LM337 Supply 1/5/16 – added linear
Erica Synths PSU 1/5/16 – updated linear, name, details
1/5/16 – Froze top row and two columns
1/6/16 – added Pittsburgh Cases
1/6/16 – Added Zeus Studio Bus, 1/10/16 updated detailes
1/9/16 – added Make Noise Skiff, 1/10/16 added measurements
1/9/16 – added 4ms cases
1/10/16 – added Monorocket cases
1/10/16 – added Goike cases
1/10/16 – added eowave case

Thanks to all Mutable Instruments and Muff Wiggler forum members who have contributed to this list with their findings and feedbacks! Thanks for John Loffink for taking this list to a whole new level of completeness!

Cover photo by Elizabeth Busani

Graphic designer, illustrator and modular synth enthusiast. Founder of Papernoise, a small design studio located in northern Italy, specialised in graphic design for the world of music.

Comments 8
  • JDK
    Posted on

    JDK JDK

    Reply Author

    • Hannes
      Posted on

      Hannes Hannes

      Reply Author

      Oh you’re right, thanks for the suggestion!


  • Phil M
    Posted on

    Phil M Phil M

    Reply Author

    I’ve found the best supplies to be the PowerOne units. I am currently using the HDCC-150W-A supplies. Each is powering 6U @168HP. Extremely clean, excellent regulation, overcurrent protection, OVP on the 5V line, and remote sense. These are for the more experienced DIY’er that is comfortable and qualified working with mains voltage.


    • Hannes
      Posted on

      Hannes Hannes

      Reply Author

      I don’t think I have those in the list… will have to research them.


  • Tuukkis
    Posted on

    Tuukkis Tuukkis

    Reply Author

    Hey there! Any suggestions for a high quality, well regulated 12V power brick for the Synthrotek 5A DIY PSU? The one that I currently have seems to have some serious issues with grounding.


    • Hannes
      Posted on

      Hannes Hannes

      Reply Author

      What PSU do you currently use? If it’s just a 12V (only positive voltage) then the Cincon used for the Tip Top Zeus PowerBus could work well.


  • Tuukkis
    Posted on

    Tuukkis Tuukkis

    Reply Author

    Thanks for your reply!

    The transformer that I have right now is this: https://www.adafruit.com/product/352

    Reading the Muffwiggler forums, a lot of people are saying that there are some issues with 0V when using those switched power supplies. I was planning to try with another transformer that has a 3-pin connector to the outlet, and the model I bought was this: http://www.dx.com/p/suny-12v-5a-ac-power-adapter-for-rc-lithium-battery-balance-charger-black-100-240v-us-plug-237132#.V5xDO45kJJE

    It hasn’t arrived yet, so I can’t say if it works better or not.

    Do you think that the Cincon transformer would work better than these two?


    • Hannes
      Posted on

      Hannes Hannes

      Reply Author

      The Cincon is what is used for the TipTop PowerBus PSU boards, apparently it was designed by Cincon in collaboration with TipTop to assure a decent audio performance. Switching power bricks like these always have high ripple and noise values, a good PSU like the aforementioned TipTop “cleans up the juice” with filtering. Not all PSUs do a good job at filtering out the noise from the switching power bricks though.
      This said, there’s those with higher and lower noise&ripple values, checking the specs on the official documents might give you an idea of how they compare. Personally I would only trust MeanWell and Cincon for these, and Cincon seems to be better than Meanwell from what I’m told.
      This said, it might be worth a try contacting Synthrotek direcly about it. They have certainly tested their PSU with different power bricks and can give you an advice.