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Ferrum HYPSOS - Part 1

18.02.2021 // F.C. Gallowsky, D. Sommer

I've been looking forward to this test for over a year. During the development of the HYPSOS hybrid power supply, the first-ever Ferrum product, I was in constant contact with the developers. I was able to test an HYPSOS with beta firmware back in September. However, the impressive listening experience didn't make the wait any easier.

So, just before the turn of the year, the time has finally come. The Hifistatement editorial team received two copies of the new Ferrum HYPSOS. I am very pleased that one of the two hybrid power supplies has landed with me. After the first impression on the last development metres, I simply didn't want to miss out on a test. A second power supply unit was delivered to Dirk Sommer. In this article you will read both his and my verdict on the HYPSOS. It's no secret that Dirk's stereo system puts mine in the shade by a long way. But that's precisely why it's interesting to examine the PSU in two completely different set ups and on devices in different price categories. We also arranged a Skype interview with Marcin Hamerla, CEO of HEM and founder of Ferrum.

Marcin Hamerla and his team at HEM are not unknown in the hi-fi scene. The company based near Warsaw is the manufacturer of Mytek. The Mytek's converters are very much appreciated by the editorial staff. For example, a Mytek Brooklyn DAC + is permanently playing in my chain. A Brooklyn Bridge, a Brooklyn AMP, and a Liberty DAC were also on test. A Manhattan DAC II plays in Dirk Sommer's living room chain. By producing Mytek devices, HEM has accumulated a wealth of experience that is not limited to converters. As a result, the creation of Ferrum was only a matter of time. HEM's new, proprietary product line offers room for innovation and fresh ideas. The first of its kind is Ferrum's HYPSOS hybrid power supply. It is supposed to combine the best features of a switching power supply and a linear power supply. It is an ambitious goal. After all, a purely linear power supply is the optimum for hi-fi enthusiasts, at least so far. Whether this will change from now on, you can find out in this article. Variable output voltages of five to 30 volts at up to six amps or 60 watts speak for themselves. But how exactly switching and linear power supply come together in the HYPSOS and what other special functions it offers, we will let Marcin and the head of the development department explain in an interview later.

The HYPSOS scores with a simple and straightforward design and has a clear product identity thanks to the logo and iron plate
The HYPSOS scores with a simple and straightforward design and has a clear product identity thanks to the logo and iron plate

Ferrum, the eponymous element iron is not only found in the product logo, which contains the element abbreviation for iron from the periodic table, but also on the front of the power supply unit. The backlit logo is framed by a rust-red iron plate and unmistakably marks the HYPSOS as a Ferrum product. Marcin Hamerla's father worked as an ironsmith. Moreover, the Polish composer and piano virtuoso Chopinwas born not far from Warsaw in the small village of Żelazowa Wola. Żelazo means iron in Polish. The name Ferrum was therefore very obvious. It simultaneously transports a personal memory and a reference to an outstanding composer, thus to musicality itself. With the logo and iron element on the front, the power supply is a real design piece and not just a block that one would prefer to hide behind the rack. With its dimensions of around 22 by 20 by 5 centimeters, it has an identical footprint to my Brooklyn DAC +. Therefore, this invites you to place both devices on top of each other. In terms of temperature, this should not be a problem. I did not notice any disturbing interference in the converter. The front also has a centrally placed display and a rotary encoder on the right-hand side. On the back, there is the power connection, a USB socket for firmware updates, and a 3.5-millimeter jack as a trigger input. In addition to a quick start guide, the scope of delivery includes a power cord and two DC cables for connecting the power supply unit to components: one with a 2.5-millimeter plug and a second with a 2.1-millimeter plug. Both cables are a good 50 centimeters long and other configurations are available upon request. The cables stand out as unusual in a positive sense. You do not expect the usual thin DC cable with cold-pressed plugs, but a rather thick cable with four wires and a solid, self-locking plug for connection to the power supply unit itself. The connection cables perfectly round off the extremely high-quality haptic and optical overall impression of the HYPSOS.

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