Superpower step response compared to other regulators

How does Superpower compare with other voltage regulators? See the oscillograms below and judge for yourself. All devices were tested using datasheet recommended application circuits, all devices have a 100F output capacitor and use the same input supply. All were measured with 12V out except LT1086 (5V), LT1117 (5V), LT1585 (3.3V). A 1A current step was the test, except for one regulator that rated to 250mA.

Superpower 12V, 200mA step

Superpower 200mA step response

This is SPJ78 12V delivering a 200mA current step. This is for comparison to the Burson LNR regulator at right. Note that flatter is better—an ideal regulator never varies from its specified DC output voltage.

Superpower 12V, 1A step

Superpower 1A dynamic response comparisonSuperpower delivering 1A into 0.1 Ohms, bottom trace is load voltage. The top trace shows Vout transients, which are nearly invisible at 0.1V/div. Compare this oscillogram with all those to the right and decide for yourself which you prefer.

Burson LNR 12V, 200mA step

LM1117 1A dynamic response comparison This Burson device behaves more like a resonant circuit than a regulator. Even though it's rated to 250mA, it does not stabilize to 200mA within 240msec, and takes over a full second to settle back to 50mA. Notice the vertical axis for the top trace is 0.1V/div vs. the other scope photos at 0.02V/div.

Dexa/NewClassD UWB 12V, 1A pulse

NewClassD UWB 1A dynamic response comparison The NewClassD is a good regulator with clean, fast dynamics. Compared to Superpower, notice the slow leading edge of load current.

LT3080 12V, 1A step

LT3080 1A dynamic response comparison The LT3080 is a relatively new adjustable regulator. It has very good transient response, almost as good as the LT1585. There is a slight rise after the positive going edge that appears to be a thermal recovery tail but that may also be due to the test circuit. See a special note below on LT3080.

LT1086 5V, 1A step

LT1086 1A dynamic response comparison The LT1086 has a relatively quick transient at the leading edge of applied load and an ugly settling transient on the trailing recovery edge.

LM1117T 5V, 1A step

LM1117 1A dynamic response comparison The LM1117 shows dynamics similar to the LT1086, even though an examination of their data sheets shows a different error amplifier and output schematic. There is a slow transient at the leading edge of applied load and an ugly settling transient on the trailing recovery edge. This device also requires a 2.5V overhead for dropout.

LT1585 3.3V, 1A step

LT1086 1A dynamic response comparison The LT1585 is billed as "low dropout fast response" and it does have the best performance of the monolithic devices. However, you can see that the Superpower is faster with cleaner leading and trailing edges. Note also that the maximum voltage for this regulator is 13V.

LM317 12V, 1A step

LM317 1A dynamic response comparison closeup
The LM317 is still a great design after 40+ years and does well against most of the modern regulators. With a by–pass capacitor on the adjust pin it performs well. This one has relatively slow edges on both falling and rising edges of the current step, and comparatively slow recovery from 1A to 50mA load.

LM7812 12V, 1A step

LM7812 1A step response
The LM7812 remains a decent regulator. This one has relatively large overshoot and slow recovery on both falling and rising edges of the current step.

Special note about the LT3080

Some time in 2012 we had a meeting with a Linear Technology Inc. saleman and application engineer about something unrelated to voltage regulators. They properly did their homework before the meeting by visiting our web site and mentioned at the outset a concern about us having a competing interest. After allaying their concerns the app engineer said something like "Your comparison pages have mostly older regulators, why don't you compare to a more recent regulator design?"

Of course he was fully justified with this remark and we decided to make a comparison to the LT3080, for which Bob Dobkin, Linear Technology's Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, received a Product of the Year award from Power Electronics magazine in 2007.

The LT3080 is a great monolithic regulator. In addition to its good electrical performance, it can be easily paralleled on a PCB to source higher currents. It was with some trepidation that we plugged it into our test sockets to compare with Superpower. Ultimately we were happy with the comparison results, and after the most recent improvement to lower noise, Superpower compares favorably well in this specification too.

After reading our patent, Mr. Dobkin emailed to say "I can see how it [the Belleson regulator design] will have excellent specs and is a neat way to make a regulator."


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A PCB and parts list for building a compact dual positive or positive+negative power supply are on this new page.

Transformer Calculator!

Use the Belleson Transformer Calculator to calculate the minimum Vrms voltage of a transformer for your Superpower based supplies.

It's Official

We're proud to announce the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent 8,294,440 to the Superpower design.

Use the Superpower regulator in...

  • Headphone amps
  • DACs
  • Buffers
  • Clocks and reclockers
  • Preamps
  • Microphone preamps
  • Phono stages
  • Phono motors
  • Tube preamps and input stages
  • Line powered guitar effects boxes
  • Anywhere an extremely clean, quiet, dynamic power source is needed