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A linear power supply design takes a higher incoming voltage and reduces it to a lower voltage using components such as transformers. In very general terms, they tend to introduce less noise into the output power signal, at the cost of increased heat and weight (they’re not very efficient). Many are moving to a hybrid power supply that combines a switcher with a small linear supply or regulator to get the best of both worlds.

Shortcomings with the power supply – too noisy, or not enough – tend to be at the cause of many unexpected problems in modular synthesizers.

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