USB Nervosa Thread Decrapifiers, pro interfaces, and bears oh my

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by zerodeefex, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    UPDATE 7/18/2017:

    Need better computer audio?
    1. Buy a Schiit Eitr or a Schiit DAC with USB Gen 5
    2. Still have money? Buy a pro audio (Lynx PCIe) interface, Rednet, etc.
    3. Still want to spend more? Go on a nice vacation with your loved ones.

    DEPRECATED:
    Things to do to improve your audio over USB:




      • Try using linux if you can. MPD is awesome. Don't use optical on a mac. Don't use optical on 70% of random motherboards.
      • Does your DAC cost less than $1000? If so, sign out of this thread. Don't come back. Enjoy your music.
      • Do you have an Yggdrasil? If not, buy one before continuing. If you don't have the money, don't waste it on random USB defuckifiers outside of maybe the Wyrd.
      • Try the Wyrd first.
      • Do you have an Yggdrasil yet? If not, sign out of this thread. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
      • Have an yggdrasil and still unhappy? Don't buy the regen. It's a downgrade. It sounds different but after a while with speakers you'll understand what I'm saying when I say it's a downgrade. Get the Lynx E22. The Mutec 3+ might be good, but until Marv, Christian, or I get to listen to one, I am going to remain skeptical.
      • Still unsatisfied? Buy a house. Get married or find a life partner. Have kids or adopt some pets from the local shelter.
      • Still unsatisfied and those little rugrats haven't bled you dry? Want to indulge your audiophile nervosa? Move to vinyl. Come with a big ass wallet. Expect to start with a "modest" $1000 setup and slowly spend more over time until you wake up with a $2000 cart in one hand, $10,000 in tubes for your pre based off some RCA design from the 30s in the other, dried wood glue all over the side of your face, and "azimuth" tattooed on your ass.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    FatCat, Koka, taisserroots and 62 others like this.
  2. Smitty

    Smitty Too good for bad vodka - Friend

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    USB decrapification is hard, which is why I've been looking at switching over to AES to feed my Yggdrasil. I can get a good AES PCI-e card for under $1k, butthe only good USB to AES converters are all in the $1.5k and up price range.
     
  3. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    Seems like it would be more practical to try a USB card with an LPS for ~$400 total first.
    http://www.sotm.sonore.us/SOtM3.html
    http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=190397.0

    Back on topic:
    Thanks for this. I have negative impressions of AmirM due to his ceaseless arguing with Arny Kreuger from Hydrogen Audio, bickering over tiny amounts of jitter in the HDMI protocol etc etc...However, the measurements are interesting. If there was a reduction in jitter we could say "Sure, but can people hear it?" But an increase is likely to suggest that differences might have more to do with "different" rather than "better."
     
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  4. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    Very interesting. The Regen did a great job of power filtering, then a not so hot job with jitter.
     
  5. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    Heres PS Audio DAC designer Ted Smith's insights of how these USB widgets works:

    http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/bugs-uptones-and-regens/
     
  6. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    I don't even understand what he's talking about. Some new PS Audio device that he won't name and they aren't selling?
     
  7. mickeyvortex

    mickeyvortex Friend

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    It took me a while as well. I used to subscribe to "Paul's posts" but its an elaborate marketing "scheme". I don't think its a bad idea per se but it can get suffocating knowing what the true objective is.
     
  8. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    Take anything that Ted Smith or Paul says with a hefty grain of salt. Paul usually doesn't go too far afield in his blog posts (based on what I remember from the brief time I read them) but keep in mind it's a man who sells power conditioning products that cost more than most people's total systems. Ted Smith's excerpt seems fairly sensible but none of us would know that unless we were DAC designers, and it may in fact be BS. He presented his approach to DSD and the Direcstream DAC as if he had cracked the matrix so I approach him with skepticism.
     
  9. Judeus

    Judeus Almost "Made"

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    Auralic Aries seems like a interesting product too.

    To be honest I think this usb decrapifying thing is just another audiphool fad.

    The reality is if your dac has a properly designed usb input, (Schiit gen 2/3, xsabre come to mind) you really don't have worry about it. If you have a DAC where you do have to worry about it you mine as well just upgraded instead of pouring your money into usb magic devices.

    It reminds me of the ac regeneration fad, if your components have well designed power supply it really won't matter.


    Edit

    Only exception being usb powered dacs, then the difference is pretty clear
     
  10. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    Judeus,
    based on your statement, since the Regen helps generate a better USB signal from my iMac 2009 into both Gungnir DS (when I had it), and Yggdrasil- the Yggdrasil and Gung are not "properly designed"?

    have written this elsewhere but to summarize:

    the iMac 2009 I run has noise on the USB lines, could hear it in EVERY DAC+Amp combo over the years:
    (no music playing, crank amp to full volume, hear the low static crackling away)
    BifrostUber + A2/Lyr1/Lyr2
    Gungnir DS + Lyr 2
    Yggdrasil + Lyr2

    put the Regen direct attached to GungDS or Yggdrasil, and crackle static is gone from the now black background.
    never mind that the Regen presented a clearer musical delivery, to the point it felt like the amp knob was up a slight click.
    bass snappiness was improved also.

    the worse the USB SOURCE might be, is a reason to get a Regen- as much as a purported not properly designed DAC.
    there is no magic.
     
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  11. Judeus

    Judeus Almost "Made"

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    That more refers to my edit about usb powered dacs, honestly, ive never had a computer with that bad of usb ports that have that poor of power lines. If so though the problem would be equally solved with a 10 dollar powered hub as opposed to a magic usb decrapifier. Id rather just use a different source entirely though.

    Audiophiles like to create problems that don't exist. This onslaught of USB decrypting magic devices is one of them. When in fact a good usb implementation on a DAC is only bested by very expensive transports. I've said it before, if you think usb is so bad use coaxial out of a dap... Oh wait then people say "but that sounds terrible compared to usb!!" oh okay buddybuddy.

    This all being I own a wyrd and I use it with my Yggdrasil. Why? Because I don't know, I just do cause I enjoy the geekery of the hobby, I know it probably doesn't do anything for the sound. And I plan on buying a iusb3.0 to test out.

    I have a problem with people claiming magic and profound differences a 50-175 product can make on a 5000+ setup.

    Chang and superfriends isn't who I'm referring to. People hear are pretty realistic about these things. I'm more referring to computer audiophile and Headfi.
     
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  12. Judeus

    Judeus Almost "Made"

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    Also the fact that some of these products actually Reduce objective performance of the dac like the jitterbug and regen is pretty hilarious.

    Audioquest in general is an absolute joke of a company. Everything they do is hilarious go read their white paper on computer audio, apparently the faster your hdd the better the music sounds! I still laugh at the fact that they recommend putting a passive device like the jitterbug in used ports to improve performance :rolleyes:
     
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  13. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    Although the Corning Optical USB cable wasn't intended as a product in the audiophile market, I have heard quite a big improvement to sound quality pairing it as the input cable to my Schiit Wyrd. This is driving a Yggdrasil DAC.

    I think you have to look at your audio setup as a whole. Some people are using laptops or other noisy power sources in loop and will get more improvements from USB widgets but those on self powered DACs that already have very good USB design and power source will hear less improvements?
     
  14. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    My 2¢
    When I added a Wyrd to my PWD mk I-II the results were (along with the use of a audiophool usb cable that was cooked) that this data path into the dac was superior to the ethernet path I was using previously.
    Up until this time the ethernet data path was clearly better by all the factors I use to know what IS better.

    The changes were very similar to what could be described as analog colorations.

    But the biggest and absolutely required change was that the usb path matched or improve upon the amount of inner details as well as the other factors I use to determine what IS better, vs. just a difference.

    I was surprised at the coloration shift, but VERY gratified that I could use the USB data path as this enabled me to use the DSP function within the Media Center player.
    Mucho better in many ways.

    JJ
     
  15. kn19h7

    kn19h7 Rando

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    While an USB hub may improve digital signal quality/jitter/etc on bit/packet level, most likely it also adds latency to the USB linkage.
    Consider how asynchronous usb works (DAC as master), its actually not surprising to see worse jitter measurement on the final analog output.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  16. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Why do those with noisy computers. laptops, etc, simply change them?

    After far too long of messing around trying to fix it, I finally admitted that DPC Latency made my previous PC useless for Audio. (well, it worked with the onboard, but not the other audio interfaces I had) so it got chucked (given to a poor student).

    It's not an audiophile thing, I hate the audiophilication of computers, but it is a simple, all-too-audible-to-anyone (in the case of crackle, dropouts, etc) that not all computers make good audio machines. Trying to correct that by buying other components is just throwing money in the wrong direction.
     
  17. 7Ryder

    7Ryder Friend

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    FWIW, the Regen measurements on WBF weren't done using the short connector. This connector is the preferred connection per the manual, but Amir used a short USB cable instead which is only supposed to be used if physically you can't use the short connector. Connected this way, it isn't as effective which is why he got the measurements that he did.

    I don't really care what the measurments show, I happen to have two Regens and use one on my Yggdrasil and the other on an Ayre QB-9 DSD and I have noticed improvements on both using the Regen.

    As for Amir, he may be a smart engineer http://www.madronadigital.com/about/About.html but he runs a business where people pay tens of thousands of dollars (and much much more) for home theaters and audio systems in their homes, yet he doesn't have a showroom where these people can listen to the gear before buying -- I guess everything sounds the same so why bother...:rolleyes:
     
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  18. firev1

    firev1 Friend

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    Idk on Amir but John's compliant usb measurements are fishy imo. Anyways I posted on CS on measurements I did with the Wyrd. Kinda same method as the one on WBF http://firev1.blogspot.sg/2014/11/schiit-wyrd-does-it-work.html I can borrow an Ifi from my friend but I really need to get my 1 channel of EMU0404 fixed and tested first to validate anything.
     
  19. kn19h7

    kn19h7 Rando

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    Wow, is that Kurosawa Rin in your avatar?

    The ODAC is synchronous, while Meridian Explorer in another test is asynchronous. Both are interesting data on their own :)

    Would like to see how ifi perfroms as well, since its usb3 hub and iirc they claimed something about grounding..
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  20. TraverS

    TraverS Rando

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    I'm interested in Ted Smith's quote.
    Does anyone here know how the signal is handled in USB PHY? I'm curious since I've learned a bit about signal modulation in communication class, analog signal modulation not digital though.
     

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