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

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

  1. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Frequently asked and very misleading question. First, it only makes sense if a DAC in your $60 000 setup has only USB input. It means that you are already running your Porsche Panamera on a $70 a piece General tires. Otherwise, simple experiment: get yourself RPi with Digi+ Pro, solder BNC connector (<$100 for a pack) and use it as source (like Roon enpoint), against any USB chain with 10 decrapifiers. Oh sorry you also need a Canare BNC cable for $20.
    Or buy Eitr. And listen
     
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  2. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    $60,000 setup. Good CDP into a very good DAC coax. Digital? Dedicated digital source. Coax out to DAC. Just my two cents. Why go with USB at this price point?
     
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  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    While @johnjen is a crazy mofo, he's absolutely right.

    I would add:

    The moment you seriously consider paying more for a USB cable than you did for the Eitr, put your mouse clicking hand in your frickin' pocket.

    Then, take a deep breath.

    Final step: Go buy a Lynx AES16e or E22, or go bigger and get a Focusrite Rednet.

    Stop wasting your money fixing USB when there are superior--and ultimately less expensive--solutions out there.

    I don't mean to disparage experimentation or even USB as a whole. I've spent thousands going down the source rabbit hole. I know more than most that you need to prove this nonsense to yourself.

    Gen 5 and Eitr are great. They're as high up the USB ladder as I'd ever recommend going now that they exist, with rare synergy-based exception.

    But even with a Mid-Fi DAC like the Schiit Bifrost Multibit, the Lynx AES16e is better than USB Gen 5 (I currently own both because I needed to hear it for myself on a Schiit DAC).

    If you can afford a Brooklyn, Eitr, and $600 USB cable, sell all three and buy a Schiit Gungnir Multibit or something else to your taste.
     
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  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    One step further. a $60K system that doesn't work properly? Or is fed by a noisy laptop. This is what I don't get about big-money audio buyers.

    There is a first and necessary premise about crazy audio digital stuff: that it is difficult to transmit data which represents music.

    But this is a slippery slope, and one that has led to departure from audio forums in the past. I'd rather remain on peaceful terms. I did buy one of those hifimediy isolators, years ago, and no, it didn't work very well. I can afford ten-dollar experiments. Perhaps those who earn a hundred times what I do simply add two zeros to their idea of affordability. Fair enough.
     
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  5. johnjen

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

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    Yeah but, I'm Really sincere in my crazy mofoness.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JJ
     
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  6. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    @Kattefjaes I just recently got around to sending it back to Schiit to have the USB looked at - my Gen 2 board was in fact broken. I decided to get the Gen 5 upgrade and extend the original factory warranty. No more Doodlebug or Wyrd. Plug and play, and no driver BS with Linux.
     
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  7. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    for the most part I agree - USB via Gen 5 is getting close to SPDIF via coax on my Gungnir Multibit. If you're still using USB in a $60k setup, you're doing something really wrong. But to put a little differently, if something kinda esoteric and highly debatable, like a $150 power cord into the Gungnir Multibit, or a $40 fuse, or a $150 SPDIF iFi purifier thingy (that admittedly prolly doesn't do shit on Gungnir Multibit), or $100 USB/coax cable, gets one (subjectively) pretty close to Yggdrasil-level planktons, I'd consider that $40–200 well spent compared to the $1000 difference in component upgrade cost. Especially when you consider that you're taking a bit of a bath selling the used Gungnir Multibit in this case - so maybe call it a $1200–1500 difference for new/warranted gear. One other thing, too, is that most goofy little relatively inexpensive tweaks can be used on other components, so there's opportunity to transfer footers, cables, fuses, whatever, to other better gear if there are synergies. But, as many have said, fucking around with USB is pretty pointless now with Eitr/Gen5.

    Just don't misread this as condoning $2k cables on a $1.2k DAC. Or cardboard under trafos. There's a middle ground that for some can be beneficial/enjoyable. But others that just want to listen to music at the end of the day don't need any of that crap.
     
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  8. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Strange. We haven't heard from our vinyl advocates yet. I would have thought they would have said, forget digital. Get a turntable. ;)
     
  9. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    For more than 1m length I got a decent, reasonably priced cable from Ghent Audio. 2m USB is $35. Sounded the same as the PYST 1m to me into Gen 5 USB.
     
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  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Discussion is nowhere near the budget yet!
     
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  11. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Did you have driver BS with linux? I thought that belonged to the world of Windows, with their long, long, neglect of support of USB Audio 2.0 meaning that manufacturers had to supply theire own drivers. Maybe variable quality of those drivers might be a problem?

    I've been out of the window world for a long time now (in versions, since XP!) so I don't know how things are there now, but I recall Schiit being not too polite about MS just a few years ago.

    My huge pain, when I went Linux, was that I was using a firewire device at the time. It was like trying to build a house out of dry sticks in hell! It all came together in the end, by finding a version in which firewire audio was actually made to work properly. It was only subsequently that I switched to USB. I never had any very real problems with it, although I do think that USB-powered devices benefit from those cables that are made to charge the phones mentioned earlier... ie, to spec.
     
  12. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    ... or was it built with DSD in the first place. Upsampled via software or native, doesn't matter. What matters is that DSD has to go to my DAC. That's the machine I use daily. If I could, I'd gladly ditch USB, yet it is what it is. Point being, in such cases USB is a necessary evil I have to roll with whether I like it or not. And yes, this DAC has SPDIF in, but it passes data to its PCM engine and that's not what this device is all about. DSD is.

    So yes, it's safe to say that my d/a converter has only USB viable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  13. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    If you are into spinning discs, that's the legit way of doing this. Yet if you aren't...

    Being fully aware of how good these sound, I'm not going back to CDs and the same story goes with vinyls. When I think how much money I'd have to spend on a turntable, a tonearm and a cartridge, a major headache happens. Maybe one day, when I'm awfully rich.
     
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  14. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Oh wait... now I remember that does it work with Linux was, and may still be a question with some equipment. Any software control of features often rules stuff out, because, hey, Linux and Mac versions only. And then.... non strict compliance by the equipment manufacturers sticking some proprietory shit into their USB.

    Yes, I'd forgotten that stuff. But when I last browsed such things, I was seeing USB Audio 2 compatible on more stuff, and occasionally, Linux gets a mention. Which I appreciate is tough for the manufacturers in another way: so many repos, so many configurations. So many potential customers screaming You said it worked with Linux! But hey, standards, right?

    Twp boxes I'd be interested in if rich: The RME thing and the Lynx thing. The ADI-2 Pro, as far as I know, works with Linux. The Hilo [still?] does not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  15. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Yes, not a game changing thing to do but final touches here and there. I agree, this should be done when everything else is in check.
     
  16. Ali-Pacha

    Ali-Pacha Friend

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    No torough comparisons down here, but I feel Gen5 on my Yggdrasil has a bit more bass / is more rounded all around than the AES input fed with Lynx AES16 (non "e"). Lynx / AES setup still keeps the edge on techicality / details.

    Ali
     
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  17. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    @Thad E Ginathom Windows 10 with latest updates does usb audio2.0 as well now. You still have to fuck with drivers if you want asio though.
     
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  18. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    @Thad E Ginathom No issues with Linux per se. For whatever reason, my Gen 2 USB stopped working with Linux. It was craptastic with W7 as well. Schiit took care of it - super awesome customer service and turn around. Working perfectly with with latest and LTS kernels now.
     
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  19. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    I bought a Moon Audio Black Dragon balanced cable to go with the Utopia, but not because I had any expectation of improved sound. Reasons were -

    A good aesthetic match (nothing wrong with aesthetics)
    Maybe less micro-phonic cable scratching noises.
    Lack of patience/time to make my own, and I can appreciate something that is well made.

    Think of it like buying a sports car and finishing it off with some cooler looking wheels, or a flare item. Sure there is that promise of .1% x, y, z tangible improvement, but there really is nothing wrong with just wanting to upgrade a bit because someone does. I only take issue when someone really believes adding a racing sticker is going to make the car go faster ;)
     
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  20. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Even that is excusable as long as someone does not write about it one of the "respected" automotive magazines :p
     

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