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Split USB cable for battery power source isolation?


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I'd like to try isolating USB power for the Audioquest Dragonfly as I think this would help. The iFi USB power device is a good concept but to my thinking, I could do what it does much cheaper with one of the USB sockets on my Ankar battery if I had the appropriate USB cable. Before I go to the trouble of cutting and splicing two A USB cables to cut out the PC power and use the Ankar, I'm wondering if anyone can point to already made cables?

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I'm just leery of a hub adding degradation. I did find an Elijah premade cable on the web to the tune of $115 but before I spend that a proof of concept test is reasonably cheap. Bought two generic cables last night, a A-B ended USB cable and an A ended extender USB cable.

 

Step 1: cut the power leads (red/black) inside the A-B USB cable. I'd been really curious whether this would help the LiPo powered JkMkIII asynch USB converter... tried this and it did, eliminating raspiness on vocals. Used some tape on the power leads of my better USB cable and there was a palpable sense of reduced background dither on low volume signals. So while I still prefer my DLNA setup, USB cable power isolation looks to be a worthwhile tweak for those that can indepedently power their asynch USB converters

 

Step 2 tonight, will cut the A end off the cable from step 1 and see what happens after I splice it in to use battery power with the dragonfly and cut out power from the PC. Total cost for test cables $27, Ankar battery I already have, purchased for about $50

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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After 1 misstep I was able to get this to work. Seems the Dragonfly needs PC, battery and dragonfly black ground wires all tied together for the dragonfly to boot up. Initial impressions on my gaming PC are that this has eliminated a lot of irritants in the sound....was listening to Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies" using the dragonfly on this machine last night and hated it as hard and edgy. Now its easy to listen to although boring since this isn't a media optimized PC.. even so the bass shines. On next to the upstairs media optimized server.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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More out of curiosity than a real solution.....is it possible to adapt one of those generic Y USB cables by taping over the power drawing pin as described in another thread? Would that force the auxiliary power lead to take the primary power role? If it works I realize it would be very low-fi, but it could be useful for sound testing or a better-than-nothing temp fix.

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More out of curiosity than a real solution.....is it possible to adapt one of those generic Y USB cables by taping over the power drawing pin as described in another thread? Would that force the auxiliary power lead to take the primary power role? If it works I realize it would be very low-fi, but it could be useful for sound testing or a better-than-nothing temp fix.

That makes perfect sense if you have a Y USB cable with all "A" type ends. Didn't see one in the store though.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I was just thinking of it as a $15 experiment, not a permanent instal.

I'm just leery of a hub adding degradation.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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So repeated test with my optimized media server and got similar results. The digital artifacts that cause a "fingernails on chalkboard" type reaction with digital are greatly reduced... basically stuff that obscures the music is not present on battery USB power with the Dragonfly and digital noise irritants are eliminated. FWIW all my listening was done direct into the dragonfly using Hifiman HE-400 headphones. However cable quality still matters, the cheap generic USB cable caused music detail loss compared to plugging the Dragonfly direct into the PC, little different from my experience in needing a better cable for my old asynch USB converter. Given how much I hate cable shopping and that I already have a USB cable I like, the Ifi USB power device is beginning to sound like a better idea at $200 than the Elijah cable at $115... allows you to choose/change your USB cable. Hope to see it on sale.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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