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PC power in and cleaning up USB out -advice for newbie


Norton

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while not completely new to this site, I want to continue my mucking about with PC-based audio.

 

story so far, I bought a Zotac 1320 fanless barebones PC, installed 4gb memory and a 128gb SSD, Linux mint and JRiver.

 

Everything worked fine with PCM and DSD - however whether playing into my Oppo 105 DAC or into my Hugo, the sound was just not as good as using the Oppo as transport. I've since got a Bryston BDP which has vastly superior SQ into the Hugo on USB.

 

However I'd like to try again with the Zotac - even with memory and SSD it's a sub £200 PC so maybe mediocre performance is not unexpected. From what I've gleaned on this forum, I'm guessing that power in and USB out are things to be easily improved.

 

I'm presuming that third party supplies from Teddy Pardoe etc would be an easy fix for power in but am not sure what to do about USB out, given that there is no expansion for a SOTM card etc.

 

As far as I am aware, neither of my USB DACS are powered via USB, so I'm not sure what benefit other products from ifi or Schitt would offer, as they seem to major on improving the quality of USB power, rather than removing it from the signal.

 

I like the idea of turning off the USB power as per SOTM card, but can't see any external solution that does this. I'm also aware of a cheap filter that Rob Watts recommends (forgot the name) but also that it doesn't work with hi res.

 

Any recommendations re improving both mains power in and USB out? Thanks.

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Lot's of us have heard improvements using external units like the iFi or Schiit Wyrd.

 

The cleaner power may improve the sound, as the dirty power can negatively effect your USB receiver.

 

Also iFi and others make USB cables that give you a signal without power.

 

You can also just use tape to block the power legs on a standard USB cable.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Lot's of us have heard improvements using external units like the iFi or Schiit Wyrd.

 

The cleaner power may improve the sound, as the dirty power can negatively effect your USB receiver.

 

Also iFi and others make USB cables that give you a signal without power.

 

You can also just use tape to block the power legs on a standard USB cable.

 

Agreed.

I don't know about the 105 which has a Linear PSU, but the 95 and 103 definitely improve with these approaches.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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