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USB Disruptor


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Kilroy, the principal is important to consider: dirty power from the computer's 5 volt line leaks into the sensitive analog outputs of your USB DAC. Highly engineered and expensive USB cables - I've seen them priced as high as $4000 - will reduce the noise so audible differences can be discerned. USB cables treat symptoms of the problem. USB Disruptor cures it.

 

USB Disruptor running with a certified USB 2.0 cable is the gold standard. Spending any more, IMO, is only for cosmetics and workmanship, not fidelity. After all, the job of a USB cable is to transmit data to the DAC. The DAC then decodes the data. There's no interference in a certified USB cable that would affect the transmission of the data. But dirty power from the computer may affect the timing of the data. With a hard drive, printer, or phone the timing is not important. What is important there is the accurate transfer of data from the computer to the drive and vice versa. Whether it flows in exact and perfect timing is not relevant to the outcome.

 

In high end audio the outcome is totally linked to having accurate timing. There's a lot of research on this and there are many products that say they deal with this. Bad timing could possibly flatten the stereo image, you know, it can't get into the right focus because the timing is off. So something is throwing off the timing, and that something is dirty USB power - shot at your DAC in pulses. Basically every time the computer runs a process, turns on the fan, accesses the disk, whatever, it maybe shoots a jolt, a little blip, right down the 5 volt line to your DAC. That little blip throws the timing off. Now imagine that happening much more frequently and you start to get the idea. All the circuits in the computer create this noise and add to it.

 

USB Disruptor completely cures this problem. It's a simple solution that delivers amazing results. And it's totally logical.

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USB disruptor - looks like it is doing what a lot of the USB devices on the market do - cleaning up the electrical signal from your computer USB. What it doesn't do is "regenerate" the USB data signal.

 

So it might well work and $49 seems like a fair price for it in relation to other similar devices on the market.

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As you are new here you may not know this, but it is expected that you announce your business affiliations as they pertain to the product discussed.

The diagrams are an original attempt to portray the effect visually. It's an original thought and idea.

 

You should try USB Disruptor. It will be by far the best $49 you'll ever spend on your system.

Forrest:

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Hi Chris. I am the inventor and founder of USB Disruptor. I was not trying to hide that fact at all. I saw the initial post, actually revealed to me in Google Analytics, and I responded. For any future posts I am happy to identify as the manufacturer.

 

Best,

 

Rob Priore

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Hi Firedog. Per a later post I manufacture the USB Disruptor. You are correct, unlike the Uptone Audio Regen we do not regenerate the USB data signal. It is my opinion and practical experience that dirty USB power is the main problem with computer served audio. If you have a clean power feed you don't have to regenerate the USB data signal, IMO. Also, the $49 for USB Disruptor is A LOT less than Uptone Audio's product. And it is entirely possible the better sound you experience by using the Uptone Audio Regen is more attributable to Regen's method of disrupting the computer's 5 volt power output than any regeneration circuitry. I'm using an Audiophilleo with the Pure Power option in my reference setup. That does things like Regen and a lot more I think. But when I use the USB Disruptor with the Audiophilleo I still get the benefits. The difference is still there. And it's there because as long as that 5 volt power is coming from the computer, which it is with Audiophilleo, even with the Pure Power engaged, that noise is leaking in.

 

I think if you already have an Uptone Audio Regen you're all set. If you have another system you should consider a USB Disruptor, it will save you a lot of money.

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Hi Firedog. Per a later post I manufacture the USB Disruptor. You are correct, unlike the Uptone Audio Regen we do not regenerate the USB data signal. It is my opinion and practical experience that dirty USB power is the main problem with computer served audio. If you have a clean power feed you don't have to regenerate the USB data signal, IMO. Also, the $49 for USB Disruptor is A LOT less than Uptone Audio's product. And it is entirely possible the better sound you experience by using the Uptone Audio Regen is more attributable to Regen's method of disrupting the computer's 5 volt power output than any regeneration circuitry. I'm using an Audiophilleo with the Pure Power option in my reference setup. That does things like Regen and a lot more I think. But when I use the USB Disruptor with the Audiophilleo I still get the benefits. The difference is still there. And it's there because as long as that 5 volt power is coming from the computer, which it is with Audiophilleo, even with the Pure Power engaged, that noise is leaking in.

 

I think if you already have an Uptone Audio Regen you're all set. If you have another system you should consider a USB Disruptor, it will save you a lot of money.

Hi rob - You can answer direct questions about your product here, but you can't use the forum as a sales pitch. Suggesting someone "consider a USB Disruptor, it will save you a lot of money" isn't allowed.

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Thanks Chris. I will adjust the messaging to be more in line with forum etiquette. Thank you for your patience.

 

Best wishes,

 

Rob

 

Have you measured the improvement at the DAC analog output?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Hi Elsdude. A much better engineer than me wrote this:

 

Yes, but there again, if you do something like play a file of a frequency sweep, from a computer thru a USB cable to a DAC and measure the analog output of the DAC, both the $5 USB cable and the $5000 USB cable will appear to be perfect.

There is always a group of people that believe if it can't be measured, it does not exist. I'm quite sure I have never been in that camp.

Robert Harley's latest edition of The Complete Guide to High End Audio is a very good read. Robert specifically talks about how we are not able to measure as well as we can hear. One big problem is test tones are static and music is dynamic. The biggest domain that typical test equipment leaves out is the time domain.

 

 

You agree with his statement?

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Hi Elsdude. A much better engineer than me wrote this:

 

Yes, but there again, if you do something like play a file of a frequency sweep, from a computer thru a USB cable to a DAC and measure the analog output of the DAC, both the $5 USB cable and the $5000 USB cable will appear to be perfect.

There is always a group of people that believe if it can't be measured, it does not exist. I'm quite sure I have never been in that camp.

Robert Harley's latest edition of The Complete Guide to High End Audio is a very good read. Robert specifically talks about how we are not able to measure as well as we can hear. One big problem is test tones are static and music is dynamic. The biggest domain that typical test equipment leaves out is the time domain.

 

 

You agree with his statement?

 

First, I take your answer to my question is no.

 

Do I agree with the statement from RH? No, because it isn't true that you only test with static test signals. There are a myriad of tests possible that don't involve static test signals. Music despite the common wisdom is not usually all that dynamic in terms of stressing a DAC.

 

As for the quote from the engineer, whomever it is, there is a large chasm between his first and second paragraph. One does not go from part one to then assume part two validates a difference where none is measured.

 

If you change USB cables, and they sound different they of necessity must change the analog output. That is the signal one listens to and for it to sound different the waveform must be different in some way. The difference may or may not be easily measured, but it must be there. Or the perceived sound difference is due to other factors and not actually caused by the waveform from the DAC output.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I agree, the difference indeed must be there, and it should be measurable. The question is how do you measure it? My theory is the sound differences are due to noise pollution from the USB output port infecting the analog outputs of the DAC. The noise pollution is turned into a voltage and actually has a sound, but it's like a cloudy sound, kind of dispersed across the frequency spectrum. I should be able to measure the output and I would expect to find less of a signal with the USB Disruptor engaged, if my theory is correct.

 

A simple test may be just sound pressure level. There should be less with Disruptor engaged, if in fact the theory is correct. Alas, I'm told "A Frequency Response Sweep is either signal level or SPL against varying frequency... so it is the same thing." Thus testing again is elusive.

 

What kind of test do you think would work for the analog outputs?

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I agree, the difference indeed must be there, and it should be measurable. The question is how do you measure it? My theory is the sound differences are due to noise pollution from the USB output port infecting the analog outputs of the DAC. The noise pollution is turned into a voltage and actually has a sound, but it's like a cloudy sound, kind of dispersed across the frequency spectrum. I should be able to measure the output and I would expect to find less of a signal with the USB Disruptor engaged, if my theory is correct.

 

A simple test may be just sound pressure level. There should be less with Disruptor engaged, if in fact the theory is correct. Alas, I'm told "A Frequency Response Sweep is either signal level or SPL against varying frequency... so it is the same thing." Thus testing again is elusive.

 

What kind of test do you think would work for the analog outputs?

 

Your theory is jitter due to pollution of the USB 5 volt rails which your product diminishes. Jitter testing with a tone placed at one quarter the sample rate would be a good start. Do tests of the analog result with and without your product. See if noise floors are the same or different.

 

You also might try it with a relatively unloaded computer without the Disruptor in place. Then again with a very active computer to see if the noise floor differs in those two conditions.

 

You also could do null testing. Play some music with your Disruptor in place, and again without it. Record the analog out with an ADC. Invert one signal and mix them together. You might need to use AudioDiffmaker since the unlocked clocks on the ADC won't match the two runs. I would do a few runs of each condition to see how each condition compares to itself before comparing with and without the Disruptor.

 

I also wonder if you didn't do such testing, how did you go about the design to optimize it. Was it simply the idea a cleaner 5 volts had to be better, so build it and listen to see that yes it sounds better?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Elsdude, I'm glad you made it clear about jitter. The theory is actually not about jitter, it's about extraneous noise generated from the actuation of the circuits inside the computer. The noise may affect the jitter but the noise does not necessarily cause the jitter.

 

Think of it like this: you would never knowingly plug your audio equipment into a power outlet circuit that shares your microwave, hot water heater, refrigerator, etc. You would never do this because the voltage spikes induced by those appliances coming on and off will affect your audio equipment. You might get pops that could possibly damage tweeters, you may get line noise that affects your amplifier, etc. I don't think we have to go far down this path. Every audiophile I ever met or knew would never knowingly plug in any sensitive audio equipment into a shared circuit.

 

So why would you then plug your most sensitive audio instrument, your DAC, into a filthy dirty computer USB port? You're plugging into the most crowded shared circuit of all time! The computer is loaded with circuits turning on and off, like little tiny microwaves and refrigerators, but like millions of them.

 

You can buy a $100 DAC with asynchronous USB and jitter is basically eliminated - but the extraneous noise, or noisy usb power, still infects the analog outputs of the DAC and everything else downstream. If you spend a lot more on a DAC and highly engineered USB cables you will get a different sound because of extra power management circuitry included in the DAC itself and USB cable manufacturing techniques designed to reduce extraneous noise. I believe many high end DAC manufacturers include a USB Disruptor type connection inside the DAC. That would make it sound a lot better than other DAC's.

 

The conclusion is to simply replace the dirty power feed with a much less noisy feed, thus USB Disruptor was born of this thought experiment.

 

Our testing and optimization, a continuous process I might add, was done using many different power supplies and hearing other products purportedly designed to solve the same problem. The power supply itself is the most expensive part of USB Disruptor. I spared no expense to find the best built and designed power supply with the right features to produce the best audio. I didn't have to build the power supply myself, there are far more qualified SME's for that. I specified what I wanted based on my knowledge of the relationship between high end audio and power management.

 

Don't forget, USB Disruptor does not handle the super sensitive audio frequencies that interconnects and speaker wires handle. All we deal with is delivering 1's and 0's. And we've tested our solution for bit perfect data functionality and it passes, just like every other certified USB cable on the planet!

 

I'm going to forward what you wrote to an electrical engineer who has been helping with this project. He's very skilled and works with a leading robotics firm. He had a similar problem with dirty USB power that was messing up test results for a project totally unrelated to audio. Eventually they learned it was the dirty power that was messing up the instruments. I think I'll ask him to write about that and I will post it here. He said he has access to test equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars so I'm going to defer to his thoughts on this.

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You are wrong, and misleading the people on this board that are looking for good performance and value from their products. There is nothing cheap about the power supply, nothing cheap about my labor and welding, and of ALL the products on the market today that are designed to deal with this problem our USB Disruptor is the most minimalist approach and the least invasive to the digital signal.

 

And you suggest we're a few years behind the curve. Whatever do you mean by that? What products are you referring to? What product is as elegant and simple a design? Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's cheap.

 

Your accusations have offended me. And the other people on this board should know you know nothing of our product, you've never tried it, you've never seen it, and you have no idea what it's made of or what it cost.

 

I can barely believe you suggest we put another connector in the data signal and that's a reason to put down our product. If that's what you believe then you're putting down every product, and every effort to deal with this problem.

 

Why don't you visit our website and read the testimonials from ACTUAL customers.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing your explanation as to what you mean by your statements.

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@OP: my suggestion is what will save you, and maybe the only thing that will save you, is to move away from your opinions and start presenting some facts about the benefits of your device. Some forum members will expect to see test results, numbers, design parameters etc, to back up your anecdotal claims. There's a few professionally designed, complex products that have been on the market for a while, and whose designers are forum members and frequent posters, and many of them have had to go through a fairly rigorous vetting process here, And even with their acceptance by many members, they are still not exempt from attack and sometimes hot discussion (argument?) regarding their merit. Your stance of "this is a good product, you should buy it" will go nowhere here, and especially with something as controversial as USB input. This is not always an easy place, especially for an unproven product. Arm yourself. Just a suggestion.

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