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USB improvement gadgets - a survey

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I have recently returned to using USB after acquiring a Teac UD-501 and I am curious about what people are using to improve the performance of the connection.

I understand that there is a lot of speculation about this, that little if any measurements have been provided supporting the effects of these gadgets and tweaks but still I think it would be interesting to know how many people believe that they have improved performance by adding one or more of these gadgets.

It would also be interesting to learn about which DACs are less susceptible to USB "interference", meaning that the effects of the aforementioned gadgets are unnoticeable or marginal at best.

 

Feel free to suggest more/new choices as I am not familiar with everything that's being sold as a USB remedy.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I've started with the easiest tweak, which was to use a LPSU I had lying around to supply the 5V; had to buy a TeraDak split USB adapter.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Over at Archimago's you can find measurements of the noise produced by different computers and by the different ports in each computer:

 

A Look At The Computer USB +5V Noise...


By Raoul Trifan
 

In high fidelity, we are aware that we should minimize the noise coming from our power supplies as this could improve the ultimate sound produced by the audio equipment. For example, Analog Devices has shown us how an AD9445 ADC can be affected by the ripple and noise created by removing the decoupling capacitors from its power supplies. So, indeed, very clean power does matter at a certain level, but just how much attention and money do we need to get into this may be up for some debate.
 
Because many audiophiles are spending money on USB power injectors and power cleaners, I decided to see how noisy the USB ports from some laptops I happen to have around here can be. I’m using for this test my PicoScope 2204A digital scope with its original probes, my Windows 7 and macOS Sierra desktops and a few laptops with the original power adapters and original lithium batteries. Some of the laptops having also their original docking stations available to measure. The machines are the Lenovo X201, Lenovo T430, Lenovo T440, HP2560p, HP8460p, MacBook Pro (mid-2012), MacBook Pro (mid-2014), iMac 27” (late-2013), and my DIY desktop computer based on the Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H motherboard.
 
Lenovo+X201.png
 

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/05/measurements-computer-usb-5v-power.html


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Measurements of the Intona, Uptone Regen and TotalDAC D1 at the Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum:

 

Review and Measurements of Intona USB Isolator for Audio DACs

 

This is a review and measurement of Intona USB Isolator. In the last few years there has been a proliferation of USB filters, cleaners, regenerators, feeding on fear of audiophiles of noisy computer ports. Intona doesn't actually play in that market directly. They built this device for industrial control applications where strict isolation from the machine being controlled is required. Audiophiles however, have been interested in the unit just as they are in other devices in this category.

This unit is on a kind loan from a forum member. It retails for USD $229 plus $29 shipping to US. It comes in a nondescript, plastic box. No pretense of being a audio jewelry here. For this review I compared the Intona to Uptone Regen and TotalDAC D1.

 

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-intona-usb-isolator-for-audio-dacs.2616/#post-74682


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Riccardo, I ticked them all and not by accident; only two of those (actually three) Phasure really provides so it is not about that. It is just a hot thing and whatever is done to each of the subjects, when done with care the results are positive and not by small margins.

 

Peter


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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All the above help improve USB but ultimately no matter how much money, time and effort we throw at USB it is flawed and will never be the ultimate solution.

Time to get rid of USB altogether and I really mean that after 7 years of trying to get past all its issues.

Playback from SLC SD cards though I2s has provided the best sound I have ever heard in digital and at a fraction of the cost.

RIP USB.


Audio PC - Gigabyte H97M-D3H, i7 at 800Mhz, RAM at 800Mhz & PPA OCXO Mobo, Teradak ATX Linear for 20 pin ATX on Mobo, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 12v, 5v & 5v supply on Mobo, Stammheim 12x LT3045's for 1.3v to RAM direct supply, JCat V2 USB Card, WTFPlay Linux Audiophile Player control by MELE F10, Startech LEX to REX on 12v Paul Hynes with 2x SLC cards and out by POE to ISO/Regen, PPA Red USB Cable, Lampizator Big7, Nige design Lifepo4 powered amp, Raidho C1s.

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9 minutes ago, sligolad said:

All the above help improve USB but ultimately no matter how much money, time and effort we throw at USB it is flawed and will never be the ultimate solution.

Time to get rid of USB altogether and I really mean that after 7 years of trying to get past all its issues.

Playback from SLC SD cards though I2s has provided the best sound I have ever heard in digital and at a fraction of the cost.

RIP USB.

 

How does that work?

Let's say I keep all my music in a NAS, do I select the tracks I wish to play and transfer them to an SD card?

Can I use HQ Player to process (upconvert and filter) those tracks?

Can you describe the elements that compose your playback chain?


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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A cursory look at some "solutions" for USB makes it clear to me why there is such a struggle - major holes in the implementation of the circuits allow SQ anomalies in, with ease.

 

Which is not the same thing as not being able to engineer a good solution - just being more thorough, particular about the whole pathway would do the job - and there should be units out there that have it all ... just need to track down the ones that get it right.

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Just now, fas42 said:

A cursory look at some "solutions" for USB makes it clear to me why there is such a struggle - major holes in the implementation of the circuits allows SQ anomalies in, with ease.

 

Which is not the same thing as not being able to engineer a good solution - just being more thorough, particular about the whole pathway would do the job - and there should be units out there that have it all ... just need to track down the ones that get it right.

 

 

@PeterSt  is a designer, very thorough in his approach and he's still identifying shortcomings in spite of the many solutions he's come up with, so I believe that it's not just a matter of tracking down the best units...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I feel so dirty.  (lol)   I don't use any of those things, just my tiny little SMSL iDEA when listening from my computer, either into an amplifier and then to my LS50s, or into either my KEF, NAD, or Denon headphones.  But then, my computer listening is rather casual, as I'm often reading some forum or other also, whereas for real listening, I use my main system and allow no distractions.


请教别人一次是5分钟的傻子,从不请教别人是一辈子的傻子

"I know I chatter on far too much...but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit!"  -Anne of Green Gables

 

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I also returned to USB after being away for a while. The Schiit Eitr has proved to be the best bang-for-the-buck gizmo I've yet experienced. I'm using it to feed my MHDT Lab Pagoda via BNC with fantastic results. 

 

It's been a couple of years now since Chord stopped developing/supporting their USB drivers for the early Qute iterations but, if my memory serves, the Qute EX didn't improve much (if at all) when using various USB helpers. I would imagine the same would hold true with their current DACs.

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1 hour ago, semente said:

 

How does that work?

Let's say I keep all my music in a NAS, do I select the tracks I wish to play and transfer them to an SD card?

Can I use HQ Player to process (upconvert and filter) those tracks?

Can you describe the elements that compose your playback chain?

I do not want to side track the thread so this is all I will say on this as Google can be your friend here.

I prioritize sound quality over functionality and a NAS solution is not available yet, hopefully hacking Wireless Sd cards with micro sd slot will open up this possibility.

I do not up-sample, mainly redbook direct read off SLC SD card reader/player to I2s on DAC, best sound ever.


Audio PC - Gigabyte H97M-D3H, i7 at 800Mhz, RAM at 800Mhz & PPA OCXO Mobo, Teradak ATX Linear for 20 pin ATX on Mobo, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 12v, 5v & 5v supply on Mobo, Stammheim 12x LT3045's for 1.3v to RAM direct supply, JCat V2 USB Card, WTFPlay Linux Audiophile Player control by MELE F10, Startech LEX to REX on 12v Paul Hynes with 2x SLC cards and out by POE to ISO/Regen, PPA Red USB Cable, Lampizator Big7, Nige design Lifepo4 powered amp, Raidho C1s.

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I'm enjoying the best sound yet to date with a Schiit Eitr doing DDC duties from USB to Coax.  

 

It's been said that "nothing before the Eitr matters" but I don't agree with that.  I get a little more focused image with a reclocker (iFi nano iUSB3.0) between my mac and the Eitr.  

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On 7/1/2018 at 7:25 AM, PeterSt said:

Riccardo, I ticked them all and not by accident; only two of those (actually three) Phasure really provides so it is not about that. It is just a hot thing and whatever is done to each of the subjects, when done with care the results are positive and not by small margins.

 

Peter

Peter, you do it in, and as part of, your DAC, which is how it should be done. 


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:01 AM, semente said:

Measurements of the Intona, Uptone Regen and TotalDAC D1 at the Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum:

 

Review and Measurements of Intona USB Isolator for Audio DACs

 

This is a review and measurement of Intona USB Isolator. In the last few years there has been a proliferation of USB filters, cleaners, regenerators, feeding on fear of audiophiles of noisy computer ports. Intona doesn't actually play in that market directly. They built this device for industrial control applications where strict isolation from the machine being controlled is required. Audiophiles however, have been interested in the unit just as they are in other devices in this category.

This unit is on a kind loan from a forum member. It retails for USD $229 plus $29 shipping to US. It comes in a nondescript, plastic box. No pretense of being a audio jewelry here. For this review I compared the Intona to Uptone Regen and TotalDAC D1.

 

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-intona-usb-isolator-for-audio-dacs.2616/#post-74682

 

Semente, are you Amirm?


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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12 minutes ago, crenca said:

 

Semente, are you Amirm?

 

Not that I know of... Why?


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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27 minutes ago, crenca said:

Semente, are you Amirm?

 

Hahahaha, if that would be so I would have smelled him from an ocean away.


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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17 minutes ago, semente said:

 

Not that I know of... Why?

 

When you said:

 

"this unit is on a kind loan from a forum member....For this review I compared the Intona to Uptone Regen and TotalDAC D1."

 

It was not clear rather you were quoting Amirm's review or talking in the first person (i.e. you are Amirm).


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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5 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

 

Hahahaha, if that would be so I would have smelled him from an ocean away.

 

So what is your vote PeterSt - is Amirm nwavguy or not?  ?

 

 


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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1 minute ago, crenca said:

So what is your vote PeterSt - is Amirm nwavguy or not?  ?

 

Oops, must investigate that one. Anyway it would be puzzling if he's not somewhere around under a fake name.

Why are you eager to find out - or chase him ?


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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I've been playing around with Allo USBridge as kind of a science project

1. Power supply quality was paramount to taming audio nasties

2. Reclocker was essential for clarity,  transient detail. And the ISO regen feature to allow replacement of the USB 5V with known good

clean power is worthwhile

3. USB cables are evil, happy with USPCB connector, wish it was about 1/2" longer to allow more space for other cables/ power connectors.

 

All these took the stock Allo sound that was butt ugly and brought it within hailing distance of the microRendu I had before... really wonder now how much better MR could sound with the same ISO Regen/LPS 1.2  peripheral device improvements added.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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FWIW, I don't think AmirM has any of the technical (EE) skills nwavguy always exhibited.

Btw only maybe two months back I was again browsing all is so many products and never understood how they could come about in these quantities (If I see the right nwavguy in from of me).

So is that all gone now ? ... seems a shame. I never got anything from him, though.

 

Now what if AmirM disappears .... B|


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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