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Asian Smith

Is decrapification good enough for quality over USB?

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Trying to pick a Streamer/Network player for my Mytek DAC+ and Im just too new to this and have too many un-sures even after spending an unhealthy time on Youtube.

 

Could even a Nvida Shield into a decrapificer then Mytek DAC sound great (or damn close) via USB (all power supplies and cables are high quality)? 

Ive considered the Bluesound Node2, Elac Discovery, or even a Raspberry Pi build (got a few lying around)

 

Trying to understand if a decrapificer can get 85+% USB audio to where a $1k streamer would be and I have zero experience.

Thanks..

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to save you some time: most of decrapfiers decrapify nothing, or just add crap. Look at audiosciencereview . the best I'm aware of is the sotm ultra usb, but the thing + power supply  costs as your DAC, and just to gain a bit.  

 

I wouldn't put my money into that. If your DAC needs an usb decrapfier probably is because is very old or is faulty.  Mytek DAC+ is neither of that. As for the streamers, if you don't need them, a PC is impossible to beat as  for sofware options and upsampling capability.  


Continuing with your thread title. Most of the audiophile hardware is crap.   Imagine what can be the band-aids for that crap.  Your washing machine, your tv, your remote control,  your shaver, your coffee grinder cost much less and will keep working much longer than most of audiophile hardwere.  Why pay for that?. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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one thing that seems to have (more or less) universal agreement is that you need to make sure you minimize (non-musical) noise from your signal chain.  there are a lot of ways to do that (which you'll see on many threads), but high quality power supplies seem to be always a part of good solutions.

 

to that end, if you've got a mytek dac, i'd try to have my upstream components be a noise-free as possible.  i wouldn't do the nvidia shield and then add stuff after it -- better to get it right from the start.

 

for $500, a bluesound node 2 is a good device and is broadly respected.

 

another option would be to get a intel NUC7CJYH ($130), a fanless case ($100), 8g of RAM ($100), and a decent power supply (teradak, $175), audiolinux ($49), and a 16g usb stick (not much).  for a little over $500, you can can a good sounding, flexible source (runs roon, hqp, lms, mpd).  check out this thread for how to set up audiolinux.

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Not familiar with the Shield (is this Redbook or higher?), but I'd contact Mytek and ask if the USB input is galvanically isolated.

 

If not, you might want to try a device that does this and see if a blind test shows a difference in SQ.

 

Or you can think about using wired Ethernet or optical fiber instead of USB.

 

Otherwise I would spend a lot less time worrying about this than worrying about speaker upgrades, room treatments, best masterings/recordings, maybe a better power amp, etc.

 

For about $700 you can get a used Topaz Isolation Transformer but it will only help if your AC line is "dirty"

 

For about $20 you can get a single power strip (Tripp Lite) to plug all components into and reduce the likelihood of ground loops.

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I ignore my source(windows htpc with 2 gtx780s, 10 hdds, 3 water pumps, 20 fans) and just use an uptone iso regen(an ultracap lps powers both the iso regen and usb to i2s board in the dac) .  I also use the topaz line isolator Ralf mentioned for the dac and amp.  Clean, detailed, non fatiguing sound, with no concern about the source or dedicated circuits. 

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I looked up decrapifier.  According to wiki this is a software that removes the packaged software that comes preinstalled in your new computer that you didn't order, otherwise known as crapware.  How does using this improve your USB connection?  Or is there some other meaning?  Sounds like some posters are talking about something else?  Thanks.

 

Larry

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On 2/6/2019 at 9:05 AM, Asian Smith said:

Trying to pick a Streamer/Network player for my Mytek DAC+ and Im just too new to this and have too many un-sures even after spending an unhealthy time on Youtube.

 

Could even a Nvida Shield into a decrapificer then Mytek DAC sound great (or damn close) via USB (all power supplies and cables are high quality)? 

Ive considered the Bluesound Node2, Elac Discovery, or even a Raspberry Pi build (got a few lying around)

 

Trying to understand if a decrapificer can get 85+% USB audio to where a $1k streamer would be and I have zero experience.

Thanks..

If I were you, I'd start with the Pi and see if you're happy. IME the dirty USB bus on the RPI is best avoided, and you say you have an upgraded power supply for the Mytek. There are a few ways to separate the RPI power from the DAC power. I have experience with two of these, the iFi Audio iDefender, which allows you to feed the DAC with its own PS, or a dual USB cable. I would recommend the iDefender, as it allows you to use whatever cable and PSU you like. 

 

https://ifi-audio.com/products/idefender3-0/ (available on Amazon)

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21 hours ago, audiobomber said:

If I were you, I'd start with the Pi and see if you're happy.

 

Absolutely! You can start with a player like Volumio, moOde or Rune - all have an “integral” OS in the download and work very well on a Pi.  Try one now!! Although I’ve read about the “terrible” USB bus on a Pi, I have no complaints about SQ using it. There are also some posted measurements and comparisons out there that suggest no audible difference from a seriously expensive linear PS or from USB isolators. In fairness, not everyone agrees - so make up your own mind.

 

I’m in the middle of an article evaluating a host of these players for SBCs. With many thanks to Mario Martinez for the amazingly gorgeous PlayClassics files he provided and to Cookie Marenco for the fabulous Fiona Joy Hawkins DSD256 file currently on Blue Coast for demo download, I spent a few hours yesterday listening to these outstanding recordings using multiple players on Pi. I have 3 Pis side by side to check for consistency among units, and SQ from all is far better than we deserve for using freeware on a $35 box 😁

 

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I have a few Ras Pi's around so I installed Rasplex.  My experience with the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ is new.  Im hearing details in music that Ive known for decades.  When using the Raspberry Pi 3b+, Im still hearing details that I didnt know were there.  So to me the Pi works and Im wondering if the Brooklyn DAC+ (for $2k it better be doing all it can) has built in all these tricks we hear about like very clean power, galvanic USB isolation and re-clocking horse hair fiber.  Because despite the Pi's dirty USB the sound is excellent.  This might also be why some hear a difference with USB cleaners and some dont.  If their DAC is doing that job already, there wont be a gain.  This leads me to the start of this thread, I believe I can use any (mostly) USB audio.

 

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20 minutes ago, Asian Smith said:

I have a few Ras Pi's around so I installed Rasplex.

 

It's great that you have fine sound now - you're on your way. FWIW, though, I'm not sure if Plex offers bit perfect playback on any format.  There are several web posts suggesting that it does not, one of which (on the Plex forum) offers a rather complex workaround to make that happen.  I'm 99% sure that it's not bit perfect for DSD, but I've only used Plex as a video server so I don't have first hand knowledge of its general audio capabilities.  You might consider putting one of the self-contained player/streamers on another microSD card and trying it out for SQ - Volumio etc may sound just a bit better (no pun intended). If you power down and replace the Rasplex card with another player, you can simply swap the Rasplex card back in and be back where you are now if you like it better.

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