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Yoshimitsu

Looking for people with experience with Intona USB isolators

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Hey

 

The reason I am asking is, I personally am using an isolator from Alldaq https://shop.alldaq.com/Interfaces/USB-3-0-Isolators/ALLDAQ-ADQ-USB-3-0-ISO-PS-3-0-Isolator-incl-Power-Supply::143382.html and I am having a rather annoying issue with it.

 

Basically it does not have an on/off switch so when it's plugged in directly to the wall, even if my PC is turned off it continuously draws power and also powers my Khadas tone board. Also then I am having issues with distortion and PC crashing, I thought my GPU was faulty until  to get rid of all those leds burning 24/7 I connected it into a power strip with an on/off switch. But now whenever I boot my PC the DAC does not get recognized.

 

i contacted their support and they said I need to re-connect the USB cable that goes from the isolator to the DAC every time I boot my PC after the windows welcome screen, In other words, disconnect the DAC from the Isolator when i shut down my PC and reconnect it after bootup.

 

They said it only works with a specific power-up sequence, that's how it's intended to be use.

 

I am using it between my PC and Khadas Tone Board which is then connected to a headphone tube amp. So the USB isolator is powering up the Khadas and no longer my PC, because the Khadas doesn't use an external power supply and the power provided from one USB connector is not enough to power up both the isolator and the Khadas. I am not sure if i would be facing the same issue if the Khadas would use an external power supply and isolator would use USB power. I guess so.

 

I am wondering if you guys using the Intona Isolator can leave it permanently connected to your PC while all power is disconnected?

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Yes, I think the Intona can bear this situation.

N.b.: I introduced the Intona to this world of audio usage.

 

The Alldaq description / prescription could be correct, but almost certainly not in all situations.

 

Generally the idea is that a. you leave all on 24/7 when it likes to work for you finally (haha) or b. that you know what to repeatedly do each time (like which end of which USB cable to un- and replug).

 

There are no general rules that I found, over the period of time that I worked (designed with) this stuff myself; it can be hit and miss quite easily.

Why not try an ISO REGEN from Alex @Superdad ? At least they have the experience with 1000s.

 

Do notice that the AllDaq is USB3 which the Intona IMO is not (unless by now it is) and that the ISO REGEN also is not (USB2). But I don't think you need that ?

 

Good luck ?

Peter

 


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

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

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19 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

Yes, I think the Intona can bear this situation.

N.b.: I introduced the Intona to this world of audio usage.

 

The Alldaq description / prescription could be correct, but almost certainly not in all situations.

 

Generally the idea is that a. you leave all on 24/7 when it likes to work for you finally (haha) or b. that you know what to repeatedly do each time (like which end of which USB cable to un- and replug).

 

There are no general rules that I found, over the period of time that I worked (designed with) this stuff myself; it can be hit and miss quite easily.

Why not try an ISO REGEN from Alex @Superdad ? At least they have the experience with 1000s.

 

Do notice that the AllDaq is USB3 which the Intona IMO is not (unless by now it is) and that the ISO REGEN also is not (USB2). But I don't think you need that ?

 

Good luck ?

Peter

 

 

Hey thank you very much for your answer.

 

I decided against the Intona back then because of it's ugly plastic casing and i heard in this forum that it adds an unnatural sheen to the sound. While the Alldaq got a very good review being fully transparent which i can confirm. The ISO regen was much pricier also i live in Europe. Should i decide to buy an Intona i would buy one of the newer models which they claim is much superior and that would be indeed around the same price of the ISO Regen.

 

The Intona somehow gives a better impression.

 

There is also a japanese Isolator https://www.fa.hdl.co.jp/en/isolator/en-highspeed/en-usb029h2rp.html

 

Also around the same price, uses an IC repeater if i understand correctly instead of a reclocker i asked them and they answered me "USB-029H2-RP is used USB hub controller as as a reclocking stage. It has been observed that the USB hub controller exhibit the best output jitter performance on their USB 2.0 data lines." 

 

I don't understand what they mean by that, maybe you do?

 

USB 3.0 wasn't a requirement for me just a bonus that maybe could prove useful in the future. But it's interesting that you mention it because Daniel from Intona said "I recommend using an USB 2.0 isolator for audio if your DAC does not require USB 3.0. There is no advantage but more energy waste and potentially less isolation."

 

So if i decide to buy another isolator, i will stick to 2.0

 

What do you mean by 1000s?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have had the Uptone ISORegen, an Industrial Intona (first version), and the Singxer UIP-1 .

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/singxer-uip-1-isolate-processor-usb2-0-usb-interface?_pos=1&_sid=6fb180caf&_ss=r

The Uptone did not work in my system and there were pretty many reports that some users could not get the isolation to work.

The Intona and Singxer works perfectly in my system, both are in use today.

If I was buying today, I would probably go for the new Intona.

Ifi also has an isolator.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/nano-igalvanic3-0/

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2 hours ago, motberg said:

I have had the Uptone ISORegen, an Industrial Intona (first version), and the Singxer UIP-1 .

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/singxer-uip-1-isolate-processor-usb2-0-usb-interface?_pos=1&_sid=6fb180caf&_ss=r

The Uptone did not work in my system and there were pretty many reports that some users could not get the isolation to work.

The Intona and Singxer works perfectly in my system, both are in use today.

If I was buying today, I would probably go for the new Intona.

Ifi also has an isolator.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/nano-igalvanic3-0/

 

Any differences in sound quality between the 3?

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On 2/17/2020 at 5:58 PM, Yoshimitsu said:

 

Any differences in sound quality between the 3?

I never compared them side-by-side but the Intona and Singxer both are beneficial to my setup as the system exhibits a noticeable downgrade when they are removed from the chain.

 

I also like to follow the Singxer with the Wyred 4 Sound Recovery (with isolated PS) to get better reclocking.

 

The Uptone does the high-level reclocking internally also, but the isolation may not work and returning it from Europe would possibly not be convenient.

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On 2/21/2020 at 2:03 AM, Superdad said:

I like the Singxer folks (use their SU-1 DDC for USB to I2S in my own system), but for their UIP-1 we would be happy to go toe-to-toe on technical design and parts cost and performance.

 

Thank you very much for your answer, very enlightening, i'd pay you a beer for it!

 

I don't quite understand what you mean by going toe-to-toe with the Sinxer. Go toe-to-toe because you assume that your isolator is better or because you would be curious to know how would come ahead?

 

On 2/21/2020 at 2:03 AM, Superdad said:

But no reclocking flops so the jitter from the isolators got baked in.  

 

I would be curious to know, how important is reclocking and all that stuff (femto-clock etc) in your USB isolator?

 

Let's say we assign points to the quality of the sound with and without your ISO regen,  the sound quality is 100 with your isolator and 0 without.

 

How much of these 100 points go to the galvanic isolation itself and how much to the regenerating/reclocking aspect of the device?

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Yoshimitsu said:

How much of these 100 points go to the galvanic isolation itself and how much to the regenerating/reclocking aspect of the device?

 

That depends on how much the galvanic isolation helps in the first place. Haha.

(this already implies that the total of 100 is not that, but may vary between 0 and 100)

 

So now let's say it possibly helps 100 in total. But in your system the isolation helps 20. Now the isolation itself implies added jitter (this just is so; please take my word for it). Now you need the re-generation to diminish that added jitter again.

Do we reach 100 now ?

 

No, because that depends again;

Say that the jitter figure was -60 without the isolator. Also let's say that jitter is always detrimental (a dangerous assumption to begin with). With isolator the jitter becomes -80. With re-generation the jitter becomes -20.

So what did we gain net ? I see a 20 and a -20 ...

 

Now a kind of problem :

... So without isolation the jitter is -60. With re-generation the jitter is ... -20 again. Please take this as a fact (the re-generation implies an absolute jitter figure and the extra jitter because of the isolator is unimportant).

 

My "math" coincidentally ends up at 0 difference, net. But it can easily be +30 or occasionally -10.

 

There's one other matter to be factored in:

Any "generation" is audible. This will be because it implies jitter itself and it will be highly deterministic (oscillating patterns). This is audible in the Intona once you are used to it longer term (you start to recognize the flavor). I here it too in any other re-generating device (mind you, as a specific flavor). So in my personal view any re-generating device adds something which wasn't there in the first place (no re-generation adds nothing).

If the jitter was at -60 and it ends up to be at -20, it can well be that the -20 -although with a better jitter (RMS) figure- is more audible than the -60 figure, because of the pattern-like flavor in the -20 situation. Also, sadly the -20 situation is a lower jitter number, so any deviation (the pattern) is better audible at that level than when it is buried in the "more noise" of the -60 level.

 

And so it all depends ...

And let me end with the again "fact" that jitter in this digital domain (because that is where the isolation operates) should not even be audible. Or better put: "do" anything. But it surely does via very sneaky ways, quite beyond the topic of this thread. However, it is the same topic as the sheer reason why USB isolation should help in the first place. In the end it is all about how the DAC can be influenced by means of jitter hammering on the power supplies or inherent noise itself being detrimental for a best clock signal.

 

Was this something for an answer ? of course not. But that difficult - or complex it is ...

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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11 hours ago, PeterSt said:

In the end it is all about how the DAC can be influenced by means of jitter hammering on the power supplies or inherent noise itself being detrimental for a best clock signal.

 

I have a Khadas Tone Board which costs around 95usd and without isolator there is a very noticeable degradation in sound quality. 

The question is am allocating my money poorly? Spend 420$ on the Intona for a 100$ DAC?

I asked opinions in the Headphone Headquarters Discord server, and they were still making jokes about me 3 days later wanting to spend 400bucks on a USB isolator which would give no benefit whatsoever  paired with a 100$ DAC and that I should rather invest my money in a Soekris 1321 DAC. 

On the ASR Forum i have been told that a well engineered DAC can deal with incoming jitter and noise from USB and therefore a USB isolator is redundant if not counterproductive by adding it's own noise Any perceived improvement is just placebo. That makes me think that my DAC is poorly engineered, which doesn't seem true considering that the measurements on ASR are impeccable or that they are wrong.  

I can assure you it's not placebo.

What do you guys think would a better DAC be a better investment? Let's say i buy a Topping D50 or Soekris 1321 with a linear power supply and connect it to my PC per Fiber Optic cable? Or USB of course.

I can only say that i welcome the improvement the Alldaq brings to my system and i don't know if a better DAC would do the same and render a USB isolator redundant.


A used microRendu might be an option aswell.

 

I have around 400$ budget.

 

 

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On 2/22/2020 at 3:46 PM, Yoshimitsu said:

 

I have a Khadas Tone Board which costs around 95usd and without isolator there is a very noticeable degradation in sound quality. 

 

I use the KTB as well and have two questions:

 

Did you try the KTB with and without isolator or how did you come to this conclusion?

 

What is your source for the KTB?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

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