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Seeking recommendations surrounding USB audio pathway


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I’m very pleased with my 2-channel components, but I’ve had my SOtM PCIe card for about 5-6 years and turning my attention to improving USB audio delivery to my Chord Electronics M Scaler.  What products and components would you folks recommend surrounding the transport of FLAC files between my QNAP NAS, HTCP (running V26 JRiver Media Center on Windows 10) and Chord Hugo M Scaler?  I’m quite happy with my computer audio based stereo system consisting of a DIY fanless HTPC with SOtM USBexp PCIe card (currently powered by the motherboard), and with SOtM SATA filters on SD drives etc. The HTPC USB output connects to a Chord Hugo M Scaler and Hugo TT 2 (used as my DAC and headphone amp) which are connected to my Hegel P20 pre and H20 amp that drive a pair of Kef Reference 1 speakers.  I mostly use Morrow Audio cables throughout; except an Audioquest Carbon USB cable, Blue Jeans Cable CAT 6a cables and Moon Audio Black Dragon BNC interconnects between the M Scaler and Hugo TT 2 .  My music is stored on a QNAP NAS and delivered to the HTPC using the CAT 6a cables routed through an unremarkable network switch which is connected to an ARRlS Motorola Surfboard modem.  I rarely use internet streaming services. I use a PS Audio Power Plant 3 power regenerator, I use DIY VH Audio mains power cables (Recipe 2).  Hoping to narrow my research using the wisdom of the crowd on this forum. Looking forward to learning from this group.  Along with equipment recommendations could you please offer qualitative listening experiences that were improved upon with the component parts? 

StereoSys.jpg

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I’ve had a good experience with a Matrix X-Spdif 2. Innuos server > usb > x-spdif 2 > optical > m scaler. The x-spdif is a reclocker and outputs optical (amongst other formats) which many say is the preferred input on the m scaler. To be honest i haven’t done deep tasting but i had an xspdif already and felt it was a slight improvement at the least. 

The x-spdif also allows for this party linear power supplies which is good. 

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16 hours ago, RikkiPoo said:

I used back to back ISORegens connected with 2 Uptone USB adapter's.  Two were better than one and the adapters were better than the short Curious USB cable.

Interesting.  I wonder if I combined my TX-USBexp to a ISO Regen I'd get a similar result.  How do you power each ISO Regen units? Do you know if it's possible to two ISO Regen units with a Y cable from a Ultracap 1.2?

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One was powered by a JS2, the other was powered by a Ultracap 1.2 powered by a Ultracap LPS-1.  I now have the Innuos Statement and the ISORegens are unused.  It seems sacrilegious to mess with the Statements USB out.  I do want to upgrade from the Curious USB cable though.  I don't know about splitting the Uttracaps output.

 

I was surprised by the benefit of the USB adapters, definitely recommend trying them.

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