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Cheap as chips USB Isolator


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I was on Archmago's site today and noticed his measurements of a Nobsound USB to USB Isolator (and his usual swipes at audiophiles).¬†ūüėĄ

I looked it up on Amazon.ca, but it was listed at $69, so I passed. Then I found another listing for what appears to be the same device listed for $23, which is about what Archi said it should be. I should have one in two days. 

 

This Nobsound thingy has some disadvantages; it uses USB micro connectors and is limited to USB 1.0 spec so it will only process 24/96 and up to 12Mbps. Those downsides matter not a whit in my desktop system, where I'm feeding compressed internet music through a Dell laptop to a Modius DAC. I'm already using Schiit's freebie micro USB cable, and I have a 6" USB A to Micro cable on hand. Power is not an issue, as the DAC is powered externally by an iFi iPower. The DAC output is connected via XLR to a Hafler headphone amp and via RCA to an Asgard 2 preamp for the speaker system.

 

The Modius has Unison USB, but lacks the galvanic isolation in the Bifrost and higher-level implementations. If galvanic isolation had been offered at this low cost, I would have jumped on it. An Intona or iGalvanic makes no sense for this system, the Nobsound seems like a perfect fit. I don't know if I will hear a difference in this modest setup, but for $23 who cares? I suspect I will hear a difference, I've never been happy with the Dell's USB bus.

 

So thanks, @Archimago

https://archimago.blogspot.com/2021/09/measurements-usb-isolation-with.html

‚ÄúTo doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.‚Ä̬†
Bertrand Russell 

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There was no swipes at audiophiles, unless one doesn't like objective measurements.

 

Any USB isolation I have seen in measurements on really does nothing.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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...that website can be confusing. There was a micro-usb, but previously USB version too. I bought two of them and they worked quite well. About 53 bucks, IIRC. I switched to a Gaia, but two friends are using and liking those little Douk Audio boxes.

I'm MarkusBarkus and I approve this post.10C78B47-4B41-4675-BB84-885019B72A8B.thumb.png.adc3586c8cc9851ecc7960401af05782.png

 

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Look at what March Audio put up, in the Objective Audio part. A well designed USB chip set has that built in.

 

If people want to spend their money on it, I have no problems with that. Their money.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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6 hours ago, botrytis said:

There was no swipes at audiophiles, unless one doesn't like objective measurements.

 

Any USB isolation I have seen in measurements on really does nothing.

Kind of a mixed bag in my experience. The better your gear, the less useful an isolator is. But USB reclockers can help if well designed. Tempted to get

the Douk device to see if it can tame USB nasties between iPhone 11 and Chord Mojo.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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2 hours ago, davide256 said:

Kind of a mixed bag in my experience. The better your gear, the less useful an isolator is. But USB reclockers can help if well designed. Tempted to get

the Douk device to see if it can tame USB nasties between iPhone 11 and Chord Mojo.

Sorry no. You have a reclocker on USB, then the DAC chip reclocks the signalof the USB signal. Kind of a waste of money.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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11 minutes ago, botrytis said:

Sorry no. You have a reclocker on USB, then the DAC chip reclocks the signalof the USB signal. Kind of a waste of money.

Will have to disagree, Denafrips IRIS markedly improved an Ares II. And can tell you that USB doesn't electrically isolate as well

as a USB to SPDIF  conversion does through sorry toasted equipment experience.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I received the Nobsound isolator today. Wow, it's tiny! Unfortunately it is incompatible with my Modius DAC. USB power gets through, but the laptop doesn't recognize the DAC. Substituting an XTremPro X1 for the Modius works, but that's not a satisfactory solution. I was able to connect from a NAS USB port to the X1 and also to a Schiit Eitr. It did make the sound smoother with both the X1 and Eitr so I will keep the Nobsound, even though I don't need it currently. 

‚ÄúTo doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.‚Ä̬†
Bertrand Russell 

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I'm definitely keeping the little Nobsound.

 

I was using Ethernet to a Raspberry Pi/Volumio for streaming local files in my desktop system. I had a 15' USB A to Micro cable on hand, which just reaches from the NAS to my desktop. I connected from a NAS USB port to the Nobsound, and powered the isolator with an external SMPS. The USB system sounds a lot better than the Ethernet/Pi system; richer, more detailed, smoother.  

 

Previous setup:

Yauhody CAT8 Ethernet cable from Switch to Raspberry Pi 3B+

Ghent Audio dual head USB cable with Modius SMPS

iFi Audio iPurifier2, Schiit Eitr

Monoprice RCA coax to Modius DAC

 

Revised setup:

Monoprice USB A to Micro USB cable from NAS USB 2.0 port 

Nobsound USB to USB Isolator with Modius SMPS

USB A to USB adapter, iFi Audio iPurifier2, Schiit Eitr

Monoprice RCA coax to Modius DAC

 

‚ÄúTo doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.‚Ä̬†
Bertrand Russell 

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