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Ray Von

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  1. I'm using one. If you're committed to USB, and so the lack of other outputs isn't a problem, then it's quite a nice option. In terms of sound quality, compared to my music server with sotm USB output (with its own PSU), running Windows server with Audiophile Optimizer, it was a very obvious step up, even with the stock PSU. I made the switch since the next upgrade for the server was going to be a linear PSU, but the cost of this was such that the Stream Box with an aftermarket LPSU was cheaper, and I liked the idea of replacing the server with something much smaller. I use it as a DLNA renderer, with control handled by JRiver, so don't interact much with the native GUI. It runs a version of Volumio, which is simple enough. But this does mean that it's inherited some bugs, which I've reported and will hopefully be fixed soon. The main problem for me - no gapless playback over DLNA - would not effect you if you're using it as a Roon endpoint.
  2. This is just a report of my impressions on recently installing the SOtM. My set up involves a headless, more or less dedicated, heavily tweaked, low-power PC, outputting via USB to an Audiophilleo2 – a well regarded asynch interface – which runs into the back of an Audiolab M-DAC. The AP2 requires USB power, which is supplied via the AQVOX PSU. These bits were in place for a good while before I installed the SOtM, so any improvement on installing the card are unlikely to be due to reduced jitter (given the AP2) or cleaner USB power (indeed, since the AQVOX is in the chain, the card has always been set not to output USB power). Still, the improvement on installing it was striking – not at all subtle. The most noticeable improvements were in the bottom end - I'm now getting the kind of bass performance that I knew (from use of my turntable) the system was capable of, and the sound stage has gained both body and depth (before installing the card, it was a little thin and upfront). Disappointingly (just insofar as this was the only improvement that I was actually expecting) the card didn't help at all with the low-level computer noise, and occasional high pitched ringing, which was coming from the PC and out of my speakers (although I've since been able to remove this entirely). I can't say I understand how it's doing what it's doing – in my case, it's not obviously a matter of jitter reduction, or improved isolation between the PC and the USB interface – but it's certainly doing something good! I'm now sorely tempted by the battery PSU...
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