Schiit URD CD Transport SOON?

A non-working model of the long rumored Schiit URD CD Transport has started showing at hifi shows. The device was shown in the Schiit Booth at T.H.E Show in California a week or so ago.

Here’s the article:

New photo from the T.H.E. Show display:

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Thanks for the input on the cables!  What would you say are the differences you hear between the Kimber USB cable and the DH Labs Mirage using the URD?




There's a couple of reviews for the Kimber Kable on the web.  One on Hi-Fi+ by Alan Sircom and the other in German on Fairaudio.  I'd say I agree with both of those reviews for the Kimber Kable.  A lot of people on this site  have used the DH Labs cable.  So, you should be able to find many opinions on it.

The Kimber cable breaks in very quickly, and sounds good from the get-go. The DH Labs cable may need an extended burn-in time.  The presentation, to me, was a bit lean in the midrange and bass.  I didn't want to use the Urd to burn in the DH Labs for 200 to 500 hours, therefore I picked up the Kimber Kable.  I kept the DH Labs cable as I may use it as an input cable somewhere down the road.  Also, I may try to burn it in more on my PC, or loan it to a friend to burn in.

The DH Labs cable has a bit more air and sparkle up top. That's somewhat expected being a silver plated cable.  The Kimber sounds more like very good copper, if you know what that means.  A bit warmer and organic toned, with a lovely midrange.  A bit more grounded and meaty, but not too slow sounding.

Cables being so highly subjective and dependent on your system build and personal preferences, I can't say which one you'd prefer.  The Kimber is several times more expensive.  Not that that always matters.  But, the Kimber is using a very high purity, all copper design, which typically yields a more coherent presentation, in my experience.

Both companies offer returns.   

There's not many USB-C, USB 2.0, audio grade cables out there.  Oyaide Neo has a moderate priced cable that might be worth investigating.  DH Labs also has a less expensive cable. Audioquest and Wireworld also have several cables available. 

mooglie:  Thanks for the cable input!  You mention the USB cable connection between the URD and Schiit DAC as being "picky".  Can you comment further on this?  I have a URD feeding a Pontus II 12th, and a cheap USB C cable I tried did nothing, although I learned (from Denafrips) that there needs to be a +5 vdc from the transport to trigger their USB receiver.  Have a pending question to Schiit on the +5 vdc availability.

Perhaps "picky" is not the best word.  The user manual states to try non-audiophile cables, free of adapters, that meet the USB 2.0 specs.  I can't say what all that means as the USB 2.0 spec is 650 pages long.  However, the spec indicates a 4 wire connection and shield.  Contact 1 is VBUS - the power.  I think that some audiophile cables may not use the VBUS.  So, I take the Urd user manual to say the cable requires all the connections.  

I think the connection issues for some folks may have been where people have been using whatever cable they had lying around, and/or using adapters.   On SuperBest Audio Friends I see one fellow has been using an $8 Amazon cable successfully.

Another potential issue here is you state that you are using a Denafrips Pontus DAC.  The Urd user manual states the DAC must be UAC2 compliant.  Denafrips specs for your unit state use of a "Proprietary USB Audio Solution via STM32F446 Advanced AMR Based MCU."  It appears Denafrips wrote their own USB controller code.  Is their controller UAC2 compliant?  Are you using their latest driver?

The  final issue is that you say the Potus USB requires 5 V to trigger the reciever.  Does the Urd supply that?  That's a question I would ask Schiit.  I know they did extensive compatibility testing over an extended period of time.  Did you ask them if the Urd had been tested with your DAC?

On the Urd, do you get the broken USB icon on the Urd or an exclamation point?  

mooglie:  You have again brought up some good points!  The URD does output a +5vdc from the USC C output socket when the USB output is selected.  As to the Denafrips DAC; since they have created their own processing code for USB, there is a question of compatibility that needs to be investigated.  I suspect that the high end audio world is still in an uncertain place in regards to USB compatibility (fixed standards) as well as questions regarding the I squared S output (which I believe has no standard at all).  This is turning into another learning experience!