USB revisited

Because of USB’s ability to slave the server’s clock to the Dac’s it should have inherent advantages over other connections, particular where the DAC has superior clocking. Alas actual experience often differs. USB seems prone to ground level and RFI/EMI level incursions and the actual USB control often needs reclocking as well.

I have been through a long journey improving my USB link. After trying and rejecting conversion to SPDif and AES/EBU I started by inserting an Intona Isolator plus Intona Reference cables. Not entirely happy I added a Singxer UIP1 Pro decrapifier and reclocker, The resultant improvements were substantial in terms of reducing background noise, clarity and fluidity.

Out of sheer curiosity I now added an Ifi Purifier3 between server and Singxer to the chain, i.e. server-> Ifi Purifier3->Singxer UIP1 Pro supplied by Sean Jacobs LPS->Intona Isolator->DAC. Lots of boxes there, yet: to my substantial surprise there was another significnt lifting of veils. The conclusion seems that multiple moats and filters on USB are additive rather than redundant. The subject of noise incursion into digital links in my mind needs substantial further investigation; its negative effects are substantial on D/A conversion

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The death of USB is greatly exaggerated and spread by those marketing competing technology.  Especially toxic is the marketing by components who taunt their I2S or other connector as their leg up on the competition.  People should be tased for repeating BS they hear from salespeople.

I'm not a big fan of the widget add ons and think generally you are best off with a high quality implementation by a big name builder.  Think Innuos.  

My current Streamer is built around AES/EBU and it sounds great.  It is all about implementation.



“The conclusion seems that multiple moats and filters on USB are additive rather than redundant.”


The use of multiple noise blocking filters also indicative of sub-par implementation USB in a server and DAC. You don’t say what server or DAC being used on opposite ends of Ifi Purifier3 >Singxer UIP1 Pro >Intona Isolator. I bet these type of tweaks would be far less effective or not needed at all if one is using a high quality dedicated streamer/server + DAC.