USB yet again

For a few years I have had an Intona Isolator with Oyaide Continental 5S upstream and Intona Reference downstream connecting Streamer and DAC. Given the Strong benefit of filters on the upstream Ethernet connection I added a LHY Audio USB 3.0 purifier with a Grey Knights power cable. The tightening of the transfer and resultant SQ was remarkable despite having used superior cables before.

While USB remains a compromised transfer format, asynchronous USB is the only protocol synchronising the server’s and dac’s clocks unless both have master clock connections. AES/EBU may have better noise rejection but has imbedded clock signal,SPDif is outdated as well as speed constrained and I2S not standardised. Hopefully the industry comes up with a better solution. It is interesting that there seems to emerge a trend to combine server and dac: one wonders why?



technically speaking it slaves the server’s clock, i.e. data is requested by the dac rather than the server sending it on its own clock.

I stated that SPDif is speed constrained, not AES/EBU.

This hobby is similar to running a manufacturing plant, it’s a game of bottlenecks in a quest for velocity/ perfection. Each rectified bottleneck, creates another bottleneck, as it can only be the case. At some point the listener’s hearing will become a bottleneck, and is/will be assisted/solved as technology advances. The flow will evolve and continue.

Mapping and measuring the flow of a manufacturing facility may be easier. Either way, solving the impediments will always be a challenge, otherwise they would not be impediments.

The issue to me is one of priorities, as resources (time) is limited, and so far, as far I know, the bottleneck of death continues to elude us, at least on planet Earth.


Sometimes I feel the goal of this hobby is to take a picture of a painting that is superior to the original work.

Optimal usb implementation requires quality rendering at both streamer and dac. This means usb boards with nice power supplies powered via dedicated power supply and top flight clocks on these boards. Far too many streamers are let down by less than optimal usb implementation, reason why so many find various usb filters and/or separate/dedicated streamers with top flight usb rendering to be of benefit.

I continue to rail against so many off the shelf streamers implementing less than optimal usb rendering, really not that difficult or expensive to do. They could add this as standard or upgrade option for aprox. $1-1.5k. I don't know, perhaps they don't have the capability to do this, The only streamers I'm aware of that offer quality usb rendering are Wadax, Taiko and Aurrender, and Innuos as separate box. Ridiculous IMO, leaving so much potential on the table!