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 Post subject: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 9th, 2019, 7:39 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 546
Anyone have experience with any of the various USB dohickkies (isolated 5v PS, ground isolation, filters etc)? I just run my DAC vis USB from a music dedicated MacBook Pro (Rune, Tidal, qobuz), a very basic setup. I decided to try a ground isolator and got one of these:

https://hifimediy.com/high-speed-usb-isolator-480Mbps

I did not have any real audible noise issues, no loops to start with but figured the laptop ground might be contaminating my DAC? Was not expecting much but the change was pretty remarkable. I have heard DAC to DAC swaps that sounded less noticeable. Taking the USB isolator out of my system after a couple weeks had me wondering, did I really not notice all the digital "glare" before?

So.... evidently my MacBook Pro sucks. Time to add numerous little boxes to my USB chain (not really what I want) or go with different dedicated music server? I wonder whether addressing the USB connection is worth more than switching to another server?


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 9th, 2019, 8:02 pm 
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Joined: January 15th, 2015, 7:19 am
Posts: 906
Location: Baltimore MD
I have the ifi isolator. Can’t swear that there is any difference


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 9th, 2019, 8:10 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2013, 10:38 am
Posts: 1155
Pelliott321 wrote:
I have the ifi isolator. Can’t swear that there is any difference


Ditto on the same unit. Only one that's been in my system...

Roscoe


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 9th, 2019, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: January 13th, 2016, 9:14 pm
Posts: 535
I have the iFi iUSB2.0 version and it has helped some DAC's and nothing for others.

The ground isolation section also has problems with certain DAC's not working well with that mode.

When it is working in the setup correctly, the background noise level falls.

I am trying a split power and data USB2 cable where I can feed regulated 5VDC@2.5A from an iFi iPower 5VDC supply to separate the PC USB power to a clean supply. My DAC only needs USB power to turn on the USB port, so just has to be a clean 5VDC signal. Others that have USB powered DAC's might hear other differences.


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 12:35 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2013, 12:58 pm
Posts: 179
I have the Schiit Wyrd USB Decrapifier.
It made a positive difference in a couple of my setups.
Like all things in the digital signal chain, your mileage WILL vary......
https://www.audiostream.com/content/collection-usb-audio-enhancement-products


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 12:07 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2013, 2:39 pm
Posts: 176
It sounds like you're only running Roon with streaming services, is that the case? Before you spend $$$ on a lot of messy boxes, you might consider a Roon-ready renderer like a SOtM or Rendu so you can not only optimize the signal path but untether your laptop from the audio system altogether. You could even use something as inexpensive as an Allo USBridge.


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 2:14 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2013, 10:38 am
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Does your DAC have toslink in? If so, try it instead of USB....

Roscoe


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 7:53 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 546
Thanks. The aesthetic of having my dac , plus a rendu, an outboard power supply and power wires for all this, bothers me. The Roon nucleus appeals to me as a one box solution using my ipad as a controller screen. But perhaps one box will always be a compromise sonically?


Grover Gardner wrote:
It sounds like you're only running Roon with streaming services, is that the case? Before you spend $$$ on a lot of messy boxes, you might consider a Roon-ready renderer like a SOtM or Rendu so you can not only optimize the signal path but untether your laptop from the audio system altogether. You could even use something as inexpensive as an Allo USBridge.


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 7:55 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 546
Yea, I have used that in the past. I seem to recall the toslink sounding warmer but somewhat lacking in detail and air. Will try it again to see how it compares to isolated USB.


Roscoe Primrose wrote:
Does your DAC have toslink in? If so, try it instead of USB....

Roscoe


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 Post subject: Re: USB decrapifiers....
PostPosted: November 10th, 2019, 8:45 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2013, 2:39 pm
Posts: 176
[quote="TubeDriver"]Thanks. The aesthetic of having my dac , plus a rendu, an outboard power supply and power wires for all this, bothers me. The Roon nucleus appeals to me as a one box solution using my ipad as a controller screen. But perhaps one box will always be a compromise sonically?

Well, here's my two cents. There's nothing wrong with a "one box" solution. You can lose your mind adding dongles and linear power supplies and such. But you can do better than the laptop. Buy a refurbed 2014 Mac Mini for $400, do some system optimizing, install Roon, set it next to your DAC and use your iPad as a remote. I use a 2014 Mac Mini with Audirvana and I guarantee that if you came out to hear it you wouldn't have a single complaint. ;-). I'm trying to get my pal Jim there in DC to do the same thing but he's not there yet.


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