How to improve USB performance

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How to improve USB performance
« on: 24 Sep 2018, 04:40 pm »
USB performance has been a challenge for most of us.  Most jump through a lot of hoops or purchase an expensive server to get there.  Most spend a lot of time tweaking computers, power supplies, software and cables.

After initially comparing my XMOS USB interface to my Ethernet renderer, the Interchange, I found the USB to be lacking, even though the designs are almost identical and both have extremely low jitter.  I could not account for this.

Well, I learned something when the U.S. dealer for SOtM (South Korea) came over and brought some gear with him.  We installed this device between my Mac Mini and my XMOS USB converter (required one more USB A-B cable):

It evidently reclocks the USB signal and maybe provides some isolation.  Anyway, for the first time my USB sounds almost identical to my Ethernet renderer.  The additional cable we added was not as good as my WW Platinum USB cable, so this may account for not being identical in SQ.  I was using my excellent older version of Amarra as player.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this device.  The regenerator and power supply sells for around $1500.

Steve N.


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Re: How to improve USB performance
« Reply #1 on: 26 Sep 2018, 07:10 pm »
I've tried several of these usb reclockers.

The ones that provide galvanic isolation seem to help the most, but a lot depends on two factors.

1.  The quality of the server -- The worse your existing server and USB... The more these things can help.

2. The quality of power supply on the reclocker. A poor power supply on these things  can actually make things worse if you already have a great server.  I think people have even measured worse performance due to power delivery issues.

I suspect if you used one of your modified Paul Hynes power supplies on a good reclocker, then you would get even closer (or better) performance than Ethernet.

Jon L

Re: How to improve USB performance
« Reply #2 on: 26 Sep 2018, 07:29 pm »
At $1270, is it just me who is tired of throwing more and more money and devices at USB audio, which was supposed to save us from the ills of flawed spdif?   


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Re: How to improve USB performance
« Reply #3 on: 26 Sep 2018, 09:59 pm »
Well JonL,
This does provide another rung up the ladder for people that have allot invested in a USB system without spending a ton to beat it. Surely you must understand that perspective.I for one appreciate discoveries and possible hidden gems on a realistic budget. Although $1270 is a hefty sum for another device to add, it gets its own supply, own ground, own chassis, makes the USB source matter less. It is helping a big problem.

Another option, the Totaldac GIGAFILTER. It is a similarly priced cable that has been amazing in my system. Of the many upgrades in my digital system, this one was the most significant. I believe it is doing allot of the same thing as the one mentioned in the OP.
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2018, 01:26 am by paul79 »

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Re: How to improve USB performance
« Reply #4 on: 27 Sep 2018, 03:56 am »
There are many cheaper options to improve usb performance.

The Uptone Regen, AQ Jitterbug, Shiit Audio and IfI make products that also improve usb.   Many are DAC dependent.  I own a Regen and Jitter Bug.  The Regen significantly improves the sound of my Luxman DA-06 DAC and my little Emotiva Big Ego  DAC.   The Jitterbug vastly improves the sound of the Emotiva and it improves detail in my Luxman but it makes it sound a little bright.

Sometimes they make things worse.  I heard the Regen with a Hegel H160 integrated and its built in DAC and the sound was veiled, not sure why.

Of course a great usb cable like the WW Platinum as mentioned in the first post helps tremendously with sound.  I heard one in my system and it was awesome.  The Regen improved the sound with the Platinum but not as much as with my WW Starlight Red.

Jon L

Re: How to improve USB performance
« Reply #5 on: 27 Sep 2018, 11:34 pm »
I already own WW Platinum USB cable and Uptone Regen, not to mention multiple linear power supplies for USB devices and battery solutions.  I have SoTM and JCAT devices and cards, etc, etc.

Every few weeks or so, there seems to be some people who try new USB cable/filter/device/PS and claim USB audio has taken a leap forward, usually costing $$$$.  Analogous to golf drivers that "shatter distances" every year, USB audio quality should have passed master tapes by now  :scratch:


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