USB Nervosa Thread Decrapifiers, pro interfaces, and bears oh my

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by zerodeefex, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. kevnin

    kevnin #facetweeting - Friend

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    The point of Eitr is to get a good low cost solution. If you want to spend a lot of money get a rednet instead, you will get better sound and don’t have to worry about usb cables.
     
  2. Rynsin

    Rynsin Rando

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    You hear what you hear. I would highly suggest you give a blind test a shot sometime -- I personally was amazed at what I only thought I was hearing.

    I am surprised that you would describe the difference as "not subtle!" Such a description makes me think there might be something wrong with your StarTech cable. Or perhaps we have different definitions of subtle. :)
     
  3. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    atomicbob made a good post at head-fi on how to best set up a rednet system for home use. He concluded that to best a well configured USB setup one needed both a Focusrite Rednet D16 ($1600) and a Mutec MC-3+ ($1099) that is $2699 not including cables. Quite a bit more than an Eitr and AudioQuest Diamond for $726.

    Puma Cat feels you can get 85% of the performance of the Diamond USB by using the next best Coffee USB cable instead at half the price of the Diamond. That brings the cost down to $457.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  4. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Accessories for an accessory.

    Audio Nervosa personified.

    Give it up. Buy better gear.

    You said you're the only person you know of trying this. There's a reason for that.
     
  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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  6. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

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    The target audience of the Eitr can probably use the same $600 for better sonic improvement somewhere else in their chain.
    Those who have $600 to spend on USB cables are probably not the target audience of the Eitr.
    You might want to add some sort of premiss to the op, as in under what condition should one consider maximizing the Eitr.


    Sundry accessory.


    Sorry can't resist.
     
  7. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    @Mdkaler as a business Schiit designs to a price point. I think the Eitr is the most important product Schiit introduced this year. I have been wondering if they could provide even better SQ with an Eitr 2 at a higher price, which lead me to begin experimenting with cables to see if the SQ from the Eitr could be improved and my work at my own cost convinced me that is true. I look forward to seeing what the wizards at Schiit come up with in 2018.
     
  8. anetode

    anetode Moderator

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    This is kind of a put up or shut up thread, please pick one.
     
  9. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    I don't think they'd see much value in creating an Eitr+ at a higher price tier. They'd let those who want to throw more money at it, as it is, do so without stepping too far into the USB-improving abyss themselves.

    I consider the Eitr a helpful compromise for digital media, but I don't think it could compete with a decent source using straight-up coax/AES using the same funds thrown at special USB cables.
     
  10. WNovizar

    WNovizar Facebook Friend

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    @allegro you should stop before it's too late. Even if there is SQ difference, it must be a placebo. The only thing you should care in buying USB audio cable is whether it is USB Audio 2.0 standard compliant or not, anything else is bullshit
     
  11. anetode

    anetode Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    , it really mustn't *be* placebo, that's merely a catch-all category (not any specific mechanism). Imagine if you're treating your own pain and all you have access to is a known placebo, you're still likely to try it.

    The best approach, however, remains identifying and dealing with the pain directly, not channeling your rent into USB cables.
     
  12. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    Look, I have a $250 furutech cable (maybe $500? I forget) and the cheap gold belkin cable. On my EAR DACute (take a look at Marv's DAC chart to see where it ranks, it's not last) I can hear a significant difference in USB cables. With an Eitr in the chain, I can no longer hear a difference. So basically, I'm not buying it. I have a highly resolving setup where cable tweaks and small changes and lots of audio nervosa nonsense actually makes a significant difference.

    Other people here have had the same experience, where Eitr basically killed the need for a fancy USB cord. I felt dumb for having spent money on mine afterwards. This is why we are having a hard time believing you. And why we're on board with @zerodeefex 's first post here where Eitr rewrote the rules of the game.
     
  13. winders

    winders boomer

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    I have an Yggdrasil with Gen 5 USB. I tend to be a bit pessimistic of claims that properly constructed USB cables, compared to other properly constructed USB cables, can make a difference with Eitr or Gen 5 equipped DACs.

    Over on CA, there was this one USB cable from a company called Phasure that was getting a ton of hype. The owner of Phasure purposely builds this USB cable in some way out of the USB 2.0 spec. He argument was that it somehow changed how the sending and receiving USB PHY acted which reduced the noise generated by the USB PHY and passed out IS2 to the rest of the DAC circuity. He named this USB cable "Lush".

    I didn't argue that this was somehow possible because it probably is. But, I argued that the behavior could not be predicted on every USB chip set used since they all were not identical. Even if many of the chips were the same, each implementation had the potential to be quite different. Of course everyone that bought one thought it transformed the sound of their music in some positive way. I called "expectation bias". Anyway, this went on and on and on.

    So, what did I do? I bought one of the damn "Lush" usb cables to try out. I did this because I wanted a better and shorter cable than the "Straight Wire" I bought from Schiit and I wanted to be able to tell these folks that the Lush USB cable made no difference with my Gen 5 USB-equipped DAC. Basically, my "exception bias" was that the Lush USB cable would sound no better than the USB cable I had been using.

    To my surprise, it did sound better. It wasn't a huge difference but I certainly heard it. At first I thought I had lowered the volume on my preamp a bit. But that wasn't the case. What I heard was a smoother sound with some of the digital harshness removed. Again, not a lot, but enough to make me think the volume level changed. I got a little better voice and instrument separation too. Again, not a big difference. All of it was quite subtle but no doubt it was there. It's enough of a difference to make we want to keep the Lush USB cable in place.

    I guess I should take this as a lesson to doubt my infallibility a little more than I do.
     
  14. mrflibble

    mrflibble Friend

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    @allegro Thanks for posting your comparison. The two USB cables you compared are at two ends of the USB spectrum. One being an ordinary USB data cable (the Startech) and the other a TOTL audiophile USB cable (Audioquest Diamond). It would be pretty shocking if no sonic improvement could be heard (even with Eitr / Gen 5 USB). :)

    I can't imagine many people who own an Eitr would likely be interested in the Diamond given the cost disparity between the two. They may, however, like to know which USB cable would give them the best bang-for-the-buck with their Eitr. Maybe you could compare some budget USB cables? Maybe report back if their are any significant differences between them and which if any are closest to the Diamond in performance with the Eitr? I think that would be more useful. But then again, they may not be any appreciable difference between the budget cables when used with Eitr.

    For what it is worth, I have compared a small number of USB cables with my Gen 5 USB Gungnir Multibit. On the Schiit Eitr Preview Thread, pages 27 and 28, I compared a Deltaco USB cable, a Belkin USB Gold and the Schiit PYST USB cable. I came to the conclusion that it is worth using an audiophile cable over an ordinary cable with Gen 5 USB. The Schiit PYST cable sounded obviously superior to the other two.

    Since I made that comparison, I compared the Schiit PYST USB cable to a Fisual Havana USB cable and an Atlas Element sc USB cable. All three cables are "budget" audiophile cables, the Atlas being the most expensive at about £40 (I bought mine for around £20 second hand). I did not post the results of my comparison because while I can hear very subtle (tiny) difference between the cables, I am not able to say which cable is "correct" or superior to the others. Sometimes, I was not even sure if I could hear a difference. Perhaps with a more resolving amp (I was using Vali 2) the difference would be more apparent.

    I bought the Fisual Havana cable because it is very cheap (they are on sale) and I am a big fan of Fisual's analog interconnect cables (in fact, all of their cables are great value for money). From memory, compared to the PYST USB the Fisual had a slightly thicker sound with a bit more body (but we are talking very small difference), which I actually enjoyed over the PYST. Whereas, the PYST is sharper and more clinical. I wanted to know which cable was "correct", so I bought the Atlas cable which is very highly regarded to compare the other two cables with. Well, the Atlas cable sounds in between the other two in sonic characteristics, but much closer to the PYST than the Fisual. I'm confident that I would NOT be able to reliably pick out the PYST vs the Atlas in a blind test - the difference is that small. I believe the Atlas cable to sound better than the PYST, but that could well be placebo. The Fisual cable I think I could pick out, but not always. I'm confident I would be able to pick out the normal USB cables from the audiophile cables, however.

    So, in my limited experience, I think it is best to stick with a budget audiophile USB cable like the PYST and not worry about whether there are better USB cables for Eitr / Gen 5 USB. IMO, it is definitely worth getting the PYST or similar USB cable over a standard USB cable (such as the Belkin Gold).
     
  15. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    @mrflibble Puma Cat already did the work you suggested and recommended AudioQuest Coffee USB at half the price of Diamond if you need to save some money.
     
  16. mrflibble

    mrflibble Friend

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    You are right, Puma Cat did (I had forgotten). But I'm not sure if his recommendation was with Eitr or without. The Audioquest Coffee is still very expensive and costs more than the Eitr - I wouldn't call it a budget USB cable! :)

    I suspect that Eitr reduces the sonic quality gap between the lesser USB cables and those that are more expensive. But I'm not prepared to spend the money to find out. For me, I think it would be wiser to put the money towards a more capable headphone amplifier.
     
  17. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    @mrflibble last I heard Puma Cat was still using the AudioQuest Diamond with his Eitr.

    The Diamond uses 100% solid silver conductors hence the high price tag. There are some less expensive solid silver competitors to Diamond now, Curious Cables comes to mind. Getting good reviews, I have not tried.

    If you do not want to get involved with expensive cables just buy everything you need from Blue Jeans Cables. They ship fast and are better than any generic you would get off Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  18. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    So are devices like the Eitr going to become obsolete with a new generation of USB design within the latest DACs?

    My friend bought the very popular Crane Song Solaris DAC, which uses cutting edge tech and is still pretty new. He swears that bridging the PC and DAC with an Eitr converting USB to SPDIF sounds so much better. So I dropped the designer of the Solaris a line to ask his opinion, and got a reply that states it will make no difference sonically.

    This week I've been thinking of picking up the recently released RME ADI-2 Pro DAC, and asked RME if bypassing a straight USB path for an alternative digital connection would improve the sound, and they said absolutely not, it's a myth with modern DACs.

    Is there a reason they'd be hiding the truth, or are we all going crazy?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  19. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    USB cable upgrades - has anyone ever explained how 1s and 0s can be transferred more efficiently from one cable to the next, regardless or price or supposed "quality"?
     
  20. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Yes.
    People can't believe it because they're ignorant and we're told that "digital is perfect forever", over and over again.
     

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