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

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

  1. kixx

    kixx Acquaintance

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    I did indeed solve the problem on a different usb port, but the funny part is that i ran out of usb ports to try to fix the issue. I had to find a usb backplate add-on to fix the issue, and i've been lucky i had that lying about from an older pc.

    And yes, windows still needs a bit of tweaking for the best playback. There are options you need to configure, and you also need to stop windows shutting down usb hubs to save energy. I found my dacs popping and clicking after a 15 minutes pause ... turned out to be an energy saving option that is by default set to "on". Gah!
     
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  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Yeah pretty much. The existing usb bus had all sorts of gremlins. By plugging in the new card, he switched to a new (and presumably unused) bus.

    That sounds mystifyingly familiar, I suspect you are correct.

    There is so much crap running in the background of windows these days, certain processes do still cause audio gremlins for me.
     
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  3. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Maybe not latency, but a interrupt call by the computer can definitely affect sound. I had an issue with USB device driver being affected by an IRQ call to the network card. Heavy distortion on the audio signal that would not go away even though the file was already loaded into memory. Seems a Win update chose a different network adapter driver than before. Changing to a newer driver from Intel cured problem. Just another way USB audio can be borked by a machine.
     
  4. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    that would be clicks from dropped/delayed packets due to some part of the system overloaded(most likely CPU). Not an electrical noise from moving mouse or rotating fans or spinning HDDs.
     
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  5. kixx

    kixx Acquaintance

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    Well, my friends, looks like i have to eat my hat, and kick myself in the ass. I went back to the shop today to return the ifi ipurifier, and it seems my unit had issues ... whatever that means, as it was brand new in sealed box (if a clear wrap similar to a pack of cigarettes can be called a seal). The nice salesman there tested it - as he obviously preferred to exchange it and not return my money - and said "it's faulty", without further explanation. Gave me a new one - they have a crapton on stock, it seems - and we tested it there just to be safe. The gizmo seems to hold water as the exact same thing manifested in the shop with my "faulty" unit, but not with the exchanged one. They also offered me a "no hassle return" for 30 days, in case i'll decide not to keep it.
    Since i am a fair person, they apologized politely for selling me "broky thingy", and were nice enough to extend my return interval from 14 days to 30, i decided to give the gizmo another try. My dac doesn't have advanced filtering on the usb input (just some simple reclocker), like schiit usb gen 5, so i said that if it provides extra filtering on the input line, it can't be bad. Whatever ... so far i blew money on other total utterly useless stupid "stuff", i'll just roll with it and see what's what.

    Color me surprised!

    Considering the previous unit was a horrendous flop and calling it a "snake", i am indeed surprised it does what it states in the advert. It filters them pesky gremlins that dance on the usb line. I plugged it on the noisy port, and it takes the cake ... no more noise with everything cranked up to the max. I am obviously keeping it plugged on the port that is hiss free, just to get the max out of it.

    I didn't get the o.b. tampon (it does look like one) because it "changes" sound ... supposedly. I got it for it's filter. But with all that in mind, people say it does provide a sonic improvement. I called it bogus, but i had a faulty unit. Giving it a subjective listen, "i do" notice a slight improvement in the bass response and better definition of the instruments in the sound stage. I say "i do" because this is a subjective hobby. I heard the theory of the placebo effect, and i do believe that if you believe something makes a difference, it does make a difference, and if you don't then it's a waste of time.

    I'll give it some 72 hours of playback for the "recommended" burn in, and then i'll have my bae help me with a blind test. Depending on what comes out after the blind test, i'll take my final decision. Though i have to say i am inclined to keep it because it proved me wrong ...
     
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  6. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I think you are a little confused. Networks are networks. PC internals, including CPUs, are PC internals. The latter don't really "drop packets." And none of us thought that it was that kind of electrical noise.And if you are overloading your CPU, I suggest that you do use a separate machine for cryptocurrency mining.

    A half-decent PC will not have electrical noise of the audible kind or the physical kind. Unless its a laptop with a dodgy power supply. Have always been surprised at audiophiles preferring laptops!
     
  7. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    I'd like to live in your world. Ok, may be, just when it concerns computer software and hardware. :)
    unfortunately for all of us, you are incorrect here. Drivers and operation systems do drop/delay packets. "USB Audio" as protocol doesn't guarantee delivery of audio packets as well. So it is all up to a specific implementation and specific PC.
    I bought my first USB audio card for work just because spinning HDD noise really annoyed me. It was some Dell and it was probably at 2003. And may be things are much more improved now. But, from @kixx post above, which we kind of continued to discuss (despite @kixx resolving the problem):
     
  8. kixx

    kixx Acquaintance

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    Pc noise is a real issue whether we're talking about an old pc, or even a new one. Components nowadays are churned on a conveyor belt, and most of the time are of really sub-standard quality. For instance, apple laptops are known to have noisy usb ports. More features crammed in the same package, and higher energy efficiency demand high quality parts. That is not the case. Power circuits are under built, overheat, make noise and have seriously fluctuating and unstable power lines. Capacitors, despite being most of the time solid state, don't last a long time. The list goes on ...

    Motherboards and video cards are the usual suspects in system interference, and suffer from noise caused by vrm's, mosfets, power chokes and "t-bag" coils. My current motherboard has an awesome hiss in the main usb hubs, that is probably caused by the ridiculously close array of mosfets from the cpu power line (like 2cm away). My video card? Well ... schiit. Under certain loads, it friggin squeals like a dying animal. This is called coil whine and is caused by rubbish coils. And yes, i could pick it up trough the dac usb input. Because of this, i haven't played anything on my pc for over 2 months...

    After i moved from an add-on sound card to an external dac+amp, noise became an issue ... thus leading me into my quest for silence and the bad experience with faulty gizmos that shouldn't be faulty. I'm even considering getting an add-on usb board, just to be "future silent proof".

    Linus has here an example of coil whine. This is rather silent compared to what mine does every now and then, or when compared to the worst i heard ...




    Anyway ... rant over :D
     
  9. Thad E Ginathom

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    Correct me if I'm wrong (really!), or maybe we are just at cross purposes here, but I think I'm thinking about what goes on in the machine, which is usually what leads to the kind of problems under discussion, whereas you are talking about what goes out into the wire, which may or may not reach the other end? But which almost always does. Except for Computer Audiophile members, who are a special case.

    In my early PC-audio days around the beginning of this century, I have to confess to not taking USB seriously even. This would have been because USB 1.0 was considered fairly useless for audio, and that coloured my thinking even if the machine under my desk might have already had USB2.0. I was not USB-audio friendly, and went from sound cards to actually-good sound cards and even to Firewire before succumbing to my first USB DAC! By this time, I had to admit that it really is not a problem. Or at least, shouldn't be, because, as mentioned, all ports on the same machine are not born equal, and even if they are, can be affected by other devices in the tree-like USB structure.
     
  10. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    I'm talking about what is going between your software player and your DAC USB port. It may not reach the wire at all or it may not reach the wire in time(what is the same for you as listener). And I'm talking as a software engineer which is working in telecom industry, not as audiophile.
     
  11. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I'd swear that actually type most of the letters that somehow don't make it to words in my posts, so maybe you're right. But colour me doubtful in both instances.
     
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  12. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    it is improving with time, at least in software department - asynchronous mode support in DACs is more or less standard, and even windows supports class 2, so less chances to screw up something and lesser requirements for on PC side.
     
  13. Hogcryat

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    Tough luck, I have a bunch of different sample rates :D

    I am not using a Schiit DAC now, but I am aiming for a Yggdrasil someday. Until then, seems like Eitr is the best option?
     
  14. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

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    Eitr should be pretty much the same as Gen 5, which is great. Singxer SU-1 is very well thought of also, though about twice the $. It has a great selection of outputs, however.
     
  15. psuKinger

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    Maybe a little OT but I'm not sure sure exactly where this question would go that would more appropriate than a thread on "digital" with dicussion on decrapifiers and several (CNTRL+F) mentions of cables...

    I'm currently using a 3 foot PYST A-to-B cable out from my Jotenheim. When I'm running from my laptop that works just fine. Sometimes I like to run from my mobile device (USB C), though, and for that I end up having to stick an A-to-C adapter I bought from monoprice on the end of my PYST, and I'd love to try to upgrade that connector if there was something out there that anyone wanted to recommend. Would love to buy either a USB B-to-C cable (3 feet) to go directly from my Jotenheim to my phone, or a USB A-to-C adapter (like a dragontail)?


    I have tried to do my own searching before I posted. I first checked BlueJeansCable, because that's where I like to buy a lot of my cables... but it looks like they only offer A-to-B cables (Iwhich I already have one). I found that audioquest makes a lot of cables/options, but with no option to direct-buy-from-them, I went looking for some audioquest cables, either a 3-foot (probably Forest or Cinnamon) A-to-C or just a $20 dragontail A-to-C adapter... so I went looking for either of those from several online sites I'm familiar with (Amazon, Best Buy, NewEgg, Crutchfield, B&H, etc), and I get lots of hits for various audioquest B-to-A options or A-to-mini options, but only one option to "pre-order" (with no known availability date) an A-to-C dragontail from Crutchfield...

    Am I missing something? Failing to internet properly? Anybody got any suggestions on where to turn to buy a decent b-to-c cable or a-to-c adapter to connect my Jot to my phone?
     
  16. Baten

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    Hi @psuKinger as you say, these specific cables are not really being made (yet) few are available, Audioquest for 'pre-order' or maybe even cancelled. I believe that most people simply use an otg adapter, usb-c to usb. There should be no downside to use this alongside your traditional usb cable. I myself have an iFi USB 3.0 OTG adapter connected to the vendor supplied USB cable which has always worked fine for me.
     
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  17. kixx

    kixx Acquaintance

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    Whoa there! Nearly tripped on a snake ...

    Hello! I owe this thread's readers a comeback on my ipurifier 3 debacle/bad experience, so this is my no bs opinion. I have put quite a bit of thought into it, as well ears, because it's complicated. It took quite a bit of fiddling around, a/b testing and blind testing (with some extra help) to figure out what exactly it does. I will try to explain as best as i can what this gizmo does.
    I though just one rig is not enough to get the sense of it, so i used various sources, and even borrowed some extra gear from my friends just to check it's consistent (if you can call it consistent with just 4 dacs and 3 amps).
    Gear list: e10k, fulla 2, m-stage hpa-2 classic, nuwave - as dacs // e10k, fulla 2, m-stage, asgard (sweet mother, i need some shiit amp in my life) - as amps // hd599, hd660s, mdr-1a, lcd-2c (damn ... i need it now!! from where to steal the money?) - as headphones.

    What does it do?
    The ipurifier 3 eliminates noise from the usb line. It does this pretty good and reliable. This was pretty much noticed on all the gear and combinations. However, it also removes some haze and energy from the music (in fact everything that comes trough it and is audio). This "apparently" makes the sound smoother, giving better separation, higher dynamic range and more bass slam. It's just like many reviews state online ... but is that really the case? Nope! What those reviewers don't tell you is that the haze that gets eliminated, sometimes, has extra detail in it. For example, in derek jones's the nearness of you, you can hear the orchestra conductor flicking his hands in the air at the beginning of the track, directing the timing of the cello and piano. That sound is like hiss, like background noise. But in reality, it's just hands moving trough the air, and the energy that is generated is being picked up by the microphone (a good one is able to do that with ease). You need to attend to live orchestra and concerts in order to be able to tell some of these things.
    The neon demon's soundtrack is filled with weird high pitch sounds, almost like a digital triangle, that sweep from left to right, up to down, front to back, and are often interjected by slow bass. On this album i felt the bass looses some bloom with the purifier. It sounds faster, but some of it's warmth is gone. With the ipurifier removed, i was shocked by how much more detail i was able to pick up. The purifier takes away some sparkle, making this album sound tame. I got the same results on most of the music i listened to, and so were my friends able to pick up.

    Instruments can be rough and sharp sometimes, and voices can get gritty. Extra energy is often present between guitar cords, cymbals have trailing tizz, the singer breathes, trumpets makes you go "aaahh! piercing!", triangles tickle your ear, the big drum has hum, the cello's cords can have a rising pitch if not controlled, violins can be screechy, piano low notes have "slam", the pipe organ can pound your eardrums with sheer force, and the list goes on... The iPurifier takes some of that away. I don't know what it does (maybe over filtering), but it makes the music sound a bit flat, tame, and boring. It takes away some of the attack ... some of the up in your face detail, and pushes things back a little.

    I like my music with a bit of spice and sparkle, alive, interactive, and faithful to it's source in the reproduction. I want to tap my foot, to feel engaged, to feel emotion. The ipurifier screws that up for me so it's a no go. When i do want to kickback and relax, i use appropriate cans for that ... i don't want a "dongle" to decide how my music sounds.

    My initial decision was influenced by the abundance of fake positive reviews (especially the ones at HF). I dunno ... some of these "reviewers" just jump on the free shit/easy sell wagon stuff, or are allowed to keep positively reviewed stuff, and hit "like" by default. You know, it's just like with that girl on facebook that you want to hook up, and you like all her stuff, despite 80% being "intellectual" posts (to be read useless pathetic stupid) and shit pics (like 30 of them taken in the mcdonalds rest room). I'm sad i can no longer trust many reviews/reviewers... Thus, i decided to return the purifier. Actually i have done that already as i have been writing on this since monday evening. It's hard to write reviews ...
     
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  18. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    I don't know know how "ipurifier 3" is working but except it is doing some trans-coding (reading actual audio packets, processing, and then putting it back) I highly skeptical about it stripping any actual details. And I doubt this device is capable of any digital signal processing.
    I'd suggest another explanation - it is doing what it is supposed to do, removing noise. Now, our brains job is to recognize patterns, and there are plenty of patterns that can be picked up from noise.
    But this doesn't invalidate that fact that "ipurifier 3" can be making your personal listening experience less enjoyable.
     
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  19. kixx

    kixx Acquaintance

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    Listening to music is purely subjective. That simple. You like it, or you don't.

    It confuses some of the details with background/line noise (bass bloom, voice roughness, breathing, movement and so on) and removes it. I want that stuff because i'm a detail whore, thus i prefer headphones over speakers. Some people don't want to hear every hiss, pop or crackle present on a recording, they want to kickback and relax. Not me. I want to feel engaged, moved ... sooo, it gets a no no from me. It does what it states on the box, plus more, which is not spoken about. Therefore i consider it misleading.
     
  20. neogeosnk

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    ipurifier worked for my low end setup but anything more revealing than a Bimby it sounds as you described. It did kinda put a layer of dnr that is more apperent on higher end gear. But it did help with the Bimby. And yes all the reviews I saw on HF looked fake and you are mostly right. I may also return it.. still got 20 days.
     
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