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USB Audio tweaks

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sbelyo    142

I like the look of that, but might be better suited for home use.  Looks like I'd have to get it from a German distributor.  Any idea on what it costs?

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Craig Sawyers    1,368

From http://www.magiclx521.com/epages/17940394.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/17940394/Products/"afi USB"/SubProducts/"afi USB" which equates to about $1600 for the single input version or about $2100 for the four input version http://www.magiclx521.com/epages/17940394.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/17940394/Products/"afis %26 USB"/SubProducts/"afis %26 USB"

That takes either the three fibres, two RJ45 and a Toslink. If I was going this way I'd probably go for the one input version.

The magic521 guy is interesting. As well as the Linkwitz kits, and supporting electonics, he's a commercial airline pilot! And yes - his business is in Germany.

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sbelyo    142

Thanks, it's definitely in the upper end of what I would spend.  Certainly wouldn't take it on the road.  But I'm liking it

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mwl168    215
On May 3, 2017 at 3:47 PM, sbelyo said:

...  I'm going to add an amanero to my buffalo III dac and I'll use their isolator/Chronos/Rhea combo to clean up and re-clock the Amenero...

Cannot speak to the USB cable as I believe most of the outrageously priced cables are based on voodoo science and snake oil.

I have a dual mono Buffalo II. I went from using SPDIF to the Amanero/Chronos/Rhea I2S and it's a big step up!

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sbelyo    142

good to hear...  I just got the isolator board so now I just have to find time to put it all together.

On another note I'm listening to the Dragonfly balack right now and Iike what I'm hearing.  This will definitely work for a portable rig

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sbelyo    142

I picked up one of these off ebay to isolate the dragonfly

http://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/EVAL-ADUM4160.html#eb-overview

It's really neat, solved the noise I was hearing with my tube gear.  It allows you to use bus power, isolate the bus power and provide your own while also providing the downstream power.  Or, you can provide separate supplies for both up and down.

I'm using bus power right now, but will experiment with a separate supply.  I was thinking of using the power output from one of those portable battery packs.  Does anyone know if the power from those are noisy?  In theory it would be cool to have a battery supply but I have no idea how the voltage is regulated and it could be just as noisy as the bus power.

  • Thanks 1

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Whitigir    54

It isn't so hard to make your own USB cables.  A properly made USB cables is much better than any reclocking or regenerating stuff, just my opinions 

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sbelyo    142

Yeah, I'm going to make a data only cable with some mil-spec shielded wire and see what happens

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Dusty Chalk    4,193
5 hours ago, sbelyo said:

I was thinking of using the power output from one of those portable battery packs.  Does anyone know if the power from those are noisy?  In theory it would be cool to have a battery supply but I have no idea how the voltage is regulated and it could be just as noisy as the bus power.

Well it's DC, so it should be better, I'd think, but I'm not exactly the brain trust here.

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sbelyo    142

Yeah, I'd have to crack it open to see what's regulating the power.  It's kinda like the older ipods where there's a face plate that's only held on the front with adhesive.  I'm afraid if I peel it off it'll bend and look shitty when I put it back together. 

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Pars    461

I thought Kevin had stated quite awhile ago that some of the good DC supplies (original Dynalo, certainly a GRLV) are quieter that batteries? Maybe he wasn't talking about current lithium ion or whatever (perhaps it was SLAs he referred to).

Also, I thought USB cables had some controlled impedance conductors, etc. which would seem to preclude DIY cables from performing well? I could be wrong...

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spritzer    1,449

There are a lot of misconceptions about batteries in audio so yeah, they have noise, power delivery issues etc.  All of them really as the chemistry factor is so often overlooked in favor of the "free power" BS.  Don't get me started on supercaps either... 

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EdipisReks1    938
3 hours ago, spritzer said:

overlooked in favor of the "free power" BS.  Don't get me started on supercaps either... 

Wait, batteries are free?  Why have I been spending money on Eneloops?!

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Whitigir    54

USB does have it standard and controlled impendace stuff.  Just so as long as you are met with all qualifications about it configurations, it will work just fine

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sbelyo    142

I'm about to find out if it makes a difference.  Klaus the cat chewed through a lightning cable the other day so I'll use the USB A end to test out the portable battery pack.  

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sbelyo    142

1. It works fine when powering it with a portable battery pack.  

2. The pack stays on while the device is in use.  The cable has only +5V and GND connected to the external in on the eval board.

3. It does sound better to my ears.  There's more impact, highs are not as harsh.

Defrinitely worth taking another step so I'm going to make a data only cable with some mil-spec shieled 3 conductor wore from navships and USB connectors from mouser

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