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Firestone BRAVO 24/96 USB transport w/o drivers + reclocker? - Page 33

post #481 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

The only other one I have tried is the Bravo, and they are both nice. The Bravo is more versatile as it will take in coax and optical as well as usb, and output in both coax and optical as well. But you have to pick one kind of input and go with it, as there is no switching between them and the auto-switch will prioritize the usb input. The Bravo is slightly more expensive with the Supplier PSU (which I recommend), but the V-link is usb powered. I like them both but haven't directly compared them to each other. From what I have read the HiFace isn't as good unless you mod it with a battery pack, which takes away its form factor advantage. The converter I pictured above is black, but the one I chose to receive is blue and it came with a matching blue usb cable. Is yours the blue one also? Those are the only two colors I have seen.


I would agree that the Bravo has more I/O options but as you said you do have priority on the inputs.  If they added an input selector that would be a better option IMO. 

The Hiface is a pretty sweet converter based on my testing.  However, some like other units.  To each their own.

The unit I have is a gold color....I haven't popped it open so I am unsure what is inside.  Actually haven't even used it yet.

I will have to check it out. 

post #482 of 542

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post


I would agree that the Bravo has more I/O options but as you said you do have priority on the inputs.  If they added an input selector that would be a better option IMO.

I totally agree on that point, but I have changed my setup so I'm fine with just the one input ATM.

 

The unit I have is a gold color....I haven't popped it open so I am unsure what is inside.

If they are all the same then it's a PCM2704 according to LP last page.


 

post #483 of 542

Yes, I figured that is what they were using.  IIRC, the MSRP was about $30 so I am not really concerned with it as it may come in handy someday but I have higher end converters for serious setups.  Just though it was neat that they come form other companies, must be an OEM type deal.

post #484 of 542

I'm using it with the Bel Canto DAC2, because external re-clocking doesn't seem to make a difference with that unit (I tried the Bravo with it, it was no better than straight toslink; the DAC2 already has a great asynchronous oscillator evidently), but it only accepts coax/toslink.

post #485 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I'm using it with the Bel Canto DAC2, because external re-clocking doesn't seem to make a difference with that unit (I tried the Bravo with it, it was no better than straight toslink; the DAC2 already has a great asynchronous oscillator evidently), but it only accepts coax/toslink.



Quite a few higher dollar DAC's have inputs similar to this.  This is where units like the Bravo or others are of no use.

post #486 of 542

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeePerry View Post They told me that SS helped to stabilize o/c and that it was company policy to not allow disabling it.

 

Did they really? Goes against most OC guides I have read across few generations dating back a few years and up until recently o_o The consensus seems to be that unless you have some serious EMI problems it should be left off and the difference wouldn't be huge in the OC'ing context anyway.

 

So.... did you get the WW cable yet? I have read all the pages starting from 21, where you compared different ADuM 4160 implementations. You seem to be in love with olimex for now, I guess I will try that one too then. What about different PCI-E / PCI usb interface cards? Did you get to try that USB3 one yet? I am gonna go ahead and order a fiver cable too :)

 

Since you are intent on trying every single USB isolators out there, here is something you might be interested in http://www.circuitsathome.com/mcu/usb/linear-power-supply-on-usb-isolator-board


Edited by MikoLayer - 5/20/11 at 1:19pm
post #487 of 542

As much as I would love to tru the C@H model with a linear PSU, Oleg says there is no ETA on the design. Getting a bit tired of waiting, I might wanna go with Olimex too. Which PSU did you end up getting, one of these I assume?

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=2071

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1072


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by internethandle View Post

So I got my Olimex dongle, and wanted to say - after about a week's worth of use - I can definitely hear an SQ improvement. The website I bought it from (http://microcontrollershop.com/) also suggested a switching power supply, and, unfortunately, the barrel connector end of its cable would not fit between the dongle and the back of my DAC when using one of those USB male A to male B adapters, so for now I'm using two "audiophile" grade USB cables. Probably not ideal re: jitter, but it sounds better with the switching power supply connected, set to 12V, than when it's not plugged in at all. Strangely, 12V sounds better than the 9V setting with my power supply to my ears - more "gain" - but not really sure. Anyway, this is definitely worth a purchase for the price point especially, IMO. After playing around with OS optimizations/USB settings/device manager/and now this, it seems laughable to me that some people still will not accept USB-based tweaks as valid. Proof is in the pudding.



 

post #488 of 542

The one in the first link (id=2071), yeah. Seems to work well - again, at least with my DAC, the space between a USB A to B adapter and the DAC's USB input would not allow that particular PSU's barrel connector to fit, however, so I am using two "audiophile" USB cables (Kimber Kable's (non-silver) USB from PC to Olimex, and Furutech's GT2 USB from Olimex to DAC) at the moment. I will likely try out a 12v li-on battery for the Olimex soon, as soon as I decide which suspect Hong Kong-based eBay seller to buy one from. rolleyes.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikoLayer View Post

As much as I would love to tru the C@H model with a linear PSU, Oleg says there is no ETA on the design. Getting a bit tired of waiting, I might wanna go with Olimex too. Which PSU did you end up getting, one of these I assume?

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=2071

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1072


 



 



 

post #489 of 542

>


Edited by grokit - 6/25/11 at 1:25pm
post #490 of 542
Thread Starter 

Funny that you'd mention it, as I'm currently listening to some 24/88.2kHz digital SACD rips and it annoys me to no end to not be able to play them w/o upsampling....let's hope some TE8802L transports will show up anytime soon /o/

 

This said, Hoffman said that the SACD of Thriller was the closest he had ever heard to the original mastertapes and even though the upsampling makes the sound brighter...I'm still utterly impressed by the SQ [:hugeq:1]

post #491 of 542

Yeah I like the Bravo sound, but for a moment I thought the specs had changed to support 88.2; turned out I had just dreamed it or something.

post #492 of 542

so I got found my olimex in the mailbox today... Unfortunately it seems to be incompatible with my modded valab - has that humming/distorting problem I have read about in this thread. This happens with and without a DC adapter attached to the olimex. On the bright side, the usb-iso works fine with monica usb dac. Too early to tell if there is any improvement.

 

EDIT: forget what I said just above. the usb monica was connected via a usb hub built-in to my NEC FB2141SB, whereas the valab was thru a regular usb port on the back of the motherboard. I happened to have a PCI usb IO card lying around (ordered as per leeperry's suggestion, thx) and put that in my main rig. Lo and behold, that nasty hum was gone! Overall the sound seems more 'focused' and 'coherent'. Better yet, I liked the valab sound except for one glaring flaw, which was some edginess/hardness somewhere in the upper midrange area. With the olimex dongle in, that's history and I am no longer complaining about listening fatigue. Money well spent indeed :)


Edited by MikoLayer - 7/1/11 at 8:52pm
post #493 of 542

Ok so I am new here.  But based on a google search that landed me here.  I have joined the bravo party.

 

I have the Bravo now hooked up to my HTPC and loving the sound.  I am driving the Bravo with the stock included wallwart.  Based on recommendations in this thread I also have a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cord.  I use jriver's excellent MediaCenter 16 to play my music.  I have Magnepan 1.6QR's with upgraded external crossover with Clarity Cap ESA capacitors and madisound sledgehammer inductors.

 

On order, but not arrived yet is a Lifatech Siflex Glass Toslink and also a olimex USB Isolator to add to the mix.  I already have a partsexpress linear regulated power supply ready to go to drive my olimex.   see here--  http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=120-536

 

As soon as I get all the rest of the on order pieces going I will post some additional comments.

 

The SOtM tX-USB high end PCI USB card is just too expensive at $300.  Is getting a PCIe USB interface card worth the effort over just using the onboard motherboard USB ports on my HTPC?

 

 

post #494 of 542
Thread Starter 

worth the effort? hard to say...I've tried a branded MSI USB3 board, it sounded the same as my Intel mobo USB. But back when I was using a cheapo poorly soldered noname USB3 board, I'd swear that the SQ was quite different. The USB chip in the Bravo is adaptive, so the GIGO principle still very much applies.

 

The Bravo doesn't use the USB power whatsoever(as explained in the OP), so an external PSU socket on the USB3 board really shouldn't matter.

 

I wouldn't waste my time w/ toslink on the Bravo, this would completely cripple the low jitter output of WM8804. go coax, and as short as possible. I personally use this: http://www.audio-hifi-shop.de/images/viablue_rcamalemale_b.jpg

 

Those cheap linear regulated PSU's usually carry a 100mV ripple spec, so that kinda kills the whole point of going linear IMHO. The Supplier PSU was measured at 3mV ripple, that's the spirit. Of course, a TREAD PSU would yield <1mV ripple if you're DIY-savy.

post #495 of 542

Thank you for your suggestions.

 

I could of sworn in one of the posts I saw that the Tenor chip did take power from the USB line.  When the USB power line was cut, the Bravo did not operate.  So that makes me think that at least to some extent the power on the USB incoming line is a factor.

 

As far as the coax vs toslink discussion.  I sent an email to firestone audio  and they replied (in 24 hours which is impressive) that they also recommend the coax over the toslink if one has a choice.  In my case I purchased the quality glass toslink cable so that I could try it out for myself and compare the two options.  I already have a fairly good belden cable based DIY triple shielded coax cable that I am currently using.  I have read elsewhere that TOSLINK can actually outperform coax in situations where there are issues of RFI, 75ohm cable issues/reflections, etc.  Also coax vs toslink while often degenerating into a religious debate often really comes down to the quality of the design in the devices on the end of the cable and hence is very situation dependent.  So I am willing to accept that coax may ultimately be the better choice, but it is cheap enough that I will try both myself.

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