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Stello U3: async USB to coax & AES/EBU transport <Impressions updated> - Page 5

post #61 of 278
Thread Starter 

yeah, I'm also having all sorts of thoughts about what to improve and how...but if your primary use is speakers, you will gain far more by putting that money into DRC and foamy bass traps and so. It also boils down to what S/PDIF receiver your DAC uses?

 

I've also read raving feedback about that USB cable you just mentioned, but their sales pitch is the usual blabla WW has been using since forever, and my $4 Lacie Flatcable also has discrete power and data lines bigsmile_face.gif

 

Personally, I'm looking into feeding isolated I2S to the DP-1, but isolation adds distortion and jitter...whatever via coax, USB or I2S: http://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/which-digital-isolators-for-i2s-or-not/

 

I've read on the rock-grotto forum that isolated I2S sounded more laid back than non-isolated off the very same board, so I'm afraid that it could veil the trebles like ADuM4160 does. And strangely the Stello U2 had a I2S output, but not the U3...but I guess it wasn't isolated anyway.

 

I also read many ppl stating that pulse transformers over coax would add jitter and color the sound, which makes sense as nothing's free in this world.

 

The PSU input on your Olimex dongle goes through a switching-mode regulator, so there is little point in using anything advanced. Olimex told me that I should tap any serious PSU directly onto the USB output power pins.

 

To get back to this $350 USB cable supposedly sounding OHMAGAD-IT'S-LIKE-THEY'RE-SINGING-IN-MY-ROOM, it might very well be the case...but it's like those $50 gold plated fuses, even if they sound "better" someone is obviously getting ripped off badly. You can rest assured that they get those USB cables for less than $5 in Shenzhen and those fuses for 50 cents or so. I've spoken w/ cable believers who told me that the actual cost didn't matter and that they were paying for R&D, giving me the totally off-topic example that when you buy a piece of art you don't ask how much its actual cost was.

 

There are some hi-speed USB2 isolators, but they use optical isolation so it will be a jitter feast, haha.


Edited by leeperry - 12/11/11 at 3:24am
post #62 of 278

My DAC uses ESS9018. It is the best DAC I could find under USD2k.

 

Me and Currawong had used the Olimex dongle in conjunction with Audio-GD PSU and the improvement is very big. Other guys using the Audio GD DI are using that configuration as well. Too bad I have sold away my Olimex and the PSU so I can't try it at the moment.

 

In any case, I think you have missed the whole point of my question:

 

1) I am not looking at astronomical price USB cable and believe that they work wonders because of their price. I am looking at one which I could split the power and data line into two separate cables, with the data line going from my Mac to the Stello, and with the power line going through the Audio GD PSU -> Olimex -> USB output.

2) I am not trying to improve the signal coming out of the Stello U3, but I am trying to improve the signal that is going into the Stello U3 (which is USB of course)

 

Theoretically, the following configuration will work:

 

Mac 1st USB output -> Data Line                   

Audio GD PSU -> Olimex -> Mac 2nd USB Output -> Power Line

 

Data Line + Power Line ==> USB Input to Stello U3

 

In reality, nobody knows. I know that the Acoustic Revive USB cable is vastly overpriced. It could be made with a cost at perhaps 5% of the retail price of that cable. Sadly, there isn't any other vendor who makes a USB cable of that technical configuration and it certainly doesn't help that I don't know how to make one myself.


Edited by uelover - 12/10/11 at 5:47pm
post #63 of 278
Thread Starter 

How about trying that LaCie flat cable? I'm listening to it on the DP-1 as I'm typing this, the SQ/SS depth and width are [:paulinealapage:3]

 

If you wanna try a fancy USB cable, I'd try this one: http://www.head-fi.org/t/500466/nuforce-shipping-high-performance-usb-and-3-5mm-cables-in-2-weeks/15#post_6801885

 

Now listen to this(read it with a foreign accent to make it more credible): "Multiple Litz conductors arranged in a star-configuration" [:bibliophage:1]

 

BTW, the U3 in the DP-1 is also USB powered because it installs perfectly even if the DP-1 isn't connected to the mains. The Firestone Bravo doesn't, and neither does the Asus Essence One, proving that both their USB interfaces aren't draining the computer 5V.

 

well, buy some DIY USB connectors, use 2x2 discrete solid copper cables for data and power, wrap them into ESR paper while you're at it, get the power cable through an Olimex + top notch PSU et voilà? or try a reclocker such as the Firestone Bravo + its own Supplier PSU?

 

I also noticed an improvement when using the TeraX2 PSU on the Olimex, but specs don't lie and there is indeed a switching-mode regulator in the power path so it will impact the SQ to an extent.


Edited by leeperry - 12/13/11 at 3:36am
post #64 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

I also noticed an improvement when using the TeraX2 PSU on the Olimex, but specs don't lie and there is indeed a switching-mode regulator in the power path so it will impact the SQ to an extent.


The spec of the Olimex is incompatible with the Stello U3. That is why I am proposing using the Olimex in the pathway of the power line to tap onto power from an external source instead from the USB power. It will be away from the data line so that there won't be any impact on the data transfer that may hinder the SQ.

 

There won't be any way to clean up the data line so at least there is a way to clean up the power line without affecting anything else.

 

I will want to try soldering but I think I will burn my room down before I succeed evil_smiley.gif

post #65 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

I've also read raving feedback about that USB cable you just mentioned, but their sales pitch is the usual blabla WW has been using since forever, and my $4 Lacie Flatcable also has discrete power and data lines bigsmile_face.gif


You use a 4 pin USB cables? confused_face%281%29.gif

post #66 of 278
Thread Starter 

I use this cable: imagebam.com

you can see that there's 8mm between the power and data lines: imagebam.com

 

I read someone on another forum who cut this cable in two for science sake's and indeed one side of the flat cable takes care of data and the other of power, the same topology WW has been hyping since forever. It's an Ultraviolet $4 knock off and it sounds exquisite to my ears...try it, you might like it too evil_smiley.gif


Edited by leeperry - 12/12/11 at 2:41pm
post #67 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

I use this cable: imagebam.com



Shame they only do it in 1.2 metre size.  My 160D sits further away.  

post #68 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post

Shame they only do it in 1.2 metre size.  My 160D sits further away.  


Compensate with your coaxial cable? Or you do a direct dock at the back?

 

post #69 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post


Compensate with your coaxial cable? Or you do a direct dock at the back?

 



I don't own a spdif converter yet.  Run USB direct from notebook to Burson.  I'm trying to decide between the Audiophilia or U3.  Which has the edge?

post #70 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post

I don't own a spdif converter yet.  Run USB direct from notebook to Burson.  I'm trying to decide between the Audiophilia or U3.  Which has the edge?



Never had the chance to compare them directly. The U3 looks better technically. Audiophilleo didn't do a direct comparison with the U3 and could not explain me to why their product will be better when I emailed them.

 

My guess is that the U3 outperforms them in the results so it will be detrimental if they were to publish the comparison (especially when the U3 is cheaper than Audiophilleo).

post #71 of 278
Thread Starter 

 

Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post

Shame they only do it in 1.2 metre size.  My 160D sits further away.  


The longer the cable, the higher the jitter and the more prone to interferences it'll getevil_smiley.gif


Edited by leeperry - 12/13/11 at 3:34am
post #72 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post



Never had the chance to compare them directly. The U3 looks better technically. Audiophilleo didn't do a direct comparison with the U3 and could not explain me to why their product will be better when I emailed them.

 

My guess is that the U3 outperforms them in the results so it will be detrimental if they were to publish the comparison (especially when the U3 is cheaper than Audiophilleo).

 

 

Trouble is though, without hearing it, it's always guess work trying to make sense of scraps of internet opinions.  

 

I've noticed one person clearly preferring the Audiophilleo over the U3 on this thread (post 66) : http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/showthread.php/38545-Hi-fi-World-DAC-shoot-out/page3

 

But that's only one opinion of course.  I'm veering towards the U3

 

post #73 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 


The longer the cable, the higher the jitter and the more prone to interferences it'll getevil_smiley.gif



Thanks for the advice  Lee Perry.  I'm using a cheap as chips 3M cable at the moment.  BTW, big thumbs up for your detailed, insightful and helpful posts!  smile.gif

 

 

 

post #74 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post

 

 

Trouble is though, without hearing it, it's always guess work trying to make sense of scraps of internet opinions.  

 

I've noticed one person clearly preferring the Audiophilleo over the U3 on this thread (post 66) : http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/showthread.php/38545-Hi-fi-World-DAC-shoot-out/page3

 

But that's only one opinion of course.  I'm veering towards the U3

 


Yeah I have read that guy's opinion. He prefers the Empirical Offramp to Audiophilleo to the U3, each in increasing prices.

 

But like what you said, without hearing it for yourself, it is impossible to determine which is better.

 

post #75 of 278
Thread Starter 

And at this level of excellence, the infamous synergy matter comes into play because there isn't a single transport or S/PDIF receiver that does everything right. Impedance mismatches, output voltage, clock recovery of the receiving chip, the way it's output/reclocked to the DAC chip, etc etc. I don't think you can say "XX is better, bar none.", you can only say "I've tried XX YY and ZZ, and on this very DAC I personally prefered XX".

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