Best budget USB signal cleanup device? (Modi MB)
Aug 26, 2018 at 4:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 48

CT007

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Posts
1,151
Likes
631
I'm connecting my Modi MB to my PC motherboard's USB.

1). Is the Modi MB significantly cleaner-measuring than Modi 2, whereas USB cleanup wouldn't affect sound?

2). If a cleanup device would be helpful, what are the best options? Apparently the Schiit Eitr measures poorly, compared to Topping D10, at least.
 
Aug 26, 2018 at 10:59 PM Post #2 of 48

tomb

Member of the Trade: Beezar.com
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Posts
10,685
Likes
898
I'm connecting my Modi MB to my PC motherboard's USB.

1). Is the Modi MB significantly cleaner-measuring than Modi 2, whereas USB cleanup wouldn't affect sound?

2). If a cleanup device would be helpful, what are the best options? Apparently the Schiit Eitr measures poorly, compared to Topping D10, at least.

Looking at Schiit's website, it says the Modi MultiBit comes with a linear power supply, whereas the Modi 2 is USB-bus powered. Based on that alone, the Modi Multibit should be significantly cleaner measuring. It will not benefit from a USB clean up device, because the way you "clean up" a USB bus stream is by intercepting the power portion of the USB bus and replacing it with your own, high-quality power supply. In our culture, a linear-regulated power supply is typically the finest audio quality power supply. If the Modi Multibit uses this, then there's nothing more you can do to improve things except for buying a better DAC.
 
Aug 27, 2018 at 12:05 AM Post #3 of 48

CT007

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Posts
1,151
Likes
631
the way you "clean up" a USB bus stream is by intercepting the power portion of the USB bus and replacing it with your own, high-quality power supply. In our culture, a linear-regulated power supply is typically the finest audio quality power supply. If the Modi Multibit uses this, then there's nothing more you can do to improve things except for buying a better DAC.
TYVM! Appreciated. :thumbsup:
 
Aug 27, 2018 at 2:36 PM Post #4 of 48

ergopower

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
14
An alternative answer:

Yes, separating the power supply from the USB can remove one source of noise. But laptops, etc, can have other noise coupled to the USB from proximity to chips, oscillators, WiFi/Bluetooth antennas, etc. There's a pretty big variance in how DACs deal with this noise, and Modi MB is older technology and frankly not very good (I own one). Schiit has upgraded all their other DACs with a much better-performing circuit.

EITR has received excellent reviews. I use a super-cheap portable DAC that can do the same thing as a Topping D10 (input USB and convert to SPDIF to drive another DAC). I have looked at the output of my Modi MB on an oscilloscope comparing USB straight into the Modi MB vs USB into the cheap DAC > SPDIF into the Modi MB. The signal is appreciably cleaner converting to SPDIF, but I have no idea whether EITR (or the Topping D10) can do significantly better or not.
 
Last edited:
Aug 27, 2018 at 3:24 PM Post #5 of 48

CT007

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Posts
1,151
Likes
631
Modi MB is older technology and frankly not very good (I own one). Schiit has upgraded all their other DACs with a much better-performing circuit.
The Gen 5 stuff?

And with an improved output, what % of difference are you hearing..? What is the DAC you're using? Thanks!
 
Aug 27, 2018 at 3:58 PM Post #6 of 48

ergopower

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
14
The Gen 5 stuff?

And with an improved output, what % of difference are you hearing..? What is the DAC you're using? Thanks!
Yes, Gen 5. Honestly just listening to music, I'm not noticing a difference, nothing like the very noticeable difference when I compare headphones, and amps are somewhere in between. The cheap DAC is a Big Blue Amplifier from Brookstone, they have them on and off for < $25 shipped, and they have Bluetooth in addition to an amplifier and a very flexible DAC.
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 9:50 AM Post #7 of 48

tomb

Member of the Trade: Beezar.com
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Posts
10,685
Likes
898
An alternative answer:

Yes, separating the power supply from the USB can remove one source of noise. But laptops, etc, can have other noise coupled to the USB from proximity to chips, oscillators, WiFi/Bluetooth antennas, etc. There's a pretty big variance in how DACs deal with this noise, and Modi MB is older technology and frankly not very good (I own one). Schiit has upgraded all their other DACs with a much better-performing circuit.

EITR has received excellent reviews. I use a super-cheap portable DAC that can do the same thing as a Topping D10 (input USB and convert to SPDIF to drive another DAC). I have looked at the output of my Modi MB on an oscilloscope comparing USB straight into the Modi MB vs USB into the cheap DAC > SPDIF into the Modi MB. The signal is appreciably cleaner converting to SPDIF, but I have no idea whether EITR (or the Topping D10) can do significantly better or not.

All of that is still power supply noise. Or are you suggesting that such noise infects the bytes of the digital stream? If that happened, it would be horribly obvious, similar to a CD skipping. You are still citing noise that's analog in nature, whose effects are against the power supply transmission in the USB connection.
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 1:49 PM Post #8 of 48

ergopower

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
14
All of that is still power supply noise. Or are you suggesting that such noise infects the bytes of the digital stream? If that happened, it would be horribly obvious, similar to a CD skipping. You are still citing noise that's analog in nature, whose effects are against the power supply transmission in the USB connection.
You realize in any data transmission scheme you encode the data first, yes? USB is NRZI, the receiver is looking for change or no change. In other words, don't think about USB data as a series of high and low voltages for each bit, think of it as transitions from high to low or low to high that appear when the next bit is a 0. A sequence of all 1s is just a DC voltage for the length of that sequence. There is a defined threshold for what is interpreted as change. Any electromagnetic energy that is coupled to the USB cable or PC traces is additive to the encoded signal. If the coupled noise happens to have enough energy and occurs at an inopportune time, it can cause an error by either creating a voltage difference above threshold that shouldn't have been there or reducing the voltage difference below threshold and causing it to go undetected. This coupled noise can come from many sources in the laptop/computer, and some manufacturers do a much better job than others in shielding the sources from the USB. Nothing to do with power.
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM Post #9 of 48

chef8489

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
3,465
Likes
1,056
Just get a powerd usb hub.

You realize in any data transmission scheme you encode the data first, yes? USB is NRZI, the receiver is looking for change or no change. In other words, don't think about USB data as a series of high and low voltages for each bit, think of it as a series of transitions from high to low or low to high that indicate the next bit is the opposite of the previous bit. A sequence of all 1s is just a DC voltage for the length of that sequence. There is a defined threshold for what is interpreted as change. Any electromagnetic energy that is coupled to the USB cable or PC traces is additive to the encoded signal. If the coupled noise happens to have enough energy and occurs at an inopportune time, it can cause an error by either creating a voltage difference above threshold that shouldn't have been there or reducing the voltage difference below threshold and causing it to go undetected. This coupled noise can come from many sources in the laptop/computer, and some manufacturers do a much better job than others in shielding the sources from the USB. Nothing to do with power.
It takes a lot of + and - voltage to cause a dac to not read a 1 and 0 to either add data or miss the data all together or errors adding a decrapifier in this case would not help.
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 2:05 PM Post #10 of 48

kukkurovaca

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Posts
1,456
Likes
983
If the OP is just looking for alternatives to the Eitr in terms of digital-to-digtial converters/interfaces, some folks seem to like Singxer's ones. But I don't know how they compare to the Eitr, and I don't think they're necessarily less expensive, either.

There are also a bunch of options from iFi that are aimed at either cleaner USB power or reclocking to reduce jitter or both.

I can't comment on whether any of these is worthwhile, though.
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 2:07 PM Post #11 of 48

ergopower

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
14
Just get a powerd usb hub.


It takes a lot of + and - voltage to cause a dac to not read a 1 and 0 to either add data or miss the data all together or errors adding a decrapifier in this case would not help.
I'm talking about the DAC's USB input decoding the USB signal to PCM or DSD or whatever; this is before it arrives at the D-A circuit itself.

Decrapifiers can work if their USB implementation is better than the USB input of the DAC you're using. They have better discrimination. They then output on SPDIF (or some re-encode on USB), but the decrapifier is (theoretically) designed to avoid coupling any noise to the signal after initial decodiing.
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2018 at 3:32 PM Post #12 of 48

chef8489

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
3,465
Likes
1,056
I'm talking about the DAC's USB input decoding the USB signal to PCM or DSD or whatever; this is before it arrives at the D-A circuit itself.

Decrapifiers can work if their USB implementation is better than the USB input of the DAC you're using. They have better discrimination. They then output on SPDIF (or some re-encode on USB), but the decrapifier is (theoretically) designed to avoid coupling any noise to the signal after initial decodiing.
No a decrapifier does not convert from use to spdif that would be a converter. A usb decrapifier such as a wyrd is usb to usb. The point of the Eitr is to convert gen 5 usb to spdif not to decrapify. The benefit of this is if the dac does not have gen 5 usb but has spdif and your mobo or source does not have spdif.
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 3:36 PM Post #13 of 48

ergopower

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
14
No a decrapifier does not convert from use to spdif that would be a converter. A usb decrapifier such as a wyrd is usb to usb. The point of the Eitr is to convert gen 5 usb to spdif not to decrapify. The benefit of this is if the dac does not have gen 5 usb but has spdif and your mobo or source does not have spdif.
Sorry, I use decrapifier as a generic term for any device whose function is to reduce USB noise
 
Aug 28, 2018 at 4:53 PM Post #14 of 48

Monsterzero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Posts
9,469
Likes
9,160
Location
Down at Dino's Bar & Grill
I have the iFi USB3.0 Micro which retails for $330.00. I would say that instrument separation,air,and bass tightening are the biggest improvements. Individual instruments seem to leap out at you more than without.
Apparently the Nano is also good(and cheaper) but I havent heard it to say what the difference is.

Prior to that I used a Schiit Eitr,and even tried it along with the Micro and to my ears and in my system the Eitr was a step backwards. YMMV.

I wouldnt say the improvement is dramatic,but the differences are there. IMO adding a PS Audio Dectet power conditioner was a more dramatic improvement
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2018 at 5:03 PM Post #15 of 48

chef8489

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
3,465
Likes
1,056
I have the iFi USB3.0 Micro which retails for $330.00. I would say that instrument separation,air,and bass tightening are the biggest improvements. Individual instruments seem to leap out at you more than without.
Apparently the Nano is also good(and cheaper) but I havent heard it to say what the difference is.

Prior to that I used a Schiit Eitr,and even tried it along with the Micro and to my ears and in my system the Eitr was a step backwards. YMMV.

I wouldnt say the improvement is dramatic,but the differences are there. IMO adding a PS Audio Dectet power conditioner was a more dramatic improvement
And how do you affect characteristics such as instrument seperation, bass dynamics,air and such in a digital signal when it has not even been decoded from a digital signal at that point? Do you understand how digital music, dacs and USB transport of digital information works?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top