iFi Audio iGalvanic3.0 - The Holy Grail of Audio
May 7, 2017 at 11:03 PM Post #91 of 688

thuanb

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Yes, you want to evaluate your current setup and your taste to decide if you can "handle the truth". Jay of the audiobacon.net wrote an excellent review of the Nano that I find very accurately describes the unit. One of the words he used was that the Nano offers an x-ray view into the music. He also mentioned the Nano mates very well (I'd say ideally) with warm DAC. I had to agree with most he said and like the fact the Nano has accurate high resolution capability to begin with. My DAC isn't a warm one, but I don't like euphonic sound anyway. I said the Nano is unforgiving in a positive sense that it's revealing of what's in your audio chain, upstream or downstream. My guess is its bigger brother Micro iUSB3.0 probably has the same sound signature, and my DAC isn't even close to $5K, so I jumped when the Nano goes on sale. Now with some carefully optimized tweaks, I feel the Nano is serving my music very well.
 
May 7, 2017 at 11:08 PM Post #92 of 688

Topspin70

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Yes, you want to evaluate your current setup and your taste to decide if you can "handle the truth". Jay of the audiobacon.net wrote an excellent review of the Nano that I find very accurately describes the unit. One of the words he used was that the Nano offers an x-ray view into the music. He also mentioned the Nano mates very well (I'd say ideally) with warm DAC. I had to agree with most he said and like the fact the Nano has accurate high resolution capability to begin with. My DAC isn't a warm one, but I don't like euphonic sound anyway. I said the Nano is unforgiving in a positive sense that it's revealing of what's in your audio chain, upstream or downstream. My guess is its bigger brother Micro iUSB3.0 probably has the same sound signature, and my DAC isn't even close to $5K, so I jumped when the Nano goes on sale. Now with some carefully optimized tweaks, I feel the Nano is serving my music very well.

Thanks for explaining. I have a much better idea now. Now let's see what impressions of the iGalvanic3.0 are like.
 
May 7, 2017 at 11:49 PM Post #93 of 688

winders

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Folks, we are talking digital information here. The point of all these USB decrapifiers and isolators is to make the signals as clean and correct as possible. To eliminate ground loops, AC leakage, noise, etc., and to reconstitute the USB signal so it is as correct as possible. The problem has never been getting the correct data from the computer to the DAC. The zeroes and ones get from the computer and DAC just fine. It's the rest of the crap on the wire that causes the conversion circuitry in a DAC problems and alters the sound.

So, the better the isolation and the more correct and clean the signal, the more we should hear what we are supposed to hear. Any deviation from perfect adds something to the sound.
 
May 8, 2017 at 11:05 PM Post #94 of 688

thuanb

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A proof that Nano iUSB3.0 is revealing of associated components instead of intrinsically cold or bright or sterile: I happened to upgrade my OS and music SSDs to a better grade today, then had a listen. Wow, it was as if a high-end tube buffer had been added to the system. Vocal size, separation, analog-like bass, holographic soundstage just flowed out naturally from the space front of me; speakers just disappeared. It's highly detailed but the "lack of warmth" was no longer relevant here.
 
May 8, 2017 at 11:16 PM Post #95 of 688

theveterans

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Yes, you want to evaluate your current setup and your taste to decide if you can "handle the truth". Jay of the audiobacon.net wrote an excellent review of the Nano that I find very accurately describes the unit. One of the words he used was that the Nano offers an x-ray view into the music. He also mentioned the Nano mates very well (I'd say ideally) with warm DAC. I had to agree with most he said and like the fact the Nano has accurate high resolution capability to begin with. My DAC isn't a warm one, but I don't like euphonic sound anyway. I said the Nano is unforgiving in a positive sense that it's revealing of what's in your audio chain, upstream or downstream. My guess is its bigger brother Micro iUSB3.0 probably has the same sound signature, and my DAC isn't even close to $5K, so I jumped when the Nano goes on sale. Now with some carefully optimized tweaks, I feel the Nano is serving my music very well.

I highly disagree with iUSB 3.0 should pair with a warm DAC. I pair mine occasionally with Chord Mojo (known for warm sound) and nope it did not change the tonality of Mojo. It didn't make it brighter sounding whatsoever. It instead, revealed more details in the music, but never changed Mojo's sound signature. Same case with the brighter sounding Bifrost Multibit. Bifrost Multibit sounds bright as is, but the iUSB 3.0 did not make it even brighter. It just revealed more detail and made it more musical IMO, but not in a tonality sense. It still sounds bright, but more "realistic" representation of the source in a sense.
 
May 8, 2017 at 11:22 PM Post #96 of 688

thuanb

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Looks like we are more in agreement than disagreement. As of now, and in anticipation of the iGavanic3.0, I can't get enough of the playback quality the Nano is contributing to.
 
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May 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM Post #97 of 688

GHoldridge

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Folks, we are talking digital information here. The point of all these USB decrapifiers and isolators is to make the signals as clean and correct as possible. To eliminate ground loops, AC leakage, noise, etc., and to reconstitute the USB signal so it is as correct as possible. The problem has never been getting the correct data from the computer to the DAC. The zeroes and ones get from the computer and DAC just fine. It's the rest of the crap on the wire that causes the conversion circuitry in a DAC problems and alters the sound.

So, the better the isolation and the more correct and clean the signal, the more we should hear what we are supposed to hear. Any deviation from perfect adds something to the sound.

If remember right Ifi audio was talking in one of the threads about the misconceptions of a digital signal at least for usb being a digital u disturbed 1's & 0's and that idea isn't necessarily right. That its an analog signal that represents the digital 1's and 0's and is decoded by the dac. That it can in fact be affected like any other analog signal. Though if I knew where it was I'd quote it.
 
May 11, 2017 at 3:36 PM Post #98 of 688

winders

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Rarely are the USB signals so bad that the ones and zeros get altered. Even though USB is digital, the system used to move the data around is analog in nature. The ones and zeros are just differential voltages. The main reason audio gets screwed up is because the receiver has a difficult time interpreting the differential signal and because of the power and ground issues that tag along with it. It adds noise to the circuitry in the DAC which effects the digital to analog conversion process and the sound of the music. Decrapifiers/isolators attempt to fix all of that.
 
May 11, 2017 at 3:53 PM Post #99 of 688

Energy

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Rarely are the USB signals so bad that the ones and zeros get altered. Even though USB is digital, the system used to move the data around is analog in nature. The ones and zeros are just differential voltages. The main reason audio gets screwed up is because the receiver has a difficult time interpreting the differential signal and because of the power and ground issues that tag along with it. It adds noise to the circuitry in the DAC which effects the digital to analog conversion process and the sound of the music. Decrapifiers/isolators attempt to fix all of that.

Very good answer.
 
May 24, 2017 at 2:19 PM Post #100 of 688
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Rarely are the USB signals so bad that the ones and zeros get altered. Even though USB is digital, the system used to move the data around is analog in nature. The ones and zeros are just differential voltages. The main reason audio gets screwed up is because the receiver has a difficult time interpreting the differential signal and because of the power and ground issues that tag along with it. It adds noise to the circuitry in the DAC which effects the digital to analog conversion process and the sound of the music. Decrapifiers/isolators attempt to fix all of that.

Yup, something along those lines alright!
 
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May 28, 2017 at 5:57 PM Post #102 of 688
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USB is in the AMR/iFi DNA - part #5
Over a decade of development

2013. The Great USB 3.0 Crisis.


2.jpg

It was not all smooth sailing. In 2013 we started to receive reports that the iDSD nano was not working correctly with the latest Mac laptops. After much hair pulling, cussing and copious amounts of black coffee, working closely with XMOS, we were able to pin down the problem.

It turned out that that the latest Intel chipset's USB3.0 hardware was actually not 100% backwards compatible with the USB2.0 standard. How these chips ever passed validation and formal USB testing - well, one has to email Intel. Now in theory, Intel and Apple should have gone and fixed this mess. But they just shrugged and replied "You want us to recall millions of laptops and computers – don’t think so."

The bottom line was that there were millions of machines out there and more coming by the day, with USB systems that had USB2.0 broken on the (often only) USB3.0 ports and not only our products, but every product using XMOS Audio ended up not working. Ohhh my.

https://superuser.com/questions/482...wards-compatibility-problems-with-2-0-devices

There was a workaround in disabling the USB3.0 hardware in the BIOS for Windows and a by far more involved sequence of actions on Apple Macs. In practice, it proved difficult to convince our customers that the fault lay with Intel and that they needed to disable USB3.0 (even if they were not using any USB3.0 devices).

Thus, it was clear we had to fix the XMOS firmware, in such a way that would not only work well with the new Macs & PCs but remain fully USB standard compliant. It took many nights burning the midnight oil by both software teams (XMOS and our own) before suitable firmware updates could be made available.

If we learned anything from this episode (other than more about the inner workings of the XMOS USB Audio solution than we ever wanted to know, though it came in handy later), USB3.0 was here to stay and to ignore it would be pure folly.

We learned a great deal from this incident. The lesson was that Apple and other PC makers were moving to USB3.0. As the old adage goes, “the trend is your friend.”

To us, back then, we saw USB2.0 in the same light as the Nokia3310 (original) well, kinda old.

1.jpg

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2823091/oldest-mobile-phone-uk/
 
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May 28, 2017 at 8:53 PM Post #104 of 688

gr8soundz

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Thanks for the update and for the detailed USB info.

Never knew about underlying issues with backward compatibility. Explains why one of my DACs barely works with most computers. Now I'm thinking it might work ok through the iGalvanic3.0. Can't wait to replace my iPurifier2 with it.
 
May 28, 2017 at 8:58 PM Post #105 of 688

winders

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If this true, why did not every USB 2.0 device break when USB 3.0 was implemented in MANY computers? I never had a problem with any USB 2.0 device.....
 

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