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USB signal improvement devices (iFi purifiers, AQ jitterbug, Schiit Eitr etc.)

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by betula, Oct 17, 2018.
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  1. betula
    I am launching this thread to be a collective forum for discussion about all sorts of USB signal purifiers. We all know, USB signal is noisy, therefore any sort of purifying technology is welcome. Let's look for the best one together and share experiences! (I know, there is a popular Eitr thread covering a lot, but I couldn't find a universal thread dedicated to USB signal improvement.)
    I have been using AudioQuest Jitterbug for a couple of years, and just testing iFi iPurifier 3 these days.
    They definitely make an improvement, but it is system dependent. Share your experience, share your thoughts. Do we need these USB devices? Are they worth the money? Which one is the best for the money?
    My iPurifier 3 review is coming up, but I can already tell it is a positive disappointment. I wanted to dislike it, but I have to admit both the Jitterbug and the iPurifier 3 make a worthwhile difference in my system. Now I am wondering if the Schiit Eitr is a better choice over the Jitterbug and iPurifier 3 combo. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Zenvota
    I really like usb and power conditioning and isolation and have found it to be espacially beneficial to virtualization where you're adding reverb to every minute sound in music or movies.

    I went with the Uptone iso regen due to the galvanic isolation, usb hub chip, clock, and low noise voltage regulators, and upgraded my old dacs usb board to the amanero usb to i2s, which has additional isolation on the i2s end, and both are powered by an uptone ultracap 1.2, which has ultra capacitor banks across an isolation barrier. So the iso regen and amanero board are isolated from the pc, the ac mains, and the dac and the data stream is clocked and reclocked. Then I use a topaz line noise isolator to isolate the dac and headamp from the ac mains, it provides 140db of common mode noise reduction, 60db traverse noise, functions as surge protection, and allows a low impedance unfiltered connection between the dac and amp.

    The end result is an extremely clean signal out of the iso regen, allowing the amanero to function with very little noise generating error correction, and no ac noise compounding through the dac and amp. When using Out of Your Head, the various rooms became significantly more realistic sounding compared to only using the amanero board. An example is a 7.1 surround sound scene with a waterfall like in the new tomb raider movie. With just the amanero board it's slightly smeared(in comparison), with just the iso regen its boardline grating, there's just so much information compounding with noise from the ac mains, with the iso regen and the topaz it's intensely natural, detailed, and non fatiguing.
     
  3. Zenvota
    Forgot you made this thread and started a new one for this:
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/192317319223

    It's the full board similar to the Singxer SU-1, with isolation after xmos chip, in a case, but with TCXOs instead of the Crystek 575s and no power supply. At $175 could be a good option to consider.

    I'm also intrigued by this one: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/273413662703ou

    Just the board by itself, so I could wire a direct connection to my dac(which currently has an internal amanero board with an isolator on the i2s output). But it has isolation after the xmos chip and upgraded accuphase clocks. I'd have to consider power though.. I've got the ultracap powering both the iso regen and amanero board now with isolation before the regen and after the amanero, so I would need a 2nd power supply, or I suppose I could switch to the old regen, and put the iso on my work computer. Would I even notice a difference though? Idk...
     
  4. Qute Beats
    I use an iFi USb Purifier 2. I originally bought to use with my 1st DAC, a Musical Fidelity V-DAC2. Now, that is a cheap DAC I know, but I was happy enough with it the first few years. I first came across the purifier on the Metal-Fi website and followed up reading many positive reviews, though I remained skeptical. So bought from Amazon knowing I could easily return if I heard no benefit. It didn't go back. The improvement was immediately obvious, tighter bass, wider sound stage, more rhythmic - drums sounded faster/tighter. It also strangely sounded louder. This was all with a cheap generic USB cable from a Windows laptop.

    When I upgraded to the Chord Qutest, I continued using the purifier. TBH I can't really say if it still adds anything but have left it it in more for peace of mind as it takes nothing away. It certainly doesn't sound louder anymore. Just recently I tried my first aftermarket audio USB cable (Audioquest Pearl), which gave a huge improvement in SQ (still with the purifier connected).
    I've not tried any other USB gadgets.
     
  5. Whazzzup
    I have a jitterbug on HPA8 but im negative on purifiers. The real solution are high quality music servers. These purifiers can actually add noise.
     
    WoodyLuvr likes this.
  6. muschem
    I use an IFI Nano iUSB 3.0 in my computer audio setup. While I'm not displeased, neither would I admit to a significant difference in the result. *Maybe* the background is slightly blacker. The upstream DAC/amp in my setup is a Grace m9XX, if that matters.
     
  7. Deftone
    You could use optical?

    galvanic isolation for £6
     
  8. Deftone
    I imagine it wouldnt do much, chord stuff is filtered well on the inputs.
     
  9. Whazzzup
    I’m good. Don’t use optical. But folks do, I’m not just anti crapifying for kicks I just think they only can do a small % of what they claim to do and worry that in the end they add noise thus sq changes.
     
  10. Qute Beats
    Gonna try without the iPurifier for a bit, then put it back and see if I notice any change. Sounds fine without so far..
     
    Deftone likes this.
  11. Deftone
    Yeah i know just saying some people spend hundreds or more on usb filtering regeneration but unless all your music is DSD, PCM 32/768 or no optical input on your DAC then dont be allergic to optical. its 100% isolation for next to nothing in cost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    Whazzzup likes this.
  12. Qute Beats
    I did explore optical via chromecast audio (laptop has no optical out), but had real hassle getting it to work well, windows kept losing the wifi link to it, so I gave up and returned it. Guy in store said it has know issues with Windows, so they refunded.
    How do you do optical for £6, or is that just cable?
     
  13. Whazzzup
    IMO usb through a server for upsampling is a great option. Galvanized usb into dac is important.
     
  14. Deftone
    Just run the cheap opitical cable from PC to Chord DAC. if you have a cable spare it wont even cost £6! same galvanic isolation for free.
     
  15. Qute Beats
    unfortunately no optical out on the laptop I use, so would need a usb to optical converter box, which may add more complications. My desktop PC has a soundcard with optical out, never tried it as don't do any serious music listening there, an experiment for another day perhaps out of curiosity.
     
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