USB processor/ Isolator

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Ianmac
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USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:11 pm

I note quite a few users of NUC or silent PC's for audio.
Anyone using a USB Processor / Galvic isolator between the PC USB output and your DAC USB input ?
Any feedback or suggestions for specific units would be appreciated
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mickbald
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby mickbald » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:11 pm

Hi Ian,

I use a Stello U3 converter which works fine. Bought it from Bolts on CU.

http://yourfinalsystem.com/dac-reviews/ ... ter-review.

Cheers,

Mick

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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Cootie » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:17 am

I haven’t, but am similarly interested. Having done a bit of research the Uptone Audio ISO Regen seems to be the one that garners the most positive feedback:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/audiobac ... eview/amp/

Interestingly the CEO of Auralic says it utilises similar technology to that which they’ve included in their updated G2 VEGA dac (which retails at £5.5k) and he says it brings worthwhile sonic benefits.

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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby maro73 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:12 pm

Hello
I have
1. Paul pang usb card
2. SOTM
3. Ifi audio usb power
The latter works well
But again it dépends on the DAC's isolation
No gain with the Chord DAVE

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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:29 am

Isolators are available from Farnel
These development kits can be very usefull as the PCB is there and populated for the basic operation

http://uk.farnell.com/olimex/usb-iso/us ... 095?st=USB isolator development kit
About £30,--- £62 on Amazon
http://uk.farnell.com/analog-devices/ev ... 399?st=USB isolator development kit
About £60 but needs a box.
One concern is the lack of a metal box to ensure 100% screening
Ill do a little more delving today

I remember you were thinking about trying a similar device Maro.

Might be worth a try on a PC based system particularly if one has an SMPS supply.
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David H
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby David H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:25 pm

I simply bought a DAC with a DC input and a galvanically isolated USB.

Ianmac
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:25 pm

Good if you are buying a new DAC.
Which one is it ?
Have ordered the £30 isolator and cables processor to play with, Ill report back anything positive !
Sytem 1.
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David H
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby David H » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:44 pm

Ianmac wrote:Good if you are buying a new DAC.
Which one is it ?
Have ordered the £30 isolator and cables processor to play with, Ill report back anything positive !

Fair point. It's the Chord 2Qute.
Please do let us know how it goes with the isolator. Interesting.

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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:21 pm

Arrived today.
I have a workhorse PC with Standard computer grade SMPS power supply
Running Jriver via 4M std cable to a Benchmark DAC1 HDR DAC via the USB input
Plugged the unit into circuit 300 mm from the DAC.
I did get a surprise, tighter bass cleaner treble noticed immediately. Brought a bog std computer closer to the output from my MM streamer and Squeeze box.
Before my SQ estimations were 1 MM streamer, 2 Sbox ,3 PC now Im going bonkers with listening tests but my workhorse PC is no longer proping up the other two. Looks like my Squeezebox is on the way out.
Still a bit of time needed to evaluate but I have ordered a second unit to try on my main system and/or a family members system plus a further Analogue Devices USB prototype board to allow me to delve a bit deeper given the difference in spec.
Isolator is order code 179-5095
Short USB A - B cables 275-1170
Ian
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby David H » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:54 pm

Thanks, Ian. Very useful post.

Interesting results.

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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:51 pm

The Analogue Devices evaluation board arrived.
Took me a bit of time to get my head round the various option for power sources.
Im using the 5v USB supply from my PC to re generate the 5v supply on the output USB connector. AD provide one with a DC to DC converter chip to provide isolation. ( this is a 16 pin surface mount chip that one has to solder onto the board- so good soldering skills needed- or a friend with a hot air soldering jig ) The output 5v is required as the power for the output half of the USB digital isolator is generated from this supply.
Its working now on my PC to Benchmark DAC1 HDR running 24 /96 flac files.
I had a Dell 3050 mini PC here which I loaded with some music and JRiver juke box. USB with Digital Isolator to DAC is providing excellent results.
I think my SB Touch and old MM streamer will be being removed from service. Why have them here when I can get equivalent or better (to my ear) results from my office PC or the little Dell 3050 (£99 a year or so ago when Dell were selling them off, thanks Robert)
I still have a bit more work to do using my main system DAC2 which is fed with a PP USB card on which I have no technical info. Drivers were supplied by PP so the possibility of issues is high.

Its all about ground isolation and giving the DAC a pristine signal with absolutely no carry through of "electronic rubbish " from the USB source equipment. A few years ago we would all rush for Linear Power Supplies ?

Only last week I was fighting with the ASUS soundcard in the MM streamer when using it with Audacity as an A to D converter to transfer some vinyl.
Noise levels were about 6db too high and audible at full volume on my monitoring circuit. Eventually traced the problem to the ground of the SPDIF output of the SB touch. It was running with 3mv of noise associated to SPDIF frequencies which were going directly to my DAC via the SPDIF cable. The DAC was connected to my MM streamer as a monitor.

I keep all advised as to progress or lack of it
Sytem 1.
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :BelCanto CD-2: Technics 1200 (Ianmac Bearing + Ianmac PSU+Ianmac arm): DACT-Ianmac phono pre >Benchmark DAC2 HGC>2*Ianmac-Hypex NCore monos> ATCSCM40 : Ianmac filters
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Ianmac
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Re: USB processor/ Isolator

Postby Ianmac » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:22 pm

The Analogue Devices board has been installed between my Caps3 variant USB output and my Benchmak DAC2. Its working but I have issues with the DAC waking up in USB1 mode instead of USB 2. I suspect a software issue with the DAC Driver during the USB enumeration but I'm getting out of my depth.
I'll need to contact Benchmark.

The Olimex board has been installed on the output of my Dell E6440 laptop/docking station feeding USB to my Benchmark DAC1. I decided to use my laptop as it offers a battery filtered SMPS supply when in the docking station and a DC battery supply if required or used as a portable sound source.
The Dell outperforms my SB touch and my old MM streamer. Both of these are SPDIF based outputs. I think one can tweak the SB to provide a USB out but Im not wasting any more time.
The SB touch will be sold - Ill miss the internet radio access so looking to see if I can replicate that easily.
The MM streamer will be kept and used as an A to D converter to allow me to archive vinyl transfers.
Im very pleased with the results I got isolating the USB feeds to the DACs from the source computer power supplies.

At £30 ish the Olimex is a worthwhile spend if you are going direct from a PC to a USB DAC. It comes wrapped in heavy duty heatshrink but it will fit into the box I used for mains filters a few years ago. 3 holes for the connectors USB type A and B plus a power inlet (if needed). Some Silicone or adhesive to hold it in position.
The AD board offers lots of options for screening and the addition of choke filters but the parts used are very small and expensive in small quantities.
Ian
Sytem 1.
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :BelCanto CD-2: Technics 1200 (Ianmac Bearing + Ianmac PSU+Ianmac arm): DACT-Ianmac phono pre >Benchmark DAC2 HGC>2*Ianmac-Hypex NCore monos> ATCSCM40 : Ianmac filters
System 2
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :Benchmark DAC1.Sony CDP D11 pro: 2*-Hypex Ncore monos: Kef ref1-2.
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