Post your gear

Using USB isolation for audio
Post Reply
Daniel (Intona)
Posts: 54
Joined: May 6th, 2020, 8:29 am

Post your gear

Post by Daniel (Intona) »

USB isolation can improve reliability and audiophile experience drastically.

Or at least a bit.

Sometimes it doesn't work at all.

To make things better, it may be a good idea to know which combination you are using or you have tried and how it performed.

Post your DAC, cables, isolators, filters, servers, speakers, whatever and let's find out what's hot and what's not.
Daniel (Intona)

godmax
Posts: 2
Joined: May 26th, 2020, 9:58 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by godmax »

The gear I currently use with the USB 3.0 Isolator 7055-C:
Audio.Setup.2020.jpg
Main purpose: Headphone listening with PC as source

Questyle CMA 400i (DAC AKM AK4490 / Headphone Amp / USB Receiver: XMOS xCore):
  • eleminated hearable CPU noise from USB on the headphone output (ground loop)
  • improved audible details (with Denon AH-D9200 and ZMF Verite Closed)
  • after 5 seconds after the last playback a negligible silent popping sound occurs with or without USB hub
Denafrips Ares II (DAC R2R / USB Receiver: custom with STM32F446):
  • improved audible details (with Denon AH-D9200 and ZMF Verite Closed)
RME ADI-2 DAC FS (DAC AKM AK4493 / Headphone Amp / USB Receiver: custom):
  • already has a very good isolation from noise engineered by RME, so there was no real improvement noticeable to me
Schiit Hel (DAC AKM AK4490 / Headphone Amp / USB Receiver: C-Media CM6631A):
  • added popping noise at begin and end of each track with or without USB hub (might connect direct to PC again)
Used an iFi iDefender 3.0 before to break the ground loop, but the use of the USB 3.0 Isolator 7055-C addionally improved the perceived audio quality clearly for me.

avdsor
Posts: 2
Joined: June 16th, 2020, 12:46 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by avdsor »

Currently using a Topping D90 -> Topping A90 -> Sennheiser HD 800 S. The A90 also pre-amps to a Schiit Mjolnir 2.

So far I have been continuously using the 7055-B and it has been flawless. I have left it connected for days on end and absolutely no noise from my PC. I was previously using a Matrix Audio Element H and after a few days I would hear crackles in my audio due to noise from my PC. The 7055-B has been absolutely perfect.

cyber
Posts: 7
Joined: May 16th, 2020, 12:05 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by cyber »

INTONA SWITCH
MELCO N100
INTONA Primium USB>INTONA 3.0 Isolator>INTONA Reference USB
T+A DAC 8 DSD
SIMAUDIO 250I
ProAC T10
DT1990
Last edited by cyber on August 31st, 2020, 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

antigrunge
Posts: 1
Joined: July 2nd, 2020, 12:06 pm

Re: Post your gear

Post by antigrunge »

Innuos Zenith Mk3 (Linux) -> Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold. USB cables by Artisan Silvercables
Setup is a bit tricky, power everything down, then power up starting with the dac

Sassafras
Posts: 4
Joined: July 27th, 2020, 2:15 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Sassafras »

Hi Daniel, fellow forum members ,and all the folks at Intona....
I have recently purchased the High speed isolator 3.0 and the Pro usb reference cable, and have had a chance to try them out in three different systems. My source is the latest MacBook Air. Usb cable , Audioquest Diamond.
The first system I tried with both new intona pieces was with an older Emotiva XDR-1 Dac, everything worked properly ,booted up quickly , and there was an immediate noticeable improvement in every aspect of the sound. To say they transformed the sound of this modest dac would be an understatement!
In the second system the feed was to an Oppo 105 bluray player. Again no problems, immediate boot up, and another dramatic improvement in SQ....
Now to the third system feeding a Mhdt Orchid dac. I have not been able to get the isolator to pass a signal to the Orchid. I have tried different cables, various boot up variations, but whenever the isolator is connected to the Orchid, the intona shuts down.( signal light goes out). When the MAC is connected directly, no problems. I see in the MAC status panel that the Orchid Is only asking for 100 milliamps when connected directly. I'm wondering if I need a dedicated 100 ma power feed through the auxiliary power input on the isolator, bypassing the regular usb power input ,to have the Orchid (see) the Intona.
Any thoughts at this point wound be much appreciated, thanks in advance for your help......
Best regards to all here.....

Daniel (Intona)
Posts: 54
Joined: May 6th, 2020, 8:29 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Daniel (Intona) »

When the LED goes off, the isolator is detecting the USB sleep mode. If the Orchid is actually just 100 mA asking, the AUX supply won't help. Nevertheless, you can try it quickly using a standard cell phone loader with USB micro connector. But I guess, this won't help.
Well, the isolator does the hard job translating all those modes and transfer types between both sides. For doing this, both devices must comply 100% to the USB standard. If one of them does a little deviation from this, you get in trouble. I googled about the Orchid, it seems to use XMOS for USB. This issue here is known to early XMOS firmware (which is mostly open source). There is at least one more device known to me with exactly the same issue (Mutec MC3 USB). You can try asking the manufacturer, if he can make a firmware update for that chip available. Newer versions work perfectly.
Daniel (Intona)

Sassafras
Posts: 4
Joined: July 27th, 2020, 2:15 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Sassafras »

Daniel, thank you for your help and advice, I will contact the manufacturer and see if he has a update available.....I will post updates here as we work to resolve this....

Sassafras
Posts: 4
Joined: July 27th, 2020, 2:15 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Sassafras »

Daniel,
I have heard back from the Dac manufacturer through my dealer. Juin over at Mhdt labs said, "our Dacs usb sections use CM6631A chip , (also in Teac, Onkyo and Schiit Dacs,) Which is a different architecture from Xmos. CM6631A is usb 2.0 standard and digital signed by Windows 10...." I hope this information is helpful Daniel, and can point us towards a solution to the problem. Thanks again for your help...

Daniel (Intona)
Posts: 54
Joined: May 6th, 2020, 8:29 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Daniel (Intona) »

I found a cheap DAC (Asus Xonar X7) in the lab that uses the CM6632A, which is very similar to the CM6631A. Connected to the iMac in front of me, connected via three different Intona isolators lying around. Worked out of the box. All the different I/O is available and usable.
So I guess, it's not the chip.
Try using other cables. Just for testing. Standard, printer-grade USB cables.
Daniel (Intona)

Sassafras
Posts: 4
Joined: July 27th, 2020, 2:15 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by Sassafras »

Thanks for that advice, I was able to track down the usb cable that Mhdt had sent along with their Dac.. It worked immediately and everything sounds great. It's also the only cable to work ,including generic cables.... I glad it does....Daniel, thank you for your time and effort in figuring things out.It is much appreciated.I'm really pleased with what Intona has brought to my digital systems....
Best regards...Jim

cyber
Posts: 7
Joined: May 16th, 2020, 12:05 am

Re: Post your gear

Post by cyber »

got it

Post Reply