Nov 16, 201871 views

Best solution to noisy USB?

I've got a pretty substantial (well, substantial when using my Dynaco Mk III, noticeable when using my Trends PA-10.1D, and all but nonexistent from my Airist Heron 5) buzzing and random noise problem when using USB sources. Doesn't matter, Emotiva DC-1 or Modi 2U. Power off at the DAC and it's still there (at least it's still just as noticeable with the Mk IIIs). At this point, I'm wondering where best to throw some money to clean up the gross USB noises. I'm open to suggestions here. Anybody have similar problems and found a solution?
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A schiit wyrd will eliminate that, they even have a nice return policy if it doesn't. A Schiit eitr will be even better and the SQ improvements are super awesome. Easily the best 200$ I ever spent on audio (6XX too :P)
DenonFanboy
I ended up with a Wyrd. Still a little noise, but it's tiny, and not directly linked to whether I have something changing on my monitor. Happy enough for now, even if I did want to avoid adding another thing to plug in. The Eitr didn't make any sense for my setup. The big selling point was a galvanicly isolated signal. My coax input already does all of the galvanic isolation, I just didn't have a coax out on the desktop (though a little digging makes that looks like a sub-$10 project if I care to try it). Perhaps if it did USB to AES3/EBU balanced XLR output I'd have tried it, but of course Schiit wouldn't make an AES box when none of their stuff supports it.
I’ve been using a Corning optical USB, essentially a repeater, though by doing so, provides a very clean signal. It is not meant to power anything... the bad reviews are likely from trying to power something... and you are better off using a clean source regardless, powering just a usb node or whole DAC device. I have been using a Gemini at the DAC side as a splitter, feeding power from an LPS. The shortest one is long, real long as in 10m so just coil it, it’s optical with real VCSEL power;) the copper is just for the end transceiver power. I first heard of this product from a Corning engineer; made for long patch runs in server farms. Bought one as a “what the hell” thought something was wrong at first,, odd sounding,,, then it hit... it was clean... since then have seen others mention it.
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https://www.amazon.com/Corning-Optical-Cables-Cable-Meter/dp/B00JOJRF6K/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1542587914&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=corning+usb&dpPl=1&dpID=318-ojHJO3L&ref=plSrch Thunderbolt, but same tech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La4uQxDjJ6I
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Well yeah, USB is the generic pile of garbage that everyone uses for everything. It's hardly the ideal solution for a lot of things it gets used for. IEEE 1394 was better than USB ever has been and was used in quite a bit of audio stuff. If it didn't require you pay licensing fees for everything you use it with, and if you had the consumer level interest you have for USB gear now, perhaps we would have a dedicated audio data system. Ideally, we'd just get an update to AES3 that captures all of the high res stuff out there now. Toslink's little red LED surely isn't up to those data rates, and nothing in their spec (as far as I can tell) goes beyond 24/192. I personally don't care beyond that, but that's one of the big limitations of trying not to use USB. AES3 is fine for the most part, it's just old and in need of a consumer level update since everything is pushing USB. USB is in constant development (though that development is largely speed focused) and it's easy to make whatever piece of crap you can think of for it, so why not if you're the manufacturers right now.
ProfessorPat
Need an updated standard that includes DSD,, only everything audio, not a compromised codec trying to cover everything such as USB. It should be written purely for an optical system, Using-VCSEL-done, with transceivers on-the-board, cable is just a fiber, there can still be photon polishing fibers, pure and doped sapphire, coated/un-coated and gluten-free etc., that market remains,,, Toshiba’s photo diode ‘invention’ from 1983 is slightly dated, first designed for max 6Mb/sec. I may even pay for a dual frequency one with the music stream and data separate... no compromise (perceived),, if one were made...
Well, according to Mike Moffat (who works in Schiit Audio) USB sounds like a**. In all seriousness though, if you have extra USB cables that would be an easy test to see if your cable is going bad. If you can, try different sources. Borrow a friend's computer and see if the buzzing persists. I'm not sure if this helps since I dunno how much troubleshooting you did.
dcha12
The buzz is dead. Turns out that was a ground loop. Not sure why I didn't think of that prior. The USB noise is definitely there still though. Different machines and different cables don't fix it, so it seems all of my stuff has noisy USB (which isn't surprising, USB isn't great...) and none of my cables can overcome that. Optical isn't great either though, and I've got no coax options on these machines without some other piece added on first. So it's either fix the USB, or get a good way to convert it to something else.
https://ifi-audio.com/home/computer-audio-tutorial/self-diagnostics/ Not sure if this helps! Personally I'm using their iusb3.0 nano, it covers almost all grounds and performs nearly as well as the micro version, which costs twice as much. When I pair it with my SDAC and O2 setup, it sounds way better than even the iDSD Black Label
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That's good to hear! Though I still don't quite understand it myself HAHA XD
phoenixsong
I knew I needed a ground that I didn't have, but I wouldn't have thought to try swapping a 2 pin supply for a 3 pin supply. For whatever reason, that didn't seem like an option. No buzz now, but the power supply brick is bigger than the whole amp... Probably going to try to find something less silly huge for this at some point.