Now there’s quite a coincidence - as I was listening HARD to music through the iPurifier thing-a-ma-jig, I was really aware of my tinnitus which is like a light high-frequency hiss going on all the time. I was asking myself, “What the hell am I doing worrying about a slight electrical hiss when I have to turn the volume up to an ungodly level, while God is making my ears hiss all the damn time?” But I guess I can hear things like “presence” and “woody” qualities that might be affected by noise despite my God-given noise…?
I have been using a couple of iPurifier for quite a while now so I decided to do a little comparison with and without iPurifier connected between my streamer and DAC. I was surprise it’s considerably cleaner sounding with the iPurifier installed, especially in the highs that are a little more distinct, separated and with less grain. It’s not night and day, but I definetely can hear it. It’s been quite a while since I did a comparison. I had many USB cables changes since.This little bugger helps even though my streamer and USB cable is of a very high quality.
Even with your Chord USB, you can still hear improvement from this little thing?
Yes, I feel it’s even easier to hear the difference because of the extreme tranperancy of the ChordMusic. Seems with a lesser USB cables, you hear less difference. Similar to the higher resolution of the MK2, I can hear more differences in tweaks than with the MK1 DAC.
I got 5% discount from Amazon, not bad. wait, is everyone getting that?
Hi, thanks for jumping in. I’ve tried lots of comparisons with/without and am still having a hard time discerning a difference, but it could be for one of 4 reasons: 1) my ears aren’t yet up to this level of detail, 2) my USB cable came highly rated - Pangea Audio Premier ($50) - but still says “entry level” (but if as dchang05 mentioned, you’re using the Chord Music, it’s nothing like others I’ve seen - yours I could get for a little more than twice the cost of mine), 3) my DAC (Schiit multi-bit) is also probably not in the biggest league, and 4) my checkbook (I almost listed my wife separately, but I guess saying “checkbook” automatically includes her). So as with other cables and such, I’m hanging onto the iPurifier “in case” - in case my ears get better or my checkbook/wife changes.
As you stated, Pangea Premier is really an “entry level” cable. I have their ethernet cable and I have to say even in the same price range it is not that good.
I suggest you get a better USB cable from the used market. For example, I just sold my Silnote Epirus Master Reference USB ($495) for under $200. It is so revealing that I could hear every little detail from my system. The only reason I was selling it is because I am getting a pricy one. With your budget getting a used cable may be the best way to go.
Maybe it’s this iPurifier3 that gives me an advantage with the USB input over the I2S, it sure does sound better with it in. I use to use the USB REGEN from UpTone Audio, but it didn’t do as good a job as the iPurifer3 in the clarity of the sound and the flimsy connector broke off the REGEN, so I junked it. It also cost a little more at $175. With my older system with the murkier sound from the MK1 DAC, the REGEN and iPurifier did help clean the sound a little, but I couldn’t hear it as much as in my present system.
I will try it with my new USB cable. Amazon has two days on it and I should get my USB tomorrow
The good thing about Amazon is I can return it without issue. I will find out does it help pairing with a top cable.
But but… I just saw the Chord Music cable for under $200 (3 M) - so you’re going with a better one?
The one waymanchen got is in the thousands, not the one you think.
OK, so waymanchen isn’t married to my wife?
I use to use a bunch of Pangea cables, especially Power cords. I tried their silver USB cable and their HDMI cables. They were OK that the time, but nothing to write home about. When I discovered WireWorld cables, that was an eye opener. That was many, many years ago when I first started this crazy endeavor. This rabbit hole is extremely deep, but once you find out how much cables can improve your system, it’s hard not falling into it. Good Luck with Your endeavor!
you are safe, just do not tell her
A great USB cable will improve everything, including marriage.
ChordMusic USB 1meter cable retails for $6000. You can get a brand new one from the Cable Company, they have it in stock. Don’t miss out, it’s a wonderful cable.
Thanks. Yeah, it’s a deep and wide rabbit hole, but it’s fun. For years I scoffed at cable enthusiasts, but bought my first pair of better speaker cables and immediately heard a difference. So I’ve stopped scoffing, but having a harder time telling that difference. Here’s a question - my DAC has no need for USB power, only the data - do they even make non-power USB cables? Do they make any difference?
OK, so I guess the one you’re buying isn’t this one? Gosh, I got all excited when you were in favor of a $150 iPurifier. Now I hate you. Seriously, I’m joking, and I do appreciate the help - maybe I’ll find an opportunity to buy a used something for under a couple hundred.
No, I have this one. https://www.thecableco.com/chordmusic-usb-cable.html
And to answer your other question. Just use a regular high quality USB cable, high end USB cables do not come without the power conductor. You can save up and get a lower line WireWorld, but the top model is really good, the Platinum series.
Don’t hate me yet, wait until you start getting into the rest of the cables you will have to upgrade. Then you can hate me.
Been a tough few weeks at work, but wanted to share some research I did that might help with these decisions on USB cables. For a work function, I was talking to a freaking brilliant guy who knows everything there is to know about industrial drive products – I do marketing for these things at Siemens. I learned from a Paul McGowan YouTube video a few months ago that a class D amplifier is actually a really high-precision variable-speed drive, but instead of running a servo motor, my new PS Audio Stellar M1200 amps run a linear motor (our drives do those, too), which is called a speaker. As with drives, the more complex the application required of the motor, the more complex the digital technology is needed for the drive. And reproducing sound waves of high-quality is a VERY complex application. An example of a precise drive/motor application would be running machine tools to create an artificial hip socket, which our CNC equipment does very well. As you can imagine, data errors could result in bad surgery! So I was talking to my friend about USB cables, whether there’s ever a concern with drives and he said absolutely, that it is critical that the data has as little “noise” as possible. Eagerly I asked him, “so in the automation world, what does noise do?” But before he could answer that (like any good engineer type, this guy can talk a blue streak), he said, "but there’s no longer much of a need to worry, because studies have shown that the structure of data leaving the Controller (equivalent to the audio server) is identical when getting to the drive. As for digital “clocking” and that sort of thing, he said the same thing - it’s just not an issue any more. “But come on,” I pushed, “certainly there are SOME errors?” and he confirmed that they do occur, but they are very few and are almost always created BEFORE the cable, and are either caught by error correction or just produce nothing - in other words, the drive just skips the error. He did say that artificial intelligence is coming along that could “interpolate” what data should be there, but he said it’s such a tiny number of instances as to be kind of a moot point, or “mute” as we say in audio. To be honest, he said, the main motivation for this is so customers can get away with cheaper cables to run cheaper drives.
So from this I think it’s pretty unlikely that there is anything to worry about when it comes to accuracy of digital audio data transfer, whether you’re using a high-end or just a good quality cable. My friend did confirm that for precision applications, they do use good-quality cables.
I’m sure this ticks some people off who have bought really expensive USB cables, but my guess is that the improvement you’re hearing isn’t caused by better digital – you just can’t make a better 0 or 1- it’s caused by less interfering electrical noise. I am keeping my iFi iPurifier for cleaning electrical noise and will probably buy its Ethernet equivalent, the iSilencer. But I did decide to spend a little on a better quality USB cable made by Pine Tree Audio, where I’ve bought speaker cables and interconnects where I really can hear the difference. My contact there says he can hear a difference in the USB cables, but can’t explain it. So why try?
USB digital cables can and do have as much effect on the audio signals as analog interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords as well. The better cables degrade the signal the least as no cables are perfect. The different cables have their own virtues and it’s a matter of finding the ones that are right for your taste and system. I find the more expensive cables do indeed do the least amount of damage to the sound as I can hear clearer and more micro detail that are in the recording from those cables. I have done extensive comparisons and so far the sound with the ChordMusic is simply the clearest, highest resolution, most real sounding USB cable I have ever heard. It literally brought out so much more nuances in the music that is glossed over with lesser quality cables. But of course, you need a very highly resolving system to benefit, or you might not hear much of a difference at all.