! box(+PSU) Solution to end all USB woes, period at a slight cost

there exists a one box USB filter plus it’s small PSU that will perfectly fix the dirtiest USB signal, or cleanest for that matter. It may be old news, but at a minimum of $1,640 with the silver cable I am not sure how many have tried it. the matrix’ claim to fame is n the outboard conversion of USB>I2S but rather the purification of the signal. not the change in formats. It could just as well as be USB>USB. As is this. I understand that the entire idea at hand is most people want to get around spending nearly this much money on their USB “Tweak”. If you do wish to cut to the chase, done deal here.

Today I got my hands on the SOTM tX-USBultra with it’s PSU, the sPS-500 with their upgraded silver cable. It is just as good as what I had been previously using with very high end music server and NUC. Into several Different DAC’s at all price points. this is another way to keep it very simple, albeit at a higher cost.

However, the clock in this is much better than that of the Matrix. I imagine either sounds fine. the edge to this perhaps in a very high end system. I had mentioned there are other options. I got my hands on this about 16 hours ago and thus since have been very pleased.YMMV. However using the utmost quality USB cables of your choosing with this shall be a given!

Whenever I feel my audio habit has gone way out of control all I need to do is read one of your posts to know that I still have a long way to go. Comforting.


For $1,640, one may as well buy a proper streamer, and, forget about it!

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Depends. I have about 30+ grand into my “proper” streamer and 45+ grand into my “proper” low power computing device! that is why they are such clean sources to begin with. However just to test this I took a $400 absolute junk 5 year old Walmart computer and it made it sound as good as my stuff! I am sorry if you folks think I am a jerk because I can throw money at things. It is but one way of solving an equation. I will fully admit to solve such an equation on a shoe-string budget is much more of a novel, and noble approach. Anything can be fixed with enough money. heck, just buy a better DAC to begin with then. that, to me does not count, because in this particular system I find no better than the DSD oddly enough. then came windom.

I fully understand achieving a goal with a “budget” in mind is much more of a “typical” approach to things.I will be the first to say I hate “budgets”. I just buy whatever “I” “think” is the best at the moment. Indeed I am lucky but not just luck, I paid my dues too. I worked hard to build my company. I have no remorse about it but I do not “brag” about it either. even though, it may often times seem that way. I simply state facts. the “fact” is, 9/10 more expensive gear sounds better or it would not command a higher price. sorry truth. things that sound just great on the cheap are of a finding indeed. anyhow, this SOTM stuff, though not cheap for just one box plus a little PSU sounded absolutely fantastic to me! easily the equal of the Matrix. Of course it is 5x the price of such.

Mainly I was pointing out that it is not the format conversion that is doing it! USB>USB is just fine. A termination does not care what it is in these cases, it is not like coax Vs. BNC for true 75OHM. It is the conversion taking place, not the connector I would almost certainly believe. Hence, this sounding the same if not better. Probably better once the entire system is over $55,000, It does employ a much better clock, which is the big deal here. Don’t get me wrong though, for the price the matrix changes the entire game. I was myself instantly able to realize that. It is in and of it self outstanding. cannot go wrong with it IMO.

Due to my “investment” in USB cables I just want to stick with USB right now, and this just went and simplified things. even with the best sources available I would not be without something like this. It is plain and simple, for audio the electrical characteristics of USB are not the most conducive to great sound. Luckily that can be fixed in a myriad of ways. from, inexpensive and up. I just did not want “some” people to think my idea of “fun” is to just throw money at everything. I do what sounds best to me. trust me, what this just replaced was much more $$$$. I am very pleased and surprised with this right now. I did have their little HUB in place but this is completely different sounding. Much more for the better.

Maybe soon I will take a challenge and see how cheap I can build a good system. I do not feel ashamed, you folks try to make me feel ashamed. I just want the best sound. It really is the only thing I do in my life. no movie, vacation or anything. Not even TV, although I did go nuts on that too I will admit. I just like 2 channel audio period. So it is of a big deal to me. even if I was in a position I had to sacrifice. luckily not though. Hey, they don’t make this stuff because no one buy’s it :slight_smile:

I was just wondering about wireless streaming and forgoing a “connection” altogether? surely, that is too good to be true, right? thanks

If you feed back your results on cash no object hi-fi then you do us a favour :slight_smile:
There will always be jealousy, as long as you are kind to others them no complaints from me :slight_smile:.

LOL, I’m not jealous, my Aries G2 is dead quiet. Receives signal via WIFI, goes to dac via WWplatinum usb. My budget system is only about $100,000, so maybe it’s not great, but, I hear absolutely no noise, other than music!

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Kyle - I started out getting a G1 in part to get rid of the whole $1k+ galvanic iso chain I had on my Mini at the time. Sadly, the Matrix makes a difference even on that (the G1). And then, it is even easier to hear what the USB cable is doing…aaargh. Back where I was. WW Starlight 8 nicer than the Audio Sensibility I was using…now burning in a Cerious Graphene Matrix, which, even un-burned in, is clearly way more info than either. Certainly Very different sounding. Hopefully it will mellow out (supposed to).

This gets back to the old question of, “Why can we keep improving on it?” I’d use something else, but I tend to like the sound of USB for some reason.



Was just wondering if you had seen or especially heard the new Innuos Phoenix?

Essentially the same thing as the SOTM but all 3 in one. Non-switching USB chip regeneration, a 24Mhz clock, and 2 LPS’s to run each individually.

I agree with you so far in my experience with this hobby, 9/10 times more expensive sounds better!!

The Phoenix is about twice the price at $3149 and was raved about at the RMAF. I have one reserved and am going to give it a shot. A full 30 days to return. If it gives me what you are getting from the SOTM and more, it will be worth it! I am waiting for the Octave server from PS Audio. Hoping this will hold me over until it is ready. Might even make a difference with it too! we shall see/hear…

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I wanted to believe the Matrix, properly powered and laced with expensive Wireworld cables made a difference with the G1. I want to believe it. But the difference was so very, very slight that I just hooked it up to the DSD via an expensive Wireworld AES/EBU cable. The owner of the G1 has now done the same test and he agrees the difference is almost imperceptible. But badbeef may have better hearing. I hope he does.

I am so very satisfied with my $1200 made for audio Euphony PTS server along with it’s $699 fancy power supply and $450 Matrix along with the $17,000 worth of Wireworld cables. It sounds so much better than I could hope to improve with still more expensive nonsense.

But wait, I wonder if special feet would help if placed under the Keces power supply? Hmmmmmm. A chance to spend more!

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I hear you. Made lots of changes lately, and frankly am annoyed that I’m back to having a chain attached. I should do more testing, including without Matrix, especially if I end up liking a $900 USB cable. I am a little swamped with variables at the moment.

I’m confused though - you ARE using a Matrix? And Three Zeroes after the $17 in WW cables?

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I do not intend to imply this is true of you, but reading these posts makes me think someone could create an alternate internet personality and assume any financial status they wish to invent, and we’d have no way of knowing it were true or not :thinking:.

The Innuos Phoenix is tested tech, the Mk3 power supplies and Statement signal regeneration. The Statement seems to be the reference server these days.

If I used the usb output from my Innuos I would be tempted by the Phoenix, except I’d then have to get usb cables. The Phoenix is really designed for dirty computer streams. I use the direct Ethernet link so no usb issues. The Phoenix has had very positive comments and probably makes usb preferable to I2S into DSD Snr DACs.

Let’s us know when it arrives.

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I like reading about people exposing their system. I don’t like the looks of every system, but I sure like to know what is considered the bench mark.

That’s why I like reading Brodric’s Magico’s Magic.

So no problem.

I watched the Beekhuizen review, he seems to like the unit too.

But what I truly don’t understand. With all the High End equipment, why do you need those extra boxes, why can’t that technology be integrated in the “High End” equipment? I would guess that if you can fork out 45k US$ you wouldn’t mind spending the 1.6k US$ more for the integrated tech.

The less boxes the better, although I do see the benefit of separates and mono power amps, or preferably active speakers.

I am using a Matrix badbeef. And the $17,000 was a joke. It’s closer to $1700.
I have a Matrix for my DSD Sr., and one for my DSD Jr. A friend loaned me his Aries G1 as he wanted my opinion of it. I have a very high opinion of it and if I wasn’t set right now I’d be tempted to buy an Aries G2. I just don’t think the Matrix added a lot to the G1. That is not a slight on either product, I am a fan of both.

I have a mostly Siltech loom including a G7 Universal Classic USB cable. It runs from my Roon Rock streamer to my Matrix. It’s at that price point and I’m really pleased with the performance. Totally silent and detailed presentation. These do show up occasionally used and about 50% of MSRP.

I kind of bet the Phoenix is better! not to be had at the moment AFAIK?
Given the SOTM is to me no difference from the Matrix if not better, still in one box and all USB I just prefer it. No need to go buy a HDMI cable now. Truth be told, I do try to save some money too!
I think USB is fine if you “treat it right”. Garbage in, garbage out. I2S is much more forgiving, that is what many are noticing here. Not that it is inherently better I would gather. Perhaps AES3 is, I am not sure on that either. I too prefer USB. If for nothing else, my investment in cables. Which does in fact have 3 zeros after it.

No, I I do not assume this Personae. If they can by law, Paul can vouch for at least all PS Audio gear I own/have owned. Caliber of equipment I have traded. There may be liability but look I am putting it out there. Would I go do that then In PS Audio alone I have spent well into six figures. My real login credentials are right here for Paul to see if he cares to state if I am “legit”. Just, please Paul do not provide my contact INFO :slight_smile: I am indeed truly very humble, help the next person in an instant.

I agree it helps others to hear about cutting edge HI-FI for the “trickle down”. For whatever that is worth, but it most often does. Companies always incorporate in their lower gear some king of high end “feature” found on their flagship gear. Here, I am the one that can often really compare it for you! Not to be a jerk, but because of my “status” in this hobby I have access to “demo’s” many others do not.

One thing, I do not lie what I have. Even insinuating that on this particular “industry” forum tends to upset me. This is not just a regular public forum. It is owned by a particular hardware vender. Therefore I believe we all have standards to ‘uphold’ here which I, myself most certainly do. I for one never, said I had or had heard a piece of equipment, cable what have you that I actually did not. I just wanted to get that out of the way. Agreed, there will always be jealousy but I see it the same way I in effect am actually helping others through certain knowledge. (sometimes, granted lack there of :slight_smile: )

Truthfully, the large system did require that power cable. There was no way around it but another builder might have hit me with 1/25TH. that price. Or at least I should have asked the price up front. That is truthfully my only one big ‘regret’ so far in this hobby. I have nothing to compare it to, it works fine. It just does not seem appropriately priced to me, but I am not really even sure about that. FYI, this was from several other postings about a “custom made mains battery grid lead” In case someone was not up to speed on what I was speaking of. It is all 2-4-OT-AWG conductors, each extruded cross section being that nearly 1/50th of a solid silver bus bar! and cost me more than a lot of folks dwellings. That is when I say sometimes jokingly more money than brains.Although, hey maybe I have no clue what it is actually doing sound wise for the system!

Well, after all of that there is no doubt that in the future further improvements shall be realized upon USB. At which point I shall obtain them. Starting with The Phoenix, although it may be pretty similar to the SOTM. If you clean it too much as I just recently had with a chain of boxes the sound becomes much less inviting IMO. Clinical, fatiguing , sterile, harsh, generally “too clean”. I find the SOTM at the point where just ‘musicality’ is left and no noise floor or back ground other than infinite blacks. If the Phoenix goes any ‘further’ that will most likely prove to be a big detriment’ Except perhaps with some headphone setups. Certainly not any well rounded full scale loudspeaker systems.

If it is neither is better, then is it worth 75% more cash? Even though it has dual mono PSU’s they are right next to the clock too! Plus, I am still not convinced the Phoenix has a better clock. There is more to it than just what oscillator they use. Furthermore, truth be told an AQ Jitterbug is as good of an oscillator as is needed for this task! Companies like throw around big words and numbers to impress. It would behoove everyone in this hobby to learn what ‘jargon’ applies where;. If not to now the ouright meaning of it!

So, my big question, unanswered, Would a G2 which is a fraction of the price of my ‘hot-rodded’ W20SE sending a signal to a DAC wirelessly probably sound much better or worse than my current USB signal chain? I guess I am kind of a real jerk. At the time I thought due to it’s very ‘low’ price the G2 was just a budget box! Now, of course I have learned differently. I am just not clear if wireless is now the absolute best signal chain? I know with something such as that of the G2 it is current cutting edge. Although better than that of a ‘wired’ connection’ yet? I remember just a few years ago this was not ‘even’ in the cards. wireless is great with subwoofers though. we are talking, what one billionth the information or so(that is just a wild guess).

Okay, as usual I apologize for placing such a long post here!

I only own the G1 as I had no need for internal storage or the special linking capabilities between other Auralic gear. The solid one piece case may make for some small difference but was not enough for me to warrant double the price for much the same internals. I have run it both wired and wireless and have not heard a difference in the sound quality. So if your wireless signal is strong enough and stable enough then one less cable and like the Innuous Zenith two separate power supplies. Whether or not it is “better” than all of the multi-piece set-ups I wouldn’t know and don’t intend to find out as either it or the Zenith are enough for my needs and I don’t have separate power supplies and cables running all over. One power cord and either a single USB or AES/EBU cable depending on which DAC I am using at the time.

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The way I see it, there is no point in pondering fact or fiction. It really makes no difference. Nothing that @2chan4ever has said would cast any doubt that what he owns - or has owned - is anything but truthful. And, even if it was all made up of B.S., it certainly doesn’t affect me.

@2chan4ever… I’m going to back your play in terms of USB. I once owned a Matrix. And it is indubitably a fantastic product. i2S has proven itself to be a frontrunner in the “first choice” category of data transport protocols. That said, like you, I have found a USB “formula” that matches the sound quality I was getting with the Matrix via i2S.

Currently I am running the following:
432 EVO Aeon music server (USB out via Mad Scientist “data only” cable ------> DS DAC (using AQVOX USB-B LPS for power signal handshake only)

My 432 EVO server uses three discrete SBooster MKII LPS’s. The 1st LPS is dedicated to the 432 EVO server board… the 2nd LPS is dedicated to the SoTM tX-USBexp USB card… the 3rd LPS is dedicated to the separate SoTM sCLK-xxxx superclock card serving the SoTM USB card.

My USB-based chain is as good as the Matrix connected via i2S that used to reside in my system. So, my experience of doing “USB proper” provides one use-case that substantiates your opinion that if the conditions are befitting, USB can rival that of i2S.

As I wrote, my musing was not specifically related to @2chan4ever, but rather a wider pondering of internet culture and the extensive veils and mirrors inherent to it. A place where it’s very difficult to know what is true or not. I ponder fact, fiction, and everything in between and beyond. Curiosity and exploration of life’s mysteries is one of life’s great joys.

There is a degree of arrogance present when one takes every chance they can to share how wealthy they are. While not wrong per se, it does display a type of poverty :wink:

Roger that… Though I think that has been cast in stone as a given these days. Most assume such.

Sure, and there are certainly those that make a point to ensure all are fully aware. But, for the humble who happen to have wealth and the ability to spend it, it seems impossible to be open and forthcoming without the perception of arrogance or being braggadocios. In other words, if someone has $500,000 in their system, there is an inherent risk in merely speaking of their components.

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