DirectStream better without Uptone Regen?


I had talked to them a while back. The only model that does what we want is the Gigabit Lex2. It does have the Asic. In fact it “is” the Lanrover. Albeit with Four ports.

When I mentioned you cannot isolate usb>usb that is exactly what I meant. The only way it can be done is to change the format to optical or Ethernet between Two usb cables or just open ended. Meaning the side at the DAC is terminated in Ethernet or Toslink. I was trying to point out there is no possible way to stay strictly in the realm of usb with no format conversion and achieve Galvanic isolation. The reason it works when converted to Ethernet or Toslink is because those formats by their very nature do not complete a circuit. there is simply no known way to do this solely with only the use of usb cabling and no other type of cable.

Companies that state differently are either honest and it is done via an opto coupler at usb 1.1 which is the same basically as using Toslink but just internally. Or they are selling snake oil. filter it in many manners? yes definitely possible but not lifting the shield and still have functioning equipment.

Unfortunately when I spoke with Icron they acknowledged that the LEX2 model may have issues with the latest versions of Windows 10. No wonder, since it is in fact the Lanrover.

Luckily, none of this applies to me! I am just following this thread. I have no noise that I know of in my system. there may very well be but if I cannot hear it, it does not mater to me much. on the other hand people can end up with utterly intrusive noise. From usb or otherwise. Often as stated much earlier by equipment being on staggered phases of your electrical system.


Technically USB specifies wires (and hence isn’t galvanically isolated) so of course you can’t technically isolate it. But don’t mix up “format” and the physical implementation. (see Tho USB does technical specify the physical layer, a custom implementation that looks like a full USB hub implementation on each end and meets the timing works fine (tho its not easy to do). To meet that timing you need to actually look like (at least) two hubs in series, otherwise you don’t have the physical time to covert to, say, Ethernet or optical. That’s why there is a limit the USB tree with Icron units to 15 USB devices (2 hops) instead of the standard 255 (four hops).

I’m not sure why “The only model that does what we want is the Gigabit Lex2.” Anything that does USB 2.0 at High Speed (especially if it explicitly lists audio or video uses) should be good enough (e.g. the 2324). You don’t want to use a short optical cable between them (e,g, anything less than a couple of meters.) You probably don’t want USB 3.0 only units. I used the predecessor to the 2324 (the 2224) in my system successfully (tho Windows 10 wasn’t out at the time.) You may want a quieter power supply than the one provided (tho I was fine on a spare dedicated power circuit.) I could be mistaken but at least the 2224 supported Windows 10.

When PS Audio started the LANRover project there weren’t ASIC versions available, but I suspect that to meet the PS Audio cost needs Icron needed a less expensive implementation which probably was the ASIC implementation (which unfortunately didn’t work with Windows 10.) I don’t know if the current ASIC version works with Windows 10, if you want to go down this path simply ask if the product works on Windows 10 before you buy it.


What’s the reason for this Ted?


The receivers are designed to have variable gain for differing losses for different lengths of runs. They aren’t designed for short runs and short runs may overload the receiver. Inline attenuators or just bad enough cables may allow shorter runs.


Thanks for Info. No, I am not going to bother because I already did talk to them. They informed me that it may or may not work. Plus they told me the only one that provides Galvanic isolation is the LEX2. I would think any sort of this type of device would. Tripp Lite and some others make much less expensive units. I do remember that they went to asic. Some say the older one sounds better. I have no clue about that claim. It is a shame about this because it was the only device that did something like this. There is still going to optical I guess. However I maintain as with myself if all is well otherwise just use a Belkin gold cable directly from PC to DAC. Pretty much the title of this thread. It takes a good cable and that one specs better than any other.


I would like to ask MR. Smith but others are welcome to reply as well.

Was the LanRover/Icron Unit the absolute highest level of USB “conditioning”? Now that it no longer works what if anything do you recommend? “If anything” Meaning perhaps as the title of this thread the DS is best off just left to do it’s thing. Without any magic boxes. There are so many of these on the market now, one hardly knows what does what. Without listening. I was not clear if you were a big fan of changing USB into Toslink? I think you mentioned that you use a Hub. Which is pretty much all any of these are. In this case it really does not matter how good it’s crystal is. Snake oil I suppose.

I have $$$ of stuff between it but it was from a previous “mistake” and hate to get rid of it. I am betting, mine too sounds better without all that. I was just wondering, if you were going to pick one product(s) to clean up the USB what they might be? Or if in fact it hardly matters to the DS? I ask this because perhaps I can sell all of that. I do not usually sell things but why I may have spent $$$ to make it worse is beyond me. Well, it is a carryover from a previous DAC.

There are so many different ways you can go with this if it is in fact going to make a difference. USB>Optical, USB>Ethernet, MicroRendu stuff, “claiming” galvanic isolation, Noise shaping devices, Moving the noise out of hearing range, and the list goes on. I truly wonder, per this post if it is simply best with a good cable and nothing else. Then there are all the Linear power supplies to drive this stuff. No shortage of those either. So would you not use any of this, or if you were to use one, which? Or a combination of things like I have(inadvertently)?

Also, as I mentioned I do not see how companies are providing galvanic isolation for USB 2.0. Since you can indeed cut the +5V line, but if you disconnect the shell almost no USB device will function. Are they going about this some other way perhaps? I cannot imagine they are lying.

Even so, is galvanic isolation the ultimate answer here? The way the input is setup on the DS I can see the topic of this thread. It just is not letting the garbage power rails into the FPGA. Unless I am just completely wrong? I think it all centers around the +5V and any noise present in the data lines. I am just wondering what product(s) is the best approach to eradicating this? If any! I figure it is okay to discuss as PSA is not currently producing such an item. Which in fact may lead one to believe that it is felt that it is not of urgency with the DS. The LanRover may have been best put to use on other DAC’s. Not sure. Although it may still be the top choice for this job independent of system.

Which leads me to, you said any high speed device shall work for this. I was told by some other people that it had to be this particular Gigabit model from Icron AKA LanRover. So it shall suffice to use anything USB>Ethernet>USB? Some run the Ethernet shorter distances, they are much less money. I did not know if those were okay too? Also, some are Bus powered, what about those? I just hate to implement this and not even realize It did not nothing. I am guessing however, that this and perhaps Optical are the last word in USB “purification”. It will be very interesting to hear if it sounds better without it then. I am just confused as which of the many units to purchase. these are computer components not Audio of course. We just borrowed the technology.
Thank you -Todd


A lot of your answers are system specific, sort of like asking “What’s the best cartridge I could use?” Without knowing a lot about your system (and/or potentially hearing it) it’s hard to know which direction to go.

There isn’t any ideal USB isolator that I know of. Most of them work well in some systems (or even most systems) but none seem to be great in all systems. If you want to go the Icron route (which isn’t a bad idea IMO) then I’d go to the optical converters rather than the Ethernet (or other wired) converters. If you do don’t try to use shorter than, say, 10’ of optical cable - and don’t spend much on that cable - with short distances the better it is the worse the results (because the signal level will be too high for the receiver that expecting a drop from huge distances.)

The “transmittrer” (the unit closest to the source) can be bus powered or have it’s own local power supply (especially if you go the optical route.) If you use an wired interface (e.g. the Ethernet versions) then you will probably be able to hear the difference in the power supply used for the “transmitter”.

I haven’t noticed any devices that use POE (power over Ethernet) to supply the “receiver” (the unit nearest the DAC.) And certainly for an optical interface you’d need a local supply for the receiver. The quality of that supply matters.

Tho I’ve used the previous Icron series and the LANRover in my systems to good effect, that was on Windows 7, so I can’t personally vouch that the current versions from Icron work well with Windows 10.


Thank you. That was exactly what I needed to know. The Optical seems like the best option. Only one I have not tried. The thing is, one of those $30 “DAC’s” will convert USB to Optical just as a side effect of it’s operation. I figure if I expect a positive difference, get the Icron/Startech converter. Although I wonder if it is actually the same thing. Since I have one of those $30 “DAC’s” here I can just try it first. It is no big deal to get the Icron, it is in stock at CDW. I gather the ultimate answer to this, you are correct is to abolish the electrical connection entirely. Which is carrying all the noise. I do not need high bit rates so it is fine for my usage.


I had mentioned before I think. If I am going to convert USB to Toslink. Wouldn’t I be better off just originating with Toslink from a high quality Pcie card with a good transmitter? I could go right from a dedicated computer to the DS Toslibk input foregoing USB altogether. If it is better for a transport, why not a Music server? Which basically is a transport of sorts. I would bundle up 20’ feet of Fiber behind it. Since it is on top of the DS. I am not sure why more people are not doing this rather than messing with all kinds of USB gadgets. If this is a good answer I would appreciate if you would let me know, since everything to do it is already in place. I am assuming it is not this simple or everyone would just be doing this. Rather than wasting time and money on all manner of things USB? I am not sure what the benefit of the conversion is when I can start with Toslink to begin with? Thanks -Todd


Can you get an ASIO or WASPI driver for the internal optical out? If not then that is probably the reason


Hi everyone. On a different issue, I bought the only usb2optical adapter I could find in the UK (link below) and I’m have problems with it and was hoping someone could help.

I’ve installed the C-Media ASIO driver that come with it, but when I select an audio track in JRiver I get -
“Somthing went wrong with playback.
Playback has requested multiple restarts in a short amount of time”

The correct led lights up on the unit for the correctly sent sample rate so it’s partially working but there is no sound out.
I’m running a win10 pc. I also tried installing the driver under compatibility mode with no improvement.

Any ideas?
Many thanks


I do recommend TOSLink if it has the bandwidth for everything you might want to play - it won’t do DSD128 nor 24 (or 32) / 352.8k PCM (aka. DXD)

Icron (or similar) optical (or wired) is something to consider if you desire DSD128, etc. and are willing to experiment a little.

Optical Ethernet converters are also a possibility if you like using the Bridge instead.

There might be some misunderstandings here. With TOSLink any length of cable is fine, often shorter will allow 192k when longer won’t. As far as jitter is concerned yes getting USB out of the chain can be good, but jitter isn’t as much of a problem with the DS as with most DACs. FWIW I did all of my tests and demos of my prototype DS via USB -> S/PDIF -> TOSLink.

As is mentioned below a lot of cheapo TOSLink converters (e.g. ones integrated in many PCs) have crap drivers. With a USB -> TOSLink it’s ironic but you may have better driver choices (since a lot of them use XMOS based (or similar hardware) with Thesycon drivers.) Windows 10 now has a built in USB Audio 2.0 driver so this may be less of a problem. If you use it be sure to try both WASAPI push and WASAPI event modes.

There are a lot of USB “rehabilitations”, each of which are effective for some users. But since many of them are trying to optimize jitter reduction, perhaps at the expense of electrical noise or perhaps not being as careful about isolation or grounding, they may be a step backwards with the DS. At the least, if they sound better with the DS it may be because of overall quality rather than directly solving a particular problem. Often people have some lying around from older system setups so they might as well see if they work with the DS (or any other new DAC setup.)

FWIW I use USB with either the Corning 3.Optical cable or a simple USB hub (with a good power supply) right before the DS, they are pretty simple experiments.


There’s nothing magic about ASIO vs. WASAPI for use with the DS (or audio listening in general.) ASIO is specifically designed for lower latencies when doing audio editing, etc. But lower latencies are irrelevant for audio listening and come with more problems for your PC. Also ASIO drivers are notoriously buggy. If WASAPI works don’t waste time on ASIO. The OS can be setup for bit perfect delivery of bits with ASIO, WASAPI, KS or even DS so that’s not an issue either. Also (contrary to internet lore) ASIO doesn’t guarantee that the OS will keep it’s hands off of the volume control (or other manipulations), (often ASIO does, but not always.)

Perhaps the error you mention is cause by the advanced audio option “Auto configure output settings on playback error”. I’d set it to “Ask” or “No” and then change things by hand until playback works.

Also in JRiver you can set buffer sizes in multiple places. In the ASIO device settings you probably want the “Use large hardware buffers…” checked (and “DSD bitstream in DoP format” checked.) If you aren’t using the Bridge you might also want the audio option “Prebuffering” set to the default or higher (FWIW I use 20 seconds.) With the bridge smaller values may be necessary for higher sample rates and/or DSD to perform well.


Thank you. I am going to try taking Toslink out of a high quality Pcie card(not Motherboard) straight to the DS. Instead of using USB. I can envision every way this is superior. People are wasting all kinds of money on Rednet Etc. when they can just do this. Well, assuming they do not need HI-Res. It is interesting you use a hub with good psu since that is essentially what every one of these devices is. Some have great clocks Etc. but that hardly matters in this application. Just marketing. If Toslink is better for the transport it should be for the PC. Since USB is even worse than Coax. Perhaps not AES3 but should still be better.


If you don’t mind my asking. Why do you use a hub? Not the actual hub, all of these things are a hub. Good Engineering sense not to spend a grand on it. I meant why don’t you use optical in it’s entirety or USB>optical? The reason I am interested is because if a hub is good enough for you, it is certainly good enough for me. Although it is no problem at all to run optical from a good pcie card here. I was just intrigued because depending on he reason it might be the best thing for me too. I know you even mentioned you did your demos with USB>Spdif>optical or something. If your personal system is all USB Unless there is some ‘special’ reason I think that says a lot. I would then have to rethink what I wish to accomplish. I saw a picture of your system, so you are not playing around. I imagine if you wanted optical you would have it. I am very interested as to why you are using USB. Especially after you have brought to light all of it’s shortcomings. Thanks -Todd


I think I’ve been clear - I prefer TOSLink iff I’m not going to play double rate DSD, or DXD (32 bits at 352.8k) I prefer USB otherwise.

If I’m visiting someone’s house for a test or a demo I don’t want to (or can’t) install USB drivers on their machine so I come with a TOSLink cable, a S/PDIF -> TOSLink converter and a S/PDIF cable so that I can, in all probability, connect to their system digitally.

The point of my hub isn’t hub’ness so much as isolating as much as possible within the USB spec the ground and VBUS lines. An externally powered hub gives a chance to at least stabilize the ground and “regenerate” the VBUS which may suppress some of the incoming electrical noise. You can of, course do better (at a cost) but for what I listen to they are often past the point of diminishing returns.

There are many people who choose fancier cables and other tweaks to their systems than I. At times it depends on what you are listening for, other times is may be just comfort or some other less technical reason.

I use more tweaks for the rest of my system (room treatment, carefully picked cables, etc.)

Or, put another way, if I can make a bigger difference by changing software than hardware I’d rather be helping myself and others with software work that than spending time and money on hardware.


Thanks Ted for your advice. I tried all 3 options under Auto Configure Output settings as suggested and sadly there was no difference. I still get the error. Any other ideas?

I do appreciate that I should actually be asking this on the JR forum but I thought i’d ask the master :slight_smile:


Hi Ted, a naive question, what is a s/PDIF to TOSLink converter?
I recently bought a USB to TOSLink converter to use between Melco N1A USB output and DSJr TOSLink input, it did not work. However, the same converter worked between my MacBook Pro and DSJr. I contacted Melco tech support, was told that it may not be compatible, not can’t explain why not compatible. Thanks.


There’s a chip out there that gives too many (not standard compatible) options for the output protocol, I’ve got a deembedder that nominally works with some devices and not others. In that case the DS is expecting stereo sound, not mono or multichannel (even if only two channels of multichannel.) I have no idea if the Melco device has the same problem.

The S/PDIF to TOSLink converter I use is no longer made, but there’s probably something else out there that’s similar: mine is the


I probably can’t help much further with JRiver. Did you try removing the drivers that came with the unit - Now that Windows 10 supports USB Audio 2.0 for WASAPI (etc.) you may not need the stock drivers. [Sorry if I already mentioned this, I’ve go to go.]