I’m using a Pink Faun USB cable (directly connected from streamer to MK II or via Matrix) and an AQ Dragon 48 HDMI (from Matrix to MK II).
I found the Pink Faun excellent, warm and natural, accurate and detailed, it sounds silky and more “analog” compared to my previous AQ Diamond USB.
I just bypassed my Matrix I2S with Wireworld Starlight 8 HDMI I2S setup. So now I’m going Nucleus+ > Synergistic Research Reference USB > Uptone Audio ISO REGEN (w/ Sbooster power) > Curious Evolved USB Link > Mk 2 USB input.
It sounds terrific, but then I thought that the Matrix via I2S sounded pretty terrific too. I honestly could live happily with either one.
I plan on spending the next week living with USB, then I might go back to Matrix I2S.
I’m finding it psychologically difficult to leave a $1K HDMI cable sitting in a drawer! I will be saving it to try with the AirLens should it come to fruition before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
I have yet to mess with ground lifts etc on my Mk 2…
And just as many users that got it running in no time. There are always those that have set up problems and most never open the manual’s plastic bag or watch the on-line guides. Same horror stories from a few when the Zen Stream came out but most myself included got it up in running in minutes by reading the manual before it arrived and not just winging it then looking for help on a forum all the while blaming the device and not the user error.
With computers I normally tend towards buying the fastest one available at the time I am purchasing. I have found they have a longer lifespan and I replace them less often. Last year I replaced my seven year old laptop. Part of this is simply me being lazy. Setting up new devices is time consuming and frankly a bit of a chore. I get no joy from the entire process from picking one to deploying it.