My system consists of a Hegel H20 amplifier (200 Wpc into 8 Ohm), RME ADI-2 DAC and Spendor D7 speakers. I am playing CDs form a cheap CD player and streaming Qobuz from my laptop (Lenovo, Win 10, Intel 5, 8 GM RAM).
Needless to say. my laptop needs some “cleaning” of its USB output, since I am experiencing short dropouts and problems of this nature while streaming.
I am looking around for some means to do the cleanup. I located a company called Icron that makes an USB 2.0 port extender (Icron Ranger 2301GE-LAN - 1-Port Ethernet LAN USB 2.0 Extender ). The connection from their local unit to the remote one is made by a Cat 5e/6/7 Ethernet cable. So, I think that by installing a 1 ft Ethernet cable between the two units I could have the USB output of my laptop improved. This is a budget friendly way to achieve this ($376), but I wonder if it will work to my satisfaction.
Is that the case? Are there better ways to do this?
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Are you connecting the laptop to the DAC via USB?
Dropouts usually cause me to suspect the network connection rather than the USB. It’s hard to tell from what you’ve described if you might be experiencing a network issue.
That said, if your network is fine you might try first resintalling the USB drivers for the laptop. Also, you can get a USB de-crapifier for considerably less than $367, plus I think the extender you’re looking at is for applications like extending mouse/keyboard over ethernet, though I suppose it would work to extend USB from your laptop to the DAC. I’ve used a Schiit Wyrd in the past and found it helped clean up the USB output from a laptop to my DAC. I think others on this forum have had luck with iFI iPurifiers and the like. Maybe check those out.
You might want to consider a reclocker. I use a Wyred4Sound ‘Recovery’ to reclock USB.
If you’d be happy with a 96/24 output they make other reclockers, e.g. one that will convert USB to S/PDIF.
I in fact use their ‘remedy’ S/PDIF reclockers also.
I have to concur with others. Dropouts would be something that a usb decrapifier won’t be able to fix. Of course it will help in other ways to stop noise from the usb hub but total interruptions in the sound would suggest that the pc is having major issues supplying a continuous audio stream. Reinstalling the drivers might help. Also stopping as many running apps and processes as is practicable during playback may help. Make sure there is a healthy amount of free space on your harddrive. Defrag your hardrive. You generally want to give your pc the best chance to stream uninterupted. Otherwise you may need to look at more invasive solutions. If your installation of your operating system is old then a fresh install might help. At the same time, if you have an older conventional hdd then getting an ssd world be great for a number of reasons not just audio related.
Once you’ve fixed the streaming issue then an investment in a usb filter will be the icing on the cake. I use an ifi idefender at thy moment. It does not reclock the audio stream. I’m running a nuc that has a dedicated music OS, Roon Rock so thankfully the audio stream is nice and steady.