Is it really of sonic benefit to put something before usb into DSS?

No I haven’t. I have a friend who is a dealer for Innuos and he swears it makes a difference and seriously closes the gap to the Statement. When I was ready to buy a Zenith Mk III last year there was a 3 month wait so I bought an Aries G1 to go with my upgraded Aqua DAC that was replacing the DS Sr./Bridge II that I am happy with for now. I will try one eventually with or without the Phoenix.

Yes, I waited so long for my Zenith MKIII :frowning_face:
But, I am quite glad now that I have it.
I could spend the money on the Phoenix, but my wife would most likely be upset - I just changed my Spendor D7 for Pierre-Etienne Leon Kantor S3.2, which are simply amazing.
I could simply no longer bear listening to the D7 : to much listening fatigue in the mid-highs.
Now, the Kantor are so sweet & musical, and yet offer great details, image, coherence.
I would never go back to the D7: when I bought the D7, I wanted them to be my last pair of speakers for my retirement. Unfortunately, after 3 years of changing everything in my sound system in order to get rid of the aggressive/shouty mid highs, I had to admit to myself that the problem came from the speakers.
I wanted so much to love the D7, but I could not live with them anymore despite all their qualities.
Anyway, now I am so much at peace listening to my music with sweet highs.

I may eventually borough the Phoenix from my dealer, but not for now - gotta be careful with my spending :smile:. …

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I was seriously going to buy one last year when I had my SGCD/Preamp’s DAC and contemplated using it’s I2S to play SACD’s as DoP via the SOnore or Matrix-2. Wound up using the X1000’s built-in 11.2MHz DAC for two channel SACD/DSD and my Sony AVR’s 5.1ch DSD for surround discs (still using the latter for that purpose only). I’ve heard worse DAC’s than the Sony licensed internal DAC’s but Ted’s beats them them to a Pulp.

Ted’s DAC will do 192/24 BUT…it depends on your sources laser #1, and the quality of you Toslink Optical cable. According to Ted, any $100 < Optical cable from a reputable manufacturer should work fine. I tried it with a 20 year Monster Cable (thick blue jacket) and it did indeed work.

Personally, I only use Toslink for my TV, and USB for my Audio when I watch any of the Streaming service or YouTube. I2S for everything else.

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So do you folks think I should get the Matrix? or it is not going to make much of a difference in a dedicated system like mine?

I was using an Aurender N10 USB out to the DSS, and when I added the Matrix and I2s to the DSS, the sound just opened up and was much more exciting. My brother came over to listen because I was raving about the improvement and he ordered a Matrix right away for his system. He has pretty good ears. But like I said before, the USB and HDMI cable also made a huge difference. That is the place where you should put your money.
I should mention that a good power supply to the Matrix like the Sbooster will also increase the performance substantially.

I don’t know if the W20SE makes a difference over the N10 though. It might have better implementation of USB. I have no idea. I am just going to have to get it to satisfy my curiosity. I am going to order it right now from Moon. Since from china it will take forever. I honestly do expect any positive difference to be small and not huge though. however I could stand very surprised. I already have an AQ Wel signature HDMI cable I am not using. I will use a Cardas High Speed USB cable. I will power it with a Hynes PSU. That is pretty much as good as it gets. So I should fully realize it’s sound potential. I certainly hope it is better than the USB improvements.

Look’s like you have all the ingredients for a very positive outcome. Only other thing is to use good quality power cords like in the power supply. I find that makes a difference also.
Let us know how it goes when you are done. You have some extremely high quality components.


You claimed to have ordered a Matrix last year in the dedicated Matrix thread, and you didn’t like it between your W20SE and dac.

It was a whole thing. I’m confused.

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That’s it folks. Please take it to PMs if you want to yell past each other some more.

Update: Thread cleaned, open for business.


I had written another post while it was locked. I totally forgot that I had it already! luckily I just borrowed a friends. Same result. Nothing. I guess at this level it is already addressed. I have no one to concur with AFAIK. I cancelled my order. It did nothing that we could hear. Bad or good. Oh well. Just saved a few bucks. that’s all.

Elk, I am really sorry for what I incited. It was not at all my intent. I truly apologize. I had no clue that would occur.

I’m wonderig what the results of the Phoenix might be between my Aries G2 and the Matrix and/or how much difference would an higher quality USB cable make going from the G2 to the Matrix. The Phoenix, intellectually seems like overkill in this case but I am intrigued.

And your point is…?


JK. Let us know which way you end up going, if you don’t mind.


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A higher end USB going from my Innuos Zenith 3 to the Matrix made a significant difference in my system.

I was surprised as the Innuos has very good USB isolation driven by a dedicated LPS.

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So get this. I was interested in hooking up a PC.I had a purpose built NUC. I got JPLay, Fidelizer and Jriver. I had the latest 3.0 Intona here. My Friend and I both felt the Intona plus a Jitterbug Plus a Regen with a LPS was considerably better than the Matrix. It starts From a SOTM PCIE card with the clock board. I have a question though. I used a very expensive USB cable going out of all of this into the DAC. From the PC to the Initial “box”, which was the Intona I just used a 3’ Belkin gold. The Belkin Gold is Stereophile A+ rated. It is still a $8 cable. I was wondering if a markedly better cable going in might garner even better results? Or if it does not really matter in this situation, since everything is being “cleaned” and reclocked ahead of it? I am not being a troll. I am dead serious about this. I would really like to know if you folks think I should pull out a better cable? The only reason I am asking is because it takes 45 minutes to unhook everything, re setup and reinitialize the DSS. If it was just a matter of plugging in the cable I would not even bother asking. I had asked my salesman at musicdirect and he said it should make no difference whatsoever. Although I have learned that often he is not “in tune” with this stuff. I would really appreciate any speculation on this. “Can’t hurt” is not the answer I am looking for though. Thank you

As to why we feel it is better than the Matrix, well I just have no clue. Honestly this combination compared to “nothing” is night and day. The software also plays a big role. Turning off Fidelizer and Jplay really hurts the sound quality. I am not an Engineer so I do not understand why, but all I know is the music is markedly improved. Perhaps even surpassing my 069 spinner. I am extremely happy with this. If a cable going in would make it even better, I would be elated. I will what for your folks input on this before I take it apart for no good reason.

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The unfortunate response, is yes, it makes a difference. I’m not using the Intona, but with the Matrix the USB cable from my computer had a big impact, maybe more than the HDMI I used for I2S (though they both make a difference).

I currently have a pretty ridiculous setup: Laptop ->Shunyata Sigma USB->iFi iPurifier 3-> Matrix-> Wireworld Startlight 7 Platinum HMDI-> DSS. I know I could improve it a lot with a dedicated server, but every single cable and device in the chain made a difference. Even with the Matrix, you can go way farther with high end cables.

Okay that is it. I have an extra 1.5M AQ Diamond USB Cable. I figure that shall “suffice”. For now. It is by no means a bad cable at all. It is a $850 cable. I just do not have another Future Dream. I do not think mixing cables matters after it goes through all of that? Well I will let you know shortly if it improves the SQ even more. that is a "bang for the buck " cable. So if it is $850 compare it to others that are about $1400.00 or so. I certainly hope there is a positive outcome after I tear it all apart for the third time today. Give me a few hours please to report back.

I was able to borrow a Transparent Magnum Opus USB cable. I shall refrain from mentioning the price. My reference system is wired with that. This system uses Crystal cable Future Dream. Long story short, it made a further very nice difference. You were correct. I am currently running 18m of USB cable but it is fine because it is powered by an LPS. You can actually run 600m powered properly. Tonight was a fiasco though. I lost the pin key to the NUC. I looked for it several hours. It was in my shirt pocket! Then I put everything together and forgot the monitors were unplugged. Then I hit my head on the table. I am going to bed lol.
Oh, I ordered the Future dream USB cable.