New USB device and Paul has already auditioned and raves very positive


#1

Hi Paul,

The item you mention in your recent posts. You have listened to a USB product still being developed by your engendering team. Can you tell us anything more?

Does this device address all the areas of concern in USB audio transmission same a the regen or more.

When is it likely these could be available to us audiophiles, your excitement has given to make me excited happy-132_gifhappy-132_gif

Thanks

Johno


#2

Thanks and it’s got me excited as well. I experiment with many things and this particular suggestion to try something was made by DirectStream’s designer, Ted Smith. It’s a long way off from being a product, should that ever happen. It does point in good directions for learning and I for one will not be without this amazing prototype.

It basically allows me to add any length to my USB setup and more than that I cannot say at this time. If it pans out or is something worthy of more attention, I’ll be happy to share. Right now it’s the only one.


#3

Paul, I’ve been reading all the posts about USB, but I’ve never tried USB. Mainly because I don’t have a computer (aside from an iPad) in my listening room. I’ve got too much stuff in there already! But to understand this new device, is there a significant advantage to using USB on a PC two floors above the listening room in comparison to using the Bridge? I do seem to recall you can send double rate DSD over USB but other than that I’m not sure of the advantage. Probably haven’t been paying attention in class…


#4

USB cables can only be up to 15’ long. That limits the effective distance for most room to room connections. You can daisy chain a few long connections with hubs, but you need powered hubs for more than one hop, etc. It gets to be a pain. The device Paul is listening to does get around that, but most of the ones out there that say they do, don’t for audio (the chips out there that people generally use to build longer USB extensions only support USB 1.1, etc.) There are also wireless USB extension devices out there, but once again they generally don’t support USB audio.

At this point the Bridge or other net connected device is the simplest and most practical way to go from room to room.


#5

Thanks Paul and Ted,

I misunderstood the product my own application does not use a long USB cable in fact the USB cable I use is home made and is only 60cm in length. The make up of the cable uses silver wires in oversized teflon tubing encased in braiding for shielding and two separate runs for data and power to interface the Paul Pang two port USB card.

my solution I put together over the years while waiting for Bridge two is way more complicated and comprises additional items.

2 PC = control and audio PC.

JPLAY6.2 on both PC.

Audiophile optimiser on Windows server 2012 resident on the Audio PC, Audio PC in hibernate mode managed by JPLAY.

Control PC = Process lasso on the Windows 10 PC making real-time operation for Audio service.

Yale Firmware on DirectStream DAC.

Mimimserver on the Control PC and allows IPAD control using Kazzoo or plug player.

JPLAY configuration = JPLAYStreamer, control panel setting = clock setting 1m/s, ultrastream engine, DAC Link 1hz, PC buffer 5sec.

My setup is way more complicated than a bridge setup and I have not talked about the hardware modes to the PC’s to lower noise.

I’m not 100% certain my home made USB cable is providing the best interface possible hence my enquiry.

While my system seem complicated it development was driven through seeking to simplifier the elements for great sounding USB however the solution relies on many elements to make good USB sound. Standard USB port and standard windows does not come close to an overall optimised USB configuration.

Ill have to wait to try Bridge 11 see if that brings improved SQ


#6

Definitely, Bridge II is the best bet right now. Ted and the gang have suggested we try this new technology for extending the length of the USB cable to even see if it works - which it does - and to my surprise, not only does it work but it improves the performance in a dramatic way as I have reported.

But that does not a product make. It’s just an experiment that over time may help us develop things.


#7

Ted, thanks for the reply, but I may not of stated my question clearly. I understand the limitations of USB cable length, but use the Bridge out of necessity. The question I ask is there a sonic reason for preferring to use USB? I was under the impression that the I2S connection was the best and the Bridge uses I2S. I also understand you can do double rate DSD over USB but not the Bridge. I would try USB if I was willing to move my desktop PC to the listening room, but that is a just a bit much. Perhaps when my wife is out of town in a couple of months i will give it a try, she uses the PC, but in the meantime I’m at somewhat of a loss as to why I would need this “breakthrough”.


#8

I don’t think you can say that one or the other is inherently superior in all circumstances. Bridge II sounds better than my Mac Mini direct by USB and also has the edge over the Aries, although that’s a lot closer. Others who have maxed-out optimized PCs may prefer USB. I’m almost exclusively using Bridge II these days. (But maybe the next Aries firmware update or adding a Regen would give the Aries the edge, who knows. Everything keeps changing in this hobby.) By all means experiment and see what sounds best in your system but the Bridge, particularly Bridge II, is hard to beat.


#9
pmotz said Ted, thanks for the reply, but I may not of stated my question clearly. I understand the limitations of USB cable length, but use the Bridge out of necessity. The question I ask is there a sonic reason for preferring to use USB? I was under the impression that the I2S connection was the best and the Bridge uses I2S. I also understand you can do double rate DSD over USB but not the Bridge. I would try USB if I was willing to move my desktop PC to the listening room, but that is a just a bit much. Perhaps when my wife is out of town in a couple of months i will give it a try, she uses the PC, but in the meantime I'm at somewhat of a loss as to why I would need this "breakthrough".
As stevem2 says there aren't absolutes. USB comes into the FPGA as I2S just as the Bridge does. The FPGA doesn't know the difference between the two I2S connectors, the bridge or USB.

Still how things go inside the box to the FPGA doesn’t really matter, the FPGA can receive things over a single wire just as reliably and with the same sonic quality as using I2S. The differences in real systems come from the cables used, the noise in the source and perhaps how much radiation goes from the DS back into the interconnects and what effect that may have.

I’m convinced that any given user can get great sound quality from any connection and that potential sound quality need not be the major criteria for choosing one input over another. Some prefer the UI experience of the Bridge, others USB. Some already have infrastructure that supports one or the other. Some don’t want to live without, say double rate DSD and or 352.8k PCM. PS Audio has done a lot of work to make the Bridge as good as it can be and that shows. But technically there’s nothing that makes it inherently inferior or superior to USB or other inputs, but it definitely has a leg up because a lot of work has already been done on it to get good sound quality.

I recommended the USB isolation technology to Paul just because it was the best technology (in principle) for isolation I’d seen, and we know that good isolation on inputs is a good thing, but it wasn’t designed to be just be an isolator and had some other desirable features. Still it may well turn out to be too impractical for being turned into a product or there may be problems we haven’t discovered yet in some systems. But I’m happy in that it does what I expected, at least for one system…


#10

In my experience the Bridge sounded better than USB until I got really tweaky with the computer. After doing all the usual things to reduce noise, RFI, etc., the two sources were about equal. But that was with B1. I have not actually compared the two after installing B2, which beta testers agreed sounds better than B1.

It sounds like you’ve got the infrastructure for ethernet streaming in place and are happy with the SQ of the Bridge. I’m pretty sure you could get USB to equal B1, but only with lots of fussing. Probably not worth it, but as always YMMV. But yes, USB will do double-rate DSD.