Stellar Gain Cell DAC and S300 with USB noise vs power noise


#1

Hi,

I’m a new audiophile, and I have a new burnt in Stellar Gain Cell DAC and S300 system. I have an Acer PC in the closet about 5 feet away from my system, and a USB cable that runs from the Acer PC to the Stellar Gain Cell DAC. I have my Home router in the same closet next to my PC. I’m using it as a Roon core server and so far I’ve been very happy with my system. Part of this hobby I’m finding is tweaking things, I’ve been reading reviews of the Sonore microRendu audiophile micro computer with Ethernet input and USB Audio output. The reviews talk about how using Ethernet to the to the Sonore microRendu, then USB from the Sonore microRendu to your DAC cleans up the USB noise and improves the sound. I’ve also read about using the iFI iGalvanic3.0 can clean up the USB noise as well. It seems PS Audio makes a device called a LAN rover. It seems like it’s out of stock. Is it discontinued? I plugged an Audioquest Jitterbug into my Acer server and It does sound better, I’m not sure how to describe in what way.

I’ve been looking for used PS Audio power regenerators for my system. Does anyone think the USB “noise” is a priority to focus money on or is the power regenerator going to make a bigger difference?


#2

Get the power regenerator. I also have the Stellar Gain Cell DAC and S300. I spent this afternoon installing my, new to me, P5. I picked up a factory refurbed one with a year of warranty. It makes quite a difference. Everything is more defined with a much quieter background. My power is fluctuating between 118v and 122v with 2-2.5 % THD. The P5 has smoothed it to a consistent 120v with THD of .1%. Now I’m ready to replace my S300 with my new M700s when they arrive next Wednesday. Start with clean power and go from there.


#3

The Lan Rover has been discontinued.


#4

If you go with Ethernet you have to worry about noise from network gear and power supplies.

It is still an upgrade since your PC is producing a poor USB signal integrity wise Combined with noisy computer Ethernet stuff upstream of it.


#5

@jfeighny
How about a regenerator and an ISO Regen for the USB?


#6

Or skip the whole thing and go


#7

Or FS - Matrix X S/PDIF 2 digital to digital converter - $295 OBO


#8

I guess I need to spend some cycles to better understand i2S, would you call say it’s cleaner than USB?


#9

I2S is the native format. If you send data via USB it then goes in an Xmos module in the DAC and has to be converted to I2S before going to the ESS chip.

If you go with a good USB -> I2S converter like the Ultradigital you can accomplish two things. (1) Provide a clean I2S signal which Paul seems to favor and many others. (2) It will provide isolation from your computer noise. The isolation is accomplished because the 5V bus from your USB powers one side and the other is powered by a power supply you provide which then gives you a clean signal and less jitter. Currently Sonore recommends that bundled linear SGC power supply which is inexpensive or I would get one of the new Sboosters.


#10

Wow, thank you so much! The cable for the I2S port, is is just an HMDI cable, or is it a proprietary cable?

I think I read somewhere on this forum that there might be a new Stellar type power plant in the works, I’m on the lookout for for a refurbished P5 in 2019 or what ever PS Audio has coming out.


#11

Standard HDMI cable


#12

Thank you!


#13

Hello All,

I have an update. I took a risk and ordered a SparkDIGI LTE I2S - I2S LVDS Network Player from https://www.audiophonics.fr/ in Floirac France. Apparently I have the last one they have in stock. I was easy to set up and configure as a Roon endpoint. Acer PC->Network Switch->SparkDIGI LTE I2S - I2S LVDS Network Player->12S port on my Stellar GCD. I have spent the morning toggling between USB and I2S with the same songs and the SparkDIGI LTE I2S - I2S LVDS Network Player sounds much clearer. My wifi said the USB sounds like your looking at a picture through a dusty glasses compared to the I2S. David from Audiophonics was very quick to answer my questions and I was amazed how fast it came in the mail. It’s been so much fun learning about all this stuff. Thank you all for your help and advice. It’s funny how one thing leads to another in this journey.