USB Cables and DirectStream


#1

First off, I’ve the DirectStream inbound! Music Direct happens to have them in stock, and they are local to me…which sucks that I have to pay 10% tax, but on the flipside, I get my DAC tonight!

So, Paul has mentioned that the USB cable makes a difference in the quality of the sound - I find this hard to believe since it’s just passing bits, but Paul and crew are known for telling it like it is; so I’m going to accept this with a grain of salt.

So my question is, what budget cable should I be looking at for between my media PC and my DAC? I really can’t swing a $380 cable right now, and being skeptical, I don’t see me running out and figuring out how to afford such a cable. So put a $100 cap on this, what USB cable would get me there with the DAC?

Also, I’ve been out of the loop for a while…isn’t there a Bridge II coming down the pipe? Or is that just idle speculation? If I can’t afford a $380 USB cable, I can’t afford the bridge right now - so I’m not running out to get one unless a super deal pops up. But if there is a BII coming, I guess I should hold out anyways. Ultimately, I’d much rather have everything hooked up via Ethernet like my Oppo currently is (cripes, the Bridge costs about 3/4 what my whole Oppo BDP-15 costs). I like the idea of keeping all my computers in a different room, and having as little gear as possible in the listening room.

Thanks in Advance for any suggestions you have. I’m really looking forward to my second big purchase from PS Audio!


#2

The Belkin Gold is a super value for about $5-6.


#3
Lonely Raven said First off, I've the DirectStream inbound! Music Direct happens to have them in stock, and they are local to me...which sucks that I have to pay 10% tax, but on the flipside, I get my DAC tonight!

So, Paul has mentioned that the USB cable makes a difference in the quality of the sound - I find this hard to believe since it’s just passing bits, but Paul and crew are known for telling it like it is; so I’m going to accept this with a grain of salt.

So my question is, what budget cable should I be looking at for between my media PC and my DAC? I really can’t swing a $380 cable right now, and being skeptical, I don’t see me running out and figuring out how to afford such a cable. So put a $100 cap on this, what USB cable would get me there with the DAC?

Also, I’ve been out of the loop for a while…isn’t there a Bridge II coming down the pipe? Or is that just idle speculation? If I can’t afford a $380 USB cable, I can’t afford the bridge right now - so I’m not running out to get one unless a super deal pops up. But if there is a BII coming, I guess I should hold out anyways. Ultimately, I’d much rather have everything hooked up via Ethernet like my Oppo currently is (cripes, the Bridge costs about 3/4 what my whole Oppo BDP-15 costs). I like the idea of keeping all my computers in a different room, and having as little gear as possible in the listening room.

Thanks in Advance for any suggestions you have. I’m really looking forward to my second big purchase from PS Audio!


I’m happy with generic USB cables from Radio Shack and Fry’s. I think Paul would now say that tho USB cables make a difference, the difference may be a mater of personal taste rather than universal improvement. YMMV

#4

Ahh, the voice of reason!

Thanks Ted! I look forward to trying out the fruits of your labors in my home system tonight.

On a different topic, I did wind up upgrading the power wiring to my listening room with 8AWG silver plated, PTFE insulated, milspec (aerospace) cabling - home run from the panel directly to the outlet. I still have in mind to add grounding rods to my house to lower the resistance to ground! :slight_smile: Every little bit helps!

I’m seriously even considering a Faraday cage made from copper screen to wrap around my audio rack, and on the underside of each shelf. With the lower ground resistance, improved mains cabling, and cage, I’d probably have one of the quietest systems out there outside of labs and military hardened rooms! LOL


#5
Lonely Raven said On a different topic, I did wind up upgrading the power wiring to my listening room with 8AWG silver plated, PTFE insulated, milspec (aerospace) cabling - home run from the panel directly to the outlet. I still have in mind to add grounding rods to my house to lower the resistance to ground! :) Every little bit helps!

I’m seriously even considering a Faraday cage made from copper screen to wrap around my audio rack, and on the underside of each shelf. With the lower ground resistance, improved mains cabling, and cage, I’d probably have one of the quietest systems out there outside of labs and military hardened rooms! LOL


Let un know how the Faraday cage works - I suspect that much of the pollution comes thru the power cords, but I know that my laptop wifi makes a difference that some can hear.

#6
Lonely Raven said First off, I've the DirectStream inbound! Music Direct happens to have them in stock, and they are local to me...which sucks that I have to pay 10% tax, but on the flipside, I get my DAC tonight!

So, Paul has mentioned that the USB cable makes a difference in the quality of the sound - I find this hard to believe since it’s just passing bits, but Paul and crew are known for telling it like it is; so I’m going to accept this with a grain of salt.

So my question is, what budget cable should I be looking at for between my media PC and my DAC? I really can’t swing a $380 cable right now, and being skeptical, I don’t see me running out and figuring out how to afford such a cable. So put a $100 cap on this, what USB cable would get me there with the DAC?

Also, I’ve been out of the loop for a while…isn’t there a Bridge II coming down the pipe? Or is that just idle speculation? If I can’t afford a $380 USB cable, I can’t afford the bridge right now - so I’m not running out to get one unless a super deal pops up. But if there is a BII coming, I guess I should hold out anyways. Ultimately, I’d much rather have everything hooked up via Ethernet like my Oppo currently is (cripes, the Bridge costs about 3/4 what my whole Oppo BDP-15 costs). I like the idea of keeping all my computers in a different room, and having as little gear as possible in the listening room.

Thanks in Advance for any suggestions you have. I’m really looking forward to my second big purchase from PS Audio!


There’s no question the USB cable make a significant difference in sound quality on my system and the systems I have tried it on. I am not trying to sell you a USB cable, just reportin’ the facts as I sees them, 114_gif

#7
Paul McGowan said There's no question the USB cable make a significant difference in sound quality on my system and the systems I have tried it on. I am not trying to sell you a USB cable, just reportin' the facts as I sees them, 114_gif
I hear ya, Paul, that's why I said I'd accept you at your word (with a grain of salt). Everything has to prove itself to me, in my system, and we agree that all systems and circumstances are different.

Ted, re: noise via power cords - I was wondering about a cage (just a screen box) isolating the power cord that goes from the P10 to the wall. And as I said, I would put a screen under each shelf helping to isolate each piece of gear from one another - but all other cabling would be challenging. Plus, I don’t want too much copper around (too close to) the cables as that could cause some capacitance I figure.

I wish I had some test gear to prove all this is making a difference. Just getting an electrician to measure resistance to ground at the panel…well, I got plenty of eye rolling. :slight_smile:

I should have DirectStream in hand in about 3 hours…I’m practically counting down the minutes. :slight_smile:


#8
Lonely Raven said
Paul McGowan said There's no question the USB cable make a significant difference in sound quality on my system and the systems I have tried it on. I am not trying to sell you a USB cable, just reportin' the facts as I sees them, 114_gif

I hear ya, Paul, that’s why I said I’d accept you at your word (with a grain of salt). Everything has to prove itself to me, in my system, and we agree that all systems and circumstances are different.

Ted, re: noise via power cords - I was wondering about a cage (just a screen box) isolating the power cord that goes from the P10 to the wall. And as I said, I would put a screen under each shelf helping to isolate each piece of gear from one another - but all other cabling would be challenging. Plus, I don’t want too much copper around (too close to) the cables as that could cause some capacitance I figure.

I wish I had some test gear to prove all this is making a difference. Just getting an electrician to measure resistance to ground at the panel…well, I got plenty of eye rolling. :slight_smile:

I should have DirectStream in hand in about 3 hours…I’m practically counting down the minutes. :slight_smile:


I suspect that just having dedicated lines will get you most of the way there. But a small AM radio tuned between stations can sense a lot of RFI as you move it around your system… My wife let me borrow one from the 60’s or 70’s :)

#9

Monster Cable used to have a noise sensor for seeking out the hot spots, which I figure was just a radio with a speaker to amplify the noise.

I almost picked one up on eBay last winter, but I figured I’d only be using it to point out the obvious. :)


#10
Lonely Raven said
Paul McGowan said There's no question the USB cable make a significant difference in sound quality on my system and the systems I have tried it on. I am not trying to sell you a USB cable, just reportin' the facts as I sees them, 114_gif

I hear ya, Paul, that’s why I said I’d accept you at your word (with a grain of salt). Everything has to prove itself to me, in my system, and we agree that all systems and circumstances are different.

Ted, re: noise via power cords - I was wondering about a cage (just a screen box) isolating the power cord that goes from the P10 to the wall. And as I said, I would put a screen under each shelf helping to isolate each piece of gear from one another - but all other cabling would be challenging. Plus, I don’t want too much copper around (too close to) the cables as that could cause some capacitance I figure.

I wish I had some test gear to prove all this is making a difference. Just getting an electrician to measure resistance to ground at the panel…well, I got plenty of eye rolling. :slight_smile:

I should have DirectStream in hand in about 3 hours…I’m practically counting down the minutes. :slight_smile:


THe problem is that it’s anyone’s guess as to which USB cable will work with the DS and which ones will not.

#11

I also found usb cable preference changed for me with the firmware change. I have both the Wireworld Platinum Starlight and Paul Pang 2014 Red. For the 5407 firmware, in my system I much preferred the Platinum Starlight. As an aside, I also found I preferred Phase set to Out. With the 6115 firmware, this all changed. I now use the Paul Pang and keep Phase set to In. I was all set to sell the Paul Pang cable till the firmware change. I will probably hold on to the Platinum Starlight to compare next time firmware changes again.


#12

I just tried running a USB cable from my Bryston BDP2 Player to the direct stream and I got no output.

It looks like the Bryston does not recognize the Direct Stream. I have no idea how to perform the Direct Stream USB download and then make it so the Bryston see it. The Bryston only accepts USB inputs.

Any suggestions?


#13

If yours is a CD player the DS USB only connects to a computer I believe.


#14

Took a quick look at the spec sheet for the Bryston BDP-2. It has ** note for USB output saying** Via built in software decoders. USB output requires S1.70 firmware or greater and a DAC that supports standard class 2 USB audio drivers. However this spec sheet shows the firmware as S1.60 2012-12-10. Possibly you need to update the firmware for the Bryston?


#15

Thanks for the help so far. My Bryston is basically a computer and it does have the latest software and the new “Manic Moose” firmware. At the present it is connected to my Direct Stream via a digital cable. But, I would like to use the USB input on the Direct Stream so the other inputs on the DS could be utilized for other equipment.

When I connect the USB from the Bryston to the Direct Stream on the Bryston settings page it shows the devices connected but the USB is not listed. I operate the Bryston wirelessly from my laptop or my Tablet.

Now, I’m not sure if I have to download the USB from PS Audio to make it work because if I did, how would I install it? Via and SD card into the Direct Stream?

Sorry, guys but I 'm old and not to sharp when it comes to this computer type stuff.


#16

I think the problem is the Bryston is a Linux based computer and I don’t know if there is a driver compatible with our DAC. Any time you connect a computer to a DAC there has to be an appropriate driver to connect the two. That driver is built in on a Mac, you can download the Windows driver from our website, but I don’t know of a Linux based driver (Linux is an operating system like Windows).

I am pretty sure it won’t work.


#17

Ozz

the USB driver is meant to be installed on a computer, not the DS.

some here use the BDP2 and will possibly help with their experience.

meanwhile I would…

1/reboot the DS WITHOUT THE USB CAABLE PLUGGED INTO IT.

2/ reboot the bdp2

3/ plug the cable into the BDP and THEN INTO THE DS.

IF STILL NOT WORKING, CHECK THE Bryson forum or support if their drivers are indeed installed for the PWD/DS.


#18

Teamwork. drinking-39_gif


#19

Chris Rice and James Tanner of Bryston are both very active in support forums, such as on AudioCircle (link). I suggest posting your issue or, even better, giving Chris a call.


#20
Paul McGowan said I think the problem is the Bryston is a Linux based computer and I don't know if there is a driver compatible with our DAC. Any time you connect a computer to a DAC there has to be an appropriate driver to connect the two. That driver is built in on a Mac, you can download the Windows driver from our website, but I don't know of a Linux based driver (Linux is an operating system like Windows).

I am pretty sure it won’t work.


That really doesn’t explain why some USB cables work and some don’t.