I don’t know enough about the USB ports on a standard NUC to judge, but I doubt any attention was paid on the NUC design to anything but digital functionality and cost. From measurements I’ve seen, and from listening experiments I’ve done, even low-ish cost specialized USB sources like the Allo USBridge are much more carefully designed to reduce analog noise on the USB connection. I don’t know much about iUSB, but I assume it’s doing something similar. OTOH, I agree with @Dan_Brown that it is almost offensive that a $4K audio component (that’s what the TDAI-2170 costs in the US) would be so carelessly designed that it needs an iUSB to do what should be done in component in the first place. But then I’ve had that experience with other $XXXX components that otherwise are excellent when fed with S/PDIF coax. From some conversations with members of the trade, what it comes down to is whether the component designer just took an off-the-shelf USB receiver from the standard sources, or they designed their own USB receiver carefully to protect the internal electrical paths from interference. Unfortunately, the latter requires jumping through design and licensing hoops that most specialized component makers seem to prefer to avoid. That the right thing can be done even by a small specialty component maker is shown by Soekris, whose dac1541 performs very well with all inputs (USB, S/PDIF, AES) in my experience.
I am curious to hear if you tried to connect your NUC-USB port directly to the Lyngdorf-USB port. Do you hear any difference in comparing with the iUSB solution?
I didn’t have the time to A/B test that yet. But i will definitely give a try. I’ll post my thoughts here.
I was going to suggest the same thing. If there is very little to no audible difference between direct connection or with the iusb in between then don’t expect an upgrade from either microrendu/ultrarendu/usbridge. Believe me, I have tried them all. The result heavily depend on the usb input implementatie of the Lyngdorf. If it is really good it won’t make much of a difference.
I am an happy owner of a Lyngdorf TDAi-2170. My experience is that the USB module in the Lyngdorf has a very good usb-input implementation.
I contacted Lyngdorf about this meanwhile. I know that after all it’s my ears that should make the decision but I asked for their input.
My question was:
Now, I know that TDAI-2170 resamples all the signals to 96 kHz.
In this case my question is, what’s your recommendation: Should I:
a) Use Roon DSP to sample the signal to 96kHZ before feeding it to TDAI-2170 or
b) Don’t use Roon DSP and let the TDAI-2170 do all the re-sampling.
And this is what i got back:
All digital signals will have to be re-sampled to ensure that distortion / jitter / is cleaned out before the signal is further processed
Having an extra conversion never improves the signal quality, so just let the TDAI-2170 do the job !
Just putting it here as fyi