U1 Mini- add Matrix/I2S or not

Here is my current configuration:
Dell I7/SSD in another room —>router—>80 feet Ethernet thru 2 switches—>U1 Mini—>USB—>DIrectStream DAC
The SQ is great, but the question is can it be better?

I see many people add Matrix/I2S interface to the DSD DAC. Would it be best SQ improvement option? Why do I have to go to another box and cable while I can avoid USB noisy connection and use the coax or AES/EBU output directly from the U1 Mini? I would assume the LUMIN outputs have been optimized for best SQ.

Like you, I have a DSD Sr. DAC. I assume you’ve seen the extensive thread regarding the Matrix over on the PS Audio forum.

Unequivocally, I recommend the Matrix for the DSD. It was a night-and-day difference in my system.

For power, I tried the 5V bus, a 5V iFi, an AQVOX 5V, and the Uptone LPS 1.2 at 5V, 7V, and 9V. The Uptone blows away all others I’ve tried, sad to say from a financial point of view. Any 5V solution seemed flat and uninteresting, as though the Matrix was underdriven. 9V was best from a SQ perspective, but a) the LPS and Matrix both ran hot, and b) the LPS’ 9V setting was a bit over 9V, which could void any warranty on the Matrix.

All things considered then, the LPS 1.2 at 7V is the sweet spot.

I’m confident that you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks Rob, reading your post, your set up is quite similar to mine, except you use the Ultra Rendu/LPS vs my Lumin U1 Mini. The Lumin can interface to the DS with AES. I just wonder if I get better SQ with AES connection than adding more box/cable.
What I2S cable do you use in your setup? It looks like Matrix vendors don’t offer trial/return.

I use a PS Audio I2S/HDMI cable.

Sorry, but I can’t speak to the AES option.

If you do not care about DSD128 or PCM 352.8kHz, I suggest you try the AES and toslink output to DirectStream first, before buying another piece of hardware + LPS + trying different HDMI cables. (I don’t normally tell users to try toslink but its designer prefers it). To be clear, I’m not dissuading you from buying anything, just suggesting trying out something with less expenditure first.

I do not recall users telling me that they use the Matrix or have a compatibility problem with it. I rechecked our native DSD table and it should be supported - even though this has no functional benefit for Matrix + DirectStream, the latter of which is limited to DSD128 only.