I seem to recall some posts in the past that indicated that the SPDIF interface on the U1 Mini provided the best sound quality. I’m wondering if that’s still considered to be true? I have a U1 Mini connected to a Bryston BDA-3 DAC via a Nordost Norse Heimdall 2 USB cable, and I’m just wondering if anything is to be gained by utilizing the SPDIF (either BNC or AES/EUB) interface instead? Thanks for your thoughts on this.
Stay with the USB.
I always tell users to try USB and AES (with USB disconnected) to see what sounds better in their setup, if you don’t need to play DSD.
Some of them prefer AES, some prefer USB. Some switched the preference after changing the cable.
I don’t have an AES/EUB cable so I’d have to shell out some money on that just to make the comparison. I do have quite a few DSD recordings, so perhaps I’m better off staying with USB.
For my two pennies worth the Lumin AES out to a Denafrips Pontus II DAC is very different to the USB out to the same DAC. Yes the USB is remarkably extended, lots of subtle micro details, if that’s all I had I would be very happy. However after a week or two warming everything up (the Pontus was new) I tried the AES connection and I’m back in musical nirvana again!
It’s so very hard to put into words but the instruments and voices sound real, instead of a wall of incredibly dense and amazing detail, I now have Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson here in the room with me! This I feel is the true difference between a great R-2R ladder DAC and an exceptional delta sigma DAC - on USB the Denafrips sounds more like an exceptional delta sigma DAC, on AES the fluidity and musicality of a great ladder DAC come to the fore …and it is a matter of preference, and of course very DAC dependent.
I realise I’ve been heading in this direction for years now, away from exceptionally detailed and surgically precise hifi sound and towards the organic, fluid, subtle and nuanced presentation of tubes and analogue (without the analogue so far… hence the gorgeous Lumin as a source!)