USB direct or via. a reclocker?

Hi folks,

I’m just setting up my new system: Amphion Argon 3S speakers, pair of Amphion AMP100 mono amps, and a Mytek Brooklyn. I’m running ROCK on an Intel NUC and I’m deciding on the optimal (optimal = best bang per buck) set-up to feed the Brooklyn via. its USB input.

I have a HDPLEX 200w LPSU and a microRendu but I have been trying to sell the latter. Long story cut short: I had the microRendu inline to my KEF LS50W and when Roon announced direct ethernet support I dropped the microRendu and just had a direct USB connection from the ROCK to the USB input on the Kef. To this day I would be hard pushed to have noticed a difference. If I was really pushed I would say there may have been a touch more harshness with the direct USB. But, y’know, the microRendu is not a cheap piece of kit and my new system has gone somewhat over my budget so freeing up some cash would be nice (but not critical) right now.

So, here are my options:

  1. USB direct. Straight from the NUC running ROCK into the USB input on the Brooklyn.

  2. USB with a reclocker inline (something like the Wyred4Sound). I can get one for about £200 and, if I sell, the rendu I’ll still (hopefully) be £200 up.

  3. Ethernet out from the ROCK into the microRendu and a very short USB cable (the Curious USB regen link if anyone’s interested) into the Brooklyn. I’d feed the microRendu 7.5v from the HDPlex (incidentally, I did previously have a LPS-1 feeding the microRendu).

I’ve been on a long and winding audiophile road over the past few years and, frankly, I’m quite tired of all of these claims about ‘night and day’, etc. etc. I’ve heard for myself the microRendu and its very best in two systems (Naim and the KEF) and I’m now wondering whether it has all been some giant placebo effect.

I have never seen a convincing scientific argument as to why USB direct is inferior.

BUT, what I am interested in is the experience of existing Brooklyn users.


There are potential gains I think in using a network device into a DAC remote from your Roon Core, supposedly potentially eliminating some things which might have an effect on sound quality. Whether these are realisedi in any particular set up or ears/brain is an individual thing I reckon.

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There doesn’t need to be an argument about USB being inferior. It is there in the measurements. USB is used because of its capabilities but it measures worse than SPDIF over coaxial. There is potentially more noise. Proper isolation helps, as does good impedance matching and clean power. That can be achieved if the designer/manufacturer puts the time and money in. But you’d be surprised how many don’t. This is where USB treatment can be beneficial. That said I haven’t looked at the specifications of the Brooklyn. Nor have I heard one so I can talk theory but not experience.
Note that devices such as the SU-1, Hydra Z or similar spend lots of money cleaning up USB and converting to i2S over HDMI which is the only interface that combines the capability of USB with the noise performance of coax or optical.

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I use a allo sparky/usbridge to feed my wyred4sound dac, I prefer this slightly above the allo digione (spdif coaxial).
The USBridge is a fine device and it doesn’t cost much. I would say, just try it and if you’re happy keep it!


The IFI IPurifier 2 is worth a look.
Well received, no additional power supply. I have it in front of my chord 2qute. Half the cost. I’m happy with the impact and feel no need to explore alternatives.

There are several variants depending on USB type. Important to choose the correct one first time… ahem.

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I use an iFi USB3. All the USB re-jiggering you could want or possibly need and a cleaned up power supply. I found a $60 double headed USB cable (as opposed to the $200 double headed iFi Gemini cable) on eBay, so if you’re into that kind of thing it completes the package. You don’t need a double headed cable to effectively use the USB3, but it will separate data from power if you get one.

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Thanks for the comments. I’m quite taken with the iPurifier 2. I will see if I can get one on demo and compare it to the microrendu.

This shows iPurifier used with iUSB. The iUSB3 has both of those in one package. I have both setups. Just saying…

I had been wondering if anyone had compared the usbridge vs the digione into the same device. thanks for that. What PSU are you using with the usbridge? I just received mine yesterday and have only used the stock PSU. Apparently, allo is coming out with their own clean power supply some time soon …

I use the standard supplied ups on both. I am already happy with the sound, maybe i will buy an ifi psu, but i will not buy some expensive linear psu.

I lost my marbles and have an Uptone ISO-regen and Uptone LPS-1 powering it. Which was expensive… It does sound great though. But… not a huge delta between when I had the W4S recovery on reclocking duty. The power supply made the biggest difference in my system.

I have used the Wyred4Sound reclocker. It did not improve the SQ for me.
The Mutec MC3+ USB, however, made a big improvement, for 3 different DACs (W4S DAC2, Chord 2Qute and Oppo UDP205).
It lifts a veil in the music and makes the music more lively and “here”. You could think that that is caused by timing improvements. More attack and decay. If you like the music closer to you, the Mutec is a good buy.
I am running Roon on a Mac Mini. Note that the Mutec maxes out at 192/24.

I haven’t had enough time to do a full SQ comparison but I have to say that, for an SBC, the usbridge worked immediately after plugging it in. Roon bridge auto-started, roon saw my Dac and that was that. I went through the dietpi binaries and poked to around to see if there was any additional config I should do but frankly it was 100% turnkey. Very very impressive for a $149 (-10%) Roon Ready endpoint and USB reclocker.

Same here, extremely happy with it. Only the digione fails sometimes and you have to do a restart. But i’ll keep them both connected to my dac, sort of a backup :sunglasses:

Don’t get what you mean by this. They are two different functional devices. One is transport and one is a USB re-jiggerer. The mR is not meant to clean up signal, by engineer’s own admission. Can’t find that quote right now.

In that they are both the last device in the chain before the USB input to the DAC and both of them aim to provide a USB signal to it with minimal noise.

Yes this happens to me too (got the digione feeding a chird Mojo). Every 2-3 days. suggested it was to do with an earthing issue?

Strange thing is that the new allo-gui (nice one btw) gives no indication that something is wrong. System is up and running, there’s only no sound…

I find the ifi psu’s to be excellent
Am sure they don’t have the same impact as an lps1 etc that’s obviously many times more costly but I picked up definite improvements over the 2qute’s stock wall wart. Chord are adamant there are no improvements to be had but I did it anyway and my ears strongly disagree. Absolute bargain.

Thx, I think I will buy an ifi psu and try it this weekend!