What could I use between a Intel NUC and USB DAC?

Hi,

I’ve been using a Digione for my stereo with great results. It got me thinking… My headphone amp with Schiit True Multibit Card only has a USB-input. But I guess that I could gain some SQ from cleaning up the signal?

The natural choice would maybe be the ALLO USB Bridge Signature, but it cost more or less the same as the DAC/AMP and would maybe be a bit overkill? Is there alternative out there or maybe something from Ifi ore something that could work? I do not necessarily need a streamer, while this is a desktop system and the NUC with ROON CORE is nearby.

Try this:

But can you? Do you have a particular beef with this setup that would suggest so? (I have my doubts.)
IMHO, try what appeals but make sure it is returnable.

@DanielAvasilichioaei,

The ipurifier 3 could maybe be something, thanks! Have you maybe tried one?

@Kal Rubinson
I do not now know. All I know is that the Digione noticeably opened up the soundstage and cleaned up the sound with my 2Quite.

The sound is quite good now (there is no hizz or buzz). But I got quite reveling headphones so maybe there is more to gain. Yeah, I could order and return if I do not notice any difference.

If you’re running Rock on a Nuc the first point of call is to transfer it into an Akasa fanless case and power it from a linear power supply such as an sBooster.

Next port of call would be a good USB Cable such as a Phasure Lush or Curious USB (the former is better).

The next port of call after that would be USB reclocker such as an SOtM tX-USB Ultra or if you wanted cheaper an Uptone ISO Regen, and either would need a good linear power supply, or SOtM do a dedicated power supply called an SMS500 which isn’t linear but is really good but another sBooster will do the job very well.

Feed the USB reclocker with something like a short Curious USB and then out from that with the Phasure Lush.

If you have money to spend, cut out chasing the USB cable nirvana by going for a Sablon Reserva Elite which is very expensive but is clearly better again than the Phasure Lush but with similar ballpark qualities.

Or do nothing and save some money.

I used one of these relatively cheap Holo Audio Titanis USB regenerators in-between a RPi and a Matrix Audio X-SPDIF2 (which fed a Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC via I2S). I’m very sure it did no harm given the astounding audio quality from the Spring and my STAX SR-009 earspeakers.

How much good did it do? I don’t know, but at under $100, it did give me some reassurance that I wasn’t putting crap into the X-SPDIF2. And I really didn’t want to go down the route of Uptone Regen, plus power supply for that, plus power supply for that, etc. at half the price of the Spring.

https://kitsunehifi.com/product/holo-audio-titanis-active-usb-processor/

Just plug it in and listen, don’t spend money on anything unless it’s necessary. Especially the usb decrapifiers. Yet to hear any significant difference with ones I tried.

I have obe golden rule: it is not the difference that I (think to) hear adding something new in the chain, but all about the difference( if any) when I remove it after some time.
If I am not missing something, than the new part is not worth a purchase.
Dirk

3 Likes

Thanks for all the answers.

@mfin

That all sounds good. I do not doubt that it would sound good. But as I was saying before the AMP/DAC is quite cheap and I do not have any real problems with it. It is also just my desktop setup. It is more that nagging feeling that I could make it a little better with something not that expensive because the digione had such a impact in the past.

@Jim_F
Noted, I would only buy new with the option to return if there is no positive difference.

@joel
Thanks I will look into it. I also would like to keep it simple, I had a couple of sboosters for my stereo in the past but do not want to go that route again (not the wife either).

@Simon_Arnold3
Yes, I maybe do just that. I read some raving reviews about the I purifier 3. But it is hard to know before you tried it yourself.

@anon90297517
Interesting, I use the same metrology especially when testing cables. First live with them for a while and then change and I can often hear if something is off or is missing.

I usually use iFi micro iUSB3.0 to power and regen USB DAC on various Roon configurations:

Roon Nucleus running Roon Core
Allo DigiOne running Roon Bridge
iPad with OTG cable running Roon Remote

All these configurations sounds excellent on my DACs. One thing to mention is iUSB actually is a USB Hub, and some DACs need a USB Hub between iPad with OTG cable to work.