So I have a dx3 with oladra upgrade. why or why not do we need a usb reclocker for usb delivery say like innous phoenix? does this improve what i feel is already darn good SQ? I do use usb as its a preferred delivery for my rig but what say folks out there? why another reclocker would help? or is this just more money down a well of rabbits
There’s a very good chance you will get a nice upgrade from the PhoenixUSB.
Since you run Roon, your money might be better spent adding an S30 so you can run Server and Player on different boxes.
Even before doing any of that, consider trying an EtherRegen in front of your DX. Uptone has a 30 day money back offer so it’s very low risk to you.
Why, do you think Antipodes USB output is faulty or poorly designed?
Did I say that? Since I didn’t, but thx for the input that I stated, the sq is great as is.
The way I understand it, Mark has said that recent changes in protocol for USB for computing mean that other output options such as SPDIF are sonically cleaner. There is also a lot of industry comment along these lines as well. One reason for using a re-clocker is if you have to output in USB but want to convert to a SPDIF input. If you can output already in SPDIF, then you may want to do some A/B demos to see if you can hear any difference. I do have to output in USB but require a SPDIF input further down the chain, and I currently use a Topping D10 which allows a digital to digital transfer. However, I would like to try a re-clocker to see if my current arrangement degrades SQ.
USB regeneration has already proven itself to be beneficial in a broad number of cases. The better the server/endpoint though the better the regen device needs to be to offer an improvement over the server/endpoint. When my endpoint was a Sonore microRendu, the Uptone Iso Regen brought worthwhile improvements. But when I later upgraded to an Innuos Zenith, the Iso Regen didn’t help much at all.
The PhoenixUSB is arguably the best of its class. I think it would offer improvements to most servers priced up to the K50 level.
I confess I do use the PhoenixUSB. I had this before I bought the K50 so it was not a specific purchase for the k50. However having tried the K50 with and without the PhoenixUSB, I definitely prefer the sound with it in the system.
My take is therefore that I think it would offer improvements to most servers priced up to and including the K50 level.
Right from when I first got the PhoenixUSB I was never really sure whether it was its USB reclocking or its Sean Jacobs power supply but whatever the reason I liked what it did to the sound and that like has carried on to using it with the K50 USB output.
If you’re happy with how it sounds, I see no reason to change.
That said, my previous CX benefited greatly from the Phoenix USB (it also benefited from the AudioQuest Diamond USB cable). Using the Phoenix with my K50 showed such a minor benefit that it didn’t seem worth keeping in the system.
Interesting, frankly I’m leaning to what could it do to making it better? I mean smooth it out would have a cost, more transparent with what’s already transparent. Any rate I use the chord company Sarum T digital super array usb, use to use aq Diamond ….
I’m not sure I can answer that question, however I suspect it is down to noise (either ground or signal) that gets injected into the DAC. The Phoenix has a dedicated LPSU power rail for each circuit, including a pretty good clock.
I’ve often wondered whether having a more stable clock helps (in terms of phase noise) as it gives the phase locked loop less to do. Of course, dCS say having a super-stable clock actually starts to make things worse again and they inject some dither into the signal of their high-end clocks.
I don’t fully understand this stuff but from my reading here’s what I think is going on.
The USB signal represents the data within a carrier voltage. That carrier voltage can have other frequencies coming along for the ride. A regenerator takes the data and applies a clean carrier to it, so what actually enters the DAC has much less noise coming along for the ride. The noisier the source, the greater the benefit.
This would be somewhat for naught if the USB physical layer transceiver used a cheap oscillator that added noise back before sending it down the USB cable. So the better regenerators include an upgraded oscillator. An oscillator is needed there regardless to govern the flow of data, so better to have a really good one to take over the job.
The physical layer receiver on the USB input can apparently generate less noise itself if the signal integrity is higher since it doesn’t have to work as hard to process the incoming stream. This is a point John Swenson made repeatedly about their ISO Regen. It was noise generated in the DAC that would be reduced.
A server like the K50 would certainly have less noise coming along for the ride, but higher signal integrity could still be of benefit based on the DAC itself and how it deals with this noise.
Just checked and Phoenixusb is usd3.5k ?? Quite a big chunk even if your DX is oladra ?
I will second Kenny’s recommendation on usd600 uptone EtherRegen(ER) especially with external oxco clocking if you had not worked on input and ibto streaming i.e. ethernet quality to your oladra dx … I have an ER before my cx and another ER before the ex since no oxco upgrade planned by Antipodes.
Since having bought into Antipodes cx/ex and having also oladra upgrades, I like to believe that their usb output had been examined on SQ. This is from my experience with various usb reclocking improvement devices from ifi usb3.0, very nice 3r usb renaissance as well as Denafrips ddc Gaia/Hermes that while all these improved usb outputs from Allo Signature and Nuprime S1, I prefers very much the Antipodes cx/ex without them. No doubt PhoenixUSB is more advance to my mentioned usb reclocking devices but I do think that the use of Denafrips ddc synced to single oxco clock of the TerminatorPlus is something very special indeed.
Then there is also the usb input of your dac that may or not may benefit and to what extend with having the PhoenixUSB … I do not have any concern from the sound quality I hear of the Antipodes cx/ex via usb directly to my upgraded Denafrips TerminatorPlus. Having usb from Antipodes to Denafrips Hermes and then even via i2s to TerminatorPlus sounds obviously worse.
Lastly, do try the cheaply usd40 ifi idefender3.0 if bored to see if it improve your sound quality as it surprisingly did for me (without additional 5v input):