Crossing wires

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Crossing wires

When my parents were coming of age, the telephone system used a massive number of patchbays and operators connecting one phone to another. On occasion, they would make the wrong patch which is where the term crossing wires comes from.

Not only telephone operators cross wires. 

In a recent video of mine I speak at length about how USB noise impacts audio quality. I further go on explaining that adding a USB hub or stepping up to our new galvanically isolated MKII DAC is needed to clean up and isolate this noise.

Not until a rash of negative comments about folks unable to hear this noise did it become obvious to me my mistake. Ears were placed next to tweeters with and without their DACs connected to USB without any additional noise.


My broad use of the term noise could easily be thought to meant audible noise: noise in the range of human hearing.

Noise that impacts sound quality on USB is, of course, outside the range of human hearing. It's in the megahertz region where computers are most active: side effects of high speed number crunching.

I am certain most of my readers understand this but—and it is my bad—I need to be a bit more careful throwing about words that have many meanings.

Otherwise, that which I am trying to communicate will get its wires crossed.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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