Know your enemy

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Know your enemy
I get a lot of flack for my dislike of USB as a medium between the computer and DAC. Truth is, it's not USB I don't like. It's what USB connects with that bothers me. Noisy computers. Here's the deal. We all know computers are vile, noisy affairs that hopefully are as far away from our pristine high-end audio systems as possible. When we want to extract music from these noise-ridden contraptions what's the best arm's-length, noise-free way to do it? Ethernet—an isolated one-way communication medium. What's the worst way to connect? USB—a two-way connected open-gate flood of data and noise. Our goal should be to get the data out of our computers with as little noise and connection as possible, which is why Ethernet (or long-ago fiber optics before Toshiba's TOSLINK format screwed up our chances for high sample rates) or WiFi are the best choices. I get it. It's a heck of a lot easier just to fire up a USB cable and be done with it. Ethernet and WiFi are pains in the keester. But better. One possible solution is to use a USB reclocker device like the Matrix. It helps, but it isn't perfect. Perfect is a new DirectStream MK2 DAC with 100% galvanic isolation. With an MK2 in the system, you can use USB and stop worrying about it.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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