+1 ozzy, I've recently installed a USBe Perfect between my streamer and DAC. I noticed similar improvements, mostly greater microdynamics and better imaging. This tweak, however, is working in conjunction with my Etherregen and AD Master clock. The combination is great.
Hi Ozzy - Am I to understand you're experiencing greater fidelity from digital files on an external drive (like a Western Digital) attached to the Lumin X1 via the USBe Perfect?
I'm not questioning what you're hearing, I just want to make sure I understand.
If that's right, does the Lumin have internal storage (like a computer hard drive)? If so, does a file stored on the Lumin sound different than the same file played from the external drive to the Lumin with the USBe Perfect in the chain?
I just got the USBe Perfect and unfortunately, it doesn't pair well with the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt. :( I had to go back to the Jitterbug FMJ to achieve my top sound.
Ozzy, I still owe you a response -- the USBe Perfect continues to work wonderfully in my system, just as you describe.
In my case, the electronic box of the USBe Perfect plugs into the "DAC" usb jack on the back of the Zenith Mk.3, then the Core Power silver usb cord provided by Underwood Wally connects that to the USB input of my BMC Ultra DAC pre-amp. It is a tight fit on the Zenith. It required me to shave a bit off the plastic cladding surrounding the AudioQuest Ultaviolet8 cable that connects my back-up SSD to the Zenith.
At this point in my streaming experience I have to question the need for usb decrapifiers. Shouldn't audiophile servers and streamers have optimized usb outputs that wouldn't benefit from these added on devices. I'd expect highest performance at prices they charge, usb ports coming directly off motherboard isn't top tier.
I'm not criticizing these usb decrapifiers, most effective in what they offer. My contention is why should I purchase music server that costs upwards of $3k and not get optimized usb out. Many of these server guys offer their own usb decrapifiers which they charge premium for, at this point you might be into $10K territory, if going this route just spend the $10K and get the server with optimized usb port built into it.
I see no point in purchasing any server with non-optimized usb out, you're spending too much now and further spending required down the road. Best choices as I see it are:
1. Single computer setup with OPTIMIZED usb port out direct into dac. Simple and effective usb setup.
2. Two computer setup, separate server/streamer. Advantages are not having to use relatively low grade usb out on server, can add audiophile network switch (don't have to with second ethernet port on server), choice to use optical or ethernet galvanic isolation post server, most streamers are usb renderers which means no add on devices, superior on board clocking with many streamers, best to separate Roon core from endpoint for Roon users. Can also use combo streamer/dac with this configuration.
Based on my research the only servers I've discovered fitting needs of optimized usb outs are limited to the aprox. $10k servers or atx motherboard builds with Pink Faun or JCAT usb.
Two computer setups much greater flexibility and no need to spend $10k+ for what may be inferior performance for the single computer setup. With this setup streamer is the most important component, server only requires minimal processing abilities. Server does become more important if using high level dsp.