Core Tech USBe Perfect


Core Tech USBe Perfect

I have never been shy about criticizing or complementing products in the audio industry. I have always been a tweaker and fascinated when creative minds search out ways to improve sound quality.

However, many of these items do not perform as advertised or if they do something is the cost worth it?

As I have found sometimes these innovations (tweaks) really do improve the sound quality and are worth the money. Such items as the Townshend Platforms, various Grounding devices, High Fidelity NPS-1260, fuses and the Add-Powr Sorcer X4.

Today, I received the Core Tech USBe Perfect. Now this is a little plug in usb that goes into your Dac, CD, Streamer etc. I think its claim to fame is based on using it with an usb cable from a digital device utilizing a usb cable to the Dac. Since my Lumin X1 is a Streamer/Dac combo and I use fiber cable to connect to the Lumin there is no usb needed in my digital chain. But I am using an 8TB external hard drive where all my music is stored that does connect to my Lumin X1 via an usb cable so that is where I used the USBe Perfect.

Man, I wish I had the ability to use such eloquent sonic descriptions like the rag mags use (lifting veils, Liquidity?) Etc. Best I can say that from the first installation (cold out of the box) I did hear a more solid image. I hear more presence; bass is stronger and just about everything I like sound quality wise improved. My .50c opinion is that the music sounds stronger.

It is listed for $299 without a usb cable. Since I already own Curious usb cables I didn’t need an additional cable. Is it worth the cost? I really do think so, and your milage will not vary.

I’ve got to state again that this is worth the cost for the improvement. Feel free to send me any of your excess money…

ozzy

128x128ozzy

+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.

trump350,

Interesting, I also have those components. But I can't see where you would plug it in.

ozzy

I see the price Is much higher on the site? Was $299 a special promo price? Also. not sure he offers a return policy? In the past he has not.  

I think that is the current price sans the usb cable. And there is no return.

ozzy

grannyring,

You and I have been around the block a few times and know what an improvement is. If you don’t like the USBe Perfect, I’ll buy it from you. Then I can hear what 2 of these devices do.

ozzy

Ha! Thanks Ozzy. I see I was looking at the complete usb cable.  
I owned the Ifi unit that looks very similar and did not like it.  Also tried one from Epirical Audio years ago.  Both took away from the music.  I am sure this one is different based on your comments! 

I just noticed that combining the AudioQuest’s Jitter bug with the USBe Perfect is not a good thing. You would think if one were good 2 would be better? But no, there seems to be too much in your face sound.

ozzy

the Jitterbug is also 2.0 and at least for me does NOT play well w 3.0 drive i have….

Best to all

Jim

Thanks Tom. Funny how these devices are different but designed for the same results.

ozzy

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? 

itaintwhy,

Thank you for your response.

Yes, I am using the USBe Perfect at the end of the cable from my Hard drive.

And there is no internal storage in the Lumin.

ozzy

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steakster,

Thank you for that info. So, if I am using an external hard drive, should I plug the USBe Perfect into the hard drive or into my Lumin X1?

Right now, I have it plugged into my Lumin.

ozzy

Try it in each location.   When swapping, give the USBe Perfect some time to re-settle in - around 15 minutes or so.   I have a few Synergistic Research cables - which offers additional tweaking with their bullets.  

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.

I know Audioquest had stated that combining the Jitterbug in series with the Cobalt would hurt the sound.  They're wrong. The USBe Perfect causes the sound output to flatten and cease being holographic, on my setup.  That doesn't mean it doesn't work or isn't good.

I will save my USBe Perfect for when I upgrade to a proper standalone DAC and need to use a USB cable.

Thanks. I hope you can use it in the future. It's pretty good for the cost in my system. But you never really know in this hobby.

ozzy

@ozzy Interesting, I also have those components. But I can't see where you would plug it in.

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. 

tump350,

Thanks for the update. I am always fascinated by the ingenuity of some of the products that are available. I am using the Cerious usb cable. I could use a longer one though, perhaps I’ll give the Core Power a try.

ozzy

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.

My Ifi USB cleaner works well, as I feel it improves the bass and overall smoothness of the sound.  FYI I use a MacBook to stream Tidal.

Just added a purple SR disc to the top of the Core Tech USBe Perfect and wham, another increase in sound quality!

ozzy