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My internal PC DAC was never anything great, so I finally purchased a Micca OriGen USB-powered external DAC to use with the JBL LSR308 active studio reference monitors for my PC. I immediately noticed a difference for the better. Bass was smoother, mids and highs were more articulate... The only "fly in the ointment", so to speak, was all the static popping, grinding and hissing sounds I had inherited since I started using an external DAC over the crappy one built into my motherboard.
Congrats on a kick ass product!!
Sorry for the long delay, but the experimentation and critical listening took additional time to arrange and execute. I too was perplexed about the Distruptors place in a system where the 5 volt power supply is unnecessary. This became a bit of an obsession with me since I was hearing a difference and as kijanski points out the Wadia does not need the external 5 volts to operate.
Our first experiment was to establish the facts about the Wadia and indeed it functions perfectly with just the ‘DaBigGenius” No 5 volt. The nagging issue for me is that I thought it sounded better with the now clearly unneeded Disruptor and thus the need for the next experiments.
Our second experiment was to do a series of evaluations with and without the Disruptor while using “DaBigGenius” 5 volt. We used three participants to execute this experiment. Each participant was given 10 opportunities to guess at which configuration was being used. Each test was randomly generated and each participant was asked to leave the room so that there was little or no bias introduced. Each participant was asked to pick 3 songs that they wanted to use for the evaluation. Each evaluation session took approximately 7 minutes, 4 minutes of listening and 3 minutes out of the room for the configuration change (whether it happened or not based on the randomly preselected sequence). This experiment was focused on identification of the configuration i.e. can I hear the 5 volt Disruptor when it is in the digital signal path. The results were unexpected as each participant identified the Disruptor in place correctly 87% of the time.
RESULT: The panel was able to identify when the 5 volt supply was in or not even though the Wadia does not require the 5 volt supply.
Our third experiment was to identify which of the configurations sounded better. We used an experimental design identical to our second experiment: 3 songs, 10 tests that were randomly generated configurations, 4 minutes of listening time, 3 minutes of “not in the room” while configuration changes were made (or not) as predetermined.
RESULT: The panel chose the “Disruptor” as the best sounding configuration 85% of the time when it was in play, so essentially they not only picked it out correctly most of the time they also said that it sounded better.
The participants were my 25 year old son, my wife and myself (son took care of all of my trials so I was just as in the dark as they were). Now I know this is not a highly scientific result but given that the tests were as blind as possible, it surely speaks, in volume that the combination of “DaBigGenius” and the Disruptor in my system was the better choice.
As we all know, your mileage may vary. After reading Rob’s white paper on the advantages of his products, I now understand a little better as to why I could hear a difference with and without the Disruptor. In my opinion the Disruptor is a vital part of my digital chain in spite of the fact that my DAC, the Wadia 121, does not need a 5 volt USB supplied power source.
Final thoughts; the disruptor and “DaBigGenius” are inexpensive products that yielded extraordinary results in my system. The improvements were both easily recognized and appreciated. The improvements observed were a lowering of the noise floor. Articulation thru ought the audio range was enhanced. The space around instruments increased with greater specificity in imaging, Dynamics were enlivened on both the macro and micro scale. My first reaction: “an opaque vail has been lifted”, I believed the combination of the Disruptor and “DaBigGenius” to be a very good, if not startling, improvement. After this round of experimentation, I am quite convinced that the product is well worth your evaluation time and best of all you have nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund.
Perhaps an out of focus dirty window vs a pristine new glass window. “I can see clearly now” sums it up!
Great product, great price, great support and great results! I couldn’t ask for anything more!
Thank you for such a comprehensive and detailed report. Your experience mirrors my findings using the Disruptor with a self powered and expensive Antelope DAC. The Disruptor added to my system made a bigger sonic improvement than when I added the Antelope's Volticus external power supply ($1000.00 upgrade).
With a 30 day no hassle return policy I do think this is an inexpensive upgrade that most audiophiles should audition. The cost benefit ratio is simply too good not to give the Disruptor a try.