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Author Topic: Clairixa USB-cable - Listening impressions  (Read 49254 times)
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pedal
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« on: November 06, 2015, 08:31:01 pm »

The sound improvement over my standard USB-cable was immediate right out of the box. I unpacked and hooked it up between my PC and NOS1 DAC, and switched on the amps. The effect is not subtle. No need to switch back and forth, to double check the difference. In fact, my old standard (free) USB cable is now enjoying its early retirement in a drawer.

The treble is cleaner, as if some harshness is removed. The midrange is more open and detailed. The bass is tidier and more tuneful. There is more control in the deep bottom octave, adding a degree of “subwoofer-effect” to my (temporarily) 2-way system. The overall change is a slightly darker and more full-bodied sound. Because of the cleaner sound I can play louder (+5dB). I hear no negative effects, everything improves in my revealing system.

I don’t know what kind of techs & specs Peter is hiding under its cotton skin, but it reminds me of lowering of jitter. Years ago I spend some hundreds of hours listening to CD-drives and SPDIF cables, and each improvement in lowering of jitter, sounded similar to what the Clairixa does in my system.

You could dub Clairixa“Cleenexa”, because it really cleans up the sound. The improvement is on par with changing hardware, like upgrading op-amps or amps with better power supply. My 3meter version costed, including hipping, €305 + VAT, which I find great value. Highly recommended!


PS: So far I am using it with my standard MB. Next will be to try out the Silverstone soundcard. Previous trial was not successful (too bright/coloured treble) BUT I will give it another chance. Teaming up with Clairixa might create some synergy?
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pedal
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2015, 10:28:56 pm »

I am extremely happy with the Clairixa. It really has become a necessity in my PC-setup!

Next up was the Silverstone soundcard. Previous attempts, used together with free-be USB cable, left me cold. It was too bright and colored in the treble.

The Silverstone remained in my PC, plugged in, but not in use for 1,5 years. Yesterday I started doing some A/B testing between it and the USB3 port on my Motherboard. To my surprise, it now sounded slightly LESS bright than the generic one. Maybe my previous attempts were faulty, or maybe the Clairixa does "something" beneficiary for the whole (electric) circuit? I don't know. After 2 days listening, I tend to favor the Silverstone slightly. It is a tad more "analog" sounding than the USB3 on my motherboard.

BTW, I think I have done the setup correctly: Silverstone is isolated from the PC-chassis with tape, and the USB receiver is un-earthed inside the NOS1 DAC.
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 12:22:02 pm »

Hi Pedal,

Did not believe that the USB cable could do much difference... but it did!

Have the usb card installed same way as you, but the usb earth is connected to switch #3 in the dac
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Win 10 14393 - Xeon E5 2050v4 hyperthreading on 24 core - XX 2.06b - min OS - Music on LAN - Adaptive 4096 - Allow format change - Core 3/5, low, Real time - Clock res 0.5 ms - XTweaks 43,100,1,0,1 - Boost at xxhighend startup - SFS 0.12,  max 120 SC - Incl garbage - Copy to xx - Always clear proxy - Use remote desktop - Use touch facility - Stop desktop/remaining/wasapi services - Keep LAN - Use remote desktop - OSD text - Show as wallpaper - At attended
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 12:48:06 pm »

Have the usb card installed same way as you, but the usb earth is connected to switch #3 in the dac
What is the idea here, making the earth switchable?
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 12:49:52 pm »

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Have the usb card installed same way as you, but the usb earth is connected to switch #3 in the dac

... Which comes along with the "a" upgrade of the NOS1 (and Pedal does not have that yet).

But possibly you wanted to tell about whether you have that Switch #3 On or Off ... ? (ground connected ot not)

Regards,
Peter
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XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 10/20 cores) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 30/-/1/1/1/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 15ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 140.19  (max 140.19) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 35 / Nervous Rate = 10 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Arc Prediction Filtering (16x)* / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^2*A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> *Blaxius^2 A:B-R, B:B-R* Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
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*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 02:38:49 pm »

Hi  Happy
I keep it off, but when I am away and the system is on I try to keep it on... as I understand there can be an issue with stability (?)/noise.
Have not done a critical comparison SQ wise
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Phasure system: XXHighEnd stealth Mack II LPS PC - Clarixia 30cm/Intona USB isolator/Clarixia 1m - NOS1a 75B Dac - Blaxius BNC IC - Orelo mkII

Win 10 14393 - Xeon E5 2050v4 hyperthreading on 24 core - XX 2.06b - min OS - Music on LAN - Adaptive 4096 - Allow format change - Core 3/5, low, Real time - Clock res 0.5 ms - XTweaks 43,100,1,0,1 - Boost at xxhighend startup - SFS 0.12,  max 120 SC - Incl garbage - Copy to xx - Always clear proxy - Use remote desktop - Use touch facility - Stop desktop/remaining/wasapi services - Keep LAN - Use remote desktop - OSD text - Show as wallpaper - At attended
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2015, 08:55:59 pm »

For the longest time I used a data only cable from YFS. Sometime in July my NOS1a-75b totally broke in and I noticed that my mids had a bit of a weird bloated/distortion sound. Switched to Clarixa and was amazed at how solid, clear, sweet and distortion free the mids became.

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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 05:37:26 pm »

Perhaps I can come up with $ for a try of the Clairixa cable. Hearing is believing. My USB cable upgrade was simple yet an essential upgrade!

My equip: dual ESS9018's (Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo III SE boards) with (isolated) Amanero USB input card; computer is ASUS Z87 PRO i7-4770K.

I was using a standard USB cable then tried an AudioQuest Cinnamon 0.75m -- back and forth many times to be sure I wasn't dreaming and no doubt the high end was significantly more detailed and music was more full. I was using Norah Jones 192KHz Cold Cold Heart piano section which brought out the change with cables.

Last week I tried another: Kimber Kable BBus (with silver conductors) 0.5m about USD 100. And I was amazed at the improvement over the Cinnamon cable.

Bul**t some say -- I was one. It is just digital and CD's work with programs that must be 100% accurate. A computer can read a CD program again if an error occurs.

With music timing must be affected (?) because it does matter.  20KHz has a period of 50us. I have read that you want to be accurate to 100ps -- or was it 20? Music is not a sine wave and the relationship of frequencies matters. Anyone with knowledge on this? Topic for another place?
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XXHE 2.03a; arc predict; Min OS,;attended or unattended; Device: KS Amanero Streaming; KS Mode: Adaptive; Device Buffer: 4096;  tweaks - 65/1/0/1/1,  Q1:14, Q3,4,5: 1; SFS 2 to 5; Straight Contiguous; Garbage Collect (sometimes can select); Clear Proxy; DAC is 32bits 384KHz; Cores 1-3; Player Prio:low; Thread Prio:RealTime; Clock Resolution:15ms; Stop Services (desktop, remaining, WASAPI and WIN10); Use Remote Desktop; Don't Keep LAN, PAN or WiFi; OSD Text; Show as Wall Paper
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Equipment: Dual DAC using Amanero USB (384KHz) with isolated buffer (ISO7640FM), two Twisted Pear Audio's Buffalo III SE DAC, preamp using same TPA IVY used for DAC I-V; Douglas Self Trimodal Class A 20W amp; Klipschorns (modified slightly); balanced power transformers: one for amp and one for low level equip; Alt. Speaker: ScanSpeak (2) 10" Revelator, (2) Illuminator 4", (1) Beryllium Dome Tweeter, tuned ports

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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 10:17:07 am »

Hi hbrew,

I'm no expert but what I learn from Peter, it is the exact impedance matching (90 Ohm) that makes USB cable better. Clairixa is made from such a cable.
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 12:40:50 pm »

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Bul**t some say -- I was one. It is just digital and CD's work with programs that must be 100% accurate. A computer can read a CD program again if an error occurs.

Haha. If that were true (OK, in my opinion) then this whole forum would not exist. Nor would the products, including XXHighEnd (as a first in this lineup). All right, one could call that "commercial" by now, but I guarantee you it is not.

So about the USB cable ...
Say it was the last devil to be banned and I stayed away from it for all the time that the 100s of topics about that realm were posed and discussed. But once I get the hang of the theory of things, I tend to work it out. And so it happened with the Clairixa. Nothing really special - only quite hard to sort out the theoretical merits. But after that it just "worked" out of the box.

The above IMO must be related to the various / numerous other "specialty" USB cables. So notice that as a group many people started trying (a.o.) USB cables, each taking a share of the cost. Cables were even arranged for and sent around the globe for trialling. I too participated.

Maybe because I am the most ignorant of us all, I rejected them all (regardless the $$) and kept using the 1 euro (really so) stock cable which always has been - and still is provided with the NOS1(a). It just was the better one (to my system and ears).
But when I bought a few and listened to others it was clear that at least a difference should be easy to be implied and I started working on it (this was a throughput of almost 6 months, which not many people know).

Maybe here or there there's someone who does not like the Clairixa for the better, but I don't know them (please stay quiet for my good mood Happy). Point is : it is only about theory (however to get hold of that is not the most easy thing).

The Blaxius Interlink is almost a better example, because many more people participated in buying similar (BNC) cables - again including my myself. It is also a better example because the theories applied entend by far what's needed for audio, but this is just how I work.
But here too, the sequence is (has been) :
1. get some merit of the general idea, especially by many people and not by myself alone;
2. work out the why of why things are working out for the better;
3. see through to the downsides;
4. form the theory;
5. research how theory can become practice (fairly difficult for the Clairixa, fairly crazy for the Blaxius);
6. build and listen.

This did not answer your (last) question, but I am not sure what to do with that because throughout time so much time has been spent on that, on this forum (and others).
But my view on that in general ? -> hardly related. "It just does not work like that" (says Mr Simple).

Regards,
Peter
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W10-14393.0 - Oct 31, 2018 (2.10)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 10/20 cores) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 30/-/1/1/1/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 15ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 140.19  (max 140.19) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 35 / Nervous Rate = 10 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Arc Prediction Filtering (16x)* / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^2*A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> *Blaxius^2 A:B-R, B:B-R* Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 04:39:48 am »

Hi all just received my short Clairixa for Intona connection to USB card along with Ram OS.

Well I disconnected my trusty Benchmark USB cable and connected the short Clairixa.

Gosh couldn't believe my ears what an improvement in sound quality just with this short cable. I already have the standard Clairixa from the Intona to DAC.

Some people suggest different USB cables shouldn't make any difference to the sound!!!!!

The Clairixa is well worth the money if you havn't got one get one, or two if you have the Intona. You won't regret it.

Ram OS for Saturday job.

Robert
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 12:41:49 am »

Has anybody tried putting the short Clairixa between Intona and Dac?

Some online suggesting short clean path between Intona and Dac is better.

Yes I have Intona back in the circuit. More benefits than negatives.

Robert
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XXhighend Ver 2.10 Ram OS, Settings:Q1/-/3/4/5 = *30*/-/*1*/*1*/*1*/ Q1Factor = *5* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *15ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *.69*  (max .69) / Disable Cracks Off / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-4 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ UnAttended / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Don't use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper Off / *OSD Off* / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 35 / Nervous Rate = 10 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Filter Arc Prediction
Music on LAN, Phasure Lush^2 USB cable
Oppo 205 UDP Pre/Dac
Nordost Heimdall II interconnects, Nordost Heimdall II Power Cords, Audioquest power cords
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 03:50:13 am »

I've not tried that Rob.  The short USB has just been more convenient at the computer end of the Intona.  If I remember correctly some people have had issues with a long USB feeding into the Intona, so I don't think I have ever tried it...and I can't now because Peter has my dac for upgrade and I may never use the Intona again...
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XXHighEnd 2.09 RAM-OS (W14393 RAM)
Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Buffer 4096 / Q1/3/4/5 = 14/1/1/1 / xQ1 = 1 / Processor Core Appointment Scheme = Core 1-3 / PlayerPrio = Low / ThreadPrio = RealTime / ClockRes = 1ms / Not Switch during playback = off / Xtweaks Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = 100 / Cool when idle = 1 / Provide stable power = 0 / Utilize cores always = 1 / Time Stability = Stable / Time Performance Index = Optimal / SFS 0.90MB Max 120MB / Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect = on / Start Playback during conversion = off / Do not start playback at all = off / Copy to XX-drive by standard = on / Always clear Proxy before Playback = on / Stop Remaining Desktop Services = on / Stop Desktop Services = on / Stop Remaining Services = on / Stop WASAPI Services = on / Stop W10 Services = off / Keep LAN Services = on / Persist = off / Use Remote Desktop = on/ Arc Predict / Minimize OS = on / Peak Extend = off / Unattended

Audio Chain
Stealth MachII PC >> Lush USB 1.5m >> NOS1a G3 B75, Driver v1.0.4 (4ms) >> Placette Active Linestage >> 6 way active horn speakers (Single Ended Triodes)
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 06:46:38 am »

Has anybody tried putting the short Clairixa between Intona and Dac?

I've had it this way for the past 6 months or so. I prefer it.

Mani.
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Phasure Mach II (with Nick's clock upgrade) -> Lush^2 -> Phasure NOS1a G3 -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Marvel horn speakers
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2017, 11:53:30 pm »

Has anybody tried putting the short Clairixa between Intona and Dac?

I've had it this way for the past 6 months or so. I prefer it.

Mani.

+1 (never tried it any other way, sounds goof enough for me)


regards, Coen
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Audio PC (jan 19): XXHE PC v1 with RAMdisk w.o. videocard and 1 of 2 cpu fans + BRIX/USB3 storage musicserver. ETN to Fibre converters (linear supplies), 500m SFP modules & 5m OM4 cable. Power cable PE not connected, together with nos1 and poweramp in separate "audio" powerstrip.

Clarixa set + Intona (or Lush 1m), Phasure NOS1a-75B G3 USB (buf 16 ms)-> Blaxius ->SE EL95 (0,8W triode) + cheap link to Abaqus 300W plateamps> Bastanis cable-> Bastanis Sagarmatha Duo ("DIY").

[other sources: TD124/3009SII-i/Grace F9/lounge LCR phono; Rega Planet 1997 vintage]
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