USB Tweaks

To Doug Schneider,

Newly retired and lifelong audio lover, I have recently purchased a Hegel H360 and wish to go all digital with JRiver. I use a solid-state Ultrabook with a Cardas Clear USB cable to the internal DAC. My question to you sir: should I use an AC-to-USB disrupter between the laptop and the amplifier to clean up the noise in the 5V laptop power supply and improve the sound, or does the Hegel deal with this internally?

What is your opinion on the type and way to address this situation?

Thanks and happy listening,
Michael Martin

I’ve used JRiver running on a Windows-based laptop for years and have never felt the need to introduce a device between the computer and DAC in order to improve the sound. My feeling is that well-designed DACs, such as those from Hegel, deal with the problem already. But does trying hurt? Probably not. My suggestion for a cost-effective experiment is AudioQuest’s JitterBug, which Pete Roth reviewed for us in December. It’s only $49. The nice thing about the JitterBug is that fits directly into the computer’s USB port, so you don’t need to buy an additional USB cable. . . . Doug Schneider