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Review and Measurements of Schiit WYRD USB Filter

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of Schiit WYRD "USB decrapifier." It is on kind loan from a member and retails for USD $99 plus shipping from Schiit direct.

This is a box that has USB input and output and external transformer input. It generates new USB power using the latter, and reclocks USB using a USB hub chip with the claim of it being more accurate. Externally it looks like the rest of the budget products from Schiit except that it has yet another finish than others:

Schiit WYRD USB Filter Review.psd.jpg

These solutions make "perfect" intuitive sense: USB is a computer port so by definition must have dirty power and signal. So why not clean them and generate better sound? Schiit doesn't provide any measurements to show efficacy of the product so that job falls on our shoulders.

For this testing I thought I should measure the performance of Schiit Modi 3 DAC per picture above. To cover our bases, I also tested with another DAC under review (March Audio dac1).

As I always do, I test what happens to the output of the DAC, not what the device does or does not to USB signal. We don't listen to USB bus. We listen to what comes out of the DAC. Any improvement better show up in the output of the DAC or it doesn't exist as far as I am concerned.

Let's see what measurements show.

Measurements
For testing very small differences especially as it relates to data interconnects, I use jitter measurements. This is done with a very deep "FFT" of 256,000 points. In English, this processing substantially lowers the measured noise of the DAC, allowing us to see the smallest distortion and spurious responses. Per above, I tested the Schiit Modi 3 alone and with Wyrd. I left out the Schiit power supply as it works fine with USB power alone (I also tested with its external power supply and results are the same):

Schiit Wyrd USB With Modi 3 Jitter Measurements.png


Everything other than the tall spike at 12 kHz is unwanted and not part of the original signal.

As you see, measuring down to better than -120 dB, we see the jitter spurious tones are there without Schiit Wyrd. In other words, the internal mechanisms for distortion and noise are far, far more of a factor than any improvement Schiit Wyrd wants to impart (assuming it has something to offer).

What is that? This is a single tone and not "music?" OK, let's run a composite 32-tone multitone through the Modi 3 with and without Wyrd and see the difference:

Schiit Wyrd USB With Modi 3 Multitone Measurements.png


At first glance it seems that the Wyrd (in red) actually made things worse. But that is just run to run variations. The Schiit Modi 3 USB implementation is not very good in that regard but what ails it is not fixed by Wyrd.

Let's run the same test with another DAC, the March Audio dac1 (review to come soon):

Schiit Wyrd with March Audio dac1 Multitone Measurement.png


Now the results fall right on top of each other because of stable performance of dac1. Wyrd of course does nothing for this good implementation.

As an aside, see how the noise floor is lower on dac1 in lower frequencies (bottom of the tones) than Schiit Modi 3.

We could test more DACs until we get bored out of our mind but for now, I say we have convincing results that with any half-decent DAC, including Schiit's own, the Wyrd does nothing.

Conclusions
As many of us suspect, products like Schiit do nothing to improve the output of DACs. Reasons are obvious from engineering point of view: no DAC uses USB power as is. The power goes through a conversion to another voltage and filtering. This filtering may be as good as 100X better than what comes in. Making the source power cleaner makes little difference here. More so, that power is not what comes out of your DAC but goes through other circuits which themselves have immunity to power differences. So no wonder cleaning up the power has yet to show any improvement in countless tests I have run.

Reclocking the USB bus is even more futile. These are all asynchronous DACs. The dac chip runs from an internally generated clock source, not derived from USB. USB bus only needs to be clean enough for reliable data transmission. If you are getting no static or drop outs, then you are golden: the usb clock has done its job.

How about the many people who swear these products make an audible difference? Simple: they use lay intuition that the device is actually improving the output of the DAC, listen more carefully and all of a sudden notice detail that was always there but was not noticed. As we have shown here, the waveform coming out of the DAC is NOT improved in any way. Therefore any improvement perceived, is one manufactured by the brain, not heard by the ear.

Needless to say, I can NOT recommend the Schiit Wyrd. It does nothing that your DAC needs and is yet another contraption taking space on your desk.

-------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

If you like this review, or even if you don't but wish for me to have wagyu steak tomorrow, please consider donating funds using:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/audiosciencereview), or
upgrading your membership here though Paypal (https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...eview-and-measurements.2164/page-3#post-59054).
 

derp1n

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#2
It's obvious it won't do anything useful for a good USB DAC implementation. That's not even an interesting question. Whether it's useful for a bad implementation is a more interesting question.

I suspect Wyrd and later Eitr grew out of Schiit's attempt to fix the poor USB implementations across their DAC range. I also suspect the Wyrd was a failure in this regard but that the Eitr was successful as it's the same "Gen 5" USB now used in their entire range.
 

March Audio

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#4
It's obvious it won't do anything useful for a good USB DAC implementation. That's not even an interesting question. Whether it's useful for a bad implementation is a more interesting question.

I suspect Wyrd and later Eitr grew out of Schiit's attempt to fix the poor USB implementations across their DAC range. I also suspect the Wyrd was a failure in this regard but that the Eitr was successful as it's the same "Gen 5" USB now used in their entire range.
It is an interesting question when so many consumers believe these products provide improvements all round, and the marketing that goes with it.
 

March Audio

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#5
some DACs use derived USB clock. Those will benefit.
I'm not sure I'm aware of any dacs that do that, but happy to be corrected. As Amir said asynchronous with local clock is normal which renders reclocking the USB data externally totally pointless.
 
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#6
This is a review and detailed measurements of Schiit WYRD "USB decrapifier." It is on kind loan from a member and retails for USD $99 plus shipping from Schiit direct.

This is a box that has USB input and output and external transformer input. It generates new USB power using the latter, and reclocks USB using a USB hub chip with the claim of it being more accurate. Externally it looks like the rest of the budget products from Schiit except that it has yet another finish than others:


These solutions make "perfect" intuitive sense: USB is a computer port so by definition must have dirty power and signal. So why not clean them and generate better sound? Schiit doesn't provide any measurements to show efficacy of the product so that job falls on our shoulders.

For this testing I thought I should measure the performance of Schiit Modi 3 DAC per picture above. To cover our bases, I also tested with another DAC under review (March Audio dac1).

As I always do, I test what happens to the output of the DAC, not what the device does or does not to USB signal. We don't listen to USB bus. We listen to what comes out of the DAC. Any improvement better show up in the output of the DAC or it doesn't exist as far as I am concerned.

Let's see what measurements show.

Measurements
For testing very small differences especially as it relates to data interconnects, I use jitter measurements. This is done with a very deep "FFT" of 256,000 points. In English, this processing substantially lowers the measured noise of the DAC, allowing us to see the smallest distortion and spurious responses. Per above, I tested the Schiit Modi 3 alone and with Wyrd. I left out the Schiit power supply as it works fine with USB power alone (I also tested with its external power supply and results are the same):

View attachment 18939

Everything other than the tall spike at 12 kHz is unwanted and not part of the original signal.

As you see, measuring down to better than -120 dB, we see the jitter spurious tones are there without Schiit Wyrd. In other words, the internal mechanisms for distortion and noise are far, far more of a factor than any improvement Schiit Wyrd wants to impart (assuming it has something to offer).

What is that? This is a single tone and not "music?" OK, let's run a composite 32-tone multitone through the Modi 3 with and without Wyrd and see the difference:

View attachment 18940

At first glance it seems that the Wyrd (in red) actually made things worse. But that is just run to run variations. The Schiit Modi 3 USB implementation is not very good in that regard but what ails it is not fixed by Wyrd.

Let's run the same test with another DAC, the March Audio dac1 (review to come soon):

View attachment 18941

Now the results fall right on top of each other because of stable performance of dac1. Wyrd of course does nothing for this good implementation.

As an aside, see how the noise floor is lower on dac1 in lower frequencies (bottom of the tones) than Schiit Modi 3.

We could test more DACs until we get bored out of our mind but for now, I say we have convincing results that with any half-decent DAC, including Schiit's own, the Wyrd does nothing.

Conclusions
As many of us suspect, products like Schiit do nothing to improve the output of DACs. Reasons are obvious from engineering point of view: no DAC uses USB power as is. The power goes through a conversion to another voltage and filtering. This filtering may be as good as 100X better than what comes in. Making the source power cleaner makes little difference here. More so, that power is not what comes out of your DAC but goes through other circuits which themselves have immunity to power differences. So no wonder cleaning up the power has yet to show any improvement in countless tests I have run.

Reclocking the USB bus is even more futile. These are all asynchronous DACs. The dac chip runs from an internally generated clock source, not derived from USB. USB bus only needs to be clean enough for reliable data transmission. If you are getting no static or drop outs, then you are golden: the usb clock has done its job.

How about the many people who swear these products make an audible difference? Simple: they use lay intuition that the device is actually improving the output of the DAC, listen more carefully and all of a sudden notice detail that was always there but was not noticed. As we have shown here, the waveform coming out of the DAC is NOT improved in any way. Therefore any improvement perceived, is one manufactured by the brain, not heard by the ear.

Needless to say, I can NOT recommend the Schiit Wyrd. It does nothing that your DAC needs and is yet another contraption taking space on your desk.

-------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

If you like this review, or even if you don't but wish for me to have wagyu steak tomorrow, please consider donating funds using:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/audiosciencereview), or
upgrading your membership here though Paypal (https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...eview-and-measurements.2164/page-3#post-59054).
Cleaning up or replacing ubs power does destroy noise from ground loop?
 

amirm

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#7
Cleaning up or replacing ubs power does destroy noise from ground loop?
Actually since Wyrd has yet another power supply, you are liable to create more ground loops than less.

There is no galvanic isolation in Wyrd. If it had one, then yes, you could use it to break such loops but again, it doesn't have this functionality.
 
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#9
Actually since Wyrd has yet another power supply, you are liable to create more ground loops than less.

There is no galvanic isolation in Wyrd. If it had one, then yes, you could use it to break such loops but again, it doesn't have this functionality.
I have a super noisy system, as soon as I use idefender and ipower, the noise is completely gone.

Why is that?
 
Last edited:

BurntheHeadPhoneKid

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#10
I'm lost. On Schiit's site it says "

Improves Sound, Color Printing, Data Stability

Yes. Some listeners say Wyrd improves the sound of their system. We won't make any such claim to sonic nirvana—sorry, creating expectation bias and neuro-lingustic programming ain't something that we do. Sonic improvements are for you to decide. The rest of it—color printing and data stability—that’s like saying charging your iPhone off Wyrd makes the battery last longer. Have fun with that one. "

They seem to be clear about it not impacting sound. The site states the device is a solution for noise and jitter. Why did you focus on sound quality changes? Did you test with a noisy dac? This doesn't seem to be the correct use case.
 
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#11
Actually since Wyrd has yet another power supply, you are liable to create more ground loops than less.

There is no galvanic isolation in Wyrd. If it had one, then yes, you could use it to break such loops but again, it doesn't have this functionality.
My ground loop have two type of noise:
Noise 1: Hummmmm sound (that raise noise floor)
Noise 2: A high pitch sound that sounds like a SIN wave, going up and down up and down continuously

Do group loop usually have two type of sound like me?
 

amirm

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#13
They seem to be clear about it not impacting sound. The site states the device is a solution for noise and jitter. Why did you focus on sound quality changes? Did you test with a noisy dac? This doesn't seem to be the correct use case.
I tested for jitter. That was the first test I showed. No improvements whatsoever.

As to what they say, let's be clear about clever marking there. They are carefully sidestepping being asked to prove it improves sound. Of course every word there is designed to make you think it improves sound. Don't believe me? Here is the first review I just pulled on it from Darko: https://darko.audio/2015/09/schiit-wyrd-usb-decrapifier-review/

1545010197938.png


He goes to substantiate the same of course:

1545010276670.png


Read the review and you see word for word what I explained in my review: that lay intuition kicks in that 'noise and jitter' are reduced so of course fidelity is improved.

Problem is that the lay engineering analysis of how our audio systems work are faulty. No clean up of USB power or clock was needed or necessary. That technical explanation is hard for people to follow who don't know how a USB DAC is designed. So I measure the same and demonstrate how there is absolutely no fidelity improvement.

This, hopefully counters the many reviews and user proclamation of fidelity improvements. People need to perform proper listening tests (blind) and only then trust what they think they are hearing. Otherwise, the marketing trap is set and shot hard on your fingers. :)
 
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#14
Can you test the audioquest jitterbug? its another product that seems to be magically. Without any validation i find it hard to believe
 

amirm

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#15
To add to my last post, here is Jason Stoddard on head-fi with his brilliant marketing back in 2014 telling the story of how Wyrd came about:

1545011087739.png


Say one thing on the website, but another in a forum.

The above by the way is textbook invalid audio testing.
 

BurntheHeadPhoneKid

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#16
I tested for jitter. That was the first test I showed. No improvements whatsoever.

As to what they say, let's be clear about clever marking there. They are carefully sidestepping being asked to prove it improves sound. Of course every word there is designed to make you think it improves sound. Don't believe me? Here is the first review I just pulled on it from Darko: https://darko.audio/2015/09/schiit-wyrd-usb-decrapifier-review/

View attachment 18943

He goes to substantiate the same of course:

View attachment 18944

Read the review and you see word for word what I explained in my review: that lay intuition kicks in that 'noise and jitter' are reduced so of course fidelity is improved.

Problem is that the lay engineering analysis of how our audio systems work are faulty. No clean up of USB power or clock was needed or necessary. That technical explanation is hard for people to follow who don't know how a USB DAC is designed. So I measure the same and demonstrate how there is absolutely no fidelity improvement.

This, hopefully counters the many reviews and user proclamation of fidelity improvements. People need to perform proper listening tests (blind) and only then trust what they think they are hearing. Otherwise, the marketing trap is set and shot hard on your fingers. :)
Well put. Wasn't aware of there other marketing. The other thing they claim is solving driver issues. There site "
The Cure for Noise and Glitches
Have you ever heard strange noises from your USB DAC? Or have you had it “drop out” after the computer goes to sleep? Or does your computer have trouble recognizing your DAC at all? It could be due to noisy USB power, or USB port power management. Wyrd has you covered.."
Did you test with a DAC that has a problematic connection to Windows?
 

amirm

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#17
Can you test the audioquest jitterbug? its another product that seems to be magically. Without any validation i find it hard to believe
I tested that a couple years ago with same outcome:







I still have it some place although our male dog found it and performed a teardown on it:
Jitterbug small.jpg


Here is the guilty party resting after said activity:
Hachi afer AQ Jitter bug.jpg
 

BurntheHeadPhoneKid

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#18
To add to my last post, here is Jason Stoddard on head-fi with his brilliant marketing back in 2014 telling the story of how Wyrd came about:

View attachment 18945

Say one thing on the website, but another in a forum.

The above by the way is textbook invalid audio testing.
Yeah..that's just silly. When ever I read about people having the "First time running windows on a ssd" type of moments with HIFI, just doesn't ever seem genuine.
 
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#19
Can you test the audioquest jitterbug? its another product that seems to be magically. Without any validation i find it hard to believe
i actually did a comparison. on the audioquest dragonfly i felt jitterbug improved it abit , but nothing significant. But on the cambridge audio dac magic, there was no improvement at all. I AB tested it over over 40 times. Theoretically wouldn't device such as this do harm instead to a properly engineered device. Theres extra components electricity must go through , which can't be good right
 

amirm

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#20
Did you test with a DAC that has a problematic connection to Windows?
I don't have any such DACs. I can simulate it by building a super crappy long USB cable. Last time I did this with another device (ISO Regen), it had more trouble than the DAC natively! That required stringing two USB extension cables and then some. I don't know anyone who uses the Wyrd because they could not get their DAC to work. It is just as cheap to buy another DAC without that problem.
 

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