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USB DAC How to Split Signal from Power Supply

Discussion in 'audio' started by Copperjacket, May 21, 2019.

  1. Copperjacket

    Copperjacket pfm Member

    I have a USB DAC that I want to try with an external power supply. Unfortunately there is no provision for an external psu.

    How would I go about this please? My thoughts have got as far as some sort of signal only cable from the PC, but how to merge the 2 to provide the power to the single usb port on the dac?

    Many thanks
  2. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    There's loads of companies that make split USB cables for power and signal or USB power injectors, google is your friend.
  3. Copperjacket

    Copperjacket pfm Member

    I did look at that with no success: Y cables which do power and signal +power seem to be available but not one that does a separate power and signal?
  4. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

  5. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Ifi audio Gemini dual.

    It wont sound any better than a certified USB cable though.
  6. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    Use an AQVOX supply, so you get a connection that a) splits the power and b) feeds the power from an independent supply. Costs less than Gucci USB cables that'll make no difference too.
  7. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    well why not either, cut the power cables on the signal+power side or get some thin tape (you can google this) and block off the two lines you dont want on the power supply outlet (assuming it's usb).
    Sbooster do a usb Vbus isolator for around €25 which does the same as the tape trick.


    Last year sometime, I saw on Tindie.com an interrupter for usb which had four dip switches.I have just checked but could not find it. The one that seem to be available now are slightly different.
    There is an instructable on how to make your own, if you search.
  8. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    I've got a SBooster Best of Two Worlds power supply which does the same job as the Aquavox, yours for £60 delivered (UK).
  9. Matty297

    Matty297 pfm Member

    Made a cable for this myself. Splits data and power.
  10. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

  11. tuga

    tuga European

  12. Copperjacket

    Copperjacket pfm Member

    Thank you all for the great advice and suggestions. There was a lot more information than I was able to find by myself.
    I am using a £5 maplin dac so I am very much at the cheaper end of the experimentation stage. The problem with it is that the sound is preferable from the usb connection although there is more “noise” than the optical connection with an external usb psu

    I have a psu so the cable option to see if there is an improvement would be sensible.

    The DIY route was initially attractive until I saw the Audiophonics Y cable which seems to tick all the options.
  13. tuga

    tuga European

    My recommendation is that you don't waste money experimenting with a £5 DAC.
    Start saving for a better DAC, there are very affordable DACs which are reasonably good.
  14. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Buy a hub with its own psu. You can then experiment with changing the psu that supplies it.
  15. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    Good advice. I have a couple of those Argos DAC's and while they are fine with other inputs they are very noisy using USB. I still find them useful when used with the optical output from Chromecast Audio's, but wouldn't use them on USB now. The other DAC's I use for USB are a lot better, with little (if any) difference in noise between USB and the other inputs.
  16. Anders Rothausen

    Anders Rothausen New Member

    Hi All. The same for here. Have the possibility to chose best powersupply for my DAC.
    I have searched the entire internet for a way to make this USB power/signal separator. My plan is to made a very short wire with male and female usb-b and add an external 5V connection.
    I found out that i need the gnd for the two signal wires. I also read that i need to have some current draw on +supply from the usb source for the computer to recognize connection.
    Am i totally wrong, since I can't get it to work ?

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