Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker
Device Type: USB Isolator / Power / Reclocker
Dimensions: 2.6" x 1.7" x 0.9"
Included in package: Recovery unit, 6" USB A to B cable (Recovery to DAC), 9V 1A external wall-type PSU
Availability: Online and through authorized dealers
Price: $249.00, Introductory Price: $199.00
Wyred 4 Sound, E.J. Sarmento’s California Company, has jumped into the very competitive ring of USB enhancement devices with their new Recovery USB Reclocker.
What Does the Recovery USB Reclocker Accomplish?
For those of you that haven’t been following the reviews of devices such as the Uptone Audio USB REGEN and the iFi Audio micro-iUSB3.0 here at AudioStream, the Recovery USB Reclocker deals with the noise passed from the computer to your USB DAC that ultimately degrades the sound of your music. The Recovery performs two major functions:
- Isolate and provide cleaner power to your USB DAC
- Supply a more precisely clocked source for the USB encoded data
The Recovery goes beyond what a simple filter accomplishes by using a very accurate Femto clock to reclock and reduce the jitter presented to the DAC allowing it to function in a superior manner.
The internal power supplies of the Recovery are low noise, low-drop out regulators. An external SMPS is provided to power the Recovery. A short 6-inch USB cable is also included to connect the Recovery to your DAC. The Recovery works best when placed after your USB cable from the computer so it is close to the DAC. The Recovery is a plug 'n play device that only requires one to plug in the power supply after the connections are made. The Recovery does not provide galvanic isolation like the Intona Technology USB 2.0 High-Speed Isolator that I recently reviewed for AudioStream. Wyred 4 Sound felt that this particular feature was unnecessary as their DAC-1 LE and DAC-2 DSD/DSDse incorporate galvanic isolation.
Components Used in the Recovery Evaluation
I used my Asus G501 JW laptop running Windows 10 Pro 64 bit for the evaluation of the Recovery USB Reclocker. The Asus G501 JW possesses an Intel Core i7 4720HQ 2.6 GHz processor with 16 GB RAM and a very fast PCE Express X4 SSD. This laptop has 3 USB 3.0 ports as well as a Thunderbolt port. The Asus laptop was plugged into a Shunyata Research Hydra DPC-6 v2 distribution center to firewall the noise generated by this computer from contaminating my AC line.
The Asus was placed on a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base UEF grounded with the Synergistic Research High Definition Ground Cable / Grounding Block as was the computer. Two 8 TB GRAID Thunderbolt drives were connected; one for PCM and the other for DSD files. The GRAID Thunderbolt drives were powered by HDPlex 100w linear power supplies plugged into the Shunyata Hydra DPC-6 ver 2.
Music software included the use of Roon 1.2. I also ran Roon with the HQPlayer that was given the task of processing the music files to DSD256. Fidelizer Pro 7.3 was employed to optimize the operation of Windows 10 Pro for music playback.
I decided to use the MSB Technology Analog DAC with Analog Power Base with their Premium Quad USB2 Module for this review. The Premium Quad Module represents MSB Technology’s most advanced implementation of USB for their DAC with superior isolation compared to their previous efforts. I was very interested to see if the Recovery USB Reclocker would have an effect with the very well isolated MSB Technology interface. The Analog DAC was plugged into a Shunyata Research Triton v2 / Typhon using Shunyata’s Sigma Digital AC cable.
USB cables utilized in this review were the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB 2.0 cable and the Kubala-Sosna Research Realization USB cable. Both of these USB cables are excellent sounding and have been reviewed here for those interested in more details.
The power supply of the Recovery USB Reclocker was powered from the Shunyata Hydra DPC-6 v2.
The Sound of the Recovery USB Reclocker
Using the power supply and the 6-inch USB cable provided by Wyred 4 Sound, I experienced a definite improvement to the sound I was hearing from the MSB Technology Analog DAC. The bass and the mid bass were better defined with the Recovery and more dynamic sounding. The midrange’s focus was sharper and appeared to move slightly forward in the soundstage compared to the sound with no Recovery. I felt that the highs had better definition that was probably helped by a perceived reduced noise floor. The soundstage appeared wider with the use of the Recovery providing a lager sonic presence to the sound. I was unable to find any negatives to attribute to the contribution the Recovery made to my Analog DAC; it just improved what I was hearing.
My Music Benefited From the Recovery USB Reclocker
It was very easy to hear the positive sonic contribution the Recovery made listening to Gregory Porter’s Take Me to the Alley (24/96). This jazz singer’s voice was enhanced with more presence while listening to this collection with the Recovery. Not only was Porter’s voice clearer and better focused, but also the bass had superior definition, as did the percussion. I felt that the music I was hearing was more dynamically expressive when I listening with the Recovery.
The DSD64 Channel Classics recording of Ivan Fischer and Budapest Festival Orchestra performing the Mahler 9 Symphony easily displayed the capabilities of the Recovery USB Reclocker. This wonderfully expressive and involving recording seemed to be more harmonically rich listening to it with the Recovery. There was a greater sense of orchestral "bloom" with superior three-dimensionality to the sound. Low-level information was easier to identify with superior reproduction of instrumental textures.
While listening to The Traveling Wilburys Collection (24/192) it didn’t take me long to identify the positive contribution made by the Recovery. This super group recording comprised of Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and George Harrison was reissued and remastered by Concord Records, The band recorded two albums in 1988 and 1990, but Roy Orbison passed away before the second album was recorded. The Recovery improved these recordings with a relaxed presentation that let the music flow with no digital hardness. The Recovery just made the music more emotionally involving.
Enhancement to the Recovery USB Reclocker
The question that many of you USB tweakers will ask is if the Recovery can be improved with a better power supply and or different short USB cable. I connected the HDPlex linear power supply to the Recovery and noticed a slightly larger soundstage than that provided with the standard power supply. I also felt that the HDPlex improved the overall resolution to what I was hearing with a lower noise floor. Substituting a short iFi Audio Mercury USB cable for the Wyred 4 Sound USB cable did seem to open the sound by a small margin. So yes, substituting a different power supply and USB cable can improve the sound. But the final outcome for each user will differ with different DACs and systems.
I decided to base the comparisons of different USB enhancement devices with the supplied cables / connectors, and power supplies that come with each product.
The iFi Audio micro-iUSB3.0
As reported in my review of the micro-iUSB3.0, the sound using the supplied USB 3.0 cable and iPower power supply was warm with a full mid bass. The Recovery USB Reclocker has the larger soundstage and a more balanced tonality that was relatively neutral compared to the micro-iUSB3.0.
The Uptone Audio USB REGEN
Using the solid connector and the supplied power supply, I found the USB REGEN to have a lighter sound with less bass than the Recovery USB Reclocker. There is a great sense of clarity to the sound of the USB REGEN, but again, the Recovery USB Reclocker sounded to my ear to be better balanced and more neutral.
The Intona Technology USB 2.0 High-Speed Isolator
The Intona USB 2.0 High-Speed Isolator (Industrial Version) had a similar overall tonal balance compared to the Recovery USB Reclocker, but was slightly darker sounding. The Intona had a smaller soundstage in both width and depth compared to the Recovery. I did find the Recovery to be a little more detailed with a slightly forward midrange perspective compared to the Intona.
I guess if I could only have one of these USB enhancement devices, I would select the Recovery USB Reclocker as it sounded the most neutral with the largest soundstage. But as one begins to change cables and power supplies, my top choice rankings change. For example, the iFi Audio micro-iUSB3.0 being fed with a Wireworld USB 3.0 cable, outperforms the Recovery, but at a significantly greater cost.
At $199.00, the Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker offers excellent performance at a very reasonable price. One can boost the performance of the Recovery USB Reclocker by using a different USB cable from the device and a linear power supply like the HDPlex. However, I could be very happy just using the Recovery as supplied by Wyred 4 Sound and forget the many possible modifications.
Also in-use during the Recovery review: iFi Audio micro-iUSB3.0, Uptone Audio USB REGEN, Intona Technology USB 2.0 High-Speed Isolator