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USB-to-S/PDIF Convertors - Musical Fidelity V-Link

Article Index
USB-to-S/PDIF Convertors
KingRex UC192
Halide Bridge
Musical Fidelity V-Link
SOtM dx
Audiophilleo 1
Conclusion
All Pages

Musical Fidelity V-Link

24/192  £230

USP: Asynchronous 24/192 converter, USB powered, with supplied  Windows driver software.

musical-fidelity-v-link

The V-Link 24/192 is a straightforward asynchronous convertor that covers all sampling rates up to 192kHz, at up to 24bit resolution. It simply has a USB B plug input at one end, like the others, and electrical outputs at the other, in unbalanced form via a phono socket and balanced form via an XLR socket. There is no optical output and no power supply; it is USB powered. An array of bright indicators show sampling rate. This is a plug-and-play unit, but for Windows it needs the ASIO USB driver ASIO4All to be installed, for up to 24/192. With Mac OS-X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and onward it works fine up to 24/96 only, a limitation imposed by Core Audio in the Mac.

 

SOUND QUALITY

This convertor presented a slightly bigger soundstage than the others, and seemed to be fuller to the point of shouting the music at me! It seemed to be louder than the other convertors which seems impossible given the job it’s doing. It certainly is a forceful communicator!

I tried a little experiment, fitting the USB power supply to the cable, and this gave me more of a mental picture of the gaps between the players, and seemed to create a blacker background from which the music emerges. Although it is £70 cheaper than the Halide Bridge, I missed that beautiful sense of calm the Halide created, the way in which it separated orchestral textures so convincingly. The Musical Fidelity seemed to get excited about everything that it reproduced, and in the process I missed the subtlety of texture that the Halide was doing so well, even when both were operating on Foobar.

musical-fidelity-v-link-192

Musical Fidelity keep it simple with balanced XLR output (left) and unbalanced phono only. Bright coloured leds show data rate.

 

MEASURED PERFORMANCE

The Musical Fidelity V-Link  delivered a good set of jitter figures from our 44.1k sample rate CD test un-resampled. However, when resampled to 48kHz by the Mac, clock drift rocketed from 20pS to 160pS – no disaster by any means and roughly what is expected from CD players, but not up with the best here. Also, a small 30pS jitter peak at 220Hz consistently appeared, not seen on the other devices. These were minor blemishes though and the V-Link still returned good figures.

musical-fideli-vlink-jitter

Recording sample rate 44.1/Output sample rate 48k

clock drift 160pS

signal related 35pS

random 5pS

 

Musical Fidelity

V-Link 24/192   £230

Musical Fidelity

www.musicalfidelity.com

 



 

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