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Audioquest Jitterbug - snake oil or upgrade

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
740
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gasolin said:
I have one, i don't think it made any diffrence to my system, maby if someone has a noise pc that makes music noisy, it might work
Thanks Gasolin.

That's the thing he swears by it. I'm yet to do A/B with and without. There are no differences I care to listen for between optical and USB they both sound great to me. My PC has an optical out but I use a Yamaha streamer that does both optical and coax out and it doesn't sound any different to PC via USB.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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insider9 said:
gasolin said:
I have one, i don't think it made any diffrence to my system, maby if someone has a noise pc that makes music noisy, it might work
Thanks Gasolin.

That's the thing he swears by it. I'm yet to do A/B with and without. There are no differences I care to listen for between optical and USB they both sound great to me. My PC has an optical out but I use a Yamaha streamer that does both optical and coax out and it doesn't sound any different to PC via USB.
I did allread have a jitterbug in my black dragonfly, i later found out
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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0
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
I had one for a day and didn't really like it. I felt it closed the soundstage and reduced dynamics in my system. This is also worth a read...

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?18580-Science-Thread-Review-of-Audioquest-Jitterbug-and-Uptone-Regen-USB-Conditioners
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
Gazzip said:
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
I had one for a day and didn't really like it. I felt it closed the soundstage and reduced dynamics in my system. This is also worth a read...

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?18580-Science-Thread-Review-of-Audioquest-Jitterbug-and-Uptone-Regen-USB-Conditioners
Thanks Gazzip. Will give it a read.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
265
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19,070
I don't recall hearing a Jitterbug ever, but they've had almost universal praise. Another mag tested it too, and measurably showed improvements, though everyone seems to caveat about trying in your system.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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The comment Gazzip made seems to go against my very limited experience of it. When I heard Mojo with Jitterbug I felt that the soundstage was bigger to what I'm used to.

Now I got the Mojo and use it without Jitterbug soundstage seems more or less similar size to what I'm used to. It may simply be bias but I guess with have to do some comparable tests as well as take measurements.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
9
4,595
of members of avforums computer audio section, shows a long string of kit between their mostly Mac mini pc's and DAC's. And they all swear that everything in between makes a huge difference :)

Though I've been taught here to take it with a bit of salt , there should be some improvement to warrant all those dollars spent. How much is justified is a entire different matter of course.

Most people point out that usb out of PC's in general also has power out for mouse or usb drives . Thus it is not just the audio signal that is output. Thus causing jitter. So a jitter bug should make a difference. But a well designed dac will also have jitter rejection inbuilt at the digital in board. So in my humble opinion, jitter bugs should make a difference till a certain level of dac is attained.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
The USB 1 and 2 spec define the output of a USB socket as 5VDC, up to a maximum of 500mA. Noise levels are not (as far as I could find out) specified, and given a PC is designed to have millions of electronic devices switching madly on and off, USB is probably not the cleanest supply. USB was designed to supply computer peripherals, and frankly is a pretty inauspicious place to try and power a high quality audio product.

Adding a filter to the 5VDC lines in a USB connector with a product like Jitterbug MAY improve things, but the place a filter belongs is really inside the audio device itself. The jiiter claims of the product are very questionable, any decent async USB implementation should be immune to timing issues on the input USB stream - thats the whole point of async USB.

My guess - it might improve a cheapo USB DAC that has poor supply filtering, but you would probably do better to put the money toward a better designed DAC.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
andyjm said:
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
The USB 1 and 2 spec define the output of a USB socket as 5VDC, up to a maximum of 500mA. Noise levels are not (as far as I could find out) specified, and given a PC is designed to have millions of electronic devices switching madly on and off, USB is probably not the cleanest supply.  USB was designed to supply computer peripherals, and frankly is a pretty inauspicious place to try and power a high quality audio product.   

Adding a filter to the 5VDC lines in a USB connector with a product like Jitterbug MAY improve things, but the place a filter belongs is really inside the audio device itself.  The jiiter claims of the product are very questionable, any decent async USB implementation should be immune to timing issues on the input USB stream - thats the whole point of async USB.

My guess - it might improve a cheapo USB DAC that has poor supply filtering, but you would probably do better to put the money toward a better designed DAC.

 
Fair point, Andy.

Well Mojo wasn't a planned purchase. I admit to have really enjoyed it and got it as ultimately it's a dac/headphone amp.

It throws a spanner in the works as I'm unable to integrate any DAC if I'm using a diy active route unless I have many of them and use a different solution for crossover.

My speakers are modified that way that I have outboard passive crossovers when and if I want to use them. I've mainly done it so I can compare active and corrected speakers to their passive version.

I do admit however because of the Mojo I really want to try Hugo TT now. That would put a hold on my diy active project, unless I got 3 of them :)
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
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0
Gazzip said:
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
I had one for a day and didn't really like it. I felt it closed the soundstage and reduced dynamics in my system. This is also worth a read...

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?18580-Science-Thread-Review-of-Audioquest-Jitterbug-and-Uptone-Regen-USB-Conditioners
Hi

Having terrible reliability with my emails and new phone ATM
Have you received my messages?
Sorry op
 
Given the cost of the JitterBug, I don't think anyone would really expect it to be improving well designed, high quality DACs - it's aimed more at the not so well designed products that use USB connections. Of course, price doesn't guarantee a great design, so there may be some more expensive products that might benefit from it.
 

Al ears

Moderator
I bought a Jitterbug just to see if it made a difference and I couldn't really hear any significant improvement. Maybe it's my age and associated declining hearing but it seems to me that paying for anything that only offers subtle improvements is something I shouldn't be doing any more. :)

.....and things that make an obvious improvement tend to be very expensive.
 

Al ears

Moderator
davidf said:
Given the cost of the JitterBug, I don't think anyone would really expect it to be improving well designed, high quality DACs - it's aimed more at the not so well designed products that use USB connections. Of course, price doesn't guarantee a great design, so there may be some more expensive products that might benefit from it.
I would agree that, unlike some astronomically priced 'upgrades', it is worth trying in your system.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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The thing that surprises me is that it's a universally well received unit.

When I read that Audioquest suggests to run another Jitterbug in a USB next to the one being used even if nothing is plugged in, I'm instantly sceptical. I've got 8 USB ports... am I supposed to fill them all with Jitterbugs?

But I do agree the cost is relatively small and with hassle free returns it's worth a go. Or getting my mate to come over for comparisons.
 

Al ears

Moderator
insider9 said:
The thing that surprises me is that it's a universally well received unit.

When I read that Audioquest suggests to run another Jitterbug in a USB next to the one being used even if nothing is plugged in, I'm instantly sceptical. I've got 8 USB ports... am I supposed to fill them all with Jitterbugs?

But I do agree the cost is relatively small and with hassle free returns it's worth a go. Or getting my mate to come over for comparisons.
That's a bit like the old suggestion that you use blanking-plugs in your unused phono sockets on your amp....... ;-)

This sort of took off in the distant past.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
265
151
19,070
insider9 said:
The thing that surprises me is that it's a universally well received unit.

When I read that Audioquest suggests to run another Jitterbug in a USB next to the one being used even if nothing is plugged in, I'm instantly sceptical. I've got 8 USB ports... am I supposed to fill them all with Jitterbugs?

But I do agree the cost is relatively small and with hassle free returns it's worth a go. Or getting my mate to come over for comparisons.
I recall they said a max of two, but haven't looked it up!
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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I have listened to one in my mates system and it did work.

In his words darker background, better contour to each note.

Having enough hifi spend at the minute not to pull the trigger but will be getting one later in the month. Worse case scenario I'll send it back.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
732
118
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Desided to remove it and use my densen demagnetizing cd (yes i have one and have had it for atleast 20 years) used it on my pc and my cdplayer (dvd drive and cdplayer).

Used my pc/amp as i usually do without the jitterbug, i feel theres less sharpness,edge to the sound
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Andrewjvt said:
Gazzip said:
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
I had one for a day and didn't really like it. I felt it closed the soundstage and reduced dynamics in my system. This is also worth a read...

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?18580-Science-Thread-Review-of-Audioquest-Jitterbug-and-Uptone-Regen-USB-Conditioners
Hi

Having terrible reliability with my emails and new phone ATM Have you received my messages? Sorry op
Hi Andrew, I received the message about the Zenith and then a weird one last Thursday that read as if your account had been hacked. Something about “diagnosing the problem”? Have you emailed me since then?
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Gazzip said:
Andrewjvt said:
Gazzip said:
insider9 said:
Recently had a mate over with his Chord Mojo. He insisted on running it off my PC via async USB using a Jitterbug.

We didn't do A/B comparisons but I know my system well. I was really impressed with what Mojo did. Impressed enough to buy one myself.

I decided to do proper A/B comparisons against the DACs I own having them level matched to within 1dB. Namely Yamaha in built ESS 9006 and AKM4440 in my Minidsp. (Mojo was connected via optical input to streamer.) I was not as amazed as before. The differences were not as big as I remembered. After enough listening I concluded that Mojo is clearly better but previously I though the differences are night and day. They're not, it's better in just about everything by small margins in individual categories but overall it's more than sums of it's parts.

My question is was this thanks to Jitterbug? Was it simply bias? It received a 5* rating...

Anyone uses one or tried one? Thanks
I had one for a day and didn't really like it. I felt it closed the soundstage and reduced dynamics in my system. This is also worth a read...

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?18580-Science-Thread-Review-of-Audioquest-Jitterbug-and-Uptone-Regen-USB-Conditioners
Hi

Having terrible reliability with my emails and new phone ATM Have you received my messages? Sorry op
Hi Andrew, I received the message about the Zenith and then a weird one last Thursday that read as if your account had been hacked. Something about “diagnosing the problem”? Have you emailed me since then?
No that's it I hope for now
 

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