Audio Streams #8 Contacts

Sidebar Contacts

AudioQuest, 2621 White Road, Irvine, CA 92614. Tel: (949) 585-0111. Web:

Schiit Audio, 24900 Anza Drive, Suite A, Valencia, CA 913255. Tel: (323) 230-0079. Web:

UpTone Audio LLC, Mariposa, CA 95338. Tel: (209) 966-4377. Web:


James.Seeds's picture

Wonder why Firewire was abandoned if it was faster at transferring bits than USB and not having to contend with his noise issue

John Atkinson's picture
James.Seeds wrote:
Wonder why Firewire was abandoned if it was faster at transferring bits than USB and not having to contend with his noise issue.

As I understand it, FireWire is more expensive to license than USB. Price always trumps quality when it comes to mass manufacturing.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Joe Whip's picture

with two of these deives are most interesting to me. I don't have the Regen and have not listened to a system with one so I can't comment about it. I have had the Wyrd for over a year and purchased 2 Jitterbugs a few months ago. The DAC I was using them with was the Schiit DS Gungnir. I purchased the Wyrd to help with droputs and it works beautifully in that regard. I thought a heard a small but consistent improvement in the sounds of the system using it. Wouldn't swear to it but it seemed so to me. I used the Jitterbug in an unused port on my Macbook and I heard a consistent and much more obvious improvement. The second Jitterbug in live with the DAC made a tiny if any improvement along the lines described here. I later upgraded my DAC to the ladder DAc Gungnir a/k/a the Gumby. In doing so, I had to take the Jitterbug out of the line with the DAC as the computer would no longer recognize the DAC. When I did, no problem. All was OK with the Jitterbug in the unused USB port although the improvement in sound was not as significant as before. Perhaps the Gumby incorporates cicuitry that does a similar thing as the Jitterbug. I still hear an improvement with the Jitterbug but not as much as before. The second Jitterbug has found a happy home with the HT equipment in another room.

Johnny2Bad's picture

I don't believe it's the licensing issue that pushed USB ahead of Firewire, but instead a hardware issue. Because Firewire is a complete interface (ie it manages all aspects of the data itself, while USB requires CPU cycles to manage the data stream) the FW interface chipsets were roughly twice as expensive at manufacturer's wholesale lot quantities.

At retail, it meant, for example, that a Firewire external Hard Drive case was about $20 more expensive MSRP than USB.

Since computer anything is all about the lowest cost wins, USB won.

* There was another complication with Firewire, in that a 4-pin interface was offered by SONY to manufacturers in place of the 6-pin; the 4-pin eliminated the +12V power portion of the chipset. This meant peripherals had to add a power circuit to their products, again increasing the manufacturing cost, whereas Firewire (like USB) was intended to be self-powering.

Apple always used a 6-pin interface but many PC motherboards that included Firewire only included the (cheaper) un-powered 4-pin chip. So there were compatibility issues.