To copy Darko, on my desktop, EJ's li'l box was more potent than most USB cable swaps I've done in the big system. The benefits I heard here were a reduction of pixilation around leading edges particularly for close-mic'd vocals, hence valid also on sibilants and sundry spittiness. The metallic fire of plucked strings toned down. So did the zingers of crash cymbals. Related effects were fleshier fuller textures; and greater not calamity but calmity. That's what a non-English speaker once called calmness. During their brief recent visit, Javier and Miguel of Kroma Audio had listened to their Julieta monitors. Moving through our assorted hardware and setup options to chase down their ideal sound, the thing they kept asking for was greater silence. Living in the country without traffic or related noises, I didn't comprehend. On a lark I then closed our light-proof curtains and saw their reaction. Now I remembered. When I'd visited weeks earlier, their own listening room in Granada had been far more damped. Particularly in the treble, they weren't used to in-room reflections. Even though they subsequently observed and described how the sound got noticeably smaller and mellower when the curtains closed, they preferred that. They thought it more natural and referred to HF reflections as noise. Being used to them, I thought their absence too compressed. Overdamped is the tech term. The point? The Recovery drew parallels with my curtain trick. It eliminated some embedded 'tizz' or treble dither. The silence between tracks was no more silent than before. It was the Spandiards' silence inside the music; around the notes if you will. If you see that, that's it. If you don't, you could feel as lost as I was prior to the window thing. Now the longer explanation here should have helped your recovery.


The notion that embedded HF noise can impact subjective excitement could seem farfetched until you give it thought. Many observe how certain pure silver-wire looms enhance a - well, quicksilvery feel. They are more lit up, vibrant and taut where their coppery kin are mellower, warmer and softer. Some people favour silk-dome tweeters, others must have Burmester-style air-motion transformers or Beryllium hard domes. The Recovery action struck me like backtracking some from latter to former; or from spritzier silver cables to bloomier copper. It wasn't the same but in the general vein. Whilst on the perception of noise and side effects, if the thought of a switching wall wart had you noxious, "I’m just getting finished with the power-supply upgrade option that can be used with the Recovery and the other µProducts we sell. That should be really cool." Say it again, Sam. Less noise equals greater calm. Upon confirming that my USB cable was just 1 metre and my computer port USB 2.0 not 3.0, EJ said "strange, I wouldn't think that CPU loading could cause this but perhaps so. Odd." Hello computer audio.


On my desktop, apparent fussiness about multi-tasking excepted, the Recovery lived up to its Internet buzz. The fact that I actually do work here—which puts food on our table—rendered the more fragile hifi connection anticlimactic. Except for rare discovery-mode YouTube sessions, I never listen here not working. The entire purpose of my work desk is multi-tasking. For just music, we have the big rig. Time to learn how that would respond to Wyred's USB fix-it gizmo.


On our dedicated music iMac, the Recovery installed instantly, glitch-free and without driver action. It duly passed 24-bit/352.8kHz signal as confirmed by the receiver's display, a Vinnie Rossi Lio DAC/pre. The double-header cable between source and Wyred—two plugs into the Mac, one into the Recovery—caused zero issues. With the recently installed DHT module, I now was beyond €10'000 for my variable-gain DAC. The rest of the chain followed suit: €4'250 Crayon CFA-1.2, €9'380/pr Albedo Audio Aptica loudspeakers, DC/AC conditioner, upscale racks. Could the Recovery repeat its victory lap of the far more modest system which had clocked <€2'000 for the now Feniks Audio branded direct-sold active desktop speakers? Or would the pricier gear prove to be more immune to its repair charms; or entirely so?


Less so but still audible. The changes were smaller but still present if also harder to detect on reverb-rich soft material like Brazil's vocal Trio Esperanza. Once I switched to Son de la Frontera with their exhilarating use of the Cuban tres guitar's unique timbre in a Flamenco context, I was back in the identifying business. The peculiar glassy attacks of the tres were glassier without the Recovery. It instinctively made me want to cut the volume and soften that edge. The Recovery didn't cause that reaction. This segues directly at the issue's jugular. Without having witnessed the recording and subsequent mastering session, we can't know what's more correct. Some instruments do have surprising snarl and bite. Even a violin at close distance fiddled just so can seem to have smoke curl up off its strings. Microphone placement plays a big role in how hot or not that's captured. Then speakers with poor time alignment can emphasize treble heat when the higher harmonics inside transients arrive too early. As noted in my review of the Dutch Æquo Audio time-aligned Ensis, this is easily demonstrated when such a speaker's baffle slope is subtly tweaked. If the treble is slightly forward—even our terminology points at the cause—a small lengthening of the front spikes tilts the baffle back by a degree or two. It remedies the issue. If a speaker's impulse response is poor and confused to begin with, that likely won't matter at all. In a related sense, the Recovery acted like a degree optimizer for a time-coherent speaker's baffle rake relative to one's exact chair distance and height. As I'm fond of saying, it's immaterial how accurate that tie-in is. It only matters to use descriptors which readers can envision clearly.


Considering pure practicality not abstract truth, being able to listen longer and/or louder is a very relevant benefit. If we add how many studio productions deliberately sizzle for nearfield sharpness and an unnatural perspective—as though our ears were simultaneously glued to each performer no matter actual stage position and distance—the Recovery action suddenly doubles or triples its practical relevance. Two provisos are apparent. One, I have no notion at what price/pedigree point the Recovery will no longer factor. One sincerely hopes that world-class digital at nose-bleed prices no longer benefits at all because it already includes its own very effective recovery solution. Two, deliberately or accidentally soft fuzzy systems could actually benefit from more heat and incisiveness even if arrived at by 'faulty' means. That's back at how an individual listener sets up his or her hifi triggers. For adrenaline, bite, speed and jump factor? For saturated tone, density and slam? To be relaxed, mellow and in-the-zone dreamy? For predominantly high or low SPL? For 'dirty' mainstream fare or 'clean' super productions? All of it is up/down to each user. Simply accept that each and every hardware choice is a steering wheel adjustment. To tinier or bigger degrees, it alters which direction your hifi faces. With the Recovery, that adjustment will be toward more body and calm and away from edge and blister. To what degree should depend on how your system is presently calibrated.


The truly disturbing thing is that this affordable gizmo with wall-wart and throwaway generic short USB cable could make an audible improvement to begin with; and remain audible if less potent in a ghastly costlier context. It suggests that the USB pipeline for hifi is rustier than believed. Whilst companies like Merging Technologies propose Ethernet instead and others HDMI, those of us invested in USB must accept that for reasons not crystal to us non engineers (and apparently even bona fide IT engineers), well-executed fixes like Wyred4Sound's Recovery still matter. What calms this disturbance is that today's solution will only set you back $249! Phew. Expect a brief follow-up when the optional power supply upgrade goes live in September or October. Might more disturbance await?

Wyred4Sound website