by Kevin OBrien on August 28, 2013


We were able to test our YFS HD.Ref-3 computer transport with the latest SOtM USB 3.0 compliant PCIe output card back in May of 2012. Unfortunately, we quickly returned the card due to its incompatibility with the M2Tech v1 OEM USB input receiver. These USB input receivers are used in a variety of DAC's ranging from Wyred4Sound, Eastern Electric, Chord, Empirical Audio, Metrum Acoustics, Playback Designs, as well as MSB. Obviously, some current and older M2Tech products are included as well, except for the HiFace MKII which uses the XMOS USB input chip.

Can we implement a product within our YFS Reference 3 Transport that isn't compatible with several USB devices currently on the market? The very easy answer to that question is, "No". So, we sadly soldiered on using the original SOtM tx-USB card.

Fast-Forward to August of 2013. We got our hands on a SOtM tx-USBexp PCIe output card and we gave it another shot. We were hoping to see new drivers packaged along with the card. We were a little bummed out to see the card came with the same drivers we received previously.

So, I contacted the man himself, Jesus of Sonore. I described to him how the SOtM exp card works with Windows 8, however, it just won't work with Windows 7. The next day I received an email from Jesus containing a link to the latest tx-USBexp Windows 7 drivers. After uninstalling the current TI USB 3.0 drivers, and then replacing them with these latest ones, everything worked great. AWESOME! This opens up an entire new world for M2Tech, W4S, Eastern Electric, Empirical Audio, MSB, etc. owners! For instance, now we can use our tricked out M2Tech EVO with our YFS HD.Ref-3 transport and live happily once again.

Oh and by the way, the latest SOtM USB PCIe card allows us to not only drop our latency buffers to non-existent values but, it also sounds better than the original!




We updated our Windows 7 based HD.Ref-3 via the Windows Update website after RMAF 2013 and the SOtM USB 3.0 card is not recognizing ANY of our USB-based devices now. Something tells me this has to do with drivers. As this is usually the case when a fully functioning component stops working after Windows Update. So, we're right back where we started. We know it's due to Windows Update as we only updated one of our Ref-3's on demo in our showroom. The units we did not update are still working fine. It's a bummer but that is the way it goes in the computer world sometimes. We will give further updates as they become available. We recommend using Windows 8.1 in conjunction with the SOtM USB 3.0 card. USB 3.0 is natively supported in Windows 8 and functionality is guaranteed with no need for drivers.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time...

-YFS Design Team