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Musical Fidelity V-Link II

Asynchronous USB to coaxial/optical converter for precise, low-jitter digital audio from your computer

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  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

    Front

  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

    Optical and coaxial digital outputs

  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

  • Musical Fidelity V-Link II

    USB input

Item #: 778VLINKII
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Musical Fidelity V-Link II

by Dave Bar

Audiophile performance from a computer?

Computers make it fun and easy to play music, but getting true audiophile sound from your laptop or desktop into your home audio system and speakers can be a challenge without the right tools. That's where Musical Fidelity's V-Link II comes in. This clever adapter takes a USB output from your PC, and converts it into a pristine optical or coaxial digital signal that you can easily plug into your favorite outboard DAC (digital-to-analog converter) or home theater receiver to turn it into beautiful music.

Free your music from the whims of your computer

Standard USB outputs from most computers pose a serious limitation to sound quality. That's because while you're trying to listen to music, your PC is busy performing virus scans, data backup, and other background tasks that may take priority over your tunes, causing it to alter the data rate to suit its own needs. Unfortunately, this situation results in timing errors within the digital data stream — known as "jitter" — that adversely affect sound quality. Jitter can make your music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details.

The "asynchronous" USB advantage

The V-Link II neatly solves this problem by reaching out to your computer through the USB interface, and instructing it to relinquish control of the data stream timing. In its place, the V-Link II inserts its own separate, or asynchronous, clock to precisely control the timing of the data rate, reducing jitter to the vanishing point. You'll hear a stunning improvement in low-level ambient detail along with a wider, deeper soundstage as your music comes pouring out of a silent background.

And for all you high-res music lovers...

Along with all the sonic benefits the V-Link II provides for your compressed and CD-quality music files, it also has another trick up its sleeve — it allows your DAC to receive high-resolution data streams with up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. If you download high-res music files from HDtracks and other audiophile sources, the V-link will ensure that you hear them in all their glory.

The V-Series difference

Musical Fidelity applied substantial improvements in fit and finish to the V-Link II over the original V-Link. The front and back end pieces are now made from machined aluminum, twice as thick as before. The result is a cool look that's both classy and technical. But they stayed true to the high-value, V-Series concept. Instead of spending big bucks on a fancy, full-sized component chassis, Musical Fidelity chose to put the money into the V-Link II's insides — where it really counts. That means you get the top-notch performance of a component many times its cost for a bargain price.


See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • converts USB audio output from a computer to S/PDIF coaxial or optical digital for connection to an outboard DAC or home theater receiver
  • accepts up to 96kHz/24-bit sampled audio files for playback of high-resolution music
  • asynchronous USB input for reduced jitter and better sound with computer audio sources
  • blue and green LED indicators show operating status
  • powered by host computer's USB port (no outboard power supply required)
  • built-in driver for USB connection
  • supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Mac OS X
  • USB (Type B) digital audio input
  • S/PDIF output: optical (Toslink) and coaxial digital (RCA)
  • output impedance: 50 ohms
  • 3-3/4"W x 1-9/16"H x 6-1/2"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • USB-to-SPDIF converter
  • Instructions

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Specifications

Features

Overview: The Musical Fidelity V-Link II is 24-bit/96kHz asynchronous USB-to-S/PDIF converter. The V-Link II is designed to obtain maximum benefit from high-quality digital audio files stored on a computer, in conjunction with a high-quality DAC. It will allow up to 24-bit/96kHz sampled audio files to be converted to an S/PDIF stream, for full high-resolution processing from your connected DAC. The V-Link II offers perfect performance from your computer's USB port to your DAC's coaxial/optical digital input and then your home receiver, by eliminating jitter and correcting data transfer. The V-Link II has been designed from the ground up, with extreme attention to detail, to offer perfect and consistent performance.

Note: Lower sample rate files (such as CD-originated music) are simply passed-through at their original sample rate). 

Aluminum Construction: The Musical Fidelity V-Link II is constructed of brushed silver aluminum for a sleek look & long-lasting durability.

Asynchronous Digital Control: The V-Link II utilizes Musical Fidelity's unique proprietary asynchronous digital control system feedback technology software for precision playback of your compressed music tracks stored on your computer. This unique proprietary technology offers completely jitter-free conversion between your computer, your DAC, and your home receiver.

Low Jitter Power Supply: The V-Link II's low jitter power supply feeds an ultra-high precision clock which is positioned almost on top of the V-Link II's vital internal components. This achieves extremely short tracks and ultra accurate clocking. As a result, the USB-to-S/PDIF converter ensures jitter free precision conversion.

USB Input: The Musical Fidelity V-Link II is equipped with a USB (type-B) input to connect your Windows PC or Mac computer. The V-Link II will work with a huge range of computers and operating systems.

Note: The V-Link II's USB (type-B) port supports Windows XP, Vista, and 7; as well as MAC OS X.

S/PDIF Outputs: The Musical Fidelity V-Link II is equipped with both a coaxial and optical digital input to connect the digital audio device to your DAC and home receiver.

LED Indicators: There are 2 LED lights to indicate operating status.

  • Blue LED: There is a Blue Power LED indicates the unit is powered on and ready for use.
  • Green LED: The Green Status LED indicates the presence of a digital signal.

Power Requirements: The V-Link II draws its power from your connected computer's USB socket (5V DC / 160mA).

Specifications

Input: USB (type-B) input with 24-bit/96kHz (maximum)

Output Impedance: 50 Ohm (S/PDIF stream)

Power Requirements: 5V DC / 160mA (from host computer's USB socket).

 
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Musical Fidelity V-Link II Reviews

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5 out of 5

AWESOME ADDITION IN THE CHAIN

Written By PETER S, GUAM on Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The unit is very affordable and I just had to try it to find out for myself if the rave about it are all true. I was skeptical at first since using the Peacthree Dacit already sounds wonderful thru USB and coax. The MUSICAL FIDELITY V LINK II arrived and I eagerly inserted it in the chain in between my laptop and the DACIT with a TOSLINK connecting the MF V Link II to the DACIT. The first 5 minutes of playing did not grab my attention much like when I fired up the DACIT for the first time. After 30 minutes with Rumer and Jeff Beck warming up the system, I played a CD by Flanger and I noticed a significant improvement in the resolution and definition of each track. The individual instruments were more distinctly seperated, refined, well-resolved, more body; the bass and mid-bass was more pronounced with better slam and well-defined. The soundstaging also improved with better left to right and front to back presentation. I tried using a digital cable (lluminati D-60) in place of the Toslink and the Toslink sounded smoother while the digital coax cable had more edginess to it. The Peachtree DACIT is a great DA converter I purchased from Crutchfield and the Musical Fidelity V-Link II takes it up to the max and makes the playback of lossless ripped recording stored in my laptop sound better than CDs. I now play music streaming and lossless recording with my laptop 90 percent of the time and 10 percent with a CD player just to break the monotony.
Pros:
Great performance, affordable price, super easy to set up and use. Significantly enhances streaming and lossless computer playback.
Cons:
None
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2 out of 5

V-LinkII

Written By Raj, Alpharetta, Ga on Friday, August 24, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was very excited to get this unit after reading reviews and forum posts from all over. I expected big things from it. I connected this to my Peachtree Decco2 and Laptop running Linux and Deadbeef player set to use ALSA/not resample. I also had the Peachtree hooked up via USB at the same time and the V-Link to the coax. I used Sennheiser HD600s to listen. I noticed no difference at all when playing 16/48 files. Others say they noticed a huge difference. I tired playing 24/96 files, sounded the same. Deadbeef will let you switch between audio devices on the fly. I switched back and forth between the V-Link and the USB input and noticed no change. I then tried a computer running Windows XP and setup Jriver player and ASIO drivers. Same thing, both direct USB and coax sound the same even with 24/96 files. I have to wonder if my unit is broken. The USB on the Decco2 is only 16/48 so I figured that with the higher quality files it would make a huge difference with the 24/96 files since the Decco will down sample them. Anyway, Crutchfield was great and let me return it no questions asked. They even give you a return label so you just have to drop the box off.
Pros:
Converts USB to Coax or optical. Plug and play in any OS, even Linux
Cons:
Didn't make any change at all in sound quality.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

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