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Recommend a USB Hub for Mac
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andrew00
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#1
24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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Recommend a USB Hub for Mac

Hey,

I've been doing some googling on USB hubs for my Mac and it seems there's a lot of generic ones out there.

I was wondering if there's an approved one that will give low latency + good power.

I've got things like a Duet and a Maschine to plug in and have run out of space but don't want something that's going to kill my sound.
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24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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I had the same problem, but decided to buy a 4 port USB PCIe card instead. At least then you know that the extra USB ports are not sharing a bus with existing ones.

Of course, you need to have a spare slot...
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andrew00
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24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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Hehe not sure I can jam one of them in my Macbook Pro (not 'till I get an imac eventually at least!). I'm actually looking at the moshi ilynx 800 (Moshi iLynx 800) as it looks like it plugs into fw 800 and usb and consequently can handle the higher power draw, which suggests it should be useful for things like the duet 2 and maschine, both of which are usb 2 and you don't want to start mucking about with as latency will ruin both e.
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24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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Hi there-

Definitely a 4 port powered USB hub by Macally. Don't get anything over 4 (or the individual ports won't have enough power) and MAKE SURE it's powered. Even if it's just for iloks.

I have 4 of these and they work absolutely flawlessly w my Mac Pro:


http://gifts.barnesandnoble.com/Maca..._-701107488356


I've tried D-link and a few others and for me, they were not very stable on my Mac.

Hope this helps,

Scott
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24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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I have a couple of pretty generic Belkin ones, powered. They work fine.
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24th June 2011
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I use a couple of Belkin 7 port hubs. overall they do pretty well and the PSU is specified to about 3.X Amps.. so it's in the right ballpark.. they also use pretty good quality components and cable.
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25th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llitsor View Post
I have a couple of pretty generic Belkin ones, powered. They work fine.
I, too, have a couple Belkin hubs and they work fine. Just make sure they're powered and 4 ports only!!

Cheers,

Scott
andrew00
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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How come 4 ports? Is any more going too much of a power drain?
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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I recommend belkin too - I have a powered 7-port job - zero problems - all kinds of stuff plugged in and powered from it
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27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew00 View Post
How come 4 ports? Is any more going too much of a power drain?
Yes, sort of. I had a 7 port from D-Link and have another from Belkin (both powered).

The same amount of power delivered to the hub from the wall is delivered evenly in 4 ports and in most (if not all) 7 ports. I can't remember but in either the D-Link manual or the Belkin manual I read about this.

The reason I was reading this exciting manual in the first place is because things that would normally work fine (w/ a four-port powered hub) were no longer getting enough power- even when using only 3 of the 7 seven ports.

For Mac, I'd recommend a Macally (preferred) or Belkin four-port powered hub.


Scott
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27th June 2011
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one reason might be that most of the generic regulators in the PSU's tend to only go to 2Amp.
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Ah ok, a MBP - does make it a bit difficult to add a PCIe card!

I have successfully used a Belkin hub in the past as well. Even used it without connecting the power adapter when I was just using low power devices (like a MIDI keyboard, or dongles).
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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my recommendation would be any with external power... if you have an iMac and not a MacBook pro I see no reason to torture your psu with additional devices.
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew00 View Post
I was wondering if there's an approved one that will give low latency + good power.

I've got things like a Duet and a Maschine to plug in and have run out of space but don't want something that's going to kill my sound.
Hubs do not cause latency. Period.

They also do not 'kill sound'; they transfer 1's and 0's.
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27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimOBrienFlorida View Post
Hubs do not cause latency. Period.

They also do not 'kill sound'; they transfer 1's and 0's.
Actually, to my own surprise, they can cause latency. I have a MIDI keyboard that is connected to a MOTU MIDI Express 128. The MOTU is USB powered only. In an effort to relieve my computer, I connected the MOTU to a powered 4 port hub and then the hub to the computer. This caused such bad latency that it was unusable. (I tried three different hubs- three different companies: Macally, D-Link and Belkin)

The only fix was to skip the hub entirely and plug the MOTU directly into the Mac.

This example shows MIDI latency- so I don't have any experience as to whether the same will hold true for audio.

Scott

P.S. The tech at MOTU was suprised at the latency as well. He was under the impression that it would work fine w/ a powered hub.
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21st May 2014
Old 21st May 2014
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wow gearslutz is the kind of place where you can find two posts like the last ones.. one saying one thing and the next one the opposite..

I'm looking for hubs.. so they do introduce latency or not? I've no usb midi interface to test it right now.. so, have you tested it to say it does introduce latency?

Thanks

p.s. to Scott.. it doesn't surprise me the MOTU response.. they also say their interfaces are sample accurate.. while they are not even millisecond accurate.. (actually around 5ms in certain moments, talking jittering here, not latency)
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