Audiophile USB cable

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Audiophile USB cable

Postby qguy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:19 am

Is there such a thing and does it make a difference in SQ ?
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby dafos » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:33 am

Yes they do exist but as to whether may a difference in sound quality only you can judge by trying some out.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby muypogi » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:21 am

qguy wrote:Is there such a thing and does it make a difference in SQ ?


Meron. . . pero audiophile din presyo. . . :P :P

Just get a decent non-CDR King but branded USB cable . . . Belkins should suit you well kung hindi naman mahaba yung cable run mo.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby docsialu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:47 am

Try fld's wireworld ultraviolet usb cable
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby JoeyGS » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:21 pm

Yes the USB cable matters. We have already tried a DIY USB cable and its miles over a standard USB cable.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby desmo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:54 pm

Lucky to get a Locus Polestar USB cable from fld after hearing a big difference coming from an M2Tech Hi-Face + PAD Aqueous 20th Anniversary digital coax. Unfortunately, the proprietor of Locus, who hand assembles the cables himself, passed away shortly after. Don't ask me why but they do make a significant difference.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby JoeyGS » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:59 pm

You mean the USB cable was better than the Hiface + Coax combo?

desmo wrote:Lucky to get a Locus Polestar USB cable from fld after hearing a big difference coming from an M2Tech Hi-Face + PAD Aqueous 20th Anniversary digital coax. Unfortunately, the proprietor of Locus, who hand assembles the cables himself, passed away shortly after. Don't ask me why but they do make a significant difference.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby desmo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:17 pm

Yes, by quite a margin.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby qguy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:21 pm

if the USB cable matters, How would the Airport Express compare since its wireless transmission ?
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby qguy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:24 pm

JoeyGS,

Can you share the methods used and where to get the parts

JoeyGS wrote:Yes the USB cable matters. We have already tried a DIY USB cable and its miles over a standard USB cable.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby JoeyGS » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:34 pm

Use the following instruction to recover the USB plugs from an ordinary and cheap USB cable. It's hard to source the plugs. I looked at RS and Farnell and no luck.

http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/usbkey

Study the pins connections from the following site:

http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

Use favorite cable wires from your favorite sources. Cut-solder-finish....that's it!

Try it out and compare with your existing cables.


qguy wrote:JoeyGS,

Can you share the methods used and where to get the parts

JoeyGS wrote:Yes the USB cable matters. We have already tried a DIY USB cable and its miles over a standard USB cable.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby joejet » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:47 pm

Wireworld's Starlight USB I got from Ferdie really brought my itunes sound to the next level..
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby carbondated » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:57 pm

There was an interesting article in one of the magazines where they tried out a whole range from printer cables to super high-end, and a good printer cable came out on top. That said, I recommend the Wireworld as well. And the way USB works demands that these be as short as possible :)
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby muypogi » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:55 pm

qguy wrote:if the USB cable matters, How would the Airport Express compare since its wireless transmission ?


Not just USB cable, but you have to also consider the DAC which will process the digital signal from the PC. You can use a decent, but affordable USB cable for short cable runs. No need really for exotic cables.

Airport Express, as I noted before, was tested to be bit-perfect when using the toslink connection to John Atkinson's Mark Levinson (yata) DAC. Assuming the Toslink connection is ok, DAC ulit yung bagsak sa digital system mo.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby egay » Thu May 10, 2012 7:42 am

i agree with muypogi: it boils down to your DAC.
in other words - your DAC is your proverbial "Bottleneck" in your digital system.

i have proven this in my case: that the DAC sort-of levels the playing field for all my attached devices like SACDP, CDP, Blu-ray, Win7 PC, and my WDTV Media Player - all their outputs go into the ARC DAC and their SQ are 'almost' the same; only a very careful and analytic listening can i discern some differences. heck, even MP3s sound good :o... but most of the time, all i do is simply listen because i realize "life is too short"to get bored on analytics.

get a good DAC and hear what we are saying.

.e.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby Nelson de Leon » Fri May 11, 2012 9:00 pm

If the USB DAC used is USB powered, then the USB wire does matter. I'm using a very long USB wire, around 35 feet. I connected the long USB wire to a powered USB 3 port before the USB DAC to eliminate power drops or loss due to long USB cable runs.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby Benok » Thu May 24, 2012 1:01 pm

data flowing through the USB is Digital, i doubt that there would be any difference using the same lenght of regualr usb and "audiophile" cable with similar conductor diameter.

there would be differences however if the power lines of the audiophile usb cable are thicker and that the source is powered off the USB port
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby ferdit » Sat May 26, 2012 8:19 pm

^I also don't think that the USB cable is important if you are just moving the bits to an external DAC.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby the porcupine » Sun May 27, 2012 7:25 pm

If the USB DAC used is USB powered, then the USB wire does matter.


there would be differences however if the power lines of the audiophile usb cable are thicker and that the source is powered off the USB port


I agree. Its not about the bits. Its about power delivery. Tried two regular usb cables as well as a couple of branded for-audio usb cables. The regular usb cables made my USB powered dac sound harsh. The higher quality cables just made the dac sound as it should.

Interestingly, I've recently found out that having a line-interactive uninterruptible power supply in between the PC and the power outlet negatively affects the sound quality of USB powered dacs as well. I opted to use a self-powered usb hub with the dac to overcome this.
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Re: Audiophile USB cable

Postby Arnel » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:06 am

I believe that apart from what has been said about running power through the USB cable, and also the cable length affecting reliability of transmission, the quality of cable "might" affect SQ as well. I know it sounds voodoo, but it's actually based on science. It's called "jitter" or transmission timing errors. Transmission of 0's and 1's over digital connection is not as simple as most of us might imagine, when it comes to audio data...

Since unlike regular data transmission, such as between PC and USB hard drive which transfers data by bulk and at maximum possible speed, transmission from PC to an external DAC is "real-time", so the source and DAC communicates at a certain "timing". For USB, this uses a "clock", and there are 2 general approaches, one is where the timing is "synchronous" i.e. controlled by the clock on the source (e.g. your computer), while the other is "asynchronous" i.e. the timing is independent of the source's clock (so the DAC's clock controls timing). In the real world, this "clock", regardless of which of the above approaches is used, is never perfect. So, particularly for synchronous USB, right from the source (e.g. computer) there is already jitter (called "transmitter jitter"). At the other end of the connection, i.e. the DAC, there is normally some form of jitter rejection, but this is at different levels. So here the design of the DAC matters, and obviously asynchronous USB has its advantages.

But what about the USB cable? There is such a thing called "line-induced jitter" which is caused by the transmission medium, in this case the USB cable, which causes waveform deformation of some sort due to its limited bandwidth and other electrical characteristics. Remember, at the end of the day, those "0"s and "1"s are still transmitted as waveforms, just like your analog signals. So the quality of the USB cable matters in minimizing jitter (unless you have a DAC with perfect jitter rejection, which I don't think has been invented yet?)

But how does jitter degrade the analog signal that results in the D/A conversion? The errors in the digital audio info translates to analog in what I think they call "sidebands", where aside from certain frequencies that are actually contained in the musical waveform, adjacent frequencies are also present at varying (but much lower) amplitudes. You can imagine how this can change the sound quality. :)

I'm not a subject expert on electronics (but I know about computers), so the above may not be as exact as I hoped for, but hopefully it gives the gist.
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