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KT66's picture
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Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

Whilst looking into getting a betterUSB cable between my pc and mdac, I lookedto What HiFi website to see what is recommended.Then I have a read on the forums and the general consensus is that they make no difference.So....what gives?Either the vast majority of audiophiles, engineersand scientists are wrong or we are being misled.!

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

You didn't read far enough when you searched the forums. All of your questions have been answered there many times. The short answer is, no, the vast majority of engineers and scientists are probably not wrong (though who knows, we may look back in 50 years time and laugh at them all), and no, WHF don't take backhanders to give USB cables favourable reviews.

Long answer will commence now.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

I bought one for my printer, and the blacks have never been blacker. The reds, oh the reds. I could crawl into them and live there like they were the warm blood from a freshly taken deer, it's heart still beating,ever more slowly as it goes to meet its maker.

I sometimes charge my phone with it and I swear it purrs whilst charging. It literally glows back at me with a loving smile that just begs me to buy it its own special usb cable..."please Mr fr0g, caress me with this special cable every time...".

When I am feeling frisky I wear it as a neck-chain, and I feel empowered. Nothing can stop me. This cable is the very life-force of the universe, given to me (for the princely sum of £200) in order to bestow more perfect 1's and completely zero 0's onto my existance.

 

Whilst back in reality, it is exactly the same as any other USB cable...

 

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If you want to see for

If you want to see for yourself, borrow this one: http://www.whathifi.com/review/vertere-pulse-d-fi

Remain sceptical and compare with a very cheap one. This should answer your question.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

I completely agree with frOg. I was recently reading into 4k TV's and in the article a question was asked as to whether HDMI could carry the extra signal. And the reply came, that there was no reason necessary. HDMI, as USB, on carries a signal of 1's and 0's which have no real power or current and travel along the outer layer of a cable, Where as in mains /speaker cable, the current run's through the core of the cable. For me the only reason to spend a little extra money on usb is for a better made longer lasting cable.

 

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

A USB cable is a USB cable, you get get different specifications of cables, the newest being USB3. The signal it carries is digital, it's a bunch of 0's and 1's, if for whatever reason it is not working correctly then your USB device will not function. Adding a fancy wrapping or gold plated, silver dipped wires does not improve the quality of the 0's and 1's. So buy yourself a standard cable for a couple of quid and be happy, because that will provide all that you require and no cable no matter the cost can do anything else.

 

Do not believe anyone who will advise you to spend your hard earned money by throwing it down the proverbial drain, case-in-point some recommending a £70 cable, honestly you might as well set fire to your money yourself. It's utterly irresponsible for anyone to suggest you waste your money. I can almost understand WHF perpetuating the myth, afterall they do have ad revenue to generate but let's be clear, fancy digital cables are a complete scam.

 

EDIT:

 

Here's a nice one for £4.99, it's not the cheapest but it has a nice wrap, good length and doesn't look ugly.   http://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasics-A-Male-B-Male-Lighted-Braided/dp/B003ES5ZQE

 

Or you could chose this one for £1.83  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cable-Premium-Quality-480Mbps-Printers/dp/B000Q6EBW6

 

Both of those cables will 'sound' the same as the £70 scam linked to above.

 

 

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

Wonder why whf reviews are not signed. Its a special eared one using superb equipment (also not acknoledged) able to hear deep bass, smooth etc. Or maybe my ears are too old and my equipment too poor? Surely a short usb cable @£70 cant .... Mmmm. End of my part in yet another pointless debate

Yamaha V2065. MS Mezzo 5.1 Panasonic 42. Sony BD. Garrard 86SB. WD Live TV. SkyHD.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/lounge-hc-signature-update-bass-traps

 

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

It's not  debate, well not a fair one anyway.

 

In the blue corner you have those that can hear the smoother bass and velvet not too forward highs with their new £70 USB cable, in the red corner you have SCIENCE. There is no debate, OP should be weary of anyone trying to sell them snake oil and everyone else here has a duty to counter these scams everytime someone presents them.

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

KT66 wrote:
Either the vast majority of audiophiles, engineersand scientists are wrong or we are being misled.!

 

actually, the scientists and engineers would not buy in to the usb cable guff, it's only the audiophiles.

 

What gives is that the hi fi world has had it's"rules" about what makes a difference set in stone for so long, that they've carried it over to the digital world, when in fact those rules do not apply.  Heck, you can even buy "audiophile" sata cables.... :help:

Eventually things will settle down and people will realise that in the digital world some things do not make a difference and either work, or they don't, as that is the whole point of digital.   Already as we have seen in this years whf awards, they have dropped the hdmi cable's etc, given that there has been quite a few repeatable scientific based tests to prove that there are in fact no differences, heck, even the people who created the HDMI standard and are the ones who allow cable manufacturers to use it say that providing it meets a certain standard, there won't be any difference.  This is the point of having cable standards on things like usb and hdmi cables.

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

I think there is a lot about digital audio that will be more common knowledge in the future - people using Audio PC are miles ahead in this regard.

 

This is quite an interesting read

"There's no such thing as digital: A conversation with Charles Hansen, Gordon Rankin, and Steve Silberman"

Part 1

http://www.audiostream.com/content/draft

Part 2

http://www.audiostream.com/con…..ilberman-p

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

RobinKidderminster wrote:
Wonder why whf reviews are not signed.

Because they review as a team and not individuals.

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

When looking at internet photographs on my PC monitor I was concerned that the digital signal carried along the HDMI lead between PC and screen could be improved so I bought a really expensive cable but could not see the slightest difference.

I asked BT if they'll upgrade the telephone cables between my home and the exchange to oxygen free copper to see if that helps but they insist that because the signal is digital with checksums I'd either see a picture or I wouldn't and that's that.  Wink

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

ellisdj wrote:

I think there is a lot about digital audio that will be more common knowledge in the future - people using Audio PC are miles ahead in this regard.

 

This is quite an interesting read

"There's no such thing as digital: A conversation with Charles Hansen, Gordon Rankin, and Steve Silberman"

Part 1

http://www.audiostream.com/content/draft

Part 2

http://www.audiostream.com/con…..ilberman-p

 

Very interesting stuff indeed...

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

fr0g wrote:

I bought one for my printer, and the blacks have never been blacker. The reds, oh the reds. I could crawl into them and live there like they were the warm blood from a freshly taken deer, it's heart still beating,ever more slowly as it goes to meet its maker.

I sometimes charge my phone with it and I swear it purrs whilst charging. It literally glows back at me with a loving smile that just begs me to buy it its own special usb cable..."please Mr fr0g, caress me with this special cable every time...".

When I am feeling frisky I wear it as a neck-chain, and I feel empowered. Nothing can stop me. This cable is the very life-force of the universe, given to me (for the princely sum of £200) in order to bestow more perfect 1's and completely zero 0's onto my existance.

 

Whilst back in reality, it is exactly the same as any other USB cable...

 

 

I actually I found this funny, but I disagree with you sir. There are some things that science cannot intepret and USB cables do make a difference because the transmission of digital information is not perfect. Sony or some other company once said that all CD players sound the same. WRONG! 

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

csq2 wrote:
I actually I found this funny, but I disagree with you sir. There are some things that science cannot intepret and USB cables do make a difference because the transmission of digital information is not perfect. Sony or some other company once said that all CD players sound the same. WRONG!

Comparing a USB lead and a CD player is akin to comparing a bicycle and a Lamborghini. A CD player is a complex device with moving parts and integrated circuits. Every element of its design (the DAC, for example) can have an effect on the accuracy of sound reproduced. A USB interconnect is a passive cable with a connector on each end. Science, my friend, has validated the claim that there is no difference between digital connectors. Objective testing has proven the transfer of data to be identical. The only advantage gained from a more expensive cable is higher build quality.

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RE: Audiophile USB cables and What HI-FI

csq2 wrote:

I actually I found this funny, but I disagree with you sir. There are some things that science cannot intepret and USB cables do make a difference because the transmission of digital information is not perfect. Sony or some other company once said that all CD players sound the same. WRONG! 

 

there's so much wrong with what you've just said I really don't know where to start.... :doh:

 

Actually, more importantly, why would you drag up a 4 month odd old thread just to say somebody is wrong?  Quiet day? ;p

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