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USB Cable Upgrade?

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daverob's picture
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Got all my music on ITunes via my oldish iMac5,1 a mixture of Apple Lossless from CD and downloaded 320kbps. Just ordered the Musical Fidelity MK 2 DAC and Power Supply as noted had an upgraded USB output which I need as Mac has not got digital output. Got an old USB cable but wondering if quality will be improved by upgrading!? Any recommendations particularly from users of that particular DAC if using USB already!? Cheers!

nads's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

If your current cable works then spending more will not make it work any better.

 

Spend it on more music.

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Overdose's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

+1

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

+1

 

I don't get how a digital cable can drop signal. If it was to fail you would severly notice something. Scientifically there is no explanation as to why they could be subtly different (just like HDMI). If you want to keep an open mind though you can often get these cables (Audioquest, Furutech, Chord, Nordost etc.) from a hifi shop with a 30 day money back guarantee. So you can test it for yourself with no risk. 

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

quadpatch wrote:

So you can test it for yourself with no risk. 

 

Except for the very possible risk of falling for the con.

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

fr0g wrote:

quadpatch wrote:

So you can test it for yourself with no risk. 

 

Except for the very possible risk of falling for the con.

In our opinion yes, but either way he will be happy Smile

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

You could argue that when using Isochronous data transfers data loss might occur. Whether the data loss would be too big for the receiving device's error correction to fix and/or hide is debatable.

 

Sound via USB is never going to be 100% correct - though its doubtful you would notice the difference without equipment to analyse the stream.

 

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

AnotherJoe wrote:

You could argue that when using Isochronous data transfers data loss might occur. Whether the data loss would be too big for the receiving device's error correction to fix and/or hide is debatable.

 

Sound via USB is never going to be 100% correct - though its doubtful you would notice the difference without equipment to analyse the stream.

 

 

eh?  sound doesn't travel via usb, data does....

daverob's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

Thanks for comments guys!

As a bit of a hi fi novice,asked the question, as when I changed my old intercoonects on set up to QED Performance and Atlas Equator I did notice a significant increase in quality, so was wondering if the same would apply to USB!! Apparently not then, seems to be the concensus.Obviously would rather stick with my £5 lead than fork out £55 for usb lead reviewed on this site, kit will hopefully arrive in next few days so will find out!!

Got other questions about headphone amps but will stick that on relevant link!!

cheeseboy's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

daverob wrote:

Thanks for comments guys!

As a bit of a hi fi novice,asked the question, as when I changed my old intercoonects on set up to QED Performance and Atlas Equator I did notice a significant increase in quality, so was wondering if the same would apply to USB!! Apparently not then, seems to be the concensus.Obviously would rather stick with my £5 lead than fork out £55 for usb lead reviewed on this site, kit will hopefully arrive in next few days so will find out!!

Got other questions about headphone amps but will stick that on relevant link!!

 

the general ever debatable rule of thumb is that if it's an analogue signal, then you are more likely to notice difference when exchanging cables.  Digital on the other hand, in theory, either works or it doesn't.  Distances on digital cables also make a marked difference. 

 

There's nothing wrong with spending a bit extra on a digital cable for one that is well made and will last longer however, but don't expect to see/hear/feel any difference.

daverob's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

Thanks for that! Cable that I have and propose to use is 5m long will this make a huge difference to quaity abainst a 1m for example?

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

daverob wrote:

Thanks for that! Cable that I have and propose to use is 5m long will this make a huge difference to quaity abainst a 1m for example?

 

iirc 5m is getting to the limit of usb cable length.  See how you get on, and if you have any doubts, you can always get a shorter one afterwards.  It's usually not a case of noticing a difference in quality though - if you have a cable that's not up to job/too long/damaged etc, you'll notice drop outs in the sound, possible squelching or it just won't work. 

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

cheeseboy wrote:

AnotherJoe wrote:

You could argue that when using Isochronous data transfers data loss might occur. Whether the data loss would be too big for the receiving device's error correction to fix and/or hide is debatable.

 

Sound via USB is never going to be 100% correct - though its doubtful you would notice the difference without equipment to analyse the stream.

 

 

eh?  sound doesn't travel via usb, data does....

 

sound as in audio data. Thats kinda implicit given the context.

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

In my experience USB cables do make difference, but the differences, if any, are subtle and will not change the sound in a big way. It also depends on the overall system, and telling whether or not any upgrade will be noticeable can only be done thru home auditioning. Just buying a new USB cable blind doesn't make much sense to me.

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Overdose's picture
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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

Has anyone bought a new USB cable to make any other data transfer better?

If a USB data cable affects audio data, it will effect all data and I've never seen a problem with any other file type transferred by USB cable, in fact, I don't think I've ever had a USB cable fail.

Digital data transfer affecting audio data files and sound quality, is a non issue, barring signal drop outs or complete failure.

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RE: USB Cable Upgrade?

All agreed then. What's next on the agenda? When shall we three meet again?

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