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BenLaw's picture
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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

Andrew Everard wrote:

fr0g wrote:
Who buys usb cables these days? I have about 30 in all.

Question and answer Wink

 

Maybe by using the word 'who' he was limiting it to humans and excluding amphibians?

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

Try to borrow a decently priced cable, say the Supra 2.0 and compare it with a freebie or a USB printer. Only you can say whether it sounds different or not. I think the Supra is selling at GBP 29/metre.

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

El Hefe wrote:

Try to borrow a decently priced cable, say the Supra 2.0 and compare it with a freebie or a USB printer. Only you can say whether it sounds different or not. I think the Supra is selling at GBP 29/metre.

Not bad advice, but to save the OP time, the answer is...no difference.

If you had bought an expensive USB cable, you might feel the need to believe it made a difference, otherwise you'd feel like a right lemon.

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

All USB cables will function the same and will not effect the sound in anyway.

 

My advice is to go for any cheap one that looks well made (you don't want to have to replace it in 6 months time because it's falling apart).

Hi-Fi - Yamaha RX-V667 > AVI DM5 > AVI subwoofer

Head-Fi - Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2Di > Sennheisser HD700

Portable - Sony NWZ-A847 > Westone UM3x

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

Overdose wrote:

El Hefe wrote:

Try to borrow a decently priced cable, say the Supra 2.0 and compare it with a freebie or a USB printer. Only you can say whether it sounds different or not. I think the Supra is selling at GBP 29/metre.

Not bad advice, but to save the OP time, the answer is...no difference.

If you had bought an expensive USB cable, you might feel the need to believe it made a difference, otherwise you'd feel like a right lemon.

On the contrary, I am using an el cheapo cable...regardless that I did hear a difference with a USD600 USB cable when I did a review on it. Mainly because I am not a true CAS fan....so would not spend that amount of money on USB cable.

 

And the main advice above is actually borrow and decide by yourself...

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

Andrew Everard wrote:

fr0g wrote:
Who buys usb cables these days? I have about 30 in all.

Question and answer Wink

I'm assuming he meant he has that many kicking around due to always receiving a free one when he buys some equipment (we'll ignore the fact that they aren't actually free and the price is incorporated into the price paid for the piece of kit one purchases).

I'm also prepared to accept that he may have stolen them, which is why mine always seem to go missing. Or that he used to purchase them all the time, so has no need to "these days".

Stuff.

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

As an ex engineer, most of my posts on here have to either help someone with a technical point or challenge the absurdities in some of the claims made for mains cables / speaker cables / interconnects ......

However in the spirit of fairness, there are situations when the design of a USB cable can matter. In fact, it is only when a USB cable is used for async transfer in a design where the DAC is not powered by the USB cable that I would put my hand on my heart and say the cable could have no effect. If anything, the situation can be worse than the pig's ear that is S/PDIF -

1. USB powered DAC - while not exactly HiFi, by my definition, any DAC that is USB powered will be getting its supply down the USB cable.  The DAC needs a clean, low impedance supply.  Thin conductors, badly shielded construction, poor connector quality could impact this.

2. Synchronous data transfer - Just as with S/PDIF, in this mode the DAC will be deriving its clock from the incoming data stream. Badly shaped pulses, noisy data lines, could lead to an increase in received jitter in the DAC.

So, in any proper USB implementation (DAC not powered from the USB, async data transfer), any USB cable that doesn't fall apart when you plug it should be fine, but if the DAC is USB powered or the DAC derives a clock from the data (sync transfer) the cable could just possibly matter. 

 

 

 

 

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

andyjm wrote:

As an ex engineer, most of my posts on here have to either help someone with a technical point or challenge the absurdities in some of the claims made for mains cables / speaker cables / interconnects ......

...

So, in any proper USB implementation (DAC not powered from the USB, async data transfer)

andyjm, you might be intereseted in the views of nwavguy, the engineer that designed the ODAC on async and bus power.

From http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/odac-update.html#odacfaq

nwavguy wrote:

IS THE ODAC ASYNCHRONOUS There’s a lot of marketing and other hype lately surrounding asynchronous DACs. Much of it is myth. Just like  op amps got a bad name from the old 741 released many decades ago, so did USB audio based on early synchronous designs. But most modern USB audio devices use an adaptive interface where alocal clock controls the DAC and is only loosely coupled to the PC’s timing. Contrary to popular belief, with an adaptive interface the data is not directly clocked by the USB port. This method has been refined over the years and can work very well. It’s also natively supported by all major operating systems. Most methods of true asynchronous USB audio require proprietary drivers under Windows and proprietary drivers are rarely a good thing. Judging a USB DAC by whether it’s asynch or adaptive is a bit like judging a car by the engine configuration—i.e. an inline six in a BMW vs a V6 in a Nissan GT-R. Other aspects of the design are more likely to limit the performance and there are plenty of examples of outstanding USB DACs using adaptive interfaces.

 

 

He also believes USB powered DACs have many advantages and the challenges can be overcome, with careful design.

nwavguy wrote:

Power Noise Below the DAC’s Noise Floor – It turns out ground and conducted (electromagnetic) noise are typically as significant as noise on the USB power line. Because a connection to the PC’s ground is required regardless, simply using an external power supply doesn’t automatically mean freedom from USB bus noise. With the ODAC the solution involved careful routing of ground currents, different power supply conditioning for the digital and analog sides, careful capacitor selection, and inductive filtering. The result is the latest prototype’s noise floor is mainly determined by the DAC IC itself not the USB power bus. Put another way, an independent power supply wouldn’t make much difference.


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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

El Hefe wrote:

And the main advice above is actually borrow and decide by yourself...

+1

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

I would concur with most of the above,

However I did once purchase a very cheap  HDMI cable to go between a blu ray player and TV  and resulted in an awful picture with a lot of interferance.

I swapped the cable for another and got a perfect picture, I can only think that the first cable was damaged in some way. So I  probably go with chebbys 

advice and not to go with bargain basement.....................

 

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

El Hefe wrote:

...regardless that I did hear a difference with a USD600 USB cable when I did a review on it.

 

blimey, who charges $600 for a USB cable, and have they actually sold any ?

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

abacus wrote:

ifor wrote:

This might interest you.

http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/lautus-audio-interconnect.htm

What a load of clap trap, A digital interconnect only carries digital data, NOT audio or video.

As for the rest of the gobbledygook on the website, words fail me; I had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t April Fools Day.

Unbelievable (Literally)

Bill

It's probably one of the most honest, informative and educational HiFi websites there is , but I accept you might not see it way.

"Inspired" Manticore Mantra TT, Technics SL-7 TT, Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp.  Cyrus CD8SE.  iMac, Raspberry Pi c/w HiFiBerry Digi c/w Volumio or Rune Audio, Arcam rDAC.  Roksan Kandy LIII amp, Spendor A5 speakers.

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

richardw42 wrote:

El Hefe wrote:

...regardless that I did hear a difference with a USD600 USB cable when I did a review on it.

 

blimey, who charges $600 for a USB cable, and have they actually sold any ?

Google for Kingrex Unanimous U-Art Y cable.... They have been selling well but they didnt manage to get USD600 from me Smile

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

andyjm wrote:

As an ex engineer, most of my posts on here have to either help someone with a technical point or challenge the absurdities in some of the claims made for mains cables / speaker cables / interconnects ......

1. USB powered DAC - while not exactly HiFi, by my definition, any DAC that is USB powered will be getting its supply down the USB cable.  The DAC needs a clean, low impedance supply.  Thin conductors, badly shielded construction, poor connector quality could impact this.

2. Synchronous data transfer - Just as with S/PDIF, in this mode the DAC will be deriving its clock from the incoming data stream. Badly shaped pulses, noisy data lines, could lead to an increase in received jitter in the DAC.

So, in any proper USB implementation (DAC not powered from the USB, async data transfer)...

andyjm, as an engineer you might be interested in another current engineer's view view on async and usb power:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/odac-update.html#odacfaq

 

nwavguy wrote:

IS THE ODAC ASYNCHRONOUS There’s a lot of marketing and other hype lately surrounding asynchronous DACs. Much of it is myth. Just like  op amps got a bad name from the old 741 released many decades ago, so did USB audio based on early synchronous designs. But most modern USB audio devices use an adaptive interface where alocal clock controls the DAC and is only loosely coupled to the PC’s timing. Contrary to popular belief, with an adaptive interface the data is not directly clocked by the USB port. This method has been refined over the years and can work very well. It’s also natively supported by all major operating systems. Most methods of true asynchronous USB audio require proprietary drivers under Windows and proprietary drivers are rarely a good thing. Judging a USB DAC by whether it’s asynch or adaptive is a bit like judging a car by the engine configuration—i.e. an inline six in a BMW vs a V6 in a Nissan GT-R. Other aspects of the design are more likely to limit the performance and there are plenty of examples of outstanding USB DACs using adaptive interfaces.

USB power has a number of practical advantages:

nwavguy wrote:

Power Noise Below the DAC’s Noise Floor – It turns out ground and conducted (electromagnetic) noise are typically as significant as noise on the USB power line. Because a connection to the PC’s ground is required regardless, simply using an external power supply doesn’t automatically mean freedom from USB bus noise. With the ODAC the solution involved careful routing of ground currents, different power supply conditioning for the digital and analog sides, careful capacitor selection, and inductive filtering. The result is the latest prototype’s noise floor is mainly determined by the DAC IC itself not the USB power bus. Put another way, an independent power supply wouldn’t make much difference.

Basically, with careful design, the above points are not design limitations that cause any audible issues.

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RE: usb cables expensive v cheap

There is difference between free usb printer cable and expensive ones.Expensive one usually accentuate bass,high,mids,remove sibilance or add it .This depends I think on wire material used inside:copper,silver etc... But all this means that expensive usb cable might not work in your system and might disintagrate  sound .As example in my systems furutech formula doesn't work well because system already has balanced sound enough bass and nice mids and highs and furutech pops more bass and sound becomes disintegrated even more bass,tamed midrange.But if your system bass shy it might work very well

Technics se-a3000,su-c3000,Bryston BDA-1,Harbeth SHL5,Grado PS1000,Atlas titan,hyper2.0

Krell kav500i,Technics sl-p2000,atlas elektra xlr,Dynaudio c1

 

 

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