USB cables and me

Discussion in 'DACs' started by gvl, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. StevenZ

    StevenZ Texas or nothin'

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    This topic seems to always have folks on both extremes but rarely in the middle. I do find that most who claim they can't hear a difference more than likely don't have stereos resolving enough to show a difference in the first place. However, this isn't always true.

    I personally, along with a handful of others have done extensive blind testing of many USB cables at a local audio meeting and we all agreed that we heard not only differences, but improvements in sound. This ranged from cables that come stock with printers to $1k+ cables where all the conductors are held separately from each other in a ladder pattern, and everywhere in between. I believe there were 14 cables in total during this test and we eventually pit the very best together and the best we all agreed upon was the AudioQuest Carbon 1m.

    There's no reason why any USB cables should sound different from each other, being the digital nature of this cable. But the truth is, they do sound different. Naysayers can cry all they want, crap on threads, ask for lab data, etc. but until they have heard it in a capable system worthy of revealing the differences there's no real point in arguing.
     
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  2. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    We install ferrite bands on signal cables at the jacks inside of cabinets on every new install we do. I may be wrong, but I don’t see how this is possible as ferrite used on cables is only a band around the cable and are not actually “attached” to the cables. They are used to reduce RFI and EMI and they do a good job at it.

    :beerchug:
     
  3. ppaul

    ppaul New Member

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    You will only hear a difference between a shielded cable and an unshielded cable
     
  4. olderroust

    olderroust AK Member

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  5. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

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    The theory is that the extra inductance they introduces changes the shape of the fronts of the pulses which leads to increased jitter. Asynchronous interfaces should be immune to this so not sure how much truth there is to it.
     
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  6. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    We see nothing but improvements when we use them. No testing required, “fuel pump won’t work consistently?”, If we don’t do a better cable then we use a ferrite band on excisting cable and most times all is good. Same on other functions, valves, dampers fans etc.
     
  7. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

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    High Speed USB Platform Design Guidelines Rev. 1.0

    cm.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  8. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I probably won’t look at that as I see what works and what doesn’t everyday at work and I am not that worried about it :cool:. Thanks for the link though because you never know.:)
     
  9. adri2000

    adri2000 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    I have experimented with USB cables quite a lot. In mediocre systems they do not make a big difference. But in good systems there can be a big difference. I also have build quite a lot usb cables myself. Wire construction, length and conductors they all affect sound.
    usb_cables.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

     

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  10. beanoil

    beanoil That's not how this works

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    ^^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^^
    I switched from a generic USB printer cable to a Pangea. Could I hear a difference? I think so. That's all that matters.
    I will say the generic cable was thin and black, and there was no shield connecting the shell at either end.
    My new Maverick DAC came with a clear covered USB cable, but the shield is visible it's whole length.
     
  11. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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