Would there be any merit to the idea that perhaps the cable/wire quality might affect not the digital signal but the neutral ground instead? Aren't all grounds on a system interconnected? Not sure how USB works on a physical level so this might be an insane thought. Any correlation there? Im thinking that may add noise but not necessarily coloration in the audio itself, but perhaps this is part of what people are hearing?
Am I completely wrong here?
(I dont have one and im just thinking of getting a USB audio interface, so I cant actually perform the "ear" test yet).
One more thought, if you could convince yourself (by paying money or whatever other mental mechanisms you could think of) that your car was cooler than it is, that your wife was hotter, that your income was enough, wouldn't you do it too??? If money can buy you happiness then why not? Go for it!
If you can listen to that music just as beautifully (and without noise) with the cheap USB cable, then you area already there too (and saved some cash for something else)!
Happy listening folks!