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USB cable and Sound Quality - Page 3  

post #31 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
Posts like yours are what is confusing people on the issue... because they are utter nonsense.

With a digital cable, either it transfers the data, or it has gaps in. Little dropouts. There is NO alternative. A cheap cable CANNOT sound muddy or distorted.

How many times do many different users here have to say this, before people will understand? I think you all need to make yourselves a nice hot drink, and spend the afternoon reading up on how digital signals in general work, with regards to USB/coax etc etc.
I think you may be the one who is confused. Your reasoning is : I can't think of any reason why digital cables can make a difference unless they are defective, so they don't make a difference. And then you call what people hear utter nonsense, and the advocate of digital cables conspirators (including every published audio magazine) ("either massive liars, possibly trying to persuade people to buy the cable because they work for the company?")

I took the trouble to take the brand new stock USB cable that came with my DAC1 USB from the plastic bag to compare with my Kimber hoping that I can sell the Kimber for a few bucks and use the freebie. Unfortunately, after a brief listening session of familiar music, I find the Kimber to be better. It wasn't night and day. I'd actually call it a 0.5% difference. However, for the money, it's worth it. And I didn't have to listen particularly hard to find a difference. I hate it when I have to listen hard to distinguish any difference; it distracts from the music. But what bothers me more ... see first paragraph.
post #32 of 134
Thread Starter 
Only 0.5? Can you boost it up to about 30 percent so I can sell my wife on the Kimber?
post #33 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Only 0.5? Can you boost it up to about 30 percent so I can sell my wife on the Kimber?
If you also swap the fuses with Audiophile ones you can have 1% better performance for about $100.

To be fair the difference of Kimber and stock is not big; apart from vibration control, the main point of tweaking is the fun of it.

I remember comparing an Acoustic Research coax (~$25) with a Kimber DV-60 (~$180 used) and they sounded distinctly different. Right now I use Blue Jeans coax because I can live with it.
post #34 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubaman View Post
To be fair the difference of Kimber and stock is not big, and, quite possibly invented by my brain to justify the expensive cable I have bought.
?

Untill I have the money to get an outboard DAC, and someone lends me an expensive cable, I will not believe there is a difference untill I actually think I can hear one myself. (In which case I will be massively confused, for the reasons gone over earlier in the thread.)

EDIT: maybe you should try looking at the poll. Look how few people agree with you. Do think all the cheap-o/belkin people are wrong? No, they just know how digital audio works.
post #35 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
?

Untill I have the money to get an outboard DAC, and someone lends me an expensive cable, I will not believe there is a difference untill I actually think I can hear one myself. (In which case I will be massively confused, for the reasons gone over earlier in the thread.)

EDIT: maybe you should try looking at the poll. Look how few people agree with you. Do think all the cheap-o/belkin people are wrong? No, they just know how digital audio works.

I did look at the poll, and I was under the impression that the purpose of having a poll is to have people cast votes according to their own individually formed opinion/impression. I don't need to sell Kimber to anyone (although I did sell my spare lately, coincidentally); just simply wanted to discuss what the OP wanted to discuss - whether different USB cables can sound different. And I find that they do. Also I did qualify my opinion.

If I am not mistaken, the poll only asks which USB cable you use. It's not clear whether the Belkin users have heard Kimber or other choices. Such polls should be taken in with caution because there are always biases (evidently).

BTW I don't need to justify anything, if I find the Kimber to be the same as the stock USB cable, I'd just sell the Kimber and pocket the money; take a small loss for my "mistake."
post #36 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
?
Untill I have the money to get an outboard DAC, and someone lends me an expensive cable, I will not believe there is a difference untill I actually think I can hear one myself.
Do I understand this right? You don't have USB DAC or ever tried any other than el cheapo USB cable, yet consider yourself in a better position to question credibility of people who did hear the difference and trying to rationalize what they hear.
post #37 of 134
@tubaman: No, the poll is about USB cables in relation to sound quality, as is the first post. If people have been voting for what they are using, then they have not read the thread properly.

@Andrew_WOT: Yes. You understand it perfectly. You do not need to own something to understand how it works. For example, you own a car, I do not. But if you say your car can fly, I do not have to own a car of my own to disbelieve you.
post #38 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
@tubaman: No, the poll is about USB cables in relation to sound quality, as is the first post. If people have been voting for what they are using, then they have not read the thread properly.

@Andrew_WOT: Yes. You understand it perfectly. You do not need to own something to understand how it works. For example, you own a car, I do not. But if you say your car can fly, I do not have to own a car of my own to disbelieve you.
Don't know about flying, but if I were "only" paying 4-5 times more than a normal car, I guess it should be able to self-park.

YouTube - LS460 parallel parking automatically! DRIVENmag.com
post #39 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
Do I understand this right? You don't have USB DAC or ever tried any other than el cheapo USB cable, yet consider yourself in a better position to question credibility of people who did hear the difference and trying to rationalize what they hear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubaman View Post
Don't know about flying, but if I were "only" paying 4-5 times more than a normal car, I guess it should be able to self-park.

YouTube - LS460 parallel parking automatically! DRIVENmag.com
Oh good god... whatever next?!

Well, maybe next it will cars that drive themselves too. As a race, we really are lazy. :P
post #40 of 134
As josh and lapwing have noted, Digital is on or off. I have a very good understanding of the workings of digital transports, and cabling. Think of it this way. Your USB cable is capable of sending any digital data. Audio, video, binary files, and text. If sending these zeros and ones through an inferior cable changed the sound or content, it would have to change the zeros and ones. Your word documents would turn out changed, and your pictures would be altered.

Now that being said it is technically possible to affect those zeros and ones. That is why a "cheap-o" usb cable should not be used, nor should one that requires ferrite beads (or chokes) as they are not intended to be used as part of the USB standard. Any high quality USB cable should be Shielded to reduce electrical interference. Another issue is quality of the casing. A high quality cable should be more flexible and less susceptible to electrical interference and physical damage.
post #41 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jernmo View Post
Now that being said it is technically possible to affect those zeros and ones. That is why a "cheap-o" usb cable should not be used, nor should one that requires ferrite beads (or chokes) as they are not intended to be used as part of the USB standard. Any high quality USB cable should be Shielded to reduce electrical interference. Another issue is quality of the casing. A high quality cable should be more flexible and less susceptible to electrical interference and physical damage.
But, as defined in their standard, USB cables do NOT have to be shielded, since they use differential signalling. Like cat network cabling.
post #42 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
But, as defined in their standard, USB cables do NOT have to be shielded, since they use differential signalling. Like cat network cabling.
True, and honestly the big reason for a Ferrite Bead anyway is to reduce noise from a noisy source. So if your CDP, PC, etc has a poorly controlled/maintained signal, then it might be beneficial to have a ferrite bead. So for comparison sake it is appropriate to test like cables.
post #43 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jernmo View Post
True, and honestly the big reason for a Ferrite Bead anyway is to reduce noise from a noisy source. So if your CDP, PC, etc has a poorly controlled/maintained signal, then it might be beneficial to have a ferrite bead. So for comparison sake it is appropriate to test like cables.
The ferrite bead is only beneficial if the USB DAC runs off the USB hub power, as the choke smooths the power a bit. (Although the dac should have it's own stabilisation circuits inside it as well anyway.)
post #44 of 134
I saw this today:

ramblings computer based audio

So, $459 USB cable > $69.95 and $65 USB cables

Comments?
post #45 of 134
The article is a link from the Ridge Street Audio web site ridgestreetaudiodesigns.com/. It is the only article I could locate regarding their USB cable. I did also find a forum (can't locate it now) where a "group" was referred to that tested this and other cables. Certainly have to question the bias and origins of the article and test "group". The web site clearly states that Ridge Street took a usb cable they like and then shielded it. No new technology. So, unless massive shielding improves the audio transmission then this cable is no better than any other one IMHO.
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