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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs.... - Page 13  

post #181 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Comfortably, I use 12 gauge for my 12' runs.
You just saved me $500 as I was thinking of getting an exotic speaker cable that costs around $500 per pair.
post #182 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
You just saved me $500 as I was thinking of getting an exotic speaker cable that costs around $500 per pair.
Do I have your permission to put this in my sig

$500 buys a lot of [insert favourite music media type here]s
post #183 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Do I have your permission to put this in my sig

$500 buys a lot of [insert favourite music media type here]s
As long as you don't put my name, sure thing. I hope that wakes up other people who are thinking of getting an exotic cables w/o knowing full details of what they are getting into.
post #184 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Hi erin,

Most of the usb cables I own are between 1.5m and 2m and yet I can hear differences between them, so I guess that what you heard is not only due to the difference in lenght but also to other factors (shielding, conductor material, dielectric, ...), in my opinion.

I tried many usb cables before buying the Wireworld Ultraviolet USB among which different versions of Belkin (Gold series, regular, ...), Monster Cable and Real Cable USB (a french brand). They all sounded different with strengths and weaknesses.
It was until I bought the Ultraviolet usb that I stopped looking for a new usb cable, its sound was cleaner, faster, more spacious and less "digital" than any other usb cable I had tried.

However, since I haven't compared the Wireworld ultraviolet usb cable to similarly priced or higher cables (Kimber, Locus Design, ...), I don't know if it is a great value cable (or not). All I can say is that the improvement it brought to my system was worth the asking price (£48). In fact, I spent even more than that trying different cheaper usb cables (monster, belkin gold, ...) which brought only sideway improvements (different sounding to each other but no clear winner).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
slim.a

Why would you use the usb cable when you can hook directly to your pc through hiface?

also, little off topic here, but what's special about foobar 0.8.3 over 0.9.6.9?
tosehee,

I was just answering erin question about usb cables since he seems to use one with his teralink (?).
However, you are right, the hiface doesn't need a usb cable and I wouldn't use one with it since it could (probably) degrade the sound.

As for foobar, I have historically switched to foobar 0.8.3 after using 0.9.6 because I found that the modified otachan asio for 0.8.3 sounded better than the asio plugin available on foobar 0.9.6.
Then when I switched to the KS with the hiface, I also found that I preferred the 0.8.3 player which is more "spacious" sounding but leaner than 0.9.6. The difference is however smaller than what I encountered with different ASIO plugins.
To sum up, while I found the 0.8.3 version clearly superior using otachan asio instead of stock asio with foobar 0.9.6, the diffrence is more of a matter of taste between the two versions using KS.

By the way, I know that many people think they should sound the same but all those who took the time to listen critically (without preconceived opinions) seem to find differences.
post #185 of 1712
Cool. I guess I will have to give a try myself before making preconceived judgement. ;-)
post #186 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
Cool. I guess I will have to give a try myself before making preconceived judgement. ;-)
Buy the way tosehee, since you are using the audio-gd reference one which has a good jitter rejection, it could be harder for you to notice those diffrences

Anyway, let us know your findings when you compare them
post #187 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Buy the way tosehee, since you are using the audio-gd reference one which has a good jitter rejection, it could be harder for you to notice those diffrences

Anyway, let us know your findings when you compare them
will do.
post #188 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
I hope that wakes up other people who are thinking of getting an exotic cables w/o knowing full details of what they are getting into.
Indeed, electrons are entirely indifferent to the cost of the cable. However it is possible to make speaker cables that *might* make an audible difference thru extreme and highly dodgy design see....

Speaker Cable Face Off 1 - Measurements — Reviews and News from Audioholics

My take on this is, if I want a tone control I can use the bass/treble controls on my amp or buy an EQ
post #189 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Indeed, electrons are entirely indifferent to the cost of the cable. However it is possible to make speaker cables that *might* make an audible difference thru extreme and highly dodgy design see....

Speaker Cable Face Off 1 - Measurements — Reviews and News from Audioholics

My take on this is, if I want a tone control I can use the bass/treble controls on my amp or buy an EQ
nick_charles,

Those are interesting measurements but they were made by people trying to prove that cables do not matter. So it is easier to choose which parameteres to measure and then find out (what a surprise) that capacitance, resistance, ... do not change the sound in an noticeable manner.

Focusing on those few parameters to measure is like focuse on thd and SNR alone to review a DAC. If those two parameteres were the only important parameters in a DAC, the EMU 0404 usb should trash 99% of audiophile DACs. I have the EMU 0404 usb at home and listening to violins through it make them sound like synthetized computer sound compared to the audio-gd dac-19mk3 which doesn't measure as good.

Those articles you linked tell that the direction of cable should not matter. Yet some people hear differences in using the cable in different directions even in digital cables. Are they crazy ? Not really. You can find here an old test done by stereophile on digital cables. They found out this : "The overall RMS jitter was 4050ps with the Wonder Link connected in one direction, and 2700ps with the cable reversed. ". So what some people seem to hear (before even knowing there was a measurement to prove it) has indeed a "measurable" proof.

I am sorry for the digression, but I just wanted to remind that showing that x parameters tell that there is no measurable diffrence between different cables does not necesseraly mean that there aren't other parameters (maybe yet to be identified) that prove the opposite.

Here is a link to some tests done by empirical audio on there cables. If you look at figure 8 for example, you see that a cable that measures flat to 100khz (well above human hearing range) actually rounds off the leading edge of a square signal. So maybe we spend to much time analyzing frequency bandwith in a static manner and less time analyzing the signal in a dynamic matter (attack, decay, multiple signals, ...).

By the way I am no engineer but I find that it is unfortunate that many engineers (or so called engineers) tend to analyze what is easy to do (static measurements) and they don't try to think about the music we are listening to as a dynamic signal that needs probably new ways to measure (other than what is necessary for industrial applications).
If we applied the same rules to musical instruments, we should not give that much importance to Stradivarius violins or Steinway pianos since they probably measure the same as much cheaper and avalaible instruments.
post #190 of 1712
slim.a I can confirm that my CryoParts USB cable sounds better than a standard USB cable when connected to my Buffalo.
I don't have any equipment to measure the variables just my ears.
post #191 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
nick_charles,

Those are interesting measurements but they were made by people trying to prove that cables do not matter. So it is easier to choose which parameteres to measure and then find out (what a surprise) that capacitance, resistance, ... do not change the sound in an noticeable manner.
As far as I am concerned the only measurements really worth making are at end-user parameters such as FR, Noise , distortion and so on. It may be interesting to speculate about the effect of other electrical properties but if they do not lead to potentially audible differences it is a bit pointless. However more important is whether any two cables are actualluy audibly different under strict conditions. In the article I linked to Gene DeSalla said the differences might be audible and this is where the "different" cables are really extremely different. It is always possible to make cables audibly different just wang in a huge resistor and that will do the trick. The question is whether any two "normal" cables of comparable gauge will be sufficiently different to be distinguishable. It is here that strong evidence is so far lacking. Strong evidence has to mean unsighted lsitening tests as sighted tests are just completely unreliable.

I am not convinced that DeSalla has an agenda, if you look at Audioholics they talk about hugh end stuff , they are not some hairshirt objectivist cult like MatrixHiFi. But, even if he does the differences form these extremely different cables are still very very small indeed.


Quote:
Focusing on those few parameters to measure is like focuse on thd and SNR alone to review a DAC. If those two parameteres were the only important parameters in a DAC, the EMU 0404 usb should trash 99% of audiophile DACs. I have the EMU 0404 usb at home and listening to violins through it make them sound like synthetized computer sound compared to the audio-gd dac-19mk3 which doesn't measure as good.
With respect if your comparison was sighted , without careful level matching and with a long delay in switching between units then all sort of bias and expectancy effects come into play.

I found that whe I compared my external DAC with my CD player using a switch box that the level difference was sufficient to make the difference obvious, even unsighted, the hotter DAC always sounded better. However when I adjusted the average levels to within 0.1db these obvious diffefrences disappeared in unsighted testing.

Quote:
Those articles you linked tell that the direction of cable should not matter. Yet some people (say they) hear differences in using the cable in different directions even in digital cables. Are they crazy ? Not really.
I have measured directipnal effects in analog cables, they were very small (0.001db or so) but they did exist and were consistent, bit 0.001db is not audible. I would not call crazy I would say mistaken and also unverified.

Quote:
You can find here an old test done by stereophile on digital cables. They found out this : "The overall RMS jitter was 4050ps with the Wonder Link connected in one direction, and 2700ps with the cable reversed. ". So what some people seem to hear (before even knowing there was a measurement to prove it) has indeed a "measurable" proof.
While 4ns is indeed really bad jitter in absolute terms there is so far no strong evidence to suggest that the diffetence between this and less, even sub-ns jitter is at all audible. No manufacturer has ever been able to provide blind listening test data to support the audibility of jitter of such levels even thye most pessimistic data from Benjamin and Gannon place audibility at around the 20ns mark for worst case i.e correlated jitter.


Quote:
I am sorry for the digression, but I just wanted to remind that showing that x parameters tell that there is no measurable diffrence between different cables does not necesseraly mean that there aren't other parameters (maybe yet to be identified) that prove the opposite.
Again, it is trivial to make a cable audibly different but you have to do it deliberately and always when you do this you make the cable worse by introducing FR errors. Cables are normally flat to at least 20K, even lamp wire is flat to 20K. As for (yet to be identified) I am sorry but this is magical thinking, and even if there were other unidentified electrical properties it would not matter as we can already measure FR, noise and distortion and so on perfectly adequately.

Quote:
Here is a link to some tests done by empirical audio on there cables. If you look at figure 8 for example, you see that a cable that measures flat to 100khz (well above human hearing range) actually rounds off the leading edge of a square signal. So maybe we spend to much time analyzing frequency bandwith in a static manner and less time analyzing the signal in a dynamic matter (attack, decay, multiple signals, ...).
I have serious questions about this article, I will fill this section in with my next edit.

Quote:
From this result you can see that the 11 AWG barely stays linear through the audio range, falling off dramatically after 20KHz
Er, no the response is within 0.05db at 20K, even according to the crude graph which I had to blow up to 3000% to view`properly, 20K is a point at which human hearing is incedibibly insensitive in any case and the drop to 40K is a mere extra 0.1db hardly something to lose sleep over and irrelevant for audio anyway !

Quote:
The superimposed waveforms of Figure 2 show clearly that the leading edges of the squarewave are being rounded with the 11 AWG ZIP-cord, but the fast leading-edge is preserved in the Clarity7 waveform
That is not how I see it. Both square waves are in fact rounded, but don't take my word for it. Load the graph up into any image editor and zoom it up a bit it is patently obvious that neither wave is square at the leading edge. But so what, this is a 9Khz square wave , how much square wave content is there in music anyway - hint none normally.


Fig 3 is an obvious bit of image doctoring, the grid lines have disappeared in several places !, If I mathematically process tha data I used for my cable tests the gridlines did not disappear. There is even a bad pixel at 106:120 !. But wait there is more. In the processed graph the curve of the cheapo cable descends down to 106:118. In the undoctored graph the curve never gets below 106:109. The curve has been shifted down by 9 pixels.

A 6% phase shift at 20K is irrelevant it is not humanly detectable.

The 1 microsecond transient response test, that is 1 cycle of a 1Mhz signal, that is relevant to audio frequencies that top out at 20K how ?



Quote:
By the way I am no engineer but I find that it is unfortunate that many engineers (or so called engineers) tend to analyze what is easy to do (static measurements) and they don't try to think about the music we are listening to as a dynamic signal that needs probably new ways to measure (other than what is necessary for industrial applications).
Music has frequency, time and amplitude characteristics. Analysing it is straightforward.

Quote:
If we applied the same rules to musical instruments, we should not give that much importance to Stradivarius violins or Steinway pianos since they probably measure the same as much cheaper and avalaible instruments.
Actually that is untrue, each instrument has physical properties such as the precise shape and size of the soundbox, the resonance of the materials used and so on that make for the differences between them.
post #192 of 1712
Thread Starter 
nick_charles,

I am not going to go in a long debate in why and how cables sound different because there is absolutely no point in convincing you. You have already stated your mind about audibility of cables and jitter and I am well aware that there are tons of articles and arguments to prove your point.
However, all of them make assumptions about what is supposed to be audible or not.

My point of view in this matter is simple. I have carefully done level matched comparisons (with rmaa) and yet I could reliably tell differences between transports, dacs and cables. Some times those diffrences were small and sometimes they were big.
So there are two possiblities :

1. Those differences are real, and the money investment was justified.

2. Those differences are simply hallucinations, however those hallucinations are consistent, don't fade over time and can give me an increased listening pleasure each time I try those components. Those hallucinations also let me hear a bigger soundstage, more accurate timbre, better dynamics, more details ...
Hence the money spent on those components are well justified simply because they brought me sustainable satisfaction.

So in either case, and I am speaking just for me, I will keep using pure silver interconnects, and DACs based on the PCM1704-u-k. They will measure the same or sometimes worse than cheaper components, but I am going to use them simply because they are more musical to my ears and provide me reliably with a better listening experience
post #193 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
nick_charles,

I am well aware that there are tons of articles and arguments to prove your point.
However, all of them make assumptions about what is supposed to be audible or not.
Slim, I will just answer one point on which you absolutely wrong and then leave it at that.

No, both Benjamin and Gannon (98) and Ashihara et al (2005) have empirical listening tests ,they may mention models but the papers themselves contain the results of actual listening tests wth humans, this is important because the models predict *much* lower thresholds for audibility. But it turns out that human hearing is just not that good in terms of that kind of discrimination.
post #194 of 1712

Musiland update

Well I finally got the firmware upgraded and the 1.0.5 drivers installed , I have to say I was not impressed by the seeming inability to wholly uninstall old drivers. I must have done 15 uninstalls and I never managed to go back to the older drivers again.

Anyway it is up and running again and working fine so far using ASIO in FooBar, I will reserve final judgment until I am sure it is stable.

When I am reasonably sure it is stable I will do some A/B with the HDTV.

So far it sounds great.
post #195 of 1712
It is reported by Radio frequency Engineers that SPDIF cables needs to be 2 meters or longer on a properly terminated 75 ohm line, shorter than this leads to all sorts of cable reflection problems. These reflections will be heard! This could account for some of the perceived differences between cables.

Edit: this is not a recommendation for buying expensive cables - just simple engineering & no magic ingredients!!

Edit Again: I should have also said that making the cable as short as possible will also work with non-ideal SPDIF (RCA connections etc.) - 12" is possible short enough
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace