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USB Cables, Digital Signals, and YOU! Pt. 1 - Page 2

post #16 of 37
Excellent work pulling all that information together. Thanks!
Not read it all, but seems like you covered a lot...
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just figured it was time to start in on the issue of crummy USB cables. I don't know how many different types of DAC's there are out there, but its easy enough to find on to suit your tastes at almost any price level. However finding even half-way decent USB cable is a bitch, and even when you do they are ludicrously expensive.

My big hope is this might help jump-start an interest in Hi-Fi USB products.
post #18 of 37
Wow. What a post, thanks!
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #20 of 37
You can score a Cardas Clear USB for like $120. Not that hard to get a decent quality USB.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddity View Post

Q: Does the quality of the USB cable affect the reproduction of my file?

YES! Cheap-o bargain bin USB cables suck.

So what does a crappy USB cable sound like?

-First, USB sounds synthetic. Instruments are cardboard-flat, lack substance, and have a distinct “plastic” quality. In this respect, the interface is remarkably reminiscent of TosLink.
-USB’s second primary attribute is sloppy timing. Accordingly, would-be steady beats are only approximated, and rhythmic propulsion never materializes, all of which takes a major toll on musical engagement.
-Finally, USB tonality is pale and washed out, robbing instruments of both richness and distinctiveness.
-Under optimal circumstances, USB’s undernourished instruments can sound blandly agreeable; but they are never convincing. Strings suffer disproportionately; through this interface they are invariably shrill.


Nor is a cheap USB cable strong in other areas—imaging, bottom and top-end extension, dynamics—that could help compensate for its failings. Over time, the interface’s artificiality, rhythmic imprecision, and lack of sonic substance become increasingly fatiguing.

How can this be avoided? Bite the bullet and buy a high-quality USB cable BUILT WITH AUDIO IN MIND. Or if you are DIY minded, you can always make your own. How will you know what to buy? How do you build? Read on…
This nonsense ruins the whole thread. A very informative thread, otherwise.
post #22 of 37
What usb cable do you use, what do you base this on?
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
What usb cable do you use, what do you base this on?
I'm curious too.

I'm using a Monster home theater usb cable I bought on sale until I can upgrade it to something better later.
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
I had used a USB cord that came with a USB hub vs. a monster audio cable. I really felt that the Monster cable did a better job.

However I intended this post to be a source of information, and not as a commentary. In light of this, I have removed my comments on the sound quality of cheap USB cables as I have no data to support my claims.

P.S. Custom USB: http://newnex.com/products/customdes...stomdesign.php
post #25 of 37
Newnex is indeed a great supplier -- see their "where to buy" links. Perfectly reasonable pricing, and no audible difference vs. exotic audiophile cables (at least to my ears, in carefully designed A/B tests).

I would think any USB cable that is certified and does not use ferrite beads will be audibly perfect -- the USB org site cited in the OP would seem to imply that.
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
Shameless bump
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
Newnex is indeed a great supplier -- see their "where to buy" links. Perfectly reasonable pricing, and no audible difference vs. exotic audiophile cables (at least to my ears, in carefully designed A/B tests).

I would think any USB cable that is certified and does not use ferrite beads will be audibly perfect -- the USB org site cited in the OP would seem to imply that.
I thought ferrite beads reduce interference and noise. Why is it not good for audio? I'm just curious. My current usb cable does not have ferrite beads btw.
post #28 of 37
lol, a custom configurator for machine made usb cables...whyyy

ferrite beads are known to be useful for cables carrying signals in the range that coaxial cables or perhaps usb might. It's said that magnets don't belong on analog interconnects as they filter out high frequencies, but they're thought to be beneficial on power and digital equipment. If you throw them on your cable and hear a difference, I'll buy you a cookie. That said, they're sort of a contingency thing in really dirty systems to prevent data corruption over usb when sending files, etc most likely.
post #29 of 37
So ferrite beads are good in the sense clean up the signal due to dirty power at the cost of high frequency signals. Makes sense. Thanks for the input.
post #30 of 37
USB 2.0 spec FAQs say not to use ferrite beads. Screws with the timing. OP has url.
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