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Does the USB Cable Matter (USB DACS) - Page 3

post #31 of 48
regular USB audio(using the default windows drivers) is a dead end IMHO anyway...major jitter, the need of uber-pricey cables..major deal breakers here!

get one of those uber-low jitter S/PDIF interface(they're USB, but strangely enough they "work" w/ cheap cables, thanks to proprietary drivers..that prolly include ECC) and you're all set?

but then you'd need a killer RCA cable to go to your amp/dac? still cheaper than a $300 USB cable.

OTOH, more and more new USB audio devices also run their own drivers to get rid of those limitations(asynchronous or whatever it's called)...and S/PDIF is also very much prone to jitter, so you'd also need a high quality amp/DAC.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
regular USB audio(using the default windows drivers) is a dead end IMHO anyway...major jitter, the need of uber-pricey cables..major deal breakers here!

get one of those uber-low jitter S/PDIF interface(they're USB, but strangely enough they "work" w/ cheap cables, thanks to proprietary drivers..that prolly include ECC) and you're all set?

but then you'd need a killer RCA cable to go to your amp/dac? still cheaper than a $300 USB cable.

OTOH, more and more new USB audio devices also run their own drivers to get rid of those limitations(asynchronous or whatever it's called)...and S/PDIF is also very much prone to jitter, so you'd also need a high quality amp/DAC.
Can anyone tell me what jitter even sounds like? All your cables matter even the USB and headphone cables. Is the slight improvement worth? Not an arm and a leg to me, but if you have the cash, go for it.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Statements like this are best answered by "what actual empirical evidence(*) do you have to support the assertion that two USB cables that are not actually faulty i.e deliver the bitstream from source to target unaltered can in any way differently alter the sound that is embedded in the bitstream , for instance better bass, treble soundstage and so on".

Can you provide even one link to any controlled test or even some FR graphs , any, one , just one will do.
[*] Hint, "I heard a difference" is what is commonly called anecdote
Does it matter if I don't have evidence? After all, if I'm happy that is all that matters
post #34 of 48
Happiness doesn't matter. Proof of happiness matters

post #35 of 48
hahaha Proof of happiness... hmm I tried the stock cable of my external dvd burner, bought a 10 dollar usb cable from a computer shop, and got a belkin gold cable... In the end, I stayed with the Belkin and never looked back. I'm not one to spend for a $1000 cable for a cheap dac though so I never went that road
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamu144 View Post
I did try this Monster cable. It totally outperforms a noname cable, even a Belkin Pro series found at 5$. Difference are immediately noticeable.

I personally use the Aqvox USB cable now, a nice step above the Monster, though law of disminushing returns apply.

If you want best bang for bucks, the Monster (25$) is a no brainer. I just don't understand why people keep defending there can be no difference with USB cables... Just pick the Monster and listen by yourself.
That's the exact USB cable I use. Again the USB cable did make a difference. It was immediately apparent. I'd say the limit for a USB cable is $40.00. Any more and you'd be better upgrading headphones, amps, DACs or other components.

USB believers do not go overboard with expectations and deniers try it yourself before poo pooing others observations. Frankly, the benefit exists, but its not worth warring over or going broke to obtain that last once of clarity.
post #37 of 48
I am new to HiFi sound systems, but I am knowledgeable on digital systems.

The people that claim the cable does make a difference should offer some scientific explanation of why it does.

As a person that claims it doesn't, I can tell you easily that USB is only a data transfer spec, and as long as the cable implements the spec, the data transferred from one end to the other is at the expected speed on the receiving end of the protocol (which is the DAC in this case). The current USB technology is called hi-speed (commonly known as 2.0) and the USB IF certifies cables/products as hi-speed. If you see ANY cable with hi-speed certification, that cable is no better or no worse than all other hi-speed certified cable.

As for the Monster cable posted above, it is easy to call BS on their claims. They cite 2 main claims:

>> 1: Advanced high speed rated: 1200 Mbps data transfer rate. Delivers 2.5 times the highest industry specification

This is IMPOSSIBLE, whatever the cable does, the current USB technology (AND the devices that implement this technology) only support up to 480 Mbps. There is NO delivering at 2.5 times the spec, because the devices implement the spec.

>> 2: Heavy-duty dual-layer shielding rejects EM and RF interference for more reliable data transfer. 24K gold contacts maximize signal transfer and corrosion resistance

First of all, EM and RF interference are the SAME thing. Standard EM interference around you will normally only affect over-the-air communication. If you have enough EM around you to majorly flip the bits in a USB cable enough to disturb the flowing data, you should probably run because your brain may be melting anytime soon.

This sort of marketing lies make me hate the company and all of its products immediately, because one lie is enough to destroy credibility. I will NEVER buy any monster products.
post #38 of 48
Monster's are great when you get them for dirt cheap from bulk sellers on ebay...but then, then lifetime warranty doesn't work anymore, as it's only covered if you buy from an authorized dealer for near-MSRP price.

They do offer superior shielding(that never hurts), and at least they don't put ferrites on USB/TMDS cables...this is apparently a huge no-no(TDK does make ferrites that can be used on TMDS, but do they use these on cheapo high speed wires?): http://www.scapro.se/text/murataemidvi.pdf
Quote:
DVI transmission rates are in excess of 1.6Gbps, and if ferrite beads are added to signal lines, not only is the extraneous noise component eliminated, but also the frequency components that make up the signals to be transmitted!
Quote:
A major issue is that the addition of an EMI filter, for example, can cause waveforms to lose their shape, making faithful data transmission impossible
I've seen many cheapo USB2/HDMI cables w/ ferrites.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
They do offer superior shielding(that never hurts), and at least they don't put ferrites on USB/TMDS cables...this is apparently a huge no-no(TDK does make ferrites that can be used on TMDS, but do they use these on cheapo high speed wires?):
Shielding matters for long runs beyond 3 meters (part of the spec), so yes that matters.
Durability matters as well.
So do aesthetics.

But so do placebo effects....
If you are hearing audible difference that aren't in your head, then one of your cables is broken and you should return it immediately. USB spec is designed for consistency across all cables, if a cable is advertised as changing audio quality, it is either a lie or not USB certified. If it is not usb certified then you can only get a sort of working device and the possibility of damaging your hardware. That's how standards work, thats why they are there, and it isn't just theory, its years of research and development.
post #40 of 48
well, I think there's the same debate w/ S/PDIF RCA cables? you can even read some ppl saying that the longer the better? I think the italian guys who make that uber-low jitter S/PDIF USB interface said that the RCA cable used for S/PDIF didn't matter(they did make jitter measurements), and that the shorter the better..YMMV indeed
post #41 of 48

why get hung up on 'spec' when that's just a (temporary) industry convention, which in due course will yield to another one? the way it's bandied about here, it seems like a discussion that judges the relative merit of cars by referring to a speed limit. "well yes, of course the new BMW M3 is no better than a '68 VW Bug as long as the industry standard, I mean speed limit, on your local road is 40mph." having driven both, I'd insist on differences, and not just in the look and feel but in the utility derived from them. 

 

therefore, only to spite the people who argue that industry specs are all you can hear, I will now have to order a fancy USB cable.

post #42 of 48

1) Shielding  2) Connectivity  3) Materials  4) Build durability

 

That's really all one needs to know... Remember it's only 1's & 0's getting transferred "Not transformed" to it's destination, which gets recalculate to make sure it has all the 1,0, before conversion...

post #43 of 48

The good ole 0&1 story :deadhorse:

As far as I know, only Monster show jitter measurements for their USB cables: imagebam.com

 

No fancy topology commercial fluff this time, just results and the cable is very stiff too.

post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
 

The good ole 0&1 story :deadhorse:

As far as I know, only Monster show jitter measurements for their USB cables: imagebam.com

 

No fancy topology commercial fluff this time, just results and the cable is very stiff too.

I would never buy a Monster product ever.......  I would rather make a USB cable out of a rusty old coat hanger then give money to this misleading company...

post #45 of 48

The only way I could see it making a difference is if you used different usb versions, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 etc. I don't even know if that would be any different but in theory it's possible. 

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