Originally Posted by miyinan
I am not sure whether or not this has been mentioned in this thread, but has anyone got the "high performance usb cable" which is listed on the website as one of the optional accessories? Does it have any noticeable improvement from the stock usb cable? Also, there is another usb cable listed separately on their website for $29.99. Is that the "high performance usb cable"?
@OP, you mentioned that you preferred the stock smaller PSU to the larger one. By saying larger PSU, did you mean the linear power supply that is another optional accessory?
Last question:), I currently have the Audio-GD Sparrow. Would the HDP be a clear step-up from it?
I have the Nuforce high performance USB cable, and surprisingly I think that with my best headphones I hear an improvement in micro-detail or transparency with the upgraded USB Cable and 24/96 recordings (or slightly more real and engaging sounding). But I can't put my finger on what I am hearing, and I have no way of measuring or testing the cable other than noting that it's very sturdy and solid feeling with nice connectors.
My brain tells me that I should not hear a difference, but for some reason I like the sound with the new USB cable just a little better, like things just open up slightly more. It's not huge, but I kept hearing the small difference. Nuforce explains this as reducing transmission errors and noise due to the better shielding and construction, where the cable is also tested to 1Gbps and over-built for the 480Mbps USB 2.0 spec. When I reviewed a StyleAudio CARAT-TOPAZ a while back, it's 16/44 DAC wasn't resolving enough to hear any improvement with a loaner Locus-Design cryo'd USB cable. I need to spend more time with this USB cable and 16/44 source music and other DAC's like uDAC, but it certainly isn't going to make anything worse.
I have also tried the Nuforce mini-mini interconnect and the mini-RCA interconnect, and I think they are both very good. They have good transparency, detail and tonal balance on par with my silver plated copper cables made by barqy and highflyin9. Their mini-mini cable was also the only one I had in the house that did not act like an RFI antenna when used with an earlier design of the RWAudio Amp1 that I had, when connecting it to my Pico DAC-only (a production amp will be coming soon).
As for the PSU, no, I have not tried the upcoming Linear PSU with 24/192 USB to Coax adapter built-in. It's not out yet. I tried a higher wattage PSU that also works with the original Icon desktop amp. I suspect some dark sounding headphones would sound better with the more powerful PSU, but otherwise I preferred the stock PSU for a more balanced sound.
I have no experience with the Audio Gd gear, sorry.