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USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that? - Page 14  

post #196 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

I personally think that discussions of sound differences between copper and silver conductors have no place in the Sound Science forum. In the same class as wire break-in. What it "sounds" like to me is the High End forum.
 

I agree with you, but it seems these topics draw the most comments, even in the science section.

post #197 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I feel even copper is rather traditional, nowadays you won't find copper wiring for electricity distribution, its mostly aluminium. I wonder what the audiophile world would've been like, if large scale electrolytic processes for extracting aluminium hadn't been developed. Maybe you'd find audio manufacturers selling aluminium wound transformers and aluminium cables as being more exotic and hence, having a different sound signature.

 

That's mostly because aluminum is a better conductor by weight than copper is.  That tends to matter when you have to hang the wires in the air and make them self supporting but it doesn't apply to audio cables so copper's better conductivity by volume and greater flexibility put it far ahead..

 

You're right that all the audiophools would be lusting after aluminum if it were still expensive.  The Washington Monument is capped with 100oz. of aluminum that was worth as much as silver and essentially a precious metal when it was put in place but made nearly worthless just two years later.

 

There are headphones with aluminum voice coils too.  The HD650's is pure aluminum wire and lots of headphones have "CCAW" somewhere in the description or specs but few mention it stands for "copper clad aluminum wire".  Since the voice coil has to move cutting down on mass can be pretty useful in improving performance.

post #198 of 256

Question answered! USB cables make a big difference! 

I had a cable that my cat chewed on, and then the sound was garbage. Therefore, I conclude that USB cables make a difference.biggrin.gif

 

Seriously though. So many of these sites infuriate me. Hello? USB has ECC? And SRAM buffers? Anyone? Anyone? Bueler? Bueler?

 

Really,really thin wires (huge resistance), badly soldered connectors, and poor shielding will make a difference. Easily diagnosable by, you know, having no sound. Duh. But a 5USD USB cable will work just fine. If you are worried about noisy power mixing with the DAC, and the USB module is self-powered, just cut the two power wires. I did it. I'm pretty sure it made no difference in sound. but it didn't hurt. I had a USB hub spaz out and send huge voltages to everything drawing power from it, killing several hundred USD of stuff. My DAC was saved probably due to this. frown.gif

 

Anyway.

 

I was thinking about some uber expensive USB cables I saw for sale somewhere. They claimed some ridiculous "Skin Effect" was corrupting and introducing jitter or something into the digital signals. So, they took the four conductors and laid them out side-by-side. No twisting, no shielding. Nothing. Just two pieces of plastic ribbon with a couple copper wires sandwiched in between. 

 

The site also sold ribbon SPDIF cables. No shielding. They said that the common shielding introduced some sort of ridiculous skin-effect-slowing of the signal voodoo. 

 

They sell in the triple digits (USD).

 

I was furious. Ridiculous rubbish to suck money out of innocent but high-frequency-digital-signal-ignorant people. Like most of us. arch.angry_face.gif But the solid-gold-swarovsky-crystal-encrusted-cryo-treated-puppy-fur-polished connector covers do look cool. 


Edited by Chromako - 6/6/12 at 12:31am
post #199 of 256

The cable portion of a cable is usually not the problem. The connectors and how well the connections inside the connectors are made often are a problem though. Take a video signal for example. Using a home crimped coaxial cable often results in significant loss which can manifest itself in any number of ways such as failure to synch, poor HD display, etc. In audio, signal loss on a cable could result in certain characteristics being altered, especially the higher frequency lower amplitude parts of the signal. The first thing that comes to mind is harmonic overtones. As those degrade, so does the "richness" of the overall signal.

post #200 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatNine View Post

The cable portion of a cable is usually not the problem. The connectors and how well the connections inside the connectors are made often are a problem though. Take a video signal for example. Using a home crimped coaxial cable often results in significant loss which can manifest itself in any number of ways such as failure to synch, poor HD display, etc. In audio, signal loss on a cable could result in certain characteristics being altered, especially the higher frequency lower amplitude parts of the signal. The first thing that comes to mind is harmonic overtones. As those degrade, so does the "richness" of the overall signal.

 

Bad connections can certainly cause problems.

 

However, the OP is on USB - which is a digital signal - even a degraded digital signal cannot selectively affect highs or lows  (or harmonics) - it either cuts out or doesn't. 

post #201 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Bad connections can certainly cause problems.

 

However, the OP is on USB - which is a digital signal - even a degraded digital signal cannot selectively affect highs or lows  (or harmonics) - it either cuts out or doesn't. 

 

Good point. I wasted a good explanation where it didn't apply. Maybe I'll recycle it in a future post! cool.gif

post #202 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post

@the OP, if you're still around read this: It's nonsense. Audiophiles are always looking for something to increase their sound and will justify and defend their expensive purchase to the death. Psychosomatics play a huge role as well. There's a perceived difference because they expect and believe there will be. Also anything from Stereophile I've ever read is null and void because they endorsed this product:

 

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73520

 

That's too funny.

post #203 of 256
Originally Posted by keanex View Post

Also anything from Stereophile I've ever read is null and void because they endorsed this product:

 

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73520

 

Aw, seems like the Furutech Cruise is null and void too then, looks really nice though.

post #204 of 256
To those of you who have physically heard 3 digit dollar USB cables and switched to 5 dollar USB cables argue me this. I am a user of Stefan Audio art cabling and his products are like night and day when compared to generic cables. If you dont think cables dont make a difference rent one and hear for yourself.
post #205 of 256

When I bought my Fiio E10,I didn't like the sound with the stock USB cable and so tried the cable from my Leica X1 camera.

You guessed it.....much better sound!

Cable do make a difference!

LCD2 Rev1 stock cable compared to ALO chain mail is like hearing a different headphone...as another example.

Everybody who thinks otherwise....fine with me!

post #206 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griploc View Post

To those of you who have physically heard 3 digit dollar USB cables and switched to 5 dollar USB cables argue me this. I am a user of Stefan Audio art cabling and his products are like night and day when compared to generic cables. If you dont think cables dont make a difference rent one and hear for yourself.

I'd rather you demonstrate an audible difference yourself, or formulate some hypotheses as to why or how his cables in particular alter the sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

When I bought my Fiio E10,I didn't like the sound with the stock USB cable and so tried the cable from my Leica X1 camera.

You guessed it.....much better sound!

Cable do make a difference!

LCD2 Rev1 stock cable compared to ALO chain mail is like hearing a different headphone...as another example.

Everybody who thinks otherwise....fine with me!

I'm sure you can demonstrate real differences between cables, if it's the cable itself making the difference?

 

Hearing a different headphone from a cable change, for example, is a tall claim. Surely the differences would pan out in measurements? Maybe you should contact Tyll or someone else with the headphones and adequate measuring tools. Personally I'd be sorely disappointed in my $1,000 headphone if I could transform them into something entirely new just with a shinier strand of silver or copper. 

post #207 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

When I bought my Fiio E10,I didn't like the sound with the stock USB cable and so tried the cable from my Leica X1 camera.

You guessed it.....much better sound!

Cable do make a difference!

LCD2 Rev1 stock cable compared to ALO chain mail is like hearing a different headphone...as another example.

Everybody who thinks otherwise....fine with me!


I wonder.  Have you tried the "stock" USB cable with your Leica X1?  Does it make the photos worse than the cable that came with the Leica?

post #208 of 256

Wow, quite the attacker. I have used crap to good to ultra high end cables and there is huge differences. I am an experienced audio engineer and music producer and have been recording for over a decade. I think i have some merit here, if i didn't hear a difference i wouldn't say it. use your ears, not your specs.

post #209 of 256

rent some high end cabling, pass some audio through them listen. then say there is no difference.

post #210 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griploc View Post

rent some high end cabling, pass some audio through them listen. then say there is no difference.

 

Done. (Having been down this road in the past, and tried a variety of high-end cables, both USB and Interconnect). 

 

There was no difference. Now what? I also have worked as a recording engineer and have been involved in professional audio (either as performer or engineer) for two decades... Do we cancel each other out? How do we evaluate the merits of two opposite subjective claims? 

 

Without some objective measure - your statements and mine are just wind. Impressions without any useful context, and no control to know WHY a sound difference was heard. And if we do not know why, it is very hard to make meaningful suggestions on how to reproduce them. 


Edited by liamstrain - 6/28/12 at 9:59pm
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