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Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality - Page 8  

post #106 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

If USB cables failed to transmit audio data uncorrupted would the result be -

 

A - poorer sound quality

 

B - the sound cutting out, crackles, pops

 

as the signal has not arrived as it should be?

 

I think the answer is B as how could corrupted data affect clarity, bass, treble as that would suggest the error is only one part and consistently one part of the data stream. Any corruption would affect the whole signal either for a short period of time, so possibly causing a crackle, or longer so cutting out the sound altogether.

 

 

 

 


B is the obvious and logically correct answer. Error are random. In a digital system, the signal is a word that's 16 bit long. Consider this, if you say the noise is lower, this means the error will occur only at the LSB. If you say you have better high, this mean the cable will have to create a new value (word) at certain high frequency and have to have explicitly corresponding value because too large or too low will create a pop and click noise instead.

 

One other factor to consider. Unlike analog cable, USB cable actually has a standard. This means the cable companies and the USB community worked together to engineer a specification. As long as the cable meets the specification, the USB will work. If anyone has a better cable, they can make a proposal to change this standard. Imagine the money you'll make if you actually have a superior technology in this USB cable. There are over a Billion USB device shipped per year. If you only make one dollar each, you still make a billion dollar. So just from the economic alone, a $1200 dcable does not make sense.

 

post #107 of 835

Can anyone translate this description of an USB cable into practical terms:

 

“[XYZ] USB cable is designed with the [XYZ] technology. Clear is the geometry of the Golden Section, but highly refined using state of the art dielectrics and metallurgy. Clear is the vision of perfect geometry. The metallurgical advancements and metal testing techniques that have evolved from this project are finding applications far beyond anything ever imagined. Insights into the basic conductor dielectric relationship have lead to a new frontier of understanding and an associated patent, but it is the dramatic silencing of the cables themselves and the completely unimaginable improvement in depth and clarity of sound that was the real reward. ”

 

What I am deciphering is: mumbo & jumbo. (I could be wrong.rolleyes.gif)


Edited by Mambosenior - 5/20/11 at 3:37pm
post #108 of 835

Here is my translation "Ignore reality this cable is definitely worth (insert ridiculous price) because it is shiny, magical and defies reality and science"

post #109 of 835
If you have never tried an audiophile grade USB cable in your system and would rather just say that it makes no difference because you like to spit out digital specs and hyperbole. Please please Shut-up! You do not have the right to speak. If you have tried a superior grade USB cable and found it to be no better than your Walmart cable, by all means continue.
post #110 of 835

Yes, I have tried audiophile usb cables they make absolutely no discernible difference whatsoever, if someone could consistently pick out an audiophile usb cable in a blind test I would be gob smacked.

post #111 of 835
Awesome at least you have tried them. Thank you for your well informed opinion.
post #112 of 835

Wow, thank you for being so reasonable about such a hotly debated topic.

post #113 of 835

@USG: Is there a mac equivalent of Audio DiffMaker? I have no mics with me either. Let me see what I can do about it.

 

 

@Prog Rock Man: I don't think B would be a plausible answer unless a whole chunk of data got corrupted/lost. I guess when we transfer data from our comp to an external harddrive with any USB cables, we are safe because there is error correction but I won't actually expect the error rate to be so large if not the bulk of time will be allocated for error correction instead of transfer.

 

With stock USB cables, perhaps certain data here and there, maybe (5%-10% IDK), are not arriving at the DAC. They may not be an entire bloc off a data stream at any certain specific timing so we will not hear a sudden cut out/popping sound in between our audio. Nonetheless the bulk of the data will still get received by the DAC at any point of time. As a result, stock USB cables are still readily usable.

 

Above is my guess. Please correct me if I am wrong.

 

 

A simple search in google for Wireworld Starlight USB Review will bring you to computeraudiophile threads with a handful of people claiming that it made an improvement so far in their system. So far I haven't come across anyone who had owned it but condemned it for a waste of their money.

 

But yeah jackmccabe, we welcome people like you who have heard and tried and then report back based on your own empirical experience. I will like to hear more of such accounts, including your setup and USB cable tried =)

 

What I cannot stand is people happily criticizing, scorning and/or even quoting wrong facts. I guess that Hennyo and travisg got really pissed by that too.

post #114 of 835

My quotation above (from a real advertisement of an USB cable) was only meant to illustrate the degree of fantasy and hyperbole that permeates this niche market. In reading through it, any sensible person can deduce that concrete information (i.e.: the type and make of the wire(s) used, the electrical properties, etc.) is nowhere to be found. It is an appeal by the manufacturer to accept the product only on faith.

 

As I mentioned before, I do use a modestly over-priced USB cable. At the time I bought this particular cable I bought a second, much less expensive (about $200 cheaper) USB cable from the same maker. After listening to both over two systems, speaker-based and HP, I honestly can not tell any difference between the cables. I have owned both cables for over two years so it isn't a case of hearing each just once or twice. I bought the advertised jargon on faith and suspended disbelief as I sent my Paypal. I believe that this psychological conundrum is at the center of why we think we hear a difference since critical empirical evidence is not to be had. Surely, you must have noticed the religious and/or metaphysical overtones of “...the Golden Section.”

 

Why I haven't sold the more expensive cable if I don’t hear the difference, you may ask? Well. Procrastination...and a certain morbid fascination with the great unknown.blink.gif)


Edited by Mambosenior - 5/20/11 at 6:03pm
post #115 of 835

There is no way a usb cable loses 5-10% of the data, it is more like 0.0001% this is clearly inaudible.

If we look at measurements of usb cables there is absolutely no evidence that they would make an audible difference.

 

post #116 of 835

Mambosenior - I agree with you about the fallacy of marketing. That is why I never bother to read what the manufacturer says about its own product nor their advertisement. The only time I will buy a cable is after I have tried them. If I can't, no way I will buy. i.e., Locus Design Cable. I don't even have the equipment to test the actual content of the cables and whether the way they are built as advertised.

 

post #117 of 835

@USG & travisg: I will retire from this thread and look for better explanations for the answer I am seeking. I don't think I can find them here and I don't think its worth my time here either.

post #118 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisg View Post

If you have never tried an audiophile grade USB cable in your system and would rather just say that it makes no difference because you like to spit out digital specs and hyperbole. Please please Shut-up! You do not have the right to speak. If you have tried a superior grade USB cable and found it to be no better than your Walmart cable, by all means continue.


There is no such thing as a superior grade. USB cables have to be built to a certain spec. If the cable is built to that spec, it, and all others like it, are going to do the same thing. I find it hard to believe that some audio company has somehow made a cable that out performs and has some magical property that the ones engineers have designed, and came up with a spec for. The reason for this specification? To ensure that the cable works properly and functions as it should. Saying you plugged in a cable, and heard a difference, does not make you any more qualified to comment. That's like me saying I am qualified to coach a football team cause I have watched games on tv. rolleyes.gif

post #119 of 835

Guys, you have to note that you're not allowed to post blind tests here, and I think audiodiffmaker counts too.  Asking kindly for someone who knows the rules isn't going to make them post something they can't post.  If you want to bring this up to blind testing, bring it to the sound science board.

 

Anyway, I still don't see why they don't just use error correction for audiophile USB DACs.  It makes perfect sense to me why they should.

post #120 of 835
Quote:
With stock USB cables, perhaps certain data here and there, maybe (5%-10% IDK), are not arriving at the DAC. They may not be an entire bloc off a data stream at any certain specific timing so we will not hear a sudden cut out/popping sound in between our audio. Nonetheless the bulk of the data will still get received by the DAC at any point of time. As a result, stock USB cables are still readily usable.

lol... the wildest speculation I've seen in a long time. Would be extremely funny if they designed a to-spec cable in the standard to waste 5-10% bandwidth...

Other than that the arguments of 'omg look at the reviews no one wants to admit they're wasted $400 on a cable' or 'omg if you have a 2k source, why not get a $400 usb cable because you can' are not particularly appealing and the response is: Placebo and self-dellusion are much more appealing ones biggrin.gif as is "don't feed the bs sales by buying into the 'why not try and see'"). But hey, maybe if they have a loaner program biggrin.gif and would like to send one to someone with an oscilloscope biggrin.gif


>others who are making 'expensive snake oil' usb cables to rid themselves of their market competitors?

Takes money. Makes you a target since the burden of proof is on the seller and the competing products don't seem to furnish any...
Even when taunted to. Seems like they could refute those 'wild accusations we make' and clear their good name biggrin.gif ...


I really wish someone would finally conduct an test for USB cables and post some RMAA graphs to show any effects on the FR or THN+D biggrin.gif to settle the issue



>Anyway, I still don't see why they don't just use error correction for audiophile USB DACs. It makes perfect sense to me why they should.

because the standard usb chips support max of async or sync or adaptive mode isochronous usb transfer and to do the bulk mode including ec and re-transmission you need to write custom firmware and drivers and that's expensive and ...well, musiland went through a year+ of release cycles before they had stable ones for MD11 and US02...(and they still don't have a *nix/linux/mac driver)
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