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post #121 of 835

Hm, one thing that I don't understand about this whole debacle is this:  all digital data is either one amplitude or another.  It's not a full range of them like analog is.  As such, if a cable were to "change" anything, it would either make random bits to drop out or do nothing at all.  It can't simply affect the higher regions or the lows, since it's impossible to tell the difference between one part of the signal to the next other than that it's a "1" or a "0."  Dropping random bits isn't going to "open up the highs" or "extend the lows."  It's simply not physically possible for a digital cable to selectively pick out the bits that "need" to be changed - for that you would need an active decoding chip in the cable that's doing EQ.  Impedance and quality of the copper used shouldn't be able to change audible signals in the same way us humans perceive them.

post #122 of 835
> It's simply not physically possible for a digital cable to selectively pick out the bits that "need" to be changed - for that you would need an active decoding chip in the cable that's doing EQ.

+1. neither is a faulty cable out of spec affecting a certain FR range is likely at all ...
post #123 of 835

Once you put enough words into the argument, especially if they include some fancy technical terms, you can manage to come up with arguments for pretty much anything.  Or, at least confuse enough people to stop questioning because they just simply can't understand the statement.  Yes, I'm talking about this case.  The best way of understanding this premium digital cable justification is more of matter of peace of mind than anything else.

post #124 of 835

First off, this is a very entertaining thread. 

 

As we all know, in most cases, the USB controller of the computer is not directly inside the USB port.

 

Let's say that inside my "standard" PC, there are a couple of flimsy wires connecting the USB ports to the motherboard, will an expensive "audiophile" USB cable make up for these (which might degrade my USB sound before it actually reaches the port)?

(same could be asked in regards to AC cables and poor AC cabling in the house)

 

Are there certain desktop computers / laptops / motherboards etc. that are more "audiophile" than others? 

 

Why would a high-priced "audiophile" USB cable only affect expensive audio systems? If the cable really makes a difference, it would affect the sound of any USB sound device, wouldn't it?

 

For my personal interest on this topic, I will buy a "superior" USB cable tomorrow and test it with a professional USB audio system to see whether it makes a difference or not. 

 

I guess it is somehow nice to believe in magic, but after I have witnessed a "SACD / DSD" recording last summer (that actually shocked me as an audio engineer who believed that at least the people who engineer that stuff believe in high quality), I am totally positive on the fact that there is a lot of scam going on, and a lot of money is harvested on the back of people that would rather believe in non-sense than actually get some reality check & proof. But maybe that's human nature...

 

Edited by vandaven - 5/20/11 at 7:43pm
post #125 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandaven View Post

First off, this is a very entertaining thread. 

 

As we all know, in most cases, the USB controller of the computer is not directly inside the USB port.

 

Let's say that inside my "standard" PC, there are a couple of flimsy wires connecting the USB ports to the motherboard, will an expensive "audiophile" USB cable make up for these (which might degrade my USB sound before it actually reaches the port)?

(same could be asked in regards to AC cables and poor AC cabling in the house)

 

Are there certain desktop computers / laptops / motherboards etc. that are more "audiophile" than others? 

 

Why would a high-priced "audiophile" USB cable only affect expensive audio systems? If the cable really makes a difference, it would affect the sound of any USB sound device, wouldn't it?

 

For my personal interest on this topic, I will buy a "superior" USB cable tomorrow and test it with a professional USB audio system to see whether it makes a difference or not. 

 

I guess it is somehow nice to believe in magic, but after I have witnessed a "SACD / DSD" recording last summer (that actually shocked me as an audio engineer who believed that at least the people who engineer that stuff believe in high quality), I am totally positive on the fact that there is a lot of scam going on, and a lot of money is harvested on the back of people that would rather believe in non-sense than actually get some reality check & proof. But maybe that's human nature...

 


Which cable will you buy?  And if you have the time, could you post some comprehensive DBT results in the sound science forum?

post #126 of 835
Just because you have a spec doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. A automobile has a certain spec. An engine or power source,some way to control it and a way for it to move under it's own power,etc,etc. So why does Ferrari or Porsche or Aston Martin bother making any changes to that spec? Why try to improve on a Yugo? Surely a Yugo is an automobile just like an Aston Martin is. But I would like to drive the Aston Martin because they improve on the spec,by using superior materials and build quality. But hey that's just me. To each his own. I'm not going to hate on you for driving your Yugo
post #127 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisg View Post

Just because you have a spec doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. A automobile has a certain spec. An engine or power source,some way to control it and a way for it to move under it's own power,etc,etc. So why does Ferrari or Porsche or Aston Martin bother making any changes to that spec? Why try to improve on a Yugo? Surely a Yugo is an automobile just like an Aston Martin is. But I would like to drive the Aston Martin because they improve on the spec,by using superior materials and build quality. But hey that's just me. To each his own. I'm not going to hate on you for driving your Yugo


The only "specifications" that are needed for automobile production are safety and fuel consumption/emissions ones.  Other than that you can do whatever the hell you want with it.  On the other hand, the spec for USB cables is pretty strict.  You can't really get much "better," since it has to be within the acceptable range for it to be considered "USB."  It would be like having a specification that limited the material you could make the engine block out of, the thickness of gaskets used and the production tolerances for moving parts.  Cars simply do not have regulations like this, whereas USB does.

post #128 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

@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.


This is where confirmation bias comes in. If you spend almost $100 for a .5 meter cable, you are going to expect it to perform better than the cable its replacing, therefore, you are going to, more than likely, get an improvement. The thing is, everyone who says they hear a difference, acts like their mind and ears are infallible. That is soooooo far from the truth. The human mind is one of the easiest things to fool. 

post #129 of 835
The argument is not the USB spec,but the implementation of said spec.
post #130 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post





The only "specifications" that are needed for automobile production are safety and fuel consumption/emissions ones.  Other than that you can do whatever the hell you want with it.  On the other hand, the spec for USB cables is pretty strict.  You can't really get much "better," since it has to be within the acceptable range for it to be considered "USB."  It would be like having a specification that limited the material you could make the engine block out of, the thickness of gaskets used and the production tolerances for moving parts.  Cars simply do not have regulations like this, whereas USB does.

But yet they continue to make cars get better fuel milage and that are more safe.
post #131 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisg View Post

The argument is not the USB spec,but the implementation of said spec.


Yes, I am fully aware of this. And as Dabomb said, this spec is strict. It is strict to ensure that the cable functions as it is supposed to. Which means, its going to work, or its not going to work. And if all cables are built to this spec, they are going to perform the same. We know all there is to know about electrical properties, and have for years and years. What you are saying, is that cable companies have found something else that is undiscovered, but they have no means of proving this unknown property. That is quite a stretch. I mean if you found some new property, and could prove it, why wouldn't you? You could completely corner the market, put all of these other companies out of business, and be quite the billionaire. 


Edited by tmars78 - 5/20/11 at 8:10pm
post #132 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisg View Post

The argument is not the USB spec,but the implementation of said spec.


Indeed, but when it comes to data transmission cables, the spec is fairly strict.  And still, as I said, comparing to cars simply isn't a good comparison.  I think a better comparison would be to something like NASCAR or F1.  They have specifications the manufacturers must meet.  Very strict manufacturing thresholds, and restrictions and standards for nearly every aspect of the racecar.  While manufacturers can, in fact, do better than others within the spec, there's a certain limit to what they can do.  They can, however, sometimes find a loophole in the rules to extract more performance out of their racecar - but that isn't something that applies so much to USB.


But I digress.  USB is USB.  My point from earlier still seems to stand - that is, you can't expect a cable to shuffle the digital bits around in such a way to actually improve or change only one part of the audio spectrum.  To you, or anybody else, looking at the digital bitstream is meaningless.  Changing random bits around due to errors will affect everything at random, not just one part of the spectrum.

post #133 of 835
All I'm saying is something can uphold a specification and still improve upon it. I don't think there is some USB police out there that forces every company to make a cheap sounding cable because that's all the spec demands.
post #134 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisg View Post

All I'm saying is something can uphold a specification and still improve upon it. I don't think there is some USB police out there that forces every company to make a cheap sounding cable because that's all the spec demands.


Umm...actually, there is. And if your cable doesn't meet this spec, you cannot use the USB logo. 

 

http://www.usb.org/developers

post #135 of 835
Havent had this much fun on a thread in a while. I'm done for tonight. Wife says come to bed
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