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Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality - Page 5  

post #61 of 835

EDIT 

post #62 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pell View Post

Looking at the setups used with the "Cables make a difference" group, its not even an audio signal at that point, its strictly a data stream. If you had a USB cable going OUT from your DAC to <insert device name> there could easily be a difference. Right now, I have a small no name ethernet cable going from a modem to my computer. I never have any dropped packets. Will upgrading the cable to one of these change the way I download content? Will an iTunes song downloaded with one change the sound compared to my cable? It will not, because its not audio at that point. Its just a data stream that needs to be compiled and decoded first. The audio cannot even begin to be decoded until all the data required (this doesnt mean the full track) has been transmitted. Pretty much everyone here spent money on a DAC, yet those arguing that USB cables make a difference apparently have no idea on what a DAC does.

 

But, in order to stay open minded, has anyone taken the time to objectively test whether or not there is a difference (frequency differences, etc)?


Now lets go with they do make a difference when going from your computer to your DAC, just for the sake of argument, do they also make a difference when running from my external hdd to my computer? Will a $1500 cable open up my soundstage? Will I now experience faster, tighter bass, and  more open, airy treble? 

 

post #63 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post



@USG: I don't know. I use monoprice cables as the baseline for my comparison since they are pretty affordable, well-built, and widely known. I love them because they perform the job well. But there is something I do not comprehend (as well as all the people out there) as to why digital cables make a difference. I am open to criticism and will even welcome people to my place to have a listen to the difference together. It is a discovery on my part and I am constantly seeking answer to that (which is why I hang around thread like this).

 

@ The Pell: I think it has been discussed before that there is no error correction in USB audio compared to USB data and in audio streaming timing is important. The length and type of USB cables we use for printer/harddrive doesn't really matter but we gotta be careful when using a 5m long USB cable for our DAC. Our USB port pushes real-time data stream out and the DAC pulls them in via USB (or any other digital cables). What happens in between is of interest.

Your second sentence pretty much proves what Pell was saying....that it is not an audio signal, but a data signal. If the usb is only transferring data, how can it affect the audio side of things? 
 

 

post #64 of 835


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

@ The Pell: I think it has been discussed before that there is no error correction in USB audio compared to USB data and in audio streaming timing is important. The length and type of USB cables we use for printer/harddrive doesn't really matter but we gotta be careful when using a 5m long USB cable for our DAC. Our USB port pushes real-time data stream out and the DAC pulls them in via USB (or any other digital cables). What happens in between is of interest.

 

But its not audio (yet)!

 

 

post #65 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post


Your second sentence pretty much proves what Pell was saying....that it is not an audio signal, but a data signal. If the usb is only transferring data, how can it affect the audio side of things?


One of the argument put forth by others (not me) is that the lack of data correction in USB audio data stream will not ensure the full integrity of the data stream packet that is received by the DAC and that if any data bits are not transferred properly they will just be lost. As such, the DAC will not receive that data and thus will not reproduce that part.

 

Digital cables don't affect the sound the same way as silver and copper analogue cables.

 

Low level details are rendered more vividly and more audible (e.g. frogs croaking at the background), vocals sounding more natural and less harsh at the edges, backgrounds are darker. These are some of the improvements I noticed from USB cables.

 

Debating on USB cable's significance over forum is redundant:

1) one side of the camp tried to come out with scientific explanation (not conclusive at the moment) and reject the notion without even hearing for themselves.

2) the other side of the camp heard of the difference and are accused of suffering from placebo effect because there is no hard evidence to showcase the difference they heard.

 

Further debates will just lead to the same outcome as any other threads on USB cable because nobody has anything valuable to contribute but are just debating over the same old stuffs.

 

This leads us back to OP's question: Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality".


Edited by uelover - 5/19/11 at 9:49pm
post #66 of 835


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

@USG: I don't know. I use monoprice cables as the baseline for my comparison since they are pretty affordable, well-built, and widely known. I love them because they perform the job well. But there is something I do not comprehend (as well as all the people out there) as to why digital cables make a difference. I am open to criticism and will even welcome people to my place to have a listen to the difference together. It is a discovery on my part and I am constantly seeking answer to that (which is why I hang around thread like this).

 

What you said is quite confusing.

 

Are you saying that a $3 monoprice digital cable sounds the same as the Oyaide cable in your sig or that your Starlight usb cable sounds the same as a .98 cent monoprice usb cable?

 

USG

post #67 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

 

What you said is quite confusing.

 

Are you saying that a $3 monoprice digital cable sounds the same as the Oyaide cable in your sig or that your Starlight usb cable sounds the same as a .98 cent monoprice usb cable?

 

USG


Sorry if I have confused you. I mean monoprice cables are hard to beat for their price and quality but the cables that I am currently using are more resolving.

 

I will not recommend anyone to upgrade their cables until they have a good DAC/AMP/Speakers/Headphones. I guess this is the general rule of thumb for cables because the cables are just bringing out the potential of the system.

post #68 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post


Sorry if I have confused you. I mean monoprice cables are hard to beat for their price and quality but the cables that I am currently using are more resolving.

 

I will not recommend anyone to upgrade their cables until they have a good DAC/AMP/Speakers/Headphones. I guess this is the general rule of thumb for cables because the cables are just bringing out the potential of the system.

 

Now this is even more confusing.

 

My understanding is that the fidelity of a digital stream is determined by sample rate and bit depth.  I don't understand how your cables can squeeze more sample rate or bit depth out of a digital stream than the monoprice cables?
 

 

post #69 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

Now this is even more confusing.

 

My understanding is that the fidelity of a digital stream is determined by sample rate and bit depth.  I don't understand how your cables can squeeze more sample rate or bit depth out of a digital stream than the monoprice cables?
 


This puzzles me too. I see it as better cables not squeezing/adding more data into the data stream but being able to carry them to the destination with less loss. As a result of that, it will appear as if they are more resolving.

 

I am not trying to explain the physics behind it but am looking for a convincing reason myself too.

post #70 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

This puzzles me too. I see it as better cables not squeezing/adding more data into the data stream but being able to carry them to the destination with less loss. As a result of that, it will appear as if they are more resolving.

 

I am not trying to explain the physics behind it but am looking for a convincing reason myself too.


I want to go back to the last statement for a second: the cables that I am currently using are more resolving.

 

I'm not sure I fully understand what you mean by resolving.   I have an amp that is more resolving than one of my other amps, so I know amps resolve. But I'm not sure cables resolve.  They transmit packets.  If they fail to transmit and a packet is lost we get a drop out.  So, are you saying is that your cables are less prone to drop outs???

 

post #71 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


I want to go back to the last statement for a second: the cables that I am currently using are more resolving.

 

I'm not sure I fully understand what you mean by resolving.   I have an amp that is more resolving than one of my other amps, so I know amps resolve. But I'm not sure cables resolve.  They transmit packets.  If they fail to transmit and a packet is lost we get a drop out.  So, are you saying is that your cables are less prone to drop outs???


Hey. Explanations from what I have read are that certain minute details could not be heard on certain cables because 1) that wave signal gets distorted/lost or 2) arrived at the wrong timing.

Those explanations may be false. Who knows.

 

I will repeat this statement again: I am not trying to explain the physics behind it.

 

I have no idea, absolutely no idea, as to why USB cables sound different.

 

You can ask me to explain, and I will tell you the same thing - I don't know why.

 

What I want to say is that USB cables do make the different. How it achieves it and why is that the case, we are all waiting for that answer.

 


Edited by uelover - 5/19/11 at 11:31pm
post #72 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

Hey. Explanations from what I have read are that certain minute details could not be heard on certain cables because 1) that wave signal gets distorted/lost or 2) arrived at the wrong timing.

Those explanations may be false. Who knows.

 

I will repeat this statement again: I am not trying to explain the physics behind it.

 

I have no idea, absolutely no idea, as to why USB cables sound different.

 

You can ask me to explain, and I will tell you the same thing - I don't know why.

 

What I want to say is that USB cables do make the different. How it achieves it and why is that the case, we are all waiting for that answer.

 


I'd like to explore this a little more.  Do you have any links to those explanations?

 

post #73 of 835

 

 

For those of you out there that do believe that the cable makes a difference... Wouldn't it be pretty easy to test the sonic difference by making a test audio file with different frequencies, and then setting up a mic by one of the drivers to record the audio played through each cable? Although it wouldnt be 100% scientific, I would assume that done a bunch of times, we should be able to see a difference of the waveforms of the recording.

 

And, for another test to check data loss.... If you were to compare the time it took to transfer a very large file several times from one drive to another using two different cables, if the cables really do make a difference, there should be consistency with the copy time of the expensive cable, and the cheap cable should have a large variance from one copy to the next. I think between those two tests, which can be done at home with a little preparation, we should have a good idea on whether or not they make a difference.

 

The biggest question for those that love the expensive cables, what would your response be if there was true scientific proof (beyond some minor home-based tests) that the cables truly did nothing, and the effect was psycho-somatic? And for the non-believers, what would your response be if there was true scientific proof of sonic changes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post


 

What I want to say is that USB cables do make the different. How it achieves it and why is that the case, we are all waiting for that answer.

 


I would think that if there was a measurable (aka real) benefit, companies would eat it up and advertise the hell out of it. I went to the product pages of all the USB cables mentioned in this thread (and a few others), and not a single one mentioned anything about sonic differences, only that the cable is the best ever and will provide the best listening experience. I could not find a single objective statement on how the listening experience would change. Outside of the audio world, these kind of sales are typically called scams.

 


Edited by The Pell - 5/20/11 at 1:15am
post #74 of 835

It would probably be best to hook it up directly to the mic-in or line-in of your pc instead of running it through a mic.  I'd be interested to see how it would turn out, but I'm not sure if such a test would be allowed on this forum.

post #75 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

It would probably be best to hook it up directly to the mic-in or line-in of your pc instead of running it through a mic.  I'd be interested to see how it would turn out, but I'm not sure if such a test would be allowed on this forum.



Yeah, that would be easier. I've been awake for too long today to apply common sense.

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