Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality - Page 53  

post #781 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Whilst it sounds good in principle I have recently purchased an Arcam dac which supposedly smooths the high end a bit  and compared to the supposedly neutral Dacmagic it sounds a lot nicer... Although maybe this is just because the sound is better quality I don't know.

 

I guess it makes it hard to tell between sound signature differences and actual differences in fidelity in the case of coloured DAC's.  Even with neutral gear I have a hard enough time deciding what is "good" and what is "bad" qualitiestriportsad.gif  

 

To be honest though I feel more embarrassed when I talk to a musician and they refer to basic musical concepts and I have no idea what they are talking about eg discussing whether a certain character from an opera is soprano or mezzo sopranoblink.gif, not that this is really important to enjoying music rather than getting bogged down in technical details of the music itself.

post #782 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Whilst it sounds good in principle I have recently purchased an Arcam dac which supposedly smooths the high end a bit  and compared to the supposedly neutral Dacmagic it sounds a lot nicer... Although maybe this is just because the sound is better quality I don't know.

 

Does it? Did you ABX the two to see if you could reliably tell them apart? My experience with DACs in that range was extremely subtle at best. 

post #783 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Hmm well some products might be superior for the target user...

 

For example... User wants a refined sound which is not harsh = Buy an arcam

OR

User wants an energetic sound = Buy a Naim

 

For the different target users / sound signatures they are superior.... Maybe not technically superior but they will sound "nicer" to different people depending what they want.

 

Not everyone wants a completely neutral and transparent system because TBH that is not what sounds best to most people.

 

 

And it's fine to do that. What's wrong is saying those amplifiers or DACs are better.

I realize my opinion isn't written in stone, but at least to me the difference between what I like and what is good is clear. I can love an amp that rolls-off on the highs and makes the bass 'boomier', whilst having a distorted square wave that makes the sound more 'forgiving'. But in no way is it ok to say this amp is superior to one with low distortion and flat FR, because it simply isn't. I can love it all I want, that doesn't make it good or bad.

And furthermore, what's being repeated ad nauseum is that it's fine to not have a neutral sound, but it's simply more practical and cheap to simply use an EQ and a crossfeed plug-in than to buy an amp with these characteristics. The reason is that not only am I probably paying a lot for this amp, I can't turn off the bad measurements and get a flat sound, like I would with an equalizer.

post #784 of 835

Yes I can conclusively say that the rdac is different to the dacmagic...

 

The dacmagic sounds sharper and less refined and more digital sounding (less natural).... The bass on the dacmagic is maybe a bit better but overall the rdac DEFINATELY sounds more refined especially on low quality audio and speech.

 

I understand that you may say "this is not objective all dacs should be transparent and neutral" etc etc. but I am telling you that it definately does sound different. I am a bit of a cynic in general regarding usb cables, speaker cables, interconnects etc. and before buying this DAC I was doubtful that it would make much/any difference but it definately does and I have switched between the two loads of times.

 

Differences are :

 

Dacmagic :

Slightly warmer sound with more midbass, generally slightly better bass

Sharper and less natural sounding (more of an edge to the sound)

Emphasises the high end and sibilants more

Good for electronic music but not so good for speech or some other genres

 

Rdac :

Clearer

Smoother in the upper midrange / treble... Not so much rolled off as simply smoother and less digital / harsh sounding.

More "spacey sound" with bigger soundstage

More natural, softer sound

Less emphasis on sibilants

Bass is not quite as good... Sometimes it sounds better sometimes it sounds a bit boomy.

 

Overall I prefer the rdac for its clearer and more refined presentation, especially for low quality sources such as freeview TV broadcasts because the dacmagic did not sound so great with low quality sources... I like the dacmagic for electronic music and still quite like it through my HD650 because they are so smooth with any source and the agressiveness of the dacmagic sounds quite good through them but for use with my speakers for music / films / TV the rdac is definately smoother. Some people may prefer the more agressive nature of the Dacmagic for some genres but overall I prefer the smoother rdac as an all rounder for TV, films, music etc.

 

You are free to believe me or not but I can assure you that there definately is a difference which is not psychological.


Edited by nicholars - 5/16/12 at 8:34am
post #785 of 835

The WireWorld USB cables separate the power wires from the signal wires inside their cable. They claim that their "cables function over significantly longer runs than conventional USB cables."  And that they exceed the USB 2.0 specs.

 

Which is kind of interesting.  Not that I need a 30 foot USB cable to go from my PC to my DAC... 

post #786 of 835

Yes but does that justify spending £40-£12000 on a USB cable for a 1m-3m length? (Yes wireworld do sell a USB cable for £12,000)

 

Also is the power section even active if it is a non powered USB device?


Edited by nicholars - 5/16/12 at 11:41am
post #787 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...

 

Your brand of logic has no place in this thread, although in the real world it is of great value.

post #788 of 835

Yes that is what these companies such as wireworld etc make large amounts of money from.

post #789 of 835

I am about to receive a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB 2.0m length USB cable as a bundle to the DAC that I am buying. I have to pay a small premium though I'm not sure if this cable would bring a subtle difference, if any.

 

Any thoughts from those who have used this cable? If it doesn't make any difference then the cable will serve as a nice eye-candy with its striking color.

post #790 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder78 View Post

I am about to receive a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB 2.0m length USB cable as a bundle to the DAC that I am buying. I have to pay a small premium though I'm not sure if this cable would bring a subtle difference, if any.

 

Any thoughts from those who have used this cable? If it doesn't make any difference then the cable will serve as a nice eye-candy with its striking color.

Pretty sure this isn't the best place to ask that.  Might wanna check the actual cable forum.

post #791 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder78 View Post

I am about to receive a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB 2.0m length USB cable as a bundle to the DAC that I am buying. I have to pay a small premium though I'm not sure if this cable would bring a subtle difference, if any.

 

Any thoughts from those who have used this cable? If it doesn't make any difference then the cable will serve as a nice eye-candy with its striking color.

 

You probably won't hear a difference. If you did it would be pretty obvious, like parts of a song skipping I think, and definitely not thing like a warmer sound. If you're going to get it anyway, it might be fun to try a blind test between that one and the cheapest shielded USB cable you had.

post #792 of 835

Well not necessarily if the USB transport is asynchronous, the only times i have heard skips regardless of cable has been due to hardware interrupts causing the audio stream to cut out.

 

But yeah I agree that most USB cables built to spec are not going to be all that different especially if they are the same length.  I mean I *think* I hear differences between various to spec USB cables such as warmth, treble and midrange smoothness, timing and imaging but generally these differences can be remarkably hard to pick in a double blind test.  The only differences I am 100% sure of are between normal length cables and my current 7cm cable where I am absolutely certain I or anyone else could puck the differences blind, and even then I can only say that this is the effect with my current USB transport, where others may very well show no difference at all.

post #793 of 835

As far as I know, there aren't any asynchronous USB DACs. I think 6Moons' Wavelength DAC is asynchronous, but that's probably the only one. And even being asynchronous it doesn't necessarily mean it has error correction. I can't find anything saying for sure wether DACs have CRC, but even if they can recognize a packet as being badly distorted and unreliably readable, it won't get re-sent. So those pops and artifacts are to be expected in an unshielded cable.

post #794 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardKing1 View Post

As far as I know, there aren't any asynchronous USB DACs. I think 6Moons' Wavelength DAC is asynchronous, but that's probably the only one. And even being asynchronous it doesn't necessarily mean it has error correction. I can't find anything saying for sure wether DACs have CRC, but even if they can recognize a packet as being badly distorted and unreliably readable, it won't get re-sent. So those pops and artifacts are to be expected in an unshielded cable.

 

There are many, I mean, really, many, asynchronous USB DACs out there in the market.

 

6Moons is an audio reviewer website though so I am not sure what you meant by 6Moons' Wavelength DAC. They don't make DAC.

post #795 of 835

I'm not sure if I understand this correctly either with regard to whether an asynchronous USB receiver can request dropped packets to be resent, and if so what amount of audio data there is on that packet?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality