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Audioquest USB cables - Page 2  

post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 

Nah, I will get the Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable next year.

post #17 of 30

I've wondered about the effects of USB cables--great review. 

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

I don't have the Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable in my home anymore. I do have the Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable connected between my System76 Bonobo Professional laptop and my Resolution Audio Opus 21 Extra Sources box which is directly connected to the rest of my high end audio system at home. It has been a couple of days and I wanted to post some further listening impressions. Tonal balance has improved nicely with bass, mid range, and treble being reproduced in harmony. I definitely noticed that transients and leading edges have smoothed out quite a bit so that the music plays with greater ease and naturalness. Micro dynamics, resolution, and detail retrieval have improved nicely as well as I can hear finer nuances in my music with greater ease. Overall, the cinnamon is a much quieter USB cable compared to the generic USB cable and it produces a consistent signal with no drop outs, signal losses, pops, clicks, or grunge in the background. I bought it used so I have no idea how many hours of burn in time it has, but I am going to give it another week of listening to see if things continue to improve or if this is as far as it is going to go in terms of sound performance. As I wrote in my short reviews, the Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable is merely satisfactory. I would not call it a great USB cable compared to the top of the line Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable. I think that shortening the length down to 1.5 meters is critical so that no signal loss occurs with the USB 2.0 specification for audio applications. My generic USB cable is 3 meters long. Perhaps the best thing about the cinnamon is that it fixed my problems with the generic USB cable regarding pops, clicks, signal losses, drop outs, truncated bass and treble, and an audible hiss in the background that smeared the music. After listening to the Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable, I am convinced that USB cables designed for audio applications can season the sound and they do fix problems compared to generic USB cables designed for computers such as hard drives, printers, digital cameras, digital video cameras, scanners, multi-format card readers, e-book readers, tablets, etc. I found the Audioquest website section covering their digital USB cables to be accurate. I also found the few professional reviews regarding the Audioquest Forest, Cinnamon, Carbon, Coffee, and Diamond USB cables to be accurate as well.

 

I was once a skeptic when it concerned boutique cables especially digital cables. However, I have changed my mind and I now believe that high end audiophile cables for analog and digital audio applications do matter. They won't change the basic sound signature of your primary audio components, but they will help you to adjust the sound to achieve the exact sound that you want to listen to on a daily basis if you do your research and audition them in your home by working with your local authorized audio dealers. If you can not find one in your local area, then doing business with an authorized dealer who does his or her business on the Internet such as HeadRoom Corporation or any of the other Head-Fi sponsors is a good alternative solution. Auditioning high end cables is mandatory. There are simply too many available choices, materials, construction, and connection types along with proprietary technologies to consider during the research phase that make it impossible to determine if it will be the right fit for your audio system and your intended goals. You don't have to spend nearly as much as I have done so for my cabling, but the suggested range is between 5 - 15 percent of your total budget for cables. I usually find that buying the second from the top of the line for all of my audio components usually results in the best fit for my needs and budget. The second best is usually not far from the best in terms of sound performance and technology and it is usually priced at a much more affordable price. This has been my strategy for acquiring all of my components in my audio system. I know that I do not own anything that can be construed as the current generation of top of the line components, but I also know that I am not that far from the current generation top of the line components in each category either. This strikes me as being a good compromise and a good balance that works well for me.

 

I can afford the current generation of top of the line audio components, but I have heard digital source components, headphone amplifiers, cables, DACs, and headphones along with earphones that meet that litmus test and I have not found them to be completely and categorically far superior in terms of all of the sound performance benchmarks that audiophiles, musicians, and music lovers use to assess and describe their audio systems. What I have found with current generation top of the line audio components is that they usually introduce a brand new proprietary technology or they particularly excel in one specific benchmark or two while they retain most of the sound performance or technologies of the second best audio components if you are viewing the product portfolio of any specific audio manufacturer or audio dealer.

 

Yet, some audiophiles must always have the latest and greatest. Fortunately, I am not one such audiophile. My purse thanks me for that.

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoebeFairchild View Post

I am convinced that USB cables designed for audio applications can season the sound and they do fix problems compared to generic USB cables designed for computers such as hard drives, printers, digital cameras, digital video cameras, scanners, multi-format card readers, e-book readers, tablets, etc.

If you believe a USB cable can alter digital sound (which is nothing but data), how can you trust they won't also alter the files in your USB hard drives and card readers, pictures in digital cameras and scanners, videos in camcorders, etc…?
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 

I haven't tried it yet. My LG DVD/CD burner drive, Seagate FreeAgent hard disk drive, Amazon Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi, Canon Pixma printer use the USB Type A to Micro B connection so I can not try my Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB Type A to Type B cable to test it out. As for the rest of my USB devices, I have a Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 128 GB USB 3 thumb drive and an Ironkey 1 GB USB 2 thumb drive and they connect directly to my USB 2 and Super Speed USB 3 port and hub respectively. My ASUS EEE Pad Transformer tablet uses a proprietary USB 2 cable with a special 50 pin DIN connector. Only my Resolution Audio Opus 21 Extra Sources box has a standard USB 2 Type B connection.

 

I wish I could tell you the answer to your question, but I don't plan to buy another Audioquest USB Type A to Micro B cable anytime soon either.

 

I say that you might want to audition an Audioquest USB cable in your audio system to listen for yourself. Let your ears decide if there is any merit or not. My reviews and opinions have not convinced you. Form your own opinions by auditioning an Audioquest or other boutique USB cable for yourself.

post #21 of 30
My question was, do you trust generic USB cables with your non-audio (i.e. data) appliances? If so, why? Have you noticed any kind of alteration of the files in your USB hard drive when using its stock cable? What makes the difference between USB Audio and USB data?

What's more, aren't you worried that the expensive USB cable that alters audio, would also alter your data, when that's the last thing you want to happen with, say, a USB hard drive?

If you can't answer that either, I'll leave it at that.
Edited by skamp - 3/14/12 at 5:54am
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

I'll work with you to answer your questions.

 

All of my non-audio USB devices use the standard manufacturer's supplied USB 2.0 Type A to Micro B cables. I have not experienced any errors in reading, writing, deleting, copying data as far I can tell.

 

I think that the best way to answer your more pressing question is to view the fact that Audioquest designed their Forest, Cinnamon, Carbon, Coffee, and Diamond USB cables for audio applications. You will have to defer to them by contacting them directly to get further information which is relevant to answering your questions. I am not an Audioquest employee or authorized dealer. From my standpoint to answer your questions, I have no way to connect my Audioquest Cinnamon to my non-audio USB devices as I stated earlier. So I can not directly answer that specific question of yours until I acquire an Audioquest USB Type A to Micro B cable which I have no plans of doing so in the near future. So, I have no way of verifying if the cinnamon alters the data for my non-audio USB devices. Audioquest designed their digital USB cables to address audio applications at various price points and performance benchmarks. You have to view these as digital USB audio cables if that misnomer makes any sense. If you visit the Audioquest website to learn more about their materials, construction, and technologies, then you will discover that they are indeed designed for audio applications and they should be used in audio systems for both portable and home usage scenarios. In that sense, I have done the best that I could manage to write an honest review and to share my opinions regarding what I have experienced with regard to my generic USB cable, Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable, and Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable within the context of my high end audio system at home. Again, I am not able to connect these USB 2.0 Type A to Type B cables to the rest of my non-audio USB devices in my bedroom so I can not verify if they alter the data being transmitted to and fro for non-audio applications. You must come to accept this as a legitimate limitation given my particular situation.

 

I wish that I could answer your questions, but I don't have the appropriate Audioquest USB 2.0 Type A to Micro B cables at the moment to connect my non-audio devices to verify if they alter the data on my System76 Bonobo Professional laptop with its dual Intel 520 Cherryville 240 gigabyte SSDs, Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1.5 terabyte USB 2 external hard disk drive, or my LG DVD/CD burner external USB 2 optical drive along with my Canon Pixma ink-jet multi-function copier, scanner, and color printer.

 

I think the key is to view the Audioquest Cinnamon and Diamond USB 2.0 Type A to Type B 1.5 meter cables as genuine audio cables and they should be viewed as audio accessories designed to improve the sound quality when connected between a computer and an audio system that has a DAC with a USB 2.0 Type B port. The same is true for their Type A to Micro B USB cables for the appropriate DACs and USB 2.0 Micro B port. If we agree to view these Audioquest USB cables as legitimate audio cables and accessories that do improve the sound quality of the audio system as a whole, then I think it would be more helpful to have a protracted discussion on these terms instead of viewing them as merely digital cables.

 

I have not heard every type of digital cable on the market. I do not think that all digital cables sound identical. Remember, I used to be skeptical that these two Audioquest USB cables would make any differences, but I did audition the Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable and I now own the Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable. Both fixed my problems with the generic USB cable in the context of my audio system. That is how I presented my opinions and how I wrote my reviews.

 

I hope that I am not rambling, but I am taking painstaking measures to answer your questions with the appropriate level of context and detail.

post #23 of 30

I just wanted to add that I've been using a freebie USB cable for a while now with what looks like a ferrite ring at the far end and it works really well.  I figured I could risk £100 on something as uncertain as a USB cable and replaced it yesterday with an Audioquest Carbon of comparable length (0.75m).  First impressions are, well, its worse...  The Carbon lacks the airiness and spaciousness of the original cable and dynamics feel constrained.  On the other hand the timing and expressiveness do seem better, but that may just be because the large change in presentation has changed the way I'm listening to the music.  I had to turn the volume down when I first plugged in the Carbon as it gave me a splitting headache, but the Carbon works better at lower volumes than the old cable.  Today I've turned it up a bit and it seems more listenable so hopefully it'll improve with time.  I've never returned anything to Amazon before but I guess there's a first time for everything - the Carbon needs to improve in short order if I'm going to keep it.

 

Either way the cables sound very different, regardless of my original scepticism, so the Carbon proved that to me even if I do end up returning it.  The difference is equivalent to replacing the DAC, headphone amp or interconnects, all of which I've been experimenting with over the last 6 months.  Whether that's the cable itself or just the effects of burn-in I can't say yet though.  I'll give it a few more days and then swap back to the old cable to see how they compare.

post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 

Remember, I got my Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB Type A to Type B cable for $39.94 USD because it is a used USB cable from Amazon's Warehouse Deals. The regular MSRP is $68.75 USD for an Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable. While I can afford it, I do not plan to purchase more Audioquest cables to connect my non-audio USB devices to see if it alters the data on my computer. The manufacturer supplied USB Type A to Micro B cables work fine and I have no data corruption or loss issues on my computer. I think that it is important for you Skamp to visit the Audioquest website to learn more about their products offered especially their Digital USB cables. All Audioquest USB cables use solid high density polyethelyne insulation which is not found with generic USB cables. Furthermore, the Audioquest Forest uses solid long grain copper conductors while the Cinnamon, Carbon, and Coffee use 1.25%, 5%, and 10% silver conductors respectively. Looking at the terminations, the Forest and Cinnamon use solid gold plated conductors while the Carbon, Coffee, and Diamond use direct silver plated conductors. Finally, the Coffee and Diamond use the patented Audioquest 72v Dialectric Bias System and the Diamond uses 100 percent solid perfect surface silver conductors exclusively. These materials, construction, and patented technologies do not exist with generic USB cables and they were specifically designed by Audioquest to maximize the sound performance of audio systems that use the ubiquitous USB 2.0 standard to connect a computer to an audio system at home or in a portable audio system on the go.

 

You will need to make your own decision to contact an authorized Audioquest dealer and audition the Forest, Cinnamon, Carbon, Coffee, or Diamond USB cable of your choice in your audio system and let your own ears make the decision for you.

 

This is a one sided discussion that is of very little use or help to the rest of the community. I am sorry to say that, but that is my firm opinion.

 

Are you willing to audition an Audioquest cable of your choice in the near future Skamp?

 

Where is this discussion really going between you Skamp and me?

 

What value am I to derive from this discussion by laboring to elucidate why I think that Audioquest Cinnamon and Diamond USB cables sound superior compared to generic USB cables other than to share my findings and opinions with the community?

 

Reserve your skepticism and just audition an Audioquest cable of your choice from an authorized Audioquest dealer with a money back guarantee refund policy. Amazon is an authorized Audioquest reseller. They offer an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee refund policy for nearly all of the products that they sell online. I will not be returning my Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable anytime soon because I have auditioned them in my high end audio system at home and I do hear the incredible value that this Cinnamon provides. In fact, I plan to get myself the Diamond 1.5 meter USB 2.0 Type A to Type B cable sometime next year because I truly believe it is worth the cost after having auditioned it in my high end audio system at home for nearly one full week. It is an exceptional, cutting edge, state of the art USB cable designed for high end audio systems like mine which I list in my community profile. The cost is $649 USD for a 1.5 meter Diamond USB cable. It is expensive. Most people will not be able to afford it. However, I did spend $7,500 USD for my complete Resolution Audio Opus 21 music system and my CD player, Power Centre, DAC, and Extra Sources boxes cost $5,000 USD. I can justify the addition of the Audioquest Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable in my high end audio system at home.

 

I never wrote anything to devalue your enjoyment of this hobby. If you choose to view digital USB cables as bits are bits and all zeros and ones are exactly identical, then that is your opinion and I respect it. I used to think the same thing myself and I wrote my skepticism and suspicions before I decided to audition the Audioquest Cinnamon and Diamond USB cables. Now, I have learned an important lesson that furthers my enjoyment of this hobby.

post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 


Amazon has a 30 day money back guarantee. I would implore you to give it at least one week of burn in time before you come to your final decision. Remember, only the Audioquest Coffee and Diamond have the patented 72v Dialectric Bias System which greatly reduces the need for burn-in time because it uses a single AA battery to provide a continuous electrical charge so that it saturates and polarizes the molecules in the insulation. Without this patented DBS, both you and I will have to patiently wait for the Audioquest Cinnamon and Carbon USB cables to burn in gradually over time.

 

If you would please oblige the rest of the community with a follow up post to this thread including your final decision, then that will be most appreciated. Not many people have auditioned or purchased the Audioquest Forest, Cinnamon, Carbon, Coffee, or Diamond USB cables or the rest of the Audioquest product portfolio according to my searches within this community. There is a dearth of knowledge that we can provide to the community to educate them about the benefits of considering an Audioquest product in their audio systems worldwide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormfriend View Post

I just wanted to add that I've been using a freebie USB cable for a while now with what looks like a ferrite ring at the far end and it works really well.  I figured I could risk £100 on something as uncertain as a USB cable and replaced it yesterday with an Audioquest Carbon of comparable length (0.75m).  First impressions are, well, its worse...  The Carbon lacks the airiness and spaciousness of the original cable and dynamics feel constrained.  On the other hand the timing and expressiveness do seem better, but that may just be because the large change in presentation has changed the way I'm listening to the music.  I had to turn the volume down when I first plugged in the Carbon as it gave me a splitting headache, but the Carbon works better at lower volumes than the old cable.  Today I've turned it up a bit and it seems more listenable so hopefully it'll improve with time.  I've never returned anything to Amazon before but I guess there's a first time for everything - the Carbon needs to improve in short order if I'm going to keep it.

 

Either way the cables sound very different, regardless of my original scepticism, so the Carbon proved that to me even if I do end up returning it.  The difference is equivalent to replacing the DAC, headphone amp or interconnects, all of which I've been experimenting with over the last 6 months.  Whether that's the cable itself or just the effects of burn-in I can't say yet though.  I'll give it a few more days and then swap back to the old cable to see how they compare.



 

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

My authorized Audioquest dealer told me that the Diamond and Coffee USB cables do not need more than 20 minutes of break-in to sound their best because of the patented Audioquest DBS. I found that he told me the truth when I auditioned the top of the line Diamond 1.5 meter USB cable last week.

post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 

I did report that my Audioquest Cinnamon 1.5 meter USB cable seemed to lower the volume by 3 decibels when I first connected it between my System76 Bonobo Professional laptop and Resolution Audio Opus 21 Extra Sources box. I still find that this is true after listening to this USB cable for the past few days. The generic USB cable is noticeably louder in the context of my audio system, but it sounds much worse. The cinnamon reproduces a noticeably better quality sound at lower volumes. Turning up the volume on my Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline HR-2 headphone amplifier while using the cinnamon does seem to put a strain on the USB cable. I am not talking about signal loss or audio distortions, but I do experience a purer listening experience at lower volumes. What I am trying to do is burn in my Cinnamon USB cable as fast as possible so I just let DeaDBeef play through 291.00 gigabytes of .FLAC loss less audio files continuously through my audio system. I am also trying to burn in my like new in the box Sennheiser HD-650 headphones, Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable, and Cardas headphone replacement cable. I estimate that I should be done with the burn in period by the end of this month for my recently acquired audio components. The one thing that I am sure of is that I can hear subtle and minor improvements with each passing day. It's coming along nicely albeit slowly over time.

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoebeFairchild View Post

Amazon has a 30 day money back guarantee. I would implore you to give it at least one week of burn in time before you come to your final decision.

 

If you would please oblige the rest of the community with a follow up post to this thread including your final decision, then that will be most appreciated


The Amazon 30-day money back guarantee appears to be new and unopened product only, which I didn't see before I bought the cable, so I may be better off returning the goods within 7 days to be covered by the EU distance selling rules.  Those only seem to exclude music, video and software from being opened as far as I can see (and obvious stuff like perishables etc).

 

I'll write a review next week and the system will be playing 24/7 until then.

 

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoebeFairchild View Post

I am also trying to burn in my like new in the box Sennheiser HD-650 headphones, Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable, and Cardas headphone replacement cable. I estimate that I should be done with the burn in period by the end of this month for my recently acquired audio components. The one thing that I am sure of is that I can hear subtle and minor improvements with each passing day. It's coming along nicely albeit slowly over time.


I have the HD800s with the Cardas replacement cable and although it took a long time for the Cardas to burn in, it was worth it. :-) 

 

post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 

If you wish to contact me through a private message, then do not send me hate mail. I received another rude private message from one of the respondents to this thread whom I shall leave unnamed and I have had enough. I shared my knowledge, opinions, and experiences with these Audioquest cables with the rest of this community and it does not warrant ad hominem attacks directed at me as a consequence. People are entitled to their opinions and there is a more refined and genteel manner to express disagreements that adults should have learned during the course of their younger years and I will engage with someone who has tact and who can show deference toward me. If this does not stop, then I will contact the administrators and moderators to get involved to resolve our issues. Remember, I am relatively new here. Head-Fi is supposed to be a welcoming community. If I discover more evidence to the contrary, then I will leave and I will warn my other family members and friends to stay away from this community. Besides, Head-Fi is a microcosm of the much larger audiophile community and the rest of the world enjoys listening to their music through proper loud speakers that cost much more than most people have spent on their entire headphone systems herein. Their opinions matter more to me.

 

Cease and desist with the attacks.

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