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picked up a Audioquest Carbon USB cable - Page 3

post #31 of 69

I'd say if you don't believe in any of this USB cable stuff (which I am skeptical about), yet still want to get something better than stock, the Audioquest Forest can be had for $35 in 5'.


Edited by jarrett - 7/28/13 at 7:20am
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrett View Post yet still want to get something better than stock, the Audioquest Forest can be had for $35 in 5'.

 

I'm in that exact camp. I find it crappy, unbalanced to put the cheapest cable out there on equipment that's worth much more. Ofcourse, generic cable works and sonically I probably cannot even tell the difference but it makes a man happy to go to the next sensible (=for reasonable money) tier biggrin.gif
 


Edited by moriez - 7/28/13 at 1:35am
post #33 of 69

im using a 15 foot forest USB right now, my 1 meter carbon USB won't reach my DAC and i didn't wanna spend big bucks on a longer carbon frown.gif

post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post
 

im using a 15 foot forest USB right now, my 1 meter carbon USB won't reach my DAC and i didn't wanna spend big bucks on a longer carbon frown.gif

Did you notice any sound difference between them at all?

post #35 of 69
deleted. duplicate.
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post
 

Did you notice any sound difference between them at all?

 

i'm not sure, i never really tested between the two. i think it was kinda the same though.

post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post
 

 

i'm not sure, i never really tested between the two. i think it was kinda the same though.

 

 

I need a 3 meter USB cable and the generic one I'm using is cutting out. Do you think AudioQuest Cinnamon is worth it or should I just go for the Forest?

post #38 of 69

the Cinnamon is a nicer looking cable, might sound a little better than Forest, but even vs. the Carbon I didn't find a huge difference, any gains IMO would be lost with cable length. No need to get more pricy cables unless you got a very high end rig. 

 

I think the interconnects and even the power cable will make more of a difference than a USB cable too. 

post #39 of 69

I actually don't think USB cables make a any difference at all.  I just don't want it cutting out. 

 

I previously had a Wireworld one and when I swapped it for the cheap generic printer usb cable, I heard zero difference. It's just that the cheap one cuts out sometimes at this length. 

post #40 of 69

Apparently, Stereophile magazine recommends this Belkin Gold USB cable. Under $10.:

 

http://amzn.to/T06VKL

 

I think I'll buy. 


Edited by Mediahound - 5/13/14 at 7:12pm
post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrett View Post
 

I'd say if you don't believe in any of this USB cable stuff (which I am skeptical about), yet still want to get something better than stock, the Audioquest Forest can be had for $35 in 5'.


Even better than that is just go for the Pangea audio usb-pc cable. Since it's also around 30 dollars, but has the specs of an audioquest carbon thats 120 dollars. It seems most people agree that the pangea cable is quality, and sounds good too. I think having a reasonably good cable is important, just not to spend tons of money on it. Somehow the pangea cable accomplishes that. They also have a 100 dollar version which is pure silver conductors, which is basically the same specs as an audioquest diamond cable which costs 500 dollars or so. Both companies have their cables made in china and engineered in the united states. I think the pangea cables seem like the more realistic price for the materials and engineering used. I use the the cheaper one, instead of an audioquest forest.

post #42 of 69

What's the point to burn money on digital cable?:confused_face(1):

post #43 of 69

I grew up during the time we went from analogue to digital. First thing you learn about digital is that a 0 is a 0 and a 1 is a 1. There is no 0.6 or 0.75. That is the beauty of digital, resilience against signal distortion. To my big surprise however I could hear the difference between a good USB cable (My AQ Carbon for example) and a bad one. But this bad cable worked perfectly for my printer, not a single error ever. I started digging into the USB protocol and found out about bulk transfers and isochronous transfers. Printers and hard drives use bulk transfers. Data is packetized and a checksum is added. The receiver checks the data against the checksum and sends an okay or not okay message back to the sender. In case of a nok okay, there will be a retransmit. So all errors during transport get corrected. At 480 Mb/s the signal edges cause such high frequencies that reflections inside the cable are not unlikely. Reflections can make the USB receiver misinterpret the data bits, but all errors are corrected by the protocol. Modern DACs use asynchronous transfers, the data at the receiver side is buffered and re-clocked with very low jitter into the actual converter. So everything should be picture perfect.

However, for HD audio the amount of data that goes through the USB cable is so high that the bulk mode causes too much overhead. Instead isochronous mode is used. But that is a "send and forget mode", without error correction. So now a good cable becomes important. All errors will be accepted and send to the converter. In PCM data, the 16 or 24 bits, have different weights according to the binary number system. When a bit with a high weight flips, the audible effect will be bigger than when a bit with a low weight flips. For DSD and DoP all bits have the same low weight (little contribution to the signal). So a flipped bit in DSD or DoP is less audible. I am waiting for the first person to stand up and say that for DSD and DoP, USB cables in general sound better than for PCM. While some one is figuring that one out, I will be listening to my music...

post #44 of 69
Even if the cable becomes important in HD over isosync, errors with still be of the drop out variety. None of the "clarity/warmth/better bass" type of comments make any sense. It's still 1s and 0s. Bit flip errors would be random when and if they occurred...

With all that said, I have not seen any evidence that shows any significant frequency of these types of errors. Nor do I find many DACs using isosync - even with PCM/DSD/HD data...
post #45 of 69

I also think PCM errors are random and cannot give a USB cable a certain sound character. For me that still leaves the door open to bad or good sounding cables with a low or a high number of errors. There is something called "Knowledge of the crowd". So many people report sound differences between USB cables, they cannot all be wrong. 
Without doing the actual research, I can remotely imagine that during a pure DSD transport, a wave pattern caused by reflections in the USB cable could damage the lower frequencies more or less than the higher. This would then give the cable some colour. Because in DSD the energy density over time caused by the stream of bits is actually similar to the audio signal in the amplitude-time domain. PCM really encodes the signal away from that. 
More on my mind is the reaction of a DAC to a damaged signal. Suppose a small number of errors in the signal gives a different sound signature, than when there are a lot of errors in the signal. When testing USB cables, you want to stick to a single DAC so you will only have variation is a single parameter, the cable. If you then swap between a good, a bad and a very bad USB cable, you could hear a different sound from the total system. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the difference is in the cable.
Our mind plays many tricks on us anyway. My set-up changes sound depending on the mood I am in. Not. I am the variable factor myself, my perception changes.
 
To my understanding all HD DACs use isochronous mode. Due to your remark I now want to dig into the datasheets of some USB receiver chips. Also, if you happen to know some links to the source code of audio USB drivers, please let me know.

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