Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › monoprice v augioquest and other "audiophile usb cables
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

monoprice v augioquest and other "audiophile usb cables - Page 2  

Poll Results: monoprice usb cable v audioquest usb cable

 
  • 71% (23)
    monoprice usb
  • 28% (9)
    audioquest usb
32 Total Votes  
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post

So true, other than moon and furutech cables have you compared other usb's such as audioquest and oyaide?

Never tried audioquest but the oyaide with separate power lead is the one that got me curious about audiophile USB cables. Unfortunately, oyaide's prices are too high to make any sense on my humble office rig. The wire world starlight follows a fairly similar concept by distancing the power lead from signal.

Moon's blue dragon and furutech's formula 2 cost around $75.
post #17 of 41

uote:
Originally Posted by sonq View Post


Beware that many people on forums are offering advice, they most likely have not tried anything beyond generic USB cable/s. Order a few cables with return policy to try and decide for yourself. Try Moon Audio or Furutech.

 

 

 

I have been following this subjet for sometime now, and this quote is part of my overall conclusions. 

I'm not a scientice or an engineer, but after paying attention to both sides of the argument I've come to an understanding that the text-book scientific theories of how USB works may not include all varibles. It's assumed that you'll be transfering plain data , like text documents ,videos, or backing up your system, but not live streaming audio. The text books may not reference this and the additional varibles that may be included. For example most serious foriegn language text books like Spanish assume you're learning it becuase you are a traveling business man and not just learning Spanish to hang out with friends and pick up women in bars. So theres alot that book won't get into. Likewise serious computer text books read like you're running a business and not chillin out listening to music.

 

It appears like it just takes some personal experience with USB Audio cables to truely know. When someone says "It's just 1s and 0s" I think they understand the theory but not the application, as mentioned above they never compared  a generic cable with a high-end one. It's my understanding that It's not "Just 1s and 0s" . It's an analog signal in the form of a sine wave thats just being represented by 1s and 0s. And this signal can be effected by the enviornment and conditions of the cable, and may result is audible results. Something not obvious when you're just transfering photos.

 

Anyway based on what everyone is saying on both sides of the argument, this what I've been lead to beleive. 

P.S. I don't think USB cables make audio "Better", but they may color the sound into something perfered.


Edited by TJ Max - 2/6/13 at 10:34am
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawrbington View Post

Start with Monoprice. You have nothing to lose but about 7$ and that includes priority shipping. Ignore people trying to justify their giant waste of money by trying to convince you to waste a giant sum of money

Good suggestion, but I started with trying as many generic IT usb cables as I can as I was quite skeptical. I heard subtle differences between some of them before I went further to buy a dedicated cable. 

 

I have the Furutech Formula 2 and the improvement is obvious enough that I didn't bother to A/B further.

post #19 of 41
Try not to get personal otherwise it will bring the mods down.
Not having tried either I would suggest the Monoprice, or from there one of the Wireworld cables if you can demo with no obligation. In my experience they will not make a huge difference, and more expensive is not always better, but yes I have heard very easily detectable differences. If there is no big difference don't buy the more expensive cable or just sell it at a slight loss. Easy.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Seeing that my post was removed because of some perceived personal slight, I decided to vent some steam in a writing exercise, so here's my attempt at the most innocuous reply I could muster to this thread:

Zanchen, I'm going out on a leap and deducing from your username that you were born circa 1996. Upon further deduction I have taken that to mean that you are 16 years old and likely still in high school, with maybe a part-time job to support your audio purchases. You may or may not have taken any courses in psychology, physics or economics, but it is likely that you will become more familiar with these topics as you grow older. Being a member of a young generation you have an uncanny familiarity with the internet flora and fauna, with various forums and with the varied cadences of written communications endemic to these forums. This gives you an unparallelled advantage because it allows you to instantly connect to the common knowledge of any demographic of audio enthusiast and benefit from their advice. However it also saddles you with the disadvantage that you will run across odd factionism that leads to forum members advocating for or against certain products. The choice of who you listen to is an important liberty, but I'd like to make you aware of the following:

Take the hundreds of dollars that you might spend on a USB cable and spend them on music, books and headphones, leaving maybe 10 bucks for a well-made monoprice cable. The music could grant you far more pleasure than staring at the colorful weave of an audioquest's cloth, the books could entertain or educate you on the aforementioned topics of physics, psychology and economics, and the headphones could make the greatest difference in your listening experience even according to steadfast audiophiles who would never pay less than 1,000% markup on a cable.


Haven't posted for a while, but I have to agree with this poster. Even the most ardent "cable believer" would agree that cables are several steps own in importance in a system. I beleive it usually goes recording>headphones>source (DAC in your case)>amp>and finally interconnects (cables).  (The order shifts around based on your phones - some are more amp specific than others)

 

Me? I use toslink rather than USB. Much more convenient in my system, bypasses OSX's system volume and in needed with my DAC for playback of high sample- and bit-rate files. My cable? A $15 thin one with built-in mini connector I bought at a computer shop. Sounds just as good as any USB I've tried, and even better on high-bitrate files that aren't supported by my DAC's USB interface.

post #21 of 41

Try Wireworld USB Starlight cable. Much better performance for the money.
 

post #22 of 41

I have an Audioquest Carbon 0.75m USB cable. It made an huge improvement in my opinion over the Apogee Duet 2 stock cable. It's currently listed in the classified section.

post #23 of 41

It is quite funny how some people witll stick their noses into somebodies wallets and comment on what tye should or should not buy.

 

The question of the OP was about two quality USB cables. So why would somebody come here and preach their non-relevant completley subjective opinion about cheap USB cables?

 

I will tell you how I see it - I dont care if they work or not. I will buy them because I can. Simples. If my approach bothers some one, that still does not bother me. But it just happens that I happen to know why quality USB cable can sound better then the cheap ones. It is down to engineering and how the electricty works but hey - listen to the guy who if he would listen to his own advice should be still riding a horse, because following his logic, it can also transport you from point A to B so why would you ever need a car? if the horse can do the same job, or maybe it does not work that way?

 

If you are cheap enough to spend thousands on HPs and then shell out 2$ on usb cable go ahead but it is just in my opinion pure non-sens.

 

I like quality and I will always choose quality over quantity :) and not even once I was dissapointed with my choices (if the research was done correctly OFC)

 

Good Luck


Edited by sebna - 2/9/13 at 8:47am
post #24 of 41

If you do the research you will find scientific answers, not personal "biased" opinions, that go's for the believers and the critics.  Use the internet to learn something rather than asking others opinions about something that is purely subjective.  If you read the science behind the technology you can make an informed decision about how much you are willing to spend. 

 

People seem to be missing a little point in this thread that I will bring up, the comparison with a USB and an audio interconnect.  A normal audio cable is affected by materials and connectors, any "average" USB cable will be almost identicle in what it is capable of, and any data loss will be so insignificant it would be inaudible by the time a DAC has converted it.  This is what my extensive research has taught me, and I have tested both standard supplied USB cables against a $50 "audio quality" cable.  Maybe my gear is not detailed enough to show any differences but if I have a £350 rig and if a £5 cable works I am happy.

post #25 of 41

I've studied these very topics for a couple years now in University. I even use to sell Audio/ Video gear at a local well-known company.

 

When it comes to analog connections- the amount of copper available to carry the signal matters, definitely.

When it comes to digital connections- if the data isn't being dropped or loss completely it will not affect the quality of the data coming out the other end (remember that digital data packets are continually resent within milliseconds if they are lost in transit- much like internet transmissions.)  Shielding matter, yes, but even basic cables have shielding that is far above adequate.

 

In the end, if you are really curious, buy some cables and try them out. Be warned, the placebo effect is very strong in regards to your perception. If you can, have a friend blind test the cables with you.

From my experience, studying the technical science behind it and selling the stuff to consumers- get a cable that is decent quality from a respected brand that meet industry standards- it will sound great.

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Max View Post

I have been following this subjet for sometime now, and this quote is part of my overall conclusions. 

I'm not a scientice or an engineer, but after paying attention to both sides of the argument I've come to an understanding that the text-book scientific theories of how USB works may not include all varibles. It's assumed that you'll be transfering plain data , like text documents ,videos, or backing up your system, but not live streaming audio. The text books may not reference this and the additional varibles that may be included. For example most serious foriegn language text books like Spanish assume you're learning it becuase you are a traveling business man and not just learning Spanish to hang out with friends and pick up women in bars. So theres alot that book won't get into. Likewise serious computer text books read like you're running a business and not chillin out listening to music.

 

It appears like it just takes some personal experience with USB Audio cables to truely know. When someone says "It's just 1s and 0s" I think they understand the theory but not the application, as mentioned above they never compared  a generic cable with a high-end one. It's my understanding that It's not "Just 1s and 0s" . It's an analog signal in the form of a sine wave thats just being represented by 1s and 0s. And this signal can be effected by the enviornment and conditions of the cable, and may result is audible results. Something not obvious when you're just transfering photos.

 

Anyway based on what everyone is saying on both sides of the argument, this what I've been lead to beleive. 

P.S. I don't think USB cables make audio "Better", but they may color the sound into something perfered.

 

Actually, no, it's in the form of a square wave. All digital signals are.

 

And the USB interface does not care what kind of data you're sending. Does your internet change speeds depending on if you're downloading a movie vs downloading a program? Didn't think so.

 

As long as the USB cable is not damaged and it meets the minimum specs the error rate of the data transmission will be statistically inisgnificant (in other words, the differences between tests/cables will be so small that you won't be able to determine mathematically if one is better or not). FURTHERMORE....all data transmission over USB is buffered at both ends. The audio you hear out of a USB DAC is actually being played not directly from the computer, but from the DAC's own internal memory. It buffers several milliseconds in advance, this way IF there are any errors in the transmission the packets can be resent before the DAC actually plays it. So any jitter caused by the cable (which there won't be any of anyway) doesn't actually get passed through to the audio.

 

In conclusion - any undamaged cable will sound the same. If you want to pay extra for nicer jacks, a cloth sleeve, thicker insulation, and so on, then that's your prerogative. But it does not change the sound.

post #27 of 41

I agreed with Manyak, thanks for more scientific info.

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manyak View Post

Actually, no, it's in the form of a square wave. All digital signals are.

And the USB interface does not care what kind of data you're sending. Does your internet change speeds depending on if you're downloading a movie vs downloading a program? Didn't think so.

As long as the USB cable is not damaged and it meets the minimum specs the error rate of the data transmission will be statistically inisgnificant (in other words, the differences between tests/cables will be so small that you won't be able to determine mathematically if one is better or not). FURTHERMORE....all data transmission over USB is buffered at both ends. The audio you hear out of a USB DAC is actually being played not directly from the computer, but from the DAC's own internal memory. It buffers several milliseconds in advance, this way IF there are any errors in the transmission the packets can be resent before the DAC actually plays it. So any jitter caused by the cable (which there won't be any of anyway) doesn't actually get passed through to the audio.

In conclusion - any undamaged cable will sound the same. If you want to pay extra for nicer jacks, a cloth sleeve, thicker insulation, and so on, then that's your prerogative. But it does not change the sound.

In theory this holds true but in practice buffers are not perfect, it's not only the dropped packets you need to worry about because audio streaming is time sensitive, so any jitter caused by poor cable performance that isn't fixed by some DSP will translate into poor performance (which are also imperfect in my experience.). Please excuse me if my explanation is not 100% technically sound but I am tired of coming across the argument that digital cable performance has no effect on the sound quality. USB audio actually uses a fair share of the bandwidth of USB, it is not heavily over engineered as say some coax cables from Belden where they are rated in the GHz range and SPDIF only uses MHz range or something.

I am by no means saying that a wireworld will be better than a monoprice, just that whichever produces the best square wave or has better shielding will have better performance, and that in my experience this difference has an audible influence over the sound quality. This is not a huge difference and it will vary from system to system, but even on budget systems I could hear differences, and the differences were still there with high end components. IMO it will still be there until we start using a better connection method like USB 3.0 or CAT7 or something with higher bandwidth rating to get audio data off the computer.

I used to think USB cables wouldn't matter at first, I think most of us do as it simply isn't something that is easy to accept especially if you come from a technical background. But for those that keep an open mind and actually go to the trouble of listening to different cables a very high percentage hear a difference, even between ordinary camera and HDD USB cables. Personally I have no interest in there being differences, in fact I sincerely hope there is none so I can sell off some of my cables. In fact with my SPDIF cables I sincerely hoped my $150 silver cable would beat my $12 Blue Jeans, but the $12 Blue Jeans was just a better clearer more precise cable. I also wished some of the freebie USB cables I have would be better than the $300 cable I am using but they didn't perform as well subjectively. Unfortunately I can't stick my head in the sand and say "there should be no differences so there are none"
post #29 of 41

I guess the counterpoint to that is that "I perceive a difference therefore there is one" is sticking one's head in the sand.  But take your pick.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post


In theory this holds true but in practice buffers are not perfect, it's not only the dropped packets you need to worry about because audio streaming is time sensitive, so any jitter caused by poor cable performance that isn't fixed by some DSP will translate into poor performance (which are also imperfect in my experience.). Please excuse me if my explanation is not 100% technically sound but I am tired of coming across the argument that digital cable performance has no effect on the sound quality. USB audio actually uses a fair share of the bandwidth of USB, it is not heavily over engineered as say some coax cables from Belden where they are rated in the GHz range and SPDIF only uses MHz range or something.

I am by no means saying that a wireworld will be better than a monoprice, just that whichever produces the best square wave or has better shielding will have better performance, and that in my experience this difference has an audible influence over the sound quality. This is not a huge difference and it will vary from system to system, but even on budget systems I could hear differences, and the differences were still there with high end components. IMO it will still be there until we start using a better connection method like USB 3.0 or CAT7 or something with higher bandwidth rating to get audio data off the computer.

I used to think USB cables wouldn't matter at first, I think most of us do as it simply isn't something that is easy to accept especially if you come from a technical background. But for those that keep an open mind and actually go to the trouble of listening to different cables a very high percentage hear a difference, even between ordinary camera and HDD USB cables. Personally I have no interest in there being differences, in fact I sincerely hope there is none so I can sell off some of my cables. In fact with my SPDIF cables I sincerely hoped my $150 silver cable would beat my $12 Blue Jeans, but the $12 Blue Jeans was just a better clearer more precise cable. I also wished some of the freebie USB cables I have would be better than the $300 cable I am using but they didn't perform as well subjectively. Unfortunately I can't stick my head in the sand and say "there should be no differences so there are none"

 

In practice, the buffer has to be perfect for the USB transmission to function. USB sends the data 1 bit at a time. If each sample is 16 bits, and there are several samples in each packet, what is the DAC going to do with each bit on its own while the rest is still being transmitted? And there are ECC algorithms used to make sure that all the received bits are correct. So even before the DAC's chip receives any of the sample data, it has to be processed by the USB controller first. If even one bit is incorrect you will hear clicks and pops in the audio.

 

Jitter on USB is only worth worrying about if you're trying to use an unusually long cable. And you'll know when there's too much jitter because the DAC will cease to function reliably. We're talking anything from clicks and pops to randomly disconnecting from the PC. All very obvious symptoms.

 

USB 2.0 actually has plenty of bandwidth for audio. After protocol overhead and everything it ends up providing a solid 25MB/s, give or take. Even 24-bit/192kHz audio doesn't need more than ~1.1MB/s. CD audio needs only ~172kB/s.

 

What I actually find amazing is that so many people get hung up on the jitter over USB and from within their computer (a PC's clock actually has insanely low amounts of jitter by any standard, which is necessary for the components to run at the high clock rates we're used to) when what they should really be worried about is the clock jitter within the DAC itself. Jitter does have a significant effect when converting digital to analog, but only at that stage of the process. Here we're talking about jitter in the sampling, not in the data transmission. You can use a USB cable woven from unicorn hair and sprinkled with pixie dust and it still won't have an effect on the DAC's clock generator.

 

I believe you're hearing something, I just can't believe for even a second that it's the USB connection.


Edited by Manyak - 2/12/13 at 10:30am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › monoprice v augioquest and other "audiophile usb cables