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New USB Cable for iMac to DAC: AudioQuest Coffee vs. Wire World Silver Starlight?

Poll Results: New USB Cable for iMac to DAC: AudioQuest Coffee vs. Wire World Silver Starlight?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 0% of voters (0)
    AudioQuest Coffee
  • 0% of voters (0)
    Wire World Silver Starlight
 
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I posted this yesterday in another forum and a respondent suggested that I repost here (moderators, feel free to eliminate yesterday's post).

Both are well respected companies, each with their own construction technologies with products similarly priced. Any experiences that you can share with both or either is appreciated.

Audioquest: Coffee
http://www.audioquest.com/mini-usb-digital-audio/coffee

Wire World: Silver Starlight USB
http://www.wireworldcable.com/products/107.html

Which of these would you recommend?

Thanks,

Bob
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Bump, bump, bump...
post #3 of 11

The Wireworld Silver Starlight might edge out.....  Audioquest ain't bad either but I think the Wireworld will perform better dollar for dollar comparison.  But then if you move on to Audioquest Diamond USB there is a big jump in performance / sound with a good set of speakers (I can't say much about headphones, no experience there).  You may want to check out computer audiophile forum and go to DAC section.  There is a huge thread discussing about USB cables specifically.  A lot of user experiences to be found there.

 

I know I will eventually move on to Benchmark DAC-1 DAC via USB or Fiber Optic.  If I go USB I'll probably get me Wireworld Silver Starlight USB.  Or save a few by using my toslink cable that I already have. :D
 


Edited by goodolcheez - 10/13/12 at 11:02am
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I had no idea that this was an unusual question...
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

I had no idea that this was an unusual question...

not many people believe in/ buy $300 usb cables

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not sure that I do either. I was looking for some dialogue.
post #7 of 11

I believe the only thing a high quality USB cable could help with are jitter, and reduction of electrical interference.

 

Electrical interference is generally non-existent, and most people believe normal levels of jitter are completely inaudible.

 

I personally think that super-expensive digital data cables are a scam and really all you need is a well built and shielded one, but I'm sure there are people who disagree and will swear that they work.

post #8 of 11

personally, i wouldnt mind spending around $100 on a nice usb cable, such as the entry furutech and wireworld cables

but $300 usb cable is a bit absurd

plus they generally arent gawked at as much as headphone cables since they're mostly hidden away

post #9 of 11

For those non-believers out there just ask yourselves this obvious question: if you believe that cables do make a difference then why would a USB cable be any different?  In fact Audioquest went on record recently that HDMI cables are their single biggest seller.   All audiophiles spend hours A-B testing and comparing stock cables with specialty cables.  The fact that the likes of Audioquest and Wireworld and Synergistic Research have been around in business for decades speak for themselves.  At the last 2 CES shows, some cable manufacturers have even swapped cables in their hotel suites to show the effect of their cables vs other cables - and this is in the presence of the professional audiophile media who listen to such equipment for a living!

 

Please see my post recently on the Audioquest Coffee.  It is a good cable but not an outstanding one.  The Audioquest Diamond is a HUGE leap forward - I believe you would not even have to try hard to spot the difference it makes.

 

Having said the above, I do believe the cable manufacturers do deliberately price their top cables out of the reach of 99.99% of consumers.  Why?  So that they have a trophy cable that others can lust after but never afford.  And if we mere mortals cannot afford the trophy cable then we try to buy into the brand by purchasing one of their cables a few notches below the trophy cable.  It's like if you cannot afford Ralph Lauren Black Label why not buy Polo Sport?  

 

I recently tested the Nordost Valhalla 2 digital and analog cables.  They were great but were they 3 times better than Audioquest Diamond?  Not to my ears at least.  I A-B tested them for an hour giving my ear time to rest and also tested them using different materials from classical to rock to jazz to SACDs.  I tested Audioquest's top digital cable WEL vs the Aidioquest Diamond - I did not like the WEL.   With e WEL everything immediately sounded louder, clearer, spot lit - like switching on a floodlight.  It was not subtle.  Perhaps my ears were just not sophisticated enough to appreciate the sound (like someone drinking super fine wine for the first time) or it could be that the panel had not been run in enough...

 

Wireworld vs Audioquest?  I tested both the Wireworld Silver 7 and their Gold 7.  They are both good - with the Gold markedly superior but also at twice the price.  If you re comparing the Wireworld Silver vs the Audioquest Coffee I would say Wireworld.  But the Audioquest Diamond is a bargain worth considering,  The USB is THE conduit from your very first source so you need to ensure that all the data gets through with the minimum jitter.  Better still, if your equipment has the sockets, invest in a master clock.   It's like upgrading your entire system in one go.  I too was a non-believer in the effects of jitter until I heard a system WITH and without a clock.   And if that was not enough I was then dumbfounded that a cable that connects the clock to the transport or DAC (which conveys clock not music data!) itself makes a huge difference to the already great improvement from the clock.

 

Hope this helps.  Happy listening!

post #10 of 11

I'd get the iFi iUSB 3.0 Nano + Gemini and Mercury cable though rather than buy an single expensive cable for the same price since I prefer the iFi's "isolate + reclock and regenerate" the timings approach (makes a lot of sense to me at least) rather than rely on esoteric cables to do their thing. I do own use the Audioquest Golden Gate RCA cable which I think is the best bang for buck in connecting my DAC and AMP.

 

Edit. I cannot believe I fell to the trap of the dead thread haha


Edited by theveterans - 2/17/16 at 6:50pm
post #11 of 11

For digital single, should no different. But for analog single, has big difference. 

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