Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 

So I pose a hypotethical question; is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?

 

I was thinking of jumping into the USB audio cable business if only becuase of the retarded markup on USB cable.

 

For $10 bucks in parts I could build a a "super" usb cable(thicker wire, better shielding) at home. 

 

I also source regulary from Asian factories and can ask for unique models like customized USB connectors, ferrite cores, etc.

 

For example, could the USB connector plugs be improved upon in anyway?

post #2 of 93

if youre serious about entering the market, people just LOVE small bits of carbon fiber on the connectors (you can say it helps with vibration), and a thin silver ring or two going around (call it noise rejection "at the source").  people buy this crap for looks more than anything else, even though theyre invisible behind gear

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukon16 View Post

So I pose a hypotethical question; is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?

 

I was thinking of jumping into the USB audio cable business if only becuase of the retarded markup on USB cable.

 

For $10 bucks in parts I could build a a "super" usb cable(thicker wire, better shielding) at home. 

 

I also source regulary from Asian factories and can ask for unique models like customized USB connectors, ferrite cores, etc.

 

For example, could the USB connector plugs be improved upon in anyway?

post #3 of 93

It depends on what you mean by improve.

 

You can make it shiny and tell people that science says it sounds better. Sell it for a couple grand, don't go too cheap or people won't believe it.

post #4 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

if youre serious about entering the market, people just LOVE small bits of carbon fiber on the connectors (you can say it helps with vibration), and a thin silver ring or two going around (call it noise rejection "at the source").  people buy this crap for looks more than anything else, even though theyre invisible behind gear

 

 

 

I was thinking that....every time I look at "elite cables" I can totally see the factory pumping out the same generic cables with better looking, pretty plastic and "cool colors!". Ironically even if a company did order higher grade components; the factory may simply ship out the same regular cables and pocket the extra difference in costs.....gotta love third world manufacturing

 

I wonder how many expensive cables don't even have the luxury components they claim to have.

 

 

 

Quote:

It depends on what you mean by improve.

 

You can make it shiny and tell people that science says it sounds better. Sell it for a couple grand, don't go too cheap or people won't believe it.

 

Well, standard usb cables are made at bottom of the barrel costs with minimal testing and the cheapest, tiny wires money can buy. I figure better wires, shielding, ferrite cores, and hand contructed plugs would at least insure 100% performance(defective or suboptimal USB cables are not uncommon I assume). I could build such a cable for $10 using Digikey parts versus the 10-30 cents a normal USB costs in parts.

 

I'm thinking of making a "super USB" cable as a DIY project and see if my transfer times and audio quality increases objectively. Legitimate High quality cables that aren't regular USB cables in pretty packaging don't seem to be common.


Edited by ukon16 - 1/5/13 at 1:42am
post #5 of 93

As El_Doug said, improved looks. Since it's a digital cable there are only two things I care about when buying a USB cable, price and looks. Any USB cable that meets the USB specs should perform identical to every other cable. Of course slightly more durable wire and materials will increase the longevity of the cable, but that's it. A rhodium and carbon fibre USB plug with clear braided wires would look great imo.

post #6 of 93

I really don't think a data cable could make a difference in sound quality. There's either an electron, or there isn't. You either get the data the way it was originally sent, or you'll receive corrupt data. There's no quality of electrons in data transfer. The quality of the conductor makes a difference once the data has been converted into an analog signal because this signal can be distorted by a poor conductor. An analog audio signal requires much more precision than binary transfer.

post #7 of 93

yawns....all cars are the same. floatsmile.png

post #8 of 93

Interestingly the current edition of Hi-Fi Critic magazine reviewed about 20 USB cables ranging from $20 to $1,000 and concluded that a mid priced $35 cable scored as highly as the mega expensive offerings. So I guess that beyond the basics such as good quality wire, connectors and adequate shielding, the price equals quality mantra is a load of horse manure when applied to USB cables.

 

Cheers,

 

Andy. 

post #9 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukon16 View Post

Well, standard usb cables are made at bottom of the barrel costs with minimal testing and the cheapest, tiny wires money can buy. I figure better wires, shielding, ferrite cores, and hand contructed plugs would at least insure 100% performance(defective or suboptimal USB cables are not uncommon I assume). I could build such a cable for $10 using Digikey parts versus the 10-30 cents a normal USB costs in parts.

 

I'm thinking of making a "super USB" cable as a DIY project and see if my transfer times and audio quality increases objectively. Legitimate High quality cables that aren't regular USB cables in pretty packaging don't seem to be common.

 

The thing is that the quality of wires and shielding doesn't really matter too much with a digital cable. Stuff like interference and microphonics don't come into play like they do for an analog cable. All that's important is that there is a solid connection.

 

I would think suboptimal performance in a USB cable would consist of several or random dropouts. Much like your screen will flicker a bit when losing the connection to a digital channel. If you're not experiencing that, the cable is working fine and cannot be improved any more.


Edited by chewy4 - 1/5/13 at 8:14am
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukon16 View Post

So I pose a hypotethical question; is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?

 

I was thinking of jumping into the USB audio cable business if only becuase of the retarded markup on USB cable.

 

For $10 bucks in parts I could build a a "super" usb cable(thicker wire, better shielding) at home. 

 

I also source regulary from Asian factories and can ask for unique models like customized USB connectors, ferrite cores, etc.

 

For example, could the USB connector plugs be improved upon in anyway?

 

Hi ukon16

 

You need a few things to sell a cable.

 

1. Strong visuals

 

2. Pseudo science to add credibility

 

3. Identify the "improvements" in any literature accompanying the cable, such as "improves bass definition".

 

4. Extremely high price

 

The pseudo science and the stated improvements are very useful for supplying the auto-suggestion which will be reflected in the perception of music played using this cable.

 

Having created this cable send it to places like 6 Moons for review. They will digest the pseudo science and fuelled by your supplied materials for auto-suggestion pronounce the cable a great advance in sound reproduction and great value for money.

post #11 of 93

And don't forget to give HF members a discount.

post #12 of 93

I think people are forgetting what are USB cable is.

Is not the same, but it might be useful to give you an idea

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20056502-1/why-all-hdmi-cables-are-the-same/

post #13 of 93

Guys, I have a few USB cables at home and I did try it with my DAC. There is a sound difference.

 

I found that USB cables with a "filter" affect the sound most, and I prefer removing the filter for better sound quality. Don't believe me..try it yourself!

 

Also, I found that the good quality USB cables give you a darker background, tho usb cables shorter than 0.5 meter sounded very similar...

post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jckp919 View Post

Guys, I have a few USB cables at home and I did try it with my DAC. There is a sound difference.

 

I found that USB cables with a "filter" affect the sound most, and I prefer removing the filter for better sound quality. Don't believe me..try it yourself!

 

Also, I found that the good quality USB cables give you a darker background, tho usb cables shorter than 0.5 meter sounded very similar...

 

Can i assume you,made the comparison in a sighted test where you were aware when you changed a cable. Generally this kind of test is considered rather weak evidence as all sorts of biases come into play. You could do a DBT or you could do some measurements of the effects of changing cables - saying you heard a difference is referred to as anecdotal. This does not stop you doing more rigorous tests or actually measuring the differences as I have done with analog cables...

post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jckp919 View Post

Guys, I have a few USB cables at home and I did try it with my DAC. There is a sound difference.

 

I found that USB cables with a "filter" affect the sound most, and I prefer removing the filter for better sound quality. Don't believe me..try it yourself!

 

Also, I found that the good quality USB cables give you a darker background, tho usb cables shorter than 0.5 meter sounded very similar...

 

Once you have the bling and the pseudoscience sorted out, send a cable to this guy for an HF review.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is it possible to improve the USB as a cable for audio purposes?