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Need USB cable. Does USB cable make a differences - Page 4  

post #46 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Rez View Post

Similar experience here.  Wasn't subtle.

 

Believe the "theory" and save yourself some $$$.   biggrin.gif

 

Or if you have the system, demo some higher end USB cables.  Not everyone's systems will benefit, but if yours does, you won't want to go back and your wallet will suffer.


If a USB cable doesn't work, and you swap it out for a cable in proper condition and that meets the specifications, then the change won't be subtle---that's what we are trying to tell you.

 

When you have a sophisticated asynchronous DAC (for example the Gungnir) that uses internal high-precision clocks to time the conversion of the digital data to analog data, then there is nothing in the USB cable that can affect any part of the DAC.

 

You shouldn't put "theory" in quotes---it's not theory, it's how the DACs are actually built. Anyone who has ever built any sort of sequential logic circuit knows this. It's not complicated and there are non-technically savvy folks that can get Arduinos to communicate with digital circuits via USB,rs232,spi,i2c,UART,etc... and this involves the same principles. Follow the protocol---either the data gets there or it doesn't.

 

The USB controller is a state machine---this means that its functioning depends only on the the 1's and 0's it receives. If the USB cable botches the 1's and 0's, then it will have affected the audio. When the USB cable, USB controller, and computer's USB ports are all operating within specification, the 1's and 0's all arrive as they are sent. Once the data arrives at the USB controller, the USB cable is no long part of the digital-to-analog conversion process.

 

Nobody argues that your $100+ USB cable works flawlessly---it absolutely should for that much money. The point is, there are plenty of less flashy-looking-buzzword-claiming USB cables available that operate equally as well. The data either arrives at the DAC's end or it doesn't. If the cable is within specification, then it works. If something still isn't working correctly when the USB cable is within spec, then the USB cable isn't the problem and the funds should be diverted to investing in a new DAC, a functioning USB PCI card, or anything else.

 

If it helps you sleep better at night, you can always invest in some of these and make your run-of-the-mill generic USB cable seem a lot more impressive! biggrin.gif

 

Cheers!

post #47 of 170
http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/04/measurements-usb-cables-for-dacs.html?m=1
post #48 of 170


I'm sorry invrlose, but I can't see any differences in the plots or tables in the article linked. Do you mind taking a minute to explain what it means? I think it would be a big help, especially for casual readers who might not have the time to parse through the whole thing.

 

Cheers!

post #49 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

When you have a sophisticated asynchronous DAC (for example the Gungnir) that uses internal high-precision clocks to time the conversion of the digital data to analog data, then there is nothing in the USB cable that can affect any part of the DAC.

I so wish it were true that async DACs wouldn't benefit from aftermarket cables.  Before I tried it, I too thought there wouldn't be an effect.   So the quotes need to stay.

 

Just curious, have you actually tried any comparisons yourself?

post #50 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


I'm sorry invrlose, but I can't see any differences in the plots or tables in the article linked. Do you mind taking a minute to explain what it means? I think it would be a big help, especially for casual readers who might not have the time to parse through the whole thing.

Cheers!

The article is basically proving that all USB cables that he tested performed identically in every test.
post #51 of 170

Interesting article. The article ends with:

 

[cut & paste]

Conclusion:

No evidence in these tests to suggest that the different USB cables used here with the asynchronous CM6631A USB-to-SPDIF converter, direct asynchronous TEAC UD-501 USB DAC, or adaptive isochronous USB setups should sound different (even though one would expect Cable C to be the worst). Subjectively, listening to music with Cable C through Sennheiser HD800's sounded fine. 
 
No evidence with the J-Test to suggest data-correlated jitter is significantly different between cables. By the way, for a good demonstration of how jitter improves with interface/cable change, look at my post on Transporter-to-Behringer connection with TosLink vs. AES/EBU. Also, remember that my Oppo BDP-105 tests were done with a single 15' USB cable - still better than Cable C in construction :-).
 

As usual, feel free to drop me a note if there's good data or controlled tests to suggest USB cables make a significant difference [End of cut & paste]


Edited by Mambosenior - 7/30/13 at 9:49pm
post #52 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Rez View Post

I so wish it were true that async DACs wouldn't benefit from aftermarket cables.  Before I tried it, I too thought there wouldn't be an effect.   So the quotes need to stay.

Just curious, have you actually tried any comparisons yourself?

That would be the fastest and easiest way for anyone to gain some experience rather than wasting time parsing someone else's words. Mine included.
post #53 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post

That would be the fastest and easiest way for anyone to gain some experience rather than wasting time parsing someone else's words. Mine included.
Well yes but empirical measurements are objective, first hand accounts are not smily_headphones1.gif
post #54 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by invrlose View Post

Well yes but empirical measurements are objective, first hand accounts are not smily_headphones1.gif

I don't care.

I have formed my opinion thru direct observation and comparison. I only suggest others do as well. They just might end up enjoying a system that suites their tastes better than buying by a jumble of components by the number, either measurement or dollar.

Back to enjoying my system now............
post #55 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post


I don't care.

I have formed my opinion thru direct observation and comparison. I only suggest others do as well. They just might end up enjoying a system that suites their tastes better than buying by a jumble of components by the number, either measurement or dollar.

Back to enjoying my system now............

 

Precisely. This kind of a customer is the easiest to deal with, because he will fork out the cash as long as he believes he's hearing a difference (whether it truly exists or not doesn't matter).

If your mind thinks something is real, its real for you, whether or not it exists objectively doesn't matter to the salesperson.

 

But hey, it keeps the economy running, so why not?


Edited by proton007 - 7/30/13 at 11:03pm
post #56 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by invrlose View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post

That would be the fastest and easiest way for anyone to gain some experience rather than wasting time parsing someone else's words. Mine included.
Well yes but empirical measurements are objective, first hand accounts are not smily_headphones1.gif

 

Problem is, a measurement doesn't say necessarily how, if at all, something will affect what people hear. I've only read one distinct description about how jitter (just to give an example, not specifically regarding USB cables) could affect the sound. 

 

My thoughts are when the OP's question comes up is: What DAC are you using? Does the USB input use bus power or not? If it does, why not spend money on a USB power solution instead?

post #57 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Problem is, a measurement doesn't say necessarily how, if at all, something will affect what people hear. I've only read one distinct description about how jitter (just to give an example, not specifically regarding USB cables) could affect the sound. 

 

 

I'm assuming you're not an engineer? To those who design systems, measurements are probably the only reliable way to make good systems, and they form the empirical representation of a phenomenon.

Most 'consumer' technologies started out as something else, a means to solving an engineering problem. Once a problem is solved, its implementation is passed on to the consumer domain, where all forms of voodoo and magic start to appear, because, money.

Hence, behind a measurement, there's always a definition of what that value means. Most salespersons don't want the customers to know, and a lot of customers either don't know or don't want to find out for themselves.

Its true that the measurement in question may directly, or indirectly represent the more discernible part of a physical phenomenon, but the onus is on the customer to understand these things for his own good.

post #58 of 170

I am old enough to not discount ANY impressions claiming that a difference can be heard with different USB cables, even if I tend to side with the empirical-proof folks. My question is: Could (let's remember, "could') a USB cable that "measures" the same in all parameters still "sound" different from other cables that share the same numbers?

 

0s and 1s, I get it, but: could subtle differences in wire, sheathing and solder (among other variables) be responsible for a change in sound?

 

What do you think? I am extremely wary of cable manufacturer's claims.


Edited by Mambosenior - 7/30/13 at 11:33pm
post #59 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

 

0s and 1s, I get it, but: could subtle differences in wire, sheathing and solder (among other variables) be responsible for a change in sound?

 

 

Thats a contradiction right there. If you 'get' 0s and 1s, then you should also 'get' that those 0s and 1s are NOT sound. They're 'data'.

 

They become sound only when they'll be converted into analog signals by whatever device that receives that data. The same goes for any audio/visual signal.  Until the end system converts it into the final output, its all DATA.

 

Whether you transfer a .doc file, a photo, a .zip file, whatever. Its all 'data' to the usb cable.  Does this mean your USB cable determines how many spelling errors your document contains after a transfer? Would you believe a claim that a better usb cable would result in a 'clearer' file?  Or a better USB would automatically result in clearer photographs? 


Edited by proton007 - 7/31/13 at 12:00am
post #60 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

Thats a contradiction right there. If you 'get' 0s and 1s, then you should also 'get' that those 0s and 1s are NOT sound. They're 'data'.

 

They become sound only when they'll be converted into analog signals by whatever device that receives that data. The same goes for any audio/visual signal.  Until the end system converts it into the final output, its all DATA.

 

Whether you transfer a .doc file, a photo, a .zip file, whatever. Its all 'data' to the usb cable.  Does this mean your USB cable determines how many spelling errors your document contains after a transfer? Would you believe a claim that a better usb cable would result in a 'clearer' file?  Or a better USB would automatically result in clearer photographs?

You nailed it... i guess peeps don't know much how the digital world works...

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