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Anyone heard / own USB Wireworld Starlight, Starlight 7, or Starlight USB 3.0? - Page 3

post #31 of 67

I've read that some people can discern a difference using a starlight cable for the hard disk. A smaller difference but still noticeable (according to them).  :)  I don't want to speculate on anything I haven't tried myself so I will just say I am intrigued about it and would love to hear from those who've actually tried. 

post #32 of 67
There is more to USB cables than just transferring 1's and 0's. In addition to data, USB cables also deliver power. Even if your DAC is not USB powered, its USB board section might still at least partially use USB power, which may or may not make an audible difference. This is why even the basic Wireworld cable might worth its asking price. If your DAC does not use USB power at all, consider severing the +5V power line. A zero cost tweak. Another side to USB cable is its role with ground plane noise that *might* affect your DAC's performance. This is a very niche and experimental territory that is still somewhat controversial. IMHO, a fancy pure silver USB cable is a waste/useless, but a well built one with power line in mind for ~$50 can be a justifiable upgrade.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by atsq17 View Post
 

I've read that some people can discern a difference using a starlight cable for the hard disk. A smaller difference but still noticeable (according to them).  :)  I don't want to speculate on anything I haven't tried myself so I will just say I am intrigued about it and would love to hear from those who've actually tried. 

Hard disk? I personally don't know about that ... (if you were serious, of course). But if it was a joke, it was a good one :-)

 

NOTE: I did try Starlight 7 with a portable hard drive, for the sake of a scientific experiment :-), and all I can tell is "it works".

 

I tried to copy a large (5.5GB) file to it using different cables (regular then S7 then regular then S7...). I found that once the file was cached by OS, the time it took to copy the file stopped shortening and stabilized to exactly the same value (up to a second - 1:55, 3 attempts). So in my limited scientific experiment I did not find any improvement.

 

Seriously speaking though, USB cables like S7 are designed for streaming digital audio and not for data transfer, which would be a different design goal. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post

There is more to USB cables than just transferring 1's and 0's. In addition to data, USB cables also deliver power. Even if your DAC is not USB powered, its USB board section might still at least partially use USB power, which may or may not make an audible difference. This is why even the basic Wireworld cable might worth its asking price. If your DAC does not use USB power at all, consider severing the +5V power line. A zero cost tweak. Another side to USB cable is its role with ground plane noise that *might* affect your DAC's performance. This is a very niche and experimental territory that is still somewhat controversial. IMHO, a fancy pure silver USB cable is a waste/useless, but a well built one with power line in mind for ~$50 can be a justifiable upgrade.

 

Totally agreed, and I could not have said it better: "There is more to USB audio cables than just 1s and 0s".

 

Speaking of silver (plated/clad) cables though. Silver is an excellent conductor, especially for high frequencies. This does result in smaller loss and less signal degradation, which I have seen in all kinds of cables including audio, digital audio, USB, and HDMI cables. Examples: (1) Pangea HDMI HD-24PCe would be one great example (try it for yourself and see how it changes color, contract, and clarity); (2) performance of Kimber Kable AGDL Silver (digital audio) is way ahead of anything I tried in this price range (including higher end AudioQuest cables). Yet another example would be Kimber Silver Streak - it sounds much cleaner, more smooth, and with more details than, for example, a typical copper cable, including Cardas Quadlink 5C (same price).

 

Wireworld Starlight 7 is also a silver-clad cable, btw.

 

I have not tried pure silver USB cables due to the cost factor, so I cannot speak of their performance, but even looking at a simple fact that such companies as Wireworld do make them (top of the line Wireworld Platinum USB), makes me think they do provide even greater performance and make sense for someone who has a very high end system (and can afford them :-)).

post #34 of 67
Interesting debate guys. My apologies for taking the discussion slightly off topic..

NotAnAngel - If long Hdmi cables are used & data bandwidth exceded, it makes itself manifest in 'sparkles', pixelation or a complete loss of picture.

I suggest you read the following test for a better understanding of the symptoms of HDMI data loss before making such outlandish claims.

http://hdguru.com/all-hdmi-cables-are-the-same-or-are-they-full-test/

The audio side I'm still open minded on as I think I can see how ground noise from a noisy source or power supply and increased jitter could be introduced with inferior USB cables when used with non asynchronous DAC's in theory at least... but my question is... isn't audio data passed over USB to a DAC packetised, buffered and error corrected ? (unless it is PCM of course)
Edited by Ari33 - 12/18/13 at 2:19pm
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post

Speaking of silver (plated/clad) cables though. Silver is an excellent conductor, especially for high frequencies.

This is true for analog cables like a headphone cable, but digital cables like USB cannot discern between high or low frequencies. They don't even "know" that they're transmitting audio. smily_headphones1.gif They are dumb devices that transmit low-power pulses that define 1's and 0's on pins 2 & 3. This is why, IMHO, silver digital cables are a waste.
Edited by gevorg - 12/18/13 at 2:28pm
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post

Interesting debate guys. My apologies for taking the discussion sligbtly off topic..

NotAnAngel - If long Hdmi cables are used & data bandwidth exceded, it makes itself manifest in 'sparkles', pixelation or a complete loss of picture.

I suggest you read the following test for a better understanding of the symptoms of HDMI data loss before making such outlandish claims.

http://hdguru.com/all-hdmi-cables-are-the-same-or-are-they-full-test/

The audio side I'm still open minded on. My question is... isn't audio data passed over USB to a DAC packetised and error corrected ? (unless it is PCM of course)

 

Thanks for your honest opinion :-)

 

Surely it sounds outlandish *to you*, and I see no problem with that. To clarify it for yourself though, I would suggest you read HDMI spec and especially section on underlying transport protocols, cable categories, supported frequencies, signal attenuation, and also on what "error correction" really means there. Or read at least a consumer-level Wikipedia article.

 

There is nothing wrong with being ignorant on this topic, btw (I was). The article you mentioned was written by a guy who understands no more than a bad cable can cause "snow" or no signal. That is way too far - I have never seen this in my life (well, maybe just once with a $1.69 HDMI cable I once had - you see, I did! :-)).

 

In general though, it is not my goal to change your opinion on anything; you are certainly free to ignore it or call whatever you want and continue believing in $1 cable. You would not do any disservice to me in any form by believing in something different.

 

Once you are ready to challenge what you know though (or just curious), I'd suggest you invest $59 and get 1m of Pangea HD-24PCe cable from Audio Advisor, and connect a good quality Blue-ray player (or an HD satellite receiver from your provider such as directv) to your good quality plasma or other TV and see for yourself. Do your own A/B test.

 

If you won't see any difference, hey, good for you. I did, and I took advantage of it by replacing *all* HDMI cable (and I already had AudioQuest Cinnamon or higher everywhere) in my home theater/living room/bedroom/you name it.

 

And you are right, HDMI is a kind of off-topic here.

post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post


This is true for analog cables like a headphone cable, but digital cables like USB cannot discern between high or low frequencies. They don't even "know" that they're transmitting audio. smily_headphones1.gif They are dumb devices that transmit low-power pulses that define 1's and 0's on pins 2 & 3. This is why, IMHO, silver digital cables are a waste.

 

Correct, just keep in mind that 1s and 0s are still transmitted as analog signals, and depending on the specification, required bandwidth (to transmit digital signals) could be and is normally much higher than 20KHz.

 

Also, just something to consider, to properly transform a square wave signal, the cable would need to have an unlimited bandwidth (see Fourier Transform for details). This is never the case in reality, and silver simply helps to increase the required bandwidth.

post #38 of 67

I wasn't joking about the Hard Disk. The reviewer used the Starlight cable to connect to the hard disk he was streaming from and another starlight cable to connect to the DAC. To him there was a clear and discernable difference between using the stock cable for the hard disk and when using the starlight cable for the hard disk, in both cases using another starlight cable for the DAC. 

post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post

 

Thanks for your honest opinion :-)

 

Surely it sounds outlandish *to you*, and I see no problem with that. To clarify it for yourself though, I would suggest you read HDMI spec and especially section on underlying transport protocols, cable categories, supported frequencies, signal attenuation, and also on what "error correction" really means there. Or read at least a consumer-level Wikipedia article.

 

There is nothing wrong with being ignorant on this topic, btw (I was). The article you mentioned was written by a guy who understands no more than a bad cable can cause "snow" or no signal. That is way too far - I have never seen this in my life (well, maybe just once with a $1.69 HDMI cable I once had - you see, I did! :-)).

 

In general though, it is not my goal to change your opinion on anything; you are certainly free to ignore it or call whatever you want and continue believing in $1 cable. You would not do any disservice to me in any form by believing in something different.

 

Once you are ready to challenge what you know though (or just curious), I'd suggest you invest $59 and get 1m of Pangea HD-24PCe cable from Audio Advisor, and connect a good quality Blue-ray player (or an HD satellite receiver from your provider such as directv) to your good quality plasma or other TV and see for yourself. Do your own A/B test.

 

If you won't see any difference, hey, good for you. I did, and I took advantage of it by replacing *all* HDMI cable (and I already had AudioQuest Cinnamon or higher everywhere) in my home theater/living room/bedroom/you name it.

 

And you are right, HDMI is a kind of off-topic here.

 





You may think I'm ignorant and you are entitled to your opinion but that doesn't necessarily make you right either. You may have a masters in EE but you do seem much less familiar with basic neuropsychology.

Re- The link, The guy that tested these cables is a TV Calibrator with no apparant hidden agendas and he did study image quality closely... good enough for me! wink.gif

I am more than happy with the picture quality provided by a bluray on my HDTV, it is so good that I can't imagine it being improved by much if at all. Even if it was possible that it could be improved by a small percentage, I certainly don't think it would be noticable at my12-15ft viewing distance through a pair of 38 year old MK1 eyeballs. biggrin.gif


I can understand not buying the cheapest of USB cables, but I’d do that for reliability, not audio quality. As Bones stated in the last page. On average, digital links deliver one bit error for every 1012 bits sent. You can’t possibly hear that!... a fact highlighted by blind ABX tests, an example of which I'll happily provide a link for, if you so wish?


Noise on the ground plane caused by wrongly chosen, poor spec switching diodes in budget equipment is quite obvious and apparant at low volume levels with certain systems and can probably be improved in some cases by better sheilding, ferrite beads or even providing a seperate ground plane altogether to avoid 'ground loop'.

'Jitter' caused by timing discrepancies in non asychronous DAC's is identifiable to the trained ear and cannot alter the overall sound signiture. This is another subject all together and although linked should not be a factor with a correctly designed cable that meets the design specifications just as much as it is not with a so called 'audiophile' cable.



You suggest I A/B test a particular HDMI cable? Don't you see an inherant flaw in that suggestion? Never underestimate the power of the subconscious. In my first year studying Aero Eng we looked at the 'Human factors' which can contribute to pilots making errors in judgement, refusing to believe what their instrumentation was telling them, be it from fatigue, information overload, arrogance, lack of visual cues or a combination of these factors. We then went on to study how the brain works, how it uses visual cues to predict a scenario based on previous experiences often filling in the blanks which can make us even see and hear things that simply do not exist.

Last summer I was cleaning the bottom of the pool with a brush for maybe 30 minutes or so. Once finished I climbed the ladder and looked across the meadow at Tina (my Girlfriends horse) I suddenly became aware of a fairly intense, deep strawberry red coloured tint to my vision, in shock I even looked up at the sun to see what was causing it biggrin.gif... nothing there!, It was merely that my brains colour balance had been skewed from staring at the bottom of the aqua blue pool for so long.

Try this experiment. If you have a graphic or parametric equaliser, reduce a band somewhere in the midrange area (say, between 500Hz and 1kHz). Listen for about 15 minutes, then restore the missing frequency range. Suddenly it will sound as if it has a hugh peak in the midrange, and for a time will sound awful. Within another 15 minutes or so, everything will have settled back to normal. Therefore, can you trust what you hear? Do you know why? Do you even care?


With regards to audio/visual cue impairment, here is a good example called 'the McGurk effect' (Google it if the UK link doesn't work for you) which perfectly demonstrates how what we see can make our brains interpret what we hear to sound completely different.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0

It might seem far removed for you, but yes, what I am suggesting is that without blind ABX testing you are leaving yourself open to what you hear (or see, in the case of HDMI) being influenced by your preconceived, subconscious idea that this beautifuly built, well designed cable with it's lovely finish and colour WILL produce superior results.

There are two particular things to which one can easily fall prey - the 'experimenter expectancy (or bias) effect' and the 'placebo effect'. Both are potentially very powerful, and can shape the outcome of a test at the subconscious level. If you change a passive component in a system and expect to hear a difference, then you probably will. What actually caused the difference will be curdled by your brain (at a subconscious level), and you will be left thinking that the component change made the difference, when in fact it was 100% imagination. This is why all proper medical tests are double-blind, to guard against these well known phenomena. It is a BIG mistake to think that you are immune - no-one is immune because we don't even know it's happening.





"'Critical thinking, logic, reason, science — these are all terms that apply in one way or another to the deliberate attempt to ferret out truth from the tangle of intuition, distorted perception, and fallible memory. The true critical thinker accepts what few people ever accept — that one cannot routinely trust perceptions and memories. Figments of our imagination and reflections of our emotional needs can often interfere with or supplant the perception of truth and reality. Through teaching and encouraging critical thought our society will move away from irrationality, but we will never succeed in completely abandoning irrational tendencies, again because of the basic nature of the belief engine."

James Alcock- 'The Belief Engine' - http://www.csicop.org/si/show/belief_engine



As an open minded objectivist- If you can present me with a solid ABX test that supports/backs up your findings/perceptions I'll certainly be more than happy to re-evaluate my current views on the subject.



Ari
Edited by Ari33 - 12/19/13 at 8:39am
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post


You may think I'm ignorant and you are entitled to your opinion but that doesn't necessarily make you right either. You may have a masters in EE but you do seem much less familiar with basic neuropsychology.

...

I am more than happy with the picture quality provided by a bluray on my HDTV, it is so good that I can't imagine it being improved by much if at all. Even if it was possible that it could be improved by a small percentage, I certainly don't think it would be noticable at my12-15ft viewing distance through a pair of 38 year old MK1 eyeballs. biggrin.gif

...


You suggest I A/B test a particular HDMI cable? Don't you see an inherant flaw in that suggestion?

 

Good stuff :-)

 

Let me clarify a few things. The "ignorant in this area" expression simply means "lacking knowledge in this area" so (1) nothing personal, and (2) definitely nothing offensive. Also, I am not or trying to be "right", I simply expressed my opinion - just like you did. It's an "opinion exchange". And I do have a degree in psychology, if you are curious.

 

The difference that Pandea silver HDMI introduced: easily seen color saturation (cold/lifeless with old cable, warm and more saturated with Pangea), higher contrast, black background is more intense (if that makes sense), very tiny details are better defined - have sharper edges (as tested on a 92" screen with Optoma 1080p 3D projector), and some gradient shadows are wider (for example, a blue shadow with a gradient, on a black background, is wider at the side where is becomes more transparent and disappears - tested on 1080p AppleTV (UI)/Marantz Blueray player (VUDU Streaming UI). Sound wise: dialog is less muddy and much easier to understand; 3D sound imagining is improved, plus others. Yes, there is a lot of subjectivity here.

 

You see, to protect your opinion/point of view, you wrote such a long post - love it! :-) The thing is, I respect yours, even mine is different. So let's not bore other people with our HDMI stuff anymore as other headfiers came to this thread to discuss Wireworld USB cables (but feel free to PM me on this off-topic, if you'd like). Thanks!

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post
 

...let's not bore other people with our HDMI stuff anymore as other headfiers came to this thread to discuss Wireworld USB cables (but feel free to PM me on this off-topic, if you'd like). Thanks!

 

Amen to that!  :) 

 

While I respect the right to debate, I find that it's often done on a thread where the OP was meant to be about the impressions people have of particular USB cables by those WHO HAVE ACTUALLY TRIED THEM. I respect people who come in saying that they tried it and couldn't tell the difference from stock. That's a fair opinion and valid for that person. 

 

The unwanted guests are those who come into these threads to share their LACK of knowledge on the subject matter of jitter and how it relates to USB audio streaming and attempts to preach a gospel nobody asked for. I have learnt how to just ignore these posts now so it doesn't bother me much. I just don't like how it clogs up the thread and chases away people who might have legitimate opinions to offer. 

post #42 of 67

I had a 0.5 meter Starlight 6 for about a year with a Bryston BHA-1 + W4S DAC-2 + LCD-2 and was happy and never bothered to compare with stock/generic cable as I get peace of mind with a reputable brand and apparently good design (separation of power and signal in a flat cable).

 

This summer I have decided to change my dac for a NAD M51 with Audiophilleo2 with PurePower and organized my desk in a different configuration so I needed a longer USB cable. I ordered a Starlight 7 in one meter lenght. The cable arrived and I found it more resolute, open and quieter (noise floor) than the generic that came from W4S. But I also found it a bit agressive, edgy and lacking bass in my new set-up. I let the cable broken in for about 200 hours and despite the fact that it improved a bit, I was still not satisfied. So I bought a use Transparent Performance USB in one meter also.

 

Oh boy, oh boy! The non-believer in USB cable sound difference should really hear these cable in a shootout. Blind test, double blind or whatever...these cables are the most opposite sounding USB cables I compared to date (more on my last experiments later). The Transparent is MUCH MORE thicker sounding and smoother than the Starlight. It sounds more realistic but also more veiled and less resolute than the Starlight. The bass for one is so more there, almost too much. At the end I decided to keep the Transparent but knew I had to try to find a good balance in resolution and low end register and with good mids in the middle of course.

 

So came a Silnote Poseidon pure 7N silver conductors. Wow! That cable brought me much closer to my goal. More resolution than the Starlight but without any harshness and with better bass. Much better performer all around. I sold the Transparent and bought an Oyaide Continental 5S, a really well review cable. Same kind of difference between the Silnote and the Oyaide as I experimented with the Starlight and Transparent but at a smaller degree and higher quality. The Oyaide was more robust with a deep, impactfull bass but lacked the air and details of the Silnote. I would have like to combine the best qualities of both cables and could be happy forever. Alas, I live in a real world. Gone the Oyaide and welcome Audioquest Diamond. That was the first time the Silnote lost in my system. The Diamond was really well balanced with better bass than the Silnote and with same resolution if not more. Gone the Silnote.

 

So happy and the quest is over? Hummm...not so much. The store where I bought the Diamond is also a Transparent dealer. My saleman offered me to try a Transparent Premium and will be willing to give me full credit with the Diamond to apply on the Transparent if I liked it better (I got a special price - 50% off on the Diamond but have to pay significantly more for the Premium if I liked it better). With the tests the store made with different USB cables, The Premium was clearly the best the owner and my salesman told me. I also read a user feedback in Computer Audiophile who said the Premium killed his Diamond. So I took the offer. I had nothing to lose I told to myself.

 

Well, it wasn't actually true. I lost about $200. The Premium is so much more superior to the Diamond in my system it's not even funny. More resolution, more open, much more dynamic and realism with a deep, controled and impactfull bass to die for. It's superior to the Diamond in any conceivable way to my ears in my system. 

 

So YES FOR ME USB cables can sound different. To subtle to extremely evident ways.

 

Finally, if the OP still read this post, I suggest to buy a Silnote (they could be found for around $150-200 on some sites). Much more realistic price than the $595 retail on Silnote site. The Silnote is a much, much better sounding cable than the Starlight 6 or 7 IMHO.


Edited by Lappy27 - 12/19/13 at 9:20pm
post #43 of 67

I had a 0.5 meter Starlight 6 for about a year with a Bryston BHA-1 + W4S DAC-2 + LCD-2 and was happy and never bother to compare with stock/generic cable as I get peace of mind with a reputable brand and apparently good design (separation of power and signal in a flat cable).

 

This summer I have decided to change my dac for a NAD M51 with Audiophilleo2 with PurePower and organized my desk in a different configuration so I needed a longer USB cable. I ordered a Starlight 7 in one meter lenght. The cable arrived and I found it more resolute, open and quieter (noise floor) than the generic that came from W4S. But I also found it a bit agressive, edgy and lacking bass in my new set-up. I let the cable broken in for about 200 hours and despite the fact that it improved a bit, I was still not satisfied. So I bought a use Transparent Performance USB in one meter also.

 

Oh boy, oh boy! The non-believer in USB cable sound difference should really hear these cable in a shootout. Blind test, double blind or whatever...these cables are the most opposite sounding USB cables I compared to date (more on my last experiments later). The Transparent is MUCH MORE thicker sounding and smoother than the Starlight. It sounds more realistic but also more veiled and less resolute than the Starlight. The bass for one is so more there, almost too much. At the end I decided to keep the Transparent but knew I had to try to find a good balance in resolution and low end register and with good mids in the middle of course.

 

So came a Silnote Poseidon pure 7N silver conductors. Wow! That cable brought me much closer to my goal. More resolution than the Starlight but without any harshness and with better bass. Much better performer all around. I sold the Transparent and bought an Oyaide Continental 5S, a really well review cable. Same kind of difference between the Silnote and the Oyaide as I experimented with the Starlight and Transparent but at a smaller degree and higher quality. The Oyaide was more robust with a deep, impactfull bass but lacked the air and details of the Silnote. I would have like to combine the best qualities of both cables and could be happy forever. Alas, I live in a real world. Gone the Oyaide and welcome Audioquest Diamond. That was the first time the Silnote lost in my system. The Diamond was really well balanced with better bass than the Silnote and with same resolution if not more. Gone the Silnote.

 

So happy and the quest is over? Hummm...not so much. The store where I bought the Diamond is also a Transparent dealer. My saleman offered me to try a Transparent Premium and will be willing to give me full credit with the Diamond to apply on the Transparent if I liked it better (I got a special price - 50% off on the Diamond but have to pay significantly more for the Premium if I liked it better). With the tests the store made with different USB cables, The Premium was clearly the best the owner and my salesman told me. I also read a user feedback in Computer Audiophile who said the Premium killed his Diamond. So I took the offer. I had nothing to lose I told to myself.

 

Well, it wasn't actually true. I lost about $200. The Premium is so much more superior to the Diamond in my system is not even funny. More resolution, more open, much more dynamic and realism with a deep, controled and impactfull bass to die for. It's superior to the Diamond in any conceivable way to my ears in my system. 

 

So YES FOR ME USB cables can sound different. To subtle to extremely evident ways.

 

Finally, if the OP still read this post, I suggest to buy a Silnote (they could be find for around $150-200 on some sites). Much more realistic price than the $595 retail on Silnote site. The Silnote is a much, much better sounding cable than the Starlight 6 or 7 IMHO.

post #44 of 67

Thanks Lappy. I've taken a punt on Black Cat Silverstar. I'll report back my findings. 

 

I'm currently using the old WW Ultraviolet and Audioquest Forest. Of these the Forest seems to improve sound over stock cable noticeably whereas the Ultraviolet less so. I am currently burning in the Ultraviolet to see if things improve. 

 

I have an Ultraviolet 5.2 in another system that sounded terribly harsh but came good after 100 hours burn in. 

 

It was a big jump to get a Black Cat Silverstar from those entry level cables but I am very curious about Black Cat cables. I am expecting great things... hope it doesn't let me down. 

post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lappy27 View Post
 

I had a 0.5 meter Starlight 6 for about a year with a Bryston BHA-1 + W4S DAC-2 + LCD-2 and was happy and never bother to compare with stock/generic cable as I get peace of mind with a reputable brand and apparently good design (separation of power and signal in a flat cable).

 

...


So YES FOR ME USB cables can sound different. To subtle to extremely evident ways.

 

Finally, if the OP still read this post, I suggest to buy a Silnote (they could be find for around $150-200 on some sites). Much more realistic price than the $595 retail on Silnote site. The Silnote is a much, much better sounding cable than the Starlight 6 or 7 IMHO.

Great info, love it!

 

This is a kind of experience that costs a lot of money and requires great effort, and we are getting it in one neat post, for free :-) Thanks Lappy27, appreciate you sharing this :-)

 

I had a similar experience with Pangea Silver USB; it had more bass, sounded slightly warmer and more substantial than Starlight 7 but seemed to have less resolution. Now I am trying to go back to Pangea and do more listening as I agree, S7 seem to sound a bit edgy/harsh.

 

Has anyone had any experience with Kimber/Cardas (silver) USB cables? I was wondering how they would compare to Starlight 7 (I found performance of Kimber interconnects/HDMI to be very good so now I am curious about USB).

 

Judging from your post, it sounds like it would be worth going back to the search and trying some more options.

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