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.
You're welcome NotAnAngel :)
In fact, after calculation, I invested (I prefer this word to lost) about $200 in this search project for the best USB cable I could afford for my system. I knew it from the start and accepted that fact. I saw it as a R & D. This is part of the game if you really want to experiment with more options than your original purchase. I don't have any single regrets. I heard significant differences from all the cables and I choose the one I prefered for my taste in my system. Of course, it happened that the one I liked the most (by far) was also the most expensive! I really wished USB cables made no differences. I could have invested this money in music purchase. But the simple and sad truth is USB cables do sound different and have huge impact of the result you get in your system.
If you're ready to invest some money and also important, time (break in of cables is important), I really encourage you to do so. You're evaluation of the S7 reflected mine and I think you will never be satisfied with this sonic signature. The S7 was, in my system, the cable I disliked the most apart from the flat, veiled and dull sounding generic cable.
BTW, there is a general consensus that silver is a better conductor than copper but that could be compensate by increasing the gage of the copper conductor. Silver is more expensive than copper, hence the higher price of the cables made with this material. Some manufacturers make Silver clad/plated conductors with great results to reduce the cost. But some some really expensive cable and highly regarded USB cables like Light Harmonic Lightspeed at $999 is silver clad/copper. Even my Transparent Premium is silver clad copper but in a extra large size conductors design with quadruple isolation from external/internal noise.
If you like to have really good resolution, air and details without harshness and with a satisfying bass, I highly suggest you the Silnote Poseidon Silver 7N if you can find it for about $150 to $200. A much better sounding cable thann the S7. I am sure you will be pleased.
But if you want to have it all (resolution, air, total silence between notes, realism and accuracy of timbre, deep, tight and extremely accurate and impactful bass AND musicality), accept to shell out about $500 on the Transparent Premium and be done with it. It is so much superior to the highly regarded as a reference Audioquest Diamond in my system. In all sonic parameters.
Finally, I will be comparing my Premium to a custom made 20AWG OCC silver extra large conductors somewhere in the beginning of 2014. The conceptor is Steven Huang of AudioSensibility, a canadian cables and power accesories (iI bought is Power Distribution box - fantastic performance over my now sold PS Audio Power Plant regenerator) maker. Highly knowledgeable, skilled and passionate guy to deal with. I actually have his Statement USB (24AWGOCC silver conductor) cable with me for an evaluation. His cable is better than the Silnote, on par with the Diamond but behind the Premium on my last comparison but it didn't have a full 200 hours of burn in. Now it have, I will do more comparison in my holidays vacation.