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Gah. 'Audiophile' USB Cable. - Page 4

post #46 of 191
Quote:
 The one who is unscientific is the one who chooses to disregard the body of overwhelming existing knowledge on all the principles at play (not only in USB audio devices, but everything) but bases one's beliefs in unfalsifiable claims or falsifiable claims for which no evidence is presented.

You know, a while ago, there was overwhelming evidence that the earth was the center of everything. And no, I did not try these cables out because I *believed* in anything. I was curious to see if there's any difference. I have no truck with the people who made them cables. I have no means of un/falsifying my claims other than to ask you and others to try a similar experiment and share your findings. If anyone is happy to lend me their measuring tools, I'd happily test my cables for them. For now, I'll have to use my ears.
post #47 of 191

As long as a cable is made properly, there will be no difference whatsoever, whether it's a USB cable or a pair of interconnects. You think I'm wrong because I haven't tested this? See my profile. I have a pair of BM Pinnacle Gold interconnects that retail at 999USD. They sound exactly the same as my Cardas 300b interconnects (copper) which are about 10 times cheaper. Good thing I bought em used for 150usd. :D 

 

Most of the expensive cables I own I bought way back when I was still easily influenced and let placebo dictate what I heard. Years later, doing serious comparisons, I found no differences whatsoever. Now I just use em cause they look pretty connected to all my gear. :D 

 

I also own a decent (read: expensive, although not TOO expensive) BNC to RCA digital cable, and a few (much cheaper) TOSlink optical cables. Guess what? They all sound the same.


Edited by elmoe - 2/13/14 at 9:35am
post #48 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

Shouldn't one approach things with curiosity rather than prejudice? Anyway, it's comforting to know there are members here who already know everything.

If someone wants to believe in fairies and unicorns, that's their business. But it doesn't make me lacking in curiosity or prejudiced because I choose instead to follow logic and science.
post #49 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If someone wants to believe in fairies and unicorns, that's their business. But it doesn't make me lacking in curiosity or prejudiced because I choose instead to follow logic and science.

Following logic and science leads you to just shut the door to any possibility whatsoever of the usb cable making any difference in sq? Congratulations.

Look, I've had my fair share of tweaking my system. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I have a shakti stone to show for it too. There's a lot of bs around this hobby for sure, but happily not all of it is bs. I'm a big fan of blue jeans cable and before that Naim audio equipment (and back in those days no-one made cables for Naim gear). I was using a perfectly functioning usb cable and was part of the 'digital is digital' crowd when it seems a worrying number people are talking about usb cables. I read up on it and decided to try a couple out. One wasn't too different from my old cable and the other was significantly different. Then i got a few more and it appeared that i can more readily tell usb cables apart than rca interconnects. This was odd but again there appeared to be some explanations as to why. What's interesting is that folks who say usb cables matter aren't always people who make or sell them. Many aren't reviewers either. Google is your friend here, search and you shall find.

All i am saying is that if you trust in reason and logic, it should lead you to a 15 day return policy in a heartbeat. Many of these cables aren't expensive and many are very good. I will not say that spending $300 on a cable is worth the 'same' amount of difference if you spend it on other gear, but it can make your stuff sound better. It also seems to be dependent on the equipment involved. My pwd is not hugely susceptible but does improve while the gungnir shows the differences quite significantly. Try it. You don't have any thing to lose, do you?

@elmoe it seems odd that you paid 150 for a 1k cable. There are a lot of fakes and scammers around. Anyhow, what other cables have you tried (and found to be worthless)? I'd like to know what to avoid. A lot of places have good return policies - why not return them?

At the end of the day, we all have to live our karma. If mine means i must pay crazy sums for cables, well at least i ain't buying crack with it i guess. wink.gif
post #50 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


Following logic and science leads you to just shut the door to any possibility whatsoever of the usb cable making any difference in sq? Congratulations.

Look, I've had my fair share of tweaking my system. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I have a shakti stone to show for it too. There's a lot of bs around this hobby for sure, but happily not all of it is bs. I'm a big fan of blue jeans cable and before that Naim audio equipment (and back in those days no-one made cables for Naim gear). I was using a perfectly functioning usb cable and was part of the 'digital is digital' crowd when it seems a worrying number people are talking about usb cables. I read up on it and decided to try a couple out. One wasn't too different from my old cable and the other was significantly different. Then i got a few more and it appeared that i can more readily tell usb cables apart than rca interconnects. This was odd but again there appeared to be some explanations as to why. What's interesting is that folks who say usb cables matter aren't always people who make or sell them. Many aren't reviewers either. Google is your friend here, search and you shall find.

All i am saying is that if you trust in reason and logic, it should lead you to a 15 day return policy in a heartbeat. Many of these cables aren't expensive and many are very good. I will not say that spending $300 on a cable is worth the 'same' amount of difference if you spend it on other gear, but it can make your stuff sound better. It also seems to be dependent on the equipment involved. My pwd is not hugely susceptible but does improve while the gungnir shows the differences quite significantly. Try it. You don't have any thing to lose, do you?

@elmoe it seems odd that you paid 150 for a 1k cable. There are a lot of fakes and scammers around. Anyhow, what other cables have you tried (and found to be worthless)? I'd like to know what to avoid. A lot of places have good return policies - why not return them?

At the end of the day, we all have to live our karma. If mine means i must pay crazy sums for cables, well at least i ain't buying crack with it i guess. wink.gif

 

It's not odd at all, I bought it from a well-known Head-Fier, so there's no doubt about the legitimacy of the cable. Cables tend to drop big time in price over time. None of the cables are worthless, they all do exactly what they were made to do, and exactly the same way. Some cost 50 bucks, others 1000. That's all. As for returning them, I bought them 7-8 years ago so that's unlikely.

 

Once again though, none of these cables are worthless. You can look in my profile for my list of cables. What I'm saying is that at the end of the day, they make no difference to the sound. Some of them are sturdy and well built, which is now the ONLY factor that goes into me putting money into a cable, but with years and years of testing, I have found that as long as the cable is built properly, it will sound the same whether it costs 50 or 1000 bucks. Any difference I may think I heard was in my opinon, complete placebo.

 

I'll add that I've had cables that are recognized far and wide for being 'amazing', such as moon-audio cables, headphile recables, enigma audio cables, cardas... I particularly liked the sturdyness of the enigma audio cables, but as far as sound goes, they all sound the same.


Edited by elmoe - 2/13/14 at 10:34am
post #51 of 191
I wouldn't call any cable 'amazing' as such. Like i said, a difference between a $100 and a $500 cable is probably about $100 if you could put it to scale, so to speak. But to say they're all the same i find to be strange. There is a brand of cable which i think is a waste of money but the rest i find to actually have an effect. Some more positive than others, obviously.

Anyhow i guess you're lucky. I don't throw too much cash at it, but it's still a cost and to me a necessity to an extent.

I do not feel i'm experiencing placebo, however. A lot of the time, it's not the nest looking or the most expensive cable i choose. I'd guess someone affected by placebo would immediately and consistently choose what she/he assumes to be the more costly or at least look that way, surely.
post #52 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

USB cables (a) deliver audio data to a DAC (perfectly when operating within spec) and (b) deliver power to bus-powered devices (which DAC designers should account for USB spec's on power delivery).

 

That's a bit short.

 

The transfer of data itself isn't much of a problem. The real technical problem with the various USB audio protocols is the reconstruction of the timing information. As for (a), I wouldn't expect the USB cables to have a significant effect on the shape of the signal and the final reconstructed audio clock only has an indirect link with packets timing anyway (in adaptive mode); or even none (in asynchronous mode). However, for (b), the clock generation sections of the USB receiver are extremely sensitive to what is fed to their power pins (V+ and gnd). Life being what it is, DAC designers usually don't go to the extremes required to make sure that noise entering the USB device is completely neutralized (especially common mode noise). When the whole USB device is USB powered, we can extend the problem to the D/A process itself.

 

Which is why objective differences have actually been measured* in between usb cables (all other parameters being kept equal). They were registered as differences in the analog result which can be attributed to jitter in the digital chain. Those differences can probably be attributed to variations in shielding, separation of data, gnd and power lines, common mode noise filtering, etc.  among the measured cables.

 

But, and that's what matters most, the audiophile cables aren't necessary better than common ones and those differences are likely under our hearing abilities. Variations in the quality of your USB source are way, way more significant and USB cables are a completely mistaken place to look at for improvements.

 

* by Paul Miller, in Hifi-News of January 2011

post #53 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

Following logic and science leads you to just shut the door to any possibility whatsoever of the usb cable making any difference in sq? Congratulations.

No. It just means I'm looking for scientific explanation that trumps the existing explanation, rather than listening to some guy on the Internet who has to be rude and/or insult those that don't believe in USB cable audio superiority in order to make his points. 00940 just provided one reason why it might sound better to you--it is possible that a poorly designed DAC would need a cable with better shielding. That has nothing to do with one USB cable being inherently better than another for audio quality.
post #54 of 191

Don't listen to 00940 too much - a Belgian exiled in Paris is way too suspicious - it's usually the other way around :D

post #55 of 191

It all depends on the shielding material used. Electromagnetic interference could cause bits to be flipped. Other than that, I don't think conductor used make a difference for digital signals.

post #56 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

I hope everybody can learn a little bit from the information in the post!

 

Cheers

Maybe not, but agree I do.

post #57 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

No. It just means I'm looking for scientific explanation that trumps the existing explanation, rather than listening to some guy on the Internet who has to be rude and/or insult those that don't believe in USB cable audio superiority in order to make his points. 00940 just provided one reason why it might sound better to you--it is possible that a poorly designed DAC would need a cable with better shielding. That has nothing to do with one USB cable being inherently better than another for audio quality.

I was not being rude to non-believers, but instead stated that i found it silly that with all the logic and so-called science it was concluded that "we know everything - digital is digital and that's that". Excerpts form interviews of famous designers of digital audio have been posted, someone posted links to a number of articles. Still it was "i know everything - it's impossible". So why should one more article make a difference? (I did state that there's information out there on the web.) i appreciate 00940's post as much as the others, but it's not the first one linked to from this thread.

My point since the beginning was that with evidence on *both* sides (as according to various articles and links) and if it interests you, it is the scientific thing to test your hypotheses. That is all. But still... "we know usb specs. My printer works perfect." You demand proof in the forms of graphs and plots for 'audiophile cables' but are you even sure your usb 2 cable conforms to that standard? You're basing your assumption on the fact that it works. How is that different from someone else basing their hypothesis on what they hear? There's concrete information than that on the "heard the difference" side but for some reason, all is dismissed as placebo. 100% placebo. Because digital is digital. It can't be any other way.

Now you're saying you believe it may be the case depending on how well dacs are designed. Well, which of the hundreds of dacs out there is perfectly designed? Most dacs of a common price range use one of a handful of chips available to handle usb inputs (like an xmos). The designs of these boards do tend to be more limited than the rest of the dac and more importantly, similar between different dacs. If a cable makes an improvement on one, it is likely to do so on another. So in these cases, the cable matters. A berkeley audio usb->spdif box goes to great lengths to deal with its usb input and with stunning results. Where's the logic of "perfect" data transfer with any "functional" cable and circuits in that one? Still 100% placebo?

And the shielding.... Well isn't that part of the cable? The shielding, construction, materials, connectors etc. each play a role to a degree. I've never said a good cable needs to be made out of gold and covered in unobtainium or something, did i?

Look, you can believe what you like. I am seriously not interested. But please, if you want to be scientific about it, please keep an open mind and check things out. It is easy to put things down to as placebo effects and it is dangerous too because it is hard to disprove that something is NOT placebo. It's easy to read specs but it is harder still to understand their limitations upon application. Folks throw around words like double blind tests like it's easy or even possible to do in many cases. There's a lot of bs in this hobby like i said, but it ain't all bs. Seeing for yourself is part of the fun, imho, specially if it costs you nothing.
post #58 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


I was not being rude to non-believers, but instead stated that i found it silly that with all the logic and so-called science it was concluded that "we know everything - digital is digital and that's that". Excerpts form interviews of famous designers of digital audio have been posted, someone posted links to a number of articles. Still it was "i know everything - it's impossible". So why should one more article make a difference? (I did state that there's information out there on the web.) i appreciate 00940's post as much as the others, but it's not the first one linked to from this thread.

My point since the beginning was that with evidence on *both* sides (as according to various articles and links) and if it interests you, it is the scientific thing to test your hypotheses. That is all. But still... "we know usb specs. My printer works perfect." You demand proof in the forms of graphs and plots for 'audiophile cables' but are you even sure your usb 2 cable conforms to that standard? You're basing your assumption on the fact that it works. How is that different from someone else basing their hypothesis on what they hear? There's concrete information than that on the "heard the difference" side but for some reason, all is dismissed as placebo. 100% placebo. Because digital is digital. It can't be any other way.

Now you're saying you believe it may be the case depending on how well dacs are designed. Well, which of the hundreds of dacs out there is perfectly designed? Most dacs of a common price range use one of a handful of chips available to handle usb inputs (like an xmos). The designs of these boards do tend to be more limited than the rest of the dac and more importantly, similar between different dacs. If a cable makes an improvement on one, it is likely to do so on another. So in these cases, the cable matters. A berkeley audio usb->spdif box goes to great lengths to deal with its usb input and with stunning results. Where's the logic of "perfect" data transfer with any "functional" cable and circuits in that one? Still 100% placebo?

And the shielding.... Well isn't that part of the cable? The shielding, construction, materials, connectors etc. each play a role to a degree. I've never said a good cable needs to be made out of gold and covered in unobtainium or something, did i?

Look, you can believe what you like. I am seriously not interested. But please, if you want to be scientific about it, please keep an open mind and check things out. It is easy to put things down to as placebo effects and it is dangerous too because it is hard to disprove that something is NOT placebo. It's easy to read specs but it is harder still to understand their limitations upon application. Folks throw around words like double blind tests like it's easy or even possible to do in many cases. There's a lot of bs in this hobby like i said, but it ain't all bs. Seeing for yourself is part of the fun, imho, specially if it costs you nothing.

 

No need to get upset. As long as the conductor works, it does not affect signal quality, aka 0s and 1s. Shielding is the only possible way to protect the transmitted data.

 

Yes. Transmitting electrical signals is all the cable does. You can't just argue something out of nothing.

 

Everything else is placebo (not necessary a bad thing).

post #59 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0day View Post

No need to get upset. As long as the conductor works, it does not affect signal quality, aka 0s and 1s. Shielding is the only possible way to protect the transmitted data.

Yes. Transmitting electrical signals is all the cable does. You can't just argue something out of nothing.

Everything else is placebo (not necessary a bad thing).

When was it mentioned that some magic happens to electrical signal? The main point here is whether or not using different cables make a difference for a usb connection between your pc and dac. Some say yes, some the opposite. Something was never argued out of nothing, but if you say shielding matters, then the connectors matter. The construction of the cable matters and so on as these affect how well the entire cable is shielded.

The sq wave plots i think matters. If that has something to do with materials then so be it. I'm interested in the end result and that's what we're talking about here.
post #60 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

I was not being rude to non-believers, but instead stated that i found it silly that with all the logic and so-called science . . .

It's unnecessary to calls someone's beliefs silly. I suppose, if I had your attitude, I should edit the 2nd post. It currently reads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Since you posted here, you'll find someone that will champion the benefits of $200 USB cables.

I guess no one would have found it rude if I had said,
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Since you posted here, you'll find some non-believers in science that will champion the benefits of $200 USB cables based on silly subjective listening tests.
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