edit again. the diamond is actually considerably better. however th only cable i feel is in fact consdierably better at this point. it is your $10 vs $600++. i have tried a lot of cables and the aq diamond is the only one i feel is markedly better than the belkin gold at this point.
edit: i think this says it all from tas ion a 12 grand dac. this is probably no secret by now though. it's just a fluke but one certainly in our favor. they no longer make it get it on amazon while you can...... some may disagree but i am just trying to help people. i have no other agenda here.
"After sorting out software, there is still the matter of cables. As I have stressed before, USB cables make a demonstrable difference. For my tests with the Debussy, I experimented with five of them, ranging from the Brand X variety that comes with printers to audiophile affairs from Synergistics and Kimber. The winner this round—just as in the last time I conducted a USB cable survey—was the unpretentious Belkin Gold Series. The difference this cable makes is not remotely subtle. Depending on what you are comparing it to, it can be the difference between music and wallpaper. Here, blessedly, in one area of the high end that does not require spending a fortune; I picked up my 6-foot set at Amazon for $4.88."
there are slight differences. the aq is a little more detailed and brighter. the belkin is more neutral but a tad less detailed. i am sure everyone here knows of the value of the belkin. $10 vs. $600. i would say only worth it in a very high end system. if you go down one notch in the aq line pretty similar. in fact maybe the belkin is better. i am sure everyone knows this but i just compared them extensively. it is just a quirk that a $10 cable sounds that good but it in fact does. i figure this is old news though. if belkin was an audiophile company they would be selling that cable for $500. i would get one while you can if you want it as they no longer make it. although there thousands of new ones still for sale. btw, both made in china if that makes any difference. the belkin just happens to be a serious audio cable for dirt cheap. it was one magazines reference cable for many years until some $2,000 cable displaced it. as i said i figure everyone knows this by now anyways. it is just that i had a chance today to prove to myself. as least as far as aq goes. did not test others. if you require 5 meters it would be a no brainer. unless as i said a very high end system.
edit: i wanted to say some people think aq is overprice best buy stuff and go compare it to a seemingly better cable, listen what happens. i completely disagree. i hold aq in high regard. other companies as well. i did say there was a difference for the better but barely. it is your $10 vs. $600++. as far as lamp cord vs wel sig speaker cables that is a completely different story. the aq in that instance will simply walk all over the lamp cord. including other speaker cables at that price. that is precisely why i hold them in high regard. even so i still prefer odin 2. that does not by any means state that i do not take aq seriously though. so given that i have to say the belkin is very impressive indeed. of course this is already well known even though it just happens to be a fluke. would i spend $600++ more for 2% difference? i would but maybe you would not. i am right now contemplating if i will keep the 5 meter cable on loan which is like 2 grand. i think first i want to try transparent audio. not too fancy specs but is a friends reference. it is the pusb model. i have not decided yet.
the absolute sound circa 2013: "Despite being ridiculously inexpensive, this cable was AT’s reference for nearly two years. Though no longer the best USB cable available, in sonic and musical terms it continues to outperform and embarrass the vast majority of alternatives, regardless of price. A perfect first (and even last) USB cable."
they feel the only better cable is the aq diamond. as do i. very slightly better. once again $10 vs. $600++. depends on how far you want to go. i would however not recommend thie aq unless your equipment is up to the task. one step below in the aq line and the belkin slightly beats it. pretty amazing. i know this is old news but i never directly compared before. today i did. i was very impressed with the belkin. my only agenda here is i like to get something for nothing. here it nearly exists. also if you are going 5 meters or more you might as well just forget any high end cable. many of them do not meet exact spec so could even start having problems at this length. the aq is solid silver and that does not meet usb spec. may or may not even cause a problem. at less than 2 meters i think the aq diamond is very good. probably the best i have heard but only slightly better than the belkin.
what would you guys choose? name any brand including the belkin. we do not need to discuss data does not change or anything to that effect! the cables do make a difference if you are able to hear it.
today i tried the kimber solid ag. this i like. very good. big bucks too.
Edited by music_man - 4/24/16 at 3:10pm