AntiCables Level 3.1 Reference Series USB Cable
Sep 12, 2015 at 8:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

oneguy

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I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these cables? I am thinking of giving them a try for the 30 day trail when I get back from work/vacation in early October. They claim: 
 

  1. Outperforms the highly acclaimed Light Harmonics "Lightspeed USB Cable" at 1/5 the price
  2. Easily outperforms the $2,000 Synergistic Research USB cable at about 1/8th the price

I currently have the Light Harmonics 2G split cable and am pretty happy with it. It seems based on their statement they are comparing their cable to the LH 10G and if they can make good on their statement then I think it will be money well spent.
 
Your thoughts?
 
Sep 29, 2015 at 10:42 PM Post #2 of 12

oneguy

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I received the AntiCables USB Cable in the mail today. I am burning it in as we speak so that I can give it a proper review in a week and comparison to the LH Labs cables.
 
Here are a few pics of the cable as it arrived. You can see the separate 5 wire in the pics. It is about little longer than the main cable. Maybe and inch in excess. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Oct 16, 2015 at 3:14 AM Post #4 of 12

oneguy

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I have burned the Anticables USB cable for about 125-150 hours so far. The 10G should be here in 5 days or so so I will get to the comparison when I get back home that weekend. When I did a brief listen compared to the 2G I own I heard only maybe a miniscule degradation going from 2G to Anticables. Well see if my ears can any real differences between those two and the 10G after 25 Oct.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 10:42 AM Post #5 of 12

Lenni

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few years ago, when I was trying to find a good set of cables, I tried their speaker cables. I was not impressed. They didn't live up to their claims. I was already using some pretty good cables, so that might be a factor. To me they performed just as any regular copper cable. of course, their cables have been upgraded a few times since then.
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 10:47 AM Post #6 of 12

oneguy

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Overall
Both the LH Labs cables seem to present better separation between the instruments and vocals. In this case the separation i am referring isn’t lateral separation or vertical separation but distance separation which added depth or layers to the music. What I attribute this to is greater difference in volume levels between the the background music and what is supposed to be in the foreground. This didn’t mean that the details from the music were harder to retrieve though. The LH 10G in particular presented a cleaner sound with allowed for the detail retrieval. In one song it seems that the vocals were boosted a bit to provide the greater contrast for the LH 10G. With another song I thought this greater separation was to the detriment of the LH line of cables as the Anticables offered better integration between foreground and background sounds.
 
Between the LH 2G and 10G the 10G takes the cake for precision in separating instruments and vocals. The difference isn't huge, the 2G will get you 90-95% of the way there, but the 10G is still the winner.
 
Test procedure:
1. Once a db level was picked it remained constant for all cable during that song
2. The LH Labs cables were the split leg versions and the power leg remained plugged into my USB hub during the tests.
3. The listening order for each song was LH 2G, LH 10G, AntiCables 3.1, LH2G. This order was picked to establish a base line to start the comparison with the first listen and then the subsequent order allowed each cable to be listened to in close proximity to the other competitors.

Brief notes from listening:
Tono de la Virgen - Musica Temprana - Binaural DSD64
LH 10G
Detailed highs in the female vocals more present than compared to the 2G.
 
AntiCables 3.1
Less separation between instruments and voices in right channel. 
 
LH 2G
Voice and instrument separation comes back compared to the AntiCables 3.1.
 
You Drive Me Crazy - Dick Hyman - 24/88.2
LH10G
Better bass than LH 2G. What I mean by that is with the LH 2G I could feel the thump but it was hard to hear the bass. With the 10G I could hear the sound of the bass as opposed to just feeling it.
 
AntiCables 3.1
Less separation than the LH 10G between instruments and voices. Didn’t have the same bass issue that was present in the LH 2G. I would say it was slight behind the 10G in bass presentation but not by much.
 
LH 2G
Separation comes back when compared to the Anticables. 
 
Come Away with Me - Norah Jones - 24/192
LH 10G
Amplitude of vocals seems to increased especially with the female vocals when compared to the 2G. It actually becomes uncomfortable to listen to. For the sake of the test I keep the dB at the same level for all the tests to try too minimize variability. 
 
AntiCables 3.1
Highly pronounced high hat transition from left to center during the intro which seemed a little odd. The transition was quicker than the LH 10G and LH 2G. The volume of the female vocals lowers but is still somewhat uncomfortable to listen to. More pleasant background integration than the 10G. Background brought more forward to mix with the foreground. 
 
2G
Separation returns. Amplitude of vocals goes back to tolerable level
 
The Cables
Anticables 3.1 USB cable ($240 for 0.96 meters)
The Antibes 3.1 USB cable is quite unique is its design the concept for the cable is to have as little material covering the wires to minimize dielectric effect distortion. The coiled red material around the data portion of the cable is made from metal when make it moldable but also is something that may kink if the bend is sharp enough.
 
The hot wire for the USB is held outside of the main coil in an effort to reduce it potential effects not the data wires. The only thing i didn't like was that i constantly felt like i was going to pull that wire out or break it anytime i to move the cable sine it is jus dangling out there in free space.

The LH Labs cables
Both the LH labs cables in this test were split design cables. in this design the data and power legs have their own USB type A connection and merge at the USB type-B connection to plug into the DAC. This allows you to power the DAC through the USB connection. If your DAC does not need USB power then the power leg can be connected for the initial USB handshake and then can be disconnected for further use.
 
LH Labs 10G ($999 for 0.8 meters)
This cable comes with a lifetime, no questions asked, transferrable warranty as well as records of the tests and the values or the tests for that cable. it comes to your door in a nice box that makes a nice place to store your random adapters and other small items on your desk. Additionally, 4 acrylic spacers are included to keep the power and data legs separated should you chose to leave both of the plugged in.

 

 

 

 

 

 
LH Labs 2G ($199 for 1meter)
The 2G cable comes in a similar box to the 10G cable. However, the rest of the contents of the box are different. The warranty for this cable is a limited one year warranty and there is no spec sheet to be found. The acrylic spacers included in the 10G box are also no included.

 

 
Bottomline: In a money is no object game i think the the LH Labs 10G is victor if you are enamored with seperation and layers . if you are budget minded and looking for the best bang for the buck the LH labs 2G is my pick of the three cables tested. If you have any issues with music not apparently from the same plane of distance or you really like the background to be just as loud as the foreground then the Anticables 3.1 would be your option.
 
Thank you LH Labs for allowing me to demo your 10G USB cable and thank you Paul at Anitcables for the opportunity to demo one of your products.
 
Oct 29, 2015 at 3:22 AM Post #7 of 12

oneguy

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I am really not sure why I am arguing because this conversation will ultimately how no where but thank you for the post count increase [and the fun :) ]
 
Oct 29, 2015 at 5:30 PM Post #8 of 12

ZoNtO

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I am really not sure why I am arguing because this conversation will ultimately how no where but thank you for the post count increase [and the fun
smily_headphones1.gif
]

 
Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions oneguy.
 
Cable skeptics, go troll elsewhere. No one is debating that the data sent by the computer and received by the DAC is in tact, i.e. that the 1s and 0s are the same, by a USB cable that meets the spec. However, to pretend that when one's intended use of a cable is to send those 1s and 0s makes that cable immune from any and all noise, interference, differences in construction and materials, length, etc. and must sound the same to all other cables used for the same purpose sounds pretty "the-world-is-flat" to me. Hypocritically, you're the closed-minded ones.
 
Some resources to consider:
 
I personally have not heard the Anticables USB cable and came in to read impressions of people that had used it. What I got instead what the typical objectivist response that plagues this site. If you're happy with your Monoprice cables and O2/ODAC combo unit, then by all means go enjoy them and leave people alone.
 
We're not talking about transferring data to an external hard drive here, we're talking about sending music in electronic format between two noisy machines and then listening to that music once decoded and amplified. There is room for using both your ears and your brain in these matters.
 
Finally, if you look at the title of this subforum, you'll notice the qualifier (DBT-Free Forum). Take that discussion to the Sound Science boards if you're passionate about it.
 
Sep 19, 2016 at 11:33 AM Post #10 of 12

jdmeyers77

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Thanks for this excellent and honest review.  My understanding with Anti-Cables has been they actually need closer to 500 hours to do their "thing."  In the past, I got frustrated when I tried them and never reached that magic mark.  That said, I have heard them in a friend's system who leaves it on all day (solid state) and the Anti-Cables sound very, very good.  
 
If I ever find a pair that really has a ton of hours on them, I might try them again.  I think their design concept is pretty solid -- and they look cool as well, IMHO!  I just wish you could buy them new with 500 hours of factory burn time already put in.  Since most everyone agrees about the long burn time for them, not sure why they don't provide that service for a slight uncharge like many companies?
 
Sep 19, 2016 at 12:35 PM Post #11 of 12

oneguy

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I wish they would as well. Not everyone wants to put 500 hours on their system per cable they buy. Especially when they are testing cables and that potentially means 500 hours per cable and each "box" has multiple input and output cables.
 
Jun 22, 2018 at 7:07 PM Post #12 of 12

kingk6673

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Review of NEW Anticable Reference 3.1 USB Y Cable

Hi everyone, I was reading the threads above and wanted to add some of my perspective on a new Anticable Reference USB 3.1 Y cable that I asked Paul Speltz to make. With this cable I now have an entire system down to the headphone amplifier which is Anticable. I am not going to go into the scientific part about all of this since there are many very knowledgeable people who have written a lot about the science and theory. I am not going to try and to discuss this but instead focus on listening enjoyment and personal impressions.

Now, down to my system... I have transitioned into headphone and dac systems with a computer as an audioserver because of financial reasons and space. I have learned that the cables do make a difference with the sound depending on the system, so I started off with the usual upgrades. Pangea AG USB, Audioquest (Vodka, Yosemite, Colorado), iFi Gemini USB cables. These cable did provide an improvement in the sound and seemed better than generic cable, but because of the high end home stereo system I used to have, I knew the sound could be a lot better. Thus began my quest to find cables that would provide a truly high end sound and not break the bank. Enter Anticables! :)

I read about anticables and decided to start substituting the current cables in my whole system with the interconnects that Paul has made. With each addition of anticable interconnect, the sound was markedly better! Not sure if this is the synergy of the system that I have put together, but there was definitely an improvement to my ears.

The problem is that I wanted to also try to replace the Pangea XL USB split Y cable that splits the sound and power output. I had told others about how good the Pangea XL USB Y cable is at its price point in its ability to improve all aspects of the music. Better definition, sound stage, clarity, separation, microdetail and sound floor. For the price I thought is was really is very, very good. Since I was having good luck with the Anticable USB 3.0 cables I contacted Paul Speltz and asked him if he could special make a Y shaped USB cable for me based on the Anticable Reference USB 3.1. He had it done for me in a week.

Results - I have been one to rave about the Pangea XL USB Y until I put the special made Anticable USB 3.1 Y cable into my system and... WOW! I was expecting a slight difference, but found that the Anticable USB significantly betters the Pangea XL Y cable across all aspects of the performance range and provides a truly wonderful sound that can listened to for hours on end without fatigue. If you are looking for a USB Y cable that could make a difference in your system and do not want to break the bank, this is worth a look and listen!

UPDATE - 4 month Follow-up on Initial posting in June 2018 now that have many more hours burn in on my system:

I wanted to follow up on the comments from previous posts. I had purchased the Anticables USB reference 3.1 with 150 hours burn in and as of now have over 300 hours burn in. There definitely is an improvement in the sound and synergy with the system I have. I am sure that there are probably better cables, but if you do not want to break the bank these really do sound great for the price. I am interested so see how things sound after 500 hours burn in based on the reviews from others :)


Current Audio System:

Music source: Tidal, MQA streaming

Audio Chain: Computer > Anticable USB 3.1 > iFi iGalvanic 3.0 > Anticable USB 3.1 > iFi Micro USB 3.0 > Anticable USB 3.1 Y cable > iFi Micro iDSD BL > Anticable 6.1 RCA > iFi Micro Itube2 > Anticable 6.1 RCA > Schiit Magni 3 > Cardas Clear Light headphone Cable > Hifiman Edition X V2

I also use a number of vibration dampening and noise reduction / power conditioning items to help round out the system. :)
 
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