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DX200=Affordable High End Audio. Dual ES9028Pro dacs. AMP1, AMP3, AMP5, AMP7 & AMP8 ***Firmware support now up for AMP9***

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by paul - ibasso, Dec 17, 2015.
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  1. Mython Contributor
    Please... no need to get irate [​IMG]
    Personally, I'm not a big fan of 'audiophile' cables - I consider many of them to be a disgracefully-overpriced rip-off, with lots and lots of potential snake-oil, but... there is some legitimacy to designing a digital transfer cable more carefully than cheapo ones, in order to improve their rejection of stray RF noise, which can (potentially) alter the sound to some extent.
  2. hAbIrAbI
    As an IT guy that kind of talk just boils my blood because it means the person talking has no clue what is actually happening during the data transfer so they are making assumptions.
    I mean if an audiophile usb cable actually had any benefit then that would also mean that IT in general was using cables that didn't ensure bit perfect transfers which is a crazy idea. I mean I sometimes transfer presentations to usb devices that are relevant for top management. All companies would have to buy the best cables to ensure data integrity. But they don't because it's not necessary.
    The only context in which an audiophile usb cable might make sense is if it is used for analogue transfer. This is something I can imagine happening in the future since the smartphone companies want to abolish the 3.5mm jack. So they would use usb c cables for headphones at which point one can discuss if audiophile cables ensure a better transfer.
  3. Mython Contributor
    I understand where you are coming from, and I share a degree of your cynicism towards so-called 'audiophile' cables for digital transmission purposes. I get it - honestly, I assure you, I am definitely not an 'audiophile cable' fanboy.
    But things are not always as clear-cut as they may outwardly appear. A digital interconnect cable may actually influence the performance of analogue electronics within a DAC / DAC-amp, even though the cable may be intended to function exclusively in the digital domain.
    The following posts, by Rob Watts, are relevant:
    With all that said, some cheapo cables may actually be designed with superior RF rejection characteristics than some more expensive 'audiophile' digital interconnect cables. It's very much on a case-by-case basis, and there is undoubtedly a lot of snake-oil in the marketplace, but that does not necessarily mean one should automatically throw the baby out with the bathwater [​IMG]
    Anyway, this topic is more-suited to the 'Sound Science' forum, as it regularly pops-up in various other threads and invariably leads to heated debate that derails the intended topic of each thread  [​IMG] 
  4. Mython Contributor
    Back to the DX200, I'm looking forward to seeing how this DAP performs.
    Although its extremely poor battery life and very poor usability drove me nuts, I really liked the sound quality of my DX100, so I'm genuinely optimistic that iBasso will bring something interesting to the marketplace, that will not be a 'me-too' product.
  5. Dephezz
    thats why i was afraid of starting this schiit... I suggest u either to keep sitting in confidence of your basic theoretical knowledge or to be open for new info. Just a couple of month ago i was more sceptical about this subject than you. But after some practice tests i just know now what i'm talking about and. You and i know, that in theory there are just 1 and 0 in the cable. You dont know thay low budget dacs dont have galvanic isolation, that cheap usb controller in pc has lots of noise in it and sound goes by asynchronous usb protocol, you dont know that usb cable actually can have an impact on SQ, because u havent ever tested it on practice.
    As i said - grab 3-5 different low/high budget usb cables. Connect to your system, compare, make an informed decison to avoid placebo effects and AFTER that tell that you cant hear any difference in SQ.
    Thank you.
  6. Lurker0
    Grab a USB halvanic isolator, and forget about listening cables [​IMG]
  7. twister6 Contributor
    Exactly!  It's true, digital signal is just 0s and 1s, and there is a simple explanation, similar to quotes from Rob Watts, such as digital audio data transfer includes both the data and the timing info.  Degradation of a signal due to a lower quality cable will cause skew in the analog square edges of “digital” pulse (1s are just analog square pulses when you look on the scope) which results in a timing inaccuracy that will cause jitter and packet errors.  Chord devices are more advanced, as it was referred to by Rob as "jitter intolerant", probably due to some clever PLL filtering to clean up the signal edges.  Other devices are not as tolerable, thus a difference in a cable quality can be audible (subtle), especially using high res files and resolving headphones/earphones.
    Another problem, in USB bus you are dealing with a pair of data wires and a pair of power wires (5V vbus and ground), and cheaply designed cable will have a poor isolation of power/ground and data resulting in a coupling of the noise from a power to a signal.
    Of course, all this is a theory, so trust your ears.  I have done a number of comparisons using cheapo budget usb cables and a few quality AQ usb cables (in $25-$65  range).  As much as I'm a cable believer, my personal opinion about $1k usb cables is that its beyond diminishing returns.  But, I personally have no problem recommending something like AQ Forest for under $35 (quality connectors, great shielding and isolation, and overall solid build) because I hear the difference when using it instead of cheap thin usb cables you get bundled with different gadgets.
  8. gr8soundz
    Well said.
    Anything digital (for audio) has to be converted to analog for hearing purposes at some point. I think it's a matter of choice whether the output can be as accurate as possible or if 'close enough' (approximations due to errors) is acceptable. But, for many reasons, the differences aren't always audible and (imo) higher price doesn't guarantee more accuracy.
  9. cjs001
    Assuming that an audiophile USB cable will have a significant impact on the end result, you'll probably also want an "audiophile" usb C to micro usb adaptor. I for one don't see the point really as adding ****ty adapter between the signal path would probably do more harm than using a standard usb type c cable.
  10. Mython Contributor
    <"Cough">  DX200 thread  <"Cough">  [​IMG] 
  11. twister6 Contributor
    Let me re-assure you, as soon as DX200 is released, we will start talking about "DX200" [​IMG]
  12. Onitsuka

    Does an audiophile USB cable sound better than normal $3 cable?
  13. Mambosenior

    :stuck_out_tongue: Oh boy! Stir the pot, why don't cha!

    Due to the "X" in the name, the DX200 will be sensational (those Xs on any electronic gear are attention-grabbing, ain't they!)
  14. gr8soundz
    Do the $35 Koss Porta Pros sound better than a $300 pair of Beats headphones?
    Price isn't (or shouldn't be) the deciding factor. Won't know which sounds better til you personally try it. If what you have works and you're happy with it, what else matters?
  15. Dephezz
    Normal galvanic isolator costs about 200-400$ and you know it :). When i'll buy my first hi-end dac i'll certainly purchase one as only in this way it'll be worth it. But for now i have 50$ usb cable and happy with it along with my DX80 as dac. Will you work on dx200 firmware when it comes out?
    First of all, thanks for sharing info about USB protocol.
    Secondly, I'm also looking forward to see how dx200 will demonstrate itself vs N6 and X7. I really want dx200 to destroy them and become a no-brainer dap under 1k$ [​IMG]
    Thats what i'm talking about! I've done same comparisons: cheap printer cable, inakustik premium, aq carbon, ww starlight 7, qed reference. QED was the best, but because it provides lots of details in high-mid and high range i didnt buy it (highs in EDM starts to sound harsh unfortunately). AQ carbon is very clean, transparent, high quality cable that i wanted. 50$ is a very nice price for it (used ofc).
    The point is that any hard adapter is much better than OTG adapter with wire. Hard one provides very little quality loss. I have AQ B to micro adapter. I'll just buy good usb c to micro adapter like this one and call it a day :) I dont think that 2 normal hard adapters will make good usb cable sound like a cheapo. No way [​IMG] But they will definitely degrade cables potential a bit.
    Yeah, im sorry for starting this mess around usb [​IMG]
    Not every one. I had inakustik premium cable. Its about 15$ and sound same as cheap printer one, despite it has golden connectors and two wire isolations.
    WW Starlight is about 100-150$ and sounds less transparent than AQ Carbon. If you need to liven up mids and highs - qed reference is at your service.
    The point is that you need to compare them in your system to make an informed decision. If u cant grab several cables - AQ Forest/Supra/Furutech GT2 are no brainers in entrance level. Mid priced: AQ Carbon/QED Reference/Chord SilverPlus/Neotech NEUB-1020/Zonotone 6N or 7N/iFi Gemini/DH Labs Mirage(simply the best in this group).
    Absolute truth. Just keep sanity and try everything by yourself. [​IMG] 
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