How do I convince people that audio cables DO NOT make a difference
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:02 PM Post #2,026 of 3,452

bigshot

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Right now, we are talking about A/Bing USB cables. Do you have an opinion on that?

With headphones that have input plugs on both sides, you could put a different cable to each ear I suppose and ask if the ears sound different or the same. Randomize it up with a bunch of different trials and see if you get some sort of pattern. If the two ears heard slightly different, it would still show a pattern if it was different as long as it was randomized. A/A B/A A/B and B/B
 
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Nov 3, 2020 at 4:09 PM Post #2,028 of 3,452

bfreedma

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The cable in question is “powered” with a separate vbus. Have we reached the point where an audiophile USB cable builder could/would place some form of DSP in a cable? I’m not accusing the vendor in question, but it’s a possibility that may need to be checked before running the testing.
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:23 PM Post #2,029 of 3,452

colonelkernel8

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The cable in question is “powered” with a separate vbus. Have we reached the point where an audiophile USB cable builder could/would place some form of DSP in a cable? I’m not accusing the vendor in question, but it’s a possibility that may need to be checked before running the testing.
The thing is, DSP design is expensive and takes real skill (I've done it. It's very, very difficult work). People who make audiophile USB cables are probably not even engineers.
 
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Nov 3, 2020 at 4:23 PM Post #2,030 of 3,452

pfzar

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fun times.
1604438563783.jpeg
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:25 PM Post #2,031 of 3,452

Pro-Jules

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This particular convo is about USB cables, I believe. You're right that with headphone cables it would be tough.

Whoops my bad
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:33 PM Post #2,033 of 3,452

taffy2207

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You're right. That's the sort of strategies on the best way to test that we should be making. All we need is a cable to test. We'll see if that turns up. I suggested that jambajoe contact the shop that conducted the test he saw and see if they will loan him one. He hasn't gotten back to me yet. But it's election day and cover and things are upended in this area right now, so we need to be patient.

TheSourceAV are a Sponsor here so that should make it easier :-

https://www.head-fi.org/members/tsavalan.484310/
 
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Nov 3, 2020 at 4:37 PM Post #2,034 of 3,452

bigshot

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If they did put a DSP into the cable, it would be immediately obvious during the listening test. If it is monkeyed with, the next step would be to figure out how. My guess is that power would be split off to avoid interference, even though interference isn’t an issue with certified USB cables.
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:44 PM Post #2,036 of 3,452

bfreedma

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The thing is, DSP design is expensive and takes real skill (I've done it. It's very, very difficult work). People who make audiophile USB cables are probably not even engineers.

I honestly have no idea if cable based DSP is a thing, but given the price of some of these cables, farming out the engineering for or purchasing a simple DSP (say a slight boost in the right areas for warmth) doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. Agree that the vast majority of “audiophile signal transfer engineers” have neither the knowledge of facilities to execute this internally.

It would be relatively easy to check without ripping into the cable by comparing input and output. I would love to do a tear down though, to see what connecters and cable are being used. As you said about DSP, none of these folks are building the actual components in house. The cable in question costs $75 for each additional foot - bet that’s a very nice markup.
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 4:58 PM Post #2,037 of 3,452

Kentajalli

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I honestly have no idea if cable based DSP is a thing, but given the price of some of these cables, farming out the engineering for or purchasing a simple DSP (say a slight boost in the right areas for warmth) doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. Agree that the vast majority of “audiophile signal transfer engineers” have neither the knowledge of facilities to execute this internally.

It would be relatively easy to check without ripping into the cable by comparing input and output. I would love to do a tear down though, to see what connecters and cable are being used. As you said about DSP, none of these folks are building the actual components in house. The cable in question costs $75 for each additional foot - bet that’s a very nice markup.
Come on guys! Active DSP in a USB interconnect? let's keep at least one toe on the ground.
If they did such a thing, the Hifi purists who are the bulk of their potential customers, would spit on the floor and leave the room in disgust.
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 5:01 PM Post #2,038 of 3,452

bfreedma

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Come on guys! Active DSP in a USB interconnect? let's keep at least one toe on the ground.
If they did such a thing, the Hifi purists who are the bulk of their potential customers, would spit on the floor and leave the room in disgust.

i agree that it’s unlikely, but there are numerous examples of colored gear sold by audiophile companies that their customers loved. I’m not suggesting the vendor would actually tell the customer, just suggesting one way there could be a real difference in USB cables.

Anyway, it’s not worth worrying about in terms of this test.
 
Nov 3, 2020 at 5:51 PM Post #2,039 of 3,452

colonelkernel8

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I honestly have no idea if cable based DSP is a thing, but given the price of some of these cables, farming out the engineering for or purchasing a simple DSP (say a slight boost in the right areas for warmth) doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. Agree that the vast majority of “audiophile signal transfer engineers” have neither the knowledge of facilities to execute this internally.

It would be relatively easy to check without ripping into the cable by comparing input and output. I would love to do a tear down though, to see what connecters and cable are being used. As you said about DSP, none of these folks are building the actual components in house. The cable in question costs $75 for each additional foot - bet that’s a very nice markup.
It's at least a 1000% markup. Most of the expense is in the custom metal housings for the off-the-shelf USB connectors they're using. It's not like they're manufacturing actual USB connectors, that takes very expensive machinery and doesn't make sense to make in small quantities.
 

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