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Need USB cable. Does USB cable make a differences

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by jhin, Jul 20, 2013.
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  1. ab initio

    I'm not sure those classifications are hard and fast... at least as far as considering audiophile to equate purely to subjectivity.

    From Wikipedia article "audiophile":
    An audiophile is a person enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.[1]

    High-fidelity reproduction can in fact be quantified, dedpite what anyone says. What is subjective is people's perceptions. It could be real audible differences or expectation bias or level mismatch or salesmans' psychological manipulation that leads to various perceived differences.

    Many nonscientific audiophiles don't seem to understand that the very equipment they claim is beyond scientific measurement or explaination are in fact designed and constructed by engineers who use scientific principles and quantitative measirements to design, build, test, and calibrate tge equipment.

  2. Fork

    Let's not get carried away, we're all friends here.  I have great respect for anyone with the kind of intelligence to get a degree or even study engineering, because I certainly don't have it.  At the same time, unless you're Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, achieving a degree or even decades of experience in the field does not confer upon you a mastery of all things in the physical universe.  Even if you believe something with audio or computers to be entirely true, you have to admit that technical theories might not cover or be able to explain all the factors involved.
  3. xnor
    ^ Exactly the same can be said for subjective impressions that come out of uncontrolled comparisons, with the difference of much (several magnitudes) higher and effectively completely unknown uncertainty due to the many uncontrolled variables up to the point where anecdotes can be dismissed straightaway. Wanna see evidence that, for example, audio retailers and reviewers perform badly in listening tests? Take a look at Sean Olive's blog. If they already do badly in well controlled tests, I can only assume how hard they fail in their own biased comparisons. The average audiophile will probably not do any better.
    I know people who are very much music lovers but shudder when they hear the word audiophile. Expensive USB cables are just the latest flight of fancy that once again put a wrong complexion on audiophilia. In the "45 years of stereophile" article the founder wrote:
  4. invrlose
    If you are so sure that digital cables do make a difference then why don't you go ahead and replace every digital cable inside your computer to an audiophile cable as well? For example the sata cable that your harddrive sends data through.
  5. xnor
    There are already audiophile Ethernet cables, so I wouldn't be surprised if the same companies also cashed in on such cables labeling them "audiophile-grade" and adding one or two zeros to the price tag.
  6. Fork

    I completely agree that double blind testing should be the standard for evaluation, though in cases where I can't listen first I buy products for my system based on info and opinions from people who's ears I trust to be in tune with what turns me on and it's worked very well for me in the vast majority of cases.
    I don't agree that audio has still lost its credibility.  Yes, it lost credibility in the 80's, but that was because the gear sucked, the music sucked and so did everything else.  In 2013 there's so much amazing gear and technology coming out every year and much of it priced where most guys can now afford it that I think we're at an all time high (though the new music still does suck).
  7. Theta Alpha 1
    Thanks for the last few posts.
    I have an idea.  I've been planning on starting a review site for a while, why don't I simply make it a "blind" review site, where I (or anyone else involved) can't see the equipment, or we use some kind of ABX boxes?
  8. xnor
    Sounds very reasonable. If you need help with the test protocol (how many trials, how to do the switching etc.) open a thread in, let's say, sound science. I'm sure most people would gladly help you.
  9. Fork
    Time to make some heads explode in the USB denier crowd.  The cable from Light Harmonic, which I quoted earlier in this thread from a friend in my Audio Society here in Seattle, Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studios (mastering studio and also digital encoding studio of nearly all HD Tracks and Wilson releases), who said it sounds much better than any other USB cables has just won the Blue Moon award on 6 Moons.  Anyone for a conspiracy theories about the USB industry funneling thousands of dollars to secret offshore accounts?
    I'm hoping to hold our own double blind tests with this cable and a generic at Bruce's studio, using the Audio Society Executive Committee as guinea pigs.  Participants will even have an opportunity to put some money on the line.  No telling when our next meeting over there will be though.
  10. jarrett
    And it doesn't cross your mind to mention that it costs $1,000?
    For $1,000 I'm pretty sure it's doing more than passing a signal.
  11. dclaz
    If it's doing anything else it's doing something wrong?
  12. dclaz
    Is 6moons a joke review site? It mentions a disk demagentiser and quantum physics noise disrupters amongst other ridiculous products in the review test setup.
  13. fraseyboy
    "We are frequently asked how it's possible for an aluminum disc to magnetize. The important thing to remember is that just because a disc is nominally made from polycarbonate and aluminum, this does not mean these are the only ingredients. Inks used on the disc label and even the aluminum substrate itself may contain materials that can pick up and store a magnetic charge. This can happen as the disc is moved in and out of the case or even in the CD transport itself as the disc is spun at high speeds. The benefits of demagnetization can be heard on all discs from brand new CD's to CD-Rs, even DVDs, Blu-Ray and other formats will benefit."
    "Jerry didn't say much about what exactly is in these mysterious devices. Apparently there are three different materials subjected to extreme pressure and then treated via a special gaseous procedure that enable the innards to work their magic."
    This is why people don't take audiophiles seriously...
  14. Fork
    I respectfully disagree with you guys.  If magnetic fields and quantum physics are indeed real things it's not all that unfathomable that they can have an effect on an electrical audio signal.  I'm not completely objective anymore with Audio Magic, having been selling their devices for a few years now, but I was a user for a few years before that.  No, Jerry at AM isn't going to tell you how his products do what they do, but he is a world-class authority on power and its ancillary effects on audio.  His newest device, the Pulsed Electron Alignment box (PEA) is based on changing the spin direction of some electrons to the same direction as the others.  It has no shortage of detractors, but as you can see from the link below it is based on Science, as are his other products.  He had the PEA devices in his room at RMAF this weekend, on a switch, to demonstrate the difference between on and off.  You can't ask for anyone to do more than that to make their case.  If there are people who won't listen to it, because they already know it's not real, nothing he or anyone else could do about that.

    This whole thread was about whether a difference in USB cable sound is real.  I've never gotten caught up in being concerned about understanding how a product can do what it does.  My only goal is better sound and if I don't get it I'll ask for a refund.  If my ears are so bad I can't effectively evaluate the sound then understanding or agreeing with the science won't make any difference.  So if I find the sound is better or even much better, why should I care about anything else?
  15. mcandmar
    Here is my recomendation, a bog standard Belkin USB 2.0 cable. Inside it has x2 28AWG data lines, x2 20AWG copper power lines, a foil shield with drain wire, and a copper outer braiding.  I really dont see how you could improve on that in any measurable way. Add a $'s worth of fancy braiding and call it a day.
    I also built a USB Isolator / linear power supply for my ODAC, now that really did make a difference.
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