USB A-B DAC Cables - alternatives to the Audioquest Line
Mar 24, 2019 at 11:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Adnan Firoze

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Hi,

Interesting story. I posted a picture of my setup woth the iFi Micro DSD Black Label with an Audeze LCD2 with an iPurifier 3.0 and a jitterbug with AQ Forest/Cinnamon cable (both of which are quite expensive in my humble opinion) being used.

Someone pointed out that I should "at least" get an Audioquest Carbon and that would improve my sound (imaging, soundstage etc.) and a different Amazon reviewer mentioned that it will improve at least at least 3 times as he did a blind test on his wife.

I know the big snake oil debate over USB digital cables carrying 0's and 1's but at the same time, many reviewers objectively showed that yes, it does make difference. See: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s/do-usb-audio-cables-make-a-difference.1887/

At this time, I cannot afford to get the AQ Carbon. Instead I was looking at Aliexpress as they ship better to my country. I read that more silver the better. As in as we move from AQ's lower end line to the Diamond, what I noticed was the percentage of silver being used. As such I searched Aliexpress and found this particular thing. There's also an issue about "ground loops" (something I kind of understand but I am no expert) which is supposedly solved by AQ Carbon.

It's 100 bucks - so it's not cheap.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/HiF...K10u-Gold-Plated-Plug-USB2-0/32812730357.html

Can anyone please help me make a decision by checking out the link I gave if it can rival the Carbon from AQ or am I just good with the iPurifier, AQ Jitterbug and AQ Cinnamon as the lineup from my Mac to the DAC/amp?

Also suggest some chifi cables that can rival AQ - IF NEEDED. :)

Thanks.
 
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Mar 24, 2019 at 11:33 AM Post #2 of 9

Adnan Firoze

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For clarification I am posting the setup in question. Audirvana->AQ Jitterbug->AQ Cinnamon->iPurifier 3.0->ifi Micro iDSD BL->Audeze LCD2/Forstex Th900 (sometimes a CTH Amp maybe)

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Thanks.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 2:15 PM Post #4 of 9

bfreedma

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While the measurements in your link do show a difference, it’s important to see them in the context of audibility. The “worst cable” had a spike at -126dbv while the “best” only spiked to -131dbv. Both of those numbers are orders of magnitude below human audibility.

Do what you wish with the info.
 
Mar 25, 2019 at 3:18 PM Post #5 of 9

Adnan Firoze

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Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it. But I was wondering in case of noise and jitter, what kind of role (if any) do devices like ifi iPurifier 3, AQ Jitterbug, ifi iGalvanic come into play. Do they actually reduce the noise? I see my iPurifier at the end of my cable connected to the DAC. So, it is receiving whatever USB output is being sent to it. On the other hand, the AQ Jitterbug plugs directly to the computer's USB port and the cable is connected to that. Now it gets me wondering how would those come into play here. Does that "help" the cable in any way. They do advertise that it gets rid of most jitter but I see no scientific figures on the internet. Moreover, some people stack up 2 AQ Jitterbugs and connect their cable. I tried that and it becomes super noisy. But a single one works fine. But maybe that's just my issue but what about these things in general? Any takes?
 
Apr 7, 2019 at 6:28 AM Post #6 of 9

teknorob23

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All tellurium q cables. Haven’t heard a bad one, had a blue and currently using diamond black. Expensive but improvements in a world of diminishing return, are immediately obvious. Only downside is the weight and inflexibility of the cable
 
Apr 9, 2019 at 10:55 AM Post #7 of 9

audiobomber

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I recommend you buy an iFi Audio iDefender, iPower 5V, and a generic USB 3.0 cable. USB 3.0 cables are higher quality construction and better shielded to carry data faster, with higher power capability. Just buy the shortest cable that will accommodate your setup, from a reputable manufacturer, and forget about USB 2.0 audiophile cables.

The iDefender will resolve any low level grounding issues, but its main benefit IME is that it powers your DAC from the iPower instead of the computer's USB bus.

You could sell the Jitterbug and AQ cable to pay for the suggested upgrade.

PS I use an iDefender, Belkin USB 3.0 cable & iPurifier2 in my headphone system.
PPS Obviously you would use this setup with a USB 3.0 or 3.1 port, not USB 2.0.
 
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Apr 28, 2019 at 9:48 PM Post #8 of 9

Meanstreak242

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May 3, 2019 at 1:06 AM Post #9 of 9

Thenewguy007

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Also suggest some chifi cables that can rival AQ - IF NEEDED. :)

Thanks.
Not a Chi-fi cable, but a lot of people say the Oyaide NEO d+: Class A USB cable is the best bang for the buck cable

This 1,600 post thread https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/14124-usb-cable-comparisons/ that had users go through nearly all the ultra high end USB cables that cost several thousands, a lot of people said in the past few pages that they felt the Oyaide NEO Class A USB was close enough to the more expensive cables, while being very cheap.
 

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