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USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by mus1cjunk1e, Mar 26, 2011.
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  1. Mediahound
    Even if that were the case (I don't personally believe that it is because things like EMF/RF interference and impedance mismatches are actually real things, call me crazy), one still cannot discount individual experience. If someone hears a difference, why not let them enjoy it? You don't have to hear a difference yourself. Save some money at the same time too and use the cables you find in a dumpster.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  2. amirm
    Unfortunately what you explain is not correct. Asynchronous USB is a logical operation. It is way removed in how the pulses on the USB cable are interpreted. You can have a fast or slow cable and the rate of data coming from PC will not change. And at any rate, the whole point of asynchronous USB is to make sure that the DAC has an independent clock and has no reliance on USB clock/timing. See this article I wrote a few years ago on that: https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...performance-pc-server-interfaces-async-usb.8/

    As for letting people listen, sure. The issue becomes when we try to rationalize those experiences with technical explanations that are not correct. It is so tempting to create lay explanations for what we think we are hearing. But it just gets one in trouble when not rooted in reality of how the system is designed and works.
  3. amirm
    They can enjoy it. The issue is when they post on forums and insist that their explanations are real and universal. In other words, they themselves are not content with those experiences. They want a seal of approval that they are right. We have pretty severe inferiority complexes as males. :)
  4. Mediahound
    Their experience is real, for them. That it may not be real to you should not matter to you, but it does.
    GChief likes this.
  5. bigshot
    Impedance isn't an issue with USB. Interference is a problem with computers that aren't designed for being used as high fidelity audio players. Individual experience is subject to bias and placebo. The only way to know if your experience applies to other people is by testing it objectively. I buy monoprice and amazon cables. You are in the wrong forum.

    SOLIPSISM rears its ugly head in Sound Science yet again!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  6. Mark Bajkowski
    I never would claim that a cable changes "the rate of data coming from a PC". Please. What I claim is that a very fast USB cable may inject errors in DAC communicating through the USB in the God-given right of its attempts to execute its asynchronous function. Anyway, I am out of here...
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  7. Mediahound

    Do you really think everyone is using a computer that was designed optimally for being used for high fidelity audio? That is certainly not the norm.
  8. bigshot
    Are you claiming those errors are audible in playback of music in the home? Or do they not matter at all?

    I use a $500 Mac Mini as my media server. If flawlessly puts out high fidelity stereo, multichannel and even HD video at the same time. Look into it if you are having problems with your media computer.

    GOO BYE! Feel free to take your little friend with you when you leave.

    They'll be back. It usually takes a few days for this type to get tired out.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  9. Strangelove424
    In my experience, it's actually quite rare nowadays to find a computer with interference, noise, or EMI issues. "Designed optimally for high fidelity" is open to a lot of interpretation. You might want to clarify what you mean by that. If high fidelity means perceptually transparent, that indeed most computers are capable of being used a high fidelity device, and have been for quite some time. The Sound Blaster 16 days are over.
  10. donkeywalker
  11. bigshot
    The definition of high fidelity is reaching the limits of human hearing. If someone buys a computer that can’t do that, they should exchange it for one that does. It really isn’t hard to find one for cheap.
  12. gregorio
    1. You can choose to credit all "individual experience" if you wish. Personally I could not even imagine living that way, I'd be in constant fear of ghosts, poltergeists, witches, wizards, bigfoot, yetis, evil fairies, curses, UFOs, aliens, upsetting any one of dozens of gods, voodoo, imperfect power supplies, falling off the edge of the earth, vaccinations and any one of hundreds of other monsters "experienced" individually or by various groups of people over the centuries. That's why we have science in the first place, to help separate "individual experience"/superstition from fact!

    2. OK then, You are crazy! Who has said they don't believe in EM/RF interference and impedance mismatches? That's not the issue, the issue is whether a stock or relatively cheap USB cable can reduce EM/RF interference and impedance mismatches to inaudible levels and, this is not an issue because the USB specification takes care of them. So, a more expensive USB certified cable cannot provide a superior performance from a USB certified DAC compared to another USB specified cable, unless one of them is broken/malfunctioning and incapable of handling a USB certified signal.

  13. GChief
    Just need to say this. The best part of this thread is we think peoples opinions will be changed. The cable argument has been going on since before I was born and I am 52. Sometimes you can hear a difference sometimes you can't. I have not personally tried it with USB cables (my stuffs not good enough probably) and having worked on digital signals for the last 30+yrs can see the "it doesn't matter argument" as being solid. But in that 30yrs I have also seen plenty of PFM monuments that defy logic. I have seen to many things make sonic differences in my personal experience to dismiss it as not being possible. I am sure in my own pee brain that better cables (materials and construction) will make a difference as I see it everyday at work, but can we hear a difference!!?? I think with the proper system probably/possibly. Kind of off topic cable story but still cables, I just built a set of speaker cables monday from some left over control cable we use at work, highend stranded copper, crazy shielding and insulation. I changed out my cables and thought "hey I think that sounds better", played my test tracks that I know and always use to help reduce any placedo effects . My GF who loves music but never notices SQ differences until I point them out says, without me even asking or mentioning it "did you buy something new? That sounds better than it did". Now will I go spend $200 for speaker wire F-no, it was good enough before.

  14. GChief

    I see these issues everyday a work.
  15. bigshot
    I always enjoy it when someone trots out the "even my wife notices a difference" stories! We should start a drinking game based on that like the Bob Newhart game. Every time an "even my wife" turns up, we have to drink a beer. Every time someone says "I can hear it clearly, if you can't it must either be your equipment or your ears." we have to take a swig.
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