What a long, strange trip it's been -- (Robert Hunter)
Aug 16, 2017 at 8:17 AM Post #4,291 of 14,075

pctazhp

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Aug 16, 2017 at 3:02 PM Post #4,292 of 14,075

Clemmaster

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I read it. It was a response to a question from me. It doesn't say anything about cables and whether there is benefit to be gained from paying a lot of money for "special" USB cables.
It depends on the level of isolation provided by the USB receiver. Non-isolated USB receivers (the vast majority) are sensitive to:
  1. Electrical noise carried from the source to the receiver.
  2. Signal integrity, which measures the quality of the signal arriving at the receiver. A poor quality signal will require a lot of work from the receiver chip to interpret the data, itself generating electrical noise in the process which carries over, together with #1.
    The noise that makes it past the receiver can impact the performance of critical components (the clocks being one of them), which then create other sort of issues (e.g jitter).
Some cables try to solve #1 by removing the VBUS (+5V) connection altogether (works only with self powered USB receivers).
Some devices try to solve #1 by cleaning the VBUS (either by filtering, or by substituting a new, clean power). Think Schiit Wyrd or UpTone REGEN.
Most 'better' cable have a positive impact on #2, which greatly reduces the noise generated by the USB receiver when recovering the USB signal.
Some devices try to do both #1 and #2, like the REGEN.

Whether #1 and #2 yield audible improvement, again, depends on the DAC and its level of isolation to whatever noise still remains after the USB receiver.

Up until recently, cheaper DACs didn't offer any sort of isolation between their USB receiver and the converter, so the effects of mitigating #1 and #2 were audible.
With said DACs, cables like the TotalDAC USB-1 or Light Harmonic Light Speed clearly sounded different from each other and certainly better than your printer cable (I owned both).

More "high-end" DACs, provide some levels of isolation to noise, or jitter (by mean of re-clocking).

Now, if you break the path for noise to propagate beyond the receiver, then you solve #1 and #2 and cables don't matter nearly as much, as long as the message can be recovered in the receiver.
Schiit's Gen5 USB does exactly that, so cables don't matter nearly as much.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 3:15 PM Post #4,293 of 14,075

pctazhp

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@Clemmaster Thanks so much for your clear and easily understood answer on the USB cables. It constantly amazes me there are knowledgeable people like you on HeadFi who are willing to take time to share their knowledge. I hope others will benefit from your explanation. I plan to buy a Gumby in a month or two, so I won't worry too much about the USB cable. For now, I'm by-passing USB with my ASUS soundcard to feed the coax input of my Bimby, and it certainly is an improvement over USB. 99% of my listening is with Tidal HD through a unexciting Windows 10 Dell PC, so getting the signal from my PC to DAC is important for me.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 3:28 PM Post #4,294 of 14,075

Clemmaster

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The Belkin Gold USB is a cheap and solid USB cable, by the way. They have many different sizes and are built well enough for long cables to work reliably (I have a 15ft cable that works just fine).
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 4:47 PM Post #4,296 of 14,075

RCBinTN

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Why wouldn't it be?
It's a communication interface. It's designed to transmit messages, not guesstimates or send editorialized versions.

Unless something goes terribly wrong in the transmission, the message recovered is exactly the one that was transmitted.
Bit errors may occur, but they are extremely rare and do not constitute a violation to "bit-perfectness", in an audiophile sense*.
In the case of isochronous USB transfers (which USB Audio uses), it may result in a "glitch" that is easily perceivable. Beyond those rare and isolated events, the message received is exactly as transmitted.

(*) "Bit perfect" - in the general computer audio sense - refers to the potential alteration of the audio signal as it goes through the software layers that exist between the audio player and the audio output (here, an USB DAC). Said alterations can be the following: resampling, change of bit depth and digital scaling (digital volume control).
Things like ASIO, WASAPI or "exclusive mode" are means to prevent the software stack from altering the audio signal, by providing a direct path between the player and the output and preventing the operating system from messing around.

Well, I was wrong. We did get an answer. Thx, mate.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 4:47 PM Post #4,297 of 14,075

jacal01

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Take heart! All of our digital gear is upgradable and it is not out of the question that I may offer BWD as an external connection between our gear. The only problem is that I would have to make a digital source component first.

Need a connector protocol, too. May I suggest HDMI? :ksc75smile:
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 5:02 PM Post #4,298 of 14,075
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It seems logical when a product review is done it will either be dropped or updated as a whole.

That would be a negative. We find that product reviews seldom affect our sales more than one per cent or so. Our word of mouth/forum exposure good as well as bad is far more influential. We generally discontinue products when our clients lose interest and stop buying them. It is very difficult to "stimulate our sales" with reviews, unless they occur at introduction which spreads the word on availability. AKA Austrian Economics Model.
 
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Aug 16, 2017 at 5:10 PM Post #4,299 of 14,075

kstuart

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@Clemmaster Thanks so much for your clear and easily understood answer on the USB cables. It constantly amazes me there are knowledgeable people like you on HeadFi who are willing to take time to share their knowledge. I hope others will benefit from your explanation. I plan to buy a Gumby in a month or two, so I won't worry too much about the USB cable. For now, I'm by-passing USB with my ASUS soundcard to feed the coax input of my Bimby, and it certainly is an improvement over USB. 99% of my listening is with Tidal HD through a unexciting Windows 10 Dell PC, so getting the signal from my PC to DAC is important for me.

The Schiit USB cables have a couple of advantages for use with Schiit DACs:

1 - They are made for Schiit by "Straight Wire". I did some research a number of years ago on cables, and found that audiophile cables that were only slightly more expensive than generic cables, performed 99+% as well as super-expensive cables. For that reason, I settled on Straight Wire's inexpensive cables for all my interconnects, so I was pleased to find that they make the Schiit USB cables.

2 - The Schiit tech guys can never say "maybe your USB cable is the problem" :)

So, all my audio USB cables are the Schiit ones. Problem solved. You're welcome.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 5:12 PM Post #4,300 of 14,075

Pietro Cozzi Tinin

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That would be a negative. We find that product reviews seldom affect our sales more than one per cent or so. Our word of mouth/forum exposure good as well as bad is far more influential. We generally discontinue products when our clients lose interest and stop buying them. It is very difficult to "stimulate our sales" with reviews, unless they occur at introduction which spreads the word on availability. AKA Austrian Economics Model.
My bad English.
I meant your own review as in "do we build a new up to date version or do we stop".
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 5:51 PM Post #4,301 of 14,075

jacal01

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I2S can only be used in consumer audio in closed environments (all digital gear the same brand) since there is no standard for it. And what does exist is compromised at best. Just use a proper consumer audio format.

The current running standard for most of the different make DDC and DAC products that offer external I2S (LVDS) I/O connectivity is the PS Audio HDMI connector pinout protocol. I think I was up to 18 different manufacturers using the PSA HDMI connector pinout standard for LVDS I2S before I stopped counting in 2015. My forehead got bloody, and this argument got tired.

And I had my LVDS I2S over HDMI input card for my DAC to accept my CD transport I2S out. Don't know so much about ass, but I think that internal circuit compatible (no conversion) I2S external connectivity sounds comparable to Mike's megaburrito over AES/EBU. Both R2R multibit DACs.
 
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Aug 16, 2017 at 8:59 PM Post #4,303 of 14,075

rlow

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Mike (@Baldr), a question we've been debating over on Jason's thread...

The "elephant in the room" for many audio companies in my opinion is the room itself. I.e. the listening room affects sound significantly, and physical changes or treatments within the room are not always practical for many people, so why do so few audio companies try to address it?

Therefore...
Automatic Room Correction hardware/software (aka ARC, aka RCS)

Good, bad, ass-worthy??

Ever think about this as a possible Schiit product?
 
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