Why do USB cables make such a difference?
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JRG1990

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FTFY

Also, answering the USB cable question isn't a science question - we just need an analysis of what was sent from the source, what the chip received, and what the chip output across a representative set of DACs in representative environments. Boom, answered.

Since we don't have that, everyone is arguing over their speculations, and many don't even realize they're speculating, despite the fact this is the science thread.
I'm only interested in how a usb cable would affect the sound quality we hear ,so we would measure , jitter , thd , signal to noise etc.

These measurements have been posted and show no audible differences to prove otherwise you need to post measurements or any objective data rather than just saying the data that has been posted is wrong.
 
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I guess he's abandoned the claim that he did a controlled test and was able to consistently discern a difference between USB cables. I suspected that was made up from the beginning, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. No need to do that any more!
 
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bigshot

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Would you like cream and sugar with that snake oil?
 
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castleofargh

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while I didn't enjoy all the desperate fishing for possibilities, at least saying we don't know everything is technically true. so it's much better than making nonsensical claims about what absolutely improves usb cables, like using one with silver or some funny claims like that(which were posted on this topic!!!!).
so instead of just mocking someone, something I can only let you do for so long as a modo, let's appreciate that some degree of uncertainty makes for a very good starting point, and an almost equally good landing place for a topic concerned with facts.
those who want to have faith in extraordinary marketing and sighted impressions, instead of relying on evidence, will go purchase their weird expensive stuff anyway. and it's their right to do so. I believe our role is simply to make sure they don't drag too many fellow members into paying for objective improvements that were never objectively demonstrated(my nice way of saying that they're probably not improvements at all).
I personally would need some very solid objective evidence before I put more than... maybe 50$ if it's really pretty, into a USB cable. even if a 400$ USB cable could effectively improve my audio audibly and objectively, and I got actual evidence of it(for a change), there's always going to be a lot more that I could do for my audio experience with 400$.
 
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bigshot

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"We don't know everything, so we can't know anything." That is the argument... along with a whole lot of goal post shifting.

I don't see why a product can't prove its effectiveness 100%. I'm even willing to help them do that. I have mono price and Amazon Basics USB cables. Provide us with one that sounds different than that and we will pull together the resources of Sound Science to organize a listening tests and measurements. Put up or shut up.
 
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Well, I just finished 8.3 days of nonstop USB cable burn-in. It’s the first USB cable to sound dramatically different in sighted tests. Probably have my wife help with the non-sighted testing to see if I can distinguish the $170 AQ Carbon USB cable from a group of $5 cables.

I figure the test will be pretty simple I’m going to try 20 different listens of the exact part of the exact same song. Each time I will write down if I feel the more expensive cable was put in place.

My wife is tricky, she may include expensive cable on the second listen of the song and never use it again. I’m explaining to her it has to be as random as possible.

I’m fairly sure I’m not going to be able to distinguish the more expensive cable. But the reality here is I simply don’t take anyone’s idea of the subject as truth until I hear it or don’t hear a difference for myself. If there is no difference I’ll keep the cable. But you also will not find me relaying much else about my test except the end results in this thread.

I’m not standing on any soap box, and have nothing to prove, other than getting the best sound possible with-in my expenditure goals.

I figure this is a subject people need to learn about on their own, as there seems to be strong opinions on both sides.
 
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old tech

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Well, I just finished 8.3 days of nonstop USB cable burn-in. It’s the first USB cable to sound dramatically different in sighted tests. Probably have my wife help with the non-sighted testing to see if I can distinguish the $170 AQ Carbon USB cable from a group of $5 cables.

I figure the test will be pretty simple I’m going to try 20 different listens of the exact part of the exact same song. Each time I will write down if I feel the more expensive cable was put in place.

My wife is tricky, she may include expensive cable on the second listen of the song and never use it again. I’m explaining to her it has to be as random as possible.

I’m fairly sure I’m not going to be able to distinguish the more expensive cable. But the reality here is I simply don’t take anyone’s idea of the subject as truth until I hear it or don’t hear a difference for myself. If there is no difference I’ll keep the cable. But you also will not find me relaying much else about my test except the end results in this thread.

I’m not standing on any soap box, and have nothing to prove, other than getting the best sound possible with-in my expenditure goals.

I figure this is a subject people need to learn about on their own, as there seems to be strong opinions on both sides.
I wouldn't place both sides at the same level.

There are opinons on one side, and uniformed at that, vs factual understanding based on technical knowledge and controlled tests.
 
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The AQ carbon USB-cable was an interesting contender to the audiophil-blasphemic standard usb cord :thinking:

German test translated:
Similar to the AQVOX, the carbon also makes a lot of fun right from the start. It plays dynamically, places instruments vividly in the room and also works out details nicely.

In direct comparison with the approximately equally expensive German competitors, however, the US cable fell back somewhat for our taste: "The heavens tell the glory of God" did not seem so relaxed and made it a bit harder for the listener, the lyrics of the individual To follow tone of voice. The AQVOX also impressed with the finer tones and sub sounds of acoustic instruments, be it the piano on "I'll be your baby tonight" or the guitar on Brokeback Mountain. Here, the carbon could not quite keep up with the reverb and thus the size of the stage.

There are no outliers with the Audioquest USB cables: Every additional investment brings a sonically better result. It is no surprise for high-end connoisseurs that roughly the same amount of progress is required to double the price every time. Set yourself a limit and try out all the possible cables in your chain. But beware: once you've heard a diamond, every step back is damn hard.


Audioquest philosophy:
In 1982 Sony gave us "Perfect sound forever," along with the attitude that, "it's just digital, so all CD players sound the same." That was disproved and qualitative differences between players became accepted truth. Next came separate transport and DAC combos, which brought with it the attitude that "all S/PDIF digital audio cables sound the same..." until that too became disproved. Now the frontier has moved once again. Is digital audio really just ones and zeros? We don't believe so, and once you've had a chance to listen to Carbon USB, you won't think so either..


Note:

I personally finished testing different digital audio and video-cables. If a cable dont suffer from manufacturing issues and provides the standard specs it will perform as good as any other cable.
 
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Redcarmoose

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The AQ carbon USB-cable was an interesting contender to the audiophil-blasphemic standard usb cord :thinking:

German test translated:
Similar to the AQVOX, the carbon also makes a lot of fun right from the start. It plays dynamically, places instruments vividly in the room and also works out details nicely.

In direct comparison with the approximately equally expensive German competitors, however, the US cable fell back somewhat for our taste: "The heavens tell the glory of God" did not seem so relaxed and made it a bit harder for the listener, the lyrics of the individual To follow tone of voice. The AQVOX also impressed with the finer tones and sub sounds of acoustic instruments, be it the piano on "I'll be your baby tonight" or the guitar on Brokeback Mountain. Here, the carbon could not quite keep up with the reverb and thus the size of the stage.

There are no outliers with the Audioquest USB cables: Every additional investment brings a sonically better result. It is no surprise for high-end connoisseurs that roughly the same amount of progress is required to double the price every time. Set yourself a limit and try out all the possible cables in your chain. But beware: once you've heard a diamond, every step back is damn hard.


Audioquest philosophy:
In 1982 Sony gave us "Perfect sound forever," along with the attitude that, "it's just digital, so all CD players sound the same." That was disproved and qualitative differences between players became accepted truth. Next came separate transport and DAC combos, which brought with it the attitude that "all S/PDIF digital audio cables sound the same..." until that too became disproved. Now the frontier has moved once again. Is digital audio really just ones and zeros? We don't believe so, and once you've had a chance to listen to Carbon USB, you won't think so either..


Note:

I personally finished testing different digital audio and video-cables. If a cable dont suffer from manufacturing issues and provides the standard specs it will perform as good as any other cable.
Well strange as it may sound I could actually do a comparison at this point, comparing the Carbon to regular $5 drug store cables.

Of course all these ideas are in sighted tests.........which again brings up the bewildering convoluted-whirlwind of psychological-confusion.

????


And my question asks........if placebo is a perception distorter, then why isn’t it a perceived perfection? Meaning at times the Carbon revealed an almost too bright and brittle treble. As not only in sighted tests was the Carbon noticeably more clear; at times the treble almost became over accentuated?

And of course to buy any audio product we wade into the murk of sales tomfoolery.

What with all the hot-buttons in audiophile words, used in all the best places. The lead-in, the supposed observation, the factual reinforcement of findings...........then finally the asking for the sale.

The sales force is strong in the USB world of audiophile cables.
 
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bigshot

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It’s the first USB cable to sound dramatically different in sighted tests.
I can guarantee it isn't the first. If you come up with a USB cable that has coloration, I would appreciate being able to borrow it for testing by the group. It would be interesting to find out exactly how it is altering the sound.

Placebo is a normal human trait. So is bias. If we didn't have those, we would take a long time to make decisions because we would have to look at each choice individually and figure it out for itself. When you have an important decision (i.e. one that involves money) it's best to slow the process down and try to eliminate the effect of placebo and bias from the decision. That way you know you're basing your decision on something real, not just your mind telling you to hurry up and come to a conclusion. For everyday unimportant decisions, it's fine to go with the flow.
 
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I can guarantee it isn't the first. If you come up with a USB cable that has coloration, I would appreciate being able to borrow it for testing by the group. It would be interesting to find out exactly how it is altering the sound.

Placebo is a normal human trait. So is bias. If we didn't have those, we would take a long time to make decisions because we would have to look at each choice individually and figure it out for itself. When you have an important decision (i.e. one that involves money) it's best to slow the process down and try to eliminate the effect of placebo and bias from the decision. That way you know you're basing your decision on something real, not just your mind telling you to hurry up and come to a conclusion. For everyday unimportant decisions, it's fine to go with the flow.
I meant the first I have personally tried which sounded different in sighted tests. Maybe because it was more expensively priced?
 
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Did you pay for it?
 
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