Why do USB cables make such a difference?
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Redcarmoose

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I'm really divided on this. on one hand I completely agree that actual(proper!) experiment is a really good way to know where we stand with our own gears and circumstances.
on the other hand, giving money to expensive(for what they are) audiophile products, to me that's like feeding the animal you're trying to get rid of.
I am divided too in a sense as it doesn’t seem like something that would change the sound. But.......if you were to understand where I’m coming from it may make more sense. My system is a closed loop where the cable is not going from a computer but a DAP in a cradle which is simply a file sever for an external DAC/Amp. In this configuration it’s maybe like a computer or maybe not? But I have no other methods at this point to get any better sound unless I was to make a major upgrade. No other headphones, no other DAC or amplifier. No more cables or DAP file players.....there is nothing I could do other than AC filtering or AC regeneration. So getting an expensive USB has been suggested by others as a way to get improvement; with those folks owning the exact same equipment as I.

So it’s maybe a slightly different application than simply using a computer, as the DAPs actually have a reputation of sounding slightly different than using a computer. Of course this is also an unprovable concept in itself.
 
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SoundAndMotion

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@castleofargh - if he keeps this up, its the very nature of trolling. I would expect you as a Moderator to close him down. This isn't about closing down one side of the story either. All he has to do is produce clear measurable evidence. This is Sound Science after all.
Put some water in the Mr. Fusion so we can go Back to the Future:
Wow! That was a very classy PM. You have my respect. Given your explanation I have edited my post (although, yes, I know it lives on in your quote).
 
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JRG1990

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I am divided too in a sense as it doesn’t seem like something that would change the sound. But.......if you were to understand where I’m coming from it may make more sense. My system is a closed loop where the cable is not going from a computer but a DAP in a cradle which is simply a file sever for an external DAC/Amp. In this configuration it’s maybe like a computer or maybe not? But I have no other methods at this point to get any better sound unless I was to make a major upgrade. No other headphones, no other DAC or amplifier. No more cables or DAP file players.....there is nothing I could do other than AC filtering or AC regeneration. So getting an expensive USB has been suggested by others as a way to get improvement; with those folks owning the exact same equipment as I.

So it’s maybe a slightly different application than simply using a computer, as the DAPs actually have a reputation of sounding slightly different than using a computer. Of course this is also an unprovable concept in itself.
The usb in a dap and pc are built to the same spec otherwise you wouldn't even be able to copy files to the dap. Like you say theres 0 evidence a dap or pc sound different over usb and a cable certainly won't change anything. Both should sound transparent.

The dap has the advantage in couple of ways being battery powered, having no fans, harddrives or other devices connected to it. But won't sound different to a noisey pc.
 
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bigshot

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I have no other methods at this point to get any better sound unless I was to make a major upgrade. No other headphones, no other DAC or amplifier. No more cables or DAP file players.....there is nothing I could do.
If your power is relatively clean and you aren't having problems, then you are done. Buying equipment at this point would be buying for buying's sake. Your best upgrade is music. Go out and buy a bunch of CDs in a genre you aren't familiar with and grow musically. Buying expensive wires is throwing money in a hole. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as the old saying goes.

You have officially graduated from Head Fi. You no longer need better equipment. That is the goal we're all striving for and you have achieved it. Congratulations. I wish you well in the wider world of recorded music.

Soundandmotion, please don't back seat moderate. Castle does a very good job and these things are up to his discretion, not yours. Thanks.
 
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SoundAndMotion

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Soundandmotion, please don't back seat moderate. Castle does a very good job and these things are up to his discretion, not yours. Thanks.
Hmmm... You need to reread my post. I was complaining about @Brooko back seat moderating. I agree that Castle does a very good job and I respect his discretion. It seems that you and others who try to shoo people away are doing the back seat moderating.
 
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taffy2207

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Maybe he should moderate his attempted moderation of you trying to moderate. Sorted. You're welcome :thumbsup:
 
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bigshot

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Ha! Everyone should just make points and stop all the BS. I try to do that myself. Sometimes it seems like an endless vortex of argumentativeness. Im sick of it. I’ve written off several regular posters for that sort of nonsense. I’m happy to write off more.
 
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@GrussGott says he believes there is an audible difference. No one is obliged to prove him wrong, but he remains convinced and shares his view here. He suggests a way to test it that probably violates the rules for the rest of the forum, so it must be here in Sound Science. By replying to his post you validate it as worthy of rebuttal. Great; sounds like an internet debate.

But when you call for moderator action in a post you provoke 2 comments:

1- Please specify which Terms of Service or Posting Guidelines he is violating. As you point out this is the Sound Science sub-forum of Head-Fi, not HA. There is no HA TOS#8. He is not trolling, just giving his views and ideas.

2- You are violating 2 of the Posting Guidelines (link):
(1)-
Please DON'T reply If someone makes an off-topic, rude or otherwise inappropriate comment, or a post appears to be trolling or spam. Report it by clicking on the red flag and filling in the box explaining what the problem is and let the moderators take care of it (Please do not directly PM the moderators). If something is inappropriate or rude, what is the point of giving it more attention by replying to it and/or quoting it?!? If someone starts a fire, you wouldn't set other things on fire with it, so please don't go and do the equivalent here. If nobody replies 100% of the time the person stops!
(2)-
We don't allow discussion of moderation on the forums. See the Moderation FAQ for further information.

Interestingly, I believe his test won’t show him to be right. I think the rebuttal you have posted extends to the test he proposes. But it seems you should either simply disagree with him (as you did) or ignore him. It doesn’t seem you should try to reshape the Sound Science sub-forum to your taste. Perhaps you can convince the Admins to add a TOS or Guideline.
I'll reply via PM - he is breaking the rules if he's trolling. I should know - I used to moderate here. And clearly you haven't read a lot of his posts. I'd hazard a guess if we polled those on the forum - trolling yes/no, the response would be one-sided and overwhelming
 
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I'll reply via PM - he is breaking the rules if he's trolling. I should know - I used to moderate here. And clearly you haven't read a lot of his posts. I'd hazard a guess if we polled those on the forum - trolling yes/no, the response would be one-sided and overwhelming
Wow! That was a very classy PM. You have my respect. Given your explanation I have edited my post (although, yes, I know it lives on in your quote).
 
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No, I'm not talking about you. Sorry to be vague about it.
 
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castleofargh

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I believe we can all agree that I'm the best moderator in Sound Science(also usually the only one, but let's not mind the small details).
@GrussGott do you get a sense of what in your posts is perceived as trolling?
the reason we can't disprove all the claims of people hearing a difference is because pretty much none of those people are providing us with any relevant data. meaning first and foremost that we don't have to disprove anything because they only provided us with empty claims/impressions. we can reject them all without having to demonstrate anything. and that's the situation we're in. it would be wrong to assume that we cannot dismiss them because we lack data. the lack of data is the reason to dismiss those impressions.

but let's say we wish to engage anyway and help demonstrate or disprove something. let's say you try 2 cables and feel you're getting a difference, if I purchase the same brand of cables and same DAC you have, do a proper blind tests and detect nothing, will that prove beyond doubt that you're not actually hearing anything and that the cables make no difference? no it won't. in effect your situation might not be duplicable for me. even if I got your own 2 cables and your DAC to strongly reduce the potential variables, there could still be too many unknowns. from the computer, the environment, our respective listening skills, etc. and that means 2 things:
1/ what I would do is never going to be more than an anecdote.
2/ if anybody can show anything and provide any sort of evidence about your experience, it's probably you! and same thing for all those who wish their opinions to be taken as more than a sighted impression. but throwing more or less random hypotheses at us and hope we'll bite, that's not how you're going to demonstrate something. you think it's RFI, cool, show us it is. you think it's the super proprietary whatever from a cable seller, cool, show us measurements showing the significant improvement in fidelity. but just throwing ideas everywhere, that only makes more ideas you need to test, as you're the one allegedly getting clear differences and arguing that those hypotheses are worth something. that part will not change, you only increase your own burden(assuming that you wish to get to the end of this and aren't only here to troll).
 
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@GrussGott do you get a sense of what in your posts is perceived as trolling?
Yes!

Because I'm reminding people their unscientifically-proven position is, in fact, only an opinion and that annoys them. However, since this is the science thread, I'm holding them to the scientific standard:

If they're going to take a definitive position on the topic, they should scientifically prove that opinion (and miscellaneous amateur experiments do not equal scientific proof, otherwise Newton could've just eaten the apple and skipped the hassle of inventing a gravitation equation). Anyway, @SoundAndMotion said it much more epically than I could.

Which brings me to providing some clarity (again) on my own opinion, given it's constantly mischaracterized:

GG's Definitive Opinion on the topic of "Why do USB cables Make Such a Difference" <-- please reference or copy this if you wish to tell people what I think (this means you @bigshot )

(1.) USB cables might not matter as there's some evidence supporting that.

(2.) USB cables might matter as there's some evidence supporting that.

(3.) Neither of these positions have been scientifically proven, thus nobody knows

(4.) Proving whether cables matter requires access to the firmware source code, which has nothing to do with science, it's just analysis, so I'd question if this thread even belongs here

(5.) A high quality listening test such as I've recommended won't prove anything, but it might disprove an industry expert who believes he can tell the difference, and that would be fun AND interesting.

In short, we cannot definitively answer this question due to inability to complete the analysis, not for any science reason.
 
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Please address the tests which have been done and show no measurable difference. And stop with the "unscientifically-proven position". I've given you measurements and opinions from people in the industry (ie expert opinions).

As to the "USB cables might matter as there's some evidence supporting that." - please provide the evidence. So far all you have is anecdotal - no blind tests, and definitely nothing performed under rigorous testing conditions. For it to mean something - it needs to be:
- blind (the gold standard)
- no deviations in anything except the cables
- random generation of samples
- repeatable
When you provide evidence of that, then we can actually get the cables mentioned into a laboratory and see if we can measure a difference.

Oh - and what is this gobble-de-gook (4.) Proving whether cables matter requires access to the firmware source code,

More attempts to obfuscate and confuse?

Please show the evidence.
 
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Yes!

Because I'm reminding people their unscientifically-proven position is, in fact, only an opinion and that annoys them. However, since this is the science thread, I'm holding them to the scientific standard:

If they're going to take a definitive position on the topic, they should scientifically prove that opinion (and miscellaneous amateur experiments do not equal scientific proof, otherwise Newton could've just eaten the apple and skipped the hassle of inventing a gravitation equation). Anyway, @SoundAndMotion said it much more epically than I could.

Which brings me to providing some clarity (again) on my own opinion, given it's constantly mischaracterized:

GG's Definitive Opinion on the topic of "Why do USB cables Make Such a Difference" <-- please reference or copy this if you wish to tell people what I think (this means you @bigshot )

(1.) USB cables might not matter as there's some evidence supporting that.

(2.) USB cables might matter as there's some evidence supporting that.

(3.) Neither of these positions have been scientifically proven, thus nobody knows

(4.) Proving whether cables matter requires access to the firmware source code, which has nothing to do with science, it's just analysis, so I'd question if this thread even belongs here

(5.) A high quality listening test such as I've recommended won't prove anything, but it might disprove an industry expert who believes he can tell the difference, and that would be fun AND interesting.

In short, we cannot definitively answer this question due to inability to complete the analysis, not for any science reason.

Have you not read any of the information in the links @Brooko keeps posting, or are you purposely ignoring them? If you disagree with the findings, specify why.

Please provide the evidence supporting #2 that clears all of the hurdles you’ve “established” as requirements.

Point 4 is bunk. There is no need to have access to the source code when the output of two cables can be captured and compared. Either the data is identical or it isn’t.
 
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