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Why do USB cables make such a difference?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by Cartma, Jul 17, 2017.
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  1. JRG1990
    So the only time a a usb cable makes a difference Is when the dac defective spending silly money on a cable to fix the problem is madness replacing the defective dac seems like the most logical solution , measurements show even the cheapest cables work fine and are the best performance your gonna get with a properly functioning dac.
    WoodyLuvr likes this.
  2. bigshot
    That's my takeaway from this thread too.
    WoodyLuvr likes this.
  3. JRG1990
    At least after 99 pages we have all finally reached an agreement.
    WoodyLuvr likes this.
  4. jagwap
    My understanding is "all" is not in general a subset of the total. The lesson I take away from this discussion is it is valuable to learn that the people that agree with you are not always the people you can learn from.

    I do not use fancy USB cables. But that is my choice. I have proposed why they "may" make a difference. RF susceptablility isn't a yes/no situation. There is a legislation pass/fail in some countries, but sound quality often requires a higher standard, and some designers have higher requirements than others.
    Arpiben and WoodyLuvr like this.
  5. jagwap
    No it wasn't defective in terms generally accepted as measuring well. I have some measurement requirements that I have found make a difference listening blind that I want a product to pass. So I "fixed" it to my standard. There are plenty of DACs out there that wouldn't pass my tests. I am being deliberately cryptic as this is some proprietary knowledge I have picked up in my travels. Don't worry, I think the man involved in your Oppo DAC knows this too.
    WoodyLuvr and Double C like this.
  6. Arpiben
    Do you mind sharing the DAC Output effects of an item not coping with your standards? Just the output, no item name or any EMC levels. Thanks.
  7. bigshot
    So in other words, you're saying you don't know anything about it, you just made a choice to not use fancy cables because you didn't want to spend money on that. That is fine. But saying that in an internet forum doesn't really help anyone else make a decision... especially if they can afford fancy cables and want to know if that would be money well spent. They are looking for an indication one way or the other, not a personal decision based on not knowing much about it.

    By the way, passing audio across is one of the easiest things that USB cables do. Digital audio is a fraction of the size and speed required of most things USB cables pass... files from hard drive to hard drive, HD video, etc. And audio is only required to keep a buffer full on the DAC side. That is even easier than real time streaming.

    I'll wait until you are prepared to speak about your standards. Until then, I'll stick to the ones that make all of my digital audio devices audibly transparent to me.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  8. GrussGott
    HOLY CRAP! I ... I ... I ... agree ... with aaallll of this.
  9. jagwap
    I have said I do not use fancy USB cables.because I do not think they are necessary. I am agreeing with you!

    That is either a troll comment or an insult to my abilities as a professional designer of audio equipment. I have explained myself, and now you are trying to provoke. Do you have some kind of internet forum tourettes?
    Phronesis likes this.
  10. jagwap
    I wasn't refering to RF, but another aspect outside of "conventional" measurements.

    I won't name other brands as deficient, as that would be unprofessional.
  11. Whazzzup
    I use fancy cables because I don’t function properly.
    Aslshark and GrussGott like this.
  12. bigshot
    Are you a member of the trade? I'm always looking for a DAC or player that isn't audibly transparent. If you know of one, it wouldn't be unprofessional to mention it. In fact, it would be helpful!
  13. Redcarmoose
    You just asked a fellow member if he used different DACs which could have “colored” his subjective listening tests rotating in different USB cables. So which is it? All DACs the same or different? Get your own personal facts straight.
  14. bigshot
    Happy to clear that up for you! Every DAC, DAP, amp and digital audio disc player that I've ever gotten has been audibly transparent, They all sound exactly the same- perfect. I'm looking for one that *isn't* audibly transparent- or in other words, colored. If anyone has one that doesn't sound just like every other, and they've gone to the trouble to carefully make sure of that for themselves, let me know. I'd like to borrow it to do some tests. No one has been able to provide me with one yet.

    Sorry, I was reading your comment as meaning that USB cables may make a difference if someone has a higher standard, but you don't need that high of a standard yourself. The highest standard necessary for the purposes of listening to music in the home is audible transparency. In my book, the quest stops there. A professional sound engineer in a studio might need more, but regular people don't. To be honest, I doubt that a professional sound engineer would even need fancy USB cables. They wouldn't have RF problems like that.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  15. Redcarmoose
    My IPods are on the flat side. The Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus is cold, and my favorite Sony TA amp/DAC is warm. But..........I'm not sending em out anywhere. I'm sure they would graph out the same as they sound. Only seen graphs on the IPods. Also due to the construction the Sony 1Z and 1A sound very different, mainly due to the amplification probably? 1000s of posts about the difference.
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