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USB Cable

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
Hi,

Thought I'd share my experiences of USB cables. I decided to try out the USB in of my DAC from my NAS drive - I picked up a cheap cable from Maplins - cost me £5. The change meant that I bypassed my SBT streamer, which was connected to the DAC Coax using a Chord cable - cant remember which one but it cost around £79.

The results were interesting - the presentation was more relaxed, the background had a darker tone which meant the instruments had more space which made them easier to follow. Vocals were less harsh and metallic sounding, the tone and timbre was more apparent. Dynamics were improved, probably because the general presentation was more laid back which meant a genuine dynamic part in a song was more distinguished.

Excited with the result I thought I'd take a punt and I puurchased a USB cable from Clearer Audio with an expectation that the results would be amplified. Sadly, I was disappointed - the presentation was back to being forward again .... the best way I can describe it is that the equililzers were set to max across the entire frequency range so in comparison to the cheaper USB the presentation sounded constrained. This was noticable in the vocals which sounded metalilc again.

I've always felt there was something not quite right with my set up and it turns out it was the presentation which the cable (Coax) must have imparted.

I'd be interested to hear experiences from members of using USB cable especially cables that provided a sound that suits my listening tastes - smooth, organic, dynamic, clarity, timbre, 3D.

I find the the Clearer Audio cable an exciting listen at first but it does become fatiguing after a while due to its forced nature. I have had it in use for over 3 days (for those that believe in burn in).

Many thanks,

Kub
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
CnoEvil said:
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
I too can hear differences with various cables carrying digital signals. Most recently I’ve been using an M2Tech HiFace Two device that converts USB to Spdif. The difference in SQ is very notable, it having greater weight and body, more bass and fluidity, less ‘digital’.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
So here's the deal.

Got a decent async DAC that isn't powered off a USB cable? Then any difference in sound you hear by changing the cable is only between your ears.

Contrary to the 'digital is all 1s and 0s' brigade who post on here, anyone who has actually designed a digital system will tell you that digital is actually analogue. Those 1s and 0s are carried as different analogue voltage levels, and in particular for SPDIF with its embedded clock, the 'shape' of the analogue level transitions are critical for extracting a low jitter clock. In this case, changing the cable COULD make a difference.

Equally, if you are mad enough to power your DAC off a USB cable, then the quality of the shielding and the diameter of the conductors in the USB cable COULD make a difference.

The answer? use an async DAC and power any USB device from a wall wart. You can then forget about what digital cable you are using, or failing that, you can keep changing it, and carry on imagining you are hearing a difference.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
andyjm said:
So here's the deal.

Got a decent async DAC that isn't powered off a USB cable? Then any difference in sound you hear by changing the cable is only between your ears.

Contrary to the 'digital is all 1s and 0s' brigade who post on here, anyone who has actually designed a digital system will tell you that digital is actually analogue. Those 1s and 0s are carried as different analogue voltage levels, and in particular for SPDIF with its embedded clock, the 'shape' of the analogue level transitions are critical for extracting a low jitter clock. In this case, changing the cable COULD make a difference.

Equally, if you are mad enough to power your DAC off a USB cable, then the quality of the shielding and the diameter of the conductors in the USB cable COULD make a difference.

The answer? use an async DAC and power any USB device from a wall wart. You can then forget about what digital cable you are using, or failing that, you can keep changing it, and carry on imagining you are hearing a difference.
Interesting. - Is this why the M2Tech device makes a difference? As I understand it re-clocking the USB signal to output as Spdif should clean it up? - Clearly, I'm not an audio engineer, but keen to understand a little of what's going on.
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
Thanks, Cno - I did look at the Vertere but went with Clear Audio for no particular reason - it was a spontaneous purchase. Did the difference you hear appeal to your musical tastes in terms of presentation - I'd be grateful for your thoughts?
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
Infiniteloop said:
CnoEvil said:
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
I too can hear differences with various cables carrying digital signals. Most recently I’ve been using an M2Tech HiFace Two device that converts USB to Spdif. The difference in SQ is very notable, it having greater weight and body, more bass and fluidity, less ‘digital’.
Thanks for the recommendation - this is exactly what I heard with the cheaper USB - I want more of this!
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
andyjm said:
So here's the deal.

Got a decent async DAC that isn't powered off a USB cable? Then any difference in sound you hear by changing the cable is only between your ears.

Contrary to the 'digital is all 1s and 0s' brigade who post on here, anyone who has actually designed a digital system will tell you that digital is actually analogue. Those 1s and 0s are carried as different analogue voltage levels, and in particular for SPDIF with its embedded clock, the 'shape' of the analogue level transitions are critical for extracting a low jitter clock. In this case, changing the cable COULD make a difference.

Equally, if you are mad enough to power your DAC off a USB cable, then the quality of the shielding and the diameter of the conductors in the USB cable COULD make a difference.

The answer? use an async DAC and power any USB device from a wall wart. You can then forget about what digital cable you are using, or failing that, you can keep changing it, and carry on imagining you are hearing a difference.
Thanks for your thoughts. I don't really understand any of it nor am I interested in the 'technical' side of things - just tell me which combination of equipment will provide the synergy I need that will provide me the sound I am after :)

Although I do appreciate the principles of design in general ... when we move onto the detailed stuff I loose interest.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Kubs said:
Thanks, Cno - I did look at the Vertere but went with Clear Audio for no particular reason - it was a spontaneous purchase. Did the difference you hear appeal to your musical tastes in terms of presentation - I'd be grateful for your thoughts?
Here is a thread detailing the whole evening, with kit, photos and observations (you need to trawl through a few pages, as it takes me a few posts to go through it).

https://www.whathifi.com/forum/accessories/evening-touraj-moghaddam-vertere
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Kubs said:
Infiniteloop said:
CnoEvil said:
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
I too can hear differences with various cables carrying digital signals. Most recently I’ve been using an M2Tech HiFace Two device that converts USB to Spdif. The difference in SQ is very notable, it having greater weight and body, more bass and fluidity, less ‘digital’.
Thanks for the recommendation - this is exactly what I heard with the cheaper USB - I want more of this!
I only came across this device when I was having a spot of bother with my MacBook Pro source. I'd updated OSX to the latest version only to find out that the Chord Dac driver no longer worked and Chord were unable to supply an update. Chord suggested using this device as it runs without the need for any drivers. It works very well and also improves the sound.

Chord also use them....
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
40
7
10,545
I got a Vertere d-fi usb cable. I compared it to a regular cheap cable. They sound differently. There are differences, even some say this is just a digital signal.
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
Infiniteloop said:
CnoEvil said:
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
I too can hear differences with various cables carrying digital signals. Most recently I’ve been using an M2Tech HiFace Two device that converts USB to Spdif. The difference in SQ is very notable, it having greater weight and body, more bass and fluidity, less ‘digital’.
Hi Infinite,

Is this the gadget you are refering too:http://www.tonepublications.com/review/m2tech-hiface-two-2/

and which cable do you run from the gadget to the DAC?

or is it this? http://www.iglooaudio.co.uk/m2tech-hiface-evo-two.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7VBRDtARIsAHWoO-I7s-3p86a3G_Gwn1s0eb45NxFKTXL6q3LhHUtnx_IisAu90z_KKzIaArRmEALw_wcB
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Kubs said:
Infiniteloop said:
CnoEvil said:
Without wanting to get into a USB Cable slanging match...all I will say is, I heard a difference with Vertere USB cables. I don't have them in my system, so was a demonstration by Touraj Moghaddam, who had designed it.

Since you are trying for yourself - I will throw this into the mix.
I too can hear differences with various cables carrying digital signals. Most recently I’ve been using an M2Tech HiFace Two device that converts USB to Spdif. The difference in SQ is very notable, it having greater weight and body, more bass and fluidity, less ‘digital’.
Hi Infinite,

Is this the gadget you are refering too:http://www.tonepublications.com/review/m2tech-hiface-two-2/

and which cable do you run from the gadget to the DAC?

or is it this? http://www.iglooaudio.co.uk/m2tech-hiface-evo-two.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7...
It’s the M2Tech HiFace Two. Your first link. I use Atlas Mavros Ultra from that to the DAC.
 

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