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Thread: Do USB cables make an audible difference?

  1. #31
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,244
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    I'm aware the ferrite chokes aren't necessarily a good thing but they are very inexpensive to try. I can't say whether the cable that came with my Toshiba USB drive is certified or not but presumably Toshibiba put it there for a reason - I don't expect they was the product to cost 1 cent more than it needs to.

    If a cable is certified does it mean the cable is perfect? What I'm getting at is if the device at the end (or start) of the cable is horribly noisy then a certified cable is unlikely to do much to reduce the noise. Maybe a certified cable is just the starting point for such a noisy environment. What's at the receiving end should take noise in to account (hence the regeneration comment I made) but I suspect that multiple levels of cleaning will help in some situations.
    I thought that the ferrite choke was to stop noise originating from the USB peripheral device getting out via the shield. Is this not the case?
    ~Paul~

  2. #32
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 2,980
    I'm Neil.

    Default Do USB cables make an audible difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackles View Post
    There's some interesting stuff in the letters page of last month's HiFi World about digital cables. Upshot: they are more complex than most of us think.

    Someone made the point about USB quality in general. My Chord Mojo has USB, coax and optical inputs and the USB is easily the worst of the three. My Fiio DAC does sound great through USB though.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
    Galvanic isolation of USB is critical, your Mojo doesn’t have it, so high amounts of EMI / power line noise is coupled into your unit.

    Yours is a good case of where a USB isolator dongle would be of benefit.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  3. #33
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Manchester

    Posts: 142
    I'm John.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    Galvanic isolation of USB is critical, your Mojo doesn’t have it, so high amounts of EMI / power line noise is coupled into your unit.

    Yours is a good case of where a USB isolator dongle would be of benefit.
    Thanks, didn't know this.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  4. #34
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Hartlepool UK

    Posts: 1,365
    I'm Alan.

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    In my experience with tinkering with the different types of connection between my silent HTPC and M2Tech Young Dac I recorded the following
    USB - standard without software and using windows sounds the worst
    Coax - sounds more musical and quiet
    Optical - More detail and cleaner
    Asynchronous USB with M2tech software, Jrivermedia player M2Tech young dac Standard USB cable better than all of the above

    Same as above with a Supra cable sound slightly better than the above so kept that and still use that today 5 years on
    All just my opinion of course no scientific evidence

    Alan
    Turntable - Garrard 401/Jelco 750L/Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, Pioneer PLC 590, SME 3009/2 , Denon DL103R - DIY Paradise Phono stage - Reel 2 Reel Studer A810, Otari MX55,Tascam BR20 - Digital HTPC / Young Dac - Preamp - DIY B4, 821, Power Amp's DIY Voyager Mono Block, Speakers Tannoy precision 6.4 / Wilmslow Kit Volt BM220.8 / Scanspeak D2905/9500

  5. #35
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Valley of the Hazels

    Posts: 8,389
    I'm AMusicFanNotAnAudiophile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 337alant View Post
    In my experience with tinkering with the different types of connection between my silent HTPC and M2Tech Young Dac I recorded the following
    USB - standard without software and using windows sounds the worst
    That's no surprise - from the Windows end it will be seeing generic drivers. USB is not designed to be an audio interface! The clue is in the U bit of USB.

    Quote Originally Posted by 337alant View Post
    Coax - sounds more musical and quiet
    It will - the coax connection is an audio one!

    Quote Originally Posted by 337alant View Post
    Optical - More detail and cleaner
    And ground plane noise is eradicated .....

    Quote Originally Posted by 337alant View Post
    Asynchronous USB with M2tech software, Jrivermedia player M2Tech young dac Standard USB cable better than all of the above
    The M2Tech "software" is not software as such - it's appropriate drivers for the hardware being used.

    Quote Originally Posted by 337alant View Post
    Same as above with a Supra cable sound slightly better than the above so kept that and still use that today 5 years on
    All just my opinion of course no scientific evidence

    Alan
    Chris



    Once we've made sense of our world, we wanna go fuck up everybody else's because his or her truth doesn't match mine. But this is the problem. Truth is individual calculation. Which means because we all have different perspectives, there isn't one singular truth, is there?

  6. #36
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 17,191
    I'm Neil.

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    Yes they make a difference. I use Wireworld Starlight and iFi USB power combination. I have tried USB to SPDIF convertors with mixed results, as PC software upgrades can make them not functional, or they wont handle all the sound option formats.

    I would like to try one of the more expensive converters but the thought it might cease to work puts me off.
    Regards Neil

    System 1 (Living Room) : AMG Giro turntable, AMG 9W2 tonearm, Air Tight PC3 cartridge, Passlabs Xono phonostage, AMG Reference armcable. Marantz CD7 CD player, Sony HAP Z1es Digital File Player + Audioquest Jitter Bug, Veracity Audio Mystra DAC + HP laptop + iFi Audio i power, Wireworld Starlight USB + Audioquest Jitter Bug, for computer audio, Audio Valve RKV2 headphone amp, headphones Grado GS 1000, Nakamichi CR5e tape deck, Balanced Audio Technology VK300se integrated amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers. Cabling: Signal - Atlas Mavros, Audience AU24, Speaker - Atlas Mavros. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, TCI. Mark Grant distribution blocks, Equipment tables Target Audio B series.

    System 2 (Music Room) : Loricraft Garrard 401 turntable + SME 5 tonearm + VDH MC10 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Modified Technics 1200 turntable + Triplannar 7 tonearm + VDH Frog Gold cartridge + Paul Hynes SR7 PSU, SME Model 20 turntable + Graham Phantom tonearm + Ortofon MC5200 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Balanced Audio Technology VK10se phonostage, Moon Andromeda CD player, Esoteric P5 SACD transport and P 5 DAC, Toshiba 9500 DVD Audio player, AMR DP777 DAC + Dell Laptop + iFi Audio i power + JKenny JKSPIDIF + Wireworld Starlight USB - for computer audio, Kenwood 8300 tuner, Revox B760 tuner, Magnum Dynalab signal sleuth, Leak Troughline tuner + EAR Stereo decoder, Revox B77 mk 2 & Revox A77 mk3 reel to reel recorders, Balanced Audio Technology VK52se pre-amplifier, Music Reference RM200 mk1 power-amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.5 speakers. Cabling: Signal/Speaker - Audience AU24, XLO Type6. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, TCI. Mains distribution blocks Mark Grant and Russ Andrews, Equipment tables Clear Light Audio.

  7. #37
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: South Africa

    Posts: 10
    I'm Brian.

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    I just Bought the entry level QED USB cable it’s so cheap I thought why not, I hear a difference, more clarity and openness almost like the noise floor has been lowered. It’s not gonna make a good system brilliant but it definetly worth the price. I wouldn’t pay much more than that though, if I had paid £500pounds I think I would’ve been disappointed but for £15 it was well worth it.

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