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USB cable comparisons


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18 hours ago, Apmusson said:

Hi,

 

I ordered a Sablon Audio Panatela Reserva usb cable (powered version) today.  I currently use a Curious Link cable between my Ultrarendu (LPS1.2 powered) and Hugo 2 which i like very much but can be occasionally tiring over long periods of listening (slight harshness, detail overload).

 

I have preordered a Chord M Scaler for my Hugo 2 so the Sablon is an attempt to get the USB sound balanced before it arrives.  I'll report back after it arrives.

 

Ade

 

I received the Sablon cable at 09.00 (BST) this morning and have been listening for about 3 hours straight.   I will reserve final verdict until buyers euphoria has worn off (about 3 weeks in my case).  

 

Initial listening has revealed that the Sablon Reserva does a lot of things very well.  All harshness from the Curious cable has gone, but the excitement remains - I know this to be true as I have played a couple of tracks that caused me to wince when using the Curious cable (HD800 and Chord Hugo 2 are described by some as bright - I think that revealing is more accurate) are now playing without any pain and with much additional foot-tapping - I couldnt listen to Billy Braggs 'A New England' using Curious Cable - the jangly guitar was too much - it is still acerbic (rightly so) but no more ear pain.

 

Anyway as I said I'll wait for a few weeks before resuming (I need to swap back a couple of times too).  

 

Ade

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Thanks for the initial report Ade.  Please keep us posted after you have had some time with it.

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13 hours ago, reverendo said:

One thing that I just can't explain, and maybe due to my understanding of how hearing and sound works, is that wide and, above all, correct bandwidth reproduction is what creates the "correct" sound of especially timbre, but also tone and texture. After all, it's all harmonics. So resolution and bandwidth should result in passing on whatever the transport is sending. The closer to that goal, the more truthful the system will reproduce the source material and I really want to get to know what that is and then judge it based on that. And it is in that sense that I think that the Curious falls short. Again, YMMV.

BTW, Allan, thanks for sharing your experience.

 

I am not sure that I understand exactly what you mean with the above. All I can say is that, in my system, the Curious USB cable is noticeably superior to the Lightspeed 10G in all of timbre, tone and texture. It is more musical. We can't measure timbre. All we can do is compare how accurately the reproduction of the sound of acoustic instruments is to the real thing, and that is the standard I have applied in the foregoing.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Sal, if I need help fixing my car, I will send you a pm. 

 

Seeking your advice when it comes to anything audio related?  Not so much.    

 

I know you derive much pleasure from sniping any cable thread you can find so just image your joy if you were to start your very own cable thread as Allan suggests?  Orgasm city for you baby.  Do it!

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

Home Office: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2 | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

Office:  Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE w/preamp module | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Raidho X-1 | REL T/5x sub

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4 hours ago, Apmusson said:

 

I received the Sablon cable at 09.00 (BST) this morning and have been listening for about 3 hours straight.   I will reserve final verdict until buyers euphoria has worn off (about 3 weeks in my case).  

 

Initial listening has revealed that the Sablon Reserva does a lot of things very well.  All harshness from the Curious cable has gone, but the excitement remains - I know this to be true as I have played a couple of tracks that caused me to wince when using the Curious cable (HD800 and Chord Hugo 2 are described by some as bright - I think that revealing is more accurate) are now playing without any pain and with much additional foot-tapping - I couldnt listen to Billy Braggs 'A New England' using Curious Cable - the jangly guitar was too much - it is still acerbic (rightly so) but no more ear pain.

 

Anyway as I said I'll wait for a few weeks before resuming (I need to swap back a couple of times too).  

 

Ade

Thank you for your post. I have been looking at the Sablon cable and have an ultraRendu with an F-1. Planning on getting Sonore's version of the F-1, - so I have to lose the Sonore/Cardas USB adapter. But the cost of the Sablon is a bit out of my range. On the other hand, - performance....    Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, Allan F said:

 

I am not sure that I understand exactly what you mean with the above. All I can say is that, in my system, the Curious USB cable is noticeably superior to the Lightspeed 10G in all of timbre, tone and texture. It is more musical. We can't measure timbre. All we can do is compare how accurately the reproduction of the sound of acoustic instruments is to the real thing, and that is the standard I have applied in the foregoing.

I agree with you. I have sensed that the 10G is overall leaner.

I remember when I compared it to the Purist Audio USB cable the Purist had more body and weight, which made it more musical. Nonetheless, the Purist's bandwidth was limited in comparison, which created shortcomings in spatiality, transients and, therefore, sound stage. I would love to find a cable that had the bandwidth and speed that the 10G had with more accurate body and weight. Still, when faced with more or a less an either/or scenario, my preference goes towards wide bandwidth, especially because I believe that the problem will probably be found somewhere else beyond the USB cable within my own system. That's what I tried to explain previously regarding sound and its reproduction in my prior post. Simply put, all sound is basically a selection and of harmonics with different intensities.

Having said that, I'm sure that there are better USB cables out there, that might be able to do both and for less money. The 10G was the best I came upon having compared around 10 different ones in my system and I let it be. Someday I just might take up the USB cable testing up again, but first I'll work on speakers and source upgrade. ?

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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48 minutes ago, reverendo said:

The 10G was the best I came upon having compared around 10 different ones in my system and I let it be. Someday I just might take up the USB cable testing up again, but first I'll work on speakers and source upgrade. ?

 

I fully understand. No system or component is perfect. We each have our priorities. I have reached a similar point with the Curious cable in my system. I am very happy with the sound that I am getting and I have no desire to engage in any further USB cable testing for the foreseeable future. Enjoy the music!

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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4 hours ago, Allan F said:

In your narrow minded opinion.

Not just mine, most anyone with any real background in technology. It's this corner of the audiophile market that has made this hobby the laughing stock of the engineering community.

 

Cables—that’s one subject I can’t discuss calmly. Even after all these years, I still fly into a rage when I read “$900 per foot” or “$5200 the pair.” That’s an obscenity, a despicable extortion exploiting the inability of moneyed audiophiles to deal with the laws of physics. The transmission of electrical signals through a wire is governed by resistance, inductance, and capacitance (R, L, and C). That’s all, folks! (At least that’s all at audio frequencies. At radio frequencies the geometry of the cable begins to have certain effects.) An audio signal has no idea whether it is passing through expensive or inexpensive RLC. It retains its purity or impurity regardless. There may be some expensive cables that sound “different” because they have crazy RLC characteristics that cause significant changes in frequency response. That’s what you hear, not the $900 per foot. And what about the wiring inside your loudspeakers, inside your amplifiers, inside your other components? What you don’t see doesn’t count, doesn’t have to be upgraded for megabucks? What about the miles of AC wiring from the power station to your house and inside your walls? Only the six-foot length of the thousand-dollar power cord counts? The lack of common sense in the high-end audio market drives me to despair.

"Peter Aczel"

 

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

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@Sal1950, please do not despair.  there is good news!  No one is holding a gun to your head making you purchase cables which could make your system sound better, you are free to choose.

 

Now do not get me started on the state of the Federal Government, if you are looking to despair...  (of course, CA is a politics free zone so forget I mentioned it).

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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On 12/31/2012 at 1:02 PM, reverendo said:

I'd like to discourage those who do not hear differences in USB cables (or all cables) to post on this thread. I understand and respect your opinions and findings, but we'll have to agree to disagree. As human beings we all have different physical abilities. Some can run long stretches, some are fast swimmers, some are lift heavy weights... you get my point. This also applies to the physical part of listening, too. It's also true that we don't have the same experience (and/or training) in processing the information that our brain receives and, of course, this also applies to listening. So please, PLEASE, let's not let this thread become a discussion about placebo effects vs. hearing and listening disabilities, ok?

@Sal1950 just a quick reminder of the first post of this thread. we've been able to steer clear of this all these years. I'm sure you can help us continue that way.

Thanks in advance. ?

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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2 hours ago, Sal1950 said:

Not just mine, most anyone with any real background in technology. It's this corner of the audiophile market that has made this hobby the laughing stock of the engineering community.

 

Cables—that’s one subject I can’t discuss calmly. Even after all these years, I still fly into a rage when I read “$900 per foot” or “$5200 the pair.” That’s an obscenity, a despicable extortion exploiting the inability of moneyed audiophiles to deal with the laws of physics. The transmission of electrical signals through a wire is governed by resistance, inductance, and capacitance (R, L, and C). That’s all, folks! (At least that’s all at audio frequencies. At radio frequencies the geometry of the cable begins to have certain effects.) An audio signal has no idea whether it is passing through expensive or inexpensive RLC. It retains its purity or impurity regardless. There may be some expensive cables that sound “different” because they have crazy RLC characteristics that cause significant changes in frequency response. That’s what you hear, not the $900 per foot. And what about the wiring inside your loudspeakers, inside your amplifiers, inside your other components? What you don’t see doesn’t count, doesn’t have to be upgraded for megabucks? What about the miles of AC wiring from the power station to your house and inside your walls? Only the six-foot length of the thousand-dollar power cord counts? The lack of common sense in the high-end audio market drives me to despair.

"Peter Aczel"

 

You are correct, its not just yours and it does include everyone with supposed "any real background in technology".

 

I can safely assume one of the following is true for you and the rest of the "any real background in technology" folks you covet as your compatriots.

 

1) You have never tried swapping and listening to cables (interconnect, power, usb, etc) on an entry level or better high-end audio system.

2) You have genetically limited hearing. 

 

If its #2 above for you, oh well... I can't shoot 3 pointers consistently. If it weren't for visual evidence in the NBA I'm sure you would claim no one can consistently shoot 3 pointers. But its obvious, visually, there are quite a few who can. Unfortunately there is no compensation for lesser hearing if you simply can't hear the differences. There are quite a few of us who can.

 

If its #1 then you are, like the rest of your ilk, regurgitating what you read and supports your preexisting view. This is the sad one.

 

Now to type some stuff you will ignore and/or not comprehend...

 

Lets take your simple acceptance of resistance as one attribute to focus on. And here is but one of countless possible scenarios for resistance impacting audio signal quality....

 

So, question for you,  Is resistance of a wire 100% constant through the length and width of a wire? I'll save you hard thought, no it isn't. Metal manufacture always has impurities which is one of the causes of resistance among many. These impurities causing resistance are partial so some electron hit some and others hit others. What happens to electrons as some/all encounter different instances of resistance as they flow through a wire? Electron turbulence (just like water turbulence flowing through rocks). In the worst cases you can see it on an oscilloscope and the wire gets hot. What happens to an audio signal when electrons are jumbled around? The audio signal is compromised. Better wire manufacture tries to minimize impurities.

 

So just one detailed scenario out of many that your lumped "understanding" of the R in RLC doesn't cover.

 

All cables no matter how expensive have some sort of sonic signature. And you are correct that every nanometer of conductive metal makes a difference including the wires going to capacitors/resistors/solder joints etc. Good audio companies work to minimize audio signal compromises in their equipment, cables, etc. But none are perfect and none sound as good as live unamplified music but the quest is to get closer.... For those of us who care.

 

Anyways, enough typing for me.... 

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16 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

"We found the real problem is not noise on the ground or 5V lines - it's noise that piggy-backs on the data itself."

 

- this seems like an odd stmt. to me

 

The USB D+, D- signals although balanced can still carry noise, but the receiver's job is extract only the signal and reject the noise. This process is not perfect. Since D+, D- are relative to GND, noise is also transmitted on the same reference. Not an odd statement at all. Any electrical signal can transmit its own signal, plus any other signal where the path and impedance are favourable.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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12 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

true but not really relevant to noise - you do know about noise and signal extraction, right?

 

If one spends time looking at variations in signal integrity eye-patterns  (caused by cables and hub chips)—and simultaneously measuring activity and ground-plane noise around the USB PHY/processor in the DAC—then it starts to make sense. 9_9

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A question from a different angle - what USB cables are the closest to 90ohm and exhibit the best eye patten with the fastest rise time and squarest signal?

 

If UpTone are right and the cleanest purest signal means less transceiver generated noise on the receiving component then surely there should be correlation here with the most neutral sound?

 

I know HiFi news did a few different comparisons of USB cables a few years back and contained risetimes and eye patterns. I tried searching on their site for updates but the search function is broken. 

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23 minutes ago, HumanMedia said:

A question from a different angle - what USB cables are the closest to 90ohm and exhibit the best eye patten with the fastest rise time and squarest signal?

 How many of the boutique cables even come remotely close to doing this ?

 I wonder if Peter was able to check these areas with his Lush design ?  ( I know that he would, if he could)

At least one of these cables that many members like won't even work correctly in every system , especially at very high data rates,

but I haven't noticed any posted problems with Peter's cable in this area.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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49 minutes ago, HumanMedia said:

I know HiFi news did a few different comparisons of USB cables a few years back and contained risetimes and eye patterns. I tried searching on their site for updates but the search function is broken. 

 

 Please check your PMs shortly

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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30 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

HiFi news and record review? 

July 2014

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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