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USB cable comparisons


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reverendo, appreciate the care you've taken in listening and writing your impressions. I haven't heard the Axis, but your thoughts on the Clearlink track mine pretty closely. I know I mentioned this earlier in the thread, but thought I would do so again in a little more detail: The Mapleshade power cord and power strip helped the bass response in my system. When I mentioned Clearlink's reticence in the bass early in my listening to Pierre, he responded that it wasn't all due to lack of break-in; the power cord and strip would help. He was (as he often tends to be) quite right. Particularly regarding the "lack of definition" you mention, I wrote Pierre a tongue-in-cheek email after installing the cord and strip in which I said "Huh, so the bass actually plays notes instead of just rumbling along underneath everything. Who knew?"
One other thing, reverendo, after looking at your sig: Before the Mapleshade cord and strip, I was using a Z-Cord and Z-Strip (the latter from the first iteration of the Z-Series, and having some of the functions of your Z Duplex). Pierre said he felt the Z-stuff went too far in filtering, to the point that not only the noise, but some of the life was removed from the music. So I substituted the Mapleshade cord and strip for the MIT in the computer audio part of my system, and the results were very positive.

Jud,

I'm sure that power cables can make my bass better (and they have in the past), but I'm trying to compare without altering other variables. fact is that I have a pretty good cable on my current power strip, so IF the Mapleshade powercable betters it (which would be very surprising) the effect would also be felt with the other USB cables, too. BTW, I only got the Powercable because Pierre was rather adamant that it would better probably whatever I've got.

About the MIT stuff: if things get better without it, I'd be a happy camper. I'll try his power cable and will take it from there. If it really betters my current cable I'll probably get a power strip. If I get that far I might consider taking the Duplex Super out of the equation. I must say that if taking it out of my system makes things better I'd be more than glad to be rid of it, but the sound is pretty good ATM.

I'll try to give the USB cable another listen beforeI insert the powercord in the mix. :)

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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Jud,

I'm sure that power cables can make my bass better (and they have in the past), but I'm trying to compare without altering other variables. fact is that I have a pretty good cable on my current power strip, so IF the Mapleshade powercable betters it (which would be very surprising) the effect would also be felt with the other USB cables, too. BTW, I only got the Powercable because Pierre was rather adamant that it would better probably whatever I've got.

About the MIT stuff: if things get better without it, I'd be a happy camper. I'll try his power cable and will take it from there. If it really betters my current cable I'll probably get a power strip. If I get that far I might consider taking the Duplex Super out of the equation. I must say that if taking it out of my system makes things better I'd be more than glad to be rid of it, but the sound is pretty good ATM.

I'll try to give the USB cable another listen beforeI insert the powercord in the mix. :)

 

Yep, I pretty well felt the same before trying the Mapleshade power stuff. The MIT power conditioning units were, after all, recommended by Spectral for use with my amp and preamp. Will be interested as always to read your impressions. If the Mapleshade isn't as good, that wasn't entirely unexpected considering the difference in price and the fact that the equipment you already have is excellent. If the Mapleshade betters the sound, well, that's a happy problem to have.

 

And yep, you're quite right that if the Mapleshade improves the sound it will do so for all cables. But it may do so in areas (bass coherence and extension, general midrange to lower frequency "body") where you feel, if I'm reading correctly, that a couple of otherwise excellent USB cables may be lacking in your system.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Hello, this is my first post here... I was following this thread and finally I can't take my hands off...

Reverendo, do you have the option of compare Kimber Silver USB cable with the others?

I'm very interested in know opinions about this cable, because I'm tempted to buy it, but first I like to know more about results with it.

I'm in South America and I can't try cables...

Thanks in advance.

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I have one, previously using the Kimber Cu (6.1% Silver) which I'm selling on this site. I haven't done any A/B testing between the 6.1% Silver and the 100% Silver. Switched just to go with a shorter run. Still breaking the new cable in actually. At any rate they are both quality cables with great construction. Connectors are both crimped and soldered. I do feel that the shortest length possible is ideal, and if you do go for the silver do what I did and go for a very short run otherwise just save your money and do the Cu on runs 1m and longer. On the Cu cable remove the RF ferrite filters unless you have RF issues. Either way at least you know you have a quality made cable and cool company.

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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I have one, previously using the Kimber Cu (6.1% Silver) which I'm selling on this site. I haven't done any A/B testing between the 6.1% Silver and the 100% Silver. Switched just to go with a shorter run. Still breaking the new cable in actually. At any rate they are both quality cables with great construction. Connectors are both crimped and soldered. I do feel that the shortest length possible is ideal, and if you do go for the silver do what I did and go for a very short run otherwise just save your money and do the Cu on runs 1m and longer. On the Cu cable remove the RF ferrite filters unless you have RF issues. Either way at least you know you have a quality made cable and cool company.

 

Thanks Junker... what can you tell about the sound?

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OffTopic: just inserted the Mapleshade Double Helix Mk2 PC into the system. LFs sounded better right out of the box, but all the rest sounds worse (veiled mids, highs with no refinement, vocals sound trapped, etc.). Since I have experienced great improvement with power cord burn-in in the past I'll wait and see. I took it out of the system and put it on the router in order for it to burn-in (should have done this a long time ago). Let's see what happens.

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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OffTopic: just inserted the Mapleshade Double Helix Mk2 PC into the system. LFs sounded better right out of the box, but all the rest sounds worse (veiled mids, highs with no refinement, vocals sound trapped, etc.). Since I have experienced great improvement with power cord burn-in in the past I'll wait and see. I took it out of the system and put it on the router in order for it to burn-in (should have done this a long time ago). Let's see what happens.

 

I think they generally like their stuff to burn in with music, but power cords and conditioners in particular I don't know (and why would they need to when they're not carrying musical signals?).

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I think they generally like their stuff to burn in with music, but power cords and conditioners in particular I don't know (and why would they need to when they're not carrying musical signals?).

 

Maybe because when playing music the current is not steady and constant, and will vary between music peaks and low passages, as in an Amp. for example.

 

"Cable burners" works this way: Sending heavy pulses, then low and steady pulses, more heavy pulses, and so on.

 

Roch

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Maybe because when playing music the current is not steady and constant, and will vary between music peaks and low passages, as in an Amp. for example.

 

"Cable burners" works this way: Sending heavy pulses, then low and steady pulses, more heavy pulses, and so on.

 

Roch

 

The Mapleshade folks very specifically ask that their cables not be burned in with "cable burners" but with music. So I guess they must feel there's a difference, but I wouldn't know what it is.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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The Mapleshade folks very specifically ask that their cables not be burned in with "cable burners" but with music. So I guess they must feel there's a difference, but I wouldn't know what it is.

 

Because this "burners" are a BS...

 

The specs says they work as in real life, but the true is other...

 

Snake oil is the worst thing in this industry, I learned this the expensive way!

 

Roch

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The Mapleshade folks very specifically ask that their cables not be burned in with "cable burners" but with music. So I guess they must feel there's a difference, but I wouldn't know what it is.

I'll check with them tomorrow. Will report back.

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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called Pierre on the 23rd and still waiting for a call back. in the mean time the cable is on my router. might have a listen today to see if there was any improvement.

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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I own a AQ Carbon, how long does it take for these to be fully burned in? Mine's had about 30-50 hours use so far. When I first bought it I was unable to hear any differences compared with a stock cable from another DAC. I'm hoping that after its been fully burned in I might actually hear a difference for the better.

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I own a AQ Carbon, how long does it take for these to be fully burned in? Mine's had about 30-50 hours use so far. When I first bought it I was unable to hear any differences compared with a stock cable from another DAC. I'm hoping that after its been fully burned in I might actually hear a difference for the better.

 

If you didn't hear any difference in the first place, I doubt you'll hear much if any after burn-in. I've thought the sound of my USB cables changed after burn-in in that the sound seemed to "fill out," but the basic character of each, including which I preferred, was evident from the get-go.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Audioquest Carbon was my first USB cable and I recall playing it overnight and next working day with music to burn-in.

Clear SQ improvement from first session after unboxing it.

 

My Diamond DBS needed something like 10 hours overnight to get more substantial, more body and overall smoother. Big improvement and clear to everyone in the family.

Continued to improve the next week with daily evening sessions (3-4 hrs each) by revealing more and more details, especially HF tails, reverb, and in my sense more accurate nuances of acoustic guitars and voices.

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Well, today I sat down again in order to have a final comparison between the Axis and the Mapleshade Plus and here are my final findings:

  • the Mapleshade is overall clearer, cleaner and more spacious than the Axis, which definitely is no small feat taking my previous comparisons into account.
  • the Axis 'might' be a tad more refined in the upper, upper HFs, but I'm not really sure about this
  • the Mapleshade is less defined than the Axis in the LFs and not by a small margin. this mostly affects the timbre of strings. this is not a good sign compared to my previous comparisons, since the Axis was a distant third in this area

For the time being the Mapleshade Plus USB cable will stay, but I'll probably make use of the cableco's library in order to compare it to the WW Silver Starlight, Platinum, the SR Basik Active and the AQ Diamond.

I must say, though, that the price makes this USB cable a great, great buy and that's why it's staying.

Best regards

 

PS: just put the Double Helix Plus back into the system and it seems that it has gotten much better. I'll try to find some time next week to give it a closer look against my cables.

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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Well, today I sat down again in order to have a final comparison between the Axis and the Mapleshade Plus and here are my final findings:

  • the Mapleshade is overall clearer, cleaner and more spacious than the Axis, which definitely is no small feat taking my previous comparisons into account.
  • the Axis 'might' be a tad more refined in the upper, upper HFs, but I'm not really sure about this
  • the Mapleshade is less defined than the Axis in the LFs and not by a small margin. this mostly affects the timbre of strings. this is not a good sign compared to my previous comparisons, since the Axis was a distant third in this area

For the time being the Mapleshade Plus USB cable will stay, but I'll probably make use of the cableco's library in order to compare it to the WW Silver Starlight, Platinum, the SR Basik Active and the AQ Diamond.

I must say, though, that the price makes this USB cable a great, great buy and that's why it's staying.

Best regards

 

PS: just put the Double Helix Plus back into the system and it seems that it has gotten much better. I'll try to find some time next week to give it a closer look against my cables.

 

Thanks once again for all the careful reporting - good stuff to read.

 

Interesting that the two cables you liked best overall were both perceived as lacking bass or bass definition. Never heard the Axis myself, but have read only good things about it.

 

Will anticipate reading about your impressions of the power cord in your system. Considering the cost of what you already have, it would be a pleasant surprise if the Double Helix comes close.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Thanks once again for all the careful reporting - good stuff to read.

 

Interesting that the two cables you liked best overall were both perceived as lacking bass or bass definition. Never heard the Axis myself, but have read only good things about it.

 

Will anticipate reading about your impressions of the power cord in your system. Considering the cost of what you already have, it would be a pleasant surprise if the Double Helix comes close.

Hi Jud,

actually the Axis was not my favorite in the first comparison. It's simply the cable that I had at hand in order to compare it to the Mapleshade. If you read my first comparison you'll see that my favorite was the SR Basik Active with the WW Silver Starlight in second and the Axis a close third. That's why I want to compare the Mapleshade to the other two and throw in the Diamond and the Platinum.

Let's see how that goes.

Best regards

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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a friend of mine has the Sarum speaker cables and ICs and is very happy with them, but I really don't think of spending half as much money on a USB cable. that's just too much for me ;)

on another note: yesterday two audiophile friends of mine who live in the same city in Brazil told me about their latest comparisons. one has the Platinum and the other has the Diamond USB calbe. both agree that in their systems the Purist that they just tested bettered their own USB cables. I'll probably will check up on that, since the Purist they're talking about is the simple one. I might just get it and later on compare it to the others, since I won't get the Diamond, the Platinum and the new entry level SR cable until end of February. these are guys who have great systems and are rather picky with what they go with. of course my mileage may vary, but for that price I just might get it and compare it to the Mapleshade.

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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I cant wait for the iFi Gemini cable to come out. With its looks and anticipated low price, it will be a market disrupter. Early march they say....

 

Given the anticipated low cost, I pre-ordered the Gemini last month, simply out of curiosity. So, I look forward to the release as well.

 

Having said that, how can you state that the Gemini will be a "market disrupter" when nobody outside of iFi has heard it? That is putting the cart before the horse, don't you think?

Speaker Room: Lumin U1 + X1 psu | Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel subs  

Office Headphone System: Lumin U2 mini | Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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