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USB cable comparisons


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Indeed an elusive goal for when we believe are nearer to live performance and even "live" concert are often mike and amplified ... cheers.

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, Mechnutt said:

My son and I  easily heard changes in  cables with his new Qutest DAC and the Cary DAC.

So do I, because those are observable facts. Another layer of that reality is the recording process which is never a perfectly linear process. So, in turn, playback systems, including DACs and their interconnections, may have some positive and some negative results on various studio masters from the same component. In summary, no reference system we can all listen to in similar setting, no objective results possible. If we throw in individual (!) human ability to convert air vibration to neural signals there is nothing we should even discuss to replace listening, because there is no common reference point. I am not a young man and I am blessed with good hearing, but I can't ever match my friend from the past who was able to tell me every note in a chord, I played on a piano in a form non-existing cacophonic multi-note sound, regardless how convoluted my finger positions were getting to make it harder.

 

I would expect a great advantage if this forum agrees on a minimum (!) Number of recording tracks that would contain enough material for us to compare our individual post-audition notes comparing one-component changes, regardless of our individual long-term preferences (let's remember we prefer to listen to tracks that sound well on our own systems). Folks here represent a tremendous experience pool based on thousands of hours each spent on perfecting our systems through comparative auditions. The fact that we read commercial reviews which use different track selections is not sufficiently helpful to be practical.

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To me, cabling beyond each price point is a matter of system matching aka tuning aka mentioned synergy to achieve the elusive "real" sound or recording.

 

Even each recording studio engineer has their own interpretation on what is "real" within the equipment that are available to him.

 

I have always read reviews with a pinch of salt when owners proclaim their x% improvement made with each greatest cables that they acquired and reviewed .. you will never know how these cables perform until you have it in your systems if they solve your system specific weakness to your specific ears and liking. Spending 3k cable on 5k equipment is quite a laughable effort to me as well as the manufacturers ... to their banks 😅

 

My fav interconnects are 20 yrs old Nordost Fil and 30 yrs old Hitachi 6NAX-210 (rare !)  in MY system matched to the source being used.

 

I spent more of my efforts and limited $ on hardware and technologies especially digital ones since many advances made and not so much on cablings being kept at 20% of system spent.

 

Cheers.

 

Richard

 

Screenshot_20211009-152040_Drive.jpg

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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On 10/9/2021 at 2:14 PM, Mechnutt said:

...More expense with cables is not always better.  But again, it all boils down to system synergy and personal preference.

Exactly. Maybe we need to say more often "I will believe it after I hear it in my system" which is not intended to sound rude, but to be more practical. While we are at it, let me throw in a sacrilegious trick of coiling a hot-sounding 6-foot USB cable to get a bit off a troubling violin's treble, which helped me on two unrelated occasions. LOL.

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On 10/10/2021 at 2:14 AM, Mechnutt said:

I replaced my Cardas Parsec and AQ Columbia 72v XLRs ( both cost over $300) with $65 pr Belden 8402 XLR's and have not looked back.  They have a blacker background for some unknown reason and are more musical and smoother without losing detail or transparency. More expense with cables is not always better.  But again, it all boils down to system synergy and personal preference.

 

I do believe notable improved difference in different price point but I am not surprised on your findings on boutique cardas or audioquest's lowering offering at 300 vs the honest-to-goodness pro stuff from Belden, Canare etc.

 

In another words, I am quite sure >1k+ offering  cardas or audioquest will have SQ improvement compared to Belden 8402 .. if your system has the needed resolution to discern such improvement in the 1st place. 

 

Hence my guideline of 20% total cost my system being the complete cabling setup .. powercord, digital and analog interconnects as well as speaker cables.

 

Cheers.

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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1 hour ago, richard_crl032 said:

Hence my guideline of 20% total cost my system being the complete cabling setup .. powercord, digital and analog interconnects as well as speaker cables.

 

 

So you think that if someone has a system that costs 100K they should have 20k in cables????????

No electron left behind.

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3 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

So you think that if someone has a system that costs 100K they should have 20k in cables????????

Sure .. why not if they had plonked 80k into their non-cabling components  of their hifi system? And there is also the critical aspect of listening environment aka room acoustics.

 

There are also those "happy" with 20k system and 4k cabling as well as other priorities ... mortgage, children's education, travelling as well as other hobbies e.g. photography, performance car etc.

 

Cheers.

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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26 minutes ago, MarkusBarkus said:

...that's about right, I'd say. 20-25%.

I am cheap 🙏🙏😁

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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8 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

I was 14 in 1980 and I bet my first system was not very different from yours (I had a record player). Neither one of us had to deal with USB cables at the time. Life was so much simpler 🤣

 

I was 18 in 1980 but I will no longer can watch SD TV and prefers 24 bits 192khz music with a touch of my android handphone via Squeezer app to my Antipodes.

 

Life got much better but human (most) fortunately remember the good things of the past to progress forward and forget the not so great things 😊

 

Also my hearing had also deteriorated and need more resolution of hires dsd via usb to compensate 🤣

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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19 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

True, to some extent. But I wonder how much of a progress it really is to grow up spending your time on TikTok...

 

Oops .. dunno .. not subscribed to tik tok, facebook etc.

 

Decided to retire at 59 yrs old when my US company employer introduced MS PowerBI and Teams 🤣

 

Been a great 7 mths so far biking , chilling, family/friend time, hifi (car and home) as well as recommended 8-9 hrs sleep with occasional afternoon naps and quitely confidently that it will still be the right decision when looking back 7 yrs later if I make it there but plan for big magico speakers have to wait for next life 😊

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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On 10/11/2021 at 8:21 AM, Jud said:

 

For my part, after long usage I seem to have developed an intermittent connection in my system, and I've ordered a couple of inexpensive new replacements. I'll let you know what I think when I've had a chance to receive them and listen.

 

Right, so I picked up a couple of JSSG360 USB cables from Ghent, and I like them a lot. These replaced a couple of USPCBs, which were rigid, and I think the lack of "give" over years of use (including plugging and unplugging) had led to at least one intermittent connection. I preferred the USPCBs to my longtime favorite Mapleshade, and that in turn to an Audioquest Coffee. The Coffee was just under $300; the Mapleshade about half that; the USPCB and Ghent cables are in the $30-50 range. So my connectors keep getting cheaper, but I like the sound better.

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 Ethernet to Fitlet3 -> Fibbr Alpha Optical USB -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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On 10/9/2021 at 6:07 AM, Mechnutt said:

My Luxman DAC is clearly very sensitive to cable changes and even a non audio person could easily hear the difference.  

Hi Mechnutt,

 

The Luxman DA-06 is a little aged and while great for its time as being dsd capable, dac technologies had progressed quite a bit ... its original RRP of almost usd6k dropped very quickly and was on discounted sales by various shops in the following years from 2013 of its release.

 

I sold mine about 2-3 yrs ago ... it is a little mellow and of low resolution that is lacking on clarity to prevent music from coming thru ... some may believe it is more analog but higher resolution does not mean less analog.

 

Hope my comments ain't seen as negative but simply since I had the experience in moving from the Luxman DA-06 to Denafrips DACs with better clocks, newer FPGA processing, i2s connectivity as well as provision to syn to a single clock which is frankly miles ahead ... yymv and bigger $ as usual but may be more cost effective than more auxilliary components, cablings etc.

 

Cheers.

 

Screenshot_20211017-115231_Drive.jpg

Revel Salon 2 speakers, Sander Magtech amp, Audible Illusion L3B (Blackgate) preamp, Denafrips Terminator Plus dac, Denafrips Hermes ddc, Antipodes CX/EX/P1/P2 server/player (Oladra upgraded), Denafrips Avatar cdp, Bel Canto fm1 tuner, Airties Wireless Mesh, ifi Blue Zen BT receiver, 2X Uptone EtherRegen + AfterDark Emperor Double Crown 10M clock, Zerozone 5/7.5/12v LPS, Uptone LPS 1.2, 2x diy 2kVA Isotransformers, dedicated 20/30A lines for separate digital/analog, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects, Acoustic Revive TripleC Ethernet/i2S cables, Shunyata Sigma usb cable with ifi Idefender 3.0, Aurealis/Apogee/Canare BNC clock cables, Cardas Clear speaker cable and jumpers, Zonotone Shupreme/5050 powercords, Garrard 301 on slate plinth/sme 3012R/Ortofon Classic Royal GM mk2/diy 301 motor PSU/graham IC90/kimber tak ag etc./Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2+Golden Reference PSU/Grado FreeSystem fg-1 headphones

 

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