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How far can a USB cable send DSD or lossless files?


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I want to store all my music on a computer in my practice room. My CDs are ripped to WAV or FLAC. I also want to explore DSD and DXD and to be able to stream my music to my main stereo rig in the living room. That rig includes an Oppo BDP103 and a Squeezebox Touch which are connected to my home network via ethernet.n Oppo has told me that there products do not support DSD128 or DSD256. I don't believe the SBT supports them either. (Am I wrong about the SBT?)

 

So I figured I'd just get a DAC that does support those formats, and connect the computer to the DAC instead of to the Oppo or SBT. Pretty much every DAC that will handle them does so thru a USB port. And therein lies the problem. I thought I'd just get a long USB cable, but I was told by Blue Jeans Cable that any USB cable over 15' will not work. Through online searches I've confirmed that limitation. Since I need something on the order of 30 feet, give or take, I'm kind of stuck on how to get this to work.

 

I've already read how streaming large audio files can cause playback problems, and up until now I thought my system would insure against any such problems. But, you know, "the weakest link..."

 

I've read about USB boosters, but those seem like they're for stuff like printers. Has anyone tried one to stream large audio files? If so, with what degree of success? Or does anyone have any other ideas about how to allow these files to stream over this distance?

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occam is correct - the Corning USB cable will do the trick for you. You will probably need a small powered USB hub at the end closet to the DAC.

 

Link to the Corning on Amazon.

 

Link to Corning thread on this site.

 

As an aside I have used the 10M Corning, and it worked fine with all types of audio files, large and small. I did use it with a USB hub on the side closet to my DAC.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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You can get the monoprice active USB extenders. Available in lengths up to 82 feet.I have used them without issues for 24/192. Price is $33 or less.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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You can get the monoprice active USB extenders. Available in lengths up to 82 feet.I have used them without issues for 24/192. Price is $33 or less.

 

 

Thanks esldude. Have you used them to connect a computer to a DAC? Or could you direct me to a thread discussing how well they work in such an environment? If they do work, it certainly would be a cheaper solve than the Corning.

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Anything that will work with a one meter USB 2.0 cable will work with the Monoprice extender. Even DXD is within the data rate of USB 2.0. I haven't used it for DSD or DXD as I don't have a DAC for that. The dozen or so DSD recordings I have in that format I used DSD2FLAC to convert to high bit rate PCM.

 

I mainly use an Audiophilleo USB to SPIDF converter. It isolates the DAC from the USB side differently than any other converter or USB DAC I am aware of. Maybe it does this better. Listening via my Soundlab electrostats I don't experience these quality swings when swapping USB cables or even computers feeding the USB. So take it for what its worth.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-extender-solves-cable-length-limitation-6750/

 

Here is a thread where Charles Hansen of Ayre tried them. He thought they caused a slight quality loss at 82ft similar to an unbroken in USB cable vs a broken in cable.

 

So the monoprice unit will work and do so for very little money. I personally think this hoopla over various USB connections is a bunch hooey. I have tried hearing it and measuring the effect and come up with nothing.

 

If you can use the 33ft version, it is less than $10. Heck buy it to keep as a spare. It will work, you can decide once you get it if it messes with the sound.

 

32ft 10M USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Active Extension / Repeater Cable (Kinect & PS3 Move Compatible Extension) - Monoprice.com

 

Monoprice also makes this unit with 2 USB units on the far end, and the option to give it external power if you think it needs it. It will cost you nearly $12.

 

32ft 2 Port USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Active Extension / Repeater Cable - Monoprice.com

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I personally think this hoopla over various USB connections is a bunch hooey. I have tried hearing it and measuring the effect and come up with nothing.

 

So all of the members that have purchased the John Swenson designed Regen are only hearing improvements due to the fact that they have spent some hard earned cash buying them ?

John Swenson must also be delusional when he reports further improvements as a results of disconnecting the shield wire between sections, and inserting resistance in the 0 volts black wire of the USB cable too ?

sjoc 2000(Jim), myself and others must also have been delusional when we reported similar back in 2012 about the resistor insertion in the 0 volts (black) wire ?

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/uptone-audio-regen-22803/index32.html Post 784

 

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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So all of the members that have purchased the John Swenson designed Regen are only hearing improvements due to the fact that they have spent some hard earned cash buying them ?

John Swenson must also be delusional when he reports further improvements as a results of disconnecting the shield wire between sections, and inserting resistance in the 0 volts black wire of the USB cable too ?

sjoc 2000(Jim), myself and others must also have been delusional when we reported similar back in 2012 about the resistor insertion in the 0 volts (black) wire ?

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/uptone-audio-regen-22803/index32.html Post 784

 

You mean where:

 

We have added $0.40 worth of tiny resistors to the circuit board of the USB REGEN and increased its musical performance by 40-50%—most especially in the bass!

 

Adding 3 ohms or so resistance in the ground wire of the USB causes a 40-50% increase in musical performance, maybe more than that in the bass. Yet it doesn't change the analog output of the DAC by a measurable amount. Some special magic there. ;)

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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You mean where:

 

We have added $0.40 worth of tiny resistors to the circuit board of the USB REGEN and increased its musical performance by 40-50%—most especially in the bass!

 

Adding 3 ohms or so resistance in the ground wire of the USB causes a 40-50% increase in musical performance, maybe more than that in the bass. Yet it doesn't change the analog output of the DAC by a measurable amount. Some special magic there. ;)

 

 

Without quoting percentages (e.g. 40-50%), I think there is an easy explanation. As I've said before regarding the Corning optical USB cable, it was my experience than using this cable eliminated a nasty hum that resulted merely by plugging other USB cables in, and was not eliminated by the unmodified regen. This is presumably a ground loop, and presumably the 3 ohm ground resistance in the Corning caused the currents to flow elsewhere. Adding a small resistance between signal and earth/power ground is a common practice.

 

In any case the fact that this very simple tactic helps SQ gives evidence that ground noise issues are at play in the USB DAC connection. Not at all astonishing.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Without quoting percentages (e.g. 40-50%), I think there is an easy explanation. As I've said before regarding the Corning optical USB cable, it was my experience than using this cable eliminated a nasty hum that resulted merely by plugging other USB cables in, and was not eliminated by the unmodified regen. This is presumably a ground loop, and presumably the 3 ohm ground resistance in the Corning caused the currents to flow elsewhere. Adding a small resistance between signal and earth/power ground is a common practice.

 

In any case the fact that this very simple tactic helps SQ gives evidence that ground noise issues are at play in the USB DAC connection. Not at all astonishing.

 

Hum would be super simple to measure. And yes, to hear as well. Hearing it there and gone needs no measuring in fact to be believable. I wonder about some of these USB devices. The few I have used don't have any such problems.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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You mean where:

 

We have added $0.40 worth of tiny resistors to the circuit board of the USB REGEN and increased its musical performance by 40-50%—most especially in the bass!

 

Adding 3 ohms or so resistance in the ground wire of the USB causes a 40-50% increase in musical performance, maybe more than that in the bass. Yet it doesn't change the analog output of the DAC by a measurable amount. Some special magic there. ;)

 

We could of course start another silly POLL here,(I won't though) asking who has the most credibility, a highly experienced E.E. such as John Swenson who prefers measurements wherever possible, or esldude who prefers measurements ALL of the time !!

 

BTW, ground noise issues don't necessarily result in audible hum related to the A.C. mains frequency .They can result in wideband noise.

 

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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We could of course start another silly POLL here,(I won't though) asking who has the most credibility, a highly experienced E.E. such as John Swenson who prefers measurements wherever possible, or esldude who prefers measurements ALL of the time !!

 

BTW, ground noise issues don't necessarily result in audible hum related to the A.C. mains frequency .They can result in wideband noise.

 

And how do you explain the change in loudness reported by Jud.

Just out of curiosity I'm not taking any position here.

 


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And how do you explain the change in loudness reported by Jud.

Just out of curiosity I'm not taking any position here.

Hi Alfe

A post by Jud in this thread ?

Sometimes a music file may sound subjectively louder if low level noise is reduced, and the lower level harmonics aren't masked.

I have noticed this with a couple of tracks from female singers such as Renee Olstead especially,("Summertime") and Diana Krall, where their voices also sound slightly higher pitched too, most likely due to the upper harmonics becoming less masked by wideband noise.

In the case of "Summertime" , at the beginning, her lone voice also appears to take longer to fade in to " blackness".

 

Regards

Alex

P.S.

Alex C may care to try that with his copy to see if he notices similar ?

 

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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Anything that will work with a one meter USB 2.0 cable will work with the Monoprice extender. Even DXD is within the data rate of USB 2.0. I haven't used it for DSD or DXD as I don't have a DAC for that. The dozen or so DSD recordings I have in that format I used DSD2FLAC to convert to high bit rate PCM.

 

I mainly use an Audiophilleo USB to SPIDF converter. It isolates the DAC from the USB side differently than any other converter or USB DAC I am aware of. Maybe it does this better. Listening via my Soundlab electrostats I don't experience these quality swings when swapping USB cables or even computers feeding the USB. So take it for what its worth.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-extender-solves-cable-length-limitation-6750/

 

Here is a thread where Charles Hansen of Ayre tried them. He thought they caused a slight quality loss at 82ft similar to an unbroken in USB cable vs a broken in cable.

 

So the monoprice unit will work and do so for very little money. I personally think this hoopla over various USB connections is a bunch hooey. I have tried hearing it and measuring the effect and come up with nothing.

 

If you can use the 33ft version, it is less than $10. Heck buy it to keep as a spare. It will work, you can decide once you get it if it messes with the sound.

 

32ft 10M USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Active Extension / Repeater Cable (Kinect & PS3 Move Compatible Extension) - Monoprice.com

 

Monoprice also makes this unit with 2 USB units on the far end, and the option to give it external power if you think it needs it. It will cost you nearly $12.

 

32ft 2 Port USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Active Extension / Repeater Cable - Monoprice.com

 

Thanks Elsdude. I contacted Monoprice about their extenders, and this is what they told me:

"Thank you for contacting Monoprice Techincal Support today! Unfortunately that cable would not have any sort of shielding which may cause interference when trying to transfer audio ove the cable. As well, the cable is meant more for basic data connections, instead of higher bandwidth connections that you are trying to accomplish."

 

Obviously, Monoprice has no interest in dissuading me from buying their products, so I have to take their cautions seriously. Have you experienced any issues as suggested by their comments?

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Hi Alfe

A post by Jud in this thread ?

Sometimes a music file may sound subjectively louder if low level noise is reduced, and the lower level harmonics aren't masked.

I have noticed this with a couple of tracks from female singers such as Renee Olstead especially,("Summertime") and Diana Krall, where their voices also sound slightly higher pitched too, most likely due to the upper harmonics becoming less masked by wideband noise.

In the case of "Summertime" , at the beginning, her lone voice also appears to take longer to fade in to " blackness".

 

Regards

Alex

P.S.

Alex C may care to try that with his copy to see if he notices similar ?

 

From Jud in the thread- DBT touchy topic

"Hah! Yeah, don't know if I could, or even if I can find spare time to try it out, despite my feeling that it made a significant improvement. I did however verify the Regen was not affecting loudness, though the music sounds louder to me with the Regen in place (I have the system volume set lower these days)."

 

It's more than subjectively louder:)

 


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From Jud in the thread- DBT touchy topic

 

 

 

 

"Hah! Yeah, don't know if I could, or even if I can find spare time to try it out, despite my feeling that it made a significant improvement. I did however verify the Regen was not affecting loudness, though the music sounds louder to me with the Regen in place (I have the system volume set lower these days)."

 

It's more than subjectively louder

 

Hi Alfe

O.K. I remember stirring Jud a little in that thread.

It has to be subjectively louder, as Jud verified that the Regen did not affect loudness.

In a much earlier thread with John Kenny and myself, as well as a different thread by a well respected member (Barrows) who loves DIY " Twisted Pear" gear,(Sabre DACs etc.) it was noted that as "Jitter" was reduced, you are able to turn the volume down a little, and still hear detail you may have missed previously. Conversely, you are able to turn the volume up higher without fatigue, sometimes to a higher level than perhaps you should. Especially with headphones !

 

Regards

Alex

 

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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Hi Alfe

O.K. I remember stirring Jud a little in that thread.

It has to be subjectively louder, as Jud verified that the Regen did not affect loudness.

In a much earlier thread with John Kenny and myself, as well as a different thread by a well respected member (Barrows) who loves DIY " Twisted Pear" gear,(Sabre DACs etc.) it was noted that as "Jitter" was reduced, you are able to turn the volume down a little, and still hear detail you may have missed previously. Conversely, you are able to turn the volume up higher without fatigue, sometimes to a higher level than perhaps you should. Especially with headphones !

 

Regards

Alex

 

Then with low cost LPSU the PLL of the Regen can do a better job than Jud's Dac.

 


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Then with low cost LPSU the PLL of the Regen can do a better job than Jud's Dac.

 

It would be unlikely to be a surprise to many members, if a Regen further improved SQ when using a low noise and low impedance Linear PSU as a few have already suggested may be the case.

Does the SMPS supplied with the Regen have an A.C. measurement of around half mains supply voltage W.R.T. mains earth from it's DC output like most small SMPS PSUs ?

 

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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Thanks Elsdude. I contacted Monoprice about their extenders, and this is what they told me:

"Thank you for contacting Monoprice Techincal Support today! Unfortunately that cable would not have any sort of shielding which may cause interference when trying to transfer audio ove the cable. As well, the cable is meant more for basic data connections, instead of higher bandwidth connections that you are trying to accomplish."

 

Obviously, Monoprice has no interest in dissuading me from buying their products, so I have to take their cautions seriously. Have you experienced any issues as suggested by their comments?

 

Not any whatsoever. I have used them in my own system and two others. I have used them in various ways myself for 4 years. Never once had any interference issue nor the slightest audible noise come through them. At one time last year I copied an external hard drive with 400 gigs of music over it. No lost bits or corrupted files.

 

I am curious about their answer. Even DXD is not a high bandwidth use of USB 2.0. I think DXD is something like 17 mbps. USB 2.0 can do up to 480 mbps and in most implementations will do 50 mbps for long sustained periods (the slower speed is usually due to the hard drive or memory stick not USB). Whatever you think is best. $10 risk and worst case you have a long USB cable that handy for transferring data or connecting other devices at times.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I am curious about their answer. Even DXD is not a high bandwidth use of USB 2.0. I think DXD is something like 17 mbps. USB 2.0 can do up to 480 mbps and in most implementations will do 50 mbps for long sustained periods (the slower speed is usually due to the hard drive or memory stick not USB). Whatever you think is best. $10 risk and worst case you have a long USB cable that handy for transferring data or connecting other devices at times.

 

I was surprised by their answer too. But I came across this for only a few bucks more: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFRKYSU?tag=price190-20. For a few bucks more than the Monoprice, this comes with double shielding - directly addressing Monoprice's caution - plus a repeater in the middle. I saw some others, mostly without shielding and also usually no repeater or a repeater at the downstream end. I don't get an endpoint repeater. If the signal degrades over the length of the cable, wouldn't it make sense to boost it before it's already weakened?

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I was surprised by their answer too. But I came across this for only a few bucks more: Amazon.com: Tripp Lite USB 2.0 Hi-Speed A/B Active Repeater Cable (M/M) 25-ft. (U042-025): Electronics. For a few bucks more than the Monoprice, this comes with double shielding - directly addressing Monoprice's caution - plus a repeater in the middle. I saw some others, mostly without shielding and also usually no repeater or a repeater at the downstream end. I don't get an endpoint repeater. If the signal degrades over the length of the cable, wouldn't it make sense to boost it before it's already weakened?

 

Monoprice extender wire crop.jpg

 

I don't know why they told you it wasn't shielded. At different times they have used different colored cable, mine, and two of three others I have used have a graphite tinted translucent shield. And you can clearly see a full coverage braided shield. So it isn't unshielded. Hopefully you can make that out in my pic. Couldn't get my cellphone to focus exactly on it. But it is shielded. You can see the pic at Amazon is shielded as well.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-32-Feet-Female-Extension-Repeater/dp/B004HJDUW0/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1431322575&sr=1-2&keywords=monoprice+usb+extender

 

That Tripplite might be a better solution. Though I have seen no problems. The Monoprice version has the active circuitry closest to the source computer end. The Audiophilleo uses 400 ma off the USB which normally isn't spec'd to supply more than 500 ma. With only one Monoprice extender it seems quite happy as do V-links and a couple of DACs I have used them on which have a USB input. The Tripplite says if devices need more than 250 ma you will need a powered hub somewhere in the chain of connections. So other than saying it works fine for me not much more I can tell you.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I mainly use an Audiophilleo USB to SPIDF converter. It isolates the DAC from the USB side differently than any other converter or USB DAC I am aware of. Maybe it does this better. Listening via my Soundlab electrostats I don't experience these quality swings when swapping USB cables or even computers feeding the USB.

 

I meant to ask you about this before. I apologize if this is a dumb question. This looks like a very interesting (abeit not inexpensive) device. But I understand that most if not all DACs support higher level DSD thru asynchronous USB, but usually not thru SPDIF. So if I used the Audiophilleo to switch to SPDIF, then I'd effectively be losing that capability, no?

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I meant to ask you about this before. I apologize if this is a dumb question. This looks like a very interesting (abeit not inexpensive) device. But I understand that most if not all DACs support higher level DSD thru asynchronous USB, but usually not thru SPDIF. So if I used the Audiophilleo to switch to SPDIF, then I'd effectively be losing that capability, no?

 

I don't have any DSD capable DACs. So others might answer that question. My understanding is some DSD DACs use the DOP protocol to provide DSD over SPDIF. Others only do DSD over the USB connection itself.

 

I do note this option available now offering DSD and 384 khz on the Audiophilleo 1:

 

PurePower Upgrade

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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