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Best USB cable to use between computer and dac?


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Greetings,

 

I am under the impression that when my Dac is in place , I will love listening to it. For that reason , I want to connect to using the best cable I can. I belive using any well made USB 2.0 spec cable will work fine as in the case of my friend with his Bel canto Dac 3.

 

I have read the review of the Kimber Kable and I want to know from all of you if you feel this is better than a normal cable? I see Synergistic makes a cable yet it is insanely overpriced.

 

Please tell me your experiences.

 

Liz out.

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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Hey Liz - Since you already have my opinion from my review of the Kimber USB cable I will post what Gordon Rankin from Wavelength Audio thinks about this topic. I think it's pretty good evidence that USB cables do matter.

 

"Look there are 2 cables inside a USB cable. There is the DATA differential pair that must be designed for traffic up to at least 12Mhz and the POWER cable which is VBUS 5V's and Ground.

 

I have like tons of cables now and some do sound different. But remember it will be device dependent.

 

All of the PCM27xx devices require VBUS to determine the computer is there. This means there is current running from the computer to the USB Device via the POWER side of the cable.

 

Other devices like the TAS1020 look for signal on the DATA portion of the cable only. Therefore the VBUS is not used and only the Ground connection on the POWER side is used.

 

On the DATA side termination on the Device side or endpoint will have an effect on transmissions. I usually get the 5M cables put them on a couple of computers with my USB analyzer on the DAC side and check for errors.

 

It's not suggested to use a 5M with streaming audio. These cables were meant for low speed devices. 2M and under for audio will make all the difference in the world.

 

With the POWER side being used it can bleed noise from the computer into the dac.

 

It would be nice if you could switch the VBUS signal on the computer side from VBUS to Ground if your device doesn't use it.

 

Anyways another thing about the POWER side of the cable is that noise from the computer can end up on the device. The cable should do all it can to make sure that doesn't happen.

 

It's best like all aspects of this hobby to try this stuff before you buy it.

 

Remember using these expensive cables on a hard drive is worthless they are in Block mode not Streaming and will not be effected by the use of costly cables.

 

Thanks

Gordon

J. Gordon Rankin "

 

Link to original comment on Audio Asylum.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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I am told the Wireworld will be releasing a new USB cable. I am waiting to hear from them then I will post the info here.

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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I heard what people were saying but I didn’t understand exactly why. So I did some surfing and came across an interesting thread on the diyAudio forum labeled “Die SPDIF! - Design of the Ethernet DAC”. A lot of the discussion is above my level of expertise but the superior methods cited to connect the DAC to the computer are Firewire, USB 2, or Ethernet. Of these I guess I will take my cue from the audio pro equipment that have 24/192 and multi-channel capabilities I will assume that firewire is the best. Obviously this may be a simplification since, as usual, implementation is everything.

 

 

 

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I heard from Wireworld. I was told their cable can exceed the 16 feet limit for USB, They claim the cable will work for 7 meters!

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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the Synergistic Research cable is quite impressive. Expensive, yes, but switching from the Kimber cable to the SR cable resulted in many improvements. It is a very good cable and given the good results, a reasonable investment IMO.

 

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Are you using the Synergistic Research cable? The price is so overprice!

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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I compared it directly to the Kimber cable and it offers vast improvements. The improvements justify the high price IMHO. Plus, I have spent much more on interconnects, so the price, while high, was not outlandish given my system.

 

Although I have not compared them directly, I have read that the Belkin Pro USB cable is a better cable sonically than the Kimber cable. So you might want to give the Belkin a try....

 

Good Luck!

 

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Sammie,

 

May I ask that you please describe in detail, the differences you hear between these two cables?

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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The Synergistic Research USB cable is excellent. Bigger, better defined soundstage with enhanced detail over the Kimber or Belkin models. Highly recommeded.

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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Which other cables did you compare this one to?

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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This is a cable that can be considered. Belkin PureAv is the company' premier line targeting AV that offers tremendous value for those seeking better than normal performance.

 

Here is a link for the the PureAV silver line USB cable:

 

http://catalog.belkin.com/PureAV_detail.process?Product_Id=200386#

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm currently using a Toslink optical connection between my Mac Mini and Altmann Dac. Storage device is a Drobo and that's connected to the Mini with USB cable. Just wondering if that connection (Drobo to Mini) is as important sonically as the Mini to dac connection. Would a better quality USB cable between the Drobo and Mini improve the sound? I don't really understand the technology enough to know about the signal's vulnerabilities.

 

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