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Eldar Vanyar

Which USB A to B cable

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Hi everyone, I am a newbie to this forum.  

 

I would appreciate some advice 

 

I am looking to set up my system for serious listening pleasure and will be using either of the following 

 

Cambridge Audio DAC Magic connected via USB to a Raspberry Pi2B with Rune Audio SW using a WD 3TB MyCloud NAS with FLAC and WAVE Files. 

 

or

 

Cambridge Audio DAC Magic connected via USB to a 1TB VoretexBox v2.3 I built a few years ago with FLAC Files. 

 

I know that the Rune Audio SW on the PI would also be able to use the VortexBox as a source over the network.

 

What difference does the USB A to B lead make?

 

Do I just use a standard USB A to B printer cable or do I need to use something  more audio related? 

 

I do not want to spend too much on the cable so would appreciate any helpful or constructive advice and recommendations? 

 

Many thanks 

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40 minutes ago, Eldar Vanyar said:

What difference does the USB A to B lead make?

Some are more expensive than others.

 

40 minutes ago, Eldar Vanyar said:

Do I just use a standard USB A to B printer cable or do I need to use something  more audio related? 

The printer cable will be fine. Unless you experience drop-outs or other obvious anomalies, there's no reason to spend more money on a USB cable. If you have several cables already, perhaps with and without ferrite chokes, try a few and see if you can tell any difference in sound. If you can't, expensive cables won't make a difference either.

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I think people should do more listening comparison tests on their own gear. I'm sure everyone owns few A to B cables from old CD/DVD burners, printers etc. It is not hard to borrow few from friends. For comparison purposes it is also possible to buy some cables from stores which allow to return them. I did such comparisons few years ago. I can easily distinguish few of my USB cables, Belkin Gold Series and Supra among them.

 

Of course, it's not about different 0's and 1's evaluated on the receiver side. It's all about noise, which is transferred through cable in any possible way. I think different cables influence incoming noise slightly differently and that small difference can become audible in downstream equipment. I cannot speak for you if you are able to distinguish such a difference, I'm only suggesting you to give it a try. Only that way you can find out your own reasonable position to threads like this and opinions here expressed.

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6 hours ago, bogi said:

It's all about noise, which is transferred through cable in any possible way.

A question: Do you also get different printing quality when you use different USB cables?

You should!

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4 hours ago, hdo said:

A question: Do you also get different printing quality when you use different USB cables?

You should!

 

Your formulation is inappropriate. I never told anyone what he/she should hear.

 

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This is good example of USB cable you might also try:

http://www.jenving.com/products/view/usb-2.0-a-b-blue-0.7m-1001907565

 

It is well built, has certifications, is done by audiophile company, cost way too much but hey, this is happy so we pay more for things ;) .

I have one, it works. I have 5 different much cheaper cables, they also do work :)  

 

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BTW, the better your system gets, the more different cables will sound. Many cables are what I would call "lifeless", they cause degradation of transient information needed for the stereo illusion of a live performance. USB cables in a good system interact the same way. @PunkRiot  I found the Supra  to be quite a disappointment as well as the Vertere Pulse Di-Fi,

Wireworld Starlight was crisper, more detailed where  USPCB could not be used.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Most of my newer drives come with a short USB 3.0 cable. Plus the USB hubs are 3.0. My new Mac Mini has USB 3.0 ports also. I use the gimme’s. 

  I think the upgraded USB is coming someday to Computer Audio equipment. Hopefully jumping to USB-C or TB3.

  There are USB 3.0 cables that are backwards compatible with USB 2.0. The connectors are USB3A and USB3B. Try them.  Belkin Pro series are high quality and reasonable. 

 If high speed enough for USB 3.0 data rates they should be fine for our uses. 


 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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There IS difference between USB cables. Try something different than printer cable and find yourself?
Oyaide  d+ USB class S for example, don't cost so much and you can return it if don;t like it.
And never, never use cable with ferrite choke :-)

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29 minutes ago, Rak said:

Flatter and  low dynamic sound become.

And here I thought that a cable with a ferrite choke (bead) which is a passive device filters high frequency noise


The Truth Is Out There

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26 minutes ago, mav52 said:

And here I thought that a cable with a ferrite choke (bead) which is a passive device filters high frequency noise

 

My Kimber Kable Cu USB ($60) came with removable ferrite chokes. I'm not claiming to have golden ears, but it seems to sound better without them.

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Monoprice short usb cable with the thicker wires beat out my fancy stuff including wirerold and even custom build powerless leg variants.  My old self used usb with ferittes until I got all the other crap off all the usb ports except dac.  Now ferrites soften leading edges and take away some dynamics.  One thing I can agree on is usb cables do sound a bit different.  Better is up for debate and preference.

 

IMHO biggest problem with usb cables, certified or not is construction.  Years ago a test was done on usb 2.0 cables.  60-70% failed to meet spec iir.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rak said:

Flatter and  low dynamic sound become.

 

Not according to a well regarded DAC designer (Rob Watts):

 

"What USB cables are best?

So what are the best USB cables? Firstly, be careful. A lot of audiophile USB cables actually increase RF noise and make it sound brighter, and superficially impressive - but this is just distortion brightening things up. Go for USB cables that have ferrites in the cable is a good idea - it may also solve any RF issues from the mobile that you may have too."
 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-94#post-12262339

 

Another quote from Rob on ferrites used with digital cables in general:

 

"Ferrites on digital cables have absolutely no down-side technically. But for analogue cables, proceed with extreme care, as ferrites, like all magnetic materials, have non-linearities, and the benefits may be be much smaller than the problems of the non-linearities. Principally we have two problems:
1. Hysteresis - this will cause straightforward high frequency distortion, and timing distortion, as signal delays depend upon previous activity. Both effects are highly audible.
2. Inductor saturation. As current flows in an inductor, the inductance value reduces with current; this in turn changes the phase angle, so the delay varies with current amplitude. This creates PIM (phase intermodulation distortion) and also creates non-linear timing errors too. Again, this effect is highly audible with large currents (loudspeaker outputs) on both inductors and in-circuit ferrites.

Experience has taught me not to use inductors or ferrite beads in-circuit with analogue, because of these problems, as they are directly measurable (with loudspeaker outputs), and certainly audible. The large ferrite cylinders are less of a problem, but nonetheless don't assume that a ferrite that is good on digital will be equally good on analogue."

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-blu-mk-2-the-official-thread.831343/page-107#post-13752481

 
Another quote:
 
“the warmer, smoother or softer sounding is the more transparent, as the mechanism for changing the sound is RF noise creating noise floor modulation - and more noise modulation always sounds brighter. Moreover, it’s very easy to confuse a bright sound with more transparency.”

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-629#post-13889772

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7 hours ago, Em2016 said:

“the warmer, smoother or softer sounding is the more transparent, as the mechanism for changing the sound is RF noise creating noise floor modulation - and more noise modulation always sounds brighter. Moreover, it’s very easy to confuse a bright sound with more transparency.”

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-629#post-13889772

I strongly agree with that! It's important to leave the cables in place long enough to hear a variety of music. Brighter can sound more exciting but gets fatiguing, especially with some recordings.

 

I've been wrestling with the OP's question too. I have an sMs-200  with Korg DS-DAC-10R. I use an iFi iPurifier2 on the USB cable, and the iPurifier2 demonstrates the above quote. Using it makes the music more laid back sounding, and makes aggressive recordings much more enjoyable. 

 

I upgraded the ethernet cables upstream of the sMs-200 and my QNAP server to CAT7 and heard no difference. I wasn't surprised, I wasn't after better sound, just the potential for better reliability. I wasn't sure about the effect of USB cables, so I pulled a half dozen out and tried them. The differences were clear, not hard to hear at all. The best sounding was the freebie USB 3.0 that came with an iFi Nano iOne DAC. I could easily live with this cable, it sounds warm, smooth and stages well. 

 

However, after doing some research, it appears there may be an advantage to separating power and audio. I looked at the iFi Gemini, but balked at the price. It may be worth it, but it's impossible to tell without a listen. I decided to be conservative and went with this for now: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vanguard-OCC-silver-plated-dual-headed-USB-cable-separate-Audio-Power/182300064541?hash=item2a71ee3b1d:m:mANTEpiOZ6MfBHttbKYZwcw

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I consider this to be a suitable way of separating power and data. It allow to plug-in any USB cable into it, so you can experiment with different USB cables and optionally also with different +5V power supplies.

8389_adaptateurUSB-B_USB-A_45.jpg

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/various-adapters/usb-b-adapter-cable-for-external-usb-a-power-supply-p-8389.html

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4 hours ago, bogi said:

I consider this to be a suitable way of separating power and data. It allow to plug-in any USB cable into it, so you can experiment with different USB cables and optionally also with different +5V power supplies.

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/various-adapters/usb-b-adapter-cable-for-external-usb-a-power-supply-p-8389.html

Can either cable carry audio? I'd buy one if I could find it on this side of the Atlantic. Total cost with taxes and shipping to Canada is the same as the dual cable I bought, $60 CA. 

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I also don't like when shipping costs more than goods.

I'm from Slovakia so my shipping fee wasn't so much.

 

Some other tips were mentioned here:

 

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hi everyone, I am as well new here

 

My setup is 

 

chord qutest--- ifi pro ican amp--- hifiman he 1000 v2

 

i was wondering which usb cable would provide great sound that presents a full rich experience from bass to mids, and no harshness in the highs, hopefully something within reasonable price of 300- 400 usd max

 

i read maybe phsure lush is one of those cables, but wonder what else can be recommended

 

 

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5 minutes ago, hykhleif said:

i was wondering which usb cable would provide great sound that presents a full rich experience from bass to mids, and no harshness in the highs, hopefully something within reasonable price of 300- 400 usd max

Amazon Basics. Spend the remaining $395 on something that actually matters.

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