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Ralf11

Who has tried out different USB Cables?

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Please give the number of USB cables you tried out in your system, and list your DAC.

 

Feel free to say whether you used a cable rental place, swapped with friends, or just bought several.

 

Also if you have any galvanic isolation devices in your system (or know that your DAC includes this) please state which one, or none.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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I stream via Roon with a Tidal and Qobuz subscription.   I have a few ripped CDs to FLAC 16/44 when I can't find a streaming version of the album, like Trout Mask Replica from Captain Beefheart.

 

My system is a late generation Windows 10 HP laptop with 16GB of ram, i5-8250U cpu, and  512GB SSD.  This laptop is my Roon core and it is only used to play music.  

 

I have an Intona USB 2.0 hi-speed isolator between my laptop and an RME ADI-2 DAC  (with RME ASIO driver) using some generic 2 foot USB cable between the laptop and Intona device, and a 6 foot Belkin Gold Series USB cable from the Intona to the DAC.

 

Roon shows that I have a lossless signal up to 24/192 with Qobuz files.  I have run RME test files through this chain to verify that it was bit perfect up to 32-bit 768kHz.  I've also checked overnight to see if I was getting any errors with USB, and after 12 hours of continuous music streaming, not a single error was reported.

 

It sounds great, too.  My weakest link is the room and/or transducer.  Nothing else will improve the sound quality in my set up at this time in any significant manner to me and my ears.

 

 

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ok, so we will put you down for 1 cable, no changes (?)


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Sandy - have you tried different USB cables?  IF so, please state the #, and your DAC, etc.

 

Thank you.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Printer cable, Uptone USPCB A>B Adapter, Audioquest Forest, Audioquest Carbon, Curious Cable. Schiit Gungnir Multibit, Auralic Vega & PS Audio Directstream Sr. DACs.  Sometimes I think I hear a difference between the DACs but if there’s a difference in the sound between the cables, including random printer cables, I’m not able to identify it. Oh yeah, bought everything, still have all of it. 

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4 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

Let's try to stay on topic

 

I am interested in listening experiences (and the goal is to track down some factors (galv. isolation is one) that may be responsible for perceived differences)

Since you may not know, galvanic isolation on USB brings more complications, I refer you to the ifi Galvanic in the sponsored forum at AS.


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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7 cables,  gen 5 gumby.

 

Uptone mac mini-blackcat coppertone usb- isoregen/lps1.2-  4 different headphone amps.  5 different headphones.   (I work nights so its really hard on the weekends to listen to my big stereo, up at nights)

 

By far, my new Blackcat coppertone usb cable beats all my other cables by a huge margin.  Second would be Blackcats silverstar usb.  I wont even give a third because they are so far below the blackcat cables i wont even use them now.

 

But the Blackcat coppertone usb is such a huge step up.  I would problably have to spend double if not more to beat it.   The  improvements im hearing in my music now is amazing!   Plus the new uptone mac mini project was a major step up also.

 

This is the first time in my life i have really enjoy computer audio.  Before it was just for back ground music while reading on the pc.  Now!!  I have probably one of the best front ends i have ever heard.   I plan on building a second system for my  2 channel.

 

musicguy

 

 

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23 minutes ago, musicguy said:

7 cables,  gen 5 gumby.

 

Uptone mac mini-blackcat coppertone usb- isoregen/lps1.2-  4 different headphone amps.  5 different headphones.   (I work nights so its really hard on the weekends to listen to my big stereo, up at nights)

 

By far, my new Blackcat coppertone usb cable beats all my other cables by a huge margin.  Second would be Blackcats silverstar usb.  I wont even give a third because they are so far below the blackcat cables i wont even use them now.

 

But the Blackcat coppertone usb is such a huge step up.  I would problably have to spend double if not more to beat it.   The  improvements im hearing in my music now is amazing!   Plus the new uptone mac mini project was a major step up also.

 

This is the first time in my life i have really enjoy computer audio.  Before it was just for back ground music while reading on the pc.  Now!!  I have probably one of the best front ends i have ever heard.   I plan on building a second system for my  2 channel.

 

musicguy

 

 

 

I found out that mac mini USB connection to 5 gen mb Gungnir works better without regen. But, I was using first regen version. Supra USB cable.

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@AnotherSpin

From what i understand,  Uptone says the isoregen is a whole new beast.  Maybe Alex can chime in.  Ive never heard the original regen.  I did an isoregen vs no isoregen.  I used a eitr with coxial,  which i know is a different signal path,  but then i would swap everything,  I would   put the isoregen on the eitr and the usb direct to the gen 5 gumby.  The isoregen always won no matter what it was put on.  Even a Gustard U12.  Gustard U12-isoregen vs usb straight  Gen 5  =  Winner was isoregen Gustard.  

 

Now  I will say that the iso regen and  the lps1.2  really let me hear differences in usb cable.  I mean  The signal going into the isoregen really mattered for the first time.  Before I thought most of my usb cables were more similar than different.   Now?  I hear a much bigger difference in sound quality, fullness,  imaging,  depth,  and such.   Most of my closed sounding headphones now sound Like they are out of my head.

 

Just my .02 cents

 

musicguy

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27 minutes ago, musicguy said:

 

@AnotherSpin

From what i understand,  Uptone says the isoregen is a whole new beast.  Maybe Alex can chime in.  Ive never heard the original regen.  I did an isoregen vs no isoregen.  I used a eitr with coxial,  which i know is a different signal path,  but then i would swap everything,  I would   put the isoregen on the eitr and the usb direct to the gen 5 gumby.  The isoregen always won no matter what it was put on.  Even a Gustard U12.  Gustard U12-isoregen vs usb straight  Gen 5  =  Winner was isoregen Gustard.  

 

Now  I will say that the iso regen and  the lps1.2  really let me hear differences in usb cable.  I mean  The signal going into the isoregen really mattered for the first time.  Before I thought most of my usb cables were more similar than different.   Now?  I hear a much bigger difference in sound quality, fullness,  imaging,  depth,  and such.   Most of my closed sounding headphones now sound Like they are out of my head.

 

Just my .02 cents

 

musicguy

 

Never had ISO regen, so can not tell anything here. Cables were quite different with original regen as well. Even more, regen+Supra sounded better than regen+Nordost Blue Heaven, while Supra without regen was less preferable than Blue Heaven without regen. Go figure...) However, Gungnir 5 gen provides its own way of dealing with USB, as you know.

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So,  from what i understand is gen 5 isnt true isolation?  It uses a transformer type device.   So that what makes isoregen special.  
They use an actual chipset.   go to isoregen post.    

 

 

Im not here not to discredit anyones  topology its just how they do it for perfomance and dollars.

 

All I know is iso regen is the best ive heard.   I own it and the lps1.2.   And I know Uptone wont like this statement but Its my dollars.   If I didnt here an improvement.   I would have sent it back.    And that why they offer 30 days.   Its the norm nowaday?

 

But,  man,  its works.  I even bought the cheapest usb cable i could find if its works.  Really?  who does this?  The isoregen is so revealing.!!  Its that good.  it give a listen view of all my usb cables.   cheap to awesome!!!!

 

So,  I think we all need to look at your whole package.   Until it enters the dac.   its matters!!    

 

let me make this statement.   until 2000   We didnt even matter.   There was little computer audio.  I have 3 2000 dallors plus cd players.  they are still important.   they still beat a pc,  a basic mac mini.   But my Uptone mac mini,  isoregen.  usb blackcat cable   NO they dont,  its been 15 years since a computer out did my  cd players.

 

enough said!!

 

musicguy

 

 

 

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musicguy - just to clarify - you did all the cable listening comparisons with the iso regen in the system?

 

or were some without it?


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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3 USB cables, all bought:  Belkin Gold, Straightwire, Analysis Plus purple

 

First DAC:  Fostex HP-A8, no galvanic isolation

 

Very sensitive to source and lesser extent usb cable.  Mobo usb sounded like crap compared to SOTM SMS-200.

 

Second DAC:  T+A DAC8 DSD, has galvanic  isolation

 

Much less sensitive to source and cables. Only  minor improvement from source and usb cable, and a Matrix PCI-E USB card from a Win10 PC is producing my best sound to date.

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One last thing to add:  isoregen with lpsu made no discernible difference in my current setup and was more of an annoyance than anything.  I sold it.

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I tried the iso Regen with every cable i own.   Cheap to the most expensive.   No matter what cable i used. It was better with the isoregen

 

but dont forget im using the lps 1.2 with it

 

musicguy.  

 

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44 minutes ago, musicguy said:

I tried the iso Regen with every cable i own.   Cheap to the most expensive.   No matter what cable i used. It was better with the isoregen

 

but dont forget im using the lps 1.2 with it

 

musicguy.  

 

 The quality of the LPSU used to power even the original Regen does make a difference as you have noted, with  a low noise supply derived from perhaps a12V Li on battery performing better than transformer powered PSUs (even R-Core transformers) with some capacitive coupling to A.C. mains earth. Even connecting a supplied screen on an R-Core transformer to earth can cause a small audible degradation.


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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Sound quality is not so different, I like Supra for cable thickness and Zonotone for its vivid color cable skin. My friend preferred Wireworld.

 

ifi Galvanic 3.0 works properly when I'm lucky :)

Hi-Speed 5m cable is not suitable for audio use, once in a while stuttering happens.

I use generic Hi-Speed certified USB cable 2m for reference (pictured below). It always works.

 

AudioUSBCables.thumb.jpg.4ad8ee4f247e5def62c4a1f24c1494fa.jpg

 

My other USB cables.

OtherUSBCables.thumb.jpg.bdbe2c4a043f2af6c1ce342516a617b1.jpg


Yamamoto2002

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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6 hours ago, jabbr said:

 

This is how it works.  They take over, one USB cable at a time, seizing control of audiophile computers everywhere.  Soon very strange things start to happen after a critical tipping point comes, somewhere around late 2016.


--

Do facts matter?

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USB cables

- AudioQuest Carbon

- Belkin Gold

- Black Cat Silverstar!

- Blue Jeans

- dB Audio Labs Essential

- iFi Gemini

- MHDT Lab

- UpTone USPCB A>B Adapter

 

USB power thingies

- iFi iUSBPower

- UpTone USB REGEN

 

DACs

- Chord Qute EX

- dB Audio Labs Tranquility

- MHDT Lab Pagoda

- Schiit Bifrost Multibit

 

Seems kind of excessive (or obsessive) at this point but these cables were acquired over a 10 year period of time. I’ve tried most of the cables with each DAC. My favorite and best sounding is from UpTone Audio. It's also among the most affordable on my list. Current system:

 

mRendu > UpTone USPCB A>B Adapter > MHDT Lab Pagoda > etc.

 

Funny, the blue iFi cable (included with the iUSBPower) is my favorite to use with the Tranquility DAC. It almost annoys me this cable beats the other pricier ones I have on hand. Almost.

 

 

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