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Longest USB cable length to DAC for audio?

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Of course, shorter the cable the better in pretty much any instance in audio (even digital). However, assuming you are using a high quality usb cable, server, dac, etc what would be the longest length one could use to where audio is not negatively effected? I know USB has length limited before one would need a powered booster...I'm talking in a general audio quality sense. 

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As in any digital interconnect situation, as you lengthen the cable you get on a slippery slope with intermittent drop-outs and a little longer the interconnect stops working entirely.

But it's system dependent. output stage, cable model, cable length and input stage are all important.

And as with all digital interconnect systems, audio quality stays the same until the drop-outs cause error correction system problems.

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8 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

As in any digital interconnect situation, as you lengthen the cable you get on a slippery slope with intermittent drop-outs and a little longer the interconnect stops working entirely.

But it's system dependent. output stage, cable model, cable length and input stage are all important.

And as with all digital interconnect systems, audio quality stays the same until the drop-outs cause error correction system problems.

Right, if there's nothing obviously wrong, there's no need to worry.

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USB 2.0 specs state 16 feet is the longest the cable should be w/o a powered hub in between the lengths.


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - Kenwood L-07M Monoblocks

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables: MIT speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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3 minutes ago, botrytis said:

USB 2.0 specs state 16 feet is the longest the cable should be w/o a powered hub in between the lengths.

Strictly speaking, the limitation is 26 ns. With a typical signal propagation speed of 0.2 m/ns, the maximum length becomes 5.2 m or 17 feet.

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1 minute ago, mansr said:

Strictly speaking, the limitation is 26 ns. With a typical signal propagation speed of 0.2 m/ns, the maximum length becomes 5.2 m or 17 feet.

 

😉You don't have to go all technical :D


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - Kenwood L-07M Monoblocks

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables: MIT speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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Purchased a 3 meter Granite Audio USB to hook up quad core Mini and Mytek DSD192 and it had a very detrimental effect on sonics.

 

It worked, as in music played but sounded bad (messed with cymbals, other percussion...) versus a 1 meter cable.

 

Returned the 3 meter.


Tone with Soul

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22 minutes ago, 57gold said:

Purchased a 3 meter Granite Audio USB to hook up quad core Mini and Mytek DSD192 and it had a very detrimental effect on sonics.

 

It worked, as in music played but sounded bad (messed with cymbals, other percussion...) versus a 1 meter cable.

 

Returned the 3 meter.

 

Just remember that a certified USB cable has specific characteristics and is tested to work the way it does. Might have been a bad USB cable.


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - Kenwood L-07M Monoblocks

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables: MIT speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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29 minutes ago, mansr said:

Bad as in "audiophile."

 

maybe....


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - Kenwood L-07M Monoblocks

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables: MIT speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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Not an audiophile.  A musician since 1975 when I joined the union.

 

Ted, one of the moderators here, recommended the Granite Audio cable.  I believed the specs that up to 15 ft would be cool.

 

Sounded like crap.


Tone with Soul

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Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - Kenwood L-07M Monoblocks

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables: MIT speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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5 hours ago, 57gold said:

Not an audiophile.  A musician since 1975 when I joined the union.

 

Ted, one of the moderators here, recommended the Granite Audio cable.  I believed the specs that up to 15 ft would be cool.

 

Sounded like crap.

Many audiophile brand USB cables, even expensive ones, don't meet USB 2.0 spec.  botrytis gave a link that shows what will be on it if it is certified.  The 2.0 spec is for up to 5 meters (16.5 feet).  Functioning properly USB cables don't have a sound.  


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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27 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

I would recommend 6Ft (2m) and under. The protocol used to transfer audio data over USB does NOT have any kind of error correction. I did a study of of about 12 different USB cables (none of them expensive audiophile types). Above 6ft I started to get occasional errors and above 10ft I got frequent errors. The only exception to this was Supra, a 10ft Supra showed no errors, but ALL the other cables were showing frequent errors at 10 ft. 

 

None of the cables 6ft and under showed any errors at all.

 

Note that the audio protocol is very different than all the other protocols used in USB, the others DO have error correction so you can go with longer cables and have error free connection, but not with audio.

 

John S.

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/56912-usb-cables/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-978036    #84

 

Quote

Functioning properly USB cables don't have a sound -esldude

 

 Did your measurements tell you that before you actually listened to them ? :)

That is NOT the experience of a vast number of forum members, and is why many prefer USB cables such as the Phasure Lush cables.


"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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old man yells at cloud.jpg


"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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23 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

old man yells at cloud.jpg

 

No , just closed minded know-it-alls like yourself. The same ones who try to disrupt every thread where somebody asks for a recommendation.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LviePCdXzsA

 


"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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29 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

 

The OP did not ask for a USB cable brand recommendation. The OP asked for guidance on what the longest USB cable length is that can safely be used for audio, assuming a well-constructed cable.

 

 John Swenson answered that well, yet nobody even took into account the amount of current drawn by the USB device, and how much voltage drop there would be in the cable. Even many USB memory sticks have problems at lengths a little over 3 metres.

 Then of course there were the " all USB cables sound the same"  from the usual suspects, which goes against the experience of many other forum members.

 

" I'm talking in a general audio quality sense.  - arcman"


"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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1 hour ago, tmtomh said:

 

The OP did not ask for a USB cable brand recommendation. The OP asked for guidance on what the longest USB cable length is that can safely be used for audio, assuming a well-constructed cable.

 

But that won't stop a closed minded know-it-all (like the one who tries to disrupt every thread) from inventing a different question that he can then pontificate on.


"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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15 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

But that won't stop a closed minded know-it-all (like the one who tries to disrupt every thread) from inventing a different question that he can then pontificate on.

 

Many members already know that this is your Modus Operandi, so it's not necessary to remind them.

 

 I would recommend that the OP checks out this much longer thread for far more pertinent information.

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/14124-usb-cable-comparisons/#comments

 


"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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3 hours ago, sandyk said:

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/56912-usb-cables/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-978036    #84

 

 

 Did your measurements tell you that before you actually listened to them ? :)

That is NOT the experience of a vast number of forum members, and is why many prefer USB cables such as the Phasure Lush cables.

Measurements confirmed what I had heard.  If a USB cable works without dropouts, it sounds the same.  Of course I've not been listening to devices powered via USB.  They were merely transferring data.  I've rarely used the longer lengths of USB for audio (use them for printers sometimes).  I used the active USB extenders for really long USB connections.  Up to  25 meters (82.5 ft) without any error problems.  No sound problems either.  I wouldn't use them for a USB powered device.  For that I'd use the active extender and put a powered USB hub at the far end.  


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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18 minutes ago, esldude said:

I wouldn't use them for a USB powered device

 That is exactly my point. Some DACs DO require a current draw from the USB port, the amount of which will depend on the design of the DAC . I also have Sandisk USB memory sticks that fail when plugged into a >3M long cable intermittently, sometimes not even being recognised. The faster the USB stick the more chance of this happening.

18 minutes ago, esldude said:

If a USB cable works without dropouts, it sounds the same.

 

If this was the case there would be no market for boutique USB cables such as the Phasure " Lush"  and many others, but there clearly is, going by the threads about the Lush cable in this forum alone, and several other forums.

And of course, you performed the measurements before actually listening , didn't you ? :D

 Why not post the actual measurements of the various USB 2.0 cables then   ? :P


"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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19 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 That is exactly my point. Some DACs DO require a current draw from the USB port, the amount of which will depend on the design of the DAC . I also have Sandisk USB memory sticks that fail when plugged into a >3M long cable intermittently, sometimes not even being recognised. The faster the USB stick the more chance of this happening.

 

If this was the case there would be no market for boutique USB cables such as the Phasure " Lush"  and many others, but there clearly is, going by the threads about the Lush cable in this forum alone, and several other forums.

And of course, you performed the measurements before actually listening , didn't you ? :D

 Why not post the actual measurements of the various USB 2.0 cables then   ? :P

No, I listened first. 

 

I've probably listed measurements at various times.  I don't have them now, as having figured out nothing is going on with them I've not had much interest.  I could do a couple again if there is any interest.  Of course I don't currently have any boutique USB cables.  

 

As for what there is an isn't a market for,  it isn't proof of anything other than what people will buy.  

 

Maybe these eggs aren't good for hormones, but work great for improved sound quality.  They are sold out at least. 

 

image.png.439d85e101d10ab220bed822b27a00a8.png

Siberian-Jade-stand-Watermark-2-510x557.jpg

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-vaginal-egg-goop-lawsuit-2018-9

 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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