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Internet blind comparison of two USB cables


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This started as a proposal for an internet blind test on another thread: 

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/62140-asr-audio-science-review-forum-youtube-channel/?do=findComment&comment=1113069

 

@PeterSt's Lush^2 cable against a generic USB cable, used to generate a recording that can then be tested by others.

 

Claim:  Lush^2 produces an obviously audible difference that can be detected 10 out of 10 times by Peter and others in a blind test

 

Test: The test will be fairly simple: play music using a PC (iMac) over USB cables, A or B, directly into the DAC. Feed the analog output from the DAC into a quality pro ADC (Apogee Element24, which I've tested and measured before and know it measures well) and record this to a digital file. Rename and randomize the samples and upload them for a listening test. I can even publish measurements for these afterwards, if there's interest. Those hearing obvious differences can use an AB or ABX comparator that produces a digitally signed result and the result can then be shared when reporting your findings (FooBar ABX comparator, for example, also DeltaWave and a few others that I've seen). You're welcome to use any other testing mechanism if you want to listen for yourself, but your results will be harder to be confirmed by others. 

 

Lush^2 cable will be configured as follows, per Peter: A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R
 

Before setting up the test, I'd to solicit any ideas here on how to improve the test and methodology, so please post your thoughts, concerns, and ideas here.

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Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Audio Research SP-16 > Pioneer M-22 - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated (great amp - silly name)

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - Revel M126Be - others......

Cables: Tara Labs RCS Reference speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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I would suggest that whomever does the digital capture compares the captured files to confirm that they are hearing a similar difference to what they hear in their system.  If they do not, then that needs to be solved for before doing any blinded survey.  I appreciate the spirit of this test and interested to see the outcome, but best to not have the interpretation devolve into a debate about whether the results apply to the capture methodology, vs whether the results apply to the cables under test.  

 

(bias disclosure: I've done tests with friends with Lush^2 cables in my living room (I knew which cable was which, they did not), and differences were obvious and consistent, both against stock cables and between some Lush^2 configurations).

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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11 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Better method to test the two cables! It’s called my wife test! If she notices the difference then Lush wins! 😂

I also can confirm, and that it works as a blind test.  A long time ago I had borrowed a USB cable from a dealer to test.  The spousal unit knew I was playing with the system, but didn't know any of the specifics.  

 

The spousal unit had already gone to bed when I took the borrowed cable out of the system, as I had to return it to the dealer the next day.  She could still hear the system from the bedroom.  When I came to bed a bit later she asked:  "What did you just do to the stereo?  It doesn't sound as good as it did earlier...."  🤔

 

Main System: Mac mini (Audirvana+, MMK, JS-2) -> ISO Regen (LPS-1) -> Icron 2201 (Rex LPS-1.2) -> ISO Regen (LPS-1.2) -> Ayre QB-9 Twenty -> Headamp GS-X Mk2 -> Classe CT-M600 -> KEF Reference 201/2

 

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3 minutes ago, Tone Deaf said:

spousal unit

Word of the day for me 😂

Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone Audio JS-2 | Uptone Audio EtherREGEN | Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Sonore OpticalModule | Emo Systems EN-70HD | Jensen CI-1RR Cables Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad with Oyaide connectors for AC, Ghent for DC and ethernet Roon server Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/ext. SDD via firewire, Catalina | Roon | Tidal | Qobuz 

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2 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

Test: The test will be fairly simple: play music using a PC (iMac) over USB cables, A or B, directly into the DAC.

 When will you finally get it , that to hear details such as this ,you can't use any nondescript PC, or worse still a stock standard Mac Mini, which as many members have already verified markedly improves after an Uptone Linear PSU designed by the talented John Swenson is fitted to replace the original SMPS .

 It may be news to you, but it isn't to many 100s of A.S. members that the front end DOES matter !

 

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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If helpful, if someone were willing to loan me an appropriate ADC, I'm happy to devote an afternoon to capturing files from these tests (both direct from laptop, and from an optimized source)  I would then ask one of the civilians in the house to rename the files and load them for playback, and report whether I can hear differences between them.  

 

As a bonus, I'm doing a lot with upsampling for signal reconstruction.  It would be interesting to have quality ADC captures of 1fs content vs 16fs content and see what the ADC shows us.

 

(note: this is an OS X house, so I'd appreciate if any loaners have capture software that runs on OS X, although I could check around for a windows laptop if need be)

 

 

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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1 hour ago, pkane2001 said:

This started as a proposal for an internet blind test on another thread: 

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/62140-asr-audio-science-review-forum-youtube-channel/?do=findComment&comment=1113069

 

@PeterSt's Lush^2 cable against a generic USB cable, used to generate a recording that can then be tested by others.

 

Claim:  Lush^2 produces an obviously audible difference that can be detected 10 out of 10 times by Peter and others in a blind test

 

Test: The test will be fairly simple: play music using a PC (iMac) over USB cables, A or B, directly into the DAC. Feed the analog output from the DAC into a quality pro ADC (Apogee Element24, which I've tested and measured before and know it measures well) and record this to a digital file. Rename and randomize the samples and upload them for a listening test. I can even publish measurements for these afterwards, if there's interest. Those hearing obvious differences can use an AB or ABX comparator that produces a digitally signed result and the result can then be shared when reporting your findings (FooBar ABX comparator, for example, also DeltaWave and a few others that I've seen). You're welcome to use any other testing mechanism if you want to listen for yourself, but your results will be harder to be confirmed by others. 

 

Lush^2 cable will be configured as follows, per Peter: A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R
 

Before setting up the test, I'd to solicit any ideas here on how to improve the test and methodology, so please post your thoughts, concerns, and ideas here.

Test as proposed is invalid because of  added "whisper chain" errors.

needs to be done live, not "Memorex"

 

I have about 8 other USB cables running between $10~$200... the ones with brit press recommendations were a waste of money, as was the belkin cable.

Wireworld starlight is my second best but it doesn't resolve as well as Lush 2

 

All the chatter about different shield configurations hasn't panned out for me, don't really hear a difference

 

I could hear the difference with Gungnir MB and Chord mojo(using AQ micro USB adaptor).

 

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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22 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 When will you finally get it , that to hear details such as this ,you can't use any nondescript PC, or worse still a stock standard Mac Mini, which as many members have already verified markedly improves after an Uptone Linear PSU designed by the talented John Swenson is fitted to replace the original SMPS .

 It may be news to you, but it isn't to many 100s of A.S. members that the front end DOES matter !

 

I'll use a battery powered laptop, which I normally use for measurements. There's no AC interference and no ground loops. I just ran a J-Test through the whole chain (PC->DAC->ADC->PC) to see if noise and jitter are a concern. Looks clean to me. Not sure where the -140dBFS spike is coming from at 250Hz but that's tiny anyway. The DAC is Holo Audio Spring v1 (with updated USB).

 

image.thumb.png.28914458c57050b2b2c3a1d9212ad0d7.png

 

image.thumb.png.c9e5f392ee45e672db84f309f200b70a.png

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11 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

I'll use a battery powered laptop, which I normally use for measurements. There's no AC interference and no ground loops. I just ran a J-Test through the whole chain (PC->DAC->ADC->PC) to see if noise and jitter are a concern. Looks clean to me. Not sure where the -140dBFS spike is coming from at 250Hz but that's tiny anyway. The DAC is Holo Audio Spring v1 (with updated USB).

 

image.thumb.png.28914458c57050b2b2c3a1d9212ad0d7.png

 

image.thumb.png.c9e5f392ee45e672db84f309f200b70a.png

 

Battery-powered audiophile tea pot? 😁

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Audio Research SP-16 > Pioneer M-22 - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated (great amp - silly name)

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - Revel M126Be - others......

Cables: Tara Labs RCS Reference speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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Just now, pkane2001 said:

 

Can you explain why this might be the case?

Sure.

 

1) you are limiting/coloring results by the digital capture solution

2) any tester is adding limitations/coloring results by the solution they use to do a second generation decoding

 

We use 2nd hand observation for places we can't go like Mars, but that always flawed compared to 1st hand direct observation

which provides more sensory data.

 

 

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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3 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

If it's not a product yet, it must be made!

 

 

🤣

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Audio Research SP-16 > Pioneer M-22 - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated (great amp - silly name)

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - Revel M126Be - others......

Cables: Tara Labs RCS Reference speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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4 minutes ago, davide256 said:

Sure.

 

1) you are limiting/coloring results by the digital capture solution

2) any tester is adding limitations/coloring results by the solution they use to do a second generation decoding

 

We use 2nd hand observation for places we can't go like Mars, but that always flawed compared to 1st hand direct observation

which provides more sensory data.

 

Well, that's easy to verify (and has been done before, just not with this ADC). I'll run multiple iterations of the recording in a loop through the ADC, and if you can hear the difference, then the "coloring" is significant. If you can't, then it's audibly transparent.

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Looking forward to the test.

 

I had an Oyaide Class S (silver) USB cable in-house for a couple of weeks, couldn't stand the overly bright sound in my system. I replaced it with a cheaper Oyaide Class A (copper) cable, which did the trick. I don't understand how someone would not be able to tell these two apart.

 

OTOH, I couldn't hear a difference between the Oyaide Class A and a Curious cable I acquired subsequently. Unfortunately, printer cables, of which I've tried many, don't compete with these, IME. I've never heard a Lush cable.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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12 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

Looking forward to the test.

 

I had an Oyaide Class S (silver) USB cable in-house for a couple of weeks, couldn't stand the overly bright sound in my system. I replaced it with a cheaper Oyaide Class A (copper) cable, which did the trick. I don't understand how someone would not be able to tell these two apart.

 

OTOH, I couldn't hear a difference between the Oyaide Class A and a Curious cable I acquired subsequently. Unfortunately, printer cables, of which I've tried many, don't compete with these, IME.

 

That's what I'm hearing from others. If these differences are so obvious and audible, they shouldn't be hard to capture and to reproduce.

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1 minute ago, pkane2001 said:

 

That's what I'm hearing from others. If these differences are so obvious and audible, they shouldn't be hard to capture and to reproduce.

I have no doubt there is some compromise in the ADC conversion, but I expect not enough that some of us will still be able to tell the difference. I base this on ripping my LP collection using a Korg DS-DAC-10R. The vinyl sounded better, but it wasn't easy to tell the original from the 88/24 copy.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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