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Internet blind comparison of two USB cables


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3 hours ago, ray-dude said:

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).


agreed, this is critical for proper testing. what you recommend would be a simple way to validate that the a/d converter is appropriate for this type of testing.

 

 

 


 

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44 minutes 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.

 If you are unable to hear the differences directly, as I suspect,  it will almost certainly be a waste of every participant's time by further proceeding as it is highly likely to be due to your equipment simply not being transparent enough.

ray_dude is also saying something similar.

 

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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37 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

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.

You trust your instruments not to miss anything, that what they can’t detect can’t be heard by human ears. Quite a prejudice. The interesting parts of science that we learn from are what we can observe but not yet explain. To do this properly you need to observe directly, not depend on unwise assumptions from unneeded extra steps. Best practices approach would be to take another cable with similar length, similar A-B ends to the Lush 2, wrap them with like covering, label 1 X, the other Y and send to a series of reviewers to serially provide feedback on a standard form. 5 would probably be enough for directionally correct results if you insured all had good systems, much larger sample required if screening crappy hardware was done at the tail end of collecting observations

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Just now, davide256 said:

You trust your instruments not to miss anything, that what they can’t detect can’t be heard by human ears. Quite a prejudice. The interesting parts of science that we learn from are what we can observe but not yet explain. To do this properly you need to observe directly, not depend on unwise assumptions from unneeded extra steps. Best practices approach would be to take another cable with similar length, similar A-B ends to the Lush 2, wrap them with like covering, label 1 X, the other Y and send to a series of reviewers to serially provide feedback on a standard form. 5 would probably be enough for directionally correct results if you insured all had good systems, much larger sample required if screening crappy hardware was done at the tail end of collecting observations


Sorry, since what I’m proposing is a listening test, I don’t see how your criticism about instruments applies.

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8 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 If you are unable to hear the differences directly, as I suspect,  it will almost certainly be a waste of every participant's time by further proceeding as it is highly likely to be due to your equipment simply not being transparent enough.

ray_dude is also saying something similar.


I don’t see how any of this follows from the fact that I can’t hear the difference.

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8 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:


Sorry, since what I’m proposing is a listening test, I don’t see how your criticism about instruments applies.

 In this case ,the instrument is an additional A/D converter.

Quote

not depend on unwise assumptions from unneeded extra steps. 

 

 

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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8 hours ago, ray-dude said:

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

 

This looks to be very legitimate, but in this case the challenge is somewhat higher, because Paul already doesn't hear a difference (at least that is what he "admits"). So if all is right, we dive into this test while at the source already no difference is audible. Therefore:

 

8 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

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

 

Let's be careful with the suggestion of this; I claimed that I would be able to do this hands in pockets (but I said "with kitchen hoover at maximum") and suggested others could too in their homes. This test, kindly offered by Paul, is not in our homes but in his. "I give it a chance", I said, meaning that maybe it works to find the proper tracks for cable A and cable B by means of a recording from the sound through the loudspeakers by microphone.

Btw, it would not be necessary to recognize the printer- vs the Lush cable, if only the group of tracks can be recognized. So we would actually chose  a cable of unknown name (like Cable A and Cable B).

 

9 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

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

 

Although we agreed that and it is fine, it could be better to use a configuration which is far more expressive in "something". The example could be a totally dull stuffed ear sound. Of course nobody tried such things (why would one) but I have such configurations registered anyway.

But notice that this would give a pre-bias which IMO is good. "Look for the cable with the dullest sound !". If people can pick that, then the deed is done.

Must think about this a bit. It could be dangerous because while we have consensus about a good sounding config (the config mentioned by Paul), there is certainly no consensus about a dull sounding (or other bad sounding) config. That might not even work out the same for everybody (with his/her Lush at home).

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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9 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

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.

 

Um, Paul, this is not what we agreed ?

Capture by microphone it was.

Slip of the pen ?

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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9 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

Those hearing obvious differences can use an AB or ABX comparator that produces a digitally signed result and the result can then be shared

 

Paul, although it was not discussed extensively, nothing of that kind would be the idea. I said (and you did not disagree) something with this gist:

 

a. I provide the music to you.

b. It should be full tracks, me taking responsibility of that and if needed, me distributing your recorded files to free you of the responsibility (you half-agreed and wanted to cut the tracks, maybe).

c. I'll try to find interesting music, despite it won't be the style of most.

 

No Foobar or anything is required, because people would receive an album with a "show" on it (my show). The tracks will have their original name (Artist + Track Name).

Exactly half of the tracks is recorded with the printer cable involved, the other half with that other cable, starting with L.

 

This is how my A/B would work as this is no tiring stupid A/B, but just listening as we always do.

In this case there would be an added feature : There's a special 00- track recorded twice, and of that track you'd indicate which is recorded with which USB cable. You could call that Cable A and Cable B, but I think you should name that to the real names. Thus Printer vs L. That way people could try to find their own Lush cable after first claiming for themselves the recognition in the 00- track. If the recognition exists in their imagination only, then this is fine BUT the same imagination may happen to the test tracks and it would work (OK, could work).

Those not owning a Lush will have a different imagination, but it could be one of "lush sound" (the name stipulates). Whatever their imagination, they should find that back in the test tracks.

 

If you read the above again, you will more and more think it is voodoo. But it really is not and when the difference is in there (captured by your microphones (stereo !), it will be 10 out of 10.

To be clear :

 

People can play the tracks as often as they want but this is not advised because it is meant as a listening evening**, with slightly not your kind of music. 😏 What I would do is listen all in one go per the sequence in the album and once I have the hang of it, when finished repeat the first tracks until the point I got the hang of it.

 

**) See next post.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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33 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

Paul, this is not what we agreed ?

Capture by microphone it was.

 

Maybe I must back out on this at first. Because what if this works after all, by means of capturing the analogue output of the DAC. I mean, I propose a listening evening, but I don't really see myself listening "an evening" to hollow sounding unrealistic stuff.

If it does not work (I don't hear a difference anywhere**), we can always use the microphone method).

Btw, an other reason I may now like to go your way, is the awkwardness for you.

 

**) I also said that I should have a pre-listen to two tracks (but make those the same tracks recorded by otherwise unidentified printer and L cable) and if I don't hear a difference, then we might just as well forget it. So I think this step is a necessity, to save you all the trouble for when it won't work out anyway.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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17 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

Maybe I must back out on this at first. Because what if this works after all, by means of capturing the analogue output of the DAC.

 

 Peter

 Perhaps you should also do a digital capture purely for verification that the cables used all resulted in no changes of the Binary Data as received at the input to the DAC.

My apologies if you have already stated this

Alex

 

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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16 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

In my opinion... If a USB cable changes the sound, it is faulty.

 In my experience , with .wav files saved to a USB memory stick plugged into the end of different USB cables  they do sound a little different when the USB memory stick is then plugged directly into a USB port of the PC.

 A quality Belden USB cable, for example sounds better to me than a cheap generic 3M long USB cable.

 Some of those cables also use thinner copper conductors  than the brand name cables.

 

 

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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2 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

In my opinion... If a USB cable changes the sound, it is faulty.

 

But which one changes the sound?

 

To quote Dire Straits:  "Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong"

 

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3 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

In my opinion... If a USB cable changes the sound, it is faulty.

 

Well, part of this challenge could be:

Suppose 10 people have them all correct, but you do not at all (and you surely tried). 60 others also didn't score well (at all). Then what would be going on ?

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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3 hours ago, sandyk said:

 In my experience , with .wav files saved to a USB memory stick plugged into the end of different USB cables  they do sound a little different when the USB memory stick is then plugged directly into a USB port of the PC.

 A quality Belden USB cable, for example sounds better to me than a cheap generic 3M long USB cable.

 Some of those cables also use thinner copper conductors  than the brand name cables.

 

Alex, let's try to stay on topic. The sheer reason that such a thing happens (I 100% believe you on this one), would be the same or very similar to what's at play here (say our test). It's still off topic.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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4 hours ago, sandyk said:

Perhaps you should also do a digital capture purely for verification that the cables used all resulted in no changes of the Binary Data as received at the input to the DAC.

 

If this would be an obsessed ABX Audiophile Objectivist 100% controlled test, then yes. But it is not that and it is not necessary either.

 

FYI: No cable with faults (or a faulty connection !) changes the sound anyway. It would exhibit ticks or the connection will be dropped. Keep in mind with this that we can see USB errors (they are reported but not corrected) so I think I know what I am talking about. It is unimportant and besides it never happens. And *if* it happens it may be about a few errors per day.

 

image.png.2ebd54ed42906842652cd64824683615.png

 

It is of course the responsibility of Paul that he uses a generic cable which is decent for the sampling rate he applies. He chooses for a cable that works to begin with, and from of 24/382.8 surely not every cable even works. This can happen to the boutique cables as well.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Houston ...

 

Paul, the last paragraph in my previous post makes me realize that we need to decide something for the sampling rate. This is a bit unexpected for myself, and somehow does not apply to capturing by microphone. It does after all of course, but:

 

The files you will receive will be 16/44.1. At least that is my thinking at this moment. Now what happens in your situation when you play that from your iMac to your DAC and look at the outputs ? Heck, this is a subject in itself.

How do I arrive at this subject ?

 

Well, my first idea for a general test was to play back a by you recorded file that contains sufficiently broad data (for frequencies) that something should differ with different cables. So a first thing to check - and this can now happen if you indeed record from the outputs NOT by microphone - whether ever something is left from the staging, the depth, the holographic picture, the detail and so much more. This is obviously related to your A/D machinery and my expectations are not good at all. Btw, this is again my reference to e.g. Mani applying similar recordings with whatever he thinks is good enough for A/D, because a first thing what will happen is that all the life is sucked out of it. I know, Paul, you will claim sufficient transparency from your A/D, but it really does not work OUT like that. it is actually the same thing as the AmirM thing. You (or we) overlook giantly on these matters.

 

Your playback chain (!) will most 99.99% probably smear all detail to a mush without life. You won't know that because you are used to it, but relatively to what I am used to, it will be quite unbearable. This really, seriously, makes nothing wrong with your playback chain, but for me it really implies that nothing works out any more. Well, will it really not ?

That is thus my first test. It is necessary. It belongs.

 

Trying to avoid 20 subjects, my actual subject for this post is thus the sampling rate of the recording. This definitely can't be 16/44.1 when your process under way made e.g. 24/352.8 of it. You also most certainly can't sustain the 16/44.1 because you would be operating without reconstruction(-filter) *if* your DAC would allow that in the first place.

So it seems obvious that you'd need to apply the highest sampling rate** your ADC allows for with a bit depth of 24 (if it allows for 32 you should not use that because only a few people would be able to play it).

I now envision your HOLO, and if nothing changed it could be a multibit with possibility of NOS. So would that be better then ?

**): Make that 24/192; I assume everybody can play that back.

 

This is a nice quandary;

If I am provided a 24/192, I can't apply my own filtering any more. And this is crucial (it's do or don't for good sound). If the sound is smeared at playback on your side, the detail is gone forever. Mind you, my examples will be all about detail in various frequencies.

 

And so again, at this moment I don't see how the test could work. Help.

 

Somehow ... somehow I still feel that with amplification of all what happens in there - this is my thesis on playing through loudspeakers and record *that* by microphone - still has that chance.

So I really seem to be back at square one, and I was ignorant to suddenly think otherwise ?

Besides it is clearly on my mind that if that fully developed sound (in the room) is captured at 16/44.1, suddenly all is smeared into something which is completely natural. This is a hunch. A feeling. The quandary in that one is that I probably won't listen for hours to that poor recording (I assume that it will work out like that, Paul, and this is totally unrelated to you or the gear or the room; it will just be poorer (hollow sounding) quality).

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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16 hours ago, pkane2001 said:


Sorry, since what I’m proposing is a listening test, I don’t see how your criticism about instruments applies.

 the effect of the Lush 2 is not to change  recorded bits, its to allow the connected gear sending/receiving the bits to behave better, reduce signal contaminants that stress USB I/O circuits, resulting in poorer real time performance. You can't hear this if the Lush 2 is not in circuit. Your methodology

just adds the problem back in.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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