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buddyev

USB cable recommendations

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Posted (edited)

Comrades

I’m in the  process of upgrading my digital front end.  

I just ordered an ultrarendu and need  an interim USB cable to get me started into my current dac  - an elderly but unashamed Eastern Electric Minimax ( apple lossless fed by airport express). The dac is the next item due  for upgrade - don’t yet know what to.

 i want to upgrade incrementally so I know what each addition is doing.

 I assume the final cable will be dac dependent and might need to be changed later - hence nothing too exxy.

what is a reasonable sweetspot bewteen quality and economy for a USB cable?

 Coupla hundred bucks- ish used?

any suggestions?

 

 

Edited by buddyev

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I recent bought a Curious USB cable for my Urendy. I believe they are one of the best USB cables (computer audiophile forums). I am very happy with mine. I bought a very short 200mm one as my Urendu sits above my Dac. 

 

I believe @Galactic Soap may have one spare. 

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Don't forget about a good PS for the Urendu too...Shameless plug for my Sbooster PS which is for sale !

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Looking at the spec the USB in the minimax uses PCM2707 which is pretty poor by today standard. rather than upgrading the USB for couple of hundreds for the same money you can get singxer f1 usb to SPDIF and it would be a much better purchase

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11 minutes ago, mloutfie said:

Looking at the spec the USB in the minimax uses PCM2707 which is pretty poor by today standard. rather than upgrading the USB for couple of hundreds for the same money you can get singxer f1 usb to SPDIF and it would be a much better purchase

Yes, it’s an old dac - but it’s pretty good for what it is and it’s been perfectly ok for background music in my study. Ive never used the USB on the Minimax - always BNC from a Synchromesh. As soon as I can do some serious listening it will be replaced by a decent modern USB dac  that will do higher rates, hence just want the cable. 

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Id second the Curious USB as is made a bit difference over the $8.95 jay car once I had previously. But I haven't tested any others.

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I got a curious cable recently based on reputation. Didn't compare it to a non hifi cable though, just switched from coax.

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I’ve got an Audioquest Carbon I’ve been quite happy with at the $200 mark. Will try a curious when one comes up second hand in the future.

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On 11/06/2018 at 3:31 PM, buddyev said:

 I assume the final cable will be dac dependent and might need to be changed later - hence nothing too exxy.

 

Nope. There are differences in cables though these are small compared to how your transport processes the data that comes out of it - DACs change a lot here.

 

Get the shortest, most decent, cheap cable you can for now - @Ittaku's recommendation is a good one (as short as you can for your application). Then get your DAC, then see. 

 

You'll know more about whether you want a powered or not cable, whether you've a DAC that's sensitive... you'll know more when you have the DAC you're after. 

 

Plus some of the stuff out there is genuinely expensive whether snakeoil or not. A $500 USB cable compared to a $9 item leaves another $491 you can spend... on the DAC, which is likely money better spent.

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2 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Plus some of the stuff out there is genuinely expensive whether snakeoil or not.

I did not (openly) call them snake oil (I only implied it.)

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7 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I did not (openly) call them snake oil (I only implied it.)

Didn't say you did. There's some really good stuff out there for moderate money. Unfortunately there's some absolute snakeoil out there too. And there is no reason a $9 cable, properly constructed, can't be good either.

 

USB is not an ideal protocol to use for audio, a best result really depends on how it's treated at the receiving end. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

USB is not an ideal protocol to use for audio, a best result really depends on how it's treated at the receiving end. 

Agreed which is why I use a DAC with reclocking/regeneration. Another option with DACs that don't have that is an ordinary USB cable with a gustard or singxer usb-to-spdif which is virtually guaranteed to be better than an expensive cable for the same price or less. Either way, all half decent USB cables will be the same IMO - the only scenario where there might be an advantage to a different USB cable is when you supply power separately on the power leg of the cable, or not supply power at all, but again, there is no sonic benefit to thousand dollar ones.

Edited by Ittaku

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

I can highly recommend a $9 Amazon basics 3m USB cable. It sounded identical to every other USB cable up to $1500 I have auditioned in my hifi.

https://www.amazon.com.au/AmazonBasics-Male-B-Male-Cable-Feet/dp/B00NH13DV2/

 

1 minute ago, rmpfyf said:

Didn't say you did. There's some really good stuff out there for moderate money. Unfortunately there's some absolute snakeoil out there too. And there is no reason a $9 cable, properly constructed, can't be good either.

 

USB is not an ideal protocol to use for audio, a best result really depends on how it's treated at the receiving end. 

Thanks for these comments. I’m not big on bling and my rule of thumb is to invest only in what I can hear. 

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

I can highly recommend a $9 Amazon basics 3m USB cable. It sounded identical to every other USB cable up to $1500 I have auditioned in my hifi.

https://www.amazon.com.au/AmazonBasics-Male-B-Male-Cable-Feet/dp/B00NH13DV2/

Wot he said. 

Save your money Russ 

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I get USB cables for nuffing.....but I’m afraid it has that printing influenced SQ compared to stock standard.......

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Posted (edited)

I can recommend a Supra USB cable. These are High Speed Certified (90 ohm spec) for up to 15m - which is not a trivial thing. I still prefer to keep the length as short as possible of course. Not too crazy expensive.

 

http://www.jenving.com/products/view/usb-2.0-a-b-1001908381

 

For those that know of and follow John Swenson, these have been his favourite USB cables for years (until he made the Uptone USPCB adapter).

Edited by Sean84

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I've used Wireworld Starlight for a number of years and is an absolute gem, competes with cable 3 x its value. Its about the $200 mark now .. I think. maybe a little more. This cable really made a difference. I'm a big fan of their USB and HDMI's.

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1 hour ago, Awiseman said:

Wireworld Starlight

Are the most expensive and overpriced cables I have ever seen... I believe they are constructed by Norse Gods, so most definitely will gain one access to Valhalla.

 

JSmith :ninja:

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I've used Wireworld Starlight for a number of years and is an absolute gem, competes with cable 3 x its value. Its about the $200 mark now .. I think. maybe a little more. This cable really made a difference. I'm a big fan of their USB and HDMI's.


$145 bargin! I haven’t heard the others but this USB is pretty good and has great reviews. https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/wireworld-starlight-usb-cable.html

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FWIW I would tend to think that with an older DAC the USB implementation will be inferior to the BNC one so you might be stepping backwards regardless of the quality of the cable. Until you do get a different DAC the Singxser or other converter option might be better bang for your bucks

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I've owned a number of different brands, basic, Supra, Chord Company and WireWorld and the WireWorld was by far the best I had. I only sold it as I had moved away from PC Audio.

 

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12 minutes ago, thathifiguy said:

the best I had.

In what way exactly... any measured differences in the audio output or just a personal comparison?

 

JSmith :ninja:

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