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mexicoke68

USB Cable

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Any recommendations for a USB cable to connect to a PS Audio Digital Link 3 DAC? Budget 100 or under, open to buy used cables. Would a USB cable in this budget really make an audible difference v.s a generic USB A to B cable that can be bought from JayCar for $10?

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Guest Muon N'

The two that come into mind are the 'Curious Cable' and the one from 'Mad Scientist Audio' in NZ, have heard good things about each.

 

They might be above that budget though.

 

Maybe try one from Belkin, I have found their cables better than the Jaycar offerings, in general. Whether you notice a difference between those two I couldn't say.

 

Edit: others here with more USB cable experience than I will be along soon enough :thumb:

Edited by Muon N'

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10 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

Maybe try one from Belkin, I have found their cables better than the Jaycar offerings, in general. Whether you notice a difference between those two I couldn't say.

 

 

I'm using a Belkin one atm. It sounds fine, but noticeably worse than the coax connection from my Philips CD850. I guess that's more to do with the clock in the source itself than the cable? 

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Guest Muon N'

Likely the different component and the implementation of USB vs COAX in any given device, but I'm only guessing.

 

There are better minds on this than myself so look at what others chime in with :) Edit: what I mean is folk that have actually tried different cables.

Edited by Muon N'

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Buy yourself a cheap, quality cable and nothing more. I recommend the $14 Amazon basics USB cable.

Edited by Ittaku

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@mexicoke68

Recommend Audioquest Forest or Cinnamon 

Neo

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10 minutes ago, Neo said:

@mexicoke68

Recommend Audioquest Forest or Cinnamon 

Neo

 

From the AudioQuest website (this is their marketing for the Cinnamon USB cable):

Quote

In 1982 Sony gave us "Perfect sound forever," along with the attitude that, "it's just digital, so all CD players sound the same." That was disproved and qualitative differences between players became accepted truth. Next came separate transport and DAC combos, which brought with it the attitude that "all S/PDIF digital audio cables sound the same..." until that too became disproved. Now the frontier has moved once again. Is digital audio really just ones and zeros? We don't believe so, and once you've had a chance to listen to Cinnamon USB, you won't think so either...

 

Wow...it almost sounds sarcastic towards the end lol

But I'd honestly be curious enough to borrow a pair and try them (or any mid-high end USB cable) if a fellow SNA member is generous enough to grant me a few days time of testing.

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Guest Muon N'

That view they have you quoted is pretty accurate in my view, It's true and some still yell out the mantra that It's just '1's and '0's.

 

Hopefully someone can lend you a couple of cables to try, lots of members down that way :thumb:

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Used 1.5m Audioquest Coffee, so from personal experience the recommendation of Forest or Cinnamon that’s within your budget. The trick is to listen and judge for yourself, marketing will only get you so far. If your local Hifi store is able to lend you some usb cables to audition, take them up on the offer.

Neo

Edited by Neo

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Guest DarkNark

Borrow before you buy is my advice.

 

My local shop was gracious enough to let me borrow a much lauded audiophile usb cable, it sounded different, but I really had to concentrate and listen for the differences. My brother was visiting and he preferred the cheap generic cable as I swapped them out multiple times. He believed that he had picked the expensive cable as he couldn't see which cable I was swapping. I stuck with the generic cheapy.

 

I wouldn't want to dissuade you from trying different cables, I think certainly a worthwhile endeavour, just for your own experience.

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11 hours ago, mexicoke68 said:

Any recommendations for a USB cable to connect to a PS Audio Digital Link 3 DAC? Budget 100 or under, open to buy used cables. Would a USB cable in this budget really make an audible difference v.s a generic USB A to B cable that can be bought from JayCar for $10?

It doesn't matter. Just use a cheap cable.

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29 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

It doesn't matter. Just use a cheap cable.

Cheap certified cable. That's the one thing that is likely to make any difference. The rest is...

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3 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Cheap certified cable. That's the one thing that is likely to make any difference. The rest is...

Excellent point. However, it doesn't matter what I say. There are those who imagine differences that don't exist. For them the snake oil merchants will always be around.

Edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Guest Muon N'

There are also those that imagine no differences when they may exist.

 

If you believe in the placebo effect ( its real) you also need to recognise when a negative result is the outcome due to such a bias.

 

Can't have ya' cake and eat it too! expectation bias works both ways.

Edited by Muon N'
Woops

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35 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

There are also those that imagine no differences when they may exist.

 

If you believe in the placebo effect ( its real) you also need to recognise when a negative result is the outcome due to such a bias.

 

Can't have ya' cake and eat it too! expectation bias works both ways.

Oh that's quite true. I certainly accept that many listeners can hear many things that I can no longer hear. However, measurements will show which artefacts are audibly significant. The audible significance of any two certified USB cables is zero. Same as any two, properly terminated mains power cables.

 

Why people lose sleep over such things is utterly beyond my capacity to understand. Now, if they were concerned about the correct placement of speakers in a room, or the appropriate choice and placement of room treatments, then I can get on board. But no, we end up in these endless discussions about irrelevancies.

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10 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Why people lose sleep 

Why do you?

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At that budget, have a crack at the Chord SilverPlus

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http://www.elijahaudio.com/products.html

 

The Konvertible Light is good, plus Aussie made. I didn't want to hear a difference with this but I did and have had it in my system ever since. The price is a little over budget but get in touch and see what he can do.

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Most half decent self powered DACs don't even have the power pin attached to anything so it's impossible for noise to come from there, BUT if your DAC actually uses the +5V coming from your PC, then there is scope to improve the performance of your DAC by powering it separately. If you specifically want a USB cable where the power is fed separately from your PC, these are good:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-2M-Gold-plated-4-core-L-2B2AT-OFC-USB-cable-HIFI-Audio-DAC-connection-cable/32847149845.html

Or at least something like them. These don't seem to be made any more.

Edited by Ittaku

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53 minutes ago, Grizzly said:

http://www.elijahaudio.com/products.html

 

The Konvertible Light is good, plus Aussie made. I didn't want to hear a difference with this but I did and have had it in my system ever since. The price is a little over budget but get in touch and see what he can do.

 

Now that looks different, and interesting. All the other ones I've seen just quote "more gold or more silver plating" or something along those lines. Would be interested to give this one a try if anyone can let me borrow?

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I basically agree with Zaphod on this. There really is no discernible difference between cheap USB cables and higher priced ones. And I am speaking from experience, unfortunately. I have a great DAC (Auralic Vega) so I thought I might "upgrade" from the USB printer cable I was using. I might add that I need a 3m cable hence my concern about the quality of the cable. Despite my IT background I threw caution to the wind and listened to the snake oil peddlers from the various cable companies and purchased a Chord USB Silver Plus which I think was about $100. Lovely cable - to look at!!!

 

I have done many, many comparisons between the 2 cables (printer cable and Chord) and to my ears there is absolutely no difference between them. I have also compared them using headphones with the same result. Having spent the $$$ I am still using the Chord and it's very well made and looks quite stunning to boot. I didn't spend hundreds of $$$ so am not too concerned about any perceived lack of improvement in SQ but if I had my time over I would have done the comparison before buying the Chord.

 

So my advice to the OP is: do the comparison first between a cheap USB and an "audiophile grade" USB then make up your own mind. At the end of the day if you really must have that "audiophile grade" USB don't buy anything too expensive. I will admit that they do look much better than a cheap grey printer cable but that to me is the only benefit!!! Good luck with your quest.....

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Guest Muon N'
6 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Oh that's quite true. I certainly accept that many listeners can hear many things that I can no longer hear. However, measurements will show which artefacts are audibly significant. The audible significance of any two certified USB cables is zero. Same as any two, properly terminated mains power cables.

 

Why people lose sleep over such things is utterly beyond my capacity to understand. Now, if they were concerned about the correct placement of speakers in a room, or the appropriate choice and placement of room treatments, then I can get on board. But no, we end up in these endless discussions about irrelevancies.

I was pointing towards the 'nocebo' effect, that is as valid as the 'placebo' effect that is often mentioned, or inferred to..

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