USB Cable Shootout

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Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #20 on: 21 Nov 2017, 12:16 pm »
Thanks for the info Johnny2Bad.

In my case , MacBook Air that only has two USB jacks, the only thing plugged into my laptop was the USB going to my DAC (and maybe the magnetic power connector).

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Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #21 on: 21 Nov 2017, 06:06 pm »
This is a little off topic but for people that are using a laptop and dac, I just built a dedicated music desktop computer to replace 2 of my SOTA high end music laptops (over $1K each  I7 6700HQ cpu) and the improvement in sound is fabulous.  Blacker background, more transparency, detail and resolution.  I am hearing things in some songs that I did not hear before.

I am running the desktop with out a monitor and controlling it with Windows Remote desktop with one of my laptops but a tablet and cell phone can work.  Splashtop personal a free remote program works almost as good as Windows Desktop Remote if you don't have Win 10 Pro edition on you desktop.

I suspect it is due to the better power supply and the fact that I placed my 5 TB WD Red HD inside the computer.   I was using it in an external HD case via usb 3.0 to the laptop.

This was clearly a much bigger improvement than any of the usb cables that I have tried.

My computer build-
I7 7700K cpu
Crucial Ballastix Elite DDR4 Ram at 3000mhz
Gigabyte Z270 Motherboard with upgraded caps
Samsung Evo 850 SSD for OS and music players
WD Red 5 TB internal HD for music storage
Cooler Master Hyper 212 evo cpu fan
TP-Link Archer AC1300 wireless network card PCI-e
Win 10 Pro
Crucial RM550x power supply with a silent fan and very low ripple
Fractal Design R5 Mid tower case with sound insulation

All for just under $1K with parts on sale from New Egg and Microcenter.  You can build a similar computer for less by going with an I5 cpu, cheaper SSD and a little slower ram.


Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #22 on: 21 Nov 2017, 08:30 pm »
I suspect it is due to the better power supply and the fact that I placed my 5 TB WD Red HD inside the computer.
Instead of using the computer's power supply, replace the HD power supply with a linear regulated ps and you will get another jump in clarity along with deeper, tighter bass. All the electronics on the motherboard (and the hard drive) throw noise back into the system, a stand alone ps eliminates that noise. I hot wired my HD to a TeraDac U9. You will have to make your own 5v USB to SATA power cable (10 minutes) and remember to turn on the ps before booting but the results are amazing.

And even with the isolated HD and a V2 Paul Pang USB card ($129) running off an Acopian 5EB200 (there is a Acopian 5EB250 for $15 on eBay right now) the USB cable choice still makes a big difference, maybe more because all the grunge is gone.


Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #23 on: 16 May 2020, 09:13 pm »
I would like to add some of my experiences regarding USB cables. First maker and model matters - I own 2 AQ Diamond USB cables and I find them to be amazing. These use silver conductors, special geometry, high purity conductors, audiophile grade connectors. The sound is simply stunning with amazing transparency, separation, resolution and speed without sacrificing tonal richness or naturalness. The length is also very important: a shorter cables will always sound better than a longer USB cable. I'd recommend the 30 inch length! :)


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Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #24 on: 23 Aug 2020, 01:27 pm »
I tried the AQ Diamond USB but I found that a Curious USB from Australia was a lot more satisfying, also very well made.


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Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #25 on: 2 Feb 2021, 02:27 pm »
I just bought an Innuos Zen Mk III streamer so I have been researching USB cables.  In general, the 5 volt power line from computers can carry noise, so a separate/isolated 5 volt wire is good to help isolate the data lines from noise.  Next is to keep the cable as short as possible.  Not always possible when using a laptop, but from one component to another, shorter is better.  My laptop cable is 5 meters, but I rarely use it.

So far I have tried a Pangea (from Audio Advisor), Shunyata Venom, Wireworld Starlight 8 and now a Curious USB from Austrailia.  The big surprise was the Pangea where the width of the soundstage narrowed buy about a foot on each side.  My favorite so far is the Curious USB, but is also the most expensive at $390 for 1m and going up from there.  That's why I tend to buy used.


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Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #26 on: 2 Feb 2021, 04:48 pm »
On the bottom end of the usb cable war I just received a Monolith by Monoprice 2m cable that replaced a Jax data grade 3m cable that replaced a Belden Gold 3m.  About $20 Amazon prime, been running for a couple of weeks now.  OFC with the power lines separately insulated.   My DAC is powered separately so can't comment on the separated power, a little hard and harsh initially, but warmed up in a few hours.  Detailed and revealing, maybe too much.  I run the cable right out of a nondescript HP PC with windows 10 and I'm hearing what sounds like a bit of electrical noise underneath the music that wasn't there with the printer grade cables.   Time for a purifier in line, got one picked out, I'll report on results.   If no improvement maybe it's time to move up to the Straight Wire recommended here.


Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #27 on: 2 Feb 2021, 05:32 pm »
I picked up an Oyaide Neo d+ Class A 1M USB cable based on recommendations and have been pleased with it. For $50-60 it works well with my streamer to DAC.


Re: USB Cable Shootout
« Reply #28 on: 28 Aug 2022, 01:42 am »
Tried Curious, Cardas Hi-speed Clear, Wireworld platinum  8, Audioquest Diamond. Going from Aurender n100c to Holo Spring 3 KTE. Many, many hours of burn-in. Just kept going back to Audioquest…