I too am using the curious usb cable for many months now and have been happy with it until recently, when a friend brought over the jcat reference usb for testing. What the jcat brought to my system was a livelier bass (more punch and articulation) and took away the mid bass bloom the curious had. I also liked that the presentation was slightly more laid back, giving the feel of increased depth (my room is small, so this is welcomed).
I was pretty much convinced that I would get the jcat usb until I looked up its price (€499/1m). That kinda halted me and pinged me to relook my options. Could you let me know what characteristics the twl usb has over the curious in terms of stage depth and bass?
I have the 7+, 10+ and gold statement in my system so I know the sonic signature of them analog cables, just not too sure about usb. I find digital can be a bit tricky and in my personal experience, an 'award winning' company who does good analog cables can sometimes also produce sub-par digital cables (not referring to twl).
I am working with a number of USB cables at present to find the best sound for my system.
I am feeding a macbook pro via USB
to a Wyred Recovery which has a Linear PSU with a TWL Digital American PC
to a Hegel H360
Firstly, at this level "preference" is mostly system tuning/matching and personal taste IMO
First, the Curious USB cable is very fine for $100. I like the sound. If you have a bright room, or a forward sounding system that is perhaps "too revealing" at times - meaning fatiguing or perhaps makes bad recordings really obviously bad sounding, I think the curious cables are going to help.
I have used the TWL Cable for a few days.
The TWL 16" Discreet cables was superior to the Curious, it has more PRAT, tighter but less pronouced bass with less bloom, and snares, symbols, etc have much more life up top. However, the balance shifts up when using it - the combination of less bass bloom, and more treble detail makes it sound a bit more forward in comparison. Absolutely NOT a bad thing, but it depends on your ancillaries and room. Even with a bright room and a preference for the "curious type sound" the TWL beat it out within a few hours, and the Curious was sold.
The TWL is not fatiguing on the face of it, it is neutral, clear, but after a while, it is not my favorite cable so far, given my bright room and my personal taste (I loved the PRAT and the detail, but I felt it left the bass behind- it was tighter but less bloom - more drum head hitting, more finger plucky, but less whomp
ambience, room shaking from bass lines, which I like)
I have some cables I prefer, but they are significantly more expensive.
To this point, I find that Dana Cables USB (700 Euro +) and Total Dac D1 cables (350 euro) are both better IMO.
They have all of the clarity of the TWL with more slam and a more organic sound that is NEVER
They are also, as mentioned 2X - 4X the price and my copies are better broken in, so the TWL main gain some ground as it continues to do it's thing.
It should also be noted that these particular cables I am comparing to are seen as VERY good for their MUCH higher prices, they are the cream of the crop IMO - so I bet TWL would whallop the "average $400 cable"
So , I am still burning in the TWL more to give it a fairer take.