What brand USB cable are you guys using..??

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Delta77

What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« on: 18 Jul 2019, 08:10 pm »
Help with choosing a USB cable..
 What brand USB cable are you guys using.. I'm going to put in between my new Innuos ZEN and my OPPO 205..
I'm debating a few different brands ..

Curious , Triode Wire Labs, DH Labs (mirage)..

 It seems to me the Curious cable will work with a larger verity of systems..
I'm looking for a wide, full sound-stage, then second most important aspect needs to be the focus of instruments on stage, third would be the 3D aspect to the stage..

Budget is $300-$600 for a 1.5 meter USB cable..

Almost forgot to ask your guys opinion on a decent Ethernet cable as well.???

Thanks guys for your advise (where else would I go)..

Speedskater

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jul 2019, 08:41 pm »
For any interconnect cables, either analog or digital, I would stick with Blue Jeans Cable.
Kurt Denke @BJC, is becoming the new cable expert. (as all the other experts are well past retirement age)

WGH

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #2 on: 18 Jul 2019, 09:23 pm »
I use the JMaxwell USB, http://www.jmaxwellusb.com/ it is the best sounding USB for my system. I used the Schiit USB (rebranded Staightwire) for years and the JMaxwell is clearly better. Once, when I was troubleshooting my music server I switched USB cables, when everything was working again the music still didn't sound right, it was flat with attenuated bass, then I remembered the Schiit was still in the loop, after replacing the USB with the JMaxwell the magic was back. That was a totally blind test and I passed.

I would definitely try many USB cables, every system is different. I demoed the Danacable TruStream USB ($895.00) for 10 days and it was not a good match for my system so price is not a guarantee of synergy.

The Danacable TruStream USB is well made with woven shimmering graphite colored jacket that is very flexible, it reminds me of a snake. I would describe the sound as laid back, with a rear of hall perspective. Highs are ever so slightly attenuated and bass is accented resulting in a warm rounded sound. Smooth too, with a refined presentation with no particular frequency given prominence.

A little too smooth in my system. The center image was also more diffuse but with a wider soundstage, similar to sitting farther back in a concert. A friend borrowed the Danacable TruStream USB and it worked very well with the Nola KO speakers that already have a big soundstage because of their open back design.

Years ago, before I had the JMaxwell USB, our Tucson audio group compared the Danacable TruStream USB to a Nobility USB, Supra USB, Schiit USB (rebranded Straightwire USB-Link), and a Curious Cable. Three different systems yielded three different preferences: I preferred the Straightwire, Ben liked the Curious Cable in his system, and Ken thinks the TruStream USB sounded the best at his house.

In a bright, analytical or edgy digital system the Danacable TruStream USB will bring that certain magic. Classical music lovers will also love this cable. We played Fanfare for the Common Man by Copeland at lifelike levels and it sounded jaw dropping so if you listen to music real loud then the TruStream USB is the cable for you.

It appears there is no one cable that is perfect for everyone, there are so many variables that the only sure way to audio bliss is to try out as may cables as you can. For me, the JMaxwell USB makes my stereo sing, the JMaxwell USB is also available in standard and data only, which removes one more point where noise can enter and is the cable I use.

charmerci

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #3 on: 18 Jul 2019, 10:32 pm »
I too would suggest the Shiit Psyt/Straightwire cable. At $20, at least it's a great starting point comparison. I have another $100+ one and I'm not sure it's slightly better performance is better or worth it.

wushuliu

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #4 on: 18 Jul 2019, 11:00 pm »
I've mentioned it before but it's worth repeating: don't forget that USB 3.0 cables exist. In my experience generic USB 3 cables are better then generic USB 2.0 and come close or equal budget boutique cables, depending on your preferences.

Tyson

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #5 on: 18 Jul 2019, 11:13 pm »
I like the iFi USB cables.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #6 on: 19 Jul 2019, 12:04 am »
I know that a lot of people will tell you to use cheap USB cables and that they do not sound different.  I use to think the same thing until we did a usb cable shoot out at my house in my system which consists of a Luxman DA-06 DAC, Pass X250 amp, BAT VK51se pre and Magnepan 1.6 speakers with dual subs.  My system is very revealing and sensitive to cable changes.  My friend calls my system the truth.

I posted about this before.  The usb cables used were a $600 Wire World Platinum, $600 Lightspeed, $120 Wire World Starlight Red and a cheap Pangea silver less than $100.  It was an eye opening experience.  The WW Platinum sounded the best- resolving neutral with a hint of warmth, detailed, clear and smooth or liquid sounding.  The Lightspeed had the most detail and resolution but it was ear bleeding bright.  The WW Red sounded veiled and dark in comparison to the Platinum.  The Pangea was bright, rough and thin sounding.  The differences were not subtle. 

Interestingly when we inserted and Uptone Regen, it improved the sound on all the cables.  It brought the sound of the WW Red almost to the level  of the Platinum.  The Lightspeed was less bright but it was still bright.  The pangea was less bright but it was still very thin and tinny sounding.

Another interesting thing is that the guy that owns both the Platinum and Lightspeed is that in his system the Lightspeed sounds better than thee Platinum and it does not sound bright.  His DAC's are a Hugo Chord and a T+A DAC8.

Clearly, this shows that usb cables can and do sound different but it is clearly system dependent.  Sometimes they will and sometimes they will not sound different. 

In our shoot out, we had no preconceived notions and the differences were dramatic.  If I did not have a Regen I would have dropped $600 for the WW Platinum as it was that good in my system.

You may want to take advantage of the Cable Company.  With a deposit, they will loan you up to 5 cables to try at home.  They do not have all cables in their loaner library however.

https://www.thecableco.com/

By the way, I bought this Straight Wire usb cable and sent it back as it was way too bright sounding-

https://www.thecableco.com/usbf-link-usb-2-0.html

Larry

Mike B.

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #7 on: 19 Jul 2019, 04:17 pm »
I agree about the sonic benefits of the Regen.

gab

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #8 on: 19 Jul 2019, 05:34 pm »
original Uptone Regen or the ISO Regen?

WGH

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #9 on: 19 Jul 2019, 06:12 pm »
I agree about the sonic benefits of the Regen.

It all depends on your source. One advantage to to belonging to the Tucson Audiophiles is we get to listen to the same component in members homes. A few years ago we tried out the Audioquest Jitterbug, Uptone Regen and Intona in different homes and the results were system dependent, some good, some bad.

In the final analysis we discovered that the cleaner your power supply and electronics, the more harm these devices do. I have 3 linear regulated power supplies plugged into a Felix http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=25757.0 powering my custom music server and each of the 3 filters made the sound worse. As our members upgrade their power supplies and music servers they end up selling their filters. Nobody in our group are using the filters anymore.

Bill O'Connell

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jul 2019, 07:01 pm »

Tyson

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jul 2019, 07:05 pm »
It all depends on your source. One advantage to to belonging to the Tucson Audiophiles is we get to listen to the same component in members homes. A few years ago we tried out the Audioquest Jitterbug, Uptone Regen and Intona in different homes and the results were system dependent, some good, some bad.

In the final analysis we discovered that the cleaner your power supply and electronics, the more harm these devices do. I have 3 linear regulated power supplies plugged into a Felix http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=25757.0 powering my custom music server and each of the 3 filters made the sound worse. As our members upgrade their power supplies and music servers they end up selling their filters. Nobody in our group are using the filters anymore.

Agreed.  I got rid of all filters in my main system after I got a PS Audio P5 as well as a DAC that was galvanically isolated on all inputs. 

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #12 on: 19 Jul 2019, 07:18 pm »
original Uptone Regen or the ISO Regen?

Uptone Regen.

The Regen does not always improve the sound.  I brought mine over to a friends house to try with his Hegel 160 integrated with built in DAC and it smoothed over the sound too much and it sounded worse.  But I do know that it sounds good with several DAC's.

iFi David

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #13 on: 19 Jul 2019, 08:17 pm »
I like the iFi USB cables.

We like ours as well, but plenty good and affordable ones out there to choose from.

jd3

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #14 on: 19 Jul 2019, 08:48 pm »
I’m alternating Acoustic BBQ and Curious cables.  Also have an Oyaide that I occasionally use.

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #15 on: 19 Jul 2019, 10:36 pm »
I'm using the dB Audio Labs Essential USB cable.  I'm still running a Tranquility SE DAC that has been updated to the latest (more or less) production revision.  End to end - mac mini, Essential USB cable, Tranquility SE DAC - it really is a nice evenly balanced (regarding the sound; the DAC is single ended) front end.  The cable really plays to the strengths of the DAC, as one would think it should considering they were designed as a set.

I just got a TWL discrete USB cable (1.5m) to try out as an upgrade (I've got TWL cables for the analog side of my signal path and most of the power cables are TWL either digital or digital high power).  The TWL USB cable in my system I think was just a wee bit too much of a good thing.  The top end was really a step above for me compared to the Essential USB cable - clarity and space between the notes in particular.  The challenge for my system was that the TWL cable was a bit lean in the midrange and low end. 

This is all really system dependent, but if I were running a pair of speakers that hit harder down low or had more extension than 40-50Hz (bookshelves) or if I was handing off low end duties to a subwoofer(s), the TWL cable would be a great fit - no contest.  For my humble cobbled together setup as-is, I put the Essential USB cable back in place.  I think for me the TWL cable being a bit too much secret sauce might have to do with my preamp - I'm running a Bent TAP-X with silver Slagleformers.  If I was running the same pre with copper Slagleformers, I think the change to the TWL might have been just right.

Hope that helps a little in your search.

Jon 

richidoo

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #16 on: 20 Jul 2019, 12:48 am »
I upgraded from stock Auralic USB cable to the Curious .2m  It was a nice improvement.
There was a .8m for sale on trading post recently.

kmmd

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #17 on: 20 Jul 2019, 05:51 pm »
I went from a WireWorld Silver Starlight USB to the Curious Cable and haven’t looked back.  During my journey, I started to experiment with the Uptone Regen, Intona and Wyred 4 Sound Recovery.  All of them changed the sound, but things didn’t sound right with any of them.  In my system, the Uptone probably sounded the best, but it seemed to just add gain to the signal.  All of them got yanked and now gaining dust.

My signal chain starts with a Mid 2011 Mac Mini with internal and external SSD’s powered by a Paul Hynes SR7 power supply (took over two years to receive but well worth it).  I’m using Roon mostly but have Amarra Luxe and J River 25. That goes to a Schiit Yggy by Curious USB.  The Yggy goes to my VAC directly.  All of my interconnects are Wireworld Platinum and Gold Eclipses.

Over time, I’ve invested in equipment that can be upgraded.  I bought the first version of the Schiit Yggy and was able to upgrade to the USB Gen 5 board at home.  That got rid of all of the add ons.  Then came the Analog 2 upgrade.  I shipped the DAC back to Schiit and arranged to pick it up when I was down in So Cal.  It was a very smooth and easy process.  My other upgradeable component is the Theta Digital Casablanca pre/pro.  I bought the IIIHD and upgraded to the IVa and new D3 DAC card.  While not cheap, I feel that it is a unit that I won’t have to change for years.

Now I have all the extras seen below.  If anyone is interested, please feel free to send a PM.

Ken




iFi David

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Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #18 on: 20 Jul 2019, 10:38 pm »
Curious cables. 

Yup, I've heard many good things about this one as well.

ajzepp

Re: What brand USB cable are you guys using..??
« Reply #19 on: 21 Jul 2019, 12:04 am »
I agree about the sonic benefits of the Regen.

Same. I don't care what Amir at Audio Science Review says...this thing is legit. I have to spend some time with just the Regen vs Regen + LPS, which is what I'm currently using, but this product is fantastic.