AES vs USB

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schmidtmike76

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AES vs USB
« on: 7 Aug 2019, 12:47 pm »
Going into the BDA3 same Nordost Hemidall 2 cord.  Observations AES = more body, mid range is darker a tad, music is slower and losses a bit of the sparkle but reaches out from my focal 1027be. I found a bit of the tiny nuances disappear.  USB = cleaner, faster less mid bloom bass but recessed back to the speaker.  Anyone else find these observations. 
AES dominated the bottom mid range
USB dominates the top end sparkle

gbaby

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #1 on: 7 Aug 2019, 01:18 pm »
Going into the BDA3 same Nordost Hemidall 2 cord.  Observations AES = more body, mid range is darker a tad, music is slower and losses a bit of the sparkle but reaches out from my focal 1027be. I found a bit of the tiny nuances disappear.  USB = cleaner, faster less mid bloom bass but recessed back to the speaker.  Anyone else find these observations. 
AES dominated the bottom mid range
USB dominates the top end sparkle

Fundamentally, I agree with your observation, but I think that whether you are to use USB or AES is recording dependent.

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #2 on: 7 Aug 2019, 01:51 pm »
Absolutely correct.  With both cords being pricy I have to pick one.  Needless to say I’m having a difficult time choosing one

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #3 on: 7 Aug 2019, 04:09 pm »
agree with both posters.
it is record-dependent, so buy both cheaply, and have fun.

Speedskater

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #4 on: 7 Aug 2019, 05:58 pm »
Audibly differences like those indicate that there is something very wrong with one of your intecronnect systems.

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #5 on: 7 Aug 2019, 09:17 pm »
I'm not surprised that the OP heard diffs between his USB and AES cables.
They are built to entirely diff specs -- 90 vs 110 ohm impedances, for e.g.
(And AES has double the voltage of "standard" RCA SPDIF cables.)


schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #6 on: 8 Aug 2019, 01:32 am »
Another post, a poster is correct the AES is adding colour in the mid bottom taking from the top sparkle.  Bryston you got one heck of a USB interface here.  Thumbs up!

zoom25

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #7 on: 8 Aug 2019, 02:47 am »
In my system of BDP-1 and non Bryston DAC (both USB and AES inputs), whenever USB is involved at any stage, the sound always gets brighter. Whether it's feeding MPD in BDP-1 via NAS or USB drives, or feeding the DAC via USB from either my computers or even BDP-1's USB. I do have a Jitterbug on the iMac USB output to DAC which reduces the brightness.

As more and more USB is involved, the sound gets livelier/brighter and the plane of the sound moves up. As I continue to reduce USB throughout the sound gets less livelier/brighter and the plane of the sound from which it emerges moves back and the sound gets wider with more ease and space. It's less in your face. I wonder if it's the noise of the USB influencing the sound? Rob Watts of Chord has made several comments about how the sound can change from RF noise and that it can make things brighter which some people might prefer, even if more distorted:

His comments on Jitterbug: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-230

Other compilation post: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-94#post-12262339

With full range music it can be hard to decide what's more accurate or what sounds better. I have flip-flopped many times depending on the day/mood/material. However, when I playback straight vocals without any background music or instruments and just focus on the human voice, the setup with more USB involvement always loses. You can hear this extra glare and body on the voice. However, with full music it can sometimes sound a bit more exciting (at least for awhile). Of course this may be system dependent.

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #8 on: 8 Aug 2019, 11:55 am »
In my system of BDP-1 and non Bryston DAC (both USB and AES inputs), whenever USB is involved at any stage, the sound always gets brighter. Whether it's feeding MPD in BDP-1 via NAS or USB drives, or feeding the DAC via USB from either my computers or even BDP-1's USB. I do have a Jitterbug on the iMac USB output to DAC which reduces the brightness.

As more and more USB is involved, the sound gets livelier/brighter and the plane of the sound moves up. As I continue to reduce USB throughout the sound gets less livelier/brighter and the plane of the sound from which it emerges moves back and the sound gets wider with more ease and space. It's less in your face. I wonder if it's the noise of the USB influencing the sound? Rob Watts of Chord has made several comments about how the sound can change from RF noise and that it can make things brighter which some people might prefer, even if more distorted:

His comments on Jitterbug: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-230

Other compilation post: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-94#post-12262339

With full range music it can be hard to decide what's more accurate or what sounds better. I have flip-flopped many times depending on the day/mood/material. However, when I playback straight vocals without any background music or instruments and just focus on the human voice, the setup with more USB involvement always loses. You can hear this extra glare and body on the voice. However, with full music it can sometimes sound a bit more exciting (at least for awhile). Of course this may be system dependent.
boom 100% correct there.  Where I’m really divided is some of the little nuances from the AES disappear while the sparkle remains on the USB.  I’m going to listen take notes and compare maybe years on the focals my ears need a re training for comfort. 

gbaby

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #9 on: 8 Aug 2019, 04:06 pm »
boom 100% correct there.  Where I’m really divided is some of the little nuances from the AES disappear while the sparkle remains on the USB.  I’m going to listen take notes and compare maybe years on the focals my ears need a re training for comfort.

Isn't it nice to have options? :D

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #10 on: 8 Aug 2019, 04:25 pm »
In my system, I don't miss any "sparkle" or detailing when using AES with BDA-3. That DAC improved my soundstage -- it's deeper -- vs. my older BDA-1.

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #11 on: 8 Aug 2019, 05:01 pm »
I’m bouncing around with it.  I can’t fully say I’m losing information from the AES it’s just a more mellow version that’s more spread out and a little darker.  I don’t want to keep both cables that’s way to much money to be sitting doing nothing. 

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #12 on: 8 Aug 2019, 05:15 pm »
Using cables to tune the sound isn't always a good idea. Pick the most transparent cable.

alexone

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #13 on: 8 Aug 2019, 07:20 pm »
mike76,

did you try a bnc cable?

al.

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #14 on: 9 Aug 2019, 12:09 am »
After some critical listening it’s the AES that I’ll stick with.  it has the nuances but spreads out from the speaker filling the room.  The USB is better up top but recedes back to the speaker.  Both are winners but the AES is less fatiguing over the long term.  I’m happy

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #15 on: 9 Aug 2019, 12:20 am »
After some critical listening it’s the AES that I’ll stick with.  it has the nuances but spreads out from the speaker filling the room.  The USB is better up top but recedes back to the speaker.  Both are winners but the AES is less fatiguing over the long term.  I’m happy

Same here. Soundstage is my top priority, esp with the musik I listen to most often. AES does it best, imho. BNC a close second. USB I reserve only for the few DSD-64 albums I have.

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #16 on: 9 Aug 2019, 12:21 pm »
Same here. Soundstage is my top priority, esp with the musik I listen to most often. AES does it best, imho. BNC a close second. USB I reserve only for the few DSD-64 albums I have.
A week ago I wouldn’t have agreed.  Im a reformed man AES it is.  It just a fuller level handed sound that does everything well and nothing bad.  USB does lots right but pulls back a bit.  If you never a/b two of the same digital cords USB is still a winner

CanadianMaestro

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #17 on: 9 Aug 2019, 12:53 pm »
A week ago I wouldn’t have agreed.  Im a reformed man AES it is.  It just a fuller level handed sound that does everything well and nothing bad.  USB does lots right but pulls back a bit.  If you never a/b two of the same digital cords USB is still a winner

I prefer to live with a cable for weeks, sometimes months, just enjoyin' the musik, not worrying about A/B or nit pickin' evals. Just me, that's all.  :dunno:

gbaby

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #18 on: 12 Aug 2019, 05:34 pm »
After some critical listening it’s the AES that I’ll stick with.  it has the nuances but spreads out from the speaker filling the room.  The USB is better up top but recedes back to the speaker.  Both are winners but the AES is less fatiguing over the long term.  I’m happy

Why don't you use both USB and AES and keep both cables?

schmidtmike76

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Re: AES vs USB
« Reply #19 on: 13 Aug 2019, 12:08 pm »
I haven’t tried the BNC yet.  I can’t justify having two cables at that dollar value sitting with one doing nothing.  In a perfect world that would be too easy.  I am quite enjoying the AES over the USB it just has more body and soul to it.  I will be doing a upgrade in the fall for that AES cable.