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Old 2nd May 2010, 10:44 AM   #1
digiman is offline digiman  United Kingdom
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Default Expensive USB cable worth it?

I'm sure I heard on here that there was a heated discussion about whether it makes a difference to buy a high end USB cable, but i can't find the thread...

So, i'm about to get a nice DAC (modified 1796) and was recommended a £100 wireworld starlight usb cable. It's pushing my budget but i don't want to get a really nice DAC and let it down with a cheaper cable (eg a Belkin home theatre usb cable).

My question is; what are your opinions on high end audio usb cables, is there really £100 worth of difference?

I have an Audiolab 8000a amp, and B+W DM2 speakers.

Many thanks for your input.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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I have no doubt that good cables are needed when pushing digital signals through at high rate. However it's hard to tell where "good enough" comes in.

Has any one found a way to see how many packets are dropped through USB?

I have never believed in audiofool cables though.
If it looks good and you think it's worth it then it's your choice.

Then again if a relatively short USB cable of any sort would hinder performance you have bigger problems. Mainly implementation on ether send or receive side.

So I say, start with the cheapest cable you can possibly find and see how it works. If no apparent problems arise then you can look for a good cable that matches the DAC in looks and forget about it.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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Check this link about USB cables: USB cable MATTERS! - Page 2 - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

Also, some of my experiments: AudioSector-chip amp kits, dacs, chassis
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Old 2nd May 2010, 07:21 PM   #4
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I wonder how jitter can have an effect.
Packets are received and CRC checked for integrity.
You also have a header and a tail in each packet, and bit stuffing.

USB Protocol Specification

But what do I know.
I don't like USB particularly well as a time-critical interface, mainly due to bad experience with absolute stability under windows with varying load. But that is probably very computer specific and I guess more important than the cable.
You can't blame the cable if the packet don't get transmitted.

Why can't logical signals be logical to understand?
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