Author Topic: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable  (Read 9817 times)

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 10:10:51 AM »
Ask someone to swap the cables for you, make some notes, swap again, rinse and repeat and see whether these notes correlate to the cables.
I would like to do this at some stage. Do you want to volunteer as cable-changer..? :mates:

 If you are able to notice these differences in your DAC it might entirely be due to that the USB implementation is less robust or of an earlier generation which could make these differences more audible using different cables.

Differences are clear to hear on the NFB11.32 which uses an older VIA USB interface rather than newer XMOS or Amanero. It is still a very high quality USB implementation though. I hear NO differences when swopping cables to the Benchmark however, which is now 12 years old!

You have an USB->SPDIF converter. Why not try the same experiment on the Audio-GD DAC using different coax cables as the Audio-GDs generally use good SPDIF interface ICs. My take is that you would hear more differences in swapping the transport.

I have used the SPDIF input with the NFB11 and it is excellent (Toshiba I believe). I have not listened critically for differences however. Another project...

 It devalues engineering to absurdity and also leaves our hobby open to ridicule.

Don't take it personally...but I agree with you. Unfortunately it may already be too late...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 10:20:23 AM by capetownwatches »

Online pwatts

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 10:16:17 AM »
An interesting experiment when it comes to USB cables would be to use the supersilver stuff only for the power and ground but not the data signals. In many USB designs even those that are self-powered still draw some marginal current from the host. By separating those and testing empirically it could perhaps start to give some insight on the issues.

Offline ScottulusMaximus

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 10:35:45 AM »
So this thread is not really about hearing differences in digital signal cables as many people do manage to hear these differences and since audio is transmitted through a chain between source and destination, any change in the chain is going to have an impact to a degree on the sound.

If you follow this thought back then streaming audio would sound different over fibre, ADSL or LTE... Hell if Tidal changed an ethernet cable in their data centre audiophiles the world over would hear it! It doesn't, because digital transmission doesn't work this way.

It's a 1 or a 0, klaar, and if the 1 or 0 gets messed around with to the extent the DAC doesn't know what it is then you won't just get a loss in "detail"(or clarity, or fluidity or whatever :cr@p: the salesman claims) it could be a bit that drops the sound completely or you'll get pops, distortions, bangs, anything. Thinking that a messed up bit will always be the least significant shows a fundamental misunderstanding of digital signal transmission.

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2019, 10:48:15 AM »
In order to get the benefit of these super USB cables, you must first change the USB sockets on your PC motherboards and DAC's to pure-silver/cryogenically-treated types.


Offline DACMan1

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2019, 10:56:03 AM »
If you follow this thought back then streaming audio would sound different over fibre, ADSL or LTE... Hell if Tidal changed an ethernet cable in their data centre audiophiles the world over would hear it! It doesn't, because digital transmission doesn't work this way.

It's a 1 or a 0, klaar, and if the 1 or 0 gets messed around with to the extent the DAC doesn't know what it is then you won't just get a loss in "detail"(or clarity, or fluidity or whatever :cr@p: the salesman claims) it could be a bit that drops the sound completely or you'll get pops, distortions, bangs, anything. Thinking that a messed up bit will always be the least significant shows a fundamental misunderstanding of digital signal transmission.

Or if you have an external hard drive the USB cable will change the way your photos look. The human mind is incredibly suggestible, which is why placebos actually sometimes work (although it never works for cancer).

Online chrisc

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Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2019, 03:19:44 PM »
The Hibiki Audio Club have their meetings on a Sunday, and spent some time with this cable. 
Here is his (Taeko) email to me.  A Minka is a traditional Japanese house and in the evening, you serve tea



Mr Chris, hello again
The club has its regular-meeting at Hinata's Minka once more and after Konbanwa and tea, we assembled to hear the Valve amplifier, the Leben Audio clone that has been featured this year and designed by Mr Hyodo.  This is very well received and the chairman complimented the builders team on an exemplary unit.

Sava again said he had altered the USB cable I told you about.  Following the recommendation from the engineer, he introduced a shield to cover the data cables.  This is grounded at the DAC end and we again had the Kyodo Denshi Engineering Co DAC which so proved it worth very so good in listening tests.

The music ranged from some severe classical to an entry of Kaito Drums same as I have sent you, much dynamic and punch with timbres to die for.   After some discussion, no-one could hear any slight difference.   Hinata has this Audioquest Diamond, which I shudder to tell you the price - you won't like it I am sure.  Again, there were 22 members all told and 8 claimed with most certainty that all sounded the same.  The others preferred the Diamond and the unshielded silver USB.   These better than the standard one that came with the Kyodo, although much acclaimed.

So there you have it, we left all thinking that goodness, Hinata is lucky to buy the Diamond cable.   What it is made of no-one knows, but is 60,000 Yen which is not a casual purchase to be sure.
Music is the shorthand of emotion

Offline ronman

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2019, 10:51:18 AM »
Interesting
I too dabbled with various USB cables a while ago. I didn't want to believe there would be a difference, but from my experience there can be.
End of the day I landed up buying a few Atlas USB cables. Before listening trials, I really wanted the silver construction Kimber Kable USB but for the price tag (R9000) over the Atlas (R2000), the Atlas was better "value for money".  I could not hear any difference between these 2 brands, so the extra expense wasn't justified.
I remember using the Atlas for a few days, swapping those out to the standard issue cheapie cable, and SQ had degraded horridly. As I didn't want to be hearing things to justify the capital outlay, I had friends over who could also tell the difference between the Atlas and the cheapie cable. That sealed the deal.
 
Should any of the Japanese USB cables become available, I would be keen to lay my hands on a pair too.   

Online Carnajo

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2019, 04:10:55 PM »
I can get that a silver headphone cable can sound different (it has a lower resistance, so the impedance of the system changes and this may affect what you hear, perhaps even it is just a smidge louder so sounds "better") but I just can't get that a silver USB cable would sound better. Wouldn't there be a buffer anyway so even if the silver usb cable helped reduced errors requiring re-transmission it wouldn't be much of a difference?

Offline El Sid

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2019, 02:02:29 PM »
I can get that a silver headphone cable can sound different (it has a lower resistance, so the impedance of the system changes and this may affect what you hear, perhaps even it is just a smidge louder so sounds "better") but I just can't get that a silver USB cable would sound better. Wouldn't there be a buffer anyway so even if the silver usb cable helped reduced errors requiring re-transmission it wouldn't be much of a difference?

Again with the logic and physics 😉😂😂

Offline DACMan1

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2019, 02:11:03 PM »
I can get that a silver headphone cable can sound different (it has a lower resistance, so the impedance of the system changes and this may affect what you hear, perhaps even it is just a smidge louder so sounds "better") but I just can't get that a silver USB cable would sound better. Wouldn't there be a buffer anyway so even if the silver usb cable helped reduced errors requiring re-transmission it wouldn't be much of a difference?
Yup, except in some very poor implementations.

Also - most USB audio implementations use Isochronous transfer mode - errors can be detected and packets discarded, but won't be retransmitted. Most people will notice 1024 bytes going missing in an audio stream, especially if it happens regularly.

Online Carnajo

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2019, 02:30:02 PM »
Again with the logic and physics 😉😂😂

Donít get me wrong, Iím not saying I believe a silver headphone cable makes a difference. Just saying I *could* accept the argument that people hear a difference in A/B testing but not because silver is special, just that *perhaps* it makes a slight dB difference due to resistance, but so would a thicker copper cable.

Offline Ampdog

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2019, 02:52:03 AM »
. . . .  the speaker mentioned that there are various phenomena that can be distinguished by human ears but cannot be measured with conventional instruments. 

If he referred to phenomena pertaining to the reproduction and/or perception of music - Bunk. With all due respect to the speaker, I would have liked him to point out such. (I am referring to measuring instrumentation of say, the past ten years.)

Quote
He was specifically referring to . . . .  the effect of chokes and filters at the end of a Class D amplifier.

Chokes are part of such filters. Again with due respect, if he was referring to timing issues and such that were audible to human hearing but not measurable, likewise.  [I did my thesis on digital audio work, including audible effects caused by sampling filters at the end of digital amplifiers. All of that was clearly measurable by instrumentation, even in those years. (Just for the record, I got a modest 100% for my thesis, so I must have done something right . . .)]

(Caveat:  I do not know the speaker and am not diminishing him or his knowledge. I simply refer to the quoted remarks.)

I would further add with reference to hearing tests, it is known that, even with blind tests, suggestivity and brain-expectation can play a role unless a number of tests has been performed. One is surprised that so rarely in audio tests, the changeability of hearing remains unmentioned as a factor. For all its wonderful characteristics, hearing is a relatively poor measuring instrument.
Audio must be the only branch of engineering where lack of basics' knowledge is considered a superior form of wisdom. (Anon)

Offline Katji

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2019, 08:37:02 AM »
Proliferation of pseudo-science is one of the social effects of internet, of anyone being able to publish anything. 

Quote
not because silver is special, just that *perhaps* it makes a slight dB difference due to resistance, but so would a thicker copper cable.
Below a certain point, it makes no difference.  The physics of electricity in this context is fully sorted out, it's not a work-in-progress like quantum physics.  That is how we came to have speakers/transducers in the first place.  It is a long time since electricity was first used, long since it was used in audio, it's not like something has been overlooked all that time.

Online Nikkel

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2020, 01:40:21 PM »
Just made my very 1st snake oil purchase :point: Got it more out of curiosity :angel:

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Offline capetownwatches

Re: Tip from a Japanese audiophile - silver USB cable
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2020, 03:09:16 PM »
We await listening impressions!
I have a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable and my cognitive biases love it... :winkwink: