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usb or optical cables ECT, 1.5m, 3m, 5m what is that..

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
so i am looking at getting a usb cable for my DAC and i am asking this because i cant find any info on this. the cables i am looking at say 3m (10 feet) which is longer than 3 meters so i am not sure if that is the length of the cable rounded to the closest meter or something else.
Edited by dannylightning - 2/2/13 at 7:33pm
post #2 of 23
Well 3 meters is 117", or 9' 9". So, yep a pretty close meter.smile.gif
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
i am not sure if it was actually 10 feet i just thew a number in there. but it was something close to 3 meters maybe 9.5 or 10 feet but not exactly 3 meters, they also had 1.5m that was almost 1.5 meters and .75m that was very close to .75 meters.. i think they are just rounding to the closest meter. its just strange they would have a number like 3m and also tell you the length in feet and inches which is not 3 meters..

when i started looking at other brands of audio usb cables they just gave you the length so i figured they were just rounding up to the nearest meter

thanks for the reply
post #4 of 23
Just buy a generic USB cable, not an 'audio' one. Because all you'll be doing them in paying more for the same performance.
If you need something near 3m, buy a 4m one to be sure.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was looking at these audio quest cables, pure silver inside the cable and it was around 1000.00

I found another brand of cable that is also pure silver and it was 100.00 amazon had a 50.00 off your order if u get their credit card so i got the cable for 50.00

I dont know if it will be any better than the cable i have now but i figured whar the heck. I do think a good cable can inprove sound quality a little. So i decided to see what happens. I am a sucker for nice cables for some dumb reason. Ill usually spend 40-80 bucks on a set of cables and they make me happy for some reason

Sent from tapatalk. spelling will probably be worse than usual
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

I am a sucker. Ill usually spend 40-80 bucks on a set of cables and they make me happy for some reason

Agreed.

I sincerily hope that some day you will take a reasonable inventory of your audio system and find something to upgrade that will actually make a positive audible difference.

Right now what you are doing looks to me like waxing a car to make the engine stop running roughly.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
i have a brand new Cambridge integrated amp with a built in DAC and a brand new set of definitive speakers. and i want to see if a better USB cable will make any difference, got lots of loss less wav files of music on the computer so i just upgraded and i am trying to see if i can sweeten up the sound of the computer audio a little further.

as to your comment about waxing a car i am trying to wax that brand new car. right now i am using a USB cable i had laying around the house which that might not be up to the task, i hear you want a fast usb cable and i am sure the one i found is probably a old usb 1.0..
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

i have a brand new Cambridge integrated amp with a built in DAC and a brand new set of definitive speakers. and i want to see if a better USB cable will make any difference, got lots of loss less wav files of music on the computer so i just upgraded and i am trying to see if i can sweeten up the sound of the computer audio a little further.

There is a right way to do what you propose to do. First study up on doing good audio tests - especially under the topic of "Double Blind Listening Tests". Then be prepared to do some real work.
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as to your comment about waxing a car i am trying to wax that brand new car.

Says you. What I see is someone who thinks that something is broken.
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right now i am using a USB cable i had laying around the house which that might not be up to the task,

Do you know how to properly tell whether or not a USB cable is up to the task at hand?

Do you know what an inadequate USB cable sounds like?

Are you going into the woods blindly, or do you know what deer look like?
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I hear you want a fast usb cable and i am sure the one i found is probably a old usb 1.0..

Fact is that an old USB 1.0 cable will probably work just fine unless it is broken or too long.

For one thing most devices with USB ports do fairly comprehensive testing and diagnosis of the cable and the USB device during initial handshaking when you plug it in or when you power it up if it is already plugged in.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
I do think a good cable can inprove sound quality a little.

Then why bother posting in a 'science' forum?
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i hear you want a fast usb cable

Do you know what this means? Do you think the conductors know how 'fast' the signal is?
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
science forum ?, if i am not mistaken this is a audio forum lol

Ok Guys

a fast usb cable would be one that is able to transfer data from the computer to the DAC quickly, and i will be honest, i know nothing about USB cables because i have never had a good DAC before, and after finding out this built in DAC only does 16 Bit audio, which should be fine but allot of them offer 24 bit audio so i guess its not that good after all but it seems to be doing the trick for now, eventually i may try a better DAC, i am one of those people where if i don't try something i will always be wondering about it, just like i will always be wondering if that USB cable Would make a difference or not if i had not bough one, i think i am a bit OCD about some thighs and unfortunately stereo cables are one of those things.

i was reading that a fast USB cable will make a huge improvement and is very important when connecting the dac to the computer with USB, than there is my USB Cable, My USB Cable is from my printer, its probably 10 foot long and solid black with no writing on it so i just assume its probably a really crappy cable and maybe i am not getting as good as performance as i could if i am using a crappy cable, if i can get better performance by adding a 50 dollar cable i think its worth a shot

as for things being broken, to my ear the stereo sounds amazing so that is not the case, if this new cable i ordered does any thing at all as far as improving sound quality even if its a 2% difference than why not, if it does not make any difference i guess i wasted 50 bucks. i look at it this way, would you buy a Porsche and put lousy tires on it, i say the same thing with cables, you spend all the money on the stereo equipment why not run good quality cables and see if you can squeeze out that last little bit of sound that your lousy cables could be restricting. i have always noticed a difference going from your average cable to a nice thick gauge of cable. to me there worth buying and they do make my listening experience just a little better, maybe its all in my head but i always think they sound better with better cables so its worth it to me.

the only thing broken is the way some of these bands record their albums, i have about 10k songs and i would say probably 60% of them are lousy to descent recordings and about 40% of the songs are high quality and sound like a dream on this stereo. i am very happy and i do not feel any thing is broken, i just like to experiment with things and i like to have high performance tires on a high performance vehicle because it drives better that way, just like putting quality cables on a stereo makes it sound better.

my post was because when it comes to USB cables i know nothing about they yet, and i was trying to figure out what the letter m was for in the title of the cables i was looking at, and since i was reading about how important a good fast USB cable is i figured if that m did mean any thing besides the length of the cable i had better find out what it was before i got a cable.

but here in a few days i will find out for my self if the cable does any thing or not. hopefully it will, if not than ill know never to buy a expensive USB cable again..
post #11 of 23
Quote:
science forum ?, if i am not mistaken this is a audio forum lol

You're mistaken...
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a fast usb cable would be one that is able to transfer data from the computer to the DAC quickly,
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and i will be honest, i know nothing about USB cables

good to know.
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i think i am a bit OCD about some thighs and unfortunately stereo cables are one of those things.
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i just assume its probably a really crappy cable and maybe i am not getting as good as performance as i could
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, maybe its all in my head
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the only thing broken is the way some of these bands record their albums

Let me guess...you think you can do a better job....you don't know how a conductor works, but you 're a better recording engineer than everyone else.
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my post was because when it comes to USB cables i know nothing about they yet,

and despite being informed about them in this forum, you ignore all advice and go with your uneducated gut feeling.
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but here in a few days i will find out for my self if the cable does any thing or not

Touch a hot stove, let us know if it burns. wink.gif
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

a fast usb cable would be one that is able to transfer data from the computer to the DAC quickly, and i will be honest, i know nothing about USB cables because i have never had a good DAC before, and after finding out this built in DAC only does 16 Bit audio, which should be fine but allot of them offer 24 bit audio so i guess its not that good after all but it seems to be doing the trick for now, eventually i may try a better DAC, i am one of those people where if i don't try something i will always be wondering about it, just like i will always be wondering if that USB cable Would make a difference or not if i had not bough one, i think i am a bit OCD about some thighs and unfortunately stereo cables are one of those things.

As you may have noticed, talking cables, 24 bit audio or DACs here is like kicking a hornets' nest. This link won't answer all your questions, but it's a good overview of the actual limitations of your ears and why 24 bit is overkill at best and inaudible at worst.
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

The same principles apply to cables too. Yes, silver is the best conductor, but copper conducts nearly as well and is much cheaper. For the same price of a high gauge silver cable, you can get a much lower gauge copper wire, which will perform better than the skinny silver cable, at a fraction of the price. Even at the same gauge, the differences simply cannot be detected by the human ear. With digital cables, there are even fewer benefits. USB digital audio is relatively low bandwidth compared to the maximum bandwidth of copper wire, so a silver wire will not get the 1s and 0s there any faster or better - the speed is limited by the USB standard, not the wire. As long as the digital signal gets where it needs to go intact, which any rated USB 2.0 cable will accomplish, the result will be identical.
Quote:
the only thing broken is the way some of these bands record their albums, i have about 10k songs and i would say probably 60% of them are lousy to descent recordings and about 40% of the songs are high quality and sound like a dream on this stereo. i am very happy and i do not feel any thing is broken, i just like to experiment with things and i like to have high performance tires on a high performance vehicle because it drives better that way, just like putting quality cables on a stereo makes it sound better.

You're absolutely right about the quality of recordings. A lot of albums I used to like now sound like crap to me now that I've gotten used to good recordings on good gear. Your car analogy is flawed, though, because you're forgetting that the most important component is your ears, which have specific limitations that no amount of upgraded gear is ever going to overcome. You're analogy is more like spending 1000% markup on tires that will shave exactly 0.00 seconds off your already stellar lap time.
Edited by JD NC - 2/5/13 at 7:03am
post #13 of 23
Hi Danny,
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

i was reading that a fast USB cable will make a huge improvement and is very important when connecting the dac to the computer with USB, than there is my USB Cable, My USB Cable is from my printer, its probably 10 foot long and solid black with no writing on it so i just assume its probably a really crappy cable and maybe i am not getting as good as performance as i could if i am using a crappy cable, if i can get better performance by adding a 50 dollar cable i think its worth a shot.
As is often the case on the Internet, what you were reading is a myth. Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a "fast" USB cable. There are USB-1, USB-2 and USB-3 cables, but none of them would effect the speed of your transfers.

The "USB Host" determines the speed. The speed will be either "low-speed" (1.5mbps), "full-speed" (12mbps), "high-speed" (480mbps, USB-2 & 3 only) and "super-speed" (~3.2gbps, USB-3 only). The host software will select the fastest speed that your hardware will support, regardless of the cable. In the worst case, the host will use full-speed, which is still more than 5 times faster than you need for 24-bit, 96kHz stereo audio (which typically uses the full-speed isochronous USB protocol).

On top of that, the audio over USB is digital, and therefore the cable has no effect on the quality of the audio. The only time the cable will effect the audio quality is when it is so bad that it causes data-errors, and then what you should hear are drop-outs.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks Mark and JD , the 16/24 bit thing was good to read and its also making me think i probably dont need to spend a bunch of money on a external DAC. also the info on how the usb cables work is great to. much appreciated information..

my point with the tires was handling not quarter mile time but i guess shaving off next to no time in the quarter mile time is more along the lines of what we are talking about there with the cable.

but i already bought it, and as long as it does not sound worse than the cable i have now ill just use it lol.

now let me ask this, what computer player do you guys use. so far i have tried Foobar2000, winamp, a creative player, LVC and windows media player. my CD's are ripped to WAV files and los less. i notice i need to turn the EQ way down on everything or the music sounds over driven i guess you would call it like its playing to loud, my DAC will not allow the ASIO or the WASAPI to be selected with foobar

as of so far i still like windows media player best. the sound is not as dry as some of the other players and it organizes all my music in a nice neat and ordinarily manner and makes it very easy to find the songs or album i want to play, the rest of the players to not seem to do that well.
Edited by dannylightning - 2/5/13 at 6:11pm
post #15 of 23
I use Audirvana Plus. Its relatively cheap and vastly improves the lossless files that I play. It seamlessly integrates with I Tunes. Love it!
post #16 of 23
If you want the best quality USB connection, get cheap cables but buy optical USB isolator. With it you will separate computer from DAC completly. Thus avoiding any noise from computer circuits to reach analog components in your audio system.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

I use Audirvana Plus. Its relatively cheap and vastly improves the lossless files that I play. It seamlessly integrates with I Tunes. Love it!

That looks like its for apple computers only.. i have a Gaming PC Laptop. but thanks for the suggestion.

i got the cable today and it actually made a pretty big difference, the sound is smoother and i guess you say more full and also slightly louder, after what you all said i was not expecting a difference, i listened to a song and than i plugged in the new cable and listened to the same song, my though was well here goes nothing lets see if i wasted 50 bucks as soon as the song came on

so either this cable is actually better or my printer usb cable was on the lousy side..


as far as being a better recording engineer that every one else, i would say i am much better than allot of people , i am a musician, i started writing and recording my own acoustic music, i used a inexpensive digital recorder and the songs i have recorded sound better than some of the CD's that i own. 2 of my friends own recording studios where i have helped out, and i have also ran sound for rock and roll bands many times and i get compliments on how good the band sounded that night. you can find allot of my recordings on myspace music if you search for Danny Lighting. they are not the best but they do sound way better than some of the recordings on quite a few of the CD's that i own..
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

also slightly louder,
Not physically possible
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

so either this cable is actually better or my printer usb cable was on the lousy side.
Simpler answer: Expectation bias.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

I use Audirvana Plus. Its relatively cheap and vastly improves the lossless files that I play. It seamlessly integrates with I Tunes. Love it!

I get a feeling that it either screws with he music or is a placebo. If you like the UI, that is probably all that you actually received that has any value.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Not physically possible
Simpler answer: Expectation bias.

well not louder all the way around, i guess i should say the vocals and mids seem to be brought out more. as far as bass and treble i dont notice anything, i do think there may have been a slight increase in detail to the sound. the difference i am hearing is not a huge difference but i do hear one..

i found this J river audio player program where you can get bit perfect music, it sounds just like windows media player, but there is a crap load of stuff you can do with it. allot of it is junk IMO like adding surround sound and stuff like that, but you can change how many bits the player plays the music at, you can change to different outputs to get bit perfect audio..

like i said the sound is almost identical but when i put it in WASAPI output at 16 bits, i am having a really hard time noticing any difference, if anything the Jriver program in WASAPI might be the slightest bit cleaner ( i think, still not sure)

it has some awesome library organization and what not and 3D album view and what not. its verry cool but its a 50.00 program, it seems like it would be worth it great sound, bit perfect audio and cool features plus some junk features as well, but i am not sure i want to spend the money on that for the slightest little bit of cleaner sound i think i hear and cool looking ways to view your media, than again who knows, maybe ill buy it., i got the free trial you get all the features for a month or two or what ever it is.. so far i really like it but not sure its actually worth the money.

the only thing i have a issue with on my stereo now is some harshness in cymbals, some albums are bad, other albums they sound very smooth.. its got me wondering if its a lousy DAC or if its just the album, most albums have a bit of harshness to the big cymbal crashes especially, but besides that i am liking this new stereo more and more every day and i am very happy, i lived with that Denon DRA-397 and the energy C-200 book shelf speakers for 5 or 6 years and i was never quite happy but i was on a low budget when i got that stuff after it replaced some really nice stuff that went or was going bad. the new stereo is so much better it's not even funny, i am so glad i broke down and spent the money. getting the speakers on close out for 200.00 bucks each brand new in the box really sweetened the deal, i still have a hard time believing i got them that cheap
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Not physically possible
Simpler answer: Expectation bias.

well not louder all the way around, i guess i should say the vocals and mids seem to be brought out more.

I do think there may have been a slight increase in detail to the sound. the difference i am hearing is not a huge difference but i do hear one..

It has to be expectation bias because there is no way that the digital signal can be affected that way by a USB cable. No way at all!
Quote:
the only thing i have a issue with on my stereo now is some harshness in cymbals, some albums are bad, other albums they sound very smooth.. its got me wondering if its a lousy DAC or if its just the album, most albums have a bit of harshness to the big cymbal crashes especially, but besides that i am liking this new stereo more and more every day and i am very happy,

Since you don't have an AVR with a decent equalizer (and no hope of bass management for adding a subwoofer down the road) your remaining option is to find a music player that has an equalizer. There may be an equalizer in the software for the audio interface in your PC.

If you are running windows there is a music player called FOOBAR2000 that is a free download and has options to do everything but eat.

If you have an equalizer in your system my advice would be first try to turn it down about 3 dB around 8 KHz. This will reduce harshness.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It has to be expectation bias because there is no way that the digital signal can be affected that way by a USB cable. No way at all!
Since you don't have an AVR with a decent equalizer (and no hope of bass management for adding a subwoofer down the road) your remaining option is to find a music player that has an equalizer. There may be an equalizer in the software for the audio interface in your PC.

If you are running windows there is a music player called FOOBAR2000 that is a free download and has options to do everything but eat.

If you have an equalizer in your system my advice would be first try to turn it down about 3 dB around 8 KHz. This will reduce harshness.

i actually have a sub, these bipolar definitive speakers actually sound like they have small subs in them but they do not. with these speakers i have mu sub turned off, the speakers have so much bass i need to turn the volume on the sub way up or i cant hear the sub. with the old speakers i used my sub. its just a polk psw 250 that some one gave me, it sounded way better for music than the klipsch 12 inch reference sub that i had so i sold the klipsch and i have been extremely happy with the little 8 inch polk sub ever since. the klipsch sub was super amazing for movies but very muddy for music, i rarely watch movies

i do have a EQ on windows media player, it only needs to be adjusted slightly, i have been playing with it non stop for a few days and i keep going back to the setting that is lightly EQ'd where i boosted the low lows, and turned 1k down 1db. than boosted the 2 sliders on the high end of treble up 2db and left the rest flat. i cant get a more well rounded or smoother sound out of the many types of music i listen to. set like this it sounds good for every thing, other ways it seems to sound good for rock but bad for bluegrass and country, and so on..

i did try foobar but i find it to be a pain and not manage my media well also it sounded kind of dry and boring, maybe there is something i can do to change that but as of so far i am not a fan of foobar, ill play with it some more though..

maybe the cable did not do any thing but it seemed like it did so i am not complaining even if it is just my imagination, at least i think its better so i don't feel like i thew money away..
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just dropped all the EQ sliders down by 3 points fom where it was so most of the sliders are at -3 and that really did help get rid of the harsh crash cymbals. next i dropped them down to -5 and it sounded like crap. so i moved them back up. and its sounding great

thanks for that suggestion. it actually helped
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