Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Des Moines Iowa
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Audioquest Forest USB VS Wireworld Starlight 8
I am posting this for those curious how these cables react to a combination of a Bryston BDP2 to Benchmark DAC 3 - two highly regarded components. When researching this myself I found very little info about how cables matched individual components. This refers to music through loudspeakers (Revel F206s) and not headphones.
The music was streamed from Tidal at their highest level (other than MQA).
I have had the (not Forest/Amazon) for around 18 months as it was recommended as a affordable good quality cable by publications like The Ultimate Sound.
It is a great cable and after comparing to two other more expensive cables is still my reference. These are its strengths-
Wide Sound stage
Precise instrument placement
Great tone, timbre for instruments
Great at revealing details.
When I tried the 4x pricier offering also from Audioquest, the Carbon, all the above changed for the worse. I bought from an authorized dealer through Amazon but wonder if it was somehow defective or even counterfeit. It sounded that poorly in my system.
The WW Starlight 8, also more expensive than the Forest but less than the Carbon, was much more competitive.
Sound stage sounded the same so that was good.
Instrument placement was similar.
Tone or timbre was not quite as good - the brass solos in I'm Coming Out-Diana Ross ,did not display the same blare, brass bite.
Details - definitely not as good as the (not Forest-Amazon). In Everyday With You Girl-Dennis Yost and the Classics 4, there is a guitar playing beautiful bar chords in the right channel, these just chime with the Forest. But with the WW 8, the sound is pushed into the background. You cannot always even make out the individual chords. This is also the case with the female singer supporting the main vocalist in A Girl Like You - the Smithereens. Her voice is distinct with the (not Forest-Amazon cable) but hard to hear with the WW.
On the other hand, the WW Starlight 8 had more punch to the transients, and a more pronounced deep bass. I actually felt more kick drum in my stomach than I ever had with the (not Forest/Amazon Basic USB) and thoroughly enjoyed those 2 aspects of the WW.
If you prefer to hear details you may not have noticed before I would recommend the (Forest N/A) . If you want a kick ass, more in your face sound, the WW 8 is the way to go.
(Because of my mistake please only regard this as an argument for differences in USB cables.. I do believe that to give a new USB cable a chance, you need to stream at least 100 hours or so through it. And keep in mind many manufacturers do not recommend doing this while listening which means they are not trying to train your brain into liking their particular sound. And I think that is the right way to do it. Wait until after that time then listen seriously. Apologies for the screw up and thanks for reading!)
Last edited by hhawk; 07-30-2019 at 01:15 PM.
Reason: amend cable name-my mistake