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What's with these $200 "audiophile" USB cables?? Modular Synthesizers
Old 5th March 2014
  #31
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Joe_K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdmitch2 View Post
I was at an audiophile event and someone was A-B-ing one of the $200 usb cables with a cheap cable..... the person doing the demo seemed to be genuinely surprised when the people in the room couldn't hear a significant improvement in sound quality. It also seemed to take him about 5 minutes to switch cables for some reason, which was enough time to render any comparison useless.
The voodoo surrounding digital is amazing, isn't it? Who would think that ones and zeros going in one end and coming out as the exact same ones and zeros on the other could be open to so much superstition. All you have to do is transmit the data with a CRC to prove or disprove (beyond a shadow of any doubt) that the exact same bits made it to the other end with any cable you use. If the CRC fails, there was an error in transmission. An error in transmission does not manifest itself as some hard to perceive loss in audio fidelity. The "believers" are bonkers. The sellers aren't bonkers at all. They know exactly what they are doing.
Old 5th March 2014
  #32
Gear Head
 

I will only download my music on google fiber networks. The fidelity of my digital files is so much better than anything else, it's unreal. Comcast pretty much gives me "AM radio" quality audio files. I even use gold cored fiber optic cables to power my 7' Magnepans!


...All jokes aside, I do love Magnepans
Old 5th March 2014
  #33
One of the (many) problems I have with american-style capitalism, is that formalized lying and cheating are socially acceptable, until somebody successfully sues you or until you go out of business.
In fact, if it weren't for the endless propagandizing of consumerist culture and the religion of 'getting ahead' at all costs, America and its ilk wouldn't even exist. If people stopped buying useless crap, society as you know it, would cease to exist (along with $4000 'vintage' preamps).
It is obvious that there should be severe punishment for people who knowingly propagate consumer fraud. But fraud is considered the lubricant of 'getting ahead.' You're either a playa or a sucka.
However, i do like those gizmos advertized in audiophile publications, that purify your air in a unique way to allow more coherent wave propagation from your granite-mounted monitors.
Old 5th March 2014
  #34
Gear Maniac
 
macmurphy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshaver View Post
Spending $3-5k for an IEC cable?

really? bloody hell.. people are nuts, huh?

i just ordered one for £1.85.

free postage.
Old 5th March 2014
  #35
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cavern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmurphy View Post
really? bloody hell.. people are nuts, huh?

i just ordered one for £1.85.

free postage.
You'll regret that when your next hit record fails because it lacks that pro electric clarity.
Old 5th March 2014
  #36
Lives for gear
Actually - if you use a longer cable length of a lesser quality HDMI, DVI or SDI cable (at high resolution) - it can result in bits of data being currupted - the end result being that it losses pixels in the video. You basically end up with rainbow colored 'speckles' on the screen (aka 'digital distortion'). This can also happen from the video signal being 'too hot'.

Enough video talk - this is an audio forum!

But - what I'm wondering is...

Can signal loss on a digital audio cable result in bits of data becoming corrupted? And wouldn't that result in digital distortion also? If those lost data bits (samples) end up corrupted and transforming into random bits (or just being dropped alltogether)?

I understand that digital audio and digital video are the same in the sense that if no data bits are being lost or corrupted - then you get a perfect unchanged signal - but what if a poorly shielded cable resulted in currupted data bits? A USB data signal isn't 'balanced' so maybe it can be susceptible to some data loss on the cable run...
Old 5th March 2014
  #37
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tridelica View Post
However, i do like those gizmos advertized in audiophile publications, that purify your air in a unique way to allow more coherent wave propagation from your granite-mounted monitors.
Ahh.Haa...that's what I've been missing. My air isn't coherent
Old 5th March 2014
  #38
As much as I love the Dragonfly DAC itself (in daily use), this is ridiculous: AUDIOQUEST DRAGONTAIL USB 2.0 EXTENDER at Music Direct

"DragonTail's signal-carrying conductors are controlled for digital-audio directionality for more engaging, "3D" sound." Riiiight.

Personally I use an extender that came free with some USB stick a few years ago. It works.

r,
j,
Old 5th March 2014
  #39
Gear Maniac
 

I bought $2000 XLR cables, my pet whale is really enjoying the enhanced quality in certain frequencies.

Well worth it
Old 5th March 2014
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonebytim View Post
Can signal loss on a digital audio cable result in bits of data becoming corrupted? And wouldn't that result in digital distortion also? If those lost data bits (samples) end up corrupted and transforming into random bits (or just being dropped alltogether)?
This is a good question. I'm not an expert but I did read the USB wiki page.

The first thing to note is that USB has differential signaling: there's a +data wire and a -data wire bundled in a twisted pair, which provides a good measure of noise immunity. Second, and more importantly, the line code going through the USB cable represents packets that must follow a protocol; in other words, it's not raw, naked audio data streaming through there. There are handshakes, packet acknowledgements, and data checksums to make sure the data being transmitted is correct and has been received.

So if noise were to corrupt a packet, it's very likely that the protocol would be broken and the packet would have to be re-sent. If there's enough noise, and if the packet never makes it, then we experience drops and glitches. But this is very different than changed audio.

Is it possible that an extremely unlucky noise event could manage to flip a few bits in the data packet such that the protocol never notices? It's possible. But then we have to ask what is in the data packet? Likely the host application is using its own protocol encapsulated within the USB protocol. So that's two layers of protocols that the very unlucky noise event would have to wriggle through to flip a few "pure audio" bits. And if it manages to do that? Would the end result be inharmonic distortion or phase smear or something awful like that? No, flipping random bits in a digital word is exactly like adding noise to an analog signal. Even if the most significant bit is flipped from a 0 to 1 (a 1/32 chance of that, for 32-bit hosts), it's still just one sample. How audible would that be?

Maybe an expert can quantify for us the probability of any of this happening, but I think it's at most lightning-strike low. And if does happen, you'd hear noise not distortion.
Old 5th March 2014
  #41
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skythemusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosty999 View Post
I bought $2000 XLR cables, my pet whale is really enjoying the enhanced quality in certain frequencies.

Well worth it

Sweet, I bet my copy of Alf Sings 1001 Johnny Mathis Classics on Norwegian White Label Whale Blubber 666g vinyl will sound amazing through your system.
Old 5th March 2014
  #42
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosty999 View Post
I bought $2000 XLR cables, my pet whale is really enjoying the enhanced quality in certain frequencies.

Well worth it
Man you are living the life. I aspire to that. I gotta get this pet whale money son.
Old 5th March 2014
  #43
Here for the gear
http://www.futureshop.co.uk/audioque...l#.UxejNs72ock

Just got this for when I copy MP3's to my phone. They'll sound great out the phone speaker now.




Last edited by Oldman Andy; 5th March 2014 at 11:24 PM.. Reason: Because I karnt spel
Old 5th March 2014
  #44
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
Don't know about USB but Firewire cables have to be burned in,hence the name firewire.
Its a well known fact.
Only if you're not using Hell cables; these are factory burned in
Old 5th March 2014
  #45
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cavern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldman Andy View Post
AudioQuest Diamond USB Type A to Type Mini B Cable 5m - FutureShop.co.uk

Just got this for when I copy MP3's to my phone. They'll sound great out the phone speaker now.



Yes i see it has (PSS) Perfect-Surface Technology.
That's gotta be good.
Old 5th March 2014
  #46
Gear Maniac
 

$200 USB cable? That's nothing, how about $40 a pair for gold plated female RCA jack covers? That's right! They keep the bad outside signals out of your expensive (ridiculously overpriced), 5.1 control center...amplifier...
Old 5th March 2014
  #47
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unsung's Avatar
 

Don't forget your cable elevators, gents. A steal at $159.00 for 8.................

Old 6th March 2014
  #48
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unsung View Post
Don't forget your cable elevators, gents. A steal at $159.00 for 8.................

Amazing. That is incredible, I swear.
Old 6th March 2014
  #49
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Joe_K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unsung View Post
Don't forget your cable elevators, gents. A steal at $159.00 for 8.................

Nothing really surprises me anymore, but this came close.
Old 6th March 2014
  #50
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArKay99 View Post
$200 USB cable? That's nothing, how about $40 a pair for gold plated female RCA jack covers? That's right! They keep the bad outside signals out of your expensive (ridiculously overpriced), 5.1 control center...amplifier...
Wouldn't they go nicely with these RCA plugs?

WBT 0110-Ag RCA "Next Gen" Pure Silver
Old 6th March 2014
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArKay99 View Post
$200 USB cable? That's nothing, how about $40 a pair for gold plated female RCA jack covers? That's right! They keep the bad outside signals out of your expensive (ridiculously overpriced), 5.1 control center...amplifier...
**** ive seen IEC cables for $13,000. yeah that 13 thousand to be clear.

How about speaker cables for $4,000 https://www.gcaudio.com/cgi-bin/stor...uct.cgi?id=379
Old 6th March 2014
  #52
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Joe_K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbird View Post
**** ive seen IEC cables for $13,000. yeah that 13 thousand to be clear.

How about speaker cables for $4,000 https://www.gcaudio.com/cgi-bin/stor...uct.cgi?id=379
It doesn't take much imagination to understand what kind of damage these people would do if they could spend other peoples money, just look at governments.
Old 6th March 2014
  #53
Gear Maniac
 

I like these: Pangea Power Cable
Old 6th March 2014
  #54
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unsung's Avatar
 

More info on cable elevators. The secret, of course, is the 'low dielectric neoprene foot'.

Quote:
The Cable Elevators from Precision Audio Products have been around for some time. The latest version bears the "+" designation, and sports a low dielectric neoprene foot at the bottom of each elevator. Cable Elevators are made out of industrial grade porcelain and are glazed with a non-conductive coating. They are quite large in size, measuring 4 3/4" in diameter and about 4 1/2" in height, they are built to accommodate the biggest loudspeaker cables out there. Their shape provides maximum stability with minimum cable contact and they usually ship in a box of eight. When my set first arrived I was surprised by the size of the box too. There is ample padding inside and all around the elevators ensuring that you end up with, and only with, eight porcelain pieces upon delivery. They can be bought through AudioNut for $20 each or for $159.95 for a set of eight.


Cables come in contact with a wide variety of flooring surfaces. Each can have a different effect on cable behavior. By elevating cables off the floor you eliminate static charge and you lower capacitance. The net effect is lower noise and increased dynamics. Another factor is the dampening of the natural modulation inherent to all cable. That is an electrical signal passing through a conductor (cabling) produces a desirable mechanical resonance that is dampened when placed on the floor. This also constricts dynamics and low-level detail. Placing cables in free space would be ideal.
Old 6th March 2014
  #55
Lives for gear
I think its a fair assumption that:

Audiophile = Audiofool + Audiofail

Take your pick
Old 6th March 2014
  #56
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post

The first thing to note is that USB has differential signaling: there's a +data wire and a -data wire bundled in a twisted pair, which provides a good measure of noise immunity. Second, and more importantly, the line code going through the USB cable represents packets that must follow a protocol; in other words, it's not raw, naked audio data streaming through there. There are handshakes, packet acknowledgements, and data checksums to make sure the data being transmitted is correct and has been received.

So if noise were to corrupt a packet, it's very likely that the protocol would be broken and the packet would have to be re-sent. If there's enough noise, and if the packet never makes it, then we experience drops and glitches. But this is very different than changed audio.

Exactly this.
Old 6th March 2014
  #57
Gear Addict
 
spurratic's Avatar
If I go into a studio, I'm looking for 3 things. Prism convertors, a vintage U47, and a $200 audiophile grade USB cable. If I don't see those three things, I burn down the building. Plain and simple.
Old 6th March 2014
  #58
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Zyzygis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unsung View Post
'low dielectric neoprene foot'.
You can get a cream for that.
Old 6th March 2014
  #59
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
If I go into a studio, I'm looking for 3 things. Prism convertors, a vintage U47, and a $200 audiophile grade USB cable. If I don't see those three things, I burn down the building. Plain and simple.
Don't burn it, especially if it has 2 of the 3. Just do what I do and throw a grenade at it.
Old 6th March 2014
  #60
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unsung's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
You can get a cream for that.
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