Author Topic: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON  (Read 2296 times)

Offline mikeeastman

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USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« on: February 01, 2017, 02:28:08 PM »
 I compared  four USB dongles and two USB cable. They were a Danacable, Audio Sensibility statement occ silver, Triode  and Curious dongles, a Mapleshade (1M ) and a generic cable that came with my CD burner. After extensive listening  I can hear no  difference between them. It could be just me not hearing any difference, but I've heard changes on every other up grades I've made to my system to this point, including going from Jriver to HQPlayer, from HQ to Daphile. Also I upgraded the cables to my subs. While I was at it I also compared a Wired 4 Sound RUR, Uptone Regen and a IFi USB 3.0. I used two Curious cables  and a HDPlex LPS with these devices to keep things constant . The RUR and Regen had a slight effect, they both narrowed the sound stage a little and a slight lowering of my bass impact . The IFi had no effect at all. I think these comparisons  told me more about my system than about the cables and devices.
To quote one of the dongles makers I spoke to about my results “ When gear is properly designed all of the "fixes" have very little effect on SQ”.

 If you want a front end that is hassle free to operate and has great sound I highly suggest you look into Mivera gear, it is also reasonably priced.

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Offline richidoo

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 03:07:39 PM »
Thanks Mike, interesting observations! Instinctively, I think USB cables should not make a difference, but so many people say they hear something it makes me wonder. I finally bought a big boy DAC today, with USB input, so I will soon be able to stick my head down that cable rabbit hole that you just climbed out of.  :rofl:

Offline jimbones

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 04:05:31 PM »
I have a USB cable that I purchase from Ultra-Fi and I can't listen to my system without it. It makes that much of an improvement.
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Offline mikeeastman

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 05:19:41 PM »
I'm not saying that cable don't make a difference, with my last dac an using a modded Mac mini they made a big difference. They just don't in my current set up. It's because of the way it's isolated. Sever is ethernet to optical converter, optical to streamer and then USB to dac.
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Offline sleepyguy24

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 10:56:24 AM »
For me I had a Black Cat Silverstar 75 from my laptop to a Schit Wyrd to a HIFIDIY ESS Sabre USB DAC and I couldn't hear a difference with the Silverstar of the premium Belkin USB cable I had. I'm guessing like everything else audio it is system dependent. I have heard computer audio from Jimbones' system and it was glorious. I would have loved to have brought over the Silverstar to see how it would do but since everything sounded good I didn't bother to ask.

Offline rollo

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 12:23:00 PM »
iFi USB purifier highly recommended.


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Offline mdconnelly

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 09:01:31 AM »
Many years back I fought the mindgame of wire-is-wire.  Took me awhile to hear the difference between different analog ICs, SCs and PCs.  Not sure if my brain finally locked into hearing the right thing, the cables got better, or expectation bias took firm control.   Be that as it may, I am now a firm believer and feel confident I could tell the difference in a blind testing.

I'm now wrestling with a similar battle in the digital domain... USB cables, digital cables and now ethernet cables.  I'm spent enough time with different digital ICs to know there is a difference - still not comprehending why but gracefully accepting that.  I'm giving Pete & Dave's new TWL USB cable a try - too early to tell, but won't be surprised if/when I hear an improvement.

Ethernet cables... this one's gonna make my head hurt.  A few years back I spent no small amount having structured wiring put in throughout my home using Cat6.  It was a great decision to do so and I've been using cat6 patch cords between wall and computer/router/component.  But, like the power cord argument,  I'm once again wondering if that 5' of ethernet from wall to component, router or computer can possibly make a difference.

Offline tmazz

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Re: USB DONGLES AND USB GADGETS COMPARISON
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 08:38:13 PM »
Remember that Ethernet cable was originally desined for computer to computer applications. And because of the way that computers work most of the traffic between them is not realtime in nature. If there are errors they can be retransmitted and the files can just wait for error free data to show up before they are processed.

However in audio, for the most part the music is being payed as it arrives, so the more bit errors you get  the more problems you have. Sure there is error correction within most digital music systems, but quite often that correction involves estimating what they system thinks the next word should be and the less error correction you need to do the better the system performance should be.

So with this in mind I can at least not surprised different that digital cables can sound different. I can at least in theory understand that a cable could pass data with less errors whether it be because of better shielding, construction and/or material or perhaps better connectors or impedance matching and thereby effect the system sound.
Remember, it's all about the music........

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