Now that my DSD DAC is settling in nicelly I am considering a USB cable upgrade. I am currently using a Belkin Gold USB cable. One cable I am considering is the Curious Cable USB. Does anyone have experience with either the Curious Cable or the Curious Cable Evolve? I do like the notion of additional inner detail with an added sense of body. I am aware of Wire World and Audioquest offerings as well, but the Curios claims to offer more body without a loss of inner detail or smearing of leading edge transients at a competitive price.
The Curious cable is a great cable. I really liked it. I sold it when I went to an HDMI I2S connection between my server (Musica Pristina) and my dac. This is a much better way to go than usb if you have that capability.
The servers I am considering don’t include IS2 capability. Really prefer an all in one solution and then optimize the interconnect. Two many cables, power chords, wall warts and work arounds already. I am not familiar with the Musica Pristina and will investigate it as an option.
My Musica Pristina A Capella has a 1 TB ssd drive holding all my music. So, my system is quite simple with the I2S to my dac and xlr from dac to my Gryphon integrated amp. The Curious is a very good choice if you have to go usb.
I seriously cannot explain what benefits “higher end” USB cable could provide, apart from separating the power and data cables to reduce noise, which curious cable does, but it still shouldn’t cost as much as it does. I want someone to build a USB cable in that style at a good price, anyone knows a contractor? we maybe able to specify specs and groupbuy something.
The ifi is similar price
I’ve not used usb for a while, but got one of these for free a few years ago. All I ever need.
Saw the Darko review and other online reviews. I was looking for end user feedback specifically. Especially if anyone has compared the Curios Cable and the new Evolution cables.
Not sure many have compared the two yet,because Evolved is maybe a week old model now. But original Curious is very good and newer a bit better,one might expect.
That helps, as I did not know the Evolution is so new. Tried contacting the US sales agent, Jaguar Audio. So far no word.
I would suggest taking it a step further by considering a “data only” USB cable along with the AQVOX LPS which satisfies the +5v power signal of the DAC. The power is introduced via a USB-B piggy back connector at the DAC. The data only USB cable plugs into the piggy back connection so that no power is transmitted within, or in parallel to, the USB cable.
My current USB signal path is as good as the i2S signal I achieved via the Matrix X-SPDIF-2. But I have gone to great measures to achieve this in my system. I have a server utilizing a SOtM USB card with a separate super clock card - each powered separately by an Sbooster linear power supply. I then use a Mad Scientist “data only” USB cable into the piggy back connector of my AQVOX linear power supply which does nothing other than let my DS DAC Sr. know power is present.
I will say, the notion that USB cannot be as good as i2S is not categorically true.
Curious makes a good cable. Have one between my Sonore microrendu and Sonore ultradigital which feeds my I2s to my DAC.
My focus is on simplification of the Server/Streamer/DAC interface. I’ll sacrifice a smidgen of performance for simplicity’s sake. Easier said than done IME. Multiple boxes, additional LPS, and wall warts are a non-starter. That’s ultimately why I was considering the Innuos Zenith Mk III or the Aurender ACS10. The PS Audio Streamer/Server is a possibility, I’m just not certain I have the patience to wait out a potential release. So back to my question, anyone with comments regarding their experience with the Curious Cables? The Darko website talks at length about retaining a high level of detail while maintaining an air of dimensionality in the performance. Does anyone’s experience support Darko’s comments? TIA.
Totally understand. And I should have clarified, I did own the Curious Cable, but sent it back. Keep in mind, the solution I proposed is rather simplistic (well, yes you do have to plug in the LPS) and does not amount to the complexity that some of the popular solutions with additional boxes and cabling bring. It certainly brought in a noticeable improvement to my streaming, NO additional cables, and ONE additional plug-in requirement. For the improvement it brought, that one additional plug was beyond worth the effort and superior to the “power-in-parallel” Curious Cable in my system. This has been my experience in creating a no-compromise streaming solution.
How did the Curios Cable improve on your previous USB cable. What were the sonic benefits witht he Curious. What were the sonic benefits with AQVOX LPS/Mad Scientist USB Data Only Cable?
Most music played will be ripped Redbook CD should I upgrade my server/streamer.
The Curious Cable was a marked improvement over my prior USB cable which was a WireWorld Silver Starlight. Every cable is an amalgamation of material and design. The core design feature of the Curious is the independently run the power bus outside of the data bus. However, there are still two points of power contact - one on each end of the USB cable. That said, I am certain the differences I heard between the WireWorld and the Curious were a product of my very resolving system which is the result of much effort in eliminating the “weak links.”
So, speaking specifically to the comparison between the WW cable and the Curious Cable, here are my thoughts…
- The Curious handled vocals beautifully (better). The presentation was clear, well defined within the soundstage, and presented more “believable.”
- Did not expect this, but the bass was distinctly better - punchier and tighter/faster.
- A slight improvement is detail - on certain tracks. With some tracks it was obvious and others it was not. So, this is a conditional observation as it was not an absolute, but still observed.
When I removed one point of contact with power on the USB cable by going with the AQVOX LPS at the DAC connection only AND the data-only USB cable, it literally elevated my streaming playback to that of i2S (via Matrix X-SPDIF-2). You can read the thousands of posts praising the Matrix so I won’t regurgitate the seemingly endless supply of user comments with regard to that specific device, but I will say that I could not discern the difference between my USB chain setup as I have described and the highly regarded i2S playback so many have come to experience and love. It simply did everything better. Most notable was the leading and trailing harmonics, especially with acoustic and piano tracks. The background detail was another area of observed improvement. The music was cohesive, harmonic, and the most life-like that I have ever experienced delivered via digital stream in my system to date.
That said, this is my experience, with my system, in my room.
Thanks for the great review. One aspect I am looking for in a digital upgrade is air around the performers and a sense of meat on the bones, as if the performers/instruments are three dimensional versus “cardboard cut-outs”. The majority of my “serious” listening is jazz which has the potential to provide this aspect via digital. I know it can with my analog system. The music is effortless in analog. Trying to get there with digital and not break the bank. What was the price on the AQVOX LPS, their website didnot provide pricing,
Well, here is the link to the product I purchased: http://www.myhifishop.de/Devices/AQVOX-USB-Low-Noise-Linear-Power-Supply-5V-1A-USB2-0-USB3-0-A-A::49.html
It is 98.00 Euro. BUT… they used to list a USA 110v version and now they don’t. I would email them and ask them if they still offer a 110V of this product. It is very reasonably priced which is definitely appealing. I know that @cardri did have an extra one for sale so may be worth pinging him and seeing if still available. AQVOX is very responsive so you should get an answer back as to the availability of a 110V version.
In my opinion, this setup will reproduce jazz quite impressively.
You should be able to buy a similar power supply from Jameco or even iFi.
Yes, but it must have the USB-B piggy back connector which is rather unique AND the AQVOX is a linear power supply, not a switching mode.