Corning USB optical cable


#1

Ted, I read in a post here that you have used this cable with the DS. Is it still a decent candidate? You stated that you had problems with it under Windows 7 but that Windows 10 worked ok. Apparently although it is an optical cable it still has copper to carry the 5v. Wondering how you get around noise or is this not an issue? Your guidance is always appreciated.

thanks

Brent


#2

I’m using it now. I don’t know if Windows 10 USB 3.0 drivers are better (well, they didn’t come with WIndows 7) or it was simply the clean install of Windows 10…

A lot of the USB comes from the data signals being next to the power and ground signals, they add a lot of hash. The Corning 3.Optical also uses fairly thin power and ground wires which lowers the relative contribution from them compared to a local power supply with more “oomph.”

I also use a local powered USB hub after the Corning cable next to the DS. With nothing else on this hub the power is pretty quiet and if you want to go nuts you can get a linear power supply for that last hub. (I have a spare dedicated outlet which is certainly overkill, but what the heck. :slight_smile: )


#3

Might not another alternative be to use a USB cable such as the WireWorld Starlight USB 3 where the power portion is internally isolated and shielded from the conductors carrying the signal? Just a thought.

Starlight high end audiophile USB 3.0 Digital Audio Cable cross section, best, videophile, DAC, gaming


#4

There’s nothing wrong with trying it. But it can’t really beat optical for isolation. How much that difference maters in a given system is anyone’s guess. USB 3 cables are often shorter then USB 2 (for good reason.) An advantage of the Corning cable is that it comes in all sort of very long lengths (at least compared to standard USB cables.


#5

Good to know, thanks Ted.


#6

Thanks Ted. I currently have a cheap best buy usb hub that feeds the DS and for what ever reason this alone seems to have a positive effect on the sound when compared to just going straight from the PC to the DS. This connection sounds pretty darn good as is. I am wondering if you noticed any difference with the corning cable vs a standard USB cable sound quality wise. I am hoping to perhaps try this before I go ahead and try something like an Auralic or Sonore device for USB. I have been reading on other sites where folks suggested ferrite clip ons on the cable in an attempt to deal with noise. Do you use any? As always thanks for your input much appreciated.

Brent


#7

The Corning was a small step up in my system, as was the hub next to the DS. Ferrite clips can round the edges off which will certainly help the cables to radiate less and they will add jitter (which shouldn’t be too big of a problem). Still I’ve never liked ferrite chokes anywhere in my audio system… YMMV, it’s easy to try some.


#8

Thanks Ted I think I will give it a shot. Sure wish they came in shorter lengths. I have read that Windoze recognizes the cable as a hub and installs a driver. In your system was this driver automatically installed by the OS? Or did you have to find a driver to use? Thanks

edit- Since the cable is terminated USB A how are you connecting it to the DS? I assume the corning goes to the hub but what after that to get to the USB B on the DS?


#9

IIRC I didn’t do anything special to install it on Windows 10 - I know I didn’t go find a driver somewhere… You can just plug a normal (probably short) USB on the end of the Corning cable. You can also probably find a dirt cheap adapter, I didn’t bother, tho it’s probably a good idea.


#10
Ted Smith said

I’m using it now. I don’t know if Windows 10 USB 3.0 drivers are better (well, they didn’t come with WIndows 7) or it was simply the clean install of Windows 10…

A lot of the USB comes from the data signals being next to the power and ground signals, they add a lot of hash. The Corning 3.Optical also uses fairly thin power and ground wires which lowers the relative contribution from them compared to a local power supply with more “oomph.”

I also use a local powered USB hub after the Corning cable next to the DS. With nothing else on this hub the power is pretty quiet and if you want to go nuts you can get a linear power supply for that last hub. (I have a spare dedicated outlet which is certainly overkill, but what the heck. :slight_smile: )


Hi Ted, what’s the purpose of your USB hub here, between the Coring cable and the DS? In particular, with nothing else plugged into the hub?

Isn’t it better to remove the hub if there’s nothing else plugged into it?

Genuinely asking - not to be a smart a$$ lol


#11

I went to buy the cable on amazon and was looking at some of the reviews. Seems to be a high failure rate. Folks say “its great as long as its working” Folks are saying that it works great and then just stops working. Ted, you have been using yours for a while now. I am wondering if there is something folks could be doing to damage the cable or perhaps they arent implementing it into their systems properly. What do you think? Thanks a alot.


#12

As I was writing my last post it dawned on me that someone would probably ask :slight_smile:

Before the Corning cable, using a hub with it’s own power supply made a difference in the USB performance from my laptop. With Windows 7 I couldn’t get the Corning cable to work well without it (tho it wasn’t terribly reliable with it either.) When I got a new laptop and Windows 10 I found that the Corning cable was reliable and I didn’t really think about nuking the hub. Now I did and things work fine, I don’t really hear a difference with it or without it when using the Corning 3.Optical cable. Thanks for asking.


#13

Whoops, We almost bumped into each other while posting Mr. Smith. You probably won’t see my question so… Bump!


#14
Euphonite said

I went to buy the cable on amazon and was looking at some of the reviews. Seems to be a high failure rate. Folks say “its great as long as its working” Folks are saying that it works great and then just stops working. Ted, you have been using yours for a while now. I am wondering if there is something folks could be doing to damage the cable or perhaps they arent implementing it into their systems properly. What do you think? Thanks a alot.


It sucked on Windows 7, it would work for days then flake out and, at times, it took many days before I could get it working again. With Windows 10 (after a little initial pains) it’s been rock solid. So perhaps the problems they are dealing with aren’t the physical cable as much as driver hell. (Which can also be device dependent.)

The cable is quite flexible, but since it’s glass I’d be careful that people don’t step on it and bend it sharply (tho I’ve had people walk on mine with no ill effects.) I’d hope that no-one pulls the cable out by pulling on the cord instead of using the ends, good strain relief doesn’t seem possible with how thin the cable is.


#15

Thanks Ted, Sure is a cheaper alternative to try than an Auralic or Microrendu. I wonder if I try this and then when the upgrade bug grabs me if I added an auralic or similar to the mix if that would bring benefits. You have been satisfied with the cable. You don’t use any of these isolator/regenerator units. I am wondering what your thoughts are on them with the DS. Lots of positive feedback on them. Have you looked at any of them? Thanks Ted


#16

I’ve heard many of them make a positive difference in some systems (and have no reason to doubt those who report such differences.) In other systems I don’t hear changes of the same magnitude. Personally, tho I used to spend a lot of time trying different cables, etc. now days I’m just not very “tweaky”, my system sounds good enough to be engaging and I enjoy working on software/hardware more than looking for that last system upgrade.


#17

Didn’t know there were any rational, clear thinking audiophiles around surprised


#18
Ted Smith said

As I was writing my last post it dawned on me that someone would probably ask :slight_smile:

Before the Corning cable, using a hub with it’s own power supply made a difference in the USB performance from my laptop. With Windows 7 I couldn’t get the Corning cable to work well without it (tho it wasn’t terribly reliable with it either.) When I got a new laptop and Windows 10 I found that the Corning cable was reliable and I didn’t really think about nuking the hub. Now I did and things work fine, I don’t really hear a difference with it or without it when using the Corning 3.Optical cable. Thanks for asking.


Thanks Ted. Didn’t realise you had replied to me (didn’t get a notification). Much appreciated again.

#19

Hi Ted @tedsmith

When it comes to group loops and dirty USB source noise and leakage currents etc, how important is galvanic isolation of the data line/s compared with power and ground?

Is it the power and ground lines that are usually the culprits?

I did read where you said a noisy power line can affect the data lines if they are in close proximity.

If you can isolate the noise power and ground lines (and leave the data lines alone) then does this cover most of the issues with USB for audio?

The reason I ask all this is to consider a chain like: LANRover (to travel to listening room) > Corning USB (inside the listening room) > iFi iDefender 3.0 > Dac’s USB input

http://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/accessory-idefender3-0/

The iDefender breaks the ground loops and disconnects the noisy power , both of which may be carried via the Corning cable? And allows you to inject whatever clean power you like. And isn’t too expensive either - assuming it really is doing what is says of course.

Cheers!


#20

I like the phrase, “group loops.” Quite descriptive.