I’ve been looking at experimenting with an upgraded USB cable. My Entreq cable surprisingly wouldn’t work at all. Since jitter is said to be near zero with the DirectStream, my thinking is that conductor purity, metal conductivity and other factors that might lower produce slightly lower jitter on other DACs would not offer much of a performance gain.
I was expecting the real opportunity for improvement to come from suppressing power noise and Ted has agreed with this thought in conversation. I tried cutting the 5v power leg on a short generic cable. I thought the DAC might not work, but it played fine with this mangled cable. However, I didn’t detect a notable improvement with the power disconnected on the cable. I’m hoping to borrow a friend’s Lightspeed cable next month, which is considered by many to be one of the best available. I suppose noise can ride on the ground or data lines of the cable, but after cutting the power line didn’t seem to improve anything I’m not expecting to hear an improvement from a higher quality cable.
I should note that I have not tried disconnecting the ground line. I don’t know whether that would just cause more problems, because I assume the grounding at that point on the DS end is pretty good.