USB Cable comparisons

Hi Folks,

Ive got a new Innuos Zenith server and im now hunting for a usb cable. The previous usb cable I had was having drop outs.
In searching for newer usb cables I came across quite a few names:

  • Final Touch Audio -> lot of fans on the whatsbest forum
  • Phasure Lush
  • CAD USB
  • Mad Scientist
  • Curios

I know a lot has been said about the Curious usb cable. It would be great to hear if you guys have had experiences with other usb cables that you have come to love.

Cheers,
E

Pretty much the same digital set-up here as what you are listing. Innuos Zenith Mk III to PSA DAC Sr. I also have a Metrum Onyx fed by a MAC Mini. USB cables are Belkin Gold or Curious USB. System is in flux at the moment. My initial impression with the Curious Cable is everything emerges from a quieter background.

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I tried several of the current Audioquest USB cables and landed on the same one that John Darko uses in some of his systems, the Audioquest Carbon which I use in my main system with DS SR. I also use a Supra cable in a second system with DS Jr which I think is very close in performance to the Carbon, but I find the carbon to be slightly better.

With that said, I’m planning to ditch USB soon as I’ve experienced far better performance with audirvana over the Bridge 2. I also have a matrix spdif device on order to compare to the bridge.

Call me insane, but as of today I’m running a Shunyata Sigma USB. So far it is pretty dang nice…

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Is this for 2k ?

Me too, love it as well. Seemed like overkill, then I tried it.

I justified the price by thinking of the amounts I have spent on power cables and conditioners, and amps, DAC, pre amp, speakers and music server, and all the other interconnects and speaker cables. I figure after all the investment why put less into that one very critical connection. (This last part wasn’t directed at you @IanB52)

Wireworld starlight platinum! Best I’ve heard.

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I have the Siltech Classic Anniversary USB.
In my opinion, its the best I’ve heard. ha

$2k for a USB cable?! You guys must either be super rich, or out there, to think $2K for a USB cable makes sense.

A GOOD USB cable needs to have low interference, and/or to ISOLATE the power cable from data cable for good results! PERIOD! That’s what Curious does, so does IFI, and some others, but a good constructed cable by Audioquest achieves the same.

For the LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE do NOT spend $2K on a USB cable! It just helps the snake oil business in favor of honest ones!

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A good USB cable, has to sound really good!

You’d have to hear it to decide whether or not it is worth it in your own system. I’ve found that the lower the noise from the digital input, the better, and it makes a big difference (esp with the DSS). With really good USB cables+Matrix+I2S its basically like a whole new DAC. I’ve used the Wireworld Starlight 7 Silver and Platinum cables and they sounded really good too. The Shunyata is a step up and not unlike using one of their Alpha NR power cables.

So not snake oil at all, not remotely, but whether it is worth the money is up to you. To me lowering the noise and gunk that comes in from the digital inputs, as well as noise that come from the mains, are extremely important for a good sound. The DSS does an amazing thing, but is a bit noisy and really sensitive to noise from the inputs and power. To really appreciate what it does you have to remove as much noise contamination as possible. I have not found the limit where no improvement is possible.

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There’s NO WAY, a USB cable could be worth $2K, period. I don’t deny there’s improvement in better USB cables, BUT only from generic throw-away crap to dedicated USB cable, not the snake oil nonsense. Glad you think your money was well spent but there’s no way that cable sounds 6X better than Curious cable and 10X better than Audioquest!

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I’m not going to quantify how many times better something is, but the Shunyata is indeed way better than mid-range AudioQuest and noticeably better than the excellent Wireworld cables. Sorry if your belief system doesn’t allow it, but the improvement doesn’t stop once you get above generic. My digital connections are as significant as a component and this cable does something extremely impressive.

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Placebo effect is strong with this one! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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No it is not. A right cable in right place can totally make already good sound exceptionally good and vice versa. Same goes to usb cables,you know it when you hear it. Spending $2k ,who cares ?
Soon i will hear Cerious Technologies Graphene Matrix usb vs. Curious and Inakustik.

I will let you know how they compare. CT usb is only $849 meter plus EU taxes so not crazy expensive :grin:

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Great - I have heard of inakustik and curios. Look forward to hearing your views.

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Wireworld starlight platinum! Best I’ve heard as well but I never heard the Shunyata Sigma USB.

Guess you have all the answers, why bother trying any other cables? LOL.

I have Innuos Zen mk3 and I prefer Inakustik Referenz usb over Curious. It gives better bass response with more detail and woodly,heftier notes in acoustic bass but not bloomy, and better sense of naturalness/realism.
You know as with some cables you hear more how strings are played and others bring more resolution to hear how actual instrument resonates,better balance. Also there is more realistic prat,tone and nicely refined,compact soundstage. Just more fun to listen with better separation from top to bottom without listening fatique.

Inakustik is copper cable with all transparency that silver used in Curious with benefits of copper in meatier,better delineated human voices and crystal clear top end and great dynamics and speed. I was quite surprised when I tried it after Curious because I felt Curious was a keeper and better than anything else I tried before. There´s always something new and better ( different ) behind the corner.

It´s always trial and error to find best balance,so there are no free lunches as what´s best. Only many good choices to pick and try…

Sure that Shunyata Sigma is a killer ,for the price it should be :thinking:

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So far the only one I heard was Audience Front Row. It sounded addictive - i did have an issue with drop outs though and they are gonna replace the cable.
I was curious about the Curios and the CAD USB1 or 2. Also heard a lot of good things about Inakustic.

I think USB cables 100% make a difference. Cheap cables lack in dynamics, PRAT, bass and frankly sound listless. My 2c.