USB cables that work, or don't, with DS


#1

I’d like to try a better USB cable with my DS. Maybe, like Ted, I won’t hear much difference, or maybe, like Paul, I will. But it’s worth a try. There is another long thread here about USB. After reading through the whole thing I came away with three names. So let’s use this thread just to make available a list of USB cables that have worked at least reasonably well with the DS. This can provide a starting point, since there are so many choices out there. Let’s keep it focused; just name the cable and give short comments (“great bass”) if appropriate.

The three I got from the other thread:

Pangea

Wireworld Starlight Platinum

JCAT


#2

Cardas Clear usb: Works with DS. Can’t comment about sound yet, but I got rid of pops that other cable made.

Audioquest Coffee: Doesn’t work with DS, Generated pop’s. I don’t know reason. May be system dependent.


#3

As before:

Pangea, Radio Shack, and most generics (like those shipped with other devices) seem to work well. I haven’t judged sound, though.

Silnote Audio Poseidon does not work. I would suspect any others from Silnote, as well. (If he’s not building to spec on one,…)


#4

I have pinned this topic as there appear to be many with similar experiences with USB cables that work or do not. Great idea, Magister.


#5

Actually it should say ‘list all non-standard USB cables compatible with the DS’

It would be quite a surprise if an USB cable compliant with the USB standard does not work flawlessly with the DS…(?)


#6

Audioquest Diamond… In one of the DS reviews can’t remember the reviewer liked it the best… Shameless plug there’s one for sale in our for sale section :-)


#7
harbapapa said

Audioquest Coffee: Doesn’t work with DS, Generated pop’s. I don’t know reason. May be system dependent.


There may be something wrong with your Coffee USB cable. I wonder if it might be your source component doing some processing, but you said it works ok with a different cable. I know Ted would say ‘run the Directstream Bit Perfect test’.

I’ve been using the Audioquest Coffee USB with no extra noise issues for over a month now.


#8

I thought this was odd, but I couldn’t belive that pops disappeared when I changed cables. I didn’t have any problems with other dacs (PWDII and Red Wine Audio Bellina pro). I have Auraliti, so there shouldn’t be problem with bit perfect?


#9

I must continue… I’ve had problems with cables before. I live near powerlines and one speakercable made my integrated amp to “vibrate” and it heated to allmost 100° celsius (about 200° F). I guess this may be same kind of thing?


#10
Frode said Actually it should say 'list all non-standard USB cables compatible with the DS'

It would be quite a surprise if an USB cable compliant with the USB standard does not work flawlessly with the DS…(?)


Thanks for all the replies – keep 'em coming. When I said “work reasonably well” I was including sound quality. I don’t have time or inclination to evaluate six or ten USB cables. If I can identify 3-4 that have sounded good in some people’s systems, that’s a good starting point. Of course all cables are system dependent, but since we’re all using the DS that will remove at least one variable.

#11
magister said
When I said "work reasonably well" I was including sound quality.
Ok, I understand.

#12
Frode said Actually it should say 'list all non-standard USB cables compatible with the DS'

It would be quite a surprise if an USB cable compliant with the USB standard does not work flawlessly with the DS…(?)


The sad thing is that most “standard” USB cables aren’t to USB spec…so I’m not sure you can even call them “standard”.

#13

The trouble is (as Ted stated) that DAC suppliers cannot build in means for tackling all kinds of DIY solutions and non-compliance out there.

In addition, most USB implementations are 3rd. party OEM kits I assume and thus not developed inhouse which adds to the complexity (making things less agile).


#14

Wireworld Ultraviolet works.


#15

What kind of budget? I haven’t run into usb cable that hasn’t work. Use thecableco.com as they have lending library and arge selection.


#16

I know that one critic said to not use the Light Harmonic USB with the DSD but it works perfectly fine in my system. At the computer end I plug both sides of the cable into an IFi power module and from there into my DSD. There are no negative issues whatsoever using it and it is hands down the best USB cable I have plugged into my system and I tried quite a few.


#17

I looked up the Light Harmonic split USB cable. Looks interesting, but…

Does anyone know of a good cable that sounds great, without paying a grand for it? I’d like to “move up” from the Pangea I’m using if it’ll get me some benefit, but my budget won’t allow for the Light Harmonic.


#18

My favorite still remains Paul Pang’s work. You can get it here for 200 pounds - not sure what that is in dollars, probably around $300?


#19

Did you ever compare the JCAT against the LH one, Paul?


#20

Yes and they’re close. It’s tough because on some music I prefer the red one and on other music the JCAT. In the end I use mostly the JCAT. However, after Arnie came and readjusted the system I have a ton more resolving power - so much so that I now am not happy with the Mac Mini server sound relative to the PWT. So I rarely listen to the mini and stay with the PWT, so much better its sound is.

Sigh. It’s a never ending battle what we fight here. However, it has inspired me to figure out how to get the Mini sounding better and to that goal I have contacted several companies and we’re discussing how to upgrade the Mini to get its sound closer to that of the PWT.