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


I’ve been very happy with an AQ Diamond USB cable that I picked up on Audiogon to use with my microrendu > DSD combo - the combo came very close in sq w/ the Bridge II for anything other than DSD - v2.5 of the Sonicorbiter sw and the addition of the Singxer-SU1 gave the microrendu/Singxer combo the edge for me. Upgrading to the ultrarendu continued the trend - hard to tell any difference between the bridge II and the ultrarendu > Singxer-SU1 until I get into well mastered DSD material.

Following John Swenson’s posts on CA in the DIY cable forum I was intrigued by his post on shielding, but I don’t have the time/space to solder these days. So I copped out and ordered a cable from ghent audio - Star Quad (a favorite from my taper days) w/ external shield loop wire. I’m still working my way through my listen list w/ this new cable - what I hear so far beats the AQ cable and as I listen more I am realizing that what I’m hearing is not “brighter” but that the noise floor is lower - and I’m really hearing more detail.

I’m looking forward to the next firmware release for the Bridge II - should bring Roon up to the same release that Sonicorbiter is currently using. I’ve been listening using Roon and UPNP/DLNA (Linn Kazoo) this weekend btw.


Thanks, Mark. Please follow up when you get a chance to listen more.

If you are willing, can you post some pictures of the cable? The external shield loop wire idea is interesting.



I tried the Audioquest Diamond usb today with good results.

Has anyone tried other hdmi cables for the I2S link?


There are many posts on HDMI cables for transmitting I2S, but I do not recall a thread such as this one for USB. (There may be one, I just do not remember.)

If you dig around you will find many references to HDMI cables. Unfortunately, the forum’s search function is not particularly effective.


I think Paul has praised this one for USB: JCat

I bought it too.

It can be bought with separate power (Reference).


I want to recommend this little device -

After getting one to connect my streamer up to my Direct Stream Junior I realised that the Curious Cable was taking off just a smidgen of detail - a slight smoothing over. Whilst that was appreciated in my previous setup, moving to the USPCB has increased dynamics and imaging a bit. For you guys in the US it dirt cheap too.

The only issue is it’s short and not flexible (darn it) but if you can accommodate it in your setup its a cheap and great sounding little gadget.

Rob H. said

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.

Chord Shawline ??


HiDiamond HID and Reference both work and sound great.


I’m using Siltech in a total loom and I find the Classic Anniversary USB to be exceptional. The whole configuration I have is completely silent with exceptional detail.


i have tried and adopted the new aqvox edge serie usb…


I thought MR. McGowan used the AQ Diamond? Another stand up company like PSA. I am using it right now and I think it makes maybe 20% difference over cheap cable. I know the price though. If you are using USB, first I would get a good conditioner. The LanRover was best but no longer works with latest version of Windows. Pretty much any conditioner that has power is okay. Since the ground is not coming from the cable I guess. Some industrial units like LanRover “may” work. It would be about a $700 gamble.


I use a 0.75m Diamond and I can honestly say I think it sound a-maz-ing compared to the BridgeII


Very happy with both the 0.75m AQ Diamond USB and RJ/E between the MelcoN1ZS10 and DS/Bridge. In my setup USB beats BridgeII, however not by far.


At the moment I am using a small Curious cable from an ISO Regen into my Direct Stream. Generally the Curious has the edge on other cables I have tried and have mentioned it before in this thread. A cable designer/builder I know, Keith Eichmann, of KLE Innovations, borrowed my Mac-book to attempt a USB design. He bought the computer back with his cable and, well I was stonkered - Keith’s Cable was really up there. Compared to the Curtious I thought it more analogue like, the sound stage widened with greater depth. It was more organic. Was it better - maybe the Curious had some better detail - I don’t know. An audiophile I know calls texture and a organic type sound better harmonic resolution so maybe that’s what it had. What I can say for sure is its one fine USB Cable. Well worth giving it a try. I got one to go with my Curious.


Curious USB cable is a great choice. Check out the reviews.


Has anyone tried the Stealth T-Select USB? Have read some raving reviews in Audiogon from people using it in their systems, saying it’s clearly ABOVE all others: Curious, Purist, Wireworld, Audioquest, Cardas, Audience etc.


Hi Paul,

I used a MacMini with my CD music ripped AIFF for about a year, but when I replaced it with an Audender N10, I was floored by the improment in sound. At the time I was using a Audioquest Carbon USB cable. When my dealer was over to my house, I asked him to bring the best USB cable that they carried which was a Synergistic Research Galileo. Darned expensive, but again the sound improvement was so impressive that I had to have one. It was that good. Of course as with anything else, YMMV. I’ve yet, to get my hands on a JCAT, but plan to do so just to compare. It never ends.


I just got hold of a Schiit 1m USB cable. It’s a cheap cable but it’s not too bad - certainly not as rounded off in the high frequencies as the Curious Cable but in some systems that’s not a bad thing. A good budget cable at a sensible price. Maybe a good purchase for cable skeptics :wink:


I’ve been a long time user of the Curious USB cable and generally pleased with its performance. That said, I just switched to the Audience Au 24SE +, and after 250 hours burnin (left it on repeat for about 10 days of continuous music), I have to say that the improvements with the Audience cable are jaw-dropping. As good as the Curious was, what I am hearing now has been transformational. Soundstage, naturalness of tone, micro-detail, and depth of the sound field have all taken a big step up. I’m feeding my DirectStream with an Auralic Aries G2, and all I can say is I wish I bought this USB cable sooner. I am blown away with the sound I’m getting from my DirectStream now. Yes, it is an expensive investment, but in terms of the sound quality improvement, it has been worth every penny. Very highly recommended!!!