Speaker cables

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izzy wizzy
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#31 Re: Speaker cables

Post by izzy wizzy »

There is some solid, measureable science about better USB cables coz regular ones mix power and signal without screening.

I'm a cable sceptic in that fancy/expensive hasn't necessarily turned out the better for me. Doesn't mean mine are the stuff that comes with a budget DVD player either.

I've got an experience of mains cables I've written up but not sure if I should post or whether it's of any interest.
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#32 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Ant »

By all means post it, im sceptical about cables, mainly because of pricing but i think i can hear a difference between them
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#33 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Nick »

I would also be interested in that. The data lines are balanced so the theory is that screening should not matter. Practice may be different of course.
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#34 Re: Speaker cables

Post by simon »

Please do Stephen
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#35 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Scottmoose »

Chalk up another one who'd be interested to see the data on the USB cables if available.

Edit: here's mine, bought because it looks like the phono leads. It seems to have halved in price since I bought one a few years ago. :shock: Curses. https://www.av.com/Cables/Fisual-Havana ... e-09m/499E
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#36 Re: Speaker cables

Post by IslandPink »

This is what James said a while back - hope he doesn't mind me posting this email.
It was probably a simpler comment than I thought - more along the lines of what Scott said about the USB just needing to meet the standard - but make of it what you will :

OK - revision of assessment...

Today I received a new USB cable from Custom Cable Specialists - not outrageous about a tenner BUT its changed how I hear the track - now the pace seems correct and it all holds together with more sense of a band playing together... bass runs seem faster but tight with the music, the multitracked voices complement each other rather than sounding detached, etc, etc....

Sorry Nick to hear it differently with the new cable - I guess we're down to noise affecting jitter on the digital timing again - the old cable was a cheap £2.00 jobbie that was starting to fray and I guess the screen was failing too...

This is the first time I have heard a real difference when changing USB cables...

Ciao

James


Then a follow-up :

(NG) This would all be a lot better if we could trust any part of the system to know have the possibility of f**king up, once you can't trust USB cables, its all downhill !

Too damn true! I've been questioning if its my emotional state too as I just delivered a huge RFQ a couple of days ago that was stressing me out... but it definitely the cable as I put the old one back and the timing went back to how I first heard it...
...
...
I don't know where one is not 'standing on sand' - the older I get the less certain I get about things... and since my early student days I knew audio was a minefield!
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izzy wizzy
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#37 Re: Speaker cables

Post by izzy wizzy »

IslandPink wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 1:54 pm This is what James said a while back - hope he doesn't mind me posting this email.
It was probably a simpler comment than I thought - more along the lines of what Scott said about the USB just needing to meet the standard - but make of it what you will :

OK - revision of assessment...

Today I received a new USB cable from Custom Cable Specialists - not outrageous about a tenner BUT its changed how I hear the track - now the pace seems correct and it all holds together with more sense of a band playing together... bass runs seem faster but tight with the music, the multitracked voices complement each other rather than sounding detached, etc, etc....

Sorry Nick to hear it differently with the new cable - I guess we're down to noise affecting jitter on the digital timing again - the old cable was a cheap £2.00 jobbie that was starting to fray and I guess the screen was failing too...

This is the first time I have heard a real difference when changing USB cables...

Ciao

James


Then a follow-up :

(NG) This would all be a lot better if we could trust any part of the system to know have the possibility of f**king up, once you can't trust USB cables, its all downhill !

Too damn true! I've been questioning if its my emotional state too as I just delivered a huge RFQ a couple of days ago that was stressing me out... but it definitely the cable as I put the old one back and the timing went back to how I first heard it...
...
...
I don't know where one is not 'standing on sand' - the older I get the less certain I get about things... and since my early student days I knew audio was a minefield!
James's quote about the timing and it all holding together is exactly what I heard and it wasn't subtle.

After all, I was dealing with a pi hat dac vs a Topping d90 via USB. Initially I thought I was going nuts. And the pi was street's ahead in making believable illusion of music until USB cable change.

Most USB cables are screened but data screened internally from power is where better cables perform better apparently.

I'll finish off my mains cables thing and post.
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#38 Re: Speaker cables

Post by simon »

If we want to try a better USB cable what is it we're looking for? What's the description/specification?
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#39 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Neal »

Look for a High Speed certified cable, RS sell them.

When you look at the USB spec it’s a very loose spec in terms of termination and cable capacitance, factor in poor implementation at the end device and you have a recipe for impedance mismatches, ringing and delta timing issues. In my previous experiments with USB I found the shorter the cable the better the sound with cheap badly implement kit.
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#40 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Scottmoose »

Neal beat me to it; however, keeping it up for completeness:

See for e.g. the USB 2.0 specification:
https://www.usb.org/document-library/us ... cification
Chapter 6 in particular, note pp.102 - 105.

USB sets a standard range, with minimum requirements, but there are recommendations for low & high speed data cables, with the latter being of higher spec. & in outright terms preferable. The physical difference in high & low speed cables within the USB 2.0 format is given in section 6.6.1:
6.6.1 Description
High-/full-speed cable consists of one 28 to 20 AWG non-twisted power pair and one 28 AWG twisted data pair with an aluminum metallized polyester inner shield, 28 AWG stranded tinned copper drain wire, > 65% tinned copper wire interwoven (braided) outer shield, and PVC outer jacket.

Low-speed cable consists of one 28 to 20 AWG non-twisted power pair and one 28 AWG data pair (a twist is recommended) with an aluminum metallized polyester inner shield, 28 AWG stranded tinned copper drain wire and PVC
The downside is that both still come in under the broad USB 2.0 name / spec. & most manufacturers even remotely near audio aren't necessarily likely to state which (if any) they applied. ;) As Neal said, aim for one conforming to the high speed spec. A lot don't conform to the basic standards / architecture at all, and that can (can) result in problems, which also partly depends on the design of the gear its connecting.

That's why I said with tongue in cheek if it's an euphemism for 'replaced with a cable that isn't broken'.
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#41 Re: Speaker cables

Post by simon »

Something like this then?

https://www.kenable.co.uk/en/usb-cables ... 12921.html

I'm not sure how we would actually know it's certified, trust the manufacturer I guess.
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#42 Re: Speaker cables

Post by Scottmoose »

Probably. Avoiding most things associated with / marketed to audio is likely a good start. ;)
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