USB cable shoot-out

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Fretless
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USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by Fretless »

Since I have accumulated several differing USB cables in recent months I was curious about how they fared in direct comparison to each other. So I have just had a intensive cable-switching frenzy and given the main contenders a blast.

Main system.
Input to Oehlbach Masterclock via DH Labs Silver Sonic.
Test cables all running from Masterclock to DAC.

Volume on amps unchanged through test.
Listening notes in italics.
Cable lengths also noted.

Tracks played:
Gilgamesh 'Darker Brighter' ('Another Fine Tune You've Gotten Me Into')
Tangerine Dream 'Poland' from 4-minute mark to about 7 mins ('Poland')
Clannad 'Ri Na Cruinne' (from 'Anam')





1) Oehlbach USB Plus (1.5m)

Image

Nice wide soundstage & well-defined
Bass a bit flabby
Pleasant, mellow, enjoyable
Detail pretty good - slight blurring


This lead was a giveaway at the Oehlbach webshop for only 7 euro.
A fine entry-level performer.




2) Inakustik Premium (2.0m)

Image

Narrow soundstage
Flat sound - 2D
Dull & blurred detail
Pleasant but uninvolved


Used in my office system for years
Don't bother with this.


3) Inakustik Excellence (1.0m)

Image

Big, wide sound
Clear & sharp
Detail lacks a bit of 'edge'
Bit 3D - but not much
Excellent 'Hifi' sound


A fine cable for a reasonable price.


4) AudioQuest Carbon (0.75m)

Image

Physically very stiff
BIG sound in definition, separation, Bass control, 3D, imaging
Fine detail - really crisp & sharp
Elegant audiophile sound


What can you say?
Superb.


5) DH Labs Silver Sonic (0.5m)

Image

Controlled presentation
Rich, solid, round sound
Wide & deep 3D soundfield
Sharper & more integrated than AQ Carbon
Lovely full sound


Really close to the Carbon in overall SQ - but one-third of the price.



6) DH Labs Mirage (1.0m)

Image

Huge, full, authoritative soundfield
Silky smooth
Complete 'Next Level' detail & integration
Crisp, pinpoint imaging
WOW!


I think that speaks for itself.

:violence-uzi: :violence-rocket:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 3):
slinger (Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:08 pm) • CN211276 (Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:58 pm) • steveabd (Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:05 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by Fretless »

USB bargain hunters might want to get over to Parts Connexion in Canada.
They have a special 65% reduction on the high-end Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 USB (30cm)
and some other types / lengths as well.

Fast service, reasonable shipping rates. :dance:

https://www.partsconnexion.com/WWORLD-87054.html
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
CN211276 (Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:01 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by CN211276 »

Previously used Wirewold Ultraviolet which was lower down the range, good for the price but bettered by AQ Carbon at greater expense. My streamer is USB A, dont know what I was thinking of before. :lol: Starlight and Mirage are providing food for thought at the offer prices.
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Fretless (Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:27 pm)
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red, ifi OTG.

RIP Doc

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slinger
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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by slinger »

If only I had the money, but I've wasted it all on instruments and recording gear. :lol:
I'm using WW Starlight 7 cables between my streamer and the Oehlbach, and the Oehlbach and the Wyrd and I'd love to try the Silvers in their places.
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by CN211276 »

This pandemic is saving me a lot of money and until there is a vaccine this is likely to continue. Home entertainment has never been more important. After doing more reading up I pulled the trigger on the Mirage. :grin: The favourable review on Amazon was in comparison with AQ Coffee (who ever thought up that name :lol:) which costs a lot more than Carbon.

During the past 18 months, on the evidence of what I am hearing, I have become more and more aware of the importance of the digital source and by that its purity and authentencity before it enters the DAC. If the the components further down the chain are transparant enough great benefits are to be had. Cables play a big part all through the chain.
These users thanked the author CN211276 for the post (total 2):
slinger (Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:18 pm) • Fretless (Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:45 pm)
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red, ifi OTG.

RIP Doc

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by Fretless »

Interested to hear your opinion on the Mirage, CN. :guiness;
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CN211276 (Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:05 am)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by slinger »

Damn you, Fretless! :lol:

Two 0.3M Silver Starlight 7 USB Cables have been ordered. The postage stung a bit though, at USD $35.95 (£27.59 / €30.53)
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: USB cable shoot-out

Unread post by Fretless »

slinger wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:32 pm
Damn you, Fretless! :lol:
Glad to be of service. :dance:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
slinger (Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:04 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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