• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Wireworld Starlight 7 USB Cable

Killingbeans

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
119
Likes
172
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
#41
So maybe the extra shielding around the 5v wire is reducing interference from the 5v usb line?
That would be my bet. Any USB cable with separate power conductors would probably give similar results(?).

Also, hope that the diagram symetricon design is off by a bit for demonstration purposes and the data cable are twisted together

edit: Found this image for comparison between the wireworld Dna Helix and Symetricon... Really doesn't inspire confidence that the data cables in the symetricon design are twisted together
And that might account for the dirt in the top end. A normal twisted pair most likely does the job way better. 'Symetricon' seem like complete bull, and 'Dna Helix' is way overkill.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
81
Likes
56
#42
My motherboard has that same thing. I use it for my DAC, and I always wondered if it actually made any difference haha
Yeah, I've got my Element plugged into the same port on my Gigabyte B350 board. Never really tried other slots, but never had issues with that one, so I never really tried.
 

tlr

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
34
Likes
25
#45
Is the difference purely due to analog noise rather than issues in the digital domain (corrupted packets, jitter)?
 

Killingbeans

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
119
Likes
172
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
#46
Wouldn't corrupted data increase noise over the entire spectrum (I'm no expert.. just asking)?

Love the peaceful discussion about pricy cables lol. Imagine that.
No need to beat a dead horse I guess :D
(And not many people around to do the beating)

I'm just curious whether the "improvements" can be replicated with a much cheaper solution.
 
Last edited:

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
16,836
Likes
13,190
Location
Seattle Area
#47
Is the difference purely due to analog noise rather than issues in the digital domain (corrupted packets, jitter)?
As just noted, data corruption creates massive change in the measured spectrum. So it is definitely power/ground related.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
37
Likes
80
#48
Love the peaceful discussion about pricy cables lol. Imagine that.
Lol, only think most of us know we're just 'measurebating' at this point. that and now I'm curious if it'd be possible to produce better results with a length of cat7 cable and some usb 2.0 connectors or some other cheap method where we keep the improvements, but lose the dirt up top
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
73
Likes
27
#49
Maybe not since both data and power wires will have one common shield, but probably one can just buy the usb connectors and a few meters of good two wire shielded cable so data and power will have independent shielding, probably this will have the same benefits (if any of them are audible at all) than the cable reviewed.

Edit: it seems that someone has already thought about it, this cable already has double/triple shielding under one sleeve:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/digi...le-shielded-silver-plated-o-72mm-p-11077.html

Lol, only think most of us know we're just 'measurebating' at this point. that and now I'm curious if it'd be possible to produce better results with a length of cat7 cable and some usb 2.0 connectors or some other cheap method where we keep the improvements, but lose the dirt up top
 
Last edited:

MZKM

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
88
Likes
48
#50
This is a review and detailed measurements of Wireworld Starlight 7 flat USB cable. It is on kind loan from a member. The cost is USD $100 including Prime shipping for the 1 meter/40 inch length I am testing. For this review, I compared it to my current favorite, the 6 foot/1.5m version of Amazon Basics USB cable which costs USD $5 with Prime shipping included. Yes, quite a price difference!

The Wireworld Starlight 7 comes in bright red color with nice indicating its UL rating and such:


It has the usual buzzwords of OFC, Silverclad, "Symmetricon design," etc. And of course some fantastical claims such as this one:

"For a 5 STAR enhanced performance experience from gaming to videos, music to movies, rendering to data, downloads and publishing… better cables = broader bandwidth and faster data transmission speeds."​

Faster transmission speeds? I don't think so. In this short length any non-broken USB cable will provide the maximum link speed. Or else I would like to see some measurements of this from Wireworld.

The flat profiel cable is nice if you are going up or down from the jack. In my case, I had to go 90 degrees to the left, resulting in an uncomfortable twist in the cable. Would not want to use it that way long term. Seems to me a round cable works better mechanically.

From performance point of view, the flat configuration allows the power lines to be separate from data lines:

View attachment 21428

The cable has 16 reviews on Amazon with average of 5 stars!

This is second from bottom of the Wireworld cables:

View attachment 21429

Prices go way up as you go up the range. In that regard and as high-end cables go, $100 is very much a "bargain."

Let's see if we can tease out any differences between our ultra budget cable and the Wireworld.

Measurements
I tested these cables with three DACs starting with Topping D50. The test is a simple 1 kHz tone but FFT points maxed out to 1.2 million (I usually use 256K) and averaging set to 16 times allowing us to substantially reduce DAC's noise floor to find any spikes visible. This is what it looks likes when we compare the two cables:

View attachment 21430

Now I didn't expect this! The D50 is externally powered through a Samsung switching wall-wart. Somehow though switching to Wireworld Starlight 7 reduced the mains spikes by some 20 dB! Mind you, the spikes were not remotely audible at -130 dB before (threshold of hearing is probably -70 dB in these frequencies). It is possible the ground/shields are thicker in Wireworld resulting in lower differential voltage drop between the computer and DAC chassis.

I thought this difference may be due to longer Amazon Basics cable but a much shorter generic cable showed the same performance/advantage for Wireworld.

On the negative side we do have some extra grunge around 8 to 20 kHz so perhaps what makes it good for ground/power, also allows it to better transmit such noise?

I figured I go up market on DACs and test the RME ADI-2 Pro which also is externally powered on its own:
View attachment 21431

This is with balanced output from RME which nicely shields us from the same mains harmonics. We are talking whopping -150 dB or more for the Amazon Basics cable. But Wireworld cable shows that it can even reduce those tiny spikes to almost nothing. Something seems to be there.

Going back down the scale to a poor performing DAC, namely Schiit Modi 2, we get this:
View attachment 21432

Now the DAC is so bad on its own that both cables perform the same.

Conclusions
There is some goodness in this wireworld cable that reduces mains hum and buzz. I can't explain that without some electrical analysis which I am too lazy to perform at the moment. :) So technically we paid more, and we got more.

Now before subjectivists start to celebrate, as I clearly noted, none of those mains components are remotely audible (or you would hear them with generic cables and we don't). And at any rate, no improvements were made whatsoever in actual distortion products. In the case of D50, we actually made things worse a bit.

I guess it is good to find things that we think are totally waste of money, actually produce some measurable improvement. For $100, I wouldn't make fun of anyone buying one of these unless they started to say it made things sound better. :)

Open to discussions on what we are seeing and where, if anywhere, to go from here.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

It is snowing here for the first time this year. I need some money to buy snowshoes. Yes, it is only one inch of snow but you don't want me to fall and get hurt, do you? So please consider donating money using:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/audiosciencereview), or
upgrading your membership here though Paypal (https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...eview-and-measurements.2164/page-3#post-59054).

In your measurements of the D50, there is no mains leakage, so what USB cable did you use for that measurement?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
16,836
Likes
13,190
Location
Seattle Area
#51
In your measurements of the D50, there is no mains leakage, so what USB cable did you use for that measurement?
I don't remember what I used then. That test though was likely with my laptop. I switched to using my desktop for measurements a few months ago. As a result, grounding conditions are quite different.
 

rebbiputzmaker

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
714
Likes
116
#52
Conclusions
There is some goodness in this wireworld cable that reduces mains hum and buzz. I can't explain that without some electrical analysis which I am too lazy to perform at the moment. :) So technically we paid more, and we got more.
It is very refreshing to read this, even in a cable design can matter. Maybe we will never hear the difference, and people should not spend their life savings on cables, but the difference was there and worth investigating, thank you.
 

Aibo

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
27
Likes
26
#53
Interesting results. Unlike speaker and IC cables, so far I could never hear any difference changing my digital cables (not that any of them were this expensive) or even when using extension USB cable to reach the device (some people believe it's a big no-no but I couldn't notice any changes).
 

pkane

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
258
Likes
171
#54
Interesting results, @amirm.

I've been evaluating another USB cable sent to me by the manufacturer (Lush^2). I've found one older DAC (Emotiva) where it made a measurable difference compared to a generic USB cable. But, with a well-designed modern DAC, I found nothing so far. Clearly, my measurement system is not as good as an AP, but the results are still interesting. Captured using Focusrite Forte ADC at 192/24.

Here's the spectrum of the null difference of two high-res (192KHz) PCM recorded music/vocal captures, one over Lush^2 cable and one over generic USB:

1549547236620.png


And here's the spectrum difference between two test runs over the generic cable only:

1549547298941.png


And here is the phase difference between the two captures over Lush and generic cables. Well under 2 degrees difference all the way to 24KHz.
0-10,000Hz: 0.7968° (rms)
0-24,000Hz: 1.7983° (rms)
1549547623362.png
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
36
Likes
11
#55
The results may be due to the fact that the Amazon cable might be overall poor quality thereby making the Wireworld cable look great.
^+1
Original D50 review didn't have those lower side spikes unlike with amazon cable. (edit: as MZKM pointed out)
And noise floor is 10dB lower with this new measurement, some changes in measuring methods/equipment ?

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ments/topping-d50-dac-measurements-png.19810/

Topping D50 DAC Measurements 1.png


vs

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...le-schiit-topping-d50-measurements-png.21430/

Wireworld Starlight 7 Flat USB Cable Schiit Topping D50 Measurements 1.png
 
Last edited:

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
6,064
Likes
2,050
Location
Riverview, FL
#56
And here is the phase difference between the two captures over Lush and generic cables.
Do you also have a Phase Difference result graph for the "same cable both times" test?
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
1,141
Likes
932
#57
^+1
Original D50 review didn't have those lower side spikes unlike with amazon cable. (edit: as MZKM pointed out)
And noise floor is 10dB lower with this new measurement, some changes in measuring methods/equipment ?

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ments/topping-d50-dac-measurements-png.19810/

View attachment 21496

vs

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...le-schiit-topping-d50-measurements-png.21430/

View attachment 21497
Isn't the type of test different though? From the start of the review..

The test is a simple 1 kHz tone but FFT points maxed out to 1.2 million (I usually use 256K) and averaging set to 16 times allowing us to substantially reduce DAC's noise floor to find any spikes visible.
 

bennetng

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
407
Likes
250
#58
Isn't the type of test different though? From the start of the review..

The test is a simple 1 kHz tone but FFT points maxed out to 1.2 million (I usually use 256K) and averaging set to 16 times allowing us to substantially reduce DAC's noise floor to find any spikes visible.
Higher FFT sizes only reduces noise floor, it won't reduce spikes. The old dashboard indeed shows there is no power supply spike at -145dB.

Example:
https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tutorial-fft-size.5675/
 

MZKM

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
88
Likes
48
#59
^+1
Original D50 review didn't have those lower side spikes unlike with amazon cable. (edit: as MZKM pointed out)
And noise floor is 10dB lower with this new measurement, some changes in measuring methods/equipment ?

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ments/topping-d50-dac-measurements-png.19810/

View attachment 21496

vs

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...le-schiit-topping-d50-measurements-png.21430/

View attachment 21497
The noise floor differences is due to the number of points in the FFT, Amir stated he used a higher resolution in this instance to better see the differences, which also lowers the noise floor, as stated here.
 

pkane

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
258
Likes
171
#60
Do you also have a Phase Difference result graph for the "same cable both times" test?
Sure. Here are the two runs over the generic USB cable. The differences between two runs, I assume, have to do with noise. Both runs were acquired in the same session with no changes to any of the configuration or process:

Run 1:
0-10,000Hz: 1.5986° (rms)
0-24,000Hz: 2.9209° (rms)
1549549490221.png


Run 2:
0-10,000Hz: 0.3035° (rms)
0-24,000Hz: 0.4554° (rms)

1549550145106.png
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom