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Review and Measurements of Wireworld Starlight 7 USB Cable

amirm

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amirm

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Can I send you a Belkin Gold USB Cable for testing. It's a go to cable that I have recommended others use.
I have a Belkin Gold some place.....
 
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No "ultra expensive" DAC has measured better than any cheaper DAC so far (since Ultra expensive DAC's are generally scams for people with large wallets and little sense) and even in testing with one of the best measuring products on this site; there was no discernable difference.
This is as good a comment as any to comment; this one starts with a scientific view ("measured") yet ends with a subjective opinion ("scams"). I'm getting a whiff of confirmation bias..

Being someone with an engineering background and also an audiophile what I find fascinating is a) has anyone even attempted to A/B the measured cables since at the end of the day, we use these cables and devices to provide sound? and b) How can anyone quantifiably state that we know everything there is to measure to accurately and completely quantify data into audible differences?

Waiting for the barbs, Happy Listening always! :)
 

RayDunzl

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...and b) How can anyone quantifiably state that we know everything there is to measure to accurately and completely quantify data into audible differences?

Who said that?
 

KSTR

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Wait..... HOW is this wire causing a measurable difference on a DIGITAL signal?!
It doesn't. It causes a difference on the analog output signal as seen on the far end of the output cable from a suboptimal cabling/system setup. At the DAC output jack it most certainly doesn't change anything.

See also my pos t#62.
Also note that in recent measurements Amir has made with USB feed (RME Adi-2 DAC which is essentially identical to the Adi-2 Pro) there is no main residual, in contrast to his measurement here... which backs up my observation...
 
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tomchr

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has anyone even attempted to A/B the measured cables
In order to do that with proper scientific controls in place, you'd need a pretty significant sample size (100+ participants). You'd need to set up a controlled environment where neither the experimenter nor the participants know what's being tested. You'd then run the experiment and analyze the results using statistical methods. You'll probably have to compensate the participants, so it'll get pretty involved and expensive.

This is why we rely on measurements. Modern instrumentation has no issues resolving effects that are well below audible.

Tom
 

garbulky

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It doesn't. It causes a difference on the analog output signal as seen on the far end of the output cable from a suboptimal cabling/system setup. At the DAC output jack it most certainly doesn't change anything.

See also my pos t#62.
Also note that in recent measurements Amir has made with USB feed (RME Adi-2 DAC which is essentially identical to the Adi-2 Pro) there is no main residual, in contrast to his measurement here... which backs up my observation...
I read the post. Do we have confirmation that this is the reason? Is there a way to test for this? Either way, it is clearly making a difference so we would have to prove that the other wire is somehow defective in its design or there is something this cable is doing that other cables aren't.
 
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I read the post. Do we have confirmation that this is the reason? Is there a way to test for this? Either way, it is clearly making a difference so we would have to prove that the other wire is somehow defective in its design or there is something this cable is doing that other cables aren't.
I think we've proven conclusively that there are no "errors" (or effectively no errors) in data "bits" across any reasonably designed digital cable. I've seen tests with low-cost Belkin cables running billions of bits across an interface for days at a time without a single error. So unless you have a cable that is actually faulty, the digital side of this is sound.

What some have forgotten is that there is not ONLY digital data coming across the cable (talking USB here). For example, unless you are using a specially-designed cable, there is also electrical power, which has the potential to interact unfavorably with both digital and analog components in the receiving unit. I'm sure there are other components we're not considering, either.

So the focus on "it's digital, it's perfect" is misplaced in the context of an end-to-end, mixed analog / digital system. Getting from point M-N "perfectly" isn't the whole story when it's an A-Z system.
 

KSTR

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@garbulky , a simple way to test this is shorting the DAC output. If the disturbance is still there it's the mains balancing current on the output cable shield causing a voltage drop seen by the receiver. And additionally measuring the DAC output in a configuration that is known to have no balancing current on the output cable. Then inject a balancing current through the DAC but not through the cable to check if there is any balancing current issues inside the DAC.

For this, I'm using my Adi-2 Pro as ADC with the Intona USB isolator and a modified, low-leakage supply. It allows to clearly isolate things like mains residuals and USB packet noise coming from those shield current effects.
 

amirm

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Being someone with an engineering background and also an audiophile what I find fascinating is a) has anyone even attempted to A/B the measured cables since at the end of the day, we use these cables and devices to provide sound?
Which cables? USB? If so, that is impossible since swapping USB cables completely stops the flow of music causing long pause until playback can be restarted. This destroys any chance of hearing small differences if they exist.

Based on measurements, there is no audible difference.
 
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Which cables? USB? If so, that is impossible since swapping USB cables completely stops the flow of music causing long pause until playback can be restarted. This destroys any chance of hearing small differences if they exist.

Based on measurements, there is no audible difference.
Yes, the USB cables at the subject of this post. Also, who says uninterrupted music = an inability to discern differences?
 

amirm

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GGroch

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It wouldn't be very difficult to build a test rig allowing instant switching between USB cables.
You could certainly set up 2 identical systems fed the same source...switched at the headphone or speaker outputs, that differed only in USB cables.
I do not believe there would be any audible difference.

But, I think sbo6 raises an interesting point. There are lots of DAC tests here where small measurable differences seem to be driving members purchase decisions...without any proof that the differences are audible. I guess I am confused why say, an RME ADI-2 should be held in such high esteem if Starlight cables are not.
 
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Thanks Amir and DKT88 for that info, I knew of but hadn't read (as I now somewhat have) the particulars of auditory short - term memory. However, as I understand it, and how I believe I experience it, doesn't mean that significant differences in samples aren't identifiable. So while small differences in samples may not be identifiable (e.g.: USB cables) more pronounced differences may be.
 

DonH56

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b) How can anyone quantifiably state that we know everything there is to measure to accurately and completely quantify data into audible differences?
Since this is about USB cables, if you measure the datastream at the source and at the other end (using a JBERT or whatever) and the bits are identical, then there can be no audible difference since the data are identical, unless you dispute that?

As has been said many times, the biggest issues with USB cables and components aside from a flat-out bad (or just too long cable) that causes bit errors (which are measurable), is that power and ground through the cable can couple other noise, AC leakage, etc. and that can be readily audible. It is also measurable. As are things like coupled EMI/RFI and such.

I am sure I do not know everything, my wife and kids can attest to that, but for USB cables in particular (as well many things audio) the mantra "measurements don't tell all, you can't measure everything, I can hear things you can't measure" gets old. The latest Stereophile has a reader's letter ending with "Measurements are for engineers. Music is for music lovers." This sort of thing is the type of bias I find annoying; the presumption music lovers (and by inference audiophiles) are somehow better than the engineers who designed their stuff, and implication (virtually a statement in this case) that engineers cannot be music lovers. Balderdash.
 
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This sort of thing is the type of bias I find annoying; the presumption music lovers (and by inference audiophiles) are somehow better than the engineers who designed their stuff, and implication (virtually a statement in this case) that engineers cannot be music lovers. Balderdash.
I'll restrain myself from pushing any further about measurements. However WRT your quoted statement, I think you are inventing a situation that exists more in the engineering community. IME audiophiles don't think they are "better" than anyone let alone engineers, if anything many audiophiles are engineers. I think you're conveniently putting them all in a box. To me audiophiles span the gamut but ultimately all have one thing in common - the pursuit of high quality sound systems to play music.
 
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