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Old 11-06-2015, 04:36 AM
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Default System issue solved – Faulty USB Cable

A couple of months ago at the time when I upgraded my Conditioner, power cables, and not long after I bought my pre and power amps, my system would intermittently lose dynamics, and become very flat. There were no loss of detail, it however sounded like my amp suddenly turned into a 20 watt amp, or my pre was not outputting the required gain. I could visibly see that the speaker cone was not energised as it should be when playing music loudly. This would happen intermittently which made it even more frustrating

Doing a fault finding exercise was very difficult as so many components were changed. I even considered sending my amps to a technician to verify if operating correctly.

Another technician I spoke to suggested it could even be a faulty balanced (XLR) cable. Faulty balanced cables can result in exactly the issue that I was experiencing, loss of punch and low frequency push. This cannot happen with RCA, interesting that!

I decided to start with the cheapest cable in my system which is the USB cable connecting my powered hard drive to the Pioneer network player with a budget cable from the local computer store, and got very lucky indeed. Lo and behold it was the problem and the system was instantly transformed. This is simply the USB cable that connects HD to player, not even a more important interface such a USB cable between a player and DAC.
It’s interesting that a faulty USB cable can still work fine, but have such a major impact on Sound quality.

This should be a warning to those who scoff at quality cables when it comes to computer audio. It might not make a big difference to SQ, but quality cables are constructed and designed too much higher standards.

I plan to change to a NAS and suppose the chances of this happening with a LAN connection is less likely, so glad the issue is resolved.
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Last edited by Douglas; 11-06-2015 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:27 AM
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Interesting indeed. Quality cables DO matter. Thanks for the thread!
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:49 PM
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Doug.......I had a similar situation take place when I was first getting into computer based audio. From my laptop to my DAC I was using a cheap USB printer cable from Office Depot. I was continuously experiencing lock up. The music would stop play and would not recover without a reboot of the software, unplugging the USB cable and plugging it back in. It was frustrating. I took everyone's advice here and purchased a high quality USB cable from Wireworld and that immediately solved the drop out issue. It has been smooth sailing ever since.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:01 PM
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Douglas, I'm glad it was just the cable, not one of the major components, like your amps or speakers.
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:14 PM
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Dan, I think I should chat to Ivan soon about getting my first Wireworld cable

Bart, I was panicking. Like you say it could have been anything from speakers to amps. I eliminated the speakers as the system had the same issue when switching the the YG'S. Thank goodness I decided to swap out the USB cable.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:30 AM
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Following this experience I decided to get a fairly decent USB cable.

I bought the Wireworld Starlight USB 3 A-B and the improvement is nothing short of dramatic. The sound stage become much more holographic. The width of the stage is markedly wider.

Bass has also improved dramatically, much more punchy, with more weight. Rendition of vocals are slighter smoother, with a much more musical presentation.

Yup, as stated before quality USB cables matters!
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:40 AM
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Congrats on the cable upgrade, Douglas.

As you have discovered, quality matters everywhere in a system.

Enjoy the music!
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaki View Post
Congrats on the cable upgrade, Douglas.

As you have discovered, quality matters everywhere in a system.

Enjoy the music!
Thanks Michael
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:48 AM
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One last report as my USB cable education improves.

The company that I bought the Wireworld USB from mistakenly send me a 3m instead of a 1m length in terms of my order. They fixed the mistake by providing me with another 1m at their own cost. I am very impressed with how this was handled.

What I learned from this is that USB cable length makes a huge difference. The 1m arrived 3 days ago and it sounds better than the 3m length in almost every aspect, with much better resolution, transparency, rendition of micro details, vocal projection and punch. This came as a surprise to me as I did not expect to hear a difference.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:01 PM
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Interesting to know that Douglas. I wonder if that is the case in other cables as well, like power cables for example. I purchased two 1M Wireworld cables from Ivan. He had 2M in stock and sent them instead. No worries as far as I was concerned and I appreciate the substitute since I understand that the 2M normally cost more. I never thought it would make a difference in sound, only that they are much more difficult to get in order in the system (unwielding little bastards ).... I still think that length would probably make less of a difference in a power cable than a USB, wouldn't you agree?
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