I also have the Cinnamon's coming which I'm eager to hear.
Dan, I reported the jack wagon crapping on your post
How could you miss their post, Props to the guys that take this stuff down though.
I have to believe there is a more efficient way of stopping these turds.
Any updates Dan ?
Great thread Mantis. I'm currently using Audioquest 0.75m Carbons that cost $119.00 They sound great in my set up and my dealer is going to let me try the Coffee and the Diamonds when I go back for my balanced XLR cables. (I'm comparing some JPS superconductors vs their more expensive ones). Unfortunately I have nothing to compare the Carbons to yet but I am unlikely to spring for the more pricey one's unless there is a clear difference. I find it really difficult to A vs B test most of the cables because of the time it takes to make the changes. Like the balanced cables at less than a meter in length you can spend a fortune on them and I find it hard to be sure I'm really hearing a difference. I will update after the Coffees.
Yea Mantis it all gets kind of confusing to me, but the Carbons at least are definitely worth comparing to.
Shootout coming. I gotta run in the Cardas cable as well as get all the other USB's re runned in some so it's a fair vs. Nothing like comparing a cold cable that's been sitting for weeks. The Cardas is brand new so it's never seen the light of day.
I will say so far I've been running it in the Cardas for about 2 hours and It sounds so damn good. I'm very impressed already. nothing lost coming from my very used now Audioquest Forest USB which I have been using for a month now all the time. It's fully run in as it doesn't get to much down time.
Man this Cardas Clear sound terrific , WOW , I'm really impressed so far. Damn
I picked up the Cardas Clear and compared it to my Audioquest Forest. I want to get a Carbon but they are back ordered so as soon as they come in , I'm getting one along with a cinnamon . I only have a few hours on the Cardas but I hear basically what you heard. The cardas seems to be very neutral and balanced. I don't think it's doing anything wrong like adding or losing anything to the sound. The Forest seems basically the same way. It's very detailed and clear.
I have about 6 USB cables now that I have been rotating in and out of my system. I have 2 that where DIY from thsmith that has no power conductors. Just the 2 signal and 1 ground. One of them sounds as good as the Forest and the other seems like something is wrong with it. Things seem to come up missing from time to time. I don't like that cable at all as even my cheap Belkin 2.0 high speed sounds more right then it. I don't test that cable no more.
I'm very pleased with the Cardas Clear and as I felt about all other cables , once you get it right , there is nothing more you can do to improve the sound quality. I'm starting to fully believe that both the Audioquest Forest and Cardas Clear are properly built , are passing the entire signal as it is and not picking up or losing anything along the way. Once the Audioquest Carbon comes in and I run that cable in , if it sounds like the Clear and Forest , I'm gonna stop testing USB cables. That sound be enough of different cables to tell me that the job is getting done to perfection.
The Carbon is interesting as it has Silver conductors and silver plated connections. This is something I really want to give a full test drive. The Cinnamon only has silver conductors but still uses the same connector the Forest uses in gold plated. I'm not sure how much of a difference that cable will make , I'm gonna test it as well as I hope they come in at the same time so I can run them all in over a solid weekend of testing.
Same results so far. The Cardas and the Audioquest sound exactly the same. I can't tell any differences. I actually end up after a few minutes enjoying the music and not really paying attention to details anymore. When this happens I know I got it right. I know nothing is missing or being added as those kinds of things to me stick out like a sore thumb.
The built quality of the Cardas Clear is top notch. The time I have spent with the Crosslink speaker cables also tells me they are passing the signal to perfection. They are Cardas entry level speaker cables and they are of the highest quality at that level. Usually my Audioquest FLX 14/2 and FLX 14/4 hand built by me show flaws in others at this gauge and length( I run 8 to 10 foot) . The Crosslinks don't change anything when I swap out the Audioquest and put in the Crosslinks. I could be satisfied with either cable powering my system. Not to mention I have FLX14/2 running all my speakers in my system which will include Front Heights today( I got a pair of Gem XL's on the way that I'm gonna dig into Front Height's with and I'm also gonna bring home a pair of Def Tech speaker brackets so I can angle them down and set them up properly).
I'm still gonna test the Cinnamon and Carbon when they finally come in. Audioquest has been selling the crap out of USB cables and got very back ordered. It's also very refreshing to deep into another wire company that holds their products to the highest standards like Cardas does. Over the years I have been installing them , I never really got a WOW factor out of them. What I'm understanding now is they do their job and don't coor up the sound like most other companies do. They are fantastic in everything they do and do it to perfection. I'm not trying to rewire my entire rig or anything with Cardas as I don't find them to be superior in any way over Audioquest. I do however if lets say Audioquest goes out of business , I have a very solid fall back company for my wire needs.
Kimber Kable makes a USB cable and if we start stocking them , I'll take one home and test drive it. But as with Cardas and Audioquest , Kimber also pays extreme attention to all their cable builds.
I purchased a 16 foot Belkin Gold Reference cable for somewhere around $35 at Micro Center after reading very favorable reviews in TAS and Stereophile. The sound is definitely high-end and lends credence to Mantis's conclusion that a well-made USB cable will sound the same as another well-made cable. I only ever compared the Belkin to a WireWorld Silver Starlight, but they both sound the same to me.
I prefer the Belkin because it is longer which allows me to place the computer in a more attractive location in my listening space . . . not to mention it costs far less.
If I could find some differences in high end USB cables , I will report my findings. but honestly I just about finished with this as the Cardas Clear costs a lot more then the Audioquest Forest but IMO there is no sonic benefits. IF I could hear better anything , then I could say yeah it's worth the extra cost as your getting better sound quality. But I haven't found it. I never found it in any Digital cables in the past except when I upgraded to Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cables from Binary. I chalk that up to maybe poor built quality and materials , or improperly terminated connectors like the one Thsmith provided for me and I later found out he had to re solder the exact same cable I felt didn't sound right or the same as all the other USB cables I tested.
If you think about the entire chain , you gotta consider the materials used in your source , in my case my Macbook Pro. It has very good build quality but the output USB's might be made of a lesser quality material , maybe a blend of copper something. I'd actually like to know. Then on my DAC side , who really knows what metals they used to construct the USB input.
Now lets say for argument sake , it's pure copper , with buying a Silver made conductor , where do I benefit from the higher quality material at 1 meter in length? The Carbon is Silver plated connectors with 5% Silver plated long grain Copper conductors. The Forrest uses the same exact conductors with no silver plating and uses gold plated connectors. What will the added Silver give me?
I also want to do a HDMI shootout with Forest and Cinnamon then Carbon and see or hear any differences there. These are the current cables used the most and IF I can't find reasons to own higher end models like the Carbon , I'm willing to open the wallet. If I can't find any reasons other then Silver is a better conductor then Copper , I'm gonna close this chapter in the quest for perfection in my given system.
Just as a side note , I fully understand every system has sonic limitations , which I'm considering when talking about given cables. If any of you are using higher end gear then I am , you might be able to experience something my system may not be able to unveil. I do however have higher end gear at my shop and have tried a few USB's there with no sonic gains. I have a few more steps to take and I'm willing to take them.
Any and all opinions are very welcome.
Really the only thing you can review on digital cables is the build quality. Does it fit snuggly into the port, does it fall out easily, is it flexible, etc.
They're all going to sound the same, because it's a digital signal. It either works, or it doesn't.
Might let you know it if truly was just a bad HDMI cable you had originally in your "Upgraded HDMI cables, things sound better, how is this so?" thread...