Why does the humble usb cable make such a difference to sound quality in a computer-based Hi-Fi system?
When I started using a computer server, people said “You won’t have to sweat over usb cables – they don’t make a difference! It’s packets of data - it’s not analog.”
With this advice ringing in my ears, I continued to question why I was getting a flat, lifeless, edgy and uninvolving sound from my system – despite using the best processor, usb card, power supply and so on.
And yes, I did try a number of high-end, highly regarded usb cables – with similar disappointing results.
So, if you can’t get genuine audiophile quality from many commercially available usb cables, what’s a man to do?
From a previous career as an audiophile cable and connector manufacturer, I had plenty of wire on hand to start the experimental process. And what do you know? Just about every wire combination I tested had an immediate, yet varied impact on sound quality.
So began a 12 month quest to discover a usb cable design that would deliver a truly three dimensional, musical sound – like the real thing. I left no stone unturned. I tested different diameters of wire, different metallurgy, shielding, dielectrics, ground techniques, how to deal with the 5V power leg and so on. All the time listening.
And after a while I built up a set of parameters for a usb cable that worked for the delivery of music, rather than just delivery of data.
The result? Music from my computer-based audio system sounded significantly better – in every way! Much cleaner than before, more open and spacious, more detailed, smoother, more dynamic – and more involving. Some may even use the word “musical”!
All I can say is this. To my ears and those of experienced audiophiles – the new “Curious” usb cable offers a superior listening experience to many other usb cables.
Best results are attained when the cable is used:
Rob Woodland is an audiophile and music lover who from 1999 to 2005 licensed technology from inventor Keith Eichmann – and manufactured the Bullet Plug (a better sounding RCA connector) as well as a range of affordable high-end cables.
Rob also designed the CablePod and Bayonet Plug – the first breed of better sounding connectors to hit the market.
So, it comes as no surprise to see Rob at it again with the Curious usb cable.
“Computer-based audio systems had the potential to offer incredible performance, but I was never happy with the sound – and much of the blame can be directed towards the usb cable”, said Rob.
Twelve months and countless prototypes later – Rob has released a usb cable that brings new life to computer audio.
The cables are manufactured under license by Mike Lenehan from Lenehan Audio - Queensland, Australia.