USB Cable Choice

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,134
53
48
#41
Wisnon, I just ordered the 1.0m Lush USB cable - now I am back on the USB bandwagon! Will report back how it works on the Kassandra DAC. I have a lower grade Audioquest Cinnamon, so expecting good things.... I will check with Aries Cerat if I can break the power line, it doesn't use the power, but handshake, not sure. Where can a buy an unpowered USB3 adapter plug?
I own the Lush, the Curious, and the Lightspeed.

the Lush did not work with my MSB, the Curious and Lightspeed were very fine if similar, i preferred the slightly more meat-on-the-bones presentation of the Curious.

waiting to see if the new MSB Renderer surpasses the USB approach. if not; i will audition more expensive USB cables. but until then satisfied with the Curious.

the MSB does need the powered cable (the Lush is a powered cable).
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,525
18
38
#42
Many thanks Wisnon. I just ordered it, it's a no brainer if it works (cheap).
Exactly. Fingers crossed...but I expect it to make a difference.

I forgot to tell the description of the system where we did the shootout. Silvaweld preamp. Kronzilla amp, Lampi SuperKomputer, Lampi GG Dac and Horns Universum speakers:

Christoph1.jpg
 
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#43
I own the Lush, the Curious, and the Lightspeed.

the Lush did not work with my MSB, the Curious and Lightspeed were very fine if similar, i preferred the slightly more meat-on-the-bones presentation of the Curious.

waiting to see if the new MSB Renderer surpasses the USB approach. if not; i will audition more expensive USB cables. but until then satisfied with the Curious.

the MSB does need the powered cable (the Lush is a powered cable).
Mike, what was the sonic signature of the Lush do you think? I am imagining from reviews the Curious is more detailed, and in some systems that doesn't work. I should get my Lush this week, so will try it on my Kassandra. I am on fairy basic AQ Cinnamon at the present.

This review here gives a decent idea of the Curious v others. Looks like the AQ Diamond could be a contender if you like speed and detail.

See my second post below, I just bought the USB power leg isolator, it takes the 5v feed out pif the cable at the Server end, so may avoid any interactions, even if the DAC at the other end doesn't need the 5v to work.

https://audiobacon.net/2017/09/18/curious-cables-usb-review/
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,134
53
48
#44
Mike, what was the sonic signature of the Lush do you think? I am imagining from reviews the Curious is more detailed, and in some systems that doesn't work. I should get my Lush this week, so will try it on my Kassandra. I am on fairy basic AQ Cinnamon at the present.

This review here gives a decent idea of the Curious v others. Looks like the AQ Diamond could be a contender if you like speed and detail.

See my second post below, I just bought the USB power leg isolator, it takes the 5v feed out pif the cable at the Server end, so may avoid any interactions, even if the DAC at the other end doesn't need the 5v to work.

https://audiobacon.net/2017/09/18/curious-cables-usb-review/
don't know about the Lush, it would not 'work' with the MSB......no connection. I was going to send it back but have not got around to doing that. so I have no idea how it sounds.

I do have the USB isolator but can't use it with the MSB. I bought it when I had the GG but then got an unpowered Sablon cable I liked, but then switched to the Formula dac that needed a powered cable so I've not even tried the USB isolator.

I have so many unused digital interface gizmo's sitting on my shelf it's pathetic. if I was not so lazy I would sell them.
 
#45
don't know about the Lush, it would not 'work' with the MSB......no connection. I was going to send it back but have not got around to doing that. so I have no idea how it sounds.

I do have the USB isolator but can't use it with the MSB. I bought it when I had the GG but then got an unpowered Sablon cable I liked, but then switched to the Formula dac that needed a powered cable so I've not even tried the USB isolator.

I have so many unused digital interface gizmo's sitting on my shelf it's pathetic. if I was not so lazy I would sell them.
Thanks Mike. Wonder why it didn't work on the MSB? Maybe the impedance on the Lush being 200 ohms (diverting for the standard)? I just ordered the Curious as well, so will cable 'binge' on that when they arrive. The Curious can be sent back for free on a 30 day, the Lush minus the shipping and lost VAT so not as good a return. But as some may have said elsewhere, it seems USB cables are the new 'cartridges' so chasing the final sound you need. Aside from avoiding noise, it comes down to sublet tones controls, bit like interconnects I guess. Who said in digital bits are bits? More like variable voltage, which is understandable that it will be fragile and can be affected.

Yes, stuff hanging around needs to be sold my friend, unless you think you may use it one day, but that is hoarding syndrome! You need to look at my tool box to see that. But I do try and sell stuff I haven't used for 12 months, and the feeling of freedom when it flies out the door...... or extra space in the house.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,134
53
48
#46
Thanks Mike. Wonder why it didn't work on the MSB? Maybe the impedance on the Lush being 200 ohms (diverting for the standard)? I just ordered the Curious as well, so will binge on that when they arrive. The Curious can be sent back for free on a 30 day, the Lush minus the shipping and lost VAT so not as good a return. But as some may have said elsewhere, it seems USB cables are the new 'cartridges' so chasing the final sound you need.
the Lush guy said that sometimes it just does not do the handshake for whatever reason.

Yes, stuff hanging around needs to be sold my friend, unless you think you may use it one day, but that is hoarding syndrome! You need to look at my tool box to see that. But I do try and sell stuff I haven't used for 12 months, and the feeling of freedom when it flies out the door...... or extra space in the house.
thanks for the inspiration. I have so many balls in the air right now it's hard to clean house. but I will try. I know you are right about that feeling.:D
 

Priaptor

Member Sponsor
Jan 29, 2012
929
0
0
FL
#47
Currently using the uber expensive Gobel USB with my Select II and it is fantastic. I think the Curious is an amazing cable as well if one is looking for a reasonably priced cable. I have the Lightspeed which is bested by the Curious and like Mike I am waiting for MSB's new renderer to make a final decision .
 
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#48
the Lush guy said that sometimes it just does not do the handshake for whatever reason.



thanks for the inspiration. I have so many balls in the air right now it's hard to clean house. but I will try. I know you are right about that feeling.:D
Mike, you haven't posted so much on your Select recently. I read pretty much all those from the start. I have my Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II now, and will post an in-depth impression of it in a week or so. I am still tweaking around and getting use to it. I absolutely love this thing, it is a beast, and left my Audio Note DAC 5 in the dust. It seems to manage to extricate all the detail I crave without any of the typical digital nasties I have tried to avoid over the years. The DAC 5 got somewhere to doing that, but in the end it was achieving a lot of that by masking / slowing things down too much, and I found it too coloured. The dynamics on the Kassandra are off the scale good, possibly helped by the powerful gain stage.

A nice feature I am playing with this week is the bias function. Sorry, this is off topic, but I find this a really useful feature. The DAC has 2 trim pots and a built in meter. By by altering the bias current to the tubes in the gain stage, I can alter the timbre of the sound a bit, small but meaningful effects. Lower softens the sound a bit, calms the leading edges of the treble etc, more fires things up and things get more energetic. I will hold off my final settings till the 2 x new cables land. I expect the Curious cable to be more transparent than the Lush, but no idea yet which will sound best... more to come.
 

elcorso

VIP/Donor
Nov 19, 2013
87
0
0
Rainforest
#49
--- I expect the Curious cable to be more transparent than the Lush, but no idea yet which will sound best... more to come.

In my humble opinion, it is not only a matter of transparency but of musicality. I love the Lush and it has been six months of being in my system, having tried almost all the possible USB cables.

Roch
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,134
53
48
#51
Mike, you haven't posted so much on your Select recently. I read pretty much all those from the start. I have my Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II now, and will post an in-depth impression of it in a week or so. I am still tweaking around and getting use to it. I absolutely love this thing, it is a beast, and left my Audio Note DAC 5 in the dust. It seems to manage to extricate all the detail I crave without any of the typical digital nasties I have tried to avoid over the years. The DAC 5 got somewhere to doing that, but in the end it was achieving a lot of that by masking / slowing things down too much, and I found it too coloured. The dynamics on the Kassandra are off the scale good, possibly helped by the powerful gain stage........
with my amplifier investigations it's mostly been listening to the MSB Select II at my typical 60-70% rate. and the combination of the Select II and the ML3's is quite stunning. and appropriately different than the dart 458's.....as I was seeking it to be. I love selecting a play list and just enjoying that SET viewpoint, yet I think that the MM7's bass interface takes those ML3's to someplace beyond what any other method possibly could......which really takes the MSB Select II to another level. so I'm likely more enamored with the contributions of the Select II than ever, yet there has been so much going on that it's a bit over-shadowed in my posting. I hope that makes sense.

soon i'll have a new tt, and we will see what that does to my situation....as it will further distract from forum attention to the Select II. but I will continue to be listening, as always, to plenty of Select II.

congrats on your Kassandra Ref II and I'm happy it's touching all the bases for you. I look forward to your in-depth impressions.
 

elcorso

VIP/Donor
Nov 19, 2013
87
0
0
Rainforest
#52
Just in case you missed this, Sablon USB compared to other USB cables including Lush and Curious, details here


http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...n-Audio-Reserva-experience-Affordable-S-O-T-A
I just read it, thanks. Only opinions like mine and that I respect, circumscribed to the audio equipment that each one has and of course to the taste of each one.

What I want to clarify is that when someone refers to the "musical detail" is not something that impresses me, I do not want more detail than music and each instrument has naturally. That is why I speak of "musicality", which is what allows me to listen to music for long hours without suffering auditory fatigue.

Roch
 
#53
Exactly. Fingers crossed...but I expect it to make a difference.

I forgot to tell the description of the system where we did the shootout. Silvaweld preamp. Kronzilla amp, Lampi SuperKomputer, Lampi GG Dac and Horns Universum speakers:

View attachment 39469
Nice view! Speakers are ok as well....
 
#54
#55
with my amplifier investigations it's mostly been listening to the MSB Select II at my typical 60-70% rate. and the combination of the Select II and the ML3's is quite stunning. and appropriately different than the dart 458's.....as I was seeking it to be. I love selecting a play list and just enjoying that SET viewpoint, yet I think that the MM7's bass interface takes those ML3's to someplace beyond what any other method possibly could......which really takes the MSB Select II to another level. so I'm likely more enamored with the contributions of the Select II than ever, yet there has been so much going on that it's a bit over-shadowed in my posting. I hope that makes sense.

soon i'll have a new tt, and we will see what that does to my situation....as it will further distract from forum attention to the Select II. but I will continue to be listening, as always, to plenty of Select II.

congrats on your Kassandra Ref II and I'm happy it's touching all the bases for you. I look forward to your in-depth impressions.
Thanks Mike, who ever though a hobby listening to music could be a full time job LOL. I wonder if you will keep both power amps then, for a different flavour? I have coms with a lot of Head-fi guys over at the other forum, and many of them have a cluster of top HPs for that reason. We are talking 4K upwards for many of those as well.
 
#56
The Phasure Lush Cable is damn good, especially when you cut the power with either and adapter or special unpowered USB 3 to a Dac that does not need the 5v, even for handshake. I tested it yesterday with a pal where we rolled 5 types and it may even be the marginal favourite over the Curious Cable, which is also good. Note that its a 2m Lush vs 0.8m Curious.

Others that did well were 0.75m iFi Gemini (data only connected), Light harmoonic 1m dual cable and Lampi unpowered (mega-volt fried) USB cable. The lampi cable my friend had was easily bested by the LH cable before, but with the $200 Aubisque filter, the gap was cut so much that preference is now in the highly subjective range. All the cables did well either stock or with simple tweaks.
I got the Lush USB 1m today. Off the bat it was bit closed in, dynamics restricted, the treble quality about the same as my AQ Cinnamon,. Not worried I listened to it all day. It is opening up tonight - WOW marvellous, I am in heaven. More detail but super linear and smooth with it. Complex passages are multi layered, tons of information going on, much of which I didn't notice before. I was worried about the 200 ohm spec, Mike said it didn't connect on his Select. So, so far so good.

I have the Curious USB cable coming next week, and a USB power cut adapter. If the Curious is more transparent than the Lush it may be too much. I have upped the Bias on my Kassandra a bit today, as I seem to prefer that, everything just goes bigger and more 3D, but previously the AQ cable didn't like that extra setting. The Lush seems just fine about it.

I'll post back in 2 weeks or so, let them both burn in, then have a Curious v Lush Face-Off. It is nice both these cable as circa 300 euros shipped, a bargain upgrade / tweak I think.
 

elcorso

VIP/Donor
Nov 19, 2013
87
0
0
Rainforest
#57
LUSH SQ is very good just out the box, but will improve after 100 hours burn in... and even more after 200 !

Please don’t disturb the form and the place of the cable and try to move it away form RFI sources like DC power cables, PSUs, USB 3.0 cable, etc...! At least 30 cms (12” away).

Roch
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,525
18
38
#58
I got the Lush USB 1m today. Off the bat it was bit closed in, dynamics restricted, the treble quality about the same as my AQ Cinnamon,. Not worried I listened to it all day. It is opening up tonight - WOW marvellous, I am in heaven. More detail but super linear and smooth with it. Complex passages are multi layered, tons of information going on, much of which I didn't notice before. I was worried about the 200 ohm spec, Mike said it didn't connect on his Select. So, so far so good.

I have the Curious USB cable coming next week, and a USB power cut adapter. If the Curious is more transparent than the Lush it may be too much. I have upped the Bias on my Kassandra a bit today, as I seem to prefer that, everything just goes bigger and more 3D, but previously the AQ cable didn't like that extra setting. The Lush seems just fine about it.

I'll post back in 2 weeks or so, let them both burn in, then have a Curious v Lush Face-Off. It is nice both these cable as circa 300 euros shipped, a bargain upgrade / tweak I think.
I paid €340 for a 2m lush. Did the price go up?

Lush beat Curious on a GG1 in Liechtenstein...on those Horns with a view.
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,525
18
38
#59
LUSH SQ is very good just out the box, but will improve after 100 hours burn in... and even more after 200 !

Please don’t disturb the form and the place of the cable and try to move it away form RFI sources like DC power cables, PSUs, USB 3.0 cable, etc...! At least 30 cms (12” away).

Roch

More important is that Astro should step up his transport game. WinServer 2016 AO setup will BLOW away his MacMini front end. THEN he will be cooking with gas. LoL
 
Apr 15, 2016
31
3
8
Minnetonka, MN
#60
I have been through the following USB cables over the last five years in this order- Black Cat Silverstar USB - KingRex USB - Curious Cable - TotalDAC D1 USB. They all are improvements on their predecessor to varying degrees. I recently got Sablon Cables Reserva USB cable and it handily bests my reigning favorite, the TotalDAC D1 USB. It combines the favorable traits of both the Curious (great attack, lots of perceived detail, air, and room ambience) and the TotalDAC (body to instruments and voices, improved tone and timbre, ease to the music) and adds a much lowered noise floor to reveal more of the music. I am very impressed with this cable so far.
 

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