Sunday, March 27, 2016

$500 USB Cable for audio

Woohoo, check out the Platinum Starlight 7 USB 2.0 cable

Hey its only north of 500 bucks, better jump right on that for such a low price to upgrade the sound of your digital audio! Or maybe, use your head and buy a five dollar one instead. Up to you.

What does the manufacturer claim about the cable? " breathtaking vividness, focus and dynamic expression"

Well, hey...What units do you measure vividness and focus in? I don't see any spectral data on the website that should back up such a claim but oh well, what about dynamic expression? Are they claiming that a normal USB cable compromises the dynamic range? Are they claiming instead that this cable somehow expands the dynamic range above and beyond what is actually recorded? Should you just take their word that there's a difference worth 495 bucks? Or any difference at all?

They DO claim that this is the "first USB cable to exceed 10.2Gbps transmission speed". Awesome! except that the USB spec is for 480Mbps, or 21 times slower than the cable. I could see maybe making the cable twice as fast as needed, "just in case", but there shouldn't be anything to gain by going even that far.

How fast do you need anyway? For standard CD audio, we have 44.1khz sample rate, times 16 bits, times 2 for stereo, which comes out to 1.411Mbps. For 24bit/96kHz  (no I'm not even going to get into whether or not 96khz makes any sense for regular playback in this post!) we need 4.608Mbps. Still nowhere near that 10.2Gbps.

As far as I can tell, the speed claim, "expanded geometry" and "Composilex 2 insulation" are what gives this cable all that magical, claimed, extra vividness, focus and dynamic expansion. I'm not buying it, should you?

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