Cardas Clear or AudioQuest Carbon USB cable

I'm using a short Cardas Clear USB cable from a Mac Mini to an Ayre QB-DSD DAC for Roon,  The DAC displays bit rates up to 192.  Would an Audioquest Carbon cable be better? 

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I have the CARDAS CLEAR USB between my BRYSTON digital player and BRYSTON DAC. It bested the both the high-end AQ’s and also my incumbent NORDOST in MY system (emphasis added)

I was an all-NORDOST FREY loom fan and was quite happy with it, until I first auditioned CARDAS CLEAR interconnects . That led to CC digital SPIDIF (BluRay) and USB digital cables in turn sequential upgrades in my system. CC Speaker cables are contemplated in the new year as a new CC fan to complete the loom.

It’s impossible to conclude without a direct bespoke bakeoff. The CC USB cable is all copper that tamed that “digital edge” ahead of the NORDOST, the AQ, and also the AQ Diamond.


I've used both and settled on the Cardas. IMO, the Cardas is a little smoother and more musical and the AQ is a little more incisive and dynamic at the fringes. Like everything else, though, YMMV.


Thanks, guys.  I'll stick with the Cardas Clear.  The other interconnects are Cardas Clears.

Which Cardas Clear USB do you have? the one with one wire or two wires?

If you have the one with one wire, upgrade to the other one: 


I don't recall buying it, but my Cardas Clear USB is a single cable about 18" long.  It's in a setup comprised of USB form Mac Mini to Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC to Ayre KX-5xeMP preamp to a pair of Parasound JC 1 amps driving KEF LS50s augmented by a pair of KEF KC62 subs.  The setup sounds very good even with large orchestrations.



Have you ever connected the QB-9 DSD to your C5xe cd player?

If so, did the player out perform your DX-5 DSD universal?


Happy Listening!


I haven't, but it would be easy to do.  The QB-6 DSD receives USB from the Mini for Roon, but it sits atop the C-5xeMP so would be easy to connect. The DX-5 DSD is in a different setup with 5-Twenty preamp and amp and KEF Reference 1s rather than LS50s, so comparison is not easy,  The C-5xeMP is what got me hooked on Ayre.

Definitely Cardas Clear. I've had both in my system and the Cardas USB is clearly (no pun intended) superior. Warmer yet more detailed.

I upgraded from the single cable Cardas clear to the double cable Clear High Speed. Fairly inexpensive upgrade and a big improvement. 

@spearl8 : totally agree. A difference in design and cable built the OP did not appear to grasp

Completely different sound signatures. Transparent, clear vs warmer, organic sound. Pick your poison.