USB cables

In the March 2012 issue of Absolute Sound, Robert Harley raves about a $550/m USB cable that replaced his "excellent" $80 cable, but doesn't tell us what the $80 cable is. For those of us who are less absolute, that would have been an interesting disclosure.

As a new owner of a MacMini loaded with Pure Music, I'd like to know what USB cables are recommended. The MacMini will output USB to a Musical Fidelity V-Link that will in turn output SP/DIF to a Cary 11a.

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I recently purchased a new USB DAC (North Star USB DAC32) and initially tried the Audioquest Cinnamon USB cable. It sounded OK but the connection was not good and the cable would come unplugged causing kernel panic in my MacBook Pro. I upgraded to the Wireworld Silver Starlight USB ($250) and it was a world of difference better in sound and connectivity. No kernel panic and much better highs and lows. I was amazed.
I am at a loss as to how could the USB cable make any difference in sync USB. In adaptive I see, the good old jitter, but in asynchronous mode? If the data transfer is accurate, and even the cheaper ones achieve this, what's left to be improved by the cable?
I'm not saying that there's no difference, for I haven't tried. I'm just looking for some technical explanation from the ones who know.
It only makes a difference if you think it will make a difference - even for adaptive USB. 99% (or more) "audiophiles" don't understand how their brain actually works nor do they understand how to really prove if they actually can hear a difference. There may be very minute differences in timing, but hearing any difference that *may* be caused is beyond what our ears and brains can accurately detect. Yes, this is heresy for this type of forum and many people would have less income if people were "more informed". Just because thousands of people believe something, doesn't mean it's true.
no conductor is perfect... unless its a super conductor at close to 0 degrees kelvin. So all of audio science for wires is really about eliminating conductor non linearities at room temperature. The hardest wave to reproduce on a metal conductor is a square wave yet thats exactly what a digital signal is. So yes a USB conductor thats flatter in impedance linearity across a wider frequency range will suffer less digital anomalies. The sad part about audio is that metal conductors for digital is a dead end... they can't handle the frequency extremes as well as optical cables with lasers. Audio needs to adapt the gigahertz technology used by telcom at which point there will no longer be a signal difference if your carrier wave has a jitter error less than 1/1000 %
Hello, I went from a .5 meter Wireworld Starlight usb cable to a 1.8 meter Furutech Formula 2. I just installed the Formula 2 and really really like it a lot! Everything got better sonically right out of the box (highs to lows), high end resolution and clarity, more bass weight and "meat on the bones." This usb cable immediately made the biggest positive improvement of any cable I've purchased. The Formula 2 is causing me to wonder how other Furutech cables measure up against the competition. And I'm a person who never gushes about cables, quite the opposite. I've more often than not been disappointed in the performance of many cable purchases I've made (speaker cables, interconnects and power cables included). This one bucks that trend. I can highly recommend the Furutech Formula 2. (Macbook Pro to Rega Dac)