Will a quality USB cable make a difference....

Will a higher quality USB cable make a difference when being used between a storage device (bus-powered mobile drive) and a music server (w/o DAC), as opposed to those used between a source (iMac) and USB converter/DAC? Can anyone confirm an audible improvement?
Again this my system:

Computer > WinXP > lossless > iTunes/foobar > USB > Belden/Nordost > Cary Xciter DAC (Jellyfish PC) > Nordost Blue Heaven RCA/Blue Jeans RCA/DIY RCA > three channel beta22 amp with sigma22 power supply/Woo WA6SE (Nordost Blue Heaven PC) > Senn HD800

I have been to meets and friends' home and compared my system to other top tier rigs. With several different sources and DACs. I will say it rivals or surpasses others without issue. I've had more than a couple listen to it. A headphone rig is more than capable of hearing subtle system changes. What I can say is that between the Belden and Nordost USB cables I can't discern any significant difference.
The original poster's question was

>>Will a higher quality USB cable make a difference when being used between a storage device (bus-powered mobile drive) and a music server (w/o DAC), as opposed to those used between a source (iMac) and USB converter/DAC? Can anyone confirm an audible improvement?<<

and I can't say because I'm using a Ridge Street Audio firewire connection for that between my 2010 MacMini and my Oyen MiniPro 1TB storage HD... but...

I can say that the USB cable between the MacMini and the DAC is an important link.

I just upgraded from a Ridge Street Audio Alethias USB cable to a Ridge Street Audio Enopias, and after about 150 hours of settling in, the change is simply astonishing. The Alethias is a superb USB cable, and the Enopias is all of that and so much more in musicality and detail... all of the good stuff in music and music reproduction.

It's hard to believe that I'm listening to the same system that I had 150 hours ago, with one change: the USB cable. The "wow factor" is huge.

Just my experience,

:) listening,


OK. I have $1150. to buy a meter of the Enopias!! USB cable.

Other than the “wow factor,” which can be quantified in emotional/psychological terms—sort of like “Hallelujah!” “It’s A Miracle!” “The Cucumber is Scared With A Religious Symbol!”): what electrical/physical/scientific data can you provide to those of us who may want to consider becoming owners of this USB cable?
It makes some sense that since this is STREAMING and not standard USB transfer it could be subject to some "non-1-0" effects such as timing variation, power interference, etc... So, OK it is plausible that different USB cables sound different from one another.

Here's what makes no sense: The companies who make high end USB cables cannot possibly be designing them to address "timing variation." NO ONE really knows exactly what is going on with timing variation within a USB cable, how to measure it, or how to make a cable to address it. RFI and power issues maybe- but these companies are just altering the conductors in the cable (silver, copper), shielding, etc... based on their design of analog cables. So any difference in sound quality between cables should essentially be random.

Then you read stuff like "using our special blend of materials" or "everything in our cables makes a difference." And even worse, stuff like:

"switching to the ($200 USB) cable increased the soundstage depth and layering. Moving to the ($600 USB) cable was even more revelatory with more top end air and sparkle. But switching in the top of the line cable caused the boundaries of the room to truly disappear."

If the cable companies have no idea what they are doing when it comes to USB cables- and they don't because they can't possibly - then differences should not depend on price or on the use of exotic materials that make analog cables sound good.
Hi Vvinc... this is my suggestion if you are interested in Ridge Street USB cables... call Robert at RSA... describe your system (particularly your digital front end as well as its playback software, your music preferences, and see what he has to say. In my experience, he is a very knowledgeable, candid, and honest person.

If I recall correctly, and I think I am accurate in this otherwise I wouldn't mention it, Robert has a trial period for customer satisfaction: (my understanding is that) you don't like the cable and you haven't let your dog chew on it, you get your money back. One note of caution, on my system Robert advised 100 hours of break-in/settling in, but that was very optimistic. My system with the Enopias took at least 175 hours (maybe more) to achieve its capabilities in a sustained and repeatable manner. Now that it has hundreds of hours on it, it is a remarkable performer, and I wouldn't consider selling it. I have his Alethias USB cables on two other systems which I purchased used on Audiogon and even with them it took considerable time. In fact, it's my belief that one sale took place because the seller didn't wait long enough for the cable to achieve its place in the system. One day, while playing it, everything snapped into focus and has stayed there.

So, bottom line, call Robert and discuss your system and listening habits with him. If he thinks his cables, whether Poiema, Alethias, or Enopias, will be or won't be a good fit, he'll say so.

As some sage said long ago, "the proof is in the pudding," so take a listen and decide for yourself (but remember my cautions about the settling in/break in period which can be quite extensive),

:) listening,