USB Cable Play-off


USB cable play-offs started over here this evening when I received the Curious USB Cable and Curious Regen link. The Curious cables sport a coaxial type shielded power wire that is exterior to the signal wires. Contenders include the ifi Gemini dual USB cable that has separate signal and power legs, and the Totaldac USB Filter/Cable with its box of magic juju. All will be connecting an Antipodes DX server with the UpTone Audio USB Regen, and then either the short Curious Regen Link, or the small hard connector supplied by UpTone Audio, connecting the Regen to a Metrum Pavane DAC.

In general, I find the Totaldac USB Cable to have excellent clarity, body, tone and energy while the ifi Gemini cable leans more toward the dark side, with a mix of richness, fullness and darkness while still displaying a sufficient level of detail. I suspect the Gemini could be used to successfully tame digititus in some systems that sound just a touch electronic. Very early impressions indicate the Curious cables display good body, clarity and smoothness, and lean more toward fall more on the full/rich side of things than the Totaldac USB Cable. I will report more after the Curious cables have some time on them. I suspect the Totaldac USB Cable will be hard to beat.

I wish I had previously been able to try the Audioquest Diamond USB or the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB cables since those two seem to be benchmarks for many and would make good starting points for comparison. I do own the Wireworld Starlight 7 USB cable but found it adequate and not that impressive.

If any others of you have been through this type of thing with USB cables, what were your conclusions? .
mitch2
I am considering the Curious cable and have a great interest in your findings. Please keep posting as you get a good handle on its performance.
Thanks
I should add, for those interested in buying these, Rob Woodland, the proprietor at Curious cables, provided excellent communication throughout the ordering and shipping process.  The cables were shipped via AUS post with tracking and arrived 11 days after they were shipped.  The came in a sturdy box (with a ribbon and bow) and a card seeking comments about my impression of the cables.  Fit and finish is first rate, although the connectors are not the fancy ifi or Paul Pang type, but neither are the connectors on the Totaldac USB cable.

I ran them in all morning by playing Ayre's full glide tone track on repeat.  They have not changed much sonically from my first impression - smooth, clear and full sounding, with a touch of darkness.  I will not have too much to add until they burn in and I switch back to the other cables for comparison.  Darko really likes them as you can read on DAR.  If any of you have burned in a set, let us know what you think.  
I really like mine.
I currently have the Blue Heaven USB, and when I use my computer for playback... Seperation and detail is superb.
Mitch2: Any updates re: Curious cable?
I had the curious and like the Wireworld Plat. Starlight 7 much better. My Ocellia USB cable is fabulous also.
Not too much to add for now.  Like everything else, the results are also dependent on the other gear being used.  Right now my set-up is the Curious 0.8M cable from the Antipodes DX into the W4S Recovery, then the Curious Regen link (short USB) cable into my Metrum Pavane.  With the SMc upgraded McCormack DNA-2 LAE amplifier this is the best-sounding combination.  With my Acoustic Imagery Atsah 1200 monos, I think it sounds a little better if I substitute the Totaldac USB cable for the Curious cable.  Regardless of the amp or USB cable,  For now, I seem to like the W4S Recovery a touch better than the Regen.  
As a gross generalization, the Curious USB cable seems more about body, fullness and weight while the Totaldac USB seems more about energy, clarity and tone.  However, each of them provide all the listed characteristics, to some degree.   I can certainly understand how those running computer (laptop or Mac mini) sources would like the Curious cables, which may overcome some edginess.  IMO, both of the mentioned USB cables are good and like most of this stuff, there is no clear all-the-time "winner," at least in my system.