Why does my DAC sound so much better after upgrading digital SPDIF cable?

I like my Mps5 playback designs sacd/CD player but also use it as a DAC so that I can use my OPPO as a transport to play 24-96 and other high res files I burn to dvd-audio discs.

I was using a nordost silver shadow digital spdif cable between the transport and my dac as I felt it was more transparent and better treble than a higher priced audioquest digital cable a dealer had me audition.

I recently received the Synergistic Research Galileo new SX UEF digital cable.  Immediately I recognized that i was hearing far better bass, soundstage, and instrument separation than I had ever heard with high res files (non sacd),

While I am obviously impressed with this high end digital cable and strongly encourage others to audition it, I am puzzled how the cable transporting digital information to my DAC from my transport makes such a big difference.

The DAC take the digital information and shapes the sound so why should the cable providing it the info be so important. I would think any competently built digital cable would be adequate....I get the cable from the DAC to the preamp and preamp to amp matter but would think the cable to the DAC would be much less important.

I will now experiment to see if using the external transport to send red book CD files to my playback mps5 sounds better than using the transport inside the mps5 itself.

The MPS5 sounds pretty great for ca and awesome with SACD so doubt external transport will be improvement for redhook cds

80ed0208 31c0 4577 9fa1 e63df01d1a04karmapolice
No, actually I’m not using my memory in the general sense. Only for the 50 year example of my memory. Even then I recall details like midrange, Dynamic Range and bass response, mainly because it was so, uh, memorable. Some memories remain fresher than others. But I can recall what I heard three weeks ago at a friend’s house with more specificity. Sorry about your hearing. What concerns me quite a bit more than aural memory is the fact that so many people don’t know what they are listening to or how to compare two sounds that are subtly different.

When mzkmxcv makes comments like:

"A $10,000 speaker wire won’t sound better than a $50 one, and a $2000 USB cable won’t sound better than a $20 one"


" One debunked myth is that silver cables sound brighter than copper cables, they don’t, they just conduct electricity a bit better so decibel loss is a tad less over the same distance, and yet going a single gauge better for copper will have even less loss and cost a heck of a lot cheaper. "

He loses all credibility.  It is obvious that either his hearing is impaired or that his system cost is much less than $20K.  Maybe he has never experienced HiFi sound quality.  Everyone I talk to says that around $30K is the threshold to enable Hi-FI sound quality versus mid-Fi sound.  I agree with this based on 22 years of anecdotal evidence and experience.  Everything in the system matters.  It is a system, not just a collection of parts.  One deficient component or cable can change everything.

It is also obvious that he understands nothing about the physics of audio cabling when he claims conductivity and wire gauge are the only concerns.

We all know better.  Perhaps a more appropriate forum for him to post on is:


Steve N.


Or I just haven’t drunken the Kool-Aid.

Kidding aside, I know there are other aspects to speaker wire than gauge and material, but the rest make no audible difference unless specifically designed to (and never an improvement, in terms of more accurate; but it’s rare to get a measured difference, and usually requires an amp with a terrible DF). Speaker Cable Face-Off, I seem to recognize someone’s company’s cable being tested and showing no benefit in skin effect over zip cord, despite this someone’s claims, and that no benefits were found for audible frequencies.

As I’ve already shown that any decent DAC can reduce jitter to at least -110dBFS, I would appreciate one reason why a $2000 USB cable is worth purchasing besides asthetics/build quality.

Anyone making claims of a more open soundstage by exchanging speaker wire should have such claims be taken as truth, as the two have no correlation.

You may have seen Ethan Winer’s recent video where he null tested some different speaker wire (invert polarity so any similarities cancel out), and came to the not so surprising result of having no audible differences. This is nothing new, people have done such experiments for years.

I also own a measurement mic, so it would be pretty easy to see any frequency response deviation, decay differences, etc. by changing out my analog/digital cables and speaker wire. I personally won’t do this though as it most certainly would be a waste of time and money.
You speak with such authority. I believe we are all blessed with certain abilities. Yours apparently isn't hearing. Nothing wrong with that, except when you base your hearing ability as the pinnacle & make authoritative statements based on that.     

All I’m saying is if your system has jitter that’s -130dBFS, that’s not an audible issue, and you shouldn’t upgrade your cables, DAC, buy a re-clocker, etc. to “fix” it. That’s like complaining that your speakers have a 0.1dB spike at 10kHz.

Spemd money where it matters, the weakest links being your speakers and the room. $10,000 cream of the crop speakers (Revel F228Be for one) and a $350 Onkyo integrated and using analog and digital cables bought at Walmart in a properly treated room will sound better than $3000 cream of the crop speakers (Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower with RAAL for one) paired with a $10,600 Cord Dave DAC, $54,000 Boulder 2110 preamp, $99,000 Boulder 2150 monoblocks, and all Nordst Odin2 cabling ($30,000 for 1 meter of speaker cable, $20,000 for 2ft of digital interconnect, etc.), in a less than properly treated room.