Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
Does Thunderbolt 3/USB C have the same noise problems as earlier USB types?
shows 2 usb2 shots with iso regen v usb from computer. There are pages of stuff on usb effects on audio replay quality.
From first principles, there is no reason to think that usb c does not have the same kinds of issues.
There seems lots of doubts on the web about compatibility issues of dongles and cables and I would question the durability of the connector itself as such connectors usually do not stand up to lots of cycles of insertions and removals.
What noise problems are you referring to? Can you be more specific? What device will your Thunderbolt 3 cable be connected to? What is the speed requirement? Over what distance? Is power delivery greater than 15w a requirement?
First of all fmak's statement that "Thunderbolt uses active cables that introduce another layer of complexity" is not entirely accurate because for many applications you will find that the more commonly available passive Thunderbolt cabling to be fully adequate. Whether such cabling is appropriate and sufficient for your application depends on factors like the required data rate and the cable distance.
Thunderbolt 3 PASSIVE copper cables support:
0.5m (1.65ft) T.B. 3 (40Gbps) USB-C Cable - Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Compatible
1m (3.3ft) T.B. 3 (20Gbps) USB-C Cable - Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Compatible
2m (6.6ft) T.B. 3 (20Gbps) USB-C Cable - Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Compatible
Active cabling is required for Thunderbolt 3 40Gbs data transfer speeds over a distance of 1m or more.
Also, any implication of added noise through the use of active Thunderbolt cables is also inaccurate. Active cables are used to improve S/N ratio.
While fmak's statement below is true but very generic it actually supports the need for active cabling in higher performance applications. That's why I asked you about your application.
"From basic principles, all manners of signal transfer require signal integrity thru impedance matching (interface chip, connectors, cable) and are susceptible to power supply noise, rise time, overshoot and asymmetry issues."
Many of the challenges above are overcome through the use of active cabling especially at the higher data rates over distance.
ArsTechnica (in the context of Thunderbolt):
"A source within the telecom industry explained to Ars that active cables are commonly used at data rates above 5Gbps. These cables contain tiny chips at either end that are calibrated to the attenuation and dispersion properties of the wire between them. Compensating for these properties "greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio" for high-bandwidth data transmission."
Still looking at Macs. I'll make up my mind by the time I get to the US in September. There will have to be some kind of device (a hub) between the TB3/USB C, ouptut of the MacBook Pro to a NOS Wavelength Brick.
You asked, what noise? I don't hear any right now, that I can tell, with an older MacBook and USB 2, so I haven't invested in a USB cleaner of any kind...yet. Is this the kind of thing I won't hear until I do? I did invest in a mains filter that has low, medium and high freq. filters, but I am not versed well enough to know, how by what kind of magic, that can affect a MAC-USB connection.
I currently use a AQ Carbon cable - 1M. I also have no idea about the "speed requirement". All my music is from RedBook disks, some of it saved as WAV or AIFF. I have a few MP3 files of music I love, but couldn't find in RedBook.
I feel like apologizing for my ignorance, but know I shouldn't. Be that as it may, I very much enjoy the convenience of computer audio.
My thought on the topic is that TB3/USB-C is orders of magnitude faster than any 2-ch computer audiophile will ever need. In fact, USB 2 is already more than adequate in terms of speed even for high resolution music. But the TB3/USB-C speed may come in handy for doing backups, depending on the backup disks.
The entire personal computer industry is moving to USB-C but Apple implementations will also support Thunderbolt 3 within the USB-C connector for Macs. Others may do this too but it's not a requirement.
You will need a hub or adapter cable to get from USB-C to current USB DACs. I don't know of anyone who has tried this yet but I'm sure there are a few early adopters out there. Passive cabling up to 4m will be adequate for your low bandwidth application in the form of a USB-C 2.0 cable, rather than USB-C 3.1.
TB3/USB-C will easily support multiple channels of high resolution audio and video simultaneously but if you plan to run just a basic 2-ch DAC, I see no reason to expect more noise than you're experiencing now. But again, not many folks have actual experience here. We'll have to wait and see as TB3/USB-C become more popular.
I look forward to hearing from anyone who has ventured into the world of computer audio with TB3/USB C.
From basic principles, all manners of signal transfer require signal integrity thru impedance matching (interface chip, connectors, cable) and are susceptible to power supply noise, rise time, overshoot and asymmetry issues.
Thunderbolt uses active cables that introduce another layer of complexity.
So, there is no reason why usb c or anything else should be immune.
There is no magic solution other than careful implementation that would cost more than computer type lower cost hardware setups demand.
My view is that, the simpler and more easily traceable setups with less variables are better.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: