Our first impression of the cable? It looked and felt a bit like bare phone wire, the kind you find in high-speed switching panels. One end of the cable is terminated with a USB standard B connector. From there the cable splits into two pairs of wires. Each pair consists of a white and black wire wrapped together in a slow twist. Both pairs terminate in a standard USB A plug. One plug is shrink-tubed in red to indicate the power line, the other in black for the data line. To keep the two lines close, there is a piece of tubing in the middle carrying the company logo.


Denny supplied more information on the cable. It takes a skilled craftsman 3 hours to assemble one Dual-Headed USB cable from start to finish. The cable is free of any PVC. Their product of choice for the dielectric is Teflon. What’s underneath that Teflon sheath however remains a trade secret as does the cable’s exact geometry which is responsible for EMI/RFI shielding to require no separate shield. Audiocadabra advise to burn their USB cable in for at least 100 hours. Devoid of any fancy-looking PVC sleeve but tightly wrapped in Teflon, the cable is quite stiff for its thinness and pliable would be the more appropriate term than calling it flexible. The best way to burn in  a USB cable is with full-spectrum music. That’s what we did by sending music from a PC to the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC with no further equipment connected. The cable was silently burnt in for over 100 hours. After almost five days of doing chores, it was time for the real deal. The PS Audio DSD converter connected to the Ncore 1200 monaural amps who in turn sent the signal to the Arcadian Audio Pnoe horns augmented by a pair of Zu Submission subwoofers.


First to play was Florent Nisse Aux Mages where the French bass player joined by a mix of French and American musicians pays his due to heroes like Paul Motion, Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden. Nisse is a master of the silent tone and this well recorded/produced album is like a poem. Meandering from intimate magic to all-out quintet power, it’s one of the best of this year. We played the album over and over and examined the effect of having the 5V line connected or not. With all DACs we tried, the verdict was that without the additional connection between PC and DAC, the sound had a better foundation. Low frequencies were more focused which led to a soundstage with better definition. That soundstage also gained in width when just running the two data leads to no longer be confined to just between the loudspeakers.


Neil Young’s Storytone is an old-fashioned Young production. The Deluxe Edition of the album contains a solo part where the characteristic voice is joined by piano, guitar or jukele and the same songs are performed with a philharmonic orchestra or big band. No cable in the world can correct for the goose bump effect the orchestrated songs have. Young has never been a great singer and with the violins dancing around him, his vocalizing is plainly off key. But the solo versions of the songs are the complete opposite. Here Mr. Young touches the listener’s soft spot. It is that edge of his voice which triggers the blurred vision. Switching USB cables back and forth made it clear how the Audiocadabra with just the data leads connected was something special and able to wring the emotion from the music.