Compared to the generic, the Japanese didn't impact the bass but took off a high-frequency edge, improved decays and injected more mass into cymbals. Most importantly, music flowed better. It had more ease, was more engaging and moist and of higher class in general. Increased resolution aside, this more vivid aspect I viewed as the second biggest improvement. The ordinary cable sounded more matte, flat and compressed. It lacked on-stage ease and dynamic contrasts essential to orchestral or tribal music were truncated.

The Fidata HFU2's improvements were subtle when singled out yet perfectly audible in combination. This is what I'd initially expected. Because my time with Fidata's server/streamer was almost over by then, just for fun I checked the effect on my regular digital transport and a very interesting thing happened. The difference between Fidata's cable and the no-name cable grew far more intense. This had me think that the HFAS-1XS20U's USB output was of rather superior quality to my Asus laptop's. I'm not saying that its RJ45 wasn't but their HFLC there made the bigger difference. Perhaps my Linksys WRT160N router had a say in this exercise. Maybe these devices introduce so much noise into audio setups that all LAN tweaks become even more important than USB tools?

In conclusion, Fidata's HFU2 turned out to be a textbook high-quality USB cable. Its musical sorting prowess addressed well-known symptoms without leaving a shocking number on the invoice. It was well made, did the job and caused no usability issues to make it a safe perfectly non-excessive purchase. It didn't turn things over as much as cables by StavESsence or Tellurium Q had but it did very similar work for less money which was the important takeaway. All things considered, team Fidata delivered another good product. For the fourth time now they've shown deep digital know-how but in this case with an emphasis on reasonable cost. Well done.