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Without any preexisting distribution and manufacturing infrastructure like the majors, why would Vue brave the biz as Johnny Private? "I've been in the audio industry for the past 20 years. Before that my education was in electronics and I worked in the computer industry. That's how I came to Australia. I am American by birth. When the first DAC with the capability  of streaming PC data via USB came out, I did not think that the cable would make much of a difference especially in short 1-meter lengths. That changed when I heard my first dedicated USB audio cable. It was not a little different. It was quite a significant improvement. I started experimenting with different wires for the data lines. Again I was surprised by the changes in soundstaging, dynamics etc. I also realised that keeping noise out was important.

"The  5V DC lines from the computer are not a clean but noisy signal. It  carries a lot of EMI. I wanted to not only isolate the data lines from this parallel DC noise but prevent the power lines from picking up even more noise. The data lines also needed to be isolated from outside noise which nowadays is a major concern with all the switching from processor-driven devices, SMPS etc. Hence our data lines for the VU-2 and VU-3 are isolated by a carbon-impregnated nylon weave that inhibits EMI all the way to 3 Gigahertz. It also has the added benefit of dissipating any static build-up. All soldering is done with ROHS-compliant silver solder.

"Prices are $99-$199-$299 for a 1m-2m-5m VU-1; $289-$389 for a 1m-2m VU-2; and $399-$525 for a 1m-2m VU-3. I don't believe that these types of USB cables—from any brand—should ever be longer than two meters. I know some makers claim that theirs will not impede signal quality up to 5 meters. I don't want to get into a war of words but simply suggest that anyone needing a 5-meter cable go with the VU-1. Many higher-end USB cables really are set up more like standard analog cables. They run materials not designed for high-speed transmission. Even my VU-1 was made to handle USB 3.0 speeds. I have adjusted it to meet those isolation criteria. It is a very good cable for the money but in sound quality not in the same league as the VU-2 and VU-3. If someone wants to pay a very high price for a 5-meter USB cable, they can of course but I still believe that signal quality degrades past two meters. If sound is paramount, move the PC closer. If convenience is paramount and you need a 5-meter cable, let me supply you with the very good VU-1. I don't have a factory and at the prices I sell to distributors I will never be able to employ someone else to build them. For me to make cables and have people interested in them relies on offering real value on sound quality against the majors. I don't believe in esoteric voodoo. I believe in quality materials and very much in signal isolation."
When the dispatched Vu-3 failed to make the connection on all four of my iMac's USB ports but worked fine on my HP work station, Kevin suspected a connector. "I had a very well-know expensive  USB audio cable that did the same to me. It wasn't the cable's fault. Its maker had to buy the connectors just like I do. HDMI cable manufacturers have issues even worse. In certain batches their male plugs will simply slide out of the female receptacles."

"Since your iMac is not seeing the DAC, it's most likely due to no current changing on the voltage line. Either pin 1 or 4 (the outside pins) are not making contact." With USB connectors these electric contacts are quite small. Were the female USB slots in my HP Z200 less fussy—or more lusty—than those in my Mac to still get a grip for solid continuity?

As my music lives on the big Apple, Kevin had to send out a silver replacement. The Vu-2 copper cable with the same brand connector meanwhile worked as advertised out of the gate. Then a note from Frederic suggested the possibility for a slightly different scenario.

"Samuel's first Ocellia USB cable had its power pins disconnected. This supposedly improved the sound quality due to one less source of interference. However I could not make that cable work with any of my Macs which like yours carry my music. Surprisingly there was no problem with my PC or Samuel's exactly as you experienced with the Vu-3 and your HP work station. Doesn't this suggest that USB controllers in Macs detect a USB connection differently from how PCs do it? I could not even get my Mac to find the printer when I used that first cable." Kevin Best explained that Windows and OS X rely on the same handshake protocol for USB, the difference being the complexity of necessary device drivers (less complex for Mac). Given that the universal aspect of USB relies on cross-platform compatibility, this seemed sensible. Yet it still failed to explain how Frederic got his early Ocellia cable to work on his Windows machine.

None of my iMac's four USB ports could see the replacement cable either. Checking an older MacBook without music on it but playing a DVD was instant joy. Ditto for my HP Workstation. Cough. "On all Macs the two USB ports closest to the middle offer more power than the outer two. This goes for all Mac Minis as well. Depending on the current draw of the device, the port/cable may appear to be faulty/malfunctioning. Try to use the two innermost ports for digital audio transfer to a DAC or USB-to-S/PDIF converter. I have tested the VU-3 with data transfer up 30MB/sec and used it to watch HD movies from HD to PC. The VU-3 has been working on an iMac 27" quad core in Australia for 3 months now. However this iMac has only one USB cable out to a DAC." The same was true for mine. And I always use the innermost USB port. As this mystery remained unsolved, I followed Kevin's reasonable suggestion to eliminate the VU-3 from the auditions.