JD. I do not have the time for this.
You are contradicting yourself.
1. You reference an article about mini vs. micro when i was speaking to USB, which the majority of cables, and desktop DACs use. You have no evidence to back up your claims. You say you have empirical evidence, what?
2. The digital input on the DAC carries the digital signals, and it carries noise that infects the clocking and power sensitivities . It is a multi-variable situation. It cannot possibly be explained in this forum.
I have done design, marketing and to this argument, product support and sales at semiconductor companies that sell into customers in the Computing and Network Equipment Manufacturer, also an FPGA company, probably the one this DAC is using. My customers buy in high volume, on the magnitude of tens of thousands units sold. At this volume you come across Everything, and I mean Everything. FPGAs and IC's have extreme sensitivities to power and ground noise, no matter what their literature indicates. When a problem hits a fortune 500 customer of your customer, and you come together to determine root cause, all pre-conceived notions such as:
In contrast, USB cables for DACs do not require esoteric or upgraded cabling, full stop.
GET THROWN OUT THE WINDOW. FULL STOP. Because noise can come from anywhere, and effect unknown sensitivities and can cause esoteric happenings.
These kind of all knowing statements are normally made by designers during the pre-meetings before meeting with the customer, or the customers customer. Then I along with senior management have to tell the designers to keep their mouth closed, and only answer what they are asked. They just do not have the experience. It takes years.
I have seen so many problems coming from so many different places. Remember, this is the input. Any disruption to the signal integrity at the beginning of the conversion amplification chain gets propagate through, and almost always in the signal integrity worsening. You can understand that theoretically.
So I have learned something thru all this experience:
The more I know, the more I realize how much I do not know.
This is mature concept, I understand.
I have spent a lot of time researching Digital cables from empirical evidence volunteered by many many folks offered on Audiophile boards such as Audio Asylum. I also took an album I can listen to repeatedly, Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, and listened to it with a PYST, with a much more expensive borrowed one, and an Amazon one. Meaning listening to the album repeatedly, over a period of three months (it can be done probably only with the mysticism of Astral Weeks), PYST works for me. I go purely on enjoyment, and lack of listener fatigue.
But this is useless argument, that has been played out before. I am responding to your generalization of myself as:
If you feel better when your USB cables have stiff Techflex around them, maybe with some upgraded weights stuffed in or fancy colors, maybe with a magic black box in the middle, I've got bad news for you: what you're hearing is the placebo effect . The sound of that money leaving your wallet made more noise than any difference you'll ever hear .
No, I can handle $20. (Remember, I mentioned Schitt's PYST in my original post).
Respect that i am speaking from real experience in the trenches, sitting on IEEE 802.3 physical layer committees in addition to working on PCI (et. all), Infiniband and appropriately USB-IF consortiums. Also, from 10 years of working in semiconductor ATE testing where one of my jobs was to optimize "the contacters" on the test head that grabs the chip while it is fully tested within a second or less. Here small highly inductive power and signal paths are anathema to eliminating false positives and negatives (rejects).
Here is another mature concept that I learned from my customers who freak out when you introduce a change that is not required, even though through all types of proof you can guarantee it will not cause problems.
If is not broken do not fix it.
But this DAC has decided to fix an interface that is not broken, I have not ever heard one audio enthusiast complain about the USB interface, and say we got to go micro. Not one. Show me one, please.
And good lord, you still have not given us a reason to make the change then some obscure reference that is meaningless.
Finally a piece of advice, making comments like:
I've actually resoldered USB jacks (very fine work to do by hand), and these things have big ground lugs which also serve as structural support for the jack, never mind anything else.
Tells people that you are a hobbyist who dabbles in Hardware. Anyone working in the hardware industry that can garnish the type of experience you seem to have, would have technicians available to them. Now if your a technician, then I can respect that.