USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic Review

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic Review

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic Review

Tchernov Cable is a Russian brand that is already well known in many countries among lovers of high-end music systems. The company produces almost all types of cables and regularly updates its lineup. So the main premiere of 2015 was the intercomponent digital cable Classic USB AB IC , which came to us for testing. 

Relying entirely on the power of digital technology, we often forget that these same numbers are transmitted as before, with analog signals. Moreover, the shape of these signals is quite complex - with high rise / fall rates and in a very wide frequency band. In this case, distortions occur that can be perceived by the path as physical dropouts, information changes and / or jitter. Yes, the transmission protocols used in practice have built-in data protection algorithms, but, unfortunately, they do not solve the problem completely, leaving cable manufacturers a wide field for activity. The USB asynchronous computer protocol, which has recently become widespread in audio applications, stands somewhat apart. But even here there is room to turn around to improve the sound quality.

Concept and appearance

Tchernov Cable implements the concept of a pure USB interface optimized for high resolution audio signal transmission. The manufacturer considers the key technologies here to be the exact fulfillment of the requirements of the USB standard in terms of signal bus impedance (90 Ohm), double shielding of the entire cable, as well as individual shielding of power and signal conductors. All this is embodied in the new Classic USB AB IC cable .

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

The power and signal pairs of the cable are twisted stranded conductors made of BRC copper. Each pair has an individual copper foil shield with an integrated stranded ground wire. The overall screen of the cable is made in the form of a stranded braid with a density of more than 80%. The applied double shielding scheme, both the radiation of the cable itself into the environment and external interference, as well as the cross-talk between internal components. This is of particular importance in high-speed data transmission, as it provides a multiple reduction in errors in streams.

When developing the cable, the proprietary technology of two-layer air-porous CAFPE insulation based on special polyvinyl chloride was used. The jacket combines excellent dielectric characteristics and damping properties. It minimizes insulation dielectric losses and provides effective protection against vibration and acoustic noise.

Thanks to the technological solutions used by the manufacturer, the Classic USB AB IC cable fully reveals the capabilities of the USB Audio 2.0 interface, which is especially effective when listening to HiRes music files.

The design of the cable is extremely simple and just as functional. Relatively small in size, but very grippy to the touch high quality USB AB connectors. The contact plates are made of gold-plated beryllium copper and placed in a shielded metal case. The outer sheath of the cable is made of wear-resistant nylon.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

The Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC cable is offered to customers in a standard set of lengths: 1, 1.65, 2.65 and 5 meters.

Connecting the cable to the appropriate sockets is carried out with a well-dosed effort. The connectors are fixed securely. An almost perfect balance of rigidity and flexibility - the cable bends quite easily, but holds the given shape well.

Sound quality

The new Tchernov Cable Classic AB IC USB cable was tested against the bundled ASUS Essence III and MyTek Manhatan USB cables connected to the respective devices, which in turn were connected to the Balance 1 input of the Yamaha amplifier in turn. At the same time, the level control in the DACs was turned off (Bypass On mode), and the -6 dB attenuator was activated at the amplifier input. The sound source was a Toshiba Qosmio G50-12L computer with a Round Audio NAS. For listening, we used Round Audio FR12 Mk. III with connection via interconnects and speaker cables Tchernov Audio Ultimate series, as well as headphones Philips SBC HP1000, Audio-Technica ATH-ES10ΠΆ, Sennheiser HD800

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

At first, the AudioDoctor FSQ 2006 method was traditionally used to evaluate the sound. In general, the sound of ASUS Essence III and MyTek Manhattan when connected with bundled cables was almost identical - transparent, tonally balanced and accurate. The subjectively perceived bass in both cases was deep (slightly deeper in the Essence III) and very detailed at the same time. The stereo base is wide and continuous with overshoot of the speaker base on test recordings. Slightly wider base at Manhattan. The scene is quite deep (a little deeper for Essence III) and well layered. The drum, as it was recorded, is perceived somewhat closer than the double bass. At the end of track 11 of the AudioDoctor FSQ 2006 disc, you can clearly hear the double bass player throwing the bow (this moment is heard a little better on Manhattan). The space and air of the scene are conveyed well,

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

You can well characterize the focusing and localization of sound in the horizontal plane. In the vertical plane - almost good. Tools are arranged in height as needed. The created sound images in most cases are not associated with the acoustic system. At low volume levels, the system produces a fairly natural sound, with authentic timbres of instruments, although one cannot fail to note some synthetics, which is a little more pronounced in Manhattan.

In both cases, microdynamics is transmitted at least well (manhattan is slightly better). Macrodynamics is reproduced well, at high levels dynamic contrasts are somewhat smoothed out (Essence III has slightly less smoothing of contrasts). The attack is very good in both cases. The big Turkish drum recorded on track 14 of the test CD sounds very natural. It gives a weighty and visible and rather rough push to the chest. It is clearly felt that the sound came from below, where the instrument was located when recording.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

In general, both devices connected via supplied cables produce quite high-quality and interesting sound. It would seem that there is nothing much to improve here. However, replacing the bundled USB cables with Tchernov Cable Classic AB IC performed a small miracle. Firstly, the volume level at the listening point (track 15) increased by 1.5 dB (according to the sound level meter), secondly, all parameters assessed in accordance with the AudioDoctor FSQ 2006 method added at least one point, and, thirdly, the difference in the sound of Essence III and Manhattan, for all its initial smallness, has noticeably decreased. It can be said that the difference has almost disappeared.

The tonal balance has not changed subjectively, but the bass has added depth, and the high frequencies have gone even higher. With a noticeable increase in detail, the sound acquired a characteristic analog softness. There has been a noticeable increase in transparency. A pleasant surprise was the appearance of rich overtones on the test recordings. The scene expanded a little and became noticeably deeper, and the outlines of the double bass and drum became more distinct. A very interesting metamorphosis took place with the throw of the bow on track 11. Its sound lost in volume, but was strangely clearer and more detailed. The space of the stage, having practically not changed in size, became surprisingly real. The vocalist's path to the microphone on track 12 has become longer.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

Focusing and localization of sound both in the horizontal and vertical planes have been significantly improved. The instruments are very precisely located in height, and the sound images are in no way associated with the speakers. The sound at low volume levels has become extremely natural, while retaining the overtones and features of sound production, the timbres of the instruments are very reliable.

All previously identified tactile and spatial features of the strike of the big Turkish drum on track 14 have been preserved, but their realism has reached a higher level. At the same time, developing in time, the track clearly showed all the richness of the sound of this instrument, uncomplicated in essence.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

Further, to test the capabilities of Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB, we used our own CD digitization and high-resolution 24/88.2 files; 24/96; 24/176; 24/192, as well as DSD64 and DSD128 files. A variety of music was listened to - from doom to opera, including classic rock, jazz and classical music. Modern and archival records are both ideal from a technical point of view, and the presence of certain flaws and defects.

The impressions from connecting / disconnecting Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC to the system remained unchanged. Connecting this cable to the path each time more than noticeably increased the class of the system. The sound became livelier, more detailed, more transparent and, at the same time, softer. In general, the characteristic that the inclusion of a cable gives is that the sound becomes more analog. Also, at all volume levels, the timbre fidelity of the sound is noticeably increased. Live instruments and performers showed up more clearly in the recording space and did not disappear even in pauses. Synthesized electronic sound sources freely appeared in space, moved in it and disappeared silently. Noises and interferences of archival recordings went far back and did not divert attention from the essence of the music. Recordings made in mono suddenly gained volume.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

The Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC cable perfectly reveals the advantages of high-definition formats over the CD standard. At the same time, as the resolution / sampling rate increased, the sound quality also progressed noticeably. Recordings made in DSD format turned out to be especially lively and, in a good way, naturalistic.

The reverse use of standard USB cables completely killed all the magic. The sound, by contrast, became muddy, somewhat harsh and monotonously importunate. We could only listen to music in this configuration, which until recently seemed quite acceptable, only the next morning.

USB cable Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC

Listening to the Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC using headphones connected to the corresponding outputs of ASUS Essence III and MyTek Manhattan fully confirmed the impressions received when listening through the speaker system. Despite the noticeable difference in the sound of the phones used and the amplifiers built into the DACs, the cable was heard extremely clearly with the convincing superiority of the Tchernov Cable Classic literally in all significant parameters of sound reproduction.

conclusions

The engineers of the Russian brand were able to convincingly prove that the USB cable can have a significant impact on the sound and becomes one of the significant elements of the system. In science, after all, it is possible and even necessary to believe. A high-tech product from Tchernov Cable takes your system to a new level of sound quality. At the same time Tchernov Cable Classic USB AB IC is very easy to use and reliable. Just as importantly, this excellent cable is more than affordable.

Perhaps all that has been said is enough to immediately run to the store for a new product from Tchernov Cable.

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