If you’re feeding music data streams from a computer or
server to a USB DAC or amplifier, the sound you get is
totally at the mercy of the USB cable carrying the music data.
And almost all conventional USB cables, cheap or expensive,
sound terrible—mainly because both their conductor wires
and their plastic insulation are too thick, and the noisy USB
power wires are much too tightly bundled with the signal
wires. Many of the megabuck USBs add a fourth sonic sin:
conductors of solid silver that harshen treble and smear bass.
Needless to say, our USB design goes hard over the other way: really thin conductors of pure copper; minimal
insulation using an ear-tested, good-sounding dielectric; and unbundled wires spaced much further apart and only
loosely constrained by a minimum mass, gossamer-like mesh. When you move from the compromised sound of a
conventional USB—even an expensive one—to the Clearlink, it’s like stepping out of a smoke-filled room to breathe
fresh outdoor air: refreshing newfound transparency; airy, extended treble that lets your ears relax; bass that’s so
well-defined you can almost touch it; and unveiled midrange harmonic riches that lead you deep into the music. And
we’ll guarantee that result against the top of the line cables from JPS, Synergistic, Acrolink, Siltech, Audioquest and
Wireworld, cables costing from $460 to $3600. 30-day money back.
The PLUS Option, Another Step Forward
All Clearlink USB cables are available in a Plus version, using conductors with our new stress-relieved metallurgy. The Plus option
yields two primary upgrades:
• Decreases brightness and grain in high frequencies, reducing edginess in the upper treble without sacrificing detail.
The breathiness of singers and flutes, the metallic ring of cymbals is better articulated and less abrasive.
Plus significantly reducing listening fatigue listening to music coming from a digital source (i.e. CD players, computers, and iPods).
• Plus lowers the soundstage noise floor, resulting in a quieter, blacker background.
This makes the most difference in quiet passages: held guitar or piano chords sustain longer and resonate more clearly
as they fade into silence. Newly discovered details and nuances emerge from the negative space of the music on good recordings.
For fans of well-recorded acoustic music, small group jazz, or chamber music, we recommend Plus without hesitation.
Listening to loud, compressed recordings, the improvements will be audible but much more subtle.
Performance and Design
If you are transmitting USB music data streams from a computer, server or media player to a USB DAC or a USB amplifier,
the choice of USB interconnect will strongly affect your system’s sound—even if the data stream is asynchronously transferred.
The most advanced technology USB DACs or amps cannot reach their full performance with conventionally designed USB cables,
no matter how exotic or expensive their materials. Today’s high end USB wires all have insulation that’s too massive
(thereby increasing dielectric absorption), copper (or, even worse-sounding, silver) conductors that are too thick
(thereby exacerbating skin-effect-caused time smear), and signal plus noisy power conductors that are much
too closely bundled (thereby increasing distortion-inducing field interactions between adjacent wires).
We undertook a series of listening tests and design variations to correct these deficiencies of existing USB cables.
Our final Clearlink configuration uses really thin conductors of pure copper insulated with an equally thin,
ear-tested polymer layer. These conductors are unbundled, spaced apart and only loosely constrained inside a minimum
dielectric mass, large diameter, open mesh tube woven with the thinnest possible polymer filaments.
Compared to the most expensive USB cables on the market, our Clearlink delivers a major step forward in musical
transparency and dynamic excitement. Treble is more extended and at the same time more relaxing.
Bass gains crisp attacks, clearer pitch and better articulated timbres. The midrange gains warmth and lots more harmonic detail.
We guarantee those gains against any top of the line cable available today—and that includes cables costing as much as $3600.
1. When plugging or unplugging the Clearlink, always grasp the flat portion of the plug.
Never pull the plug by grasping the sheathed wires or the heat-shrink-covered wire bundle at the back of the plug itself.
Due to our deliberate choice of very thin conductors for best sound, the conductor terminations at the plug will not withstand
tension forces of more than two pounds.
2. When installing or uninstalling the Clearlink, be careful not to snag the open mesh sheathing on exposed edges,
corners or screw heads. To minimize insulation mass and dielectric absorption, the mesh was selected to have the thinnest
practical filament diameter and the most open possible weave, thus making it vulnerable to catching and tearing on sharp protrusions.
3. Whenever arranging wire runs, whether Clearlink or other, try to avoid any wires from running parallel to each other for more than
a few inches unless they are at least 6” apart. Wires that are parallel and close will suffer crosstalk and field interference,
to the detriment of good sound. Non-parallel wires that cross at angles of about 45 degrees or more can actually touch without audible degradation.
4. All Clearlink cables will improve with continued playing. Standard Clearlinks will not reach peak performance until at least 25 to 50 hours;
Clearlink Plus wires will keep on improving for 100 to 200 hours of break-in.