Frequently Asked Questions
All cables – from the Curious Regen Link (200mm) to Hugo Link (280mm) – to the 2 metre Curious usb are exactly the same cable, the same design. The only difference is length.
Does usb length matter?
First up, usb is different from spdif 75 Ohm digital cables. Remember the argument about 1.5m being the ideal length for spdif cables? This doesn’t apply to usb cables.
When it comes to usb, shorter is better i.e. any length under 2 metres is ideal.
Some audiophiles with high resolution systems may notice a slight difference between a 200mm and 2 metre Curious cable. However – this is very slight. Some may say miniscule!
The Curious usb is quite flexible in the vertical plane and not very flexible in the lateral plane. This is a result of the design. It can’t be helped.
If your components are positioned on shelves above each other – this is ideal.
If your components are positioned side by side – you just need to consider a longer length cable to allow for a nice easy loop.
For both applications a 0.8m Curious usb is the sweet spot. This is our most popular length cable.
If you can arrange your components to suit a shorter length cable, contact me to discuss.
Regen Link (ideal for W4S Recovery and Intona)
The Uptone Audio Regen is a worldwide hit for computer audiophiles. As the name suggests, the Regen “regenerates” the data signal. For more information visit the Uptone Audio website.
The recently introduced W4S Recovery and Intona are also now widely used.
For optimum performance, these units will benefit from the Curious Regen Link – a short 200mm link – that connects the unit to your DAC. It replaces and improves on the hard adapter or fly lead supplied.
To get the ultimate performance from the Regen, Recovery or Intona - I recommend using Curious usb either side. One cable from Computer/server to Regen plus the Regen Link from Regen to DAC.
Of course, I would say this – but let me explain. The Curious usb has been designed to provide an extremely low noise floor with maximum retrieval of detail. This complements the Regen, Recovery and Intona. Some say it’s a match made in heaven.
I’ve listened to the combination Curious/Regen or Recovery/Curious in a number of high-end systems. It’s hard to see how the sound quality of a usb cable loom can be improved – it’s that good!
The Curious Hugo Link will bring out the best in your Hugo or Mojo DACs, providing more body, flesh and dimension to the sound. Audiophiles around the world report excellent results.
The cable is 280mm long – to provide a small amount of flexibility – and comes fitted with a micro usb connector. See below for information on handling this delicate connector.
When ordering a Hugo Link, I need to know the orientation of the socket input on your Hugo DAC. The socket was flipped during production runs.
Please indicate on your PayPal order if you require Mojo, Hugo standard or Hugo flipped. I’ll know what you mean.
Like most audio cables and components, the Curious usb will start to sound its best after 50-100 hours of use.
Run in has two parts:
1. Conditioning the cable itself on your system – with music.
2. Conditioning your ears to a new sound.
This second point is often overlooked. Most usb cables provide a flat wall of sound, with “up front” detail.
The Curious separates the instruments and vocalists into a three dimensional space. The way music was recorded. And just like the real thing.
The Curious isn’t adding anything. There’s no trick. The cable simply preserves the spatial cues within the recording. The depth and space may take some time to appreciate. I call it “run in” for your ears!
5V power line
The usb protocol involves a 5V power line in each cable.
Some components may not use the power but require the connection to make a handshake. Some components may not require the 5V at all.
The 5V line in the Curious is a gold coloured, separate mini coaxial cable that is set apart from the data lines. The shielding means that any noise carried on the power line has negligible impact on sound quality.
If you would prefer to omit the 5V - just contact me. I can also include an inline connector (add US$20) that you can unplug.
Either way, please do not stress over the 5V line. The design of the Curious solves any problems.
Mini and Micro usb connectors
I custom make cables to suit a wide variety of DACs that feature a mini or micro usb connector.
These connectors have very small (some may say TINY) contact pads for soldering. I solder with a steady hand, under a magnifying glass – no coffee allowed during this process.
The connector body is then sleeved with glue infused heatshrink - to keep movement to a minimum.
After all this – I still need your help.
When installing these custom cables, please move components to suit the cable. And try not to twist the cable or connectors. Gentle bending is fine. You may need to use soft foam to support the cable. It just takes a little thought - prior to plug and play.
Just be aware – heavy handed audiophiles need not apply.
Hard Drive to Server cable including usb 3.0
If you use an external hard drive connected to your computer/server – you need to hear what a Curious usb cable can do for the sound.
This is the first cable that your music files travel through – and is very important.
Some HDs feature the standard Type B connector. Others may have a usb 3.0 connector.
Either way, there is a Curious usb cable to suit. For a Curious with usb 3.0 connector, please contact me.
Curious Cables are shipped for free by “Pack and Track” airmail. The service takes approx 7-10 days to most destinations.
Some countries haven’t signed up for “Pack and Track” and in these cases I send your package by “Registered Airmail”. This service doesn’t allow for tracking, yet is very reliable.
For packages to the USA: Please be aware that security is much tighter thesedays – leading to a log jam at the NY and LA mail hubs. Sometimes your package can be stuck here for up to 10 days during which time your package will be scanned and sniffed by a beagle prior to release. Your patience is required, and there is nothing anyone can do. There are only so many beagles to go around.
To speed up shipping you can select the subsidised EMS Courier option (US$35). This gives you priority treatment at mail hubs and usually takes 3-5 days to most destinations.
Once your cable has been shipped, I send tracking advice via PayPal. So keep an eye out for a PayPal email. Sometimes the PayPal advice will be captured in your spam folder - please check!
Alternatively, you can always check the status of your order, and tracking details - by logging into your PayPal account.
Your package can be tracked here: http://auspost.com.au/track/track.html
I offer a thirty (30) day money back guarantee on all Curious Cables.
Before ordering a cable, please read the Media Reviews as well as User Reviews on the website. The sound quality described by these experienced audiophiles is the sound quality you can expect from the Curious.
However, the Curious may reveal weaknesses in other areas of the system. So, some tweaking may be necessary. For example, a different set of tubes in a valve amplifier, an alternate power supply for a Regen or Recovery unit - or a different set of footers.
The Curious usb is particularly revealing of the power supply for Regen or Recovery. Many linear PSUs can add a harshness or brightness to the upper midrange. To confirm, try a battery.
It’s a fine tuning process to extract the best out of your components and the Curious usb cable.
After all that, and you’re still not achieving the desired result, let me know and I’ll organise a refund.
Who manufactures Curious usb cables?
Curious Cables are manufactured under license by Mike Lenehan from Lenehan Audio based in Queensland, Australia.
Mike is an Industry veteran with 40 years experience manufacturing world class loudspeakers and cables.
The cables are designed by Rob Woodland.