Upgrading SATA cables

(Dean Bedwell) #1

Looking at upgrading SATA cables for OS SSD and 2TB SSD Samsung internal storage on Roon Nucleus.

I am led to believe the SATA cable on the OS SSD will make the biggest improvement to sound quality playback.

Can someone inform me what type of plugs and length cable are required for both the OS and storage SSD’s. ie 90* and straight plugs and 20cm in length for OS?


I have to ask, is this a serious enquiry or just having a giggle. I’d have to think the latter?

(Dean Bedwell) #3

No its actually a serious enquiry.
There are several high quality SATA cables being made by the likes of Pachanko, Paul Pang Audio, JCat etc.
There are quite lengthy discussions on numerous forums, some people will agree, some wont.
I am open to look into it and if nothing is gained you can on sell the cable.

(Ged) #4

Well it made me giggle anyway.


They really will try and sell coal to Newcastle. This audio add-on lark really is criminal.

(Martin Webster) #6

SATA uses differential signalling, so there is no benefit in paying $500 for a shielded cable when $5 to $10 cable will do exactly the same thing.

Let’s be absolutely clear, these companies are using deceptive marketing–when you really read what they say about their products they make no claims whatsoever–and are using psychological tactics in the same way scammers do to play on insecurities and anxiety about the fear of missing out.

(Dean Bedwell) #8

I can understand peoples opinions that they believe this would be a waste of money but there are numerous people that believe it makes a difference and is worthwhile.

For the sake of $100 outlay I believe it is worth considering, I have not purchased anything at the moment.

I look at all these tweaks with an open mind. A potential $100 outlay would only need to give an upgrade whether perceived or real of a similar percentage of the total system cost for me to deem it worthwhile. $100 spent on $50K system is only 0.2%, would it improve my systems sound quality by 0.2%?
Looking at the bigger picture would spending $1500 total on a LPS, USB isolator, better quality shielded USB, DC power and ethernet cables, a quality but basic router, a quality SSD & SATA cable and HiFi fuses give me a perceived or real 3% improvement in sound quality compared to adding the cheapest equivalents in my system. I believe it would definitely improve the sound quality by ~3%. Which items to buy at what quality and price and for what improvements gained? We will all have different opinions, ideas, perceived gains and different likes and dislikes. This is why none of us would own totally identical sound systems set up the same way in exactly the same environment. Hopefully the majority of us are happy with our systems and some of us will often keep looking at exploring cost affective ways to improve on what we already have and so we can continue to enjoy the music!.


OK, a reasoned response from you.

Why stop at the $100 cable? Why not the $300 cable?

By your own calc, the $300 cable would only be .6% of your $50,000 system.

You don’t mind potentially wasting .2%, but you draw the line at .6%?

Don’t get me wrong, you can buy whatever you want, obviously. You asked the question and you got the answers, mocking as some of them might have been.

Maybe someone will come along and defend uber SATA cables.

One other thing. I doubt that even dogs or bats could hear a .2% improvement in SQ.

(Scott G) #10

As far as investment decisions, spending some time getting the speakers set up right is first on the list. And free. But I’m pretty sure that a person like you has done that already.
A great feature of Roon is DSP. Getting a great convolution filter set up to correct bad room responses is the best bang for the buck anyone can make. No voodoo involved there, just wave physics. There is a great guide to this in this thread:

The results are nothing less than stunning in my system, that is similar to yours at least $$-wise, and my room is fairly well treated acoustically with RealTraps. Cost-wise the price tag for DSP is at least close to cable stuff. In some cases a LOT less, but compared to a SATA cable, probably a bit more. Roon’s implementation is very, very solid, even for MQA files.

I’ll leave it to others to comment on other tweaks…
Sorry for evangelizing!

(Dean Bedwell) #11

All the potential improvements I listed before that would cost $1500 would give me a better quality sound. None of us would be able to definitively hear the difference from each and every item that was added but I guarantee we could identify an overall improvement with all these changes combined. Most of these I will definitely implement, some like the SATA cable and possibly the HiFi fuses are still debatable. There is no night and day changes to any tweaks but hopefully small incremental and cost affective improvements take place.

(Dean Bedwell) #12

Thanks for the link to the Roon room correction guide and I will certainly be using it. I have definitely spent a lot of time with speaker placement and totally agree with not having to spend anything other than time and effort to gain improvement in some areas.
I have spent a lot of time and effort and a few thousand dollars on room acoustic improvements that are implemented to visually blend in with and not look out of place in a well designed and furnished room.


Would love to see it. Post some pics here if you care to:

1 Like
(Dean Bedwell) #14

Its not really a roon setup as all photos were taken before I bought my Nucleus which I am still waiting on.

They photos all stated they uploaded but unsure what has happened…
This picture shows a wooden 3mx1.2m 5 stepped repeating pattern sound diffuser behind my Jamo R909 open baffle speakers designed with plans from an Acoustic Engineer from the US. It weighs 140kgs and has 18 dynabolts fixing it to the wall hidden behind several glued on cover strips so no screws or other fixings are visible.
If the 2nd last photo can be viewed it is framed acoustic material covered quality acoustic foam panels that is backed by MDF sheets with a 25mm air gap between that supposably increases its effectiveness by 30-35% by trapping most of the sound waves that penetrate the foam panels. The diagonal corner of the large room suffered from very bad echoes beforehand.
2 x 3.2mx4m & 1 x 2mx2.6m rugs have acoustic underlay fitted underneath with the one in front of the speakers having the thickest I could find.
Both cane basket pot plants and several other large cane baskets in corners and beside the room divider are fitted with eggshell sheets of acoustic foam tiles as well as the behind the room divider which breaks which diffuses first side reflections.
I have also built a bass trap in the corner behind the speaker on the right where the acoustic panel is but have no pictures at present.

Open baffles don’t suffer from room interaction as much as most box speakers but I am sure room correction software use via Roon will still make improvements.


Nice space, congrats.

(Scott G) #16

I love the staggered wood behind the TV. Does that offer any acoustical properties (like is it over some sonic panels) or primarily cosmetic? That’s a really nice look, no matter what.

(Adam Goodfellow) #17

In mixing sessions I have lost count of the number of times when I have been asked to make what I know is a detrimental tweak and instead of arguing about it or going through doing it and reversing it, I have just pretended to make the tweak and the customer has thought it sounded better and gone away happy.

Faith and belief are a wonderful thing and easily exploited.

I suspect you will get about as much improvement from those expensive SATA cables as you will get from removing that tiny spec of dust on the tweeter on the left speaker. And lets not forget the resonant cavities in which those valve amps are placed given the sensitivity of valves to microphonics. I would suggest moving those might improve sound significantly more then fuses and sata cables.

You appear to have a really wonderful system, however I really do not think that ‘hifi’ fuses, hifi sata cables etc will make any differences whatsoever.

Now, if you posted that you wanted some fancy and expensive cables and other bits purely for aesthetic/statement reasons - that makes sense. I may not agree with it, but I can at least understand it. But I hate to think you have been taken in by a bunch of marketing charlatans and conned into parting with your hard earn money.

(Mikael Ollars) #18

Lovely setup, those Jamos are great!

(Dean Bedwell) #19

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the feedback.

The set up has changed since I took the photos and I am currently in a remote area and not at home.

The Monos now sit on thick bamboo benchtop cut offs that are on iso-pucks for that very reason and I have a McIntosh 452 driving the large 15" bass drivers.

Sometimes on different forums we come across things we have never thought of like “upmarket SATA cables”. I always believed that any improvement would be minimal at best and is why I was only willing to potentially outlay ~$100. Obviously everyone hear believes its a waste of money. I appreciate the feedback as like I have stated before no-one fully understands why all these tweaks can sometimes make a difference and quite a few people have spent lots of money on these cables and swear they made a difference.

(Dean Bedwell) #20

The repeating stepped design of the panels has been mathematically worked out by Tim Perry an Acoustic Engineer that as far I remember did his thesis or part of it on sound diffusion/diffsuers and made available several different plans of his designs free and put them on the net. I consulted with him on several occasions as I wanted to slightly modify the size and make minute changes to the step heights due to available timber and not reduce its effectiveness.
I also contacted the now deceased Mr Linkwitz a famous kit designer of open baffle and omni-directional speakers. I gained invaluable information from him in regards to acoustic affects of open baffle speakers. Normally this diffuser would work best on the far wall but with open baffle speakers its best on the wall behind the speakers and its doubles up as a nice wall feature and doesn’t look out of place.

(Scott G) #21

Wow! Thanks for the information. Really interesting and helpful.