Which cable for Project PreBox S2 Digital

Hi Lovely Community,

Long time reader, first time posting here.
I pulled the plug on the Project S2, and i will be starting my Roon Trial once i get it.
A quick question :
I will be using the PreS2 as both my DAC and headphone amp, so it will sit close to my Desktop.
I found USB 3.0 to USB B cables but also USB C to USB B cables, is there any gain if i use the latter ? (My desktop has a USB C port of course). other wise would you guys suggest any good cable to feed the DAC ?
One more question : our living room is the main homethatre/listening/eating/breathing…room, so no dedicated room unfortunately, the Desktop is on one corner of the room, and the Media stuff on the opposite side, i’m running cables behind the couch and along the corners of the room, the RCA outs from Project S2 will travel a good 15 Meters to reach the Amp (Denon X1300), will this distance affect the sound ? i read here and there that such long distances would benefit from Balanced (XLR) connection , and that RCA unbalanced are better on short distances.

Thanks in Advance.

I’m using an Audioquest Pearl USB cable. Nothing fancy but good quality.
The Project Pre Box S2 Digital has only RCA outs.

Thanks for your reply.
Yes i know about the RCA only, my question is more of : since the RCA cables are that long, would it hurt the sound in someway ?
One solution (in the future) then would be moving the S2 close to the Amp and get a network bridge.

This would be highly recommended, to keep RCA cables as short as possible.

Rane is a nice reference. They say:

“Any unbalanced cable must be kept under ten feet (three meters) in length. Lengths longer than this will amplify all the nasty side effects of unbalanced circuitry’s ground loops.”

I would have to check with an expert if there are any potential issues driving the DAC output with significantly higher resistance than normal (15m is long). I think you should be fine (lower voltage output at such a long length) but I would need to check with an expert if there’s anything else that might cause issues.

From one person much smarter than me:

The maximum length depends on:

  1. The output impedance of your source (DAC).
  2. The capacitance of the cable.
  3. How effective the shielding is (for same reason mentioned above by Rane).

Whether or not you will experience any negative effects in your particular system, nobody can predict but I guess you could try and listen. You could compare really short RCA’s with 15m length (if 15m are cheap enough for you to try out) and if you don’t hear anything different, then no worries.

For playing to your Denon, best to have the DAC volume set to 0 Vrms. Obviously much lower volume for headphones listening. So be careful when switching between the two (even though the DAC is supposed to remember the two different volumes).

Thanks @dabassgoesboomboom appreciate the feedback !
I actually considered all the above, and i found that all alternatives are costlier :pensive: ideally i wanted to go for Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ with a a bridge, then Brooklyn Bridge showed up, and both options are too deep for my pocket.
i considered that the S2 would be a double sword and i’ll benefit from both the Roon readiness and the headphone amp to justify the 400 bucks.
the solution will be ideally sonore or sotm bridges + S2 which are again expensive, but i will most likely get Allo’s usBridge in the near future when moving S2 close to the AMP.
Oh forgot to mention, i’m keen on using my high res library + Tidal + some DSDs hence why i’m bind by the usb port of S2, other wise Spdif would’ve sorted it.
Any preference for the USB C to USB B vs USB 3.0 (A) to USB B ?
I will test out the sound quality when i get my piece, yes i have a short RCA (the one that came with my Project Carbon Debut TT) and i’ll see (hear) if there’s any difference.
Speakers are Q Acoustics 3050i.

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Lovely speakers. I had a pair of little Concept 20’s once for desktop nearfield listening (had a sub under the desk…). Really wished I’d kept them.

Nope, I use normal USB 2.0 (A to B) with my Pro-Ject S2 DAC.

StarTech cables are certified and don’t cost an arm and leg:

Don’t forget the Pro-ject option for an endpoint - the Stream S2 Ultra. It can also power the Pre-Box S2.

Thanks !
i had my eyes on Ugreen cables, i used Startech products before for computer needs (Sata cables, SSD adapters, USB Hubs…).
I’ll wait and see if any one here had an experience with usb C to usb B and get some feedback.

Yeah, the Qacoustics are amazing, when i upgraded (recenlty) as i’m using my system in a hybrid way, both the home theater and the Stereo experiences were really better; moved from a polish brand 5.1 system (Taga Harmony) which did a very good job on reproducing sound to be honest, but Qacoustics are more detailed and punchier

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