I ordered and received yesterday a Triode Wire Labs “Passion” USB cable, “Passion” USB Cable | Triode Wire Labs . I have owned an earlier version USB cable from TWL for about 7 years, a uRendu-link. My system has gone through multiple changes over these years, including but not limited to servers, players, and DACs. I have had a total of 3 USB “audiophile” USB cables over this time–the uRendu-link, a Paul Pang Red, and a Wireworld Platinum Starlight. I still have the Paul Peng in storage–very lush mid-range but not as well balanced in highs and tight bass as I now prefer for my system. I have sold the WW one. It was in and out of my system. It was more detailed but as my system evolved, I preferred the TWL cable.
As of last few years, I have preferred AES/EBU over USB. I did evaluate another USB cable early in 2023–a new and soon to be released cable from Mad Scientist now known as the Ultra Gold. I very, very rarely return audio gear during evaluation period, but I just wasn’t perceiving an improvement over the
TWL cable I had. Bob at MS and I communicated on my perceptions as I was running in the cable. He suggested I evaluate after 120 hours. I was probably close to 140 hours on final run, but still did not perceive noticeable upgrade, and the Ultra Gold was many multiples more expensive than the TWL cable I owned. Though Bob at Mad Scientist was disappointed, he was very good about my return, which I really appreciate.
I then had become aware of the hardware upgrade changes coming with Antipodes and thought it best to hold off on USB cable till after the upgrade. One of my reasons for the G4 upgrade to my original K50 was the hope USB would improve with the hardware upgrades, including USB re-clocker. I do believe my upgraded K50 is providing better USB results for me, but the itch for better has still been in my head. I had been considering several options, including Sablon ( I have Sablon 2020 Ethernet and Bocchino palladium AES/EBU cables), Triode Wire Labs (I have XLR and several TWL power cords, Audio Sensibility (I have Steve’s top of the line Signature ethernet, XLR, and two of his Signature power cords plus a DC power cord for my Lumin X1), and Network Acoustics MUON. Sablon and NA have forum discussion on several forums regarding users liking their USB cables. TWL had for a time stopped offering the “Passion” cable due to supply chain part issue. That no longer is the case, but that could have affected the paucity of forum discussions on this cable. However, I did find a review starting at post 740, High End Cables Thread (digital, analog, power) | Page 50 | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org that I found quite interesting. The poster rated 13 USB cables, including Sablon and Mad Scientist, with TWL “Passion” coming in at second place behind the MUON2, but the TWL is much less expensive–MUON2 approximately 3.5x more expensive. Both have a 30-day trial period. I reached out to Pete at TWL regarding differences I might perceive with “Passion” vs the TWL cable I have had. Pete at TWL indicated I would experience a huge improvement with “much better internal wire and has a superb proprietary power filter, with twice the inductance and 2.5X the filtering capacitance of the older “Discrete USB” cable as well as an innovative method of winding the coils.” The version I have had is similar to the “Dongle” cable and did not have filtering.
I have had very good dealings with Pete in the past and have found his recommendations very honest and effective. He once steered me away from purchasing an upgraded power cable from him, telling me an existing TWL I had on hand was good for the specific use I had in mind.
Interestingly, I have experienced improvement from the beginning with the “Passion”. Pete does recommend 100 hours break-in. He does employ a cable cooker as well before shipping. My initial impressions are much less “mechanical” presentation, increased non-edgy detail, and enhanced imagery and wider staging. It will be interesting to hear what evolves with this cable at the 100 and 200 hour marks.