Some will love this, some may not at all. Personally I think I do because what else would be left for tweaking ...
USB cables now matter.
Most of us know that the last larger "noise" subject in order was about the USB interface and how to tweak that for the better. This was not per sé about better ("SQ") quality USB cables, but the way the interface performs as a whole and how things are related to timing. Also, the very very last subject I recall was about the length of the cable of inherent same quality.
Never I saw a real relation myself between that and XXHighEnd settings, or in other words, I never saw anyone writing "with USB Interface tweak XYZ you better set dial A in XXHE to 0.7". So not.
Maybe it has been too much in between the lines, but I already had my doubts about Windows 8 vs. Windows 7 not making a difference anymore, but which I dedicated to the PC's being different for it over here. Btw this attitude did not change although I must say I did not spend mucht time on it anymore. What did change though is my attitude to the PC itself not making a difference, which in itself I now like to dedicate to USB again. Again ...
The above summarized : XXHighEnd hence software does not influence anymore, but that other thing in parallel, USB ... I think it still does. But it also does more than before now ...
This latter needs more experience than I can apply on my own. I mean, I was told a week or so back and only yesterday felt like having some serious time to try it myself. For me, and this one evening with one swap only, it would be too soon to really state it is true, but combined with what I was told - yes. And it doesn't even look to be marginal.
Fun for me anyway : the sound improved from using that other cable and accidentally this is the one supplied with the NOS1(a). Otherwise I have always been using a USB3 cable with converter (not the best they say, but I didn't pereceive a difference from it anyway).
What has changed is the again better resolution the NOS1a shows hence it is more easy to detect differences. So for me myself - I have been listening to the NOS1a for maybe 10 weeks by now, and the change of USB cable (just one random attempt) made me say "wow, so there's even more improvement around the corner !".
Yes, and this while it has always been such a nice gag that for the NOS1 the cables did not make a difference. So maybe I am a bit sad as well. Or not at all - still to decide.
I promised myself to measure the performance of the USB interface because with the (ultra) fast analogue scope I am sure I can do/see a few things. When this is going to happen for real, don't ask me. But it should now be at a more "technical interface level", or IOW a 100 times more easy than when XXHighEnd would also be influencing in parallel.
There is one more thing of importance :
Because I generalized the both XXHighEnd and USB interface to being one and the same (maybe against all odds because as said I always have been thinking that both are not about the same influence), all NOS1's we receive have had reconnected their internal famous ground wire to the PSU screw. This has not been really thought over, but it looked more "back to basic and all good". By now I don't know that for sure, but I do know that my own wire never was reconneced, as well as that I still use the isolated Silverstone. All I want to say with this is that while people disconnected that wire in their NOS1 they may like to do that again in the NOS1a because this *is* 100% USB related.
Meanwhile we will keep on reconnecting them during the upgrade from NOS1 to NOS1a (to have things consistent for everybody).Summarized
Not many people will expect that now they can try different USB cables, just like I myself never made an attempt. It is thus also not said that at this moment with your NOS1a you have the best achievable sound (like in my own case as it seems).
At this moment I think that your best (or cheapest) option is to try different lengths. Thus not more expensive but just different lengths and otherwise just "other" hence what you have laying around.
It is a hunch that the shorther the better it could be. Only a hunch.
Happy tweaking !