Why doesn't it have USB-C?

The hardware for the QC looks fantastic, there’s just one part that kinda bummed me out: another one of those stupid USB-B ports. With everything else converting to USB-C this feels like a missed point, it would simplify the cables you need, take less space in the unit and a smaller connector sticking out, possibly more flexibility (think of connecting two units with one C-to-C cable or something for whatever reason).

Is there something I’m missing here or is it just an oversight/limitation?

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I personally use a 90 deg B end on my patch cable and it takes up less space than a straight C and is less likely to get snagged / damage the port on my ax8. That’d be ideal for a pedalboard scenario as well. Just a guess, but I think they may have chosen B because it’s already being used in other modelers, and it may be able to handle accidental contact better than the smaller form factor.

We’re in thet awkward phase where it appears that USB-C is the future but there are a lot more computers out there with USB-A and no USB-C ports than there are with USB-C and no USB-A.

There’s also the consideration that the technical advantages of USB-C are somewhat limited in a device like the 4C. Obviously there’s size but it’s not like a C-connector is going to save a significant amount of rear panel space relative to a B-connector.

At first, I assumed PD would be an advantage but the more I thought about it, it was a mixed bag. While bus power is theoretically possible, in reality, how many computers out there can push 27W to a bus-powered device? That’s almost as much power as my laptop’s power supply provides! The one major advantage of USB PD is that it would open up a whole range of power supplies relative to those supplying 9V @ 3A with a barrel connector.

While we always like more bandwidth, the reality is that control signals and audio in a device like this wouldn’t even saturate USB 2 so USB-C’s potential would go untapped.

Given the number of peripherals that don’t stand to benefit from USB-C’s technical advantages, I’m wondering if we’re likely to see USB-A connectors for several more years despite the benefits of USB-C, at least until the cost of the interface becomes a financial no-brainer for manufacturers.

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Fair points. PD is still very messy.

The point about computers doesn’t make that much sense to me tbh. A lot of people already own a bunch of C to A cables from phone chargers and the amount of computers with USB A is just going to get smaller, just look at any laptop. It makes more sense to lean towards the future than the past at this point.

Anywho, I guess it is what it is. Let’s hope it does well and a future update has a more compelling context for USB C. :slight_smile:

Rather than looking at the situation as “Why doesn’t the 4C have USB-C?”, think about it as “What peripherals benefit from USB-C over USB-3?” In that light, it’s rather short IMO:

  • Phones (smaller connector)
  • External Drives (faster)
  • Docking stations

What doesn’t?

  • Printers
  • Audio interfaces (few even ship with USB 3)
  • Mice
  • Keyboards
  • Monitors

In that light, if you’re a hardware manufacturer (computer or peripheral) how much sense does it make to add more expensive C connectors? Sure, you can use dongles but a lot of people got upset with Apple when they removed USB 3 from their laptops and they still offer legacy USB ports (more than C on some) on their desktop computers. Who besides Apple can afford to omit less expensive interfaces that people want to use?

I suspect that other computer manufacturers will provide both and that will enable peripheral vendors to increase margins with the cheaper USB 3 parts. I don’t see that changing until the price difference between parts becomes negligible.

I’m not saying that the full transition to USB C is anything but inevitable but we’ll be operating in a mixed world for much of the 4C’s product life cycle.

I’m not saying that the full transition to USB C is anything but inevitable but we’ll be operating in a mixed world for much of the 4C’s product life cycle.

Totally true. But to your other points: all new laptops (not just Apple) ship with USB-C ports and I’m seeing a bunch of new(ish) interfaces from Focusrite, Presonus, Steinberg, M-Audio and others with USB-C ports. It’s not an exception at all.

And I think the difference in perspective is that it’s not only about benefits to this specific device, it’s a system benefit to be able to use the same cables for multiple things. I can charge my phone with my macbook charger, when I need to connect the phone to the laptop for data transfer, guess what? I use the same cable.

I guess you have to experience that world a bit to really appreciate it but it’s really nice to not have 53827 different cables for different devices.

From a purely mechanical point of view USB-C is way better down the road. USB-B loosens up after a while, regardless on how sturdy it appears to be at first. A strain relief is a must.

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My thoughts exactly, we are talking about hardware that will be bullied or mishandled hopefully for years, and probably hard to repair.

A defective USB port will definitely ruin the hardware’s usage, and we all know how fast USB B ports loosen in use. All of my USB B devices fail from this instead of any other deffect.

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Not going to argue with the mechanical durability of USB-C but I never had any issues with B ports and I have some somewhat older devices and second-hand ones.
My pedalboard is only connects by USB from time to time to back it up or download new presets, my rack processor is always connected and so is my interface.
The only situation I can imagine a port getting damaged is if you go every day from Interface usage to pedalboard usage and thus keep connecting and disconnecting it. Even then, I work with robots that have USB-B ports and never seen a defective one in 7y of working with units that can range up to 12y of age…

If you’re that concerned about the mechanical connection and the 4C will be mounted on a board, set up a patch panel with USB. I did something similar with the foot controller on my AxeFx where I had a short Ethernet cable permanently connected to the MFC and connected it to a coupler that took the brunt of the connection wear.

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I would prefer USB 3.x interface, with Type-C connector, for higher data rate and minimum latency.
USB 3.x offers latency improvement in audio interfaces with less than 3ms round trip (32 sample buffer at 96 kHz) which is almost impossible with USB 2.x.

Including DSP processing latency, a maximum latency below 10ms is perfect (I would say required) for guitar tracking.
Above 10ms, we have to deal with latency, do dome direct monitoring, …

Also, it’s really usefull to have multiple usb ins/outs:

  • stereo master out for monitoring
  • stereo master in for tracking
  • stereo in after cabs without effects
  • dry guitar in for external processing or reamping
  • dry guitar out for direct reamping
  • (additional configurable ins/outs in signal path)
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I know this is an old topic now, but I’d like to lend my weight to the call for USB-C or Thunderbolt-3 - my digital world is almost entirely built around both of these technologies now. It also seems incongruous that the newest, most cutting-edge, most powerful device in the chain uses the same connection protocol as a 20yr old printer, and requires me to level-down with an adapter.

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Audio doesn’t need the throughput those offer, and though RTT’s will be application specific, the differences between them will be well under 1ms; negligable for this application. I’m all for the latest / greatest but those other connectors are way more flimsy than a beefy usb B jack. I suspect this might be part of the reason ‘literally’ every other floor modeler uses usb-B too, including the fractal fm3. Though, using fractal to support an argument about choosing the right connectors on a floor modeler probably isn’t the most solid reference :grimacing:

Usb-B is the industry standard and is in no way holding this, us - back, so I’m good with it.

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I’m all for the latest / greatest but those other connectors are way more flimsy than a beefy usb B jack.

You want to back that up with some data? USB-C is rated for 10k insert/remove cycles while USB-A is only rated for 1.5k cycles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_hardware#Durability

Bigger does not mean more durable. That’s not how structural integrity works.

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No argument there, but the cycle data isn’t what i’m referring to- I’m thinking more along the lines of practical durability. Being stepped on. Cable yanked while still plugged in. B looks like it can take more abuse before that type of mechanical failure. My best data to support this is not a single other floor modeler uses anything different. That ‘had’ to be a consideration, especially because a C connector could have saved space - on a unit where spdif was eliminated for that same reason.

Not defending their choice of connector and not shitting on anyone’s opinion or suggestion here - personally I care way more about the workflow and how it sounds, but the B connector just seems better suited to a piece of gear that’s going to sit on the floor and get stepped on.

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+1 for USB-C / TB3
Makes sense that the most powerful and modern modeler should have the widest pipe. Never know what it’ll do 2 years from now.

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+1 for USB-C.

Really don’t want the hard dongle life on mobile live gigs and busking. DC is oldschool. All the powerbanks got USB-C ports. Every club, restaurant and iPad / (newer) Laptop user these days running via USB-C. The missing USB-C port is the last 5% missing perfection.

Come on guys! :relieved:

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IMO, the problem with using the USB-C port for power is that it doesn’t eliminate the need for a barrel connector. It’s not like a laptop (or even most desktops) will supply 27W through a USB-C port.

Good point. QC looks like it might need 36W!

I’ve seen tricked up USB supplies that will do 40W, but you need mains supply for the tricked up USB power supply. Essentially still the hard dongle life.

USB-C for power is still kind of a crapshoot, not only with power sources but cables as well, I can see why you would want to avoid that.

That said, we can start with data. My phone, mouse, keyboard, headphones, powerbank and camera can all use the same cable with the same plug on both ends, having this unified just gives you a lot cleaner setup and more flexibility. Bring one cable and be ready for anything.

I have a strong feeling that the people arguing against this haven’t actually experienced that feeling of freedom (yet). Also: if we’re talking about points of failure … dongles. They are invariably shite or super expensive.

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