Marvey's Cable Rolling Adventures

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by purr1n, May 7, 2016.

  1. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Almost "Made"

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    So, I hooked up both the AQ Columbia and Colorado to the two RCA outputs of Gumby today and ran each pair into a separate input on my Conrad-Johnson CT-5 preamp. As the preamp has a remote that allows for almost instantaneous switching of inputs, and I can a do direct A/B comparison between the two on the same musical content.

    After very close listening, the two are very, very, close. It's difficult to distinguish any discernable difference between these two cables. If there was any difference I can discern, the Colorado might, possibly, be the tiniest bit quieter and cleaner, but it's so close so as to not be any practical difference. You're going to hear differences in mastering quality much more than you're going to hear a difference between these two. The only difference between these two cables is that Colorado uses FEP air tubes instead of polyethylene air tubes. If you're interested in these cables, as the AQ Columbia is available at Music Direct for 50% off the original retail price for $200 for a 1M pair, and Colorados is $450 for a 1M pair, I would say pass on the Colorado, and get the Columbia. Or, if you have the budget, pick up two pair of Columbia for less than the price of one pair of Colorado, and put more of these into your system. Overall verdict: its'a tossup. Go for the less expensive cable if interested. Personally, I think the AQ Columbia IC at $200 for 1M RCA is killer value, and betters any other non-AQ cable I've had in my system. These are so much better than my previous reference, Zu Mission, that its not even funny. Cheers, mateys!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Almost "Made"

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    Update: I just listened to a 24/192 recording of Ella Fitzgerald's "You're My Thrill" on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie, and the difference on the Colorado is clearer here: it's essentially exactly the same in timbre, vocal quality, tonal shadings as Columbia, its just slightly quieter; the background is blacker, to use a way over-used adjective. That's it.
     
  3. starence

    starence Acquaintance

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    I've cooled somewhat on the KAB SpiralAir cables. Not bad overall, but details seem a bit smoothed over. I wonder if they would sound better with the more expensive ETI bullet plugs.

    My go to for the foreseeable future is the Mogami W2497 cable with Canare F10 connectors from Redco. These just sound right to me, through the entire frequency range. Very transparent. With shipping, these will set you back about $75, but you could build them yourself for a lot less.
     
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  4. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    For the uninitiated: Redco custom cable orders
    You need to choose 'Unbal.Instrument' for type of cable.
    I was quoted $62.40 for 10ft.
     
  5. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Interesting. A 1M pair is about $65. Have you ever tried Blue Jeans' LC-1? Trying to triangulate as I've only spent meaningful time with those and Cardas Golden Reference.
     
  6. starence

    starence Acquaintance

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    I tried the BJC LC-1 about a year ago, to me they seemed somewhat veiled.


    In case it's not obvious, you have to set the quantity to 2, unless you just want a single cable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  7. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Agreed on the BJC LC-1, as good as the specs look, I woudl not use them in any of my systems. My hunch is the cable is probably not so bad, and it may just be the connectors!

    Pro wire is a super way to go for decent sound for pretty cheap. Another decent pair can be made up with Canare GS-6 and F09 for about $25 per 3 feet pair. Not great but more balanced than LC-1.
     
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  8. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

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    What are some favorite wires and connectors for digital coax? I need to make a short one to connect my pi3/hat to my Mimby.
     
  9. Jozurr

    Jozurr Almost "Made"

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    Thank you for sharing this. I also currently use the Zu mission line for interconnects. I have sent you a PM.
     
  10. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Almost "Made"

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    I noticed cable differences only recently once my system became transparent enough. I managed to snag a pair of wywires platinum xlr for 300. With these I will settle the high end cable debate for myself.
     
  11. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Any well made RG-6 based copper wire will work well. Since it is stiff be careful of sharp bends. Lots of concern over the rca connectors, with folks all spun up on 75 ohms. Since they do not exist and even the Canare ones (supposedly 75 ohms) have come under fire, I would not worry about it.

    A step up seems to be silver based or silver clad wire. I have heard many $20-$300 digital coax cables and the silver ones sounded the best, but you can get quite close with a simple well terminated copper coax. My cable drawer has a superb silver clad one for under $175 that I keep should I ever need to test coax spdif.

    I also have a $25 one that beats the oft mentioned Blue Jeans coax.
     
  12. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Does anyone have experience with Audio Sensibility Statement copper or Neotech 3001 rca cables?
     
  13. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    And which one is that? In what ways is it better?

    Can it be custom ordered in short lengths like the BJC?
     
  14. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Been a while since I had the BJ but from memory the Purepiper was more open and a bit more dynamic compared with BJ. Not sure if it can be ordered shorter, mine is 3 feet. google it, the company is out of China. Luckbad had my Purepiper for a few weeks, you might ping him for more recent sonic impressions in his setups.
     
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  15. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I have an Audio Sensibilites cable made from their PCOCC wire and it is very good. It is a specialty cable I used with the Chord Mojo when I had it. Up for sale now.
     
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  16. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    I recently asked for a source for OCC copper XLR cables on here and @Daveheart was generous enough to offer to make me up a pair. I got these just before Christmas and thought I'd write and share how these have been going for me. Wall of text follows (guess who's on holiday).

    My setup is Yggy -> Freya -> Klein and Hummel O300D monitors. I have increasingly found I prefer the passive mode on Freya. Tube mode does nice things to sound stage and macrodynamics, but loses microdynamics and microdetail, smooths things over a bit too much and is a bit slow on transients (this with a wide range of different tubes including plenty of nice ones).

    The problem is that my O300Ds have an input impedance of only 14k, so when running in passive mode, cables make quite a big difference. In particular, treble smoothness differs radically with different cables. I think I am a bit like @Serious in that I can handle a good amount of treble as long as it is extremely smooth.

    Between the Yggy and Freya, in the past year I tried Mogami 2534, 2549 and 3080, and found I preferred them in that order: the latter were more open in the mids and quicker, with greater quantities of treble, but also smoother treble. About 6 months ago I picked up a pair of Dyson "Facemelter" XLR interconnects to replace them. These are OCC copper, Teflon dielectric, unshielded, with four conductor wires in a Litz braid and pin 1 unconnected, and around $100. These I found were a big improvement over any of the Mogami OFC cables: MUCH smoother in the top two octaves and better microdynamics. Once again, the smoother treble seemed to go with a slightly brighter FR, but that is fine by me.

    Between the Freya and monitors I had Mogami 3080, and my next thought was to replace that too. I tried to order another set of the Dyson interconnects but could not get Dyson to respond to my emails. Hence I put the call out here to find alternative sources, and was answered with unexpected generosity!

    The pair @Daveheart made up are OCC copper from Parts Connexion in Teflon tubing with Amphenol connectors. Just two conductors this time in a simple twisted pair, again unshielded, and again no pin 1 connection. I guess my EMI situation must be pretty good and my ground potentials very stable because there is no noise at all. Total cost was $75 including the non-trivial shipping to Australia.

    Like the previous OCC/Telfon pair, these needed a few days to break in. After that, I feel they are clearly better than the 3080 I was using before, and again, the changes seem to lie on the same axis: better microdynamics; faster and clearer bass; brighter FR, in that there is more in the top two octaves, but much smoother. I can now quite happily listen to records that are tilted bright whereas previously they were a bit painful: Aldous Harding, Donald Fagen, David Sylvian, later Björk. At this point I am completely satisfied: I have no desire at all to muck about further with interconnects.

    I don't want to say too much here because cables are so system and situation dependent, but I would at least point out that the Teflon/PE and OCC combo can be bought or DIY'd for non-stupid prices and to my ears outperform the pro cables quite noticeably. Dyson's are good if you can get a response. Maybe @Forza AudioWorks could help you out as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  17. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Yeah, I wouldn't touch OFC cables with a ten foot pole.

    I remember seeing a quite a few of the high end cable makers offering up their $1,000 to $3,000 cables with cleap lousy OFC wires.

    I think Nordost is one of them.
     
  18. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    just a little to add: OCC isn't quite as available as it used to be. Neotech is one of the last few who are still doing true OCC copper and silver. Furutech has a new process to draw/cast copper that, based on my limited experience with PCs, seems to be pretty darn good. I have not tried any interconnects using some of the new casting processes, but I'm interested to try some of the new Oyaide V2 cable. I found the old Oyaide PA-22 IC cable to sound pretty sterile.
     
  19. winders

    winders Sanctimonious cocky dickbag

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    Has anyone hear used Dueland DCA16GA for speaker wire or Dueland DCA20GA/DCA16GA for interconnects? What was your experience?
     
  20. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've been using DCA16GA (single wired, i.e., one wire per positive/negative leg, twisted about 3 twists per foot, bare wire connections at both ends) for almost a year now. I prefer it to Canare 4S11. Like Jeff Day claims, I find the Dueland wire to sound a bit mid-range/lower mid-range forward, but still extended on both ends. No high end roll-off that I can detect. Good but not great microdetail/inner detail. Not as good at microdetail/inner detail and space as my old Clear Day double shotguns, but the Dueland wire has better tone and body. The bass through the Dueland wire is better than the Clear Days.
     
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