CA Smokey Litz Cables really stiff

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Does this happen to anyone else? I invested like 400$ in Smokey Litz cables and they all got so stiff they were unusable, sticking up in all directions. CA’s customer support was great they sent me 4 new cables but they have all started to get stiff now too.

    this is a brand new, super flexible Smokey Litz cable

    [​IMG]


    This is an aged Smokey Litz cable. It actually gets much worse over time.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Yep, I've had the exact, same experience. My Smokey Litz cable is just over a year old; I only really noticed this issue in the past few months. It's gotten to the point where the cable tickles my chin when I wear my IEMs.

    I don't know if it's possible to wind them in the other direction to undo the kinkiness? I don't have mine on me right now to try, but I suspect it might not work if the cable has become less supple.
     
  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    It’s the exterior sheathing material that is hardening. A lot of cheap cables do this. @Augmentin might be able to comment on materials types and their ability to stay supple over time.
     
  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'm not an expert, but without knowing what specific type of rubber they're using it's hard to know what's causing this, but generally, when rubber stiffens over time it's known as "chain hardening" and it's caused by either heat, exposure to oxygen, or exposure to UV light, or a combination of all three. There are chemical additives that can be mixed in during the forming process to prevent UV hardening, or oxidation, or ozone inhibitors. It might be helpful to see if CFA could ask their cable OEM to stop cheaping out on the sheathing/insulator formulation. It's a $100 IEM cable, FFS. What's another $2 per cable to get a UV stabilized sheathing?
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    It would have to be oxygen which is really pathetic.

    I’ve never taken any of my iems or cables outside of my room which is temperature controlled to 73 degrees all year round. And the only window in my room is UV filtered. But they are never in direct sun anyways.
     
  6. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Just here to comment that the same happens to the regular silver Super Litz cables, albeit at a slower rate than appears to develop with the Smoky variants-- Campfire did send me a new cable last year, but despite it now being just over a year since receiving the new set they're already getting fairly annoying. Please note how the cable is keeping bends despite being weighed down by not-small IEMs.

    I guess it can't be helped since I DO live in a tropical country where heat, humidity, AND ultraviolet ray exposure abound, but with I agree with @yotacowboy that it's bit frustrating that a cable this costly has so ridiculous a problem. @rhythmdevils did suggest a nice AliExpress cable that could actually aid the performance of the OG Solarises; haven't bought them yet cuz it seemed a wasteful expense, but since I just got poked on the eyelid by this cable I'm VERY tempted to now.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2023
  7. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    I have had this issue with most of my cables, but I thought it was because they are all cheap. I feel a little better now.
     
  8. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I bought that Ali Express cable on rhythmdevils' recommendation and more than a year later, it's just as supple as it ever was. It's a nice cable. And I can confirm that it improves the Solaris's sound, lifting the mids slightly and making them slightly warmer.
     
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  9. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Awesome to hear! Sigh, I might just bite the bullet then. I know it doesn't seem like it to a lot of folk but I actually am a bit of a cheapskate, just that I'm also very picky about sound; if this ends up taking some of the edge off the OG Solaris (which are certainly more than bright enough for me in their stock form) then it'll be a worthwhile investment.

    I'm just annoyed that the SKU with angled MMCX connectors seems to be out of stock now. Messaged the vendor earlier and it seems they have no clue when they'd be getting new angled connectors in. Regular straight MMCX connectors stick out a bit too far with my tiny pinnae.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2023
  10. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Yeah, it does take the edge off nicely!
     

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