Marvey's Cable Rolling Adventures

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

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Indeed, capacitance can be problem as it can render certain amps unstable. At audio frequencies and for the cable lengths typically seen in audio applications it is best to see the cable as part of the circuit and not as a transmission line. An amp or a DAC from a reputable maker should support a variety of reasonably priced and standard cables.

    Again. Stick to simple and standard RCA cables or whatever balanced cable from Guitar Center or monoprice to hook your DAC to your amp. Make sure the connectors fit nicely (not too tight, not to loose) and that things are not corroded and fucked up. I try to avoid solid wire because it's a pain in the ass to deal with. Too fat and stiff cables are also a pain in the ass.

    Avoid $250,000.00 cables that have been submerged in succubus breast milk. Instead, use that cash to payoff your mortgage or invest in the S&P500 or take a vacation with the family.

    EDIT: Maybe upgrade your DAC or Amp or both for a fraction of that cash and still take the family on vacations somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  2. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Interesting you should mention Cardas. I have a Clear Beyond power cable & it was one of the more drastic upgrades I heard in my system.
    Cardas had a reputation of being overly warm, but the Clear Beyond is the complete opposite of that. I think the only changes the Clear Beyond had over the regular Clear was an added extra conductor.
     
  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    @Thenewerguy009, I moved your post here.

    Your response is what I was expecting more or less from @Gallic Dweller. A well rounded and concise subjective evaluation. No need to call upon the speed of electrons. Pics are also welcomed.
     
  4. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    [​IMG]
    As far as I can tell, both cables use the same type of copper OCC conductors, same type of rhodium over silver plugs, but the sound signature are completely different & not by a small margin.

    One was warm, bassy & wide the other was more resolute, airy & dynamic.
     
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  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    That sounds about right. More and more, I think it comes down to connectors. I went through about 10 different ac connectors and brass and copper always sounded closer to right for me, ymmv.

    Just built a little rca pair and again it comes down to the connector, some sound downright awful. Some not so bad, some excellent.
     
  6. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    I really hate this hobby right about now. I wanted to re-terminate my second wywires platinum XLR cable to RCA so I can use it with the Teton, the other one is for the Stellaris. Since I had to remove the plugs I though about putting a HD650 connector so I can try it out as a headphone cable, a 1799$ short, stiff headphone cable.
    The wire itself doesn't look like much,copper litz with a solid core in parallel.
    [​IMG]

    I have and tried a few cables for the HD650 and the wywires platinum bested my wywires red, norne zoetic and draug, stefan audioart and DHC complement 4.

    [​IMG]

    FFFFfffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

    The difference between the platinum cables is obvious from the first go. The interconnect has a lower noise floor, is punchier,has better separation and focus and more air. Still the improvement in the low end is the biggest deal for me.

    I though I was done, this was supposed to be my end game, now WTF I am to do? Spend 3K+ plus on 3M headphone cable? Start heavy drinking and hope I forget this day? It's too short to really be usable unless I kneel before the Stellaris.

    To quote the biggest cliche the platinum headphone cable sounds like it has a veil compared to the interconnect and it was already as crisp as it could be, or so I thought.

    I've done some pretty big spending in my system but this would be way over the line. Half the price of a stellaris for a 200£ headphone? Damn. Still the absolute best sound I've ever heard.
     
  7. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    @m17xr2b the Wywires Platinum is a great cable. I've owned Platinum interconnects in the past and I've auditioned the Diamond line for fun. I felt the Platinum was a better sounding cable with less "highlighting" than the Diamond despite being, what, 1/4th the price. The Platinum is detailed, fairly uncolored, and seems to just get out of the way. It just does what I want a cable to do. Many don't. I still have Platinum speaker cables. Oh and you can find good discounts out there... Don't pay full price!
     
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  8. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Seems an appropriate position though.

    Something to do with impedance matching? In general it should also be said that forming opinions of expensive self-made components without the ability to do A/B testing is dangerous. It's expensive... you've made it yourself.... it looks good.... it's exclusive.... your brain is subconsciously telling you that this ought to sound good. I've been there. Not saying it doesn't sound good, but there is human psychology at play too.

    It could be fun/good to make an additional cable using regular thick 240V copper wire and compare. Or speaker wire, that works quite well. Or microphone cable, I've had good results with the Canare L-4E5C myself. Supra 1001800158 works well too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  9. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    That's the thing, I did A/B with my platinum headphone cable. I find the same sort of improvements as when cleaning the power such as the P12 did for my system. I wasn't expecting the interconnect to be better than a purpose built headphone cable or for it to be the weakest component.
    Still I wonder if all headphone cables are gimped because of the need for flexibility? I'll try some DIY stuff once I get the chance. Hell I'll even put my wywires power cables just to see how far the rabbit hole goes.
    I need to find the secret sauce.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  10. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Could it be because you are plugging it in with dual XLR & not with a single ended TRS cable?

    I also heard a lot of talk about cable length effecting the sound as well, so your shorter cable might have an effect as well.
     
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  11. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

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    One aspect to cables I have noticed is the shorter the 'better'.
    IOW part of the improvement is due to the lack of length.

    I have noticed that even shortening a stock cable (HD800 for example) results in a noticeable improvement.

    JJ
     
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  12. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

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    There are several ingredients to secret sauce and they are usually, or can be, mutually reinforcing, and in some cases can be mutually canceling.
    By that I mean they can work in a synchronistic fashion to lessen or remove CP's (Choke Points) and let more of the gud stuph thru.

    And it can lead to complex and potentially deep rabbit hole(s), but be warned it can also lead misleading results and conclusions.

    Such is the nature of the experimenter, and set and setting of the experiments themselves, to discover, for yourself, what is 'better', or not.

    JJ
     
  13. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    On the Stratus/Stellaris I haven't noticed any difference with balanced vs single ended. I had multiple cables reterminated to confirm this. I doubt the 2x3XLR would sound better.

    Cable length is an interesting concept so I've tried it. I have the Stellaris with single ended input with a wywires silver IC so I could double the length of the interconnect so same length as the headphone cable.
    Lo and behold there was a noticeable reduction in quality somewhere in between the single interconnect and the headphone cable. Honestly this goes against my common sense of how things work.

    I have a 10ft wywires red cable and a 5ft one that's hooked up to the K1000 so I'll unsolder it, put HD650 connectors and see if it's a noticeable difference as well.

    Am I into paragon levels now?
     
  14. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Also interesting that the headphone cable has a way bigger impact on the overall sound than the dac amp interconnect.
     
  15. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Not until you start cryo-treating your own cables and suspending them from the ceiling without insulation, and believe me... those people exist.

    And about speaker and headphone cables in general... I tend to favor physics over magic. Which means I pay attention to impedance, shielding, thickness and grain size. I like short, very thick, unshielded copper cables of high purity and fine grain size. Then I like to make sure I have clean high quality connectors with strong solder joints, but no fancy solder or anything like that. Classic 60/40 for me, no silver.

    And.... that's about it. That's what I've found produces the best dynamics, least veiled sound while still being non-fatiguing. And I stay far away from anything with silver on it. Maybe there are rigs that benefit from silver but the HD800 sure doesn't.

    Doesn't have to be expensive stuff, just give me thick high-grade copper, high quality connectors and I'll solder them myself. Job done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  16. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    @TwoEars Is there physics to explain why silver allegedly sounds bright?
     
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  17. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    To my knowledge nothing definitive. I have however heard bright silver cables compared to copper cables enough times that I feel pretty darn sure about it not being a placebo effect. I've also found, I believe, that silver covered copper cables are the worst offender (I'm looking at you HD800 stock cable).

    Maybe there are pure silver cables our there that aren't overly bright but I haven't played around enough to find them in that case, I just like copper which I know happen to work well for my tastes. I also on principle don't really like mixing and matching materials, all the wiring inside your hifi gear is very likely copper, why add a cable between the components which is silver??? I just makes no sense to me, I like to keep it consistent. In the absolute ideal world you probably wouldn't even have solder joints, you'd join copper by melting it instead... maybe friction or ultrasonic or laser... that would be some serious high-end bragging rights for whoever can do it. But then you get into all kinds of silly things like the components on your circuit boards not being made out of copper either... where do you stop?

    As for the phenomena of silver tending to be brighter I have a couple of theories:

    1) I've read that silver has a stronger boundary effect than copper, meaning that currents have a tendency to travel slightly more in the outside surface layer of the silver cable rather than the middle. I've also read somewhere else that high frequencies are fine with being transmitted in a small thin wires while bass and deeper frequencies require thicker cables to perform their best. We also know that cable resistance is heavily dependant on cable area. Could this be a factor? That the stronger boundary effect in silver cables favor higher frequencies? Or alters the timing between frequencies ever so slightly?

    2) It's possible that just the transition between materials such as copper (inside your amp for instance) and a silver cable might skew the timing ever so slightly. Sort of like a prism for light waves but electrical current instead. Maybe something happens in the material transition that separates the timing of the high frequency notes ever so slightly from the lower frequency notes. Perhaps in the material transition zone a 10kHz signal will pass through almost instantaneously but a 100Hz signal will have to wait for a full cycle (or a half cycle) before it's able to pass the transition zone. Kind of hard to explain but imagine Pink Floyd's prism cover and how it bends light waves, maybe something similar happens in the timing plane of frequencies between copper and silver. If a change does occur you wouldn't necessarily get it back just because you change back to copper inside your speaker or headphone, a signal which gets ahead would stay ahead even after changing back.

    If anyone has any better ideas than mine I'd be interested...
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  18. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    I have a different idea, but one would have to torture me to get me to share it. Country music might work.
     
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  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Has anyone used Oyaide products before? I'm consideiring the TUNAMI TERZO RR V2 but very little seems to be online.

    Does Oyaide make cables for a lot of other companies or am I thinking of someone else (Neotech maybe)?
     
  20. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

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    You are thinking of Neotech who was the OEM for nearly all UPOCC cables for a good number of years. I have used Oyaide's mini connectors and a number of their IEM and headphone wires, but none of their fancier interconnects. In general, their manufacturing is stellar.
     
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