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COMPARISON: Clou Red, Stefan AudioArt Equinox, Cardas Prototype - Page 2

post #16 of 86
Great review.

Quote:
The real issue I guess is since you can buy Senn 600 for $250 or less does it make sense to spend $150-190 for the connecting cable? (I am afraid I know what the answer is for me)
How about if you got a pair of 580s for $60!
(long story but it worked out in the end)
Does it still make sense?
post #17 of 86
Thank you Jude! great review!
I ordered the Equinox (still en route) and will look forward to the Cardas...I agree, that owning both may be the way to go

unless, of course, I am not at all curious after hearing the Equinox(ha-right)

thanks again for making the decisions we are faced with less confusing
post #18 of 86
Very nice review, Jude. Looks like George Cardas might get quite a rush for these cables. I'm certainly going to get one as soon as they're available.

Ross
post #19 of 86
I just hope they refine the looks of their next cable..although, admittedly, looks are not very important. still, pride-of-ownership level drops.
post #20 of 86
Jude said:
Quote:
To me, the stock HD-600s have a superb tonal balance, with deep bass extension not typically associated with headphones of open design.
Wow, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who likes the stock cable. After buying and selling the Red Jaspis twice, the stock cable just sounded better to me. (man I took a lot of heat for saying that last summer!)

I think I'm going to get the Cardas. Based on Jude's comments, it seems to have the attributes I'm looking for.

post #21 of 86
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the nice comments, guys.

Multiple responses follow:

DarkAngel: I bought one set of HD-600's in perfect condition from another Head-Fi'er for only $160 used, and I know that I'd gladly spend the money on a good replacement cable (sounds like you would too). My opinion is that the HD-600s perform at a level far higher than than the full retail price would suggest (but, admittedly, having a bunch of good stuff ahead of them in the signal change carries them a long way). I have a pretty good rig -- whether or not it means anything at all, everything in it is essentially Stereophile Class A (again, I could see where someone would consider such rankings meaningless). But my take on the HD-600s is that I know my rig isn't up to the full potential of these headphones. In my opinion, and for my tastes, they're that good regardless of the relatively affordable price, so for me the cables are worth it.

Audio&Me: I'm not sure what the side effects would be of splicing, but it's a practice that, in my opinion, should probably only be used when absolutely necessary. To obtain the proper plugs made this absolutely necessary for Clou and Stefan AudioArt. Cardas, of course, has the resources to manufacturer or source custom plugs. As far as Cardas' 1/4" plugs -- yeah, if they're as good as they're intended to be, then I imagine other cables could benefit from them too. It's just a question of whether or not Cardas will make them available outside of their own headphone cable. As far as photos go, I already took pictures, but didn't take pics of the earpiece plugs unplugged. I do have pics of the cable as they enter the earpiece.

Neruda: Nice catch. Thanks for finding that. It's all fixed.

bootman: Sixty bucks, eh? Good buy! Yes, even then, if fully exploiting their capabilities is of interest to you, I think you'd find it worthwhile to explore your options with these cables.

nebuchadnezzar: Congrats on your purchase of the Equinox cable. I think you'll like it a lot, if my experience with them is any indication. And, yes, owning both would be ideal. I actually have two sets of HD-600s, so it works out particularly well.

Ross: I agree, Ross. I think Cardas is going to move a lot of these cables. They have good distribution from what I can tell, and I'm finding out that their products are superb.

Neruda: Are you referring to the Cardas cable's appearance? It actually looks very nice, and very well constructed.

RickG: Yes, the HD-600s with the stock cable is definitely not a slouch setup -- it still performs amazingly well when properly driven. But I feel pretty certain that the stock cable won't touch your HD-600s again after installing the Cardas. I had to send the prototype back, and it was one of the hardest audio-related actions I've ever had to take!
post #22 of 86
Jude: you forgot my post re: Wes Phillips above. Would you be so kind as to answer that? Thanks.
post #23 of 86
yeah, I agree that the stock cable has a sublime tonal balance... that cardas is looking mighty fine...
post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by jude
RickG: Yes, the HD-600s with the stock cable is definitely not a slouch setup -- it still performs amazingly well when properly driven. But I feel pretty certain that the stock cable won't touch your HD-600s again after installing the Cardas. I had to send the prototype back, and it was one of the hardest audio-related actions I've ever had to take!
'Nuff said.....


post #25 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by shivohum
In his review of the Sennheiser hD600, Wes Phillips claims that "female singers" and "solo instruments" "tended to sound a tad distant throughout their lower ranges. ... In fact, wide-ranging instruments such as piano ... sounded slightly bigger and warmer than life in their lowest registers (a seductive additive coloration) and then sounded slightly less present throughout the midrange and presence region, before popping into sharp relief for their upper octaves and overtones."

Judge, do you agree with this observation? And if so, do any of these cables correct the situation?
"Judge"? LOL.

Sorry I missed this one initially, shivohum.

While the HD-600s are laid back, I haven't experienced what Wes is describing with the vocalists, but I do understand what he means with the piano. The lowest notes of piano can indeed be mildly emphasized with the HD-600s. As much as I love what they do, I don't think I would ever argue that the HD-600s are perfectly neutral (especially after buying the Etymotic ER-4S's). But its their lushness-and-detail combination that makes them so ultimately inviting to me. To answer your question about correcting the situation -- the Cardas does do a lot for this, particularly with piano music. One of the CD's I was going to mention was Hamelin's playing of Godowski's studies on Chopin's Etudes (Hyperion CDA67411/2), which can bring this particular tonal quality out of the HD-600s. By improving bass control, the Cardas cable was the best at bringing the HD-600s closer to neutral in this regard. I left mention of this CD out because, well, look how long the review is already! And I also wanted to stick with music that might be more familiar to more people.

Maybe the best way to put it is that if you think your HD-600s could use a mild attitude adjustment, and maybe even some tonal tweaking, the Cardas is likely the best choice in my opinion. This describes me. I love pretty much everything about the stock HD-600s, but as a recent Etymotic buyer, I wanted to squeeze more neutrality and detail out of them without over-changing them.

Based on my time with it, the Equinox seems perfect for those who feel like they might not want to change a thing about the stock HD-600s, but also want to explore a higher level of performance along the lines of what they're already used to tonally. Though the Equinox does more than this, it's truer to the original chesty tonal balance of stock HD-600s than the Cardas, which takes them significantly further down the road to neutrality. Even with the Cardas cable, the HD-600s don't become Etymotic ER-4S's, but, then again, I don't want them to be. I own both, and the HD-600s are still my favorites.
post #26 of 86
Now WHY on earth did you have to go and review the other HD600 replacement cables?! And give the Clou cables the LOWEST score?!!! Don't you know that I just recently convinced my parents to let me get the Clou Blues, and I can't possibly ask them for some Cardas cables now, meaning I have to sit tight with the unhappy knowledge that there's a cable out there that solves my one dislike with the HD600s and I CAN'T GET IT? Grrrrrrr...

Otherwise, great review
post #27 of 86
Wholey crap, I'm not the only HD600 lover who owns two of them. :high fives jude:

I think the stock cable is great too, I just liked the bass improvement of the Clous, the forward highs (everything else delayed) effect and weight isn't too hot, but was still worth the price. I'm very tempted to try the Equinox, and seriously plan to get one soon.

jude - do you feel that the splicing hurts the Equinox cable at all? Also, do you think the Cardas earpiece connector would improve the Equinox at all?
post #28 of 86
Jeez...I've got the Equinox and the ETY 4S with the fixup upgrade cable, and now I want the Cardas cable...probably on a second pair of HD 600's. If my wife were to read this, I'd really be in...cripes, she just walked in!
post #29 of 86

Length of the Cardas?

Sorry< I don't think I caught the length of the Cardas. Anybody know how long they are? Thanks, Huck
post #30 of 86
Great review Jude!
I will be getting the Cardas for my HD-600's for sure!

Cheers!

-kevin
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › COMPARISON: Clou Red, Stefan AudioArt Equinox, Cardas Prototype