During 2-3 weeks I compared them to: OEM freebie, Radioshack gold, Straightwire Chorus, DIY x-cable, DIY Bolder Type 1 (upgraded to better cardas plugs). I preferred the Outlaws to all of them. The Bolder Type 1 are on the same level and a very good cable also. Bolder Type 1 had better imaging and hf detail, but bass was slightly lacking. The other cables were clearly inferior in various ways. I had been using the Straightwire for the previous year.
In a nutshell:
- OEM Freebie -
Poor construction [PVC, thin stranded copper], poor connectors [plastic/Nickel], not shielded, poor imaging, rolled off treble. Muddy.
- Radioshack Gold -
Fair construction, fair connectors [Gold plated], poor imaging, loose bass. Bland, and sometimes boomy.
- Straightwire Chorus -
Good construction [Teflon dielectric, thick PVC jacket], fair connectors [Gold plated], fair imaging, poor extension in bass, rolled off treble. Smooth, warm and enjoyable, but not the greatest detail or extension.
- DIY x-cable -
Good construction [Silver plated OFC wires braided around teflon Tube, teflon spaced shield, Techflex jacket], good connectors [inexpensive WBT locking clone], excellent imaging, very thin bass, very bright. Excellent detail and imaging, but very bright and fatiguing. For detail freaks only.
- DIY Bolder 1 -
Very good construction [Foamed teflon dielectric, teflon jacket], excellent connectors [Cardas rhodium/silver], excellent imaging, very good details, thin bass. A neutral and detailed cable that works marvelous with speakers.
- Outlaw PCA -
Good construction [Not sure what the dielectric is, continuous cast copper wires, ? jacket], good connectors [inexpensive WBT locking clone], good imaging, very good extension in bass and treble, very good details. A neutral and detailed cable that works marvelous with headphones.
With headphones I really notice any thinness in bass since there is no tactile body-moving bass to begin with. The Outlaw may be a bit loose in bass compared to the ideal, but that I can easily overlook with headphones.
All cost under $40 unless you buy the Bolder Cables commercially.