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Virtual Dynamics Nite Cables

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
The pizzas for the next DC Head-Fi meet seem to have arrived early...


But the contents weren't pizza...




Setup:

Painful. It's been said before, but bears repeating. These cables are heavy and not particularly flexible. The Nites are better than the Power 3's in this, IMO, as the Nites are a solid-core cable and tends to hold its shape once bent. However, in putting these in my system, there is a lot of weight, and a lot of potential torque applied to the RCA jacks and IEC connector. This isn't good. It would not be difficult to damage a piece of equipment installing these, particularly in a difficult to reach area, such as the one I was working in.

And the sound? Hey, I just got them! Give me a chance to listen...
post #2 of 90
Hirsch,

I, like many, look forward to hearing your views on the sound of the new Nites!!! I am using some Signature power cables and a set of Reference ICs and am totally happy with them.

As to the weight issue: are you doing anything to take some strain relief off the IEC and RCA sockets? I tried putting a couple of empty CD crystals under the Signature power cable coming out of my CDP, and that helped. I am at a quandry about how to get some strain relief off my headphone amp and ICs though.



Thanks & Lord Bless,
doug p.
post #3 of 90
Sweet, lets see here looks like we have:
4 - Nite AC cords
3 - Nite RCA Interconnect pair

Yes you can damage conectors on gear if not careful, best to pre-bend all cables to final shape then connect. This should cause no problems if you are patient.

I will tell you this, you will find it amazing that Nite AC cords can so dramatically enlarge 3D soundstage. At least you have eliminated the needless intermediate steps of going to Reference then Nite.......you started at the top, heh heh.
post #4 of 90
OK
You have had a few days now, let's hear some cable impressions,
inquiring minds want to know......
post #5 of 90
Thread Starter 
Actually it is still a bit early to say much. The cables are very much in transition. The sound changes on an almost hourly basis. However, some early impressions:

I can’t say a lot about the internal construction (and I’m not letting these anywhere near Jude’s knives!). There are three separate strands of 9.5 gauge solid core copper, each in a separate jacket. This is what makes the cables heavy, and allows them to hold their shape when bent. Note that bending does change the mechanical properties of any metal. I haven’t heard anybody address the issue of how that bending may affect sonics. My guess is that this would be a bigger deal in these cables than many, if in fact it matters at all.

The system I wired first is the Creek CD53/EAR HP4/Sony R10. Both power cords and interconnects were replaced, so the system now has a complete set of VD Nite cables (I’m becoming convinced that at least some effects that are reported are a result of different electrical materials at different points in the system. I could be way off base here, but I decided to try the full system approach to see what happened).

The initial changes were subtle. There was no “wow” effect. My original setup of Homegrown Silver Lace and VD Power 3’s sounded very comparable. At first…however, these cables change characteristics as they break in. The real changes seemed to be occurring at a very minute level. This started as an apparent perception in the perceived image. Everything seems to be a bit more localized. In playing a Roy Buchanan CD, the individual instrument tracks were defined much more clearly. In fact, I was able to pick out an follow a rhythm guitar track on one piece that I hadn’t even known was there. However, there’s also a three-dimensionality about the imaging that feels very natural. Voices aren’t defined by a hard edge that locates them in space, but rather a localized presence that’s very easy to listen to. There are some setups in which localization appears to be done almost via some sort of sonic “edge enhancement”, in which the image has very sharp edges in space, and appears almost two dimensional within its borders (forgive my phrasing, but this is hard to describe). The Nites allow this this system to escape that trap.

The other change was in the bass. In the R10, bass seemed attenuated relative to the Power 3. If you’ve read my posts on bass in the R10, that may seem to be bad, but it’s not. Actual bass extension appears deeper, and bass inpact is stronger. Despite an apparent reduction in bass quantity, drums now have the underlying fundamentals to make them sound convincing. So, the Power 3’s were likely producing a slight hump in the mid-bass area that the Nite’s are not. The integration of the bass with higher frequencies is much better. It’s easier to hear the fingering on the bass guitar. Everything is right there.

So far, the system has not achieved neutrality with these cables. At first, it was a simple dark coloration to the system. This is not necessarily bad, as that darkness in a speaker setup can sometimes translate into image depth, IME. (Side note: one of the bigger problems with a high-rez headphone system may be the translation of ambient room cues to the headphone. When these cues are present in a speaker system, outside of the head, the brain knows how to process them. When they are present in a headphone system, in which the image appears to be within the head, the brain may not have a way to process them. The potential for confusion may be present.)

Back on track: The dark coloration has not remained constant, however. As of last night, there was an alleviation of the darkness at the top end…but not through the entire frequency response. So, the apparent impression is almost of a band of coloration in the midrange. Bass and highs are fine, but the upper part of the midrange doesn’t integrate with them as well as it should. Since this coloration has been changing with break-in, I don’t think it’s a big deal yet.

Repeat caveat: This is a very early impression, and subject to change on an hourly basis.
post #6 of 90
I get some new cardas and I feel like a king...then I read about the true king of head-fi and I once again bow to his excellency in everything headphones. Hirsch, I am madly jealous once again. I hope you are enjoying the music profusly!
post #7 of 90
Thread Starter 
Zanth,

I'm an amateur compared to some of the people here. Some of them tend to be too busy listening to music to post a lot though How do the Cardas cables sound?
post #8 of 90
They sound GREAT! But more to come after 100 hours...I am told they really open up then.
post #9 of 90
Quote:
There are some setups in which localization appears to be done almost via some sort of sonic “edge enhancement”, in which the image has very sharp edges in space, and appears almost two dimensional within its borders (forgive my phrasing, but this is hard to describe). The Nites allow this this system to escape that trap.
Man, you must be reading my mind! You've managed to very clearly sum up something I've been hearing with the VD cables and have been subconsciously questing after throughout all my audio travels. I think many people are calling the VD cables "dark" precisley because they don't have this crispy "edge" that Hirsch describes so well. The lack of this etched edge is precisely why I love the Melos Maestro and the R10 so much, and why I've gravitated toward the VD cables throughout my system. The banishment of this hard edge is a big deal to me. It makes the overall sound more "real" and less like a synthetic recording of an actual event. I think some people, when they think of "hi-end audio" are looking for an accentuation of this edge, to provide a "crisper" more digital sound. Me, I want to go in the opposite direction toward free, unfettered, "real" sound. That's what the Nite cable and other VD cables give me in my set-up.

When is the your Head-Fi meet Hirsch? Do you plan on asking people to swap in and out all these luscious Nite cables? What will they compare them against? Is that even a major part of the meet?

Mark
post #10 of 90
Hirsch, just wanted to say thanks for posting your impressions. I really look forward to well-written reviews by people who know how to listen and have good equipment.

Quote:
I’m becoming convinced that at least some effects that are reported are a result of different electrical materials at different points in the system.
I'm intrigued--are you saying that mixing different kinds of manufacturers' cables may not be a good idea?
post #11 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Calanctus
I'm intrigued--are you saying that mixing different kinds of manufacturers' cables may not be a good idea?
No, I really don't know one way or another. Please don't take my remark as a recommendation. I'm using the thought as a working hypothesis, and more or less experimenting as I go. If taking the system approach to cabling works, it may be worth exploring further. The whole issue of how cables affect sound has me completely confused. I can hear it, and attempt to describe it, but have no rationale for it.

Mark,

The meet is a week from Sunday, and these cables will be there for people to listen to with whatever equipment they want.
post #12 of 90
i was curious... did you actually spend money to buy these?--or were they borrowed for your meeting?... i mean, it looks like about $10,000 worth of cable there!
post #13 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Orpheus
i was curious... did you actually spend money to buy these?--or were they borrowed for your meeting?... i mean, it looks like about $10,000 worth of cable there!
I spent money...but I was able to get demo cables at a pretty good price. They also have a 60-day money back guarantee. I'm crazy, just not THAT crazy.
post #14 of 90
Thread Starter 

A Tale of Two Nites

The Nite cables are breaking in, but it's not a gradual process. It seems to happen in rather dramatic leaps. I'll start with last night, which will be the easier one. The midrange coloration I had noted had pretty much dissipated. However, there was a slight darkness throughout the frequency spectrum. I had mistakenly attributed it to the EAR. It represented a distinct sonic signature, and was due to the Nite Cables. Pleasant, and honoring the music, but a departure from neutrality. It had me wondering if this is what the megabuck cables are all about. Rather than getting out of the way of the music, putting their own sonic stamp on it. Then I listened to the system tonight...

This is going to be seriously hard to try and describe. This was the "WOW" moment. It wasn't gradual. From the first notes I heard, I knew this was going to be very different from last night. I don't know if I can put together a coherent description. I was way too busy experiencing the music to try and analyze it.
First, whatever coloration I had been hearing is almost completely gone. I won't say totally, because a trace might still have been present. I couldn't care less.

From the first CD, the system sounded "right", more so than I've ever heard it. Every vocal, every instrument was right there. No distortion, no smearing, you could hear everything, and it was as natural a sound as I could possibly dream of. A little voice in the back of my mind was screaming "headphones can't do this". The music didn't really care. There was no thought of tweaking this system anymore. If it can affect me this way on a regular basis, I'm home. I've got my headphone system. The VD Nites were the final piece of the puzzle.

How to describe this? Jennifer Warnes sitting in my head and singing. Every nuance of her voice, every instrument, all present, and woven together to make music. The presentation was completely effortless. Every note was in its exact place. A switch to the late Roy Buchanan. Impossible guitar licks coming from nowhere. I know each tune well, and yet it was the first time hearing them. No human could possibly wring those sounds out of a Telecaster, but Roy Buchanan somehow did it. Every nuance of his playing, every note he squeezed out of his guitar, was right there. The backing musicians were all present and accounted for, and never sounded better. Impossible to be analytic about this. The whole thing went past any attempt to look at it intellectually, and hit me where music matters, in my soul.

I'm convinced. I don't know if the sound has fully matured. I hope so, because this is where I want it to be. If my system sounds like this on a regular basis, those cables would have been worth the full retail price. Based on the early going, I simply wasn't ready for this, and in all honestly wasn't expecting it at this point. But now that I've heard it, there's no going back. If only the sound would stop changing right now...

I'll make an attempt to describe the sound more coherently when I've had some time to recover from the musical impact.
post #15 of 90
Hmmmmm.............sounds like Hirsch is starting to come around, I think he will be keeping his Nites, there is no going back to old cables now, a glimpse of audio nirvana has been revealed.

I wonder what percent of Nites VD has returned under trail period, probably very low.

Ricky and his disciples are shaking their heads in disbelief, no way final 5ft of AC cord or IC can noticeably improve sound, its all your imagination tricking you...........heh,heh.
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