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JH13 with Crystal Piccolino Cables  

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
Hey guys...

Now doing an A/Bing between the crystal cables and stock cables of JH13...

Background about me:
Learnt music since 4, love music fervently, been involved in National Youth Orchestra in Singapore, play jazz electric and double bass and am in the National University of Singapore Jazz Band. I have immense love for jazz and its related genres, and love absolute details in my music.

Rig used:
I am using Ordnance DAC-1 right now together with Foobar2000 to do this comparison because it's convenient and fast for me. =)

Tracks used:
I'm using George Benson's Serbian Blue track from his album Bad Benson to start it off. I then used Avishai Cohen's album Gentle Minds, and Like Minds by 5 jazz legends then everyone should just check out.

Review begins:

Highs:
Okay everyone knows that the JH13 should be able to extend to 20kHz. I think the crystal cables really brings that out. Normally you wouldn't feel that JH13 has a cap if you don't use the crystal cable... But right off the bat the extension seems to be more obvious with the crystal cables. It's like suddenly you have a much higher ceiling you can feel much more comfortable just standing up properly, and even hopping around, getting this nearly-live sound as in real life these high frequencies don't get cut.

Soundstage, Speed and Separation:
Okay... The start of the track is with the drums and a section of wind instruments. With the JH13 you can identify what wind instruments they are. But with the crystal you can REALLY tell between the instruments but it still sounds blended. Amazing sound. The separation between the guitar, drums and keyboards are more distinct, including the background winds. I thought that the separation was superb already with the JH13 normal stock cable, but with this one the fundamentals are actually stronger so you get this stronger sense of separation.

About soundstage I don't feel a wider/bigger soundstage. I still get a similar spacing, which is close to me since the drivers are in my ear. But the separation and soundstaging are definitely much stronger. Stronger fundamentals, resonance of the instruments don't spill over to other tracks, tighter bass response, and definitely more speed. Because of the fact that there is such a speed involved, the drum stick sounds become considerably more apparent.

Note that these improvements are above what's already near-perfect on the JH13.

Bass:
Yes I would agree that it feels like there is a deeper extension on the bass end. Right now because the cables are a bit fresh, I actually do hear a bit of attenuation in the mids bass region (minimal), but the bass extension down to the bottom is clear. When I listen to Avishai Cohen, there is actually more resolution of the resonance of the bass, which I would say would be in the lower mids section. It's clearer, a better response in that area due to partially speed, and partially due to a stronger fundamental. When he does his solo, you can hear the double bass so strongly it just stuns. The buzz of the low extensions just floor me. Considerable amount more than the stock cable. Note that I have always loved his solos, and know how they sound, but this really sounds jaw-dropping.

Every time I switch from crystal to the stock, I feel the sound dips quite a bit, loses energy because the punch diminishes (feels further away from the musicians, and loss of the fundamentals of the notes).

Mids:
As for the mids, the sound is just spectacular for both cables. But when I thought that JH13 won the HD800 because I could hear the out of tune-ness of Jane Monheit's pianist's piano on Somewhere Over The Rainbow... I can hear an obvious, beautifully flawed intonation problems on Avishai Cohen's pianist which I didn't quite notice as strongly on the JH13 stock cable. Cymbal work becomes more and more clear, and more definite placing of the different cymbals. As again it's improving upon perfection. It was already amazing the last time. But this just brings it up to a level I didn't know could exist. You can only get this in real life only if the acoustics of the room is like a studio (little wonder why). Resolution of sticking of the drummer on his cymbals (talking about fundamentals) are amazingly strong. Extension reaches to the stars. And holy **** I just heard Like Minds album with Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Roy Haynes. The resolution is utterly insane. Even with this rig with stock cables it wasn't so obvious that Chick Corea's piano is slightly out of tune (unequal temperament issues, all pianos have that issue actually, even freshly tuned, after a few minutes of playing it starts losing microtones). And then Pat Metheny was out of tune!?!?!?!?!?!?! That was a startling but awesome finding to find because of these new cables. I love the dimensions and speed and separation it adds... Makes music so enjoyable.

Conclusion:
If you love absolute perfection and smooth music all the time and a different sound from me (I'm crazy about details and intonation and all those things that most people wouldn't find too useful, but I find it part of the beauty of music), you might not like this as much because it shows out details like never heard before. I have yet to try the HD800 with the crystal cables, but JH13 with crystal cables are just amazing.

More to be added later. Now I just wanna concentrate on the music.
post #2 of 117
So what is the cost of these cables and are they now available? How is the flexibility and what length?
post #3 of 117
Thread Starter 
They'll be available soon. I'm holding on to the prototype.

I bought mine for 1.3k Sing dollars. So I suspect 700-800 USD when it reaches you but I'm not sure. 45cm long and rather flexible but tough at the same time. In the middle of the JH13 cable and the Triple Fi cable.
post #4 of 117
pics would be nice if you can shake it.
post #5 of 117
Thank you for sharing the good review!
My JH-13 is on order and I will definitely try this one.

Does the piccolino add some coloring like warmer, or just neutral?
post #6 of 117
Thread Starter 
It's overall quite neutral.

Almost the same as the JH13 cables in terms of sound signature except for highs and lows extensions because more obvious.

I dunno if that's what people would like but it's what I love. Crystals were meant to be neutral and not supposed to affect the music at all.
post #7 of 117
post #8 of 117
the insanity has indeed just begun
post #9 of 117
Holy Moley $700-800 for a 17 inch cable!!!!!!!!!!

I thought I was crazy looking at shielded tone arm cables for these at 15-25 per foot
post #10 of 117
Thread Starter 
It is high percentage purity silver + gold added into the mix.

According to the physicist who is into such stuff... What this is meant to do is that the crystal lattice formed by the nearly-pure silver has spaces in between due to the normal make up of the material, so the gold atoms fill in those spaces. And the higher the purity of silver, the better the structure, the better the gold atoms bridge, and the cleaner the sound.

The price comes from the insane price of the near-pure silver, the research that went into braiding the cables (all her other cables are SOLID cores, so she had to research into how to make it flexible while keeping the sound), has teflon coating together with some other materials on top of it. And of course the obvious need for some profit to make up for the man-hours spent on it.

Yes I know it's insanely pricey and seems to be utterly insane... But after you actually try it out you'll know the difference. I know that many would think that the difference would be subtle to them, but you won't know till you try. Especially when it's something like JH13 which has an insanely high resolution.

http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/p...inocloseup.jpg

Shows you how much it would cost/how hard it is to make/design/research.
Btw her top cable, which is a solid core, is about 1000USD a foot. The higher the purity of the silver, the higher the price. But the sound is absolutely cleaner.
post #11 of 117
I am going to ask a silly question here. It is hard to see that having such a brilliant cable would do much good if the headphone out, circuitry, amplifier, and DAC, out of let's say, an iPod, is compromised. On top of that, all that silver and gold is terminated inside of the IEM. I guess you can add gold to scrambled eggs but it still, in the end, is just scrambled eggs. Does the Crystal Cable really make that much of a difference?

I would like to see pictures of the JH-13 Pro with the Piccolino cable also.
post #12 of 117
Thanks for starting this thread Crazyguy and for the nice review. I have been searching around for the CCP cable. I have enquired with US dealers, and none are familiar with CCP cables for IEMs. I wrote Steve Kelby but haven't heard back yet. I have been watching over at Jaben, but no sign of a product for sale yet.

I have also thought about having my HD800s done with CC, but am no longer sold on investing more money in my HD800s.
post #13 of 117
most likely this is the same cable that they use for their tonearm cable
post #14 of 117
Fundamentals? I'm sorry but that word doesn't mean all that much a itself, yet you use it in almost every section of your review. Your review is fundamentally flawed. (See what I did there?)
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Rider View Post
Thanks for starting this thread Crazyguy and for the nice review. I have been searching around for the CCP cable. I have enquired with US dealers, and none are familiar with CCP cables for IEMs. I wrote Steve Kelby but haven't heard back yet. I have been watching over at Jaben, but no sign of a product for sale yet.

I have also thought about having my HD800s done with CC, but am no longer sold on investing more money in my HD800s.
Steven Kelby told me that a Livewires with CCP sounds like a UE 10pro to him. And he said that an iMod with V-Cap OIMP+TFTF with hardwired CCP sounds the best to him in portable rigs.
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