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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 440

post #6586 of 6592

I didn't mind the weight. The problem was that the wires were so stiff that, when you moved your head, they would literally clatter as they bumped together. Then, because they were so stiff, the sound would be transmitted through the wires and into the ear cup, and was clearly audible. (So, when you moved your head, you heard little rattling noises - a lot.)

 

I seem to recall seeing cables that looked like that as aftermarket additions, but I don't recall HiFiMan making a point about what cables they included with the headphones, and I don't recall seeing a picture of the cables before I bought the phones. I suppose they made some sort of deal with some cable maker and imagined they were doing us a favor by including a "high end" cable with the headphones. (I would have been a lot happier if they'd offered a choice of ordinary flexible cables with soft rubber sheaths.)

 

Cables aside, I thought the headphones themselves, while quite heavy, were really VERY comfortable. I finally sold them because, while they sounded very smooth, they were also very laid back - the high end and midrange were very clear, but the high end was very recessed, which is not the sound that I favor.

 

I would also throw something out there to anyone thinking of making their own cables. Unless it's changed, HiFiMan used to use those nice little gold plated screw on connectors at the ear cups (I forget what they're officially called). If you want to make your own cables, you can buy the connectors separately from some high end shops for about $20 each. However, if you look around, you'll find that those same connectors are used for WiFi antenna signals.... and can be bought under that description on eBay and elsewhere - for around half that price or a bit less. Note that they are tiny, and are a real nuisance to solder.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Amongst my cans are a pair pf HE-500's. I thought they were the only ones that Hifiman made that came with a stiff microphonic cable made of twisted Teflon insulated silver wire. Silver or copper I don't care, however, the ergonomics suck. I really like the HE-500's, yes I have a strong weight bearing neck.

post #6587 of 6592
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithEmo View Post

 

I didn't mind the weight. The problem was that the wires were so stiff that, when you moved your head, they would literally clatter as they bumped together. Then, because they were so stiff, the sound would be transmitted through the wires and into the ear cup, and was clearly audible. (So, when you moved your head, you heard little rattling noises - a lot.)

 

I seem to recall seeing cables that looked like that as aftermarket additions, but I don't recall HiFiMan making a point about what cables they included with the headphones, and I don't recall seeing a picture of the cables before I bought the phones. I suppose they made some sort of deal with some cable maker and imagined they were doing us a favor by including a "high end" cable with the headphones. (I would have been a lot happier if they'd offered a choice of ordinary flexible cables with soft rubber sheaths.)

 

Cables aside, I thought the headphones themselves, while quite heavy, were really VERY comfortable. I finally sold them because, while they sounded very smooth, they were also very laid back - the high end and midrange were very clear, but the high end was very recessed, which is not the sound that I favor.

 

I would also throw something out there to anyone thinking of making their own cables. Unless it's changed, HiFiMan used to use those nice little gold plated screw on connectors at the ear cups (I forget what they're officially called). If you want to make your own cables, you can buy the connectors separately from some high end shops for about $20 each. However, if you look around, you'll find that those same connectors are used for WiFi antenna signals.... and can be bought under that description on eBay and elsewhere - for around half that price or a bit less. Note that they are tiny, and are a real nuisance to solder.

That's what I meant by microphonic, but in a mechanically sonic conductive manner, not like tubes. You know brown zip cord is cheap and I'm sure we can find something that is reasonably flexible. Which cable thread is the right one to ask about this? :deadhorse:


Edited by StanD - 1/23/17 at 4:52pm
post #6588 of 6592

yeah, microphonic somehow has been so misused that I'm inclined to accept and use it as the legit term for mechanical cable noises now. it's one of those "when everybody's wrong, it's just faster to change the definition". ^_^

post #6589 of 6592

For headphone cable, Canare StarQuad is absolutely my choice(in 20 gauge). It's very flexible and rubbery, feels very nice, costs about fifty cents a foot, and even comes in assorted colors. The only downside is that it is a little heavy - but I like a cable that has a bit of heft to it. (It's available at most serious parts suppliers by the foot.)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

That's what I meant by microphonic, but in a mechanically sonic conductive manner, not like tubes. You know brown zip cord is cheap and I'm sure we can find something that is reasonably flexible. Which cable thread is the right one to ask about this? :deadhorse:

post #6590 of 6592
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithEmo View Post
For headphone cable, Canare StarQuad is absolutely my choice(in 20 gauge). It's very flexible and rubbery, feels very nice, costs about fifty cents a foot, and even comes in assorted colors. The only downside is that it is a little heavy - but I like a cable that has a bit of heft to it. (It's available at most serious parts suppliers by the foot.)

I see that listed a microphone cable. As long as the gauge/resistance  and capacitance are low, it's probably good to go. I walk past B&H twice a day, they have it in 200m reels that are far more than I need. Does it come without foil shielding?

post #6591 of 6592

The thinner 24 gauge starquad cable is foil shielded and is considered to be "microphone cable".

 

The heavier Canare 4S6 is 20 gauge and unshielded and is considered to be "speaker cable". That's the one I used (20 gauge is somewhat heavy for headphones - and way too thin for speakers).

 

They also make a super-flexible in-between one which is said to be "super flexible" but is shielded and is considered to be high-end microphone cable. The shielding will make terminating it slightly more difficult, but the capacitance really shouldn't be a significant issue. (If it isn't capacitive enough to be a problem for a microphone, I doubt a headphone amp would have trouble.)

 

http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDisplay.aspx?productItemID=53

 

I've only listed a few, there seem to be quite a few variations of Canare Starquad.

(They're all pretty standard, widely available, and come in assorted colors.)

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I see that listed a microphone cable. As long as the gauge/resistance  and capacitance are low, it's probably good to go. I walk past B&H twice a day, they have it in 200m reels that are far more than I need. Does it come without foil shielding?

post #6592 of 6592
Quote:

Originally Posted by KeithEmo View Post

 

The thinner 24 gauge starquad cable is foil shielded and is considered to be "microphone cable".

 

The heavier Canare 4S6 is 20 gauge and unshielded and is considered to be "speaker cable". That's the one I used (20 gauge is somewhat heavy for headphones - and way too thin for speakers).

 

They also make a super-flexible in-between one which is said to be "super flexible" but is shielded and is considered to be high-end microphone cable. The shielding will make terminating it slightly more difficult, but the capacitance really shouldn't be a significant issue. (If it isn't capacitive enough to be a problem for a microphone, I doubt a headphone amp would have trouble.)

 

http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDisplay.aspx?productItemID=53

 

I've only listed a few, there seem to be quite a few variations of Canare Starquad.

(They're all pretty standard, widely available, and come in assorted colors.)

I didn't expect capacitance to be an issue as headphones tend to be lower impedance than microphones (excluding the 600 Ohm variants) and can tolerate more capacitance, especially when driven by a low impedance amp which deals with the load, yes to much can make the amp unstable. The cable I saw online was 20 GA but had a foil shield. I'll look for the 4S6 type that you mentioned. Thanks.

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