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Review: Null Audio Studio Lune Cable

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow Head-fiers! This is a review I just posted up on my blog and I thought I would share it on the forum too. Let me know what you think. etysmile.gif

 

Null Audio Studio Lune Cable

Buying Experience:

 

After perusing Head-fi for months, I finally decided to order from Null Audio Studios even though there wasn't too many reviews on the cable, the feedback that I gathered is that the cable is definitely worth the upgrade. I browsed the website for a couple of days before deciding to pull the trigger on the cable.

 

I did some further research and found that many people were not satisfied with Null Audio's customer service. The consensus seemed to be that the cables took forever to ship and communication was lacking. I'm a patient person so I waited over a week before contacting Null Audio about the status of my order. A day later, I received an automated message from Null Audio that my order has shipped. Great!
 
I waited some more and never got a tracking number until another week goes by. The website updated with a tracking number for DHL. After many attempts to look up the tracking number on DHL's site, I realized that the number might not be for DHL. I did some more research and found out that the tracking number is actually for USPS. Feeling a bit more reassured after finding that my package actually shipped, I waited another two weeks until the cable landed in my possession.
 
Overall, the buying experience wasn't too horrible but I can see why people would be apprehensive about dropping over a hundred dollars on a cable to not have clear, timely communication with Null Audio. I know Kevin at Null Audio is swamped with orders but there should really be better communication. If there are delays, please let the customer know. My Lune cable was shown on the website as shipping in 3-5 days but I waited much longer than that.
 
Would I buy from Null Audio again? I'm not sure.
 
Build Quality:
 

 

 

Ultimate Ears connectors

 

When I received the cable, I was pleasantly surprised that I received something that I didn't order. The website and the pictures showed that the Lune Cable would ship with a Pailiccs straight plug. Instead, my cable came with a much nicer ViaBlue straight 1/8" plug. I love the ViaBlue plug because it feels super durable and I love the gold on black color scheme. It probably doesn't enhance the audio quality any but it's a nice, albeit unexpected, upgrade.

 
The cable itself seems very sturdy with the multifilamant nylon sleeve. The Y connector where the left and right channels meet seems very sturdy as well with solid plastic and shrink wrap over it. The only thing about this cable that gives me pause about its build quality is the ultra thin gauge cable for the left and right channels. Only time will tell if this cable will hold up. I wish that the cable was outfitted with some flexible shrink wrap to prevent it from snagging on things. I have been using this cable for the past 4 days and everything seems find and the cable hasn't disintegrated yet. Only time will tell if it will last.
 
The connectors that go into my Ultimate Ears Triplefi 10 are very solid and stay plugged in. The connectors do not wrap all the way around the connection terminals like the stock cable so it looks a bit awkward being exposed but I don't mind it too much.
 
ViaBlue mini connector
 
Comfort:
 
I was surprised by how comfortable this cable is. Although I gripe about the tiny gauge wire used for the left and right channels, it makes the cable extremely lightweight and comfortable. I listen to my UEs at work for almost 7 hours a day and this cable is much less fatiguing than the stock cable, which tend to pinch the tops of my ears. The hooks for your ears are made of a flexible silicone tubing, not memory wire like the stock cable. I like this better as I don't have to shape the wire myself. The hooks are also angled in a way that seemed strange to me at first but ultimately made sense. The hooks seem to angle themselves perpendicular of where I would expect them to but this forces the cable to touch the side of your head, reducing microphonics and reducing the weight of the cable.
 
Speaking of microphonics, I get a strange "twangy" sound from the exposed cables from the left and right channels when I move around a bit. It doesn't bother me much but the sound is quite strange. It reminds me of flexible metal being shaken.
 
Testing Gear:
iPhone 4 iBasso T3 iBasso CB07 Null Audio Lune Cable
 
Although my portable rig is modest, I still experienced significant differences in sound quality. My gear is as follows:
 
Source: iPhone 4 with all ALAC encoded songs.
iBasso CB07 Line out dock connector/AW Audio Gold Dragon LOD (they sound identical)
iBasso T3 headphone amp
Null Audio Lune Cable (Black)
Ultimate Ears Triplefi 10
 
Sound:
 
I was immediately impressed with the difference this cable made to the sound quality of my songs. I will break down the differences in specific songs that I am very familiar with.
 
Pink Martini - "No Hay Problema"
 
The immediate difference I heard from the Null Audio Lune cable over the stock UE cable is the quality of the bass. Bass impact and extension both improved. Percussion hit harder and deeper. I also noticed that imaging of the instruments were easier to picture with my eyes closed. The stock cable made it difficult to picture the position of individual instruments. I suspect that the ease of imaging has to do with the increase sound stage depth the Lune cable gives my Ultimate Ears. On this song, the highs seems unchanged but remained vivid airy. Instrument separation was also much better with the Lune cable.
 
Pink Martini - "Autrefois"
 
Whoa. The slam of the opening percussion immediately grabbed me. I never heard my Ultimate Ears create so much bass impact before. The vocals on this track seemed a bit brighter than the stock cable but not overly bright. I find the Triplefi 10s to be very forgiving, not exhibiting any sibilance at all. The vocals of China Forbes were effortless and slightly more forward in presentation than the stock cable. Again, I was very impressed with the increased sound stage and depth that the Null Audio Lune cable gave to this track.
 
Vladimir Ashkenazy and the London Symphony Orchestra - "Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3"
 
I was curious how much this cable would affect classical music. While more subtle, differences still presented themselves from the stock cable. The first thing that I noticed was the increase in sound stage. The piano seemed more forward in presentation while the orchestra seemed more in the background. This created a more realistic acoustic space like I was in a concert hall. The Lune cable gave great instrument separation here as well and helped to expose micro details within the track. I was spooked by the level of detail that I heard from this track that I have never heard before though my Ultimate Ears. I could hear members of the orchestra shifting around, page turns, and the breathing of Ashkenazy, which seemed right up against my face. I could heard the clicking of the valves on brass instruments and the basses extended deeper and were more dynamic than before, but not overwhelmingly so. I also heard the slap of the strings more vividly than I could with the stock cable.
 
Norah Jones - "Turn Me On"
 
The bass drum hit harder and pop of the drums sounded more upfront. The strings of the bass vibrating against its neck were more vivid and punchy, cutting off immediately instead of lingering in the air. Jones' vocals were silky smooth and effortless. The cymbals seem to sizzle just a bit more than the stock cable.
 
Conclusion:
 
I am very impressed with the audio quality gains that this cable has provided. I feel I have reached the full potential of my Ultimate Ears. I'm glad that the bottle neck of the stock cable is gone. I am a little apprehensive about the build quality of the cable but only time will tell whether or not it will last. I sure hope it does because it makes my iPhone and iBasso T3 sing. Although the customer service from Null Audio Studio can be hit or miss, if you're patient, you will not regret ordering from them. I hope they can get their delays and customer communication sorted out as they make a fantastic product.

ViaBlue mini connectornull audio lune cable y connector

post #2 of 49

nice review. i've got kevin's enyo TF10 cable & im quite pleased with the sonic improvements over stock. im sure the lune's another step in the right direction. well done & keep it up!

post #3 of 49
I'm currently awaiting my Lune cable, after having gone through two Enyo cables in two years. I don't mistreat my cables, and when they're not in my ears they're rolled up in the Ultimate Ears case.

The first cable I had did not have the multifilament sleeve, nor the ViaBlue connector, and it died nearly a year to the day after I ordered it, so it was thankfully covered by warranty. I sent the cable in with no hassle, and then waited about FOUR MONTHS to receive my replacement cable. Which means that for those four months, a third of the year, I wasn't able to listen to my IEMs, which was quite the shame.

Just recently, my second Enyo cable started giving me problems as well, again, without the multifilament sleeve, but this time with the ViaBlue connector. I thought the connector would stop this one from going the same way as the last, and it might have moved the area of the problem (From being that I could move the cable around the connector to get the channels to drop, to the cable needing to be just so for the channels to drop, which makes it horrible for walking...) but the problem is still there. This time, I decided against trying to replace it under warranty, just for the fact that it would take so darn long, and I decided to upgrade to the Lune cable.

So, I'm currently awaiting my Lune cable (With multifilament sleeve) with baited breath. Which I love most everything about the cable, the lack of durability is my main gripe (The other being the ultra-thin wires slipping in and out of my winter coats zipper teeth.* I also decided to try the right-angle jack instead of the straight, to see if it would tug less at the part where the cable meets the 3.5mm jack. Of course, after paying my package only shipped a few weeks later, and it's been about 2-3 weeks in transit, so maybe the time difference isn't that different from the warranty. All I can say is that I hope this cable lasts me longer than my last two, because I'm done doing business with Null Audio Studio.

Anyway, that's enough of my rant. I enjoyed reading your review, and you took some gorgeous pictures. Good luck, and enjoy your cables because like you said, they are great cables, aside from build quality issues. Keep us posted on how yours hold up!

* Not that I'm zipping up over the cable, I would never. But I don't zip my jacket all the way up, and the cable catches in the teeth sometimes. Also, I don't believe this is the cause of my issues with the cable, as the problem lies further down the cable.
post #4 of 49

@lostchild1 bonjour como sa va? pardon me if im being ridiculous here but what'd u do with the problem enyo cable? any chance u'd wanna donate it to me to see if i can revive it? just thought i'd ask ya. merci bien

 

im in wet & cloudy vancouver btw.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, guys. I'm sad to hear that you've been through so much trouble, lostchild. Durability is also the main concern for me as well seeing as shipping cables back and forth across the world isn't exactly the easiest thing to do. I will definitely keep you guys updated about the cable if I have any issues.

 

If Kevin improves the durability of his cables and improves wait times for the cables, I would have no problem recommending them wholeheartedly. 

post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottiebabie View Post

@lostchild1 bonjour como sa va? pardon me if im being ridiculous here but what'd u do with the problem enyo cable? any chance u'd wanna donate it to me to see if i can revive it? just thought i'd ask ya. merci bien

 

im in wet & cloudy vancouver btw.


Not a problem. smily_headphones1.gif If you'll pay for the shipping (Which should be dirt cheap, given how light they are haha) I'd be glad to send them to you, and no other charge. biggrin.gif

If you were to ask me, the problem doesn't lie at the ViaBlue connector, but about 1/3rd of the way up the cable, before the Y-Splitter. So maybe that'll give you something to go on. smily_headphones1.gif

Once I actually get the Lune, I'll shoot you a PM for your details. smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 49

Hey guys, I'm thinking of going for these but as I'm probably one of the few people that wear their TF10s hanging down, I need to ask whether the silicone ear guides can be removed by me or do they need to be taken out by null audio?

 

Thanks

post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by illquid View Post

Hey guys, I'm thinking of going for these but as I'm probably one of the few people that wear their TF10s hanging down, I need to ask whether the silicone ear guides can be removed by me or do they need to be taken out by null audio?

 

Thanks



As far as I can tell, you can't remove them without carefully cutting them out as they are held in place by shrink wrap and there's no way to disconnect them. I would just put in a special request for Null Audio to remove them for you. Make sure you get some communication with Null Audio before you order them. Their customer service has been lack luster in my experience. 

post #9 of 49

Yeh my first port of call was an email and I have not heard anything back. So decided to do a bit of research myself.

 

TBH, I'd really love an opportunity to audtion before buying as there's a part of me that still has some reservations regarding SQ from cable upgrades. I wish more reviewers were able to do blind tests!

 

That said, I am getting a pure silver LOD made and so I am very inclined to upgrade my iem cable to silver as well.

post #10 of 49

the reason why u get viablue plug becuause wad u see is the lune cable with pacilus is the 2009 version

 

he has been updating his website for sometimes...

http://null-audio.net/default.aspx

07/03/09: Lune Series cable now available in Black/Clear colors! Click Here


Edited by sglords - 4/8/11 at 7:19pm
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sglords View Post

the reason why u get viablue plug becuause wad u see is the lune cable with pacilus is the 2009 version

 

he has been updating his website for sometimes...

http://null-audio.net/default.aspx

07/03/09: Lune Series cable now available in Black/Clear colors! Click Here


He should also update the pictures of the product as not to be misleading.

post #12 of 49

Hi guys I'm new here. I ordered for resheelling my tf10 and waiting more then two months to get it. Does any one know how long it take?

post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rashedul View Post

Hi guys I'm new here. I ordered for resheelling my tf10 and waiting more then two months to get it. Does any one know how long it take?



If my cable, which is pre-made, took over a month then I think your reshells will take a while longer. Seems like Null Audio is constantly overwhelmed with orders and lacks communication with customers. 

 

Try messaging them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Null-Audio-Studio/71764152921

 

I'm sure they're not going to screw you over but it may be a while before you get your headphones back.

post #14 of 49

I did message kevin, he reply back and said that he had some problem with custom to get material and moving the lab in a new place. Looks like kevin is a decent guy, he also gave his cell phone number to me. Thanks aural for reply. I think I have to wait a while to get my things back. If any one need his cell number let me know.

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 

Yeah. Kevin seems like a nice guy from all the things I read. Just wish he would hire some more minons to relieve some of the production delays. 

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