Here is a detailed informative explanation as to why cables along side vibration control can up to triple your systems performance as well as sound quality.
As you might be aware I am a former Sennheiser Engineer and Stefan AudioArt is the oldest and first and only company to design true high-end cables for headphones and headphone systems. I can guarantee if your headphone system is setup properly (see details below) the performance of our cables will go far beyond all other aftermarket headphone cables available. All the other options offered are off the shelf designs, constructed in a DYI fashion, offering incomplete solutions to headphone improvement. Unfortunately many users have poorly setup headphone systems and cannot possible determine the difference.
All our headphone cables are built from "the ground up" with conductive surface formulas specific to the corresponding headphone which have gone through years of R&D before they were finalized. When I left Sennheiser, I had a choice as to which area of a headphone system I would improve upon and based on my 30+ years experience in audio and with much research I determined that a properly designed headphone cable and next headphone system cables (properly designed headphone and headphone system cables are very difficult to make and very expensive to produce which is why headphone manufacturers can not spend the time and money producing such) offered the biggest improvements.
Stefan AudioArt's internal cable designs and extensive connector modifications are beyond all the other "off the shelf " cables and connectors which are assembled in a DYI fashion by lesser manufacturers. These designs do offer better performance than the stock but fall short in comparison and in a properly assembled headphone system offer significantly better performance. You will hear the significant difference our cables make as their potential cannot be fully experienced if two very important areas - properly designed system cables and vibration control - are not addressed.
The following steps were determined over years of R&D and are an example of the commitment we make to our customers and individuals who send us questions and don't necessarily make a purchase from us. These steps help them reach their goals and are designed to help save a considerable amount of time and money by introducing the best product solutions available which in most cases are very reasonably priced due to the extensive improvements they offer. We back up all our products with a 30/60 money back guarantee and will provide extensive an detailed help regardless of whether you purchase a product from us.
- Cost Effective Steps For True High-End Headphone System Performance -
Replace stock headphone cable with a Stefan AudioArt Audiophile or Ultra High-End Headphone Cable. A Stefan AudioArt designed upgrade headphone cable will offer the biggest improvement to the overall sound. It has taken our team of engineers many years to develop high-end headphone cables primarily using my experience as a former Sennheiser Engineer. The factor of why this is so is two fold - the manufacturer's stock headphone cable is very poorly designed and heavily degrades the sound of the headphone and the headphone cables we design are built from the ground up using a very meticulously construction process with every material used extensively treated with several proprietary procedures to yield absolute top performance from the headphone.
If you do not upgrade any other component in your existing system the Endorphin or E-Series will still offer a big improvement in the sound and every improvement thereafter will be experienced and thus be cost effective.
Note: Steps 2 -4 should be applied to all the components in your system.
Power cables. It was a surprise to me 12 years ago when I discovered that even very expensive power cables only marginally improve the sound quality.
When looking for good cabling, one should pay very close attention to how the cable looks. A big thick cable (especially power cables) is the cable to avoid. Big thick cables incorporate a large amount of non-conductive material (dielectric) which absorb and pollute the music because this raises the resistance of the power signal. Connector which may look great (like jewelry) contain much more conductive and non-conductive surface area than necessary which again affect the signal, slowing it down and polluting the music. Look for cables with a simple design with the least amount of non-conductive material used on the cable and connector and ones where the conductive and non conductive surfaces of the cable and connectors have been treated to maximize the conductivity of the material.
There are only two that I can currently recommend after testing the dozens of power cables ranging from $200.00 to $5500.00 - all of which are designed to "look good" but fail to offer any real improvement - and this holds true for almost all power cables which is why they are over looked as far as a means of significant improvement in an audio system.
The Stefan AudioArt Endorphin Ribbon power cable and the Mapleshaderecords clearview power cables are the best options because they are designed properly and will make a big difference in the performance of the component - send me specific question if you like.
The Stefan AudioArt has designed an Umbilical Power Cable as well as the Wall Power Cable which optimize the performance of the ZD and BA and will significantly improve the overall performance particularly highlighting improvements in the bass and sound-stage when listening with headphones and is the best option:
The Mapleshade Clearview:
is an excellent PC as well and even though it is not specifically designed for a headphone system - it sounds great except it will not improve the bass a sound-stage to the extent the Endorphin does.
Most effective approach if your budget will not allow the replacement of all the power cables in your system (replacing all is necessary to achieve the desired goal) is to start with the source (CD player etc.) and them the headphone amp. or preamp. and then any other component in the system - no particular order after the source and preamp. is necessary
Vibration Control. I just want to add that I have used dozens of different high-end vibration control systems over the past 10 years as an individual and when I worked at Sennheiser costing up to $10,000.00. That said, no other system comes close to a system designed by Pierre Sperry of www.mapleshadesrecords.com.
- as he uses Brass and Maple (two very musical materials). Any material that touches a component and a cable affects the outcome of the sound - the best materials are maple and brass because these are materials which fine musical instruments are made of and which "tune" the component so it offers greatly improved sound. I have no affiliation with Perry but I have experimented with his system for years and it is the most effective
Put a $75.00 18” x 15” x 2” MAPLESHADE PLATFORM under each component and under the mapleshade platform a set of 4 ($24.00) Isoblocks:
Or better a 4" MAPLESHADE PLATFORM to replace the above:
Next 3 Micropoints bass weight (small) on top of component:
Add MICROPOINT HEAVYFEET which you put under the each component to couple it the mapleshade platform see photo:
Interconnects are last and the same rules apply to these as do the power cables - if the outer covering of the cable (dielectric) is thicker than a piece of paper then your getting "grunge" and "muddy" sound and this will be noticeable especially with the HD800's. Look over the SAA and Mapleshades sites for the detail:
Applying properly designed cable and vibration control systems to every component in your system (including a laptop or PC) will bring you true high-end sound and I guarantee you will be overwhelming satisfied as I was and the many I have recommended this to have been.
I spend many hours at night per week sending out system recommendation emails like this one and an important and satisfying part of my business has evolved into educating serious listeners on how to get true high-end sound. I only design and recommend the absolute best solutions for headphones and headphone systems and guarantee these steps will be a life changing experience in terms of the quality of sound you will experience when these steps are put in place.
Take your time and carefully look over the above and ask me as many questions as you like. Also, remember that Internet is a wonderful resource but it can be very misleading as only a select few really understand high-end audio and how to make comparisons - and most comparisons are very inaccurate.
SAA System Suggestions:
For owners of the HD650, HD600 and HD580 headphones the following that in conjunction with upgrading the stock cable to the Stefan AudioArt E-Series or Endorphin will make a very significant difference in their overall performance
- Simply remove the oval gray foam which covers each of the drivers inside the left and
- Remove the grill and frame on the back of each earpiece. This grill and frame simply pulls
off as one piece and can easily be reattached.
1) - To remove the internal oval gray foam which covers each of the drivers inside the left and right earpieces first remove the ear cushions that touch the head and go around the
ears by slowly pulling them straight out by the edge where they meet the driver assembly with your fingers. They can have a tight fit but are very durable so once you get it started keep firming pulling outward.
Once these are removed, the gray oval foam cover can simply be removed as it just "sit" over the driver.
2) - Remove the grill and frame on the back of each earpiece. This grill and frame simply pulls off as one piece and can easily be reattached.
The grill and the gray/silver frame (one piece) are press fit to each of the earpieces - driver frame assembly.
Push the pivoting L and R earpiece all the way outward and at the top where the HD650/600/580 rectangular label is then put your two fingers using your figure nails in the small gap where the grill frame meets the earpiece - driver frame assembly
Slowly push outward and this will start the separation between the two and then the grill will just simply pull off and can simply be fitted back on if necessary.
If you try these two simple modifications it will open up the sound-stage, improve the high frequencies and overall clarity in both HD650's and the HD600's headphones. We highly recommend you give this a try.
The following two procedures are the most cost effective way to get a very noticeable improvement in sound quality from your existing headphone/audio system:
1) Applying a $20.00 can of Caig Deoxit Gold G5 (Google for best price) to all the connectors in your system which include power, interconnect and speaker cable.
Note: a properly designed power cable and IC applied to all headphone system components will make a significant difference in sound-stage, bass performance along with and overall clarity and detail of the full spectrum of music. more info at:
2) Removing the static from your CD's and all the cables in your headphone/audio system with Ionoclast:
Both of the above procedures will lower the resistance in the signal transfer and surprising yield a more natural overall sound. These are the two most cost effective system treatments available.
Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.
James S Serdechny