Here is my humble experiment into the world of after-market/custom cables. First and foremost, I'd like to declare at the outset that in this hobby, TO EACH HIS OWN. We only share our experiences based on our PREFERENCES. I know that there are a few strongly opinionated people in this thread who would be seething in rage if I say that the stock Sennheiser IE80s are treble-thin and too boomy-sounding. That said, I also love the IE80's thick and exaggerated mids.
My first mods were with copper cables. Since there is a limited gamut of cables from which to choose in the Philippines, I had to work with what are locally available first. ProCos, Nobelle 2N. While the ProCos brought up the highs and seem to open up the upper midrange, the highs sound like they were getting the bulk of the push. On some tracks, I began detecting a hint of sibilance. Then came the Nobelles. Great airy highs, mids retain its richness, bass is tightened by a little. But the drawback is the grain. At higher volume playback, Nobelles are grainy.
So I decided to order from Jaben a set of silver Piccolino cables. The loose bass is gone! Highs are fully extended but sweetly done with nary a hint of sibilance. But here is the spoiler: MIDS, particularly vocals, sounded thin! Gone are the thick, luscious, syrupy voices! Apparently, as I read more about it, silver cables do that to the midrange frequencies. In what seemed like a crude logical syllogism, I had a kind of rudimentary 1+1 lightbulb moment. What if I marry the better qualities that I like about the Piccolino cables with the ones I like about the copper Nobelles?
I twined 2 Piccolinos with 1 Nobelle. Highs are smooth but well extended. Mids still have that great body that I love in the stock IE80s but the loose bass is cleaned up quite a bit. Soundstage remains largely unchanged. Mid-bass humming is still present though. But at least, I no longer find the IE80s wanting in treble. [In the photos above, the blue in the braid is the Nobelle and the silver with transparent insulator is the Piccolino.]
Edited by sp3llv3xit - 6/23/13 at 12:15am