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[IMPRESSION] FiiO RC-UE1 - Replacement Cable for Ultimate Ear

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
This is just a short impression for the new FiiO RC-UE1 cable, which is the replacement cable for TF10, SF5 Pro, SF5 RB and SF3 (plus the similar M-Audio models OEM'ed by UE). The price tag is around US$30, last I checked via googgling.

RCUE1-01.jpg
Packaging is pretty simple, quite similar to that of FiiO's LOD packaging.

RCUE1-02.jpg
Everything is overbuilt on the RC-UE1. As far as durability goes, it is great. However, it is heavier than the stock cable.

RCUE1-03.jpg
A mini plug comparison between RC-UE1 and UE stock replacement cable.

RCUE1-04.jpg

RCUE1-05.jpg
The 2 pins plug are actually similar in size between UE and FiiO's cable, but as you can see, FiiO plug has an angle.

RCUE1-06.jpg
The 2 pins on FiiO's cable are tighter fitting than the stock UE cable. It makes it harder to put it on / take it off. However, unlike the ES cable, it won't make the holes too big for the stock cable. You can still use the stock cable after using FiiO's cable, though it will feel a tiny bit loose (or should I say, ' not as tight as before').

RCUE1-07.jpg

RCUE1-08.jpg

I really like the fact that the RC-UE1 is built like a tank when compared to the stock cable, plus it has almost no memory effect at all and quite soft (despite it being thick). What I don't like personally is it has no memory wire and the extra weight the cable adds (*I wear glasses so memory wire helps to hold the cable over-the-ear)

As far as sonic change - I tend not to believe in the whole aftermarket-cable-improvement theory, but in the case of RC-UE1, I have to said I do hear a difference. I notice early on that TF10 sounds just a little different after I put on the RC-UE1. It isn't a lot of difference but I have had TF10 for so long that I really can tell a tiny bit of change in its sound. After I did a A/Bing with the stock cable, I find that RC-UE1 sounds warmer and smoother than the stock cable. The stock cable is more crisp and better detail. As far as my personal preference goes, I actually like the stock cable better as I prefer a more analytical sound, not to mention the fact that I already use foam tips on my TF10 to make it sounds warmer, so adding the warmness from RC-UE1 doesn't make it better. I did a quick measuring on both cable and find that the FiiO's cable is 1 ohm higher than stock cable in resistance. Perhaps it is this added resistance that cause the very slight sonic change, though I have no way to confirm it.

Overall the cable is well worth the $30 price tag, which is right around the same price range as what a stock cable will cost ($20~$30)
Edited by ClieOS - 12/22/11 at 7:58am
post #2 of 31

Thanks for the review.  Will the pins fit UE Customs or other custom resells using that socket?

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
No idea about the UE custom, since I have no custom to test it with. But I will make an educated guess and say it is quite possible.
post #4 of 31

Thanks for your impressions. I also wear glasses and was wondering if the lack of memory wire is a big problem when you wear them? Did you have to adjust the cable often?

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kckc View Post

Thanks for your impressions. I also wear glasses and was wondering if the lack of memory wire is a big problem when you wear them? Did you have to adjust the cable often?

Mostly I just have to tighten the chin slider to secure the cable in place, which I don't need to do (as much) on the stock cable. SInc the cable is thicker than the usual variants, I would actually suggest FiiO to include an special molded ear guide and shirt clip with their future custom cable, which would solve the issue with no memory wire (while still keeps the memory wire hater happy) and extra weight together.
post #6 of 31

It looks like a nice cable. Reminds me of the CK10 cable.

 

ClieOS, surprised I didn't see your 50 hours of burn-in disclaimer. I not long ago got my $95 Amazon TF and quickly put my old UE cable on them. It was a bit clearer with slightly more detail since it had more hours on it. I noticed it even though the reason to swap was physical.

P1010129.JPG

The newer UE cable is a mess compared to the older thinner one that has a shorter memory wire. Obvious from the pic which one behaves better. The lower looks bad there but outside in the current Northeast, US temperatures it gets even worse.

 

Surprised you also don't subscribe to the cable theory. Some aftermarket cable prices are jacked up but the theory is good. Even Vsonic, which you are well familiar with, do the silver and non-silver cable for their bassy and balanced R02 - Pro II versions. You won't ever see the stock cable back on my TF over my silver cable! I'm sure you'll try the silver version if you get the chance esp. if you like analytical.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
I only burn-in headphone because (from my own experience) that sometime it does have some effect mechanically. As for cable, I don't really see the point as there is nothing mechanically that needs to burn-in. I do however believe in different cable sounding differently, mainly due to physical / electrical properties - but that doesn't mean aftermarket cable must be better, especially those that claims to use 'special material', if you know what I mean.wink.gif
post #8 of 31

I have a feeling you might notice a difference after some hours. I also had an old UE SF3 that would never have changed it's sound. So, after 25 hours on a older version(same as Earsonics) Westone cable the sound took a turn for the worse. As that cable is known for(having a thicker midbass) some more midbass developed which really bothered me clarity-wise me and forced me to EQ it out. I also have had 8 removable cable UE phones and I know that the thinner and thicker cables sound the same. The only reason the new cable sounded worse should be that the new one needed some hours on it.

 

Of course people are different in what they can hear as well but there is no way the stock cable is ever going back on the TF 10 nor am I going to use the stock interconnect that came with my ZO2 over my $18 Cardas 6" hpi. Either is lower resolving and less transparent and a bit warmer due to woolier bass notes. I was appreciating my TF10 last night and how it is near as fast as an Ety and CK10(which is what I want). That can never be achieved with the stock cable as the bottleneck.

 

Of course there are many claims and the prices are all over the place. The area of cables is like the Wild West; a new frontier if you will. It is up to the individual if and how much they want to explore it. I've gotten burned on an AWWAN cable and a LUNE cable(my own fault to try it on a SF3 but I got most of my $$ back) myself but nothing ventured nothing gained.   

post #9 of 31

Not surprising if you hear a difference.  It's got PCOCC copper in it from Furukawa/Oyaide so it can go toe to toe with other more expensive OCC copper designs.  

post #10 of 31

I have spent more than a few hours in the gym and lets just say my stock UE cable to my Super Fi 5 Pros had taken a beating. I just received the FiiO RC-UE1 in mail today and I'm pretty impressed. I actually prefer not having the memory wire. Personally, I like the feel of the new cable on my ear better than the old one. So far I have noticed that this cable has far less chances to get itself tangled as well. Having not listened to these IEM's in a while, I don't remember them having this good of SQ. Overall, I am pretty impressed with the new cable, especially when you consider the price of only $25

post #11 of 31

Cool!I bought one in Amazon just now。 $30

post #12 of 31

Has anyone used this and either of the Null Audio cables, the Lune or the Arete? I know they are generally well-liked, but if I can get at least a decent upgrade for just 30$ I may have to. The stock cable is increasingly frustrating.

post #13 of 31

I can't comment on any sound improvements over the stock cable. My stock cable broke and I had to wait a while for these to come out before I could listen to my TF10 again.

 

However, I'd recommend the FiiO just based on the cable material alone. It's a bit thicker overall and barely fits into the case that comes with the TF10 but there's almost no memory effect. I can take them out of the case, hold onto one end and the cable just unravels itself straight. I do miss the memory wire since I wear glasses but I have adjusted to FiiO's cable and it works well and my TF10 still sound great.

post #14 of 31

Any idea where this Fiio cable can be purchased at this time.  I know B&H's website states early March, however, I cannot seem to find it anywhere via google.

post #15 of 31

Just got this cable 6 days ago, and unfortunately, the shielding has already come out of the bit that connects to the IEM housing; I've attached images below (note the exposed copper in the attached images). Purchased from amazon, so I'm trying to figure out what the return / exchange policy is. While the cable is generally built very well and has no microphonics, there is a strain problem at the connector... and the weight of the cable definitely can't help with that.

 

 

IMG_0289.JPG

IMG_0287.JPG

 

 

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