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Toxic Cables - Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 282

post #4216 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Cables View Post

No plans to open it back up, you can PM me for DIY purchases.

It is now.
Could you please just confirm that I bought wire from you and legitimize my DIY cables I have for sale? I know people are worried about the fake cables floating around.

Much appreciated (linkage in my signature). Let me know what you think of the work on them.
post #4217 of 7408

Silver Widow (SW) or 18 AWG OCC Scorpion ?

 

 

I ordered my SW from Frank sometime in early January and after a long period of waiting my SW eventually arrived last week.  I am unable to express how happy I am.  The workmanship of the SW is second to none and it looks like a piece of art.  It is all in silver as I had requested an Oyaide plug to match its color. Thanks to Frank for making this excellent cable and I am not going to say anything more on his workmanship as a lot had already been said in this forum. 

 

What I am most interested in is the overall performance of this SW as it is highly praised by a lot of happy customers. Is it true and the objective of following comparison is to find out how accurate the claims are.  I already owned one 18 AWG OCC Scorpion cable which is now fitted to one of my HD800s.  After comparing it with the stock cable, the Cardas and the Oyaide PCOCC-A headphone cables the Scorpion beats them easily (I had written a simple review in this forum a few months ago).  What I am going to do now is to compare the performance of this SW with my Scorpion with a view to finding out which one performs better when coupled with HD800.  A lot of people (including me) have reservations of using pure silver cable with HD800 as it is thought that it will be too clinical and produces too much detail, in particular, in the high frequency range as well as having a fear of compromising with the bass.  It is therefore understandable that most people will prefer using pure OCC copper cable on HD800.  The objective of the following test is to find out whether such argument has grounds.

 

Equipment used

 

 

 

The reason I owned two HD800s is that I have two sets of headphone amplifiers, one in the living room and the other inside my bedroom.

 

Both sources are heavily modded Marantz CD63 using top of the range components.  The electronic parts alone cost me over £1000 for each player.  Originally I used Leema Antila IIS CDP (costing £3,300) as my source but the modded CD63 sounds so much better that I eventually sold the Leema Antila IIS in the eBay.

 

In the living room the headphone amplifier is Yulong A-18 and it is connected to Yulong’s D18 DAC using pure silver balanced interconnects. The A-18 can either be driven by D-18 through CD63’s digital output or from the analogue output of the CD63 directly.  I have A/B tested the sonic quality using the D-18 DAC and the CD63’s analogue output and to my surprise I cannot hear any differences at all!!  I cannot believe my ears that the DAC and decoder of the modded CD63 can perform as good as that of the D-18 DAC costing more than £600.  During the following test I used CD 63’s analogue output to the A-18 to ensure the same configuration as the other setup.  As a remark A-18 according to many reviews sounds very smooth and warm which performs like a vacuum tube headphone amplifier.  It is transparent, having very good sound-staging and produces more air and space in music than most of the other headphone amplifiers.  You can find more reviews on D-18 and A-18 in other forum in headfi.com and I am not going to say anything more on it.

 

In the bed room the headphone amplifier is Fidelity Audio’s HP-200SE, the flagship headphone amplifier of Fidelity Audio, a small UK company.  It is very neutral, honest, transparent, has very fast response and with good sound-staging.  It is also very powerful and has more than sufficient power to drive any difficult to drive headphones.  The frequency response of HP-200SE is very flat from low to high frequencies and with very low distortions. I connected the CD63 directly to HP-200SE using Chord Chameleon Plus RCA interconnects as it only accepts RCA inputs (similar connection is used in the other setup to ensure similar configuration).

 

The Tests

 

Before I start with the comparison I used a burn-in CD to run the new SW cable for more than 50 hrs to ensure it competes with Scorpion on equal grounds as the later has been used for a number of months and has therefore been fully burn-in.

 

 

To make the test simple I used Stockfisch’s AYA authentic Audio Check CD and Opus 3’s Test CD 4.1 for the tests.  These CDs consisted of a number of tracks with male/female vocals, percussions, jazz, blues and classical music.  The recording of Stockfisch CD and Opus 3 are well known to be of first class and of high standards and also expensive.  Detail instructions are also provided in both CDs to guide listeners what to look for when using them.

 

 

The test method is very simple, i.e. to run each track of these CDs for 25 seconds of a specific portion of music using repeated mode and then alternatively plug in the two headphones to each headphone amplifier to identify the sonic differences.  Notes were dropped down for records.

 

To save your reading time and not to bore you I am not going to describe my detail findings of each track where a lot of notes had been made during the testing.  I am sure what you will be most interested in is the result of the tests and not on the details in between these tests.

 

Test Results 

 

Before the tests I plugged in the two HD800s with SW and the Scorpion to the two headphone amplifiers alternatively and listened to different kinds of albums I owned (but not the two test CDs to avoid pre-judgements) and from a broad perspective I could not find too much differences between the two cables.  They are both very pleasant to my ears, clear, transparent and with good sound-staging.  There are sufficient tight and extended bass and the high frequencies are not fatiguing.  The mid range is particularly sweet and smooth.  My initial impression is that both cables have very similar performances with HD800 irrespective of headphone amplifier used.

 

Having said that however when the two cables were competed head to head to the very fine details differences in sonic quality were heard though it is not a day and night difference.

 

Using HP-200SE

 

My impression is that SW produces a lot of details and may be too much when compared with Scorpion (my expression has been exaggerated to show the contrast). The bass is still very accurate, tight and extended, the mid range is sweet but seems to be a bit lean (also with exaggeration).  I can hear all the minor details in the high frequencies which however not to my likings when compared with Scorpion.  Please don’t be mistaken I am not saying SW performs badly.  These findings are only making reference to the Scorpion to the very fine details and the differences are very minute.  If I have not had the Scorpion to compare I will certainly love the sonic quality of SW with HP-200SE.

 

With the above findings I would prefer using Scorpion with HP-200SE as the overall performance is more natural and balanced than the SW.

 

Please note that according to my notes the above findings were not the same on all of the tracks used in the testing.  Actually in some of the tracks I had difficulties in identifying the differences between the two cables on account of smaller frequency spectrum of some pieces of music during testing.

 

Using Yulong A-18

 

I am not surprised that with this setup the result is reversed.  Here the Scorpion sounds less musical and darker than SW.  The high frequencies are less distinctive and rolls off by a bit.  The bass is very tight and extended, the mid range is very smooth and sweet but unfortunately it lacks some details in high frequencies.  As before these short comings are relative to SW and please do not be mistaken that Scorpion has poor performances.  Without head to head comparison it would be difficult to come to the above findings. You will certainly love the music of Scorpion with A-18 if you have not compared it in such details.

 

As to the SW it sounds so natural and balanced, the bass is very accurate, tight and extended and I think the bass truly reflected what has been recorded.  The mid range is smooth and sweet and I can hear the feeling of the singer and can feel his/her emotions, they are so real.  The high frequencies are just right, not too much to annoy you but sufficient to review all the details.  IMHO I found that the space, the music separation and sound-staging of SW with A-18 is better than Scorpion connected to HP-200SE.

 

There is no doubt that with A-18 the SW is the preferred cable.

 

The Conclusion

 

Based on the above testing my verdict is that both the SW and the Scorpion are excellent cables to be used with HD800.  However if you want to get the most out from the two cables down to minute details then from the perspective of an audiophile I would suggest for tube or warm headphone amplifiers it is better to use SW while on very neutral headphone amplifiers Scorpion cable is preferred.  Having said that as a matter of fact the differences in sonic quality are very small and you will not notice it and will adapt to the sonic quality from both cables quickly.  You will also find SW produces more space and you can feel the singer or the musicians are further from you in a bigger hall while Scorpion draws the singer closer to you. 

 

If you decide to go for copper cable one could also consider Black Widow as it should perform a little bit better than Scorpion according to the user feedbacks in this forum.  BW is also more flexible and thinner than Scorpion which has similar size as SW.

 

Lastly I am really pleased to have rightly chosen the SW for my Yulong A-18 (as well as using the Scorpion cable for my HP-200SE where I had the Scorpion before I ordered the SW).  Initially I placed my order with Frank for a BW for my other HD800 using A-18 but after some though I changed it to SW having heard some good comments about this cable with HD800. My decision has proved to be right, but of course it all very much depends on what kind of headphone amplifier you are using!!        


Edited by inter voice - 7/20/13 at 1:52pm
post #4218 of 7408
Wow, that is indeed a great review!
post #4219 of 7408
Yea i cant wait for mine!smily_headphones1.gif
post #4220 of 7408
210 days for a cable, Wow.
post #4221 of 7408
Can u imagine if u go to an 8wire sw..if the 4wire is already so good..as u already know i Went from a single ended bw 22awg 4wire to a completly balanced 8wire 22awg bw..and u cant imagine what it did to soundstage, placement of instruments and that powerful controlled bass!!!

If i had the money now i would also buy a 8wire balanced sw..just to see how much better it can be then the bw i now have..and then keep the better sounding one on my he500...i cant imagine the treble to be more detaily or the mids more natural and that bass..as if i got a few more watts to my proposal..then i have now...it wasnot cheap..but well worth the extra worth over the 4wire version..
So Guys..if u have the money..go directly to a 8wire version if u have a powerful amp..Imho ofcourse!!
post #4222 of 7408

Awesome review mate, thanks for taking the time to write it and share. Glad you like both the cables.

http://www.toxic-cables.co.uk                  PREPARE TO BE INTOXICATED

 

 

Reply
post #4223 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Can u imagine if u go to an 8wire sw..if the 4wire is already so good..as u already know i Went from a single ended bw 22awg 4wire to a completly balanced 8wire 22awg bw..and u cant imagine what it did to soundstage, placement of instruments and that powerful controlled bass!!!

If i had the money now i would also buy a 8wire balanced sw..just to see how much better it can be then the bw i now have..and then keep the better sounding one on my he500...i cant imagine the treble to be more detaily or the mids more natural and that bass..as if i got a few more watts to my proposal..then i have now...it wasnot cheap..but well worth the extra worth over the 4wire version..
So Guys..if u have the money..go directly to a 8wire version if u have a powerful amp..Imho ofcourse!!

Oh mate you have really shed light onto me.

 

I am considering to purchase either a LCD2 or LCD3 and initially I intend to order a 22 AWG BW from Frank to swap with the SW that is presently connected to my HD800.  What I will do is to use a HD800>>LCD adapter (from Frank) to connect this SW with the LCD2 or 3 when the LCD has arrived.

 

Now with your idea I am seriously considering a 8 wires 22 AWG BW for my HD800.  There is no doubt that 8 wire SW is the ultimate cable for LCD but not at the moment as the cost will be too much to me  tongue_smile.gif  


Edited by inter voice - 7/22/13 at 3:42am
post #4224 of 7408
Okay I can't wait any longer.just kidding. Time flies when you waiting for something!
post #4225 of 7408

Frank is it possible to make an 8 wire hybrid using silver widow and black widow?

i really like the 8 wire hybrid of scorpion and silver poison and wondering if you can make an black and silver widow version.

post #4226 of 7408
Have anyone owned the Apex Glacier portable amp and have had Frank making the headphone cable for Hifiman and IEM for Heir Audio? My question which one BW or SW would match with this amp and these headphone and IEM?
post #4227 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by singleended58 View Post

Have anyone owned the Apex Glacier portable amp and have had Frank making the headphone cable for Hifiman and IEM for Heir Audio? My question which one BW or SW would match with this amp and these headphone and IEM?
BW is darker and the SW is brighter. It comes down to a matter of personal preference.
post #4228 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post


BW is darker and the SW is brighter. It comes down to a matter of personal preference.

the BW maybe darker...but i cant imagine me wanting more treble then i have now from my 8wires BW...i think the SW would mostly win points on more detail i guess...as more treble then i get now would be overkill to my ears on my rig.

post #4229 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

the BW maybe darker...but i cant imagine me wanting more treble then i have now from my 8wires BW...i think the SW would mostly win points on more detail i guess...as more treble then i get now would be overkill to my ears on my rig.
It does depend on what headphone it is connected to as well. If it is a Sennheiser HD800 then I fully understand.
post #4230 of 7408
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post

BW is darker and the SW is brighter. It comes down to a matter of personal preference.

What is the comparison between BW and WW soundwise?
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