Outstanding products and service by Frank (Toxic Cables)
I recently purchased 3 sets of OCC Silver Cables from Frank (Toxic Cables). I could not be more pleased with my decision and experience. Despite the distance (UK) and 6 hours of time difference, I received very prompt responses from Frank--I do not believe this man sleeps--which greatly help me make the right choices. Toxic Cables are very well made products--braiding, sleeving, soldering and terminations are first rate--with excellent sound (if one assumes that cables themselves make sound). They represent very good values.
The greatest improvement I heard was with my Audeze LCD-2: more presence (details), better soundstage and (thank goodness) tighter, faster bass with more impact, though a slight bloom in the upper bass (the Achille's heel of the LCD-2) remains. Well, for less than $300, I did not expect miracles; I believe I got my money's worth with the OCC Silver Toxic Cables. I bought both the sleeveless cable--as light as a feather and no microphonic intrusions that I could hear--and the version with black-cloth (?) sleeve which is heavier than the naked cable but still lighter and more flexible--and black!--compared to my grey Cardas Cables.
The improvement on the Hifiman HE-6 was more modest but still audible. The already tight bass was rendered tighter with more texture (timber?); it still packs quite a wallop! The HE-6 sound clarity improves a smidgeon-- more details (against a quieter background?). Alas, the HE-6 edgy midrange and sometimes hissyy treble remains unchanged for the most part, though I did not expect ANY OCC silver cable to be able to correct this problem. The Cardas cable, which I also own, seems to do a slightly better job of reducing the HE-6 edginess, but the OCC Silver from Toxic Cable is superior everywhere else. The sibilance (Sssssssss...) is far worse with my HD800 equiped with an OCC silver cable( from another provider) and once again was slightly reduced but not tamed nearly well enough by the Cardas. The Toxic Cable OCC Silver mates best with the HE-500 (borrowed from a friend), which does not have the hissy fit in the treble that the HE-6 does. And the bass impact was nearly the equal of the LCD-2, not nearly as deep but far less boomy.
For the HD800 and the HE-6, I am impatiently waiting for Frank's new and not-yet-available Venom Copper which I hope holds the promise of finally taming the edgy upper-midrange of the HE-6 and the hissy treble of both the HE-6 and to a larger extent the HD-800. I am particularly sensitive to these areas which may not be a problem for other people. Frank also has a pure silver cable with silver XLR mini-connectors which, unfortunately I cannot try yet until I found an acceptable DAC/Tube Headamp with balanced XLR headphone outputs, sufficient gain and impedance matching to service all my headphones. MY Burson Audio HA-160D does a very good job everywhere but could not suppress the edginess/hiss. A borrowed Redwine Audeze Edition came very close but ran out of juice with the low-sensitivty HE-6. The Apex Pinnacle, at $10 grand, is and will remain out of my price range--to put it in perspective, this beauty costs as much a a small car.
Back to Frank, the construction, fit and finish and performance of his Toxic Cables (OCC Silver) are very, very goog and make these products good values. The customer service was exemplary. Shipping via FedEx was surprising fast despite the long distance and the product delivery time overall was quite acceptable--as long as Frank continues to NOT sleep at night.
Thank you Frank.