Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › The TWag v2 & TWcu 26 Hybrid IEM cable (Initial impressions)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The TWag v2 & TWcu 26 Hybrid IEM cable (Initial impressions)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

hybrid_iem.jpg

 

Intro

 

I’ve been lucky enough to have been using the Reference TWag v2 AND TWcu 26 Hybrid IEM replacement cable with my JH16 for quite some time now and I figure it’s about time I share my thoughts on this cable with the rest of the community.

 

I’ve been meaning to do this review for quite some time. I’ve been busy with exams and had a lot of personal stuff to attend to so it hasn’t been done as soon as I had hoped it would.

 

I keep getting questions about this cable from a lot of people that are curious about it and I figured I might as well post my initial impressions before I finish the entire review rather than having to explain it several times via PM’s and the alike :-)

 

I should mention that Whiplash Audio also offer a matching hybrid LOD cable with various termination options.

 

Whiplash Audio

 

Most of us already know the company Whiplash Audio. They do the immensely popular TWag cables that many CIEM-owners prefer. While the TWag V2 is a great product it seems Whiplash Audio has not been relaxing as they’ve come out with quite a few exciting products lately. Besides the hybrid cable they also offer a variety of other new IEM cables such as an 8 conductor TWag v2. You can check it all out over at their website.

 

I’ve dealt with this company several times as a customer and I’ve always been very pleased. I usually have my cables within weeks which is quite impressive considering that they have to make the cable according to my order and then have it shipped it all the way to Denmark. Craig who runs Whiplash Audio is usually quick to respond to e-mails and I’ve always been getting very informative replies.

 

The Cable

 

This new hybrid cable is 8 conductor balanced and utilizes both 26AWG TWag v2 Eclipse silver and 26AWG TWcu 26 copper. More information about this cable can be found on the Whiplash Audio website: http://www.whiplashaudio.com/cables/headphone-cables/reference-twag-v2-and-twcu-26-hybrid-iem-replacement-cable.html

 

Ergonomics aren’t as superb as they are with the TWag V2 mainly because this cable is a little thicker. It’s also a bit more stiff which makes sense considering there is a lot more going on with 2 different types of cable and 8 conductors. Despite the cable being somewhat less flexible than the TWag V2 (and stock cable for that matter) it could easily be used in a portable setup. I haven’t done it much since I’m still babying the cable quite a bit but the few times I did bring this cable with my out and about the ergonomics weren't a problem at all.

 

The cable uses memory wire and is quite big at the part that goes over the ears compared to the usual aftermarket cable. Again this is due to the 8 conductor configuration and it’s actually much more comfortable around the ears than it may seem when you’re looking at the photos on the website.

 

The build quality appears to be very high and the cable comes with overmolded connectors which fit the recessed sockets offered by CIEM manufacturers such as Unique Melody. Of course the cable works with non-recessed sockets such as the ones found on my JH16 as well.

 

There's quite a generous length down to the Y-split.

 

The Sound

 

I covered this intro in another review of mine as well, but I find that it’s worth placing here as well: Listening for differences when A/B'ing between two cables has its obvious elements of pointlessness. I know there are quite a few cable skeptics out there and proving that cables make a noticeable difference would be quite tricky if not impossible. Despite the fact that I have been A/B'ing with other cables I always know which one I am using which might obviously cause a placebo effect to some extent. Therefore, take my thoughts on the sound with the JH16 with a grain of salt - I find differences to be present and I'm sure others will too - despite the fact that they may indeed be psychological for the most part. Either way, as long as it sounds better to my ears I usually find various stuff to be worth paying for.

 

I've been doing my listening with my JH16 using the following setups:
FLAC --> Yulong D100 (fed via optical) --> JH16 Whiplash Audio Hybrid cable
FLAC --> iPhone 4 --> JH 16 with the Whiplash Audio Hybrid cable

Using the Hybrid cable with my JH16 I find it to be taken to a whole new level of refinement. The soundstage is vastly improved resulting in a much more 3-dimensional sound. I’ve seen the JH16 get bashed quite a lot for its limited soundstage – especially with all the competition it has nowadays and I’ve always agreed on this matter, so I find this improvement to be very valuable.

I have never felt like the JH16 lacked when it came to instrument separation – quite the contrary. It can feel forced at times and the Hybrid cable seems to improve in this regard by adding a bit of coherency between the different levels of the music creating a more realistic musical experience. I had to check a few times to make sure that this was actually what I was hearing as I found it to be quite a large improvement, but I kept hearing this change in presentation. Keep in mind that these are my initial impressions and I plan on updating my review once I’ve been spending even more time with this cable and I’ll make sure to update on this matter.

Bass continues to be fast paced, precise and quite impactful. I hear a slight increase in the amount of bass thickness & depth as well as some added wamth but nothing huge. I’m quite pleased with this as I’ve always loved the bass of the JH16 just the way it is and find these minor improvements to be very enjoyable..

Conclusion
I've said this many times before and I continue to do so as I still find it to be relevant: "expensive" IEM-cables should not be your first upgrade when dealing with custom in-ear monitors. If I had $500 to upgrade for, I would pick up a good portable amp, a good DAP or a good desktop DAC rather than a cable. But once you've got a source & amp you're satisfied with then I feel a cable might be the next natural upgrade. If you’re craving for an upgrade and have the rest of your gear figured out I would highly recommend the hybrid cable. Out of all the aftermarket cables I have been playing around with I feel the Hybrid is by far the best (and most luxurious).

While the hybrid cable most likely will not make your JH5 sound like a JH16 I find it to add a substantial amount to the sonic value of the JH16. I highly recommend the Hybrid cable for the JH16-owner who has the money to spare and is looking for a very premium aftermarket cable. The hybrid cable has rapidly become my “go-to” cable.


Edited by Staal - 7/26/12 at 11:22am
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Reserved

post #3 of 13

^.^  Good review.

 

Interested in comparisons between this and the two cables that you will eventually receive (1 already received) from Toxic Cables.


Edited by Cassadian - 7/9/12 at 2:13am
post #4 of 13

Nice review man! Be really careful about the storing the cable though. They become green fast if there is moisture.

post #5 of 13

Nice review as I also want to know how this cable compares to your Toxic cable as i believe you got the all copper one?

As opposed to the mixture of Siver & Copper.....

post #6 of 13

Adding this review to the list in my signature. Thanks for giving the cable a review. 

 

EDIT: Link added

post #7 of 13
I agree with you that these hybrid cables are the best aftermarket cables. I'm currently pairing my cables with the Ls5x more than my JH16 because I find the bass for JH16 to be too heavy when paired with the hybrid cables.
Edited by lxl88 - 7/11/12 at 2:30am
post #8 of 13

I had the chance to try a twag Hybrid cable recently with both my Miracle and Merlin. My findings were a Thumping Bass on the Bottom End, but fot the Top End it left me a little wanting for those crisp highs.....So I found it  a little dark sounding, but then again I have been listening for around a month with pure silver cables. So that I suspect plays a part.

post #9 of 13

I auditioned the hybrid cable before and compared it to my twagv2. I personally find the hybrid cable a little warmer(especially on the lower end) while still retaining the essence of twagv2 sound. Nice upgrade.

 

Only draw back is that the cable is definitely stiffer than twagv2 and the heat shrink around the ear will make it a bit hard for those wearing glasses to wear both.

post #10 of 13

I don't wanna go back through that whole thread again, but didn't Whiplash audio sell "silver" cables that had copper in them? And didn't their actual silver cables turn out to be less pure than claimed after a lab test? I know they blamed it on their suppliers but its pretty obvious they didn't even bother to test the material they sold. That may not be fraud but it's certainly a poor way to do business. Why would anybody believe their claims after that?


Edited by tvrboy - 7/25/12 at 5:29pm
post #11 of 13

I know who made their wire before and who makes their wire now.  You don't have anything to worry about.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post

I know who made their wire before and who makes their wire now.  You don't have anything to worry about.

 

Peter's probably correct about this.  Lee was a guy with a good heart and was as honest in his dealings with people as anyone I've ever known in this industry.  We had a business relationship and a friendship.  He would send me gear but wouldn't even loan me a CD as he felt that was the same as pirating -- that's how honest he was.  He would have never intentionally defrauded Whiplash, or anyone else.  It was a particular user's nastiness and hatred that was likely the final straw that killed him, as he was under enormous stress already for reasons that aren't appropriate to disclose here.  I have also had business dealings with Craig and he is a good guy as well.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

Nice review man! Be really careful about the storing the cable though. They become green fast if there is moisture.

 

Thank you!

 

I was not aware of that. I've yet to experience it going green but I'll certainly take even better care of it now. Thanks for the heads up!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maguire View Post

Nice review as I also want to know how this cable compares to your Toxic cable as i believe you got the all copper one?

As opposed to the mixture of Siver & Copper.....

 

I plan on doing a comparison as soon as I find the time. I also have the Toxic Cables "Silver Poison" (pure silver w/ some gold) with me now so that should be interesting as well.

 

I also have a third Toxic cable incoming - a 8-wire hybrid (much like the Whiplash Audio one in this thread) so that's going to be an exciting comparison. I'm not sure how many details I'm allowed to share at this point.

 

That shouldn't take any glory away from the Whiplash Hybrid - I really enjoy this cable and find myself using it the most but I am quite curious how the two 8-wire hybrids will fare against each other.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

Adding this review to the list in my signature. Thanks for giving the cable a review. 

 

EDIT: Link added

 

Thank you. Always a pleasure to see your list getting more and more complete. I am sure that your list is already a great resource of information for many.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lxl88 View Post

I agree with you that these hybrid cables are the best aftermarket cables. I'm currently pairing my cables with the Ls5x more than my JH16 because I find the bass for JH16 to be too heavy when paired with the hybrid cables.

 

Too much? Not to my ears. I'm certainly a basshead but I have my limits and I don't feel like the JH16 / Hybrid combo is crossing any of them. redface.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryok95 View Post

I auditioned the hybrid cable before and compared it to my twagv2. I personally find the hybrid cable a little warmer(especially on the lower end) while still retaining the essence of twagv2 sound. Nice upgrade.

 

Only draw back is that the cable is definitely stiffer than twagv2 and the heat shrink around the ear will make it a bit hard for those wearing glasses to wear both.

 

Yes, it's a bit more stiff, that's for sure - but I don't think it could be done differently considering the 8 conductors and all. I'm glad to know that we hear it the same way - I feel like I'm getting the TWag V2 clarity that many people love combined with a bit more depth and warmth on the low end.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

I don't wanna go back through that whole thread again, but didn't Whiplash audio sell "silver" cables that had copper in them? And didn't their actual silver cables turn out to be less pure than claimed after a lab test? I know they blamed it on their suppliers but its pretty obvious they didn't even bother to test the material they sold. That may not be fraud but it's certainly a poor way to do business. Why would anybody believe their claims after that?

 

I believe something like that happened, yes. From what I've heard Whiplash did replace the cables but you're certainly right that these things shouldn't happen. However, I genuinely believe that Craig from Whiplash is an honest guy and I'm sure their current products are legit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post

I know who made their wire before and who makes their wire now.  You don't have anything to worry about.

 

Glad to hear so.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › The TWag v2 & TWcu 26 Hybrid IEM cable (Initial impressions)