I'm keeping this original post and all the info in it as an archive. But the program is over. Unfortunately a member yjt93 accepted the cable and disappeared. Apparently he left the country from what we can tell. Currawong was helpful in trying to reach him but we haven't heard anything back. So that ruins the fun for everyone else. Sorry!
In a brilliant showing of what a class act he is, Frank at Toxic Cable has agreed to replace my missing Silver Poison with his new Silver Widow as soon as the next batch is available. What a guy! Everyone reading this can learn two lessons: 1) don't be overly trusting around here, and 2) Toxic Cables is an excellent company to deal with, who truly stands behind their customers.
By now there has been quite a bit of discussion about Toxic Cables. As a relative newcomer to the cable biz, Frank (Toxic Cables owner) has made a pretty big splash around here. We've seen multiple examples of his work, including Sennheiser, HiFiMAN, and Audeze cables, in various materials including silver, SPC, copper, and other combinations. We've also seen the beautiful restore/recable job he did on an aging set of Sony R10s.
I've been using the balanced Toxic Cables Hybrid with my HiFiMAN HE-400 for a while, and it's a great cable. It looks and feels like something that would cost far more than it does. So when Frank told me he had a new IEM cable in the works, I was excited to check it out.
The cable I have is called the SPC Viper. SPC obviously stands for silver-plated copper. I could go on and on about the construction of the cable but I feel like pictures do a much better job conveying the level of quality. It's made from 24AWG stranded silver plated OCC copper. The price, at the current exchange rate, comes to ~$180 plus a bit for shipping (Toxic Cables is based in the UK). The cable will also be available in a slightly smaller 26AWG, which will come in translucent black or blue as well as the clear like my cable. Mine has black connectors but the production version will use clear connectors (unless you order the black cable, which will still use the black connectors).
I've been using the Viper for a while with my Heir Audio customs, my UM Merlin, my Westone AC2, and others. It's a great fit for every socket type - flush or recessed. There is no memory wire, but the cable comes sort of "pre-shaped" into an angle that comfortably wraps around your ears. Looking at the cable, it doesn't necessarily appear like it would be all that comfortable. In fact it looks rather stiff, thick, and inflexible. But in reality that is not the case. It bends surprisingly well, and really isn't any less comfortable to use than the stock cable.
I suspect that the reader already has an established opinion about cables and their audible properties, so I won't try to change your mind one way or the other. All I will say is that it IS in fact possible to enjoy a cable purely for aesthetic reasons. You don't have to be completely on board with the idea of cables sounding amazing, to be able to enjoy the look, feel, fit, and durability of an aftermarket cable.
But what if you haven't quite made up your mind on the topic? Maybe you just haven't had a chance to try an aftermarket cable to see what you think. That's where I come in. I'd like to offer the Toxic Cables SPC Viper IEM cable to anyone who is interested in giving it a try. Keep it for a week or so, see what you think, and then send it on to the next person. The only thing I ask is that you document your experience in this thread. I don't care if you say the cable is amazing, or terrible, or something in between - just post your honest opinion. I welcome any members with good feedback to participate, and I hope to get a good cross section of folks who have other competing cables as well as people who have never tried an aftermarket cable. Obviously you need to have a set of custom IEMs in order to use this cable - it terminates in the standard Westone style and should work with customs from JH Audio, Unique Melody, Heir Audio, Westone, 1964 Ears, and most others. The few exceptions should be obvious - the newer Ultimate Ears has a different type of connector (older models should work fine though). LiveWires and Sleek Audio customs have proprietary connectors but there aren't a lot of people using those. For the most part, if you've got customs with a detachable cable, and they aren't from UE in the last 2 years or so, this cable will work.
I don't have a lot of time, so please post in this thread if you are interested. It's easier to do it here instead of via PM. Once I approve you, you can send contact the person who has the cables at the moment and work out shipping details. Shipping is very reasonable on an item like this. Again, please no brand new users or people with no feedback and little participation. I want established members only since I'm loaning you a cable that isn't exactly cheap.
Did I mention that the cable is already out on loan to the first participant: Poetik. I'll let him chime in with his thoughts and maybe some comparisons with another cable. He should be just about done, so please let me know if you would like to receive the cable for a week or so.
And now for some more eye candy.
The small Viablue termination compared to the large one
on a different cable
Nice deep fit into a recessed socket
UPDATE - I've fixed the info about pricing as well as clarified the bit about plug color.
UPDATE #2 - Here is a list as of 8/7 for the people in line:
UPDATE #3 - I think I'll stop taking new participants for a while. We have well over 2 months worth of people right now, so we should wait a while before adding new people to the list.
UPDATE #4 - I'm calling the SPC Viper back after the next person is done with it. Instead, I'm getting the new Silver Poison model in the thinner 26AWG style. It will ship directly from Toxic to the next participant, so you guys will get to use it even before I do!
Edited by project86 - 3/2/13 at 3:05pm