I've decided to change this to a BTG-Audio Cable Impressions, Review and Discussion thread. As such, I'll add links to other reviews here in the first post. Below those links is my original review.
doublea71 - sunrise cable review
tomscy2000 - sunrise cable review
Jupiterknight- sunrise cable review
cn11 - FitEar cable impressions
shotgunshane - starlight FitEar cable review
BTG-Audio: The Sunrise Cable
Everyone seems loves the look and feel of aftermarket and boutique cables. Just one look on the different threads dedicated to pictures of Head-Fi members’ gear and you will see countless pictures of headphones and custom IEMs with aftermarket cables. In many cases these cables look like pieces of art, and unless you are handy and can create your own cables, buying one can quickly become an expensive venture. I’ve priced IEM cables of varying wire and craftsmanship anywhere from $150 to $400 or more. Until recently the only choice for IEM cables under $100 has been the $30 stock Westone/UE variations from the CIEM manufacturer themselves. If a budget priced but robust and well built CIEM cable has been on your wish list, then you’ve found the right thread!
Some of you may know that I stumbled upon Brian of BTG-Audio’s services several months ago in relation to an IEM mod. Back in March of this year, I sent a Fischer Audio DBA-02 to Brian, due to an aged, brittle and stiff cable. He was able to source pins and connectors necessary to modify the DBA-02 from a fixed cable IEM to a removable cable IEM. Brian’s modification was not only successful but was expertly done for a fair and affordable price. Since then he has performed this modification on many different fixed cable IEMs like the Silver Bullet, W4, UM3X, B2, and many more. You can visit this thread for more examples of this modification: http://www.head-fi.org/t/601360/universals-modded-with-removable-cables-fischer-audio-dba-02-brainwavz-b2-um3x-sleek-audio
It wasn’t long after he began performing these mods, that Brian started developing his own aftermarket cable for custom IEMs: The Sunrise Cable.
- Compatible with Westone, UE, UM, JH Audio, FS, Aurisonics and many other CIEMs using the same standard pin configuration
- Overmolded connector pins with clear markings for R/L
- Memory wire standard
- Compatible with recessed sockets
- OFC 26 AWG stranded copper wire
- Quad braid in round or milloit braid style
- Nylon sleeved below the Y split
- Neutrik 3.5mm nickel connector (straight or right angle) standard- Viablue, Oyaide, etc available at additional cost
- Heavy duty Y split and functional but slim heat shrink chin cinch/choker
- 48” Length
- Pricing: Standard-$70 ($67 to $100 depending on 3.5mm connector options. Balanced/specialty connectors will push the price above $100.)
The Sunrise Cable is very well built- solid and durable, yet maintains very good flexibility due to the style of braid BTG-Audio uses. I recently had the opportunity to use a very expensive boutique silver and gold cable alongside the Sunrise. This cable is more than 4X the price of the Sunrise, yet this cable didn’t have overmolded pins, lacked a chin cinch and was extremely stiff due to the very tight, regular styled braid. Putting it in an IEM case was like trying to coil a live and angry snake. The Sunrise Cable is very manageable and easy to store without annoying memory effect.
I’ve also compared the Sunrise to a Whiplash Audio Twag V2. In my experience, the Twag V2 is the model by which the usability of all aftermarket and boutique cables should be judged. It has some of the best flexibility I’ve seen, also has overmolded pins and is quite pleasing to the eye. The Sunrise cable holds it’s own against the Twag, giving up some in flexibility but otherwise goes toe to toe in build quality and durability. Not to mention the Sunrise cable is artistically pleasing to the eye as well, and costs considerably less.
The Sunrise Cable’s memory wire is very well done. I’ve always thought that it was too short on the genuine Westone Epic cable, making it difficult to get just the right shape without irritating my ears. Then the generic versions sometimes have too long a memory section, with useless ear guide sheathing extending way beyond the actual wire. The memory wire section on the Sunrise seems to split the difference of these; with a length of wire long enough to form over the top of my ear and slightly behind but not so long that it extends beyond my ear.
BTG doesn’t make any claims about the sound of their cables; only to offer affordable, functional and professionally made products. I will also leave descriptions of the sound up to other owners and buyers. For me, purchasing an aftermarket cable is more about the build, durability and yes, looks. A nice looking CIEM certainly looks even better when paired with a great looking cable.
BTG-Audio is also looking at the possibilities of releasing 2 new IEM cables. The first is a SPC version of The Sunrise Cable. The SPC would be a silver plated copper cable of the same specs but would show silver above the Y split versus copper. The second is an IEM cable compatible with the FitEar universals. I’m hoping for an SPC Sunrise styled version of this!
Is it affordable? Check. Is it professionally and well made? Check. Does it look good? Check. Is BTG-Audio friendly, courteous and responsive? Check. I can’t recommend Brian’s services enough and I really think he’s hit one out of the Head-Fi ballpark with The Sunrise Cable.
BTG-Audio website: http://btg-audio.webs.com/
The Starlight Cable
The Starlight Cable has arrived! The Starlight is an SPC (silver plated copper) version of the Sunrise cable. Build and quality are to the same great standards with nylon sleeving below the Y-split and clear wire above. I must say the Starlight looks awesome; the silver and black look is classy and sophisticated and the more I handle the cable, the more I appreciate the nylon below the Y-split. Brian has it fitted for the best balance between flexibility, form and durability. This cable gives up very little to the Whiplash Twag in flexibility and certainly rivals it for looks. Perhaps most importantly, the Starlight Cable is significantly cheaper, yet quality equaling any competitor. Pre-order is up now on the BTG web store for reduced pricing. I'm not sure what final pricing will be at a later date but pre-order pricing puts this cable at the best value I've seen on the market:
Now for some eye candy:
I will give some further usage impressions once my new customs arrive in the coming weeks. The Startlight should look great with the 1964 Ears Quads in translucent white!
Edited by shotgunshane - 4/6/13 at 9:23am