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BTG-Audio Cable Impressions, Reviews and Discussion | Sunrise, Starlight & FitEar

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

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.

 

Reviews:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Design:

 

  • 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.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usage:

 

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.

 

Sound:

 

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.

 

Future:

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

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/

 

 

Updated 11/19/12

 

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:

http://btg-audio.webs.com/webstore.htm#!/~/product/category=2706350&id=15566476

 

Now for some eye candy:

 

 

1000

 

1000

 

 

1000

 

 

1000

 

 

 

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
post #2 of 98

Great review as always, sgs.  I particularly like the overmoulded connectors.. it makes a significant difference for me versus the bulky, hand rolled connectors many DIY cables have.. the professionally molded connectors function the same way they do on the stock Westone cables.. no pressure against the sides of your ears.. love it.

post #3 of 98

Thank you Shotgunshane for the review. I really appreciate it!

post #4 of 98

That's a good looking cable at a good price.  I've kind of been making the rounds with custom cables, even had the Twag V2 Eclipse for a while, but just wanted to see what else is out there...might give this one a shot sometime down the road..

post #5 of 98

I'm gonna have to add another column for links if I see one more BTG-Audio review. Thanks shotgunshane for posting this up.

 

EDIT: List updated

post #6 of 98
Thread Starter 

Here is a picture of the soon to be released SPC version of the Sunrise.  No official name yet but it looks great!

 

 

post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Here is a picture of the soon to be released SPC version of the Sunrise.  No official name yet but it looks great!

 

 

 

 

brian updated his website already about a week ago

webstore>headphone cables>spc

theres 4 strand spc $51, 4 strand with the nylon sleeve $58, 8 strand spc $96, with the nylon sleeve $108 (with sleeve is called midnight)

a bit confusing as i just found out a new "starlight" iem cable- gold plated nickel pins with memory wire built in

 

as a side note, just ordered their new spc interconnect last week!

way too sexy:

post #8 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyash View Post

 

brian updated his website already about a week ago

webstore>headphone cables>spc

theres 4 strand spc $51, 4 strand with the nylon sleeve $58, 8 strand spc $96, with the nylon sleeve $108 (with sleeve is called midnight)

a bit confusing as i just found out a new "starlight" iem cable- gold plated nickel pins with memory wire built in

 

as a side note, just ordered their new spc interconnect last week!

way too sexy:

 

The cable I have pictured is the Starlight (assuming the name sticks).  It's not officially released yet.  The picture is of a prototype soon to be in production.

 

NIce looking interconnect!

post #9 of 98

I literally just received the special order Sunrise CIEM cable from BTG. I put in a pre-order to have the black wire with clear overmold, completely without sleeving. This is the aesthetic that I've always wanted --- clear overmold on top of black cable, and it definitely did not disappoint!

 

The build quality and attention to detail on this cable definitely exceeded my expectations, and is amongst the best that I've seen from any brand out there!  I must say, even without listening to it (I ordered it unterminated because I wanted to try a 3.5mm plug that isn't available to Brian in the US), for $70, this cable is money well-spent! The cable/braid (Milloit) is supple and without memory, and thin yet robust-feeling. The overmolding work by BTG's molding partner is precision and first rate.

 

Great job, Brian! I can't wait to see the FitEar cable. bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

 

post #10 of 98
Thread Starter 
Very nice. Have you had one with the sleeving below the y split? Just wondering if without the sleeving is it even more flexible? For $70, it's the best value in aftermarket cables I've seen.
post #11 of 98

Looks great, Tom.  Brian also sent me a prototype of the "Starlight" (SPC) cable.  For those wondering about it's flexibility.. it's just as flexible and manageable as the "Sunrise" IEM cable.  In other words.. it's excellent.  I had Brian weave an 8-strand cable with the SPC for my HD600.. The weave is clean, tight, and uniform.. and I was very impressed with the flexibility.

post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Very nice. Have you had one with the sleeving below the y split? Just wondering if without the sleeving is it even more flexible? For $70, it's the best value in aftermarket cables I've seen.

 

So far, I've only had cables that are unsleeved, so I don't know. It's possible that it is more flexible.

post #13 of 98

Just wrote a mini-review on the finished and functional Sunrise cable. I really love it! It's probably the wisest (and most affordable) cable purchase I've made thus far!

post #14 of 98

subbed

post #15 of 98

Once again a very nice review Shane.

I'll be ordering mine next week. Trying to make up my mind if I want it with the nylon sleeve or not...

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