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The Cable Fairy DOES Exist!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I finished building the cable for my HD600 today.

I honestly didn't believe in cable differences and just wanted a cooler looking and sturdier cable.

But once I put them on.  Holy moly baby jesus!

I went in with the FULL expectation of them not making any difference.

But it was like going from the sound system from a house party to a sweet club.

Everything was fuller.  Bass was THUMPING.

 

I have not done ABX testing, but the difference is so huge, there isn't a chance that it's all placebo.

But I will post a video sometime soon of my ABX testing.

Expect me to score a 10/10.

 

=) and <3's to all.

Merry Xmas!

post #2 of 23

Yeah, man I didn't want to believe it either.  Nothing sounds more like snake oil than cables.  Bought a second hand pair of Miracles in the forums a while ago and ended up with a couple of different cables.  I used the thicker, nicer looking one first, but later traded out to a thinner more portable cable that came with it.  I couldn't believe how much the sound quality degraded.  Everything sounded thinner(dynamically), treble seemed more harsh but more prominent, and the base took a hit.  It actually really pisses me off.  I can't afford to experiment with multiple cables for all my different headphones.  Really you would think the manufacturers would figure this out and use it to tweak their product.  It isn't like they make any more money from shipping an inferior cable.  R&D?  Really?  Ordered a Chris Himself hybrid for the Miracle, after I came to these conclusions, just to see if I was insane.  Unfortunately, this particular cable is excellent with the Miracles.  Now I have to divert the little money I do have towards cable experimentation with my full size cans.  Some of the manufacturers though, I can't see paying what they want for a cable.  More than a couple hundred bucks and I will do what you did and DIY.

''
 

post #3 of 23

Cables does make a different.

 

I went from a thick Canare cable to a super thin silver plated cable, even though it's thinner, the silver plating improved the bass harshness ,treble,fullness, and sound stage of the sound.

 

I'm looking into pure silver cables now without going over $200 for my HE-500/400 cans.

 

Tim

post #4 of 23

i just got into headphones and was trying to find a shorter cable but was shocked at all these 150-300 dollar cables.

in terms of sound improvement, if say the new cables you have give you 100% of potential sound, how would you rate the original cables? it almost sounds like you gained and 10-20% improvement.

 

im just hoping not to spend a bunch of money and end up not hearing a discernible difference.

post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyfungus View Post

i just got into headphones and was trying to find a shorter cable but was shocked at all these 150-300 dollar cables.

in terms of sound improvement, if say the new cables you have give you 100% of potential sound, how would you rate the original cables? it almost sounds like you gained and 10-20% improvement.

 

im just hoping not to spend a bunch of money and end up not hearing a discernible difference.

 

I haven't had any cables that improved the sound by over 5%.

$150-$300 is not worth it unless you're a hardcore audiophile, music composer, studio manager or something else.

 

You can build a good enough cable for way under that amount.

If you would like me to make you one, pm me. just pay for the supplies, shipping, etc.

 

Tim

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

 

I haven't had any cables that improved the sound by over 5%.

$150-$300 is not worth it unless you're a hardcore audiophile, music composer, studio manager or something else.

 

You can build a good enough cable for way under that amount.

If you would like me to make you one, pm me. just pay for the supplies, shipping, etc.

 

Tim

what an offer lol. would be cool to have custom tim arrows.
ill shoot you a pm when my pm limit is lifted. glad to hear i don't need crazy expensive cables to get the most out of my headphones.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyfungus View Post

what an offer lol. would be cool to have custom tim arrows.
ill shoot you a pm when my pm limit is lifted. glad to hear i don't need crazy expensive cables to get the most out of my headphones.

>_^

 

Yea, just shoot me a pm whenever you need one made. i have a small workstation and is usually at home nowadays due to school, thus i have nothing better to do. (im as loner).

 

Tim

post #8 of 23

I used to think $150-300 was a lot for a cable, but I recently had a guy commission a cable from me and considering the parts and labour, I charged him $300 and I think that was low. Just the parts alone came close to $150 (and those weren't even "top of the line" supplies), and I spent about 10 hours braiding and soldering the whole thing. 

 

I mean yeah I can hammer out a simple short cable with parts from the hardware store and radio shack, charge $20 and call it a day. If I make something fancier, my hours have to count for something. I won't argue for cables one way or the other. I've heard differences in silver wire before, but that also has a lower resistance/impedance than copper or steel (small difference from copper, large one from steel). I enjoy the aesthetics and durability of a well made cable too, and am willing to pay a premium for that, or in my case build it myself. An expensive cable also gets babied more too, which certainly helps with the durability factor tongue.gif

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

I used to think $150-300 was a lot for a cable, but I recently had a guy commission a cable from me and considering the parts and labour, I charged him $300 and I think that was low. Just the parts alone came close to $150 (and those weren't even "top of the line" supplies), and I spent about 10 hours braiding and soldering the whole thing. 

 

I mean yeah I can hammer out a simple short cable with parts from the hardware store and radio shack, charge $20 and call it a day. If I make something fancier, my hours have to count for something. I won't argue for cables one way or the other. I've heard differences in silver wire before, but that also has a lower resistance/impedance than copper or steel (small difference from copper, large one from steel). I enjoy the aesthetics and durability of a well made cable too, and am willing to pay a premium for that, or in my case build it myself. An expensive cable also gets babied more too, which certainly helps with the durability factor tongue.gif

10 Hours for cable labor?

 

I have never taken longer than 1 hour to make a cable (not even the 20FT+ ones) and that's with premium supplies / precision work.

 

Tim

post #10 of 23

She sure does exist. Just beware or you may be beheaded by the non-believers ;).
 

post #11 of 23

personally they exist provided that the cables in comparison are of the different gauge and strands (and maybe length?), but as for the same gauge and strands, i doubt they will make a difference.

 

shielding and insulation can be a factor too i think

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

10 Hours for cable labor?

 

I have never taken longer than 1 hour to make a cable (not even the 20FT+ ones) and that's with premium supplies / precision work.

 

Tim

 

*shrug* it was a tight 8 wire braid with relatively stiff wire, about 15 feet total in three segments. The time was an estimate as I split it up over several days. 

 

I've spent hours on shorter cables before. Wire sleeving, hand twisting, teflon wrap, braiding, teflon wrap again, foil wrap, more teflon, more shielding, more sleeving, etc. it all adds up. 

 

I can make a nice cable in an hour too, or even less. I can make a nicer one given a few more. Whether that's worth it or not in this silly game of diminishing returns, that's up to the buyer and their wallet. 

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

 

*shrug* it was a tight 8 wire braid with relatively stiff wire, about 15 feet total in three segments. The time was an estimate as I split it up over several days. 

 

I've spent hours on shorter cables before. Wire sleeving, hand twisting, teflon wrap, braiding, teflon wrap again, foil wrap, more teflon, more shielding, more sleeving, etc. it all adds up. 

 

I can make a nice cable in an hour too, or even less. I can make a nicer one given a few more. Whether that's worth it or not in this silly game of diminishing returns, that's up to the buyer and their wallet. 

Ah in that case, you're right.

 

For a 8 wire braid, 4 hours and over is correct. 6 wire braid (stiff) is the limit my hands can hold, kudos to you for doing 8. you must be using a clamp tool.

It's a joy sometimes to make the cables, sadly the little extra things we do in hopes of improvement doesn't really reward us. (mainly done for pure satisfaction)

When moving from Copper > OFC > SPOFC > Pure Silver Wire, there is a large difference in audible sound.

 

It also depends on what headphones some people use, i've noticed zero changes on cheaper headphones even when using silver plated cables.

 

Tim

post #14 of 23

Yep it's really not worth polishing a turd ;). Still ends up being just a shiny piece of sh%#.
 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

Ah in that case, you're right.

 

For a 8 wire braid, 4 hours and over is correct. 6 wire braid (stiff) is the limit my hands can hold, kudos to you for doing 8. you must be using a clamp tool.

It's a joy sometimes to make the cables, sadly the little extra things we do in hopes of improvement doesn't really reward us. (mainly done for pure satisfaction)

When moving from Copper > OFC > SPOFC > Pure Silver Wire, there is a large difference in audible sound.

 

It also depends on what headphones some people use, i've noticed zero changes on cheaper headphones even when using silver plated cables.

 

Tim

 

I just use a small table clamp. My method of braiding 8 involves laying the wires out in a large cross formation, two wires per arm, then criss crossing opposite pairs. Takes up a lot of space, but it's easier for me to keep track of what sequence I'm on that way. 

 

The biggest difference I've ever noticed in cables was going from a steel cable to silver. Once I compensated for the volume difference due to lower impedance though, the differences became marginal to my ear. I could maybe pick up more if I were able to switch immediately back and forth, but that's not possible to do with a headphone cable short of rigging up a switch of some sort.

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