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Cable characteristics?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to re-cable solely for a custom length, weight and durability. With this said is there a (guide, general consensus, science?) how AWG and Material will change the sound, even if almost unnoticeable. Ex. 18 awg vs 33 awg, solid core vs strand and silver vs copper. Any other characteristic not mentioned would be helpful. Ideally I'd like a warm cable, but any dac/sound and/or amp could easily get the sound I want.
post #2 of 24

A quick search in the sound science subforum would have brought the answer wink.gif

take a look at this http://www.head-fi.org/t/356063/cables

Concerning amp/dac and warmness it is not a proper way to equalize your headphones into the desired sound, use EQ, an amp or DAC should be as transparent as possible, meaning complete flat eq from 20hz to 20khz.

But if you're looking for warmness go for tubes, they put an euphonic distortion said to be warm, also known as tube sound.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Have you actually read that thread? It's just people bickering. One side is trying to justify why they wasted all their money on cables and the other side is trolling them. The issue I've had is I've tried Mogami mini quad and a telephone wire and both times it made the highs fatiguing. I don't know if it lessens the bass or heightened the highs. In any case I need to find a material that won't do this.
Edited by Folex - 12/31/12 at 5:27am
post #4 of 24

The issue isn't the cable that's just it, that's why I linked the thread on cables, the only two possible causes to your issue is a bad construction of your cable or your headphones. It's more  likely to be the second, just apply EQ and your problem will be solved.

 

PS : I don't care about what people said afterwards in the thread I linked, op's post was right.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folex View Post

Have you actually read that thread? It's just people bickering. One side is trying to justify why they wasted all their money on cables and the other side is trolling them. The issue I've had is I've tried Mogami mini quad and a telephone wire and both times it made the highs fatiguing. I don't know if it lessens the bass or heightened the highs. In any case I need to find a material that won't do this.

 

Unfortunately, then you may still be in the wrong forum and unlikely to get any answers here that tell you what you want to hear, as without filters in a cable it will have no characteristic sound.

 

You'll want to avoid cable that is microphonic - that is, makes noise when you touch it.  But all decent cable already avoids that.

post #6 of 24

AWG makes a difference only on much longer runs than any headphone cable should be (and would not change sound, just increase resistance and reduce signal power)  - anything over 36awg should be sufficient - 26-24awg are common. 

 

solid core vs. stranded makes no difference in sound, but makes a big difference in cable flexibility.

 

copper vs. silver makes no difference in sound. 

 

Thus far, the only things demonstrably able to affect sound in a headphone or speaker are the resistance/capacitance/inductance of a cable. And you have to work really hard to get enough of any of them to affect the sound. Normal cable constructions do not throw any of these so far out of wack as to be audible or even measurable. 


Edited by liamstrain - 12/31/12 at 7:48am
post #7 of 24

What headphones, what amp?

 

Of course if you have a long run of very thin wire to some 16 ohm nominal IEMs, you could change the balance from the cable having too much resistance.  A highly-capacitive cable with a marginally (un)stable amp can be bad news.

 

If you already tried something no-nonsense that should work like Mogamii mini quad, and you're convinced you heard something you didn't like, there's not much to say here.  That should have worked.  Maybe your headphones are just bright for you?

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
The first pair was samson sr850, I listened to them for about 3 weeks and then wanted to see how they'd change going from single sided to dual entry along with a mogami mini quad. I got them done professionally and the sound was slightly different, nothing that really mattered. But I couldn't listen to them more then 30 minutes without my ears hurting. Before I would listen 3-4 hours without an issue. I recently recable a pair of sennheiser 407 from dual entry to dual entry with a telephone cord and once again I went from being able to listen for hours to maybe 20-45 minutes before they started to fatigue my ears. Given the telephone cable isn't the highest quality but I wouldn't expect this with the mogami cable professionally done. The source, amp and length all stayed consistent. Not sure about material or awg.

Both stock headphones before recabling were perfect without fatigue, after the recable is when they started to fatigue. And its not convincing that I heard something I didn't like, my ears began to hurt.. not really subjective at that point.

And any given day I'm going to be on a headset/headphone for 8-10 hours between work, voip and games. I use stock cheapo headsets to senn 555, to denon 2000's so its a fairly healthy range and none of these give me issue. It's only when stuff recabled has it been an issue.
Edited by Folex - 12/31/12 at 10:45am
post #9 of 24

Honestly, that's very odd. I cannot come up with anything to explain it. There is no reason I can think of that a recable would cause that - but i believe you that it is happening. Maybe going to dual entry there was a change/port in the internal space in the earphone cups that changed some resonances? 

 

Unfortunately, without a level matched side by side or consistent measurements (impossible in this instance) it's hard to know what might be going on. 


Edited by liamstrain - 12/31/12 at 11:00am
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I tried to duplicate the sound change from stock to recable and was able to emulate it. I have pair of (stock) Sennheiser 31 headset with over 500h of use and they have never given me an issue. I changed the settings on my computer to +12 db treble. The sound I'm hearing from the stock sennheiser 31 w/ +12db tremble sounds very similar to the recabled 407/850's.
Edited by Folex - 12/31/12 at 12:12pm
post #11 of 24
Yow! That must be painful to listen to. 12dB is a lot.
post #12 of 24

Have you tried going back to the original cable to verify that it reduces fatigue?  I wonder if you had an oxidation issue or some other attenuation of high frequencies that is removed with the new cabling.

 

Simply stated, Sound Science forum goers are going to suggest that recabling to change sound is a bit backwards.  The transducer and/or EQ should be the only component significantly coloring the sound unless you have colored gear to begin with, i.e. tubey amps, boutique designs with unique distortion artifacts etc.
 

post #13 of 24

I feel this question belongs in the cables forum. I'm afraid it might turn into another pointless argument. The discussion of cable characteristics and their affect on sound can be found in plenty of forums (some locked) already.

post #14 of 24
Has anyone ever suggested a 12dB change in response for a cable before? I'm still puzzling over that.
post #15 of 24

Surely a sporadic quantum alignment leading to the crystallization of super high capacitance silver molecules is the culprit here. Don't ask me to explain it though. It's too complicated. You won't get it. 

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