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Just ordered SPC cables by Chris_Himself for TF10s...what am I going to notice? - Page 2

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Phile View Post

Definitely been a while since I posted here.  Since I last did, I've been through the stock cables on the TF10s, and I'm kind of glad those are shot.  The wire was interesting at first, but they tangled like nobody's business.  And they were so thin, I didn't think they'd last long anyway.  About the only thing I do miss is the shallow right-angle plug.  That was nice.  I like to slip my phone in my pocket in such a way that allows me to pull it out facing right side up, so it was perfect for that.

 

After the stock cable gave out about 3.5 months after taking them out of the box, I decided to try Fiio's cheap RC-UE1 (or whatever it is...if I rotate the plug to look at it now I'll lose my left channel).  This was against my better judgement.  I thought maybe it would be just better to get the better cable right out of the box.  I read all the reports of them giving out, and generally wasn't very confident.  But for like $28 shipped from Amazon, how could I go wrong?  I waste more than that on stupider stuff right?  Wrong.  They started cutting about a week ago or so, after about 2.5 months at the most.  Yesterday, they were really bad but they mostly worked.  Today, holy hell.  To even get the left ear to work requires...more work than I'm willing to do at this point.  At this point I'm regretting not getting the Chris_Himself cables before, and saving myself the $30 on the "cheap" option.  At this point I'd warn anyone reading this if you're considering the Fiio, just don't.  Scrimp, save, steal, whatever you have to do to afford something better.  Or even buy another stock cable.  Just don't get these if you want more than 2 months of gentle use out of them.

 

Annnnyway.....order the silver plated copper, and I'm excited.  But I'm just wondering, am I going to notice anything?  Fiio sounded almost imperceptibly warmer, maybe its in my head.  Who knows.  But I've heard the SPC should offer improvements across the board, obviously mostly noticeable in the highs.  Is this accurate?  It seems to make sense.  My TF10s are stock besides a nice red pair of medium Complys, so I'm excited to see what they do.  Also, because I'm a poor college student, I don't have an amp, and I'm struggling to purchase another Fiio product.  So hopefully just right out of the box I get a nice improvement from the new cabe.  Anybody else been through this scenario?  Sorry for the book...too much caffeine today..,,

 

Kind of ironic that the issues with your Fiio are the exact same as mine, left side started going out. Its my 2nd Fiio and my last.

post #17 of 51

Apparently the first batch of Fiio cables were bad, and they fixed some problems, at least thats what my local headphone store told me. Ive had a set of the cables from the 2nd batch for probably half a year now and no problems at all

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay19 View Post

Apparently the first batch of Fiio cables were bad, and they fixed some problems, at least thats what my local headphone store told me. Ive had a set of the cables from the 2nd batch for probably half a year now and no problems at all


Well my first one started having the sheathing pull away from where it goes into the pins that fit the socket, then issues with the RCA connector. The 2nd just flat out started losing sound on the left side, wiggling the cable near the RCA connector would make the sound come back, but in the end, it just got too bad, so in the trash it went. This was the one from Amazon ordered on Jan 10th 2012.

post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Phile View Post

All these responses are great and make sense.  I grew up around high-end audio/video setups, and have the "disease" now, if you can call it that, myself.  While I'm not expecting night and day, as it was pointed out above, even a small difference might be huge.  Just getting a more "open" and faster sound out of the TF10s would be hugely appreciated, even if it was only by a small degree.  And given the properties of the metals used in Chris's cables vs. what is likely in a stock TF10 cable (or that Fiio that just went out), this would seem to be the likely result.  It's physics.  I'm not saying that everyone can hear it, and even though I'd like to think I have a pretty sensitive and discerning ear, I'm not sure how much I will be able to.  But again, I just want something that's not going to die in 2 months like what I've used so far.  Hell, at this rate, I'd have to spend about $90 a year on Fiios, whereas I can buy one of these for $85 shipped and hopefully have it last at least a couple years.  Just on the value proposition alone, this seems like the obvious choice.  And they look better too.  And, given their construction, they should sound better.  So, given all that, I feel like it's the obvious choice.  If you start looking at Double Helix or Whiplash, then its obviously a little tougher, as you're looking at cables that cost 2, 3, even 4 times as much.  Or maybe more.  But I feel that for the money, this is the best possible cable upgrade to make at this point in time for myself.

While I agree with lots of that, It's not physics, or at least not ot the extent that it's explainable by same, There's more to this than we understand.

post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

 

I actually am a patron of DHC cables and was before I ever actually started building anything for people. Even I don't really know all that much about cable science. I play everything by ear, and I have my theories, and thats really the best I could do.

 

 

LOL, Chris I swear you've been out to get me from day 1, haha JK. Eventually you'll bump into my stuff in the wild and be able to report back to me.

 

 

Google my username, should get you to my network of pages :)

 

Nah, I'm not out to get you. A friend of mine just acquired one of your cables at my suggestion actually ;-) Unfortunately he lives quite a few states over. I wouldn't really be comfortable even reporting changes with a cable.. Unless I could hot-swap em somehow. I don't trust my audio memory much at all.

 

I have heard more than a couple silver cables. I never heard anything particularly good or bad with them. I found them a bit of a pain from being thick and stiff though. I dunno, audio is tricky. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenz View Post

Alternatively he could hype it up so much in his mind that it has the opposite effect.

From a school drop out to another, I hope you are well these days mate.

 

Absolutely! I have to really watch my inner skeptic when I'm A/B'ing and comparing stuff.

 

I'm doing alright, thanks for wishing me well :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watagump View Post

 

Kind of ironic that the issues with your Fiio are the exact same as mine, left side started going out. Its my 2nd Fiio and my last.

Yeah, I haven't had the best luck with Fiio cables either.

-

Okay guys, the thing that kills me is the idea that these headphone companies take all this time and effort to make these super nice headphones.. and then put a cable that sounds "congested" on them? That makes no sense. I mean sure, you can say the lower budget companies use cheap cables just because of the price.. but the more expensive and tediously designed headphones? Why wouldn't they use the nicer and or more esoteric cables if they made a difference? I think you guys can prolly understand my skepticism and my love for a nice simple copper cable :)

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

 

Nah, I'm not out to get you. A friend of mine just acquired one of your cables at my suggestion actually ;-) Unfortunately he lives quite a few states over. I wouldn't really be comfortable even reporting changes with a cable.. Unless I could hot-swap em somehow. I don't trust my audio memory much at all.

 

I have heard more than a couple silver cables. I never heard anything particularly good or bad with them. I found them a bit of a pain from being thick and stiff though. I dunno, audio is tricky. 

 

Absolutely! I have to really watch my inner skeptic when I'm A/B'ing and comparing stuff.

 

I'm doing alright, thanks for wishing me well :)

 

Yeah, I haven't had the best luck with Fiio cables either.

-

Okay guys, the thing that kills me is the idea that these headphone companies take all this time and effort to make these super nice headphones.. and then put a cable that sounds "congested" on them? That makes no sense. I mean sure, you can say the lower budget companies use cheap cables just because of the price.. but the more expensive and tediously designed headphones? Why wouldn't they use the nicer and or more esoteric cables if they made a difference? I think you guys can prolly understand my skepticism and my love for a nice simple copper cable :)

 

Hifiman builds a silver cable that used to ship with their headphone for free LOL. I've seen it and it appears to be handmade even.


Many CIEM manufacturers offer factory upgraded cables, look at UM, Stage93, Heir, and a bunch of others. It's slowly catching up.

 

What it comes down to is you can only make so much of this by machine, a lot of it is very handiwork intensive and they're going to want money for that. Grado for example upgrades the cable multiple times along it's lineup as you move up, even changing out the very wire element of the driver as well on the SR-125-up. I can only discuss this via a very factual and objective approach out of respect for the forum.

post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

While I agree with lots of that, It's not physics, or at least not ot the extent that it's explainable by same, There's more to this than we understand.

I mean, maybe.  The fact is that purer metal passes current more efficiently and with less distortion due to the electrons having to overcome less in their paths as they travel through the metal.  And of course, with different frequencies, the effect also changes.  So basically, there is a good mathematical explanation for why it should work, rooted in concepts of physics.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watagump View Post

 

Kind of ironic that the issues with your Fiio are the exact same as mine, left side started going out. Its my 2nd Fiio and my last.

Yeah, I'm kind of upset because I thought this might happen and I got them anyway.  Could have gotten Chris's cables, but I thought it would be worth a shot.  I'm scared to buy anything from them now.  I want an inexpensive amp next, but I don't want something that's gonna break in 2 months....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay19 View Post

Apparently the first batch of Fiio cables were bad, and they fixed some problems, at least thats what my local headphone store told me. Ive had a set of the cables from the 2nd batch for probably half a year now and no problems at all

Mine was ordered in, like, October I think.  Not sure when it was made but I assume it was the newer version as this was towards the end of 2012.  Mine had no problems with wires pulling out or the sheathing or cover coming apart.  It simply stopped carrying a signal.  There's a definite break in the cable somewhere.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

 

Hifiman builds a silver cable that used to ship with their headphone for free LOL. I've seen it and it appears to be handmade even.


Many CIEM manufacturers offer factory upgraded cables, look at UM, Stage93, Heir, and a bunch of others. It's slowly catching up.

 

What it comes down to is you can only make so much of this by machine, a lot of it is very handiwork intensive and they're going to want money for that. Grado for example upgrades the cable multiple times along it's lineup as you move up, even changing out the very wire element of the driver as well on the SR-125-up. I can only discuss this via a very factual and objective approach out of respect for the forum.

Took the words right out of my mouth.  For the small gains that (apparently) only some of us could hear, it's not worth it to them to double, triple, or quadruple the amount of time they spend on each pair.  It's bad business when you're selling in the thousands of units annually.  

post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Phile View Post

I mean, maybe.  The fact is that purer metal passes current more efficiently and with less distortion due to the electrons having to overcome less in their paths as they travel through the metal.  And of course, with different frequencies, the effect also changes.  So basically, there is a good mathematical explanation for why it should work, rooted in concepts of physics.  

Nope. Audio band products won't be in what is the considered the perceivable measurement range by a factor of LOTS. I'm not arguing against hearing differences here. It"s just that the math would indicate otherwise. I often hear differences in cables and yes, there must be a reason other than placebo in blind testing but the measurements that we use won't bear it out.

post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Nope. Audio band products won't be in what is the considered the perceivable measurement range by a factor of LOTS. I'm not arguing against hearing differences here. It"s just that the math would indicate otherwise. I often hear differences in cables and yes, there must be a reason other than placebo in blind testing but the measurements that we use won't bear it out.

 

Agreed. I really try not to make any statements regarding sound when people ask unless they really pry it out but I always speaking using "I" statements as one person's transparency isn't always anothers. Usually people get offended in cable discussion because if they had a bad experience, they treat it like  they just lost a hearing contest or something. 

post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Nope. Audio band products won't be in what is the considered the perceivable measurement range by a factor of LOTS. I'm not arguing against hearing differences here. It"s just that the math would indicate otherwise. I often hear differences in cables and yes, there must be a reason other than placebo in blind testing but the measurements that we use won't bear it out.

I understand what you're saying, although I'm sure that the reasons the cables do sound better to a few is related to these differences, as I don't know what else would cause it haha.  It's not magic that's for sure.  Although of course there is some "perceived difference" in there too, in varying amounts for each person.  Do you have previous experience with EE or circuit design?  I'd be interested to learn more.

post #26 of 51

I'm the guy on the right.

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Phile View Post

I understand what you're saying, although I'm sure that the reasons the cables do sound better to a few is related to these differences, as I don't know what else would cause it haha.  It's not magic that's for sure.  Although of course there is some "perceived difference" in there too, in varying amounts for each person.  Do you have previous experience with EE or circuit design?  I'd be interested to learn more.

 

I'm a materials engineering graduate. I took circuit analysis, but not nearly enough to do any damage with mah brain skills. I could tell you what voltage from point B is if theres a bunch of stuff in between point A and point B lol. Measurements and throughput don't tell the entire tale concerning this subject in my humble opinion. How something sounds in relation to graphs or measurements doesn't always correlate, much to my horror. The most accurate tool you have are your ears, and they're not anywhere near that accurate if we're being scientific. Even in private, I really don't go too far out of my way to discuss the science of it, because quite frankly, it would be rather difficult to make more than just a handful of objective statements before you start getting into the voodoo part of it.

 

Remember, it's always considered magic, until someone believes in it enough to make it into science :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I'm the guy on the right.

 

I'm asian so I guess my version would be like a live octopus or something

post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 

Haha good point.  It is funny how numbers do not always equal tangible results, and vice-versa.  As always, on here, and in life, the only person who can really tell if it works for them is the person offering the opinion.  Seems to always be the case.  Anyway, having said that....

 

Just got the cables in yesterday, and thanks to everyone at Headphone Lounge for the fast, quality work and the quick, concise communication throughout the order and construction process.  Always good to work with people who are easy to talk to.  I ordered SPC, as the title states, and got the blue sheathing just to add a layer of protection.

 

The only downsides to this cable (and there are only a couple) are the plug and in my particular case, the pin-outs for the driver enclosures themselves.  I do miss having the nice, thick, metal and beautiful plug from my Fiio, but I also could have ordered something nicer.  Its only aesthetics, so that's not really a big deal.  Performance is key.  Also, in my particular case, the pins have a loose fit on the left-side, and this is most likely just a chance variation in size of the pins, and so far it hasn't come out.  

 

Now, with the cables, they recommend a 100 hour burn-in process.  So far, I have maybe 5 hours on them, and so these are only preliminary impressions so far.  In addition, I am still using these still out of the socket on both my 2012 15" MBP and my iPhone 4, so not necessarily the best sources in the world.  I do have a habit of only listening to high-bitrate music, although still only 320k or 256k, so again there's much more there than I can hear.  However, even on crappy music from a crappy source, you can at least tell the difference between TF10s stock and my pristine Apple Ear buds stuck in my ears sideways to increase the sound quality (works, by the way).  So hopefully my initial impressions are valid.

 

Right off the bat, I have been using the Fiio cable in stationary situations up till a couple days ago, as if I wasn't moving there was continuity.  So that sound is still very much fresh in my head, and I had easily several hundred hours on that setup.  Next week, I'll be able to test the setup on a Sonic Frontier pre amp that's fed from either a Samsung Blu-Ray player, an Xbox slim, and a Sony SCD-1 SACD player.  Hopefully, especially with the SACD setup, I will be able to find some interesting subtleties.  Anyway....

 

I started by listening to some stuff I had not actually enjoyed (sadly) with the Fiio.  Or even really the stock cable.  I am almost too scared (and busy) to dive deep into the TF10 thread, but I have to imagine that I'm not the only one that gets some sibilance from time to time, especially with piano music.  Actually, almost always with piano music, not so much with anything else.  I listen to everything from Kid Cudi to Einaudi, and everything in between except country and metal.  And unfortunately, a lot of it isn't recorded well enough to really bring out any potential differences, even at high or lossless bit rates.  But I just started listening to Einaudi's new CD recently, and I felt like it was so...constricted with the Fiio, and this didn't seem right.  I didn't like it, it made me feel uneasy.  I knew there was more there than I could here.  This is the first thing I listened to, as I knew that if I was going to hear anything right away, it would be there.  And I was right.  There was still sibilance, but I think that's hard to avoid now with TF10s on an un-amped source, but it's what I have right now.  What I did hear, though, was more detail than ever.  And the soundstage was better as well.  It felt more...open and natural.  That's the best way I can think of to describe it.  It was subtle, but at the same time it made a huge difference.  I also listened to some lossless Fleet Foxes songs I have, and also noticed a better soundstage, and again more detail than before.  And, once again, even though they were small differences, they made a huge difference to the way it sounded.  It was much more enjoyable, and it sounded more "alive" and fun.  As I expected, on most electronic songs, it didn't make much of a difference.  Maybe the slightest of slight increases in detail, but I can't be sure.  Digital music is going to sound digital, no matter what.  And I guess that's how it should be.  But so far, pre-burn in, and with what I'm using, I'm very happy.  I'm excited to continue to use them and see what I can hear.

post #29 of 51

Yes, that's what I find as well (I have DHC cables, not Chris). The first thing I realized was a more natural midrange. It didn't necessarily make it more relaxed, it made it sound sort of effortless. There seemed to be less "stress" in the mids, especially vocals, and make the sound flow more smoothly and naturally. That was the main difference I noticed. Others include what you said as well. Bass was better textured, treble sounded less "ringy" and best of all the cable looks and feels great.

 

Again, cables don't make night/day differences. It doesn't seem to elevate frequencies, hence the reason why there's no recorded difference with cables. People say placebo, I say not. I have tried blind tests and ABX. The differences were minor, but they were audible. I think it's extremely difficult for devices to measure the "differences" us cable believers hear

post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Yes, that's what I find as well (I have DHC cables, not Chris). The first thing I realized was a more natural midrange. It didn't necessarily make it more relaxed, it made it sound sort of effortless. There seemed to be less "stress" in the mids, especially vocals, and make the sound flow more smoothly and naturally. That was the main difference I noticed. Others include what you said as well. Bass was better textured, treble sounded less "ringy" and best of all the cable looks and feels great.

 

Again, cables don't make night/day differences. It doesn't seem to elevate frequencies, hence the reason why there's no recorded difference with cables. People say placebo, I say not. I have tried blind tests and ABX. The differences were minor, but they were audible. I think it's extremely difficult for devices to measure the "differences" us cable believers hear

Agreed 100%  It's more about what you can hear than what you can measure, to a degree. But I digress....


What I am about to write almost makes me sick, in fact I'm having a hard time even typing it.  But the TF10s have become fatally injured.  I left them sitting on the front seat of my car while I went in the house to finish getting ready for a trip.  When I came back out, they were, of course in the same place.  Went to the gas station, and after I had finished up, went to pick them up to roll them up better.  That's when I noticed it...the left side enclosure was bent at a 45 degree angle to the pin-out on the cable.  I was shocked.  Like an idiot, I tried to slowly bend it back slightly, so I could pull it out at a straighter angle.  Well, the rear pin wasn't having it.  Snapped right away.  Front one stayed, and was able to pull it out.  But needless to say, what was at the time, a 4 day old cable and the left Triple.Fi are ruined.  So, looks I need to figure out where to go from here.  The pin is protruding just enough to make pulling it out possible, but so far I haven't been able to grip it, and it seems to have slipped farther in.  The cable I'm sure I can send in and have repaired.  But I'm really worried about the IEM...not sure what to do about it.  Definitely one of the most frustrating things that's happened in a while. Back to the iPhone earbuds...again....

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