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The "Last Mile": Aftermarket cables

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm a noob, here to learn.

I've always wondered how aftermarket cables solved the last mile problem, namely the internal wiring of a headphone, and soldering etc. Let's take for an example the HD800:




From what I hear the internal wiring is just some 24 awg copper....

So how much difference can an aftermarket cable really make, if a headphone uses subpar internal wiring? (Also I believe cable impedance comes into play somewhere in this question..). I heard somewhere Stefan of SAA has his TOTL cable routed straight to the driver, wouldn't doing this be something with more actual benefits?
Edited by En_R - 3/14/13 at 2:04pm
post #2 of 4

This should really be posted in the sound science forum, but it has kind of been beaten to death.  You may want to look in there for some answers to your questions
 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meat01 View Post

This should really be posted in the sound science forum, but it has kind of been beaten to death.  You may want to look in there for some answers to your questions

 

No I would really prefer to ask it here, as this is the cable forum. I would like some people who have actual experience working with/making cables to answer the question. If I posted this in the SS forums I'd just get a bunch of people going on about whether cables make a difference or not.

First off is the cable impedance, how the impedance of a cable impedance mismatch between the cable and electronics affects the sound quality. From what I've gleaned this is one of the things to check up on in cables.

Second is internal wiring of these removable cable headphones (such as the LCD-X/HD800/Hifiman HEXX) and how much difference direct wiring a cable to the driver would be (actually this just makes the most logical sense to me).

Third is the soldering.... not sure on this one.
post #4 of 4
When talking about wire, it's resistance, not impedance, and it's determined by length/gauge. The extremely short leads you've pictured there will have very low resistance unless the wire is hair-thin, even compared to heavier gauge (but longer) leads. That said, impedance differences in wire are very likely to be minor overall (again, unless talking hair thin), which means minor/non-existent changes to FR (from a technical standpoint).

IME, more premium cables tend to be better shielded or otherwise better at rejecting noise, which can make *very* minor differences (esp wrt cost in some cases), regardless of it being a "last mile" question. Whether or not that's worth it for you is a personal question, and that's certainly been beaten to death (and back, and back, and so on and so forth).
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