I've taken my sweet time with this eh? I received my cable order yesterday. In total it took 5 weeks to hit Scottish shores but it turned out the problem was in sourcing an appropriate 1/4" jack. That took four weeks and so the actual delivery only took five days. I'm happy with that but it might have been an idea to tell me they hadn't even been built after nearly 28 days. It would have saved me some worry. In my line of work I've found communication to be key in retaining customers.
Still, was it worth the wait? Indeed it was
I like the packaging. Simple, secure & environmentally friendly. What's not to like? I ordered a 1m length of the basic "Colour" cable, terminated at one end with Sennheiser HD 650 plugs and at the other with the 6.3mm Neutrik plug. Chunky! I also ordered a 2m extension cable in the same material and 6.3mm Neutrik plug but on the other end the problematic 6.3mm socket. Both cables are blue. One thing to point out is that the 6.3mm socket is not gold-plated. I'm guessing nobody makes them but even so I doubt I'd be able to hear a difference. The cables are completely non-microphonic. This is a good thing
. The build quality is superb! I absolutely cannot fault the workmanship here.
How do they sound? I'm a believer in cables making a difference. How much depends on so many variables though that it's almost impossible to quantify. Having said that I wasn't particularly expecting anything to improve. As long as it sounded as good as the stock cable (which I was happy with, sonically speaking) I would be happy. When I first listened I suspected that something had changed but I wasn't convinced. Throughout yesterday evening I threw everything at my head, even music I wouldn't normally listen to - Rick Ross anyone? A big song around these parts is Iron Sky by Paolo Nutini. Something happened that gave me a fright. I suddenly had hiss! My amp is an O2. This should not be happening. I kept the headphones on while I checked all my connections and even restarting JRiver. I started the Nutini album (Caustic Love) from the beginning and was relieved to hear all was well and the O2 was as silent as it always is.
Can you see what's coming?
JRiver ticked through the tracks until Iron Sky and yup, the hiss was back. Tape hiss! All my other music sounded a bit airier too but this blew me away. A whole new level! From the FAW entry line too.
Of course that's going to be the kicker. Now I've convinced myself headphone cables do
make a difference that Claire (who she?) model higher up the range looks tempting. I know about diminishing returns and I know the improvements to be had aren't "night & day" but they are important. There's worse hobbies to have.
I'll be buying from Forza Audio Works again. I want to get a Claire 3.5mm cable to connect my Clip+ to my E18. I would also like to investigate a custom build of a cable for my V-Moda M-100's. I changed the stock cable as soon as I bought the V-Moda's. I went for a Nuforce Transition and until now it's performed well. However, now that I'm using a Clip+ I could really do with a 90deg 3.5mm at the source end and straight at the headphones end. The problem with this is that, although V-Moda made a good decision (IMO) in employing 3.5mm terminations, they buggered it up by making the socket recessed. The Nuforce fits nicely but from the look of the examples on the FAW website I don't think Matthews' plugs would be slim enough.perhaps Matthew might like to comment or PM me.
Even Chalky is happy...
One more thing. I think the FAW website is a piece of art. Terrific presentation! The build & order process is beautifully transparent. The latest upgrade of the initial language selection is a bit strange (although sadly not unique) in it's choice of a Union flag to denote English. It should be the St. George's Cross of England. Also, that Union flag is about to become history. Tak!
I'll update with photos as & when.Edited by Solrighal - 5/2/14 at 11:33am