CablePro Freedom upgrade cable
Hifiman HE series incorporates interchangeable cables, which opens a wide market for custom cables, as the Sennheiser HD650/HD600 series.
The HE-400 Hifiman model doesn´t come with a bad stock cable, in fact it is a good quality Canare. However, it always sounded a little rough in the treble area. Despite the dark tonality of the HifiMAN HE-400, the Canare cables, which are very dynamic and alive, continued to exhibit this characteristic. I was not 100% satisfied with my system.
I started exploring different re-cabling options for my HifiMAN HE-400. I discovered CablePro, a company based in Dallas, Texas. CablePro is owned by Ted Paisley, a very nice guy with a great deal of experience in the audio world. CablePro makes several upgrade cables for the HifiMAN headphones. After much consideration I decided to go with a 5 foot CablePro Freedom upgrade cable. At a reasonable price of $169.99, made with UP-OCC (Ultra-Pure Ohno Cast Copper), and some excellent user reviews, this looked like the way to go.
Ted’s customer service is simply excellent, we stayed in contact through emails, and he always replied very quickly, sometimes immediately. As I mentioned earlier, I chose a 5 foot length, and had it terminated with the top-line Neutrik ¼” (6.3mm) plug and the HifiMAN custom plugs at the other end.
Let's talk about the construction
The material used for this cable is UP-OCC copper of high purity (99.99997%).
CablePro’s Freedom upgrade cable employs a pair of coaxial cables, both the center conductor and the shield are UP-OCC copper. Being shielded all the way to the headset prevents interference and unwanted noise entry. The dielectric material used is very low-loss, and consists of a polypropylene foam to damp out internally generated noise while passing all of the signal. The cable is quite thick and lacks some flexibility initially. However it loosens up a bit over time, and I had no problems or discomfort using the cable.
So how does this translate into the sound ?
After about 120 hours of playing time, recommended by Ted, I compared the CablePro Freedom upgrade cable directly with the stock Canare cable. The first thing that strikes me is the totally black background. I also notice a change in the HE-400’s tonality. I think the UP-OCC cable material is responsible for the subtle musical shadings, in this case the high purity copper provides a musically sweet sound to the voices coming out of my HE-400. There is absolute silence between the notes, and the tonal balance seems more correct to me.
The soundstage is much more dimensional, and cable sounds very natural. Although the high frequencies are even more clearly produced the sound is not intrusive like the stock cable. The entire presentation is greatly enhanced. Bass impact was not huge but very extended, especially at the very low frequencies, providing a more natural prensentation of percussion instruments.
I also have one of CablePro’s Reflection power cords which I enjoy greatly. Using the Freedom upgrade cable for the HifiMAN HE-400 headphones along with the CablePro power cord produced excellent clarity, extension, and a natural, organic sound. The price to performance ratio on the CablePro Freedom upgrade cable is very high. It’s a real winner to me!
Edited by yugas - 5/27/13 at 1:16pm