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3.5mm to dual rca for headphone amp - Page 2

post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by jarrett View Post

Cables do make a difference. Years ago (for my speaker cable) I upgraded from an Audioquest (AQ) to Evidence Audio. In the latter, everything about the design and the materials was better, so although the AQ sounds fine enough - and in jaddie's case where he's not comparing it against something better - you just stick with your metrics.


I suggested a Blue Jeans cable because they are supplied by Belden who are known as a cable maker for sound applications. That cable should be enough quality and you won't be buying into a "hi-fi" brand.

I can completely agree with this.  Build quality in cables is important and in some cases worth paying up for.  When I make custom cables I use Belden, Canare, Gepco, etc., with Neutrik connectors, heat-shrink the breakouts, etc.  


The problem is, for me to make a simple RCA to 1/8" stereo cable, I invest at least $20 in wire because I can't but 3', $15 in connectors, and 10 minutes of my time.  The Blue Jeans cable is either about the same or slightly more, which is quite fair for duplicating what I can do myself with the exact same materials without my labor. However, an equivalent cable from Monoprice is $2.49.  If you compare to BJC, you can buy between 12 and 17 copies of the Monoprice cable for the same price as one from BJC, considering the quantity price break, and ignoring shipping.  The Monoprice cables are well built, the materials are of decent quality, and I've never had one fail.  I've chopped them up for custom cables, and the wires are quite thin, but outside of being difficult to work with on a custom, the unmodified cables hold up well, and actually have slightly lower C than the Belden wire and work just fine.  No, it's not Canare or Belden wire, but it gets the job done.


I have nothing against Blue Jeans, I admire their work.  My own custom cables are done exactly like they do theirs, and there's no question the quality is above Monoprice.  It's simply a question of economics, cost/benefit, and the Pareto Principle.  

post #17 of 20

I will give a little help ...

I also have a asus xonar dx and o2 objective, I connected them with a
cheap cable 3.5mm> 3.5mm and I switched to mogami w2893 with Neutrik plug (DIY) and did not notice any difference.



post #18 of 20

Just to confuse the OP further, in my experience there was a definite difference in sound between the 3.5 --> RCA cable I purchased from Monoprice and the one I purchased later from BJC. For a year or so I used the Monoprice premium cable (15ft Premium 3.5mm Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable (Gold Plated) - Black) on some studio monitors I have positioned in front of my treadmill. I listened to these nearly every day during that time using the same source and source material. I was well familiar with their sound. As I was ordering some other items from BJC a couple months ago I threw in a similarly connected cable just for kicks. I noticed an immediate improvement in sound quality with the BJC MSA-1 cable. Now I did not order the cable expecting any difference in sound, I merely wanted a shorter length, more flexible wire for the setup so I di not have any preconceived notion that the cable would make any difference. I was pleasantly surprised at the unintended benefit and kicking myself for using the Monoprice cable all those months and miles. Other factors of course are not equal such as wire gauge and length (8ft vs 15ft),  so I do not rule out that as a contributing factor vs. magical properties of more expensive cables. I do know there was difference in the quality of sound for the better. YMMV

post #19 of 20

I once purchased some exotic speaker cable and used it to connect speakers to a power amp at a recording studio.  I was shocked to hear an immediate and amazing sonic improvement.  I was also disturbed, as I couldn't understand why it should be.  But I had to move on to other projects and had no time to devote to figuring it out.  


About two weeks later, I had some free time, and went back to that room and listened.  Yes, the sound was still amazing!  Man those wires sounded fantastic.  So, I got the test equipment out to try to figure out what I was hearing.  As I went to connect the analyzer to the speaker terminals, I noticed that someone else had switched back to the old wires.  I had listened to what I thought was the new exotic wire, heard how wonderful it was, but in fact I was listening to standard 14 ga zip cord.  I put the analyzer away, question answered.


You can hear what you want to or expect to hear.  It will be real, palpable, unmistakable to you.  But if you try to verify it, you'll be disappointed.  


I recommend that anyone buying expensive wires of any kind not actually try to compare them to old cheap standard wire.  Just enjoy the experience and wonder of your magic new wire.  It will be perfectly real, if only to you.


You won't find me endorsing high-end wires or cables, but I will endorse the experience of listening to them them as being real for those who buy them. We are all in this for the joy of it, and that joy is no less valid if we hear wonderful sound from our expensive wires.  I personally choose to achieve wonderful sound in ways I can confirm, like acoustic treatment, speaker placement, headphone choice, etc.  But however you achieve audio nirvana is fine with me.

post #20 of 20

I attribute the lesser SQ of the Monoprice cable to a lemon cable not to any magical properties of a more expensive BJC product doing the same thing. I have plugged the old cable back in and something is just not right. It is muddled and fuzzy compared to the BJC. My point would be that occasionally with cheaper cables the quality control could be lacking and you get a bad egg. I'm a big believer in measurable numbers and results. 

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