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$250 Audioquest Victoria cables vs $150 audioquest Sydneys vs cheap $20 Monster 800i cables

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I want to write a more extensive review but  there isn't really much to write about.



The bottom line is I A/B'd between the interconnects for about 30 minutes straight. I have a SE846's w silver aftermarket cabling powered by a portaphile amp connected to a ODAC via a $20 monster cable and wanted to A/B test that with Victoria AQ and Sydney AQ IC's.


 


 It was mind numbing as I had to find a track with the right dynamics for my test. Then I would switch interconnects and repeat the same song at the exact same point and try to hear differences. I got the Sydneys on accident due to the clerk making and error, in addition  got the Victorias. When i Took out the victorias I was suprised to see this massive battery pack on the side of the IC's when i opened the box. Some technology called DBS that's supposed to reduce interference or something technical like that. 


 


Anyhow, after doing this for what felt like forever, I finally heard the difference between the cables. is it worth the 230 dollar premium to get the Victorias? Honestly, if you don't care about money (anyone?) then drop the extra 230. There is a bit of increased clarity/reduced distortion with the more expensive Victorias vs the cheaper monsters. I then went between the Syndey's and the Victorias. The difference was pretty much impossible for me to pick out, despite the massive battery pack thing sitting on the side of the Vics. Even though the gimmicky pack thing makes me feel like I'm listening to higher quality, my ears have difficulty truly picking out differences between the two AQ's. So that tells me the cheaper Syndey's win here.


 


 Here's the thing, if you have SE846's or other IEM's with customizable cables, I definitely found a much bigger difference in sound by switching the stock SE846 cables with silver ones from Headphone Lounge for 200. The difference there is way more noticeable.  With these audioquest interconnects vs the monster however, I would say the difference is certainly there, but you're spending anywhere near a quarter of a thousand dollars, for that price I want to be floored by the difference. If there is enough demand I will post more detailed comments on the differences and my initial impressions, but hopefully this aids anyone who is wondering if these high quality interconnects are worth it. Again, if you have like 10k sitting in the bank and 230 bucks is pennies to you, then by all means blow your cash. You'll hear a slight to decent improvement in clarity. If you're cash sensitive, drop the 230 elsewhere, maybe on a better dac, headphones or something like that. The interconnect, as mentioned other places, is the very last thing you should upgrade if you are searching for better sound. If i were to quantify it, if the Monsters are 20, I would spend 80 on the Sydneys and 80 on the victorias. their prices are a bit much for the level of improvement.

Edited by skyd171 - 12/13/13 at 4:45pm
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Found out I was plugging the audioquest cables in wrong. One side is actually designed for input and the other for output. Directing them properly allowed me to properly test the difference betwen the vics and the sydneys. There is a noticeable increase in the quality of the signal with the more expensive vics. VS the vics, the audio sounds slightly recessed and veiled in the cheaper Sydneys. We're talking a 5% improvement in sound between the vict and the sydney i.e. going 105 mph instead of 100, for $100 more. So you'd better have serious money to burn and an audio setup that is primo in all other ways before investing in these.


Edited by skyd171 - 12/14/13 at 3:00pm
post #3 of 4

Thanks for that. I use the Big Surs and I was wondering how the Sydney and Victoria performed. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

I just tried the victorias vs headphone lounge pure silver interconnects. the AQ Victorias are copper, but actually have more clarity than the Headphone Lounge pure silver cables. Contrary to popular notions about silver vs copper, there isn't any difference in coloration between the silver (Headphone Lounge) and copper (AQ), just clarity. All else equal, Audioquest Silver might sound clearer than AudioQuest copper, but in this case AQ copper sounds clearer than HL silver.

 The difference takes a good auditory memory, but it's there.

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