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Tour Cable Sign Ups for Philips Fidelio X1 - Page 2

post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 

Ok. I'll switch one out with the blue. Which one should I switch, red/black or black/white?


As far as heat shrink goes, I prefer the cleaner look without heat shrink. On Neutrik connectors, it is very easy to make it very durable from the inside without need for outside heat shrink. Some connectors need it more. So unless a handful REALLY want it, I'm going to leave it off. 

post #17 of 38

The one without heat shrink looks much better and I still vote for black or starry night.

Edited by BB 808 - 3/8/14 at 1:22am
post #18 of 38
I vote no heat shrink. smily_headphones1.gif
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hope to ship the cables out on Monday. The list of current participants has been posted. If you need to back out, just let me know at any time.


PLEASE PM me your shipping information so I can have that on hand. 



Additional, non-important stuff with my added opinion on cables.

While I'm not requiring anyone to post a review, I'm partially doing this because I'm curious how different individuals perceive change. You all have different ears, a slightly different biological make-up and ages, along with various setups and environments. All of those factors and so many more can alter perception. Please share your opinion with us. If not, please share it with me in a PM. 


I'll come straight out and say it: I think cables can make things sound different - sometimes. Good or bad? That's is going to be totally subjective and change with the many variables mentioned above. Sometimes you'll hear no difference at all. I've had just about every scenario happen in my personal experience building and testing cables for fun: Better, worse, and no change at all.

The point: your opinion is just as valid and everyone else's. Do not be afraid to share it. Realize that other's opinion of the exact same cable may vary from yours and THAT'S OK. Please, please, respect other's opinions regarding to this cable tour. If you feel that is too much to ask, I'd like you to please let me know so I can remove you from the list. 


I usually tell people to pick cables that have a quality build, with the functionality they need (length/weight/etc) and a style that they want. Those are the true benefits of custom cables. Place the possible sound benefits at the end of that list and you'll be much happier. 

That said, many setups can benefit sonically from various materials of a quality made cable, but remember that expensive does not necessarily equate to better, just different. 

post #20 of 38
I'd be interested - if there is still space. I'm in Philly.
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gallowaystx View Post

I'd be interested - if there is still space. I'm in Philly.

Added. Thanks for joining.


***Updated list has been posted. Still two slots. Those joining now that the list has been made are added to the end. 

Thank you to those that have sent me your shipping information. Those that haven't, please get it to me when you can. 


Cables are finished and ready to ship. I imagine that shipping is going to be around $2.00-2.25 now that there are two cables together. I'll know after I ship it to the first participant and will update on the first post. Still not bad. I'll try to keep packaging as light as possible to reduce cost for when you ship to the next in line. 

post #22 of 38
Thread Starter 

The cables were shipped today in a very small box with some light padding around the connectors. Total for USPS first-class was $2.50 even. It will likely arrive to the first person on the list on Wednesday. 

We should be able to reuse the box. Just remove the label and cut out the current shipping address with a razor/knife or cover it with the new one. 


Cable information: Both are ~4 fee long. Both measure less than 0.2ohms. The average reading was ~0.1 ohm. The black/white cable will feel more prone to memory. You'll notice distinct physical characteristics between the two, like the memory of the black/white cable. 

The blue cable is the OFC copper and the black/white is the SPC. 


Neither of these are "expensive" cables. The materials are readily accessible at reasonable prices. Most botique cable companies charge ~$40-50 (or more) for cables made with similar materials. Though the materials cost far less, FAAAAARRRR LESS. 


Both cables use a PE based insulation for the individual wires. I've put ~15 hours worth of "burn-in" time on them before shipping in case you consider that a factor. 


If anyone else has questions regarding the cables or anything else with the tour, please post or PM. 

post #23 of 38
Thanks to @Kamakahah for the opportunity to give these a listen.
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
I think the blue looks good, but it's hard to capture its color in pictures.

Glad they arrived on time.
post #25 of 38

PM Sent. Would love to try the cable. Going to be using the X1 with the Lyr :)



post #26 of 38

I have been switching out the blue OFC and black/white SPC cables hundreds of times in the last few days and mixing it up with the stock X1 cable and a V-MODA cable and a Fiio cable. The differences between the cables are so slight, so very subtle that I cannot say which one is best.  The blue OFC and Fiio cables seemed to have slightly tighter bass.  The black/white SPC had slightly better treble extention.  The stock X1 cable was slightly warmer than the others.  The V-MODA cable was the most neutral.


I have come to the conclusion that there really is no need to replace the stock X1 cable.  But if you really really want or need to replace it, then get one that is affordable, looks and feels good to you, and is the right length.


Most of my listening was done with AIFF rips on Apple iPod Classic 160G  V-MODA Vamp Verza → Philips Fidelio X1.  I also listened to FLAC on my iPhone and MacBook Pro.


Thanks to @Kamakahah for this Cable Tour.  

post #27 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thanks for posting your impressions, @thx1000

post #28 of 38
Thread Starter 

Just a quick update on the current status. So far so good. Two participants have already gone and cables should arrive to a third on Monday. 

Weekend shipping time is slightly effecting the timetable, but shouldn't be too bad. 


I didn't want to bias anyone's opinion by listing the exact cables used, but I've decided I might as well since it won't mean much to most.

I used very accessible/cheap cable.

There are three reasons behind my choice: 

1. It didn't cost me much.

2. If you decided to get a cable like this, it won't cost you much either.

3. Most of the time, people cant tell the difference between the expensive cable and the cheaper stuff. 


While the cable is cost effective, it is well built. 

The blue cable is Canare L-4E5C - Mini Star Quad cable. I stripped away the outer PVC and shielding to make them more flexible and light. It's the normal industry standard OFC copper that you'll find in any studio cables. It's $0.56/ft (4 conductors). So about $2.25 + shipping costs worth of cabling for the 4ft. 


The black/white silver-plated copper cable is Navships mil spec. It is excess military cable that was not made for audio purposes but to be quality and resilient. 

The downside is that it's insulation is stiffer and memory prone. You'll notice the difference in feel between the two cables right away. You'll likely prefer the blue cable's lack of memory which contributes to an overall better feel when using it. This cabling is ~$5.50 for 25ft of a single conductor. I used 3 conductors of 4 feet each. At ~$0.23/ft, the cable cost was $2.75 + shipping costs.


There is better wire out there. I really like DHC copper and PlusSound SPC. But those will run you $1.50-2.50 per foot for a single conductor. The cost adds up quickly depending on style/length. If you go pure silver, at ~$9-10/ft for a single conductor, the price gets exponentially more expensive. 


Is the more expensive cable worth the premium? That depends. The PlusSound SPC is one of my personal favorites for look/feel/sound/price when I do go more expensive. 

Do they more expensive cables sound better? Maybe, maybe not. It's all subjective to your specific tastes and current gear setup. What is sonic gold for one person can be trash for another. 


That point leads to the point of this tour. These cables didn't cost a lot to make. The total cost for both cables together was probably $12 and some of my time. 

If you like one of the cables or something about it that you'd like to replicate, it won't cost you much. 


You can always go up the cost scale from here but if either of these meets your sonic needs, then you know you won't have to pay a premium for the sound you enjoy. 

post #29 of 38

First, kudos to Kamakahah for providing this opportunity!


I listened to these cables through a JDS Labs C5D.  As an aside, I think the C5D sounds great with the X1 and a pretty noticable improvement over the FiiO E17 I was using previously (although I have to admit I do miss the swiss army like functionality and options of the E17).


I compared K's cables against the X1 stock cable and a Forza Audio Works Color Series HPC.  


K's the black and white SPC cable was ever so slightly more sparkly in the treble while the blue OFC had ever so slightly more bass thump.  K's blue OFC and the Forza cable sound very similar to each other, which is not surprising given that the Forza cable is also around 0.1 Ohm resistance and OFC.  


In comparison, as mentioned time and time again on the main X1 forum the stock X1 cable is a little warmer but the bass can get slightly bloaty depending on the song.  That said, I was perfectly happy with the sound of the stock cable.  The main reason why I replaced it was because I wanted a shorter cable and a 1/8 inch plug.  


I have to say that with respect to look and feel department, K's blue OFC is premium and would make an excellent replacement cable.  It feels very solid without being too heavy and I LOVE the sleeve, it feels silky and has the least amount of microphonics of any sleeved cable I've used.  In that vein, I'm not so keen on the black and white SPC cable -- it doesn't feel as substantial and the memory effect on the cable is a bit annoying.


In conclusion, my opinion is that the X1 is not picky about the cable.  If you're going to replace the stock X1 cable, get one that looks and feels nice to you.

post #30 of 38

Totally agree with @s0ckpupp3t on this.  The differences are so slight, just pick one and be happy.  The quality of @Kamakahah cables are very nice and you can't go wrong getting one of these for your Fidelio X1.

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