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ISN AG8

Rating:
5/5,
  1. Dsnuts
    ISN H40 IEM cables-Silver FTW!
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Jan 11, 2020
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent high quality flagship level pure thick silver cable from ISN, Increases detail across the entire sound frequency, Increases stage and depth. Increases instrument separation and texture. Not as heavy as it looks. Sub bass rumble is surprisingly great using the cable. Tightens that bass. Who don't like tighter bass!
    Cons - They cost $200. You have to make a choice. Buy a new phone or buy a new cable for your phone. So thick you might not like how thick. But me I like mines THICK!.
    ISN AG8
    DSC06833.JPG ISN H40 w AG8

    ISN AG8 was provided by Penon audio for the purpose of review. The cables can be purchased here. I would like to thank Penon audio for providing the review sample. I have no affiliation with Penon Audio or was given any incentive to write any type of positive review about any item received from Penon. Of course you read this particular statement from reviews. Let's get real. Of course I am gonna have a bias. This being said as a consumer of all things in our hobby. I base my ratings on value at the price point. Are you getting what you would pay for set? Let's find out.
    DSC06876.JPG EE Zeus w AG8

    I know when it comes to cable reviews, either you will ignore these or will look into them with some interest. With the advent of the modern DAP. We are seeing the need for more and more aftermarket cables and especially in balanced form to use with said DAPs. I have seen a steady increase of cables made by ISN and they started with a very good SPC cable called the ISN S8. Silver coated copper is and should be the standard for all cables connected to phones be it over the ear or in ears. Manufacturers of in ear phones how a days either take the cable that come with the phones seriously or they don’t.
    DSC06829.JPG TRi I3 w AG8

    The idea of increasing the ability of a given earphone through a nice cable is a crazy idea and something that sound science guy loves to argue about. However I always tell guys that are in the hobby. Hear for yourself and you be the judge. What you do with your hard earned cash is all you.

    In any case with a steady increase of cables produced by ISN. S8,S4,C-16,H-16,S-16,C4 and now the new AG8. Ag is the chemical make up for Silver and here we get a lot of it in the AG8.
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    There is something mystical and mysterious about silver. A high value material that we generally look at as a luxury item or in some cases to fend off werewolves. Pure silver cables are nothing new to the audio world and in fact has been used for decades. Has the absolute best transduction of sound. If it can kill werewolves I am sure it can cut through your muddy sounding earphones right?
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    Most earphone cables are made with copper at its core. Sonically copper produces an honest take on the sound tuning of a given earphone. Mostly affecting the phones sound to a fuller body of note which influences bass to mid bands. Higher up in copper also give a transparent take on the treble design.. Silver on the other hand enhances detail transparency and or resolution of a given earphone. When you mix the two elements you get something that gives a good balance of detail, fullness and or body of sound.

    Today we are looking at a flagship level pure silver cable from ISN. These are a thicker cored 8 strands twisted into an 8 braid. If your looking for silver. You get a lot of it.
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    The cables come in the all too familiar black rectangular case that ISN always throws in with their cables and earphones. Inside you find the cable nicely coiled. The connectors and terminations are all custom made it is a unique all black with gold flake highlights for design. I have had zero issue with connecting any of my earphones and generally I find the connectors cable splitter chin slider and terminations all of high quality. The cable itself while one of the thicker cables for IEMs is not as heavy as it looks nor is it stiff as it could be. In fact the cables are easy to coil up, soft pliable and can easily be thrown inside the pouch. These thankfully come with zero ear guides which are unnecessary.
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    Getting a pure silver cable while is certainly not cheap. Can increase sonic detail for a given phone it is attached to. Here the ISN AG8 due to the thicker cores seems to dodge the one aspect that is common among silver cables and that is thickness of the sound.
    DSC06838.JPG AG8 next to 16 core ISN C-16
    In a word the ISN AG8 adds body with that detail and that my friends makes the AG8 a very interesting cable. Compared to my other pure silver cables the ISN S8 is a bit different. Not only in looks but also in design. It has to be the thickest 8 core pure silver cable on the market. My proof of this. This is a photo of ISNs own C-16 16 core copper cable which I know for a fact is the thickest earphone cable out in the market. The AG8 is next to it. I am certain sonically the ISN AG8 would not be achievable if it was using less material. This silver cable is brawny and thick. Thicker than any other 8 core cable I have used.
    DSC06875.JPG Fiio EA3 w AG8
    So what does all that silver do for your earphone? It is simple. It makes your earphones sound much higher end. Testing various phones from budget level to TOTL level in my Solaris the first thing you will notice is how expansive the sound will be using this cable. Expanding sound stage just by using a cable? That sounds crazy but AG8 has shown me time and time again. Has the most widest of stage. If you need a cable to give your earphone sound some space. These are the cables to go with. Then there is the increase in detail. That increase in stage also increases the scope of sound of your earphone. Gives a deeper more detailed cleaner clearer sound. Silver seems to clean up the notes of any artifacts around what you hear giving it a cleaner more chiseled sound with addition of better texture throughout the sound frequency of any given phone it is attached to.
    DSC06873.JPG KBear Diamond w AG8

    Case in point. I have the AG8 here on a cheaper $79 earphone called the KBear Diamond. It goes from a good sounding earphone with decent resolution to something that sounds absolutely stunning with the cable. Ya I know the cable cost more than double the earphones. I tried it on them for the sake of research OK so don’t kill the messenger!
    DSC06857.JPG Andromeda S
    But then you connect the cables to something that is already known to have a good high level of sound like the Andromeda S and you get even a higher end sound. Better definition and precision. A wider scope of sound. Impeccable imaging, added treble shimmer and sparkle. How can I tell these things are happening you ask? It is simple. Once you get used to hearing the AG8 with a test track. Go back to the stock cable your phones came with. You will notice a decrease in stage and depth. Treble will sound a bit muted in comparison. Imaging not as good.

    The AG8 is similar to supercharging your engine for your car. It supercharges your earphones it is attached to.
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    The thicker core count of the AG8 I honestly believe adds to the fullness and give the sound a boost in depth. This is one cable that non believers have to try as it is easy to hear the differences going from a stock sound to the AG8 cable. Bucking the view of what silver does as you will read sound description of silver cables stating they tighten the bass. There is some truth to that. AG8 does as well but what these cables do for sub bass resolution is amazing. The cables increase detail of all sound regions including bass. Does not make the bass bigger per se but that sub bass rumble sounds spectacular using the cables.
    DSC06874.JPG Solaris w AG8
    Silver it is what's for dinner. You can't fake silver! It has a distinctive sound on your earphones and if your a silver fan. I can’t think of a better pure silver cable than the ISN AG8. Like all good things in life, these will cost you to try a set and they aren’t cheap. Do I think they are worth your hard earned cash? Well I did mention I got a AG8 for review but my 2nd cable I had to buy.
    DSC06872.JPG Diamond & JVC FDX1 w AG8s
    Cus these are amazing cables. I have more than just mmcx earphones. What is better than one thick pure silver cable. How's about two thick pure silver cables. After hearing them on my mmcx earphones I had to buy a 2nd set for my 2 pin earphones. Buy them, enjoy them, love them and hear sound from your earphones you had no idea it could do. Thanks for reading and as always happy listening-- which you will enjoy more with silver.
      nihalsharma, Wes S, ezekiel77 and 2 others like this.