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Headphone Cables item created by WoahReQQuiem, Nov 29, 2012
Pros - Build Quality, Stage, Warmth
Cons - None
I would like to thank Plussound for providing me the Plussound Exo Gold Plated Copper (GPC) Type 6 Litz cable for review. It is 26 AWG and of type UP-OCC. The length is 1.2m. There are 4 cores to this cable. The Plussound Exo GPC I received comes with MMCX connectors and 2.5mm balanced jack. At this moment, you can purchase the cable from http://www.plussoundaudio.com/customcables/inearmonitor.html .
The cable comes in a black package and upon opening the package, you can see the cable sealed in a plastic wrap packaging. There are 2 amplifier bands and an information card. There is a lack of soft carrying pouch to keep the cable. Overall, the package gives a premium feel to it.
Cable Design & Build
The MMCX connectors on the cable has a housing that is sleeved with a rubber coating. On each of the connector, there is a Plussound logo in blue and red to differentiate between left and right respectively. On the connector, there is a gold circular metal which I assume is either for grip or design purpose. It gives a sleek feel to the connector. There is no memory wire section. Moving on to the chin slider, it is matte black and is made of aluminium. The slider is circular in shape. The y-splitter is rose gold in colour and is made of aluminium too. The visual appeal is very good as the rose gold y-splitter complements with the matte black chin slider. Lastly, the jack is 2.5mm balanced with strain relief. On the housing sleeve protector, there is the Plussound brand name in gold printed on it.
Sound Analysis (Compared to Stock Cable)
The sub-bass has a slight increase in quantity and this helps to improve the body. The extension is maintained. There is improvement in the rumble and this leads to more punch. Mid-bass has a tighter slam and the dynamics benefit as such. Overall bass has more impact and each bass note is presented with more authority. Decay and cleanliness is maintained. Transition from the lows to the mids is improved rather slightly and bass texture is rendered more smoothly.
There is slightly more body to the mids as the midrange takes on a thick and lush approach. The lower mids benefit from the extra body as male vocals are presented with less hollowness. The upper mids has a slightly improvement in its control and it is less forward. I find that this cable helps to balance the midrange. The detail retrieval and resolution improves too.
The treble extension is similar with more control. There is an added smoothness to the treble with more body. This results in the treble being more organic. The amount of air increases and sparkle is retained. There is no sibilance and harshness. Treble articulation is slightly more precise and definition increases. The treble sounds rather smooth yet still retaining the definition and control.
There is slightly more width in the stage and the depth is maintained. The increase in width helps to improve the positioning of vocals and instruments to avoid congestion. Imaging increases a little bit.
Campfire Audio Andromeda
The sub-bass has more body and the quantity increases. I find the sub-bass quantity is rather appropriate. The extension is maintained. The mid-bass has more slam with improved dynamics. There is an added level of smoothness to the bass. The lower mids benefit greatly due to the quantity on the low end. The upper mids is more smooth and controlled. The treble has similar response as the midrange. The smoothness helps to give more control and there is a higher level of details retrieval. Width of stage increases while the depth is maintained. Resolution improves.
The sub-bass extension increases and the depth provides more punch. I find the cable helps to improve the extension significiantly. Mid-bass is more controlled and operates on a smoother approach. The lower mids is around the same and the upper mids have a superior control with a tinge of smoothness. The treble takes a step back and inclines toward the laid-back approach but there is still energy. Sparkle is present and there is no sibilance and harshness. The details are present in abundance. Stage width increases significantly and depth is maintained. Resolution improves.
The sub-bass has a heavier weight to it and this makes the decay slightly slow but there is still pace in the sound. I find the mid-bass has a nice slam to it with impact. The lower mids has quantity so male vocals sound thick and not hollow at all. The upper mids is more smooth. The treble of A91 is already quite smooth and this cable ensures it is maintained. The details retrieval is rather good. There is impressive stage width and good depth. Resolution improves.
The Plussound Exo Gold Plated Copper Type 6 Litz is a top cable that is able to showcase a high standard of details retrieval and adds a smoothness to the overall sound. This cable pairs well with balanced and brighter sounding iems. The stage width and depth improves a lot to reduce congestion. The visual appeal of the cable is good and made with top quality parts. This cable is in the premium category of cables with its great build and excellent sonic performance.
Pros - Natural and organic, with clarity and detail.
Cons - none
PlusSound Exo Series Cable Review
PlusSound Exo Series cable review
Unboxing and build.
The PlusSound Exo Cable comes in a a sensible and sturdy charcoal black cardboard box.
The flap contains a magnet with helps keep it shut firmly for future storage.
The cable arrived in a safely sealed plastic bag which required scissors to open.
Also a branded rubber band for rigs, all resting comfortably on a bed of foam.
The cable to my eyes has something organic and natural about it.
The wire used is T-Metal (consists of gold plated copper and silver + gold bundles)
in Type 6 Litz configuration.
Solid and robust plug and connectors.
The MMCX connectors click into place with ease and authority.
Campfire Audio Dorado
(from the PlusSound website):
`Exo series displays the beauty behind the rich sound.
This cable consists of four high quality, custom manufactured UPOCC stranded wires with a durable and flexible polyethylene insulation, which are then braided to provide better quality sound while reducing low range and interference noises.
Selecting Type 6 Litz wires will prevent electrical anomalies such as skin effect and proximity effect, in addition to preventing oxidation by applying a special enamel coating to individually insulate every strand for long lasting sound quality and appearance. The multiple proprietary dampening cores function to reduce vibration - keeping conductivity constant throughout for the best quality sound.
All wires are cryogenically treated to strengthen the structure of the wires for maximum durability and performance. This is the perfect solution for use on the go, at home, and/or use on stage.
With excellent ergonomics, sound quality, and constructed with only the highest quality components on the market, it is this best interchangeable cable available.
• Personalize your cable based on available options. [Contact PlusSound if you require a custom length or component]
• Ultra Pure OCC Type 6 Litz is the most advanced wire on the market featuring multiple proprietary dampening cores for vibration reduction, consistent conductivity, better overall feel and ergonomics, and prevents electrical anomalies.
• Selected PS connectors and plugs made from pure gold plated copper with strong anodized aluminum shell for high quality conductivity and reliability.
• Selected PS y-splitters and sliders are made out of anodized aluminum for optimal durability.
• 3D Printed y-splitters are designed and manufactured in-house from durable acrylic material.
• Handcrafted in the USA.
To learn more about a specific component, visit the PlusSound About page.
• Exo Series Custom Cable
• Amplifier Band
• Information Card
• PS Premium Packaging [only for Priority and Express shipments]`
PlusSound exo series with Opus#3 and Campfire Audio Andromeda
Head phone switcher with ALO Audio interconnectors.
Opus#3, iBasso Dx200, Opus#2 and Campfire Audio Nova.
The experience is one of naturalness, organic and detailed clarity fused together in a sonic synergy of wholeness. That audiophile word salad made me reach for my writers barf bag - but its true!
The PlusSound Exo series looks and sounds organic, ie natural. There is an ease to its use and also to the listening experience which comes across as non fatiguing yet does not sacrifice any detail or soundstage whilst in doing so.
It is a smooth sounding cable that retains the usual Litz/silver signature of a slight v shape which is massaged into something more like a w or a soft u. That is to say it has enough mids to please.
This probably due to the materials used which is a T-Metal (consists of gold plated copper and silver + gold bundles) in Type 6 Litz configuration.
It seemed have a good match with most earphones I tested when paired with a complimentary dap.
The bass is present with a softness, the mids are warm and lush, the highs are clear but not over extended. Overall quite balanced with no serious emphasis on any particular range.
The sound stage of course is more dependent on the dap and earphone combination, but I did not detect the Exo series having any adverse effects.
Organic, natural, even with some body and detailed clarity.
Moar audio pron pics
iBasso DX200, iBasso IT03 and the PlusSound Exo series cable.
Campfire Audio Andromeda and the PlusSound Exo Series cable
PlusSound 2.5mm to Kobiconn/RSA adapter which I ordered at an earlier date t use with my CEntrance Mini-M8.
PlusSound Exo series cable and Campfire Audio Vega.
Price, build, performance and overall sonic experience make this cable a realistic purchase devoid of wallet regrets.
The PlusSound Exo Cable is a beautifully made cable with excellent ergonomics.
One of course can choose different splitters and connectors etc, I was pleased with the design choices that plusSound made made on my behalf.
It is lovely to look at and soft to the touch.
The neck slider has a good balance between being too tight or overly loose.
The MMCX connectors click into place with solid authority and yet also without much physical effort.
The cable itself has minimal micro phonics.
Build is solid and well crafted.
The sound is a natural and organic one, with clarity and details which is due to a mix the of materials used in it construction: T-Metal (consists of gold plated copper and silver + gold bundles) in Type 6 Litz configuration.
The Exo series cable by PlusSound smooth, organic and natural.
PlusSound Exo Series with the Campfire Audio Jupiter
Thank you to PlusSound for sending Head pie the Exo Series IEM cable for review
Pros - Rich midrange, Detail presentation style, Customization options, Customer service
Cons - A little backness may be added to the background
plusSound is an American cable maker located in California, US. They have a good reputation among audiophiles. They offer many different cables such as headphones and IEM upgrade cables, and interconnects. There is also a high-class amplifier Cloud Nine, Audeze headphones and a wide variety of DIY parts in their store.
plusSound IEM cable selection is very rich; we can choose both sleeving/insulation type and cable material in almost all models. For example, Dionysian series can be made both by copper and silver conductors as well as many other wiring combinations. Like conductor selection, there are many options to customize our cable.
Christian, the guy from plusSound is a very nice person and superbly responsive. He always replies to my mails maximum in one hour. I have to say that he is one of the most responsive representatives in the industry.
I have reviewed plusSound Apollonian+ cable a while ago, which is one of my favorite cables in my invertory. This review consists of Exo series made by 4 silver/gold conductors. For whose is interested in Apollonian+ pure copper cable, please check the review link below:
The picture is an excerpt form plusSound website.
Exo has 3 silver/gold-combined conductors. Considering 4 braided build, it can be seen as a lightweight cable. In comparison with similarly priced Apollonian+, Exo is easier to use outdoors. However, Apollonian+ has a better look with its sleeving. On the other hand, the reviewed Exo has a beautiful Y splitter in a shining silver color.
Overall build of Exo is not very stiff and we can easily wrap to put in a case. The most beautiful point on Exo is its pins. Indeed, there are pins in gold and silver color in accordance with its combination. Additionally, there is no memory wire here. In fact no need for it, since it has a very good shape and build to stay stable.
In general, silver cables have a bright and open sound and they can be harsh to throw details. In fact, plusSound Exo has a rich tone with impactful low end and it doesn’t create a piercing or cold presentation. Overall tone is a little warm in accordance with mid-bass presentation.
The review and comparisons have been determined with using Lear LCM-BD4.2 custom in ear monitor and its stock cable.
Lear stock’s sub-bass has lower resolution, while Exo has more bodied presentation by using larger area of bass-room. Exo significantly has better texturing and hits deeper regions. Overall sub-bass tonality is similar, but Exo’ punches are slightly more emotional and alive.
Overall mid-bass presentation is less prominent on Lear stock, while Exo has a more full-bodied and prominent notes. However, the mid-bass quantity is not exaggerated; Exo doesn’t tighten the stage and doesn’t warm the overall atmosphere more than limits and necessity for smooth touches. It can be thought that Exo has a balanced mid-bass presentation in terms of control and warmth. Additionally, Exo’s resolution is much better than Lear stock.
When compared to Lear stock, Exo has similarly located midrange with same amount of prominence. Exo doesn’t have a laidback presentation here, but neither too forward. In comparison, Exo makes instruments’ positioning in a larger picture by tightening impact and keeping their overall sizes on the stage. On the other hand, Lear stock has non-controlled note releasing and instruments are closely located to each other. This difference makes Exo to create significantly clearer and cleaner picture overall.
In transparency comparison, Exo has slightly better performance, but it has a definite superiority over Lear stock in terms of tone’s richness and resolution. Additionally, it seems that they have similar performance on note thickness, but Exo has slightly fuller notes in accordance with its overall refining superiority. Also, overall tonality is similar, but Exo has a better timbre in accordance with its rich presentation.
Exo has slightly more quantity in this region when compared to Lear stock cable. Lear stock’s treble has significantly uncontrolled note releasing, while Exo has better resolution here. Even if Exo has slightly more prominent treble, it is more forgiving overall and doesn’t try to throw details in a harsh way. Treble notes are weightier and their tone is better on Exo.
Soundstage and Separation:
Exo performs slightly better in terms of width, but it has a significantly deeper stage with recreation of a cleaner picture overall. This stage depth difference makes Exo to have a better layering too. Background blackness performance is similar, but Exo puts cleaner and clearer distances between instruments on a larger space with an airier presentation overall. Additionally, Exo has a better separation by creating more controlled and tighter notes.
plusSound Exo series silver/gold cable has a smooth sound and weighty low end for a standard silver cable. It is also very impressive in accordance with detail creation style and rich midrange. As always, built quality and looking is very nice and plusSound’s customer service is one the best in the industry. Lastly, Exo silver/gold cable is priced at 299 USD at the time of this review posted.
For more information please check plusSound website:
Pros - Great cable build, cleans up SQ slightly
Cons - need an ear guide for IEM cable
The exo cable is a great cable to go with, especially with the CIEM, which in my case is the UM Miracle. It cleaned up the slight bluriness of the sound in comparison with stock cable, which is great. The cable is quite stiff, but that is understandable.
the sockets and plugs are very well built, and I am thoroughly impressed by the aesthetics too. The only thing i wished for is an ear guide for IEM cables, cause my cable consistently fall off over my ear, which is quite annoying. Once this is done, there is no reason not to love this cable anymore
A while ago, I bought some DIY cabling from Los Angeles-based plusSound Audio and loved the immediacy of their customer service. Being a native Angelino, I also wanted to support SoCal businesses as well, so I decided to check out their Exo series cable.
plusSound Audio specializes as a bespoke, handmade, full-service boutique cable service, and the Exo is one of six different cable series offered by plusSound, along with the Dionysian, the Apollonian, the Echo, the Poetic, and the X8 (as well as an upcoming X6 that I know little to nothing about) — each of which are available for IEM cables, headphone cables, interconnects, and more. The Exo is the “bare” cable, with no nylon sheathing, while the other cable series have varying degrees of sheathing on them, save for the X8 and X6, which are cables that use specialty braids over the usual round or flat braid (plusSound lets you choose during the ordering process), with an additional plethora of other options as well.
CABLE MATERIAL, ERGONOMICS, BUILD QUALITY & AESTHETICS
The Exo cable is a four-conductor, round (Milloit) braid 7N (well, technically 6N+, since measurement machines have trouble assessing metallurgic purity over 99.99998%) UP-OCC stranded copper cable. While I thought the strand count (10-ct) was slightly low, it didn’t seem to affect sound negatively in any way, so, whatever. Those that are concerned with the strand count can take solace in the fact that copper is not the only material offered; there are numerous other (more exotic) options. Of course, these other cable materials will come at a price, but it’s nice to see that they offer so many variants. I personally like either just pure copper or pure silver (without gold); hopefully, they’ll replace the current copper cable with one that’s higher in strand count, if only for durability and redundancy’s sake, rather than for any sonic benefits.
While the cable gauge is 28 AWG, the LLD-PE (linear low-density polyethylene) sleeving is quite thick — the OD feels more like a 24, 25AWG cable; I imagine that they ordered it in this thickness because the dielectric properties of LLD-PE aren’t quite as good as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene, a.k.a. Teflon) in the same thickness. Why not PTFE sleeving then? Well, PTFE insulation is much more microphonic than polyethylene (linear or cross-linked).
Despite the OD being thicker than that of a typical wire at 28AWG, it didn’t feel unwieldy at all. In fact, it was quite flexible, and had a minimal amount of memory, less than my BTG-Audio Sunrise cable. I would not hesitate to use this cable indoors or out.
Build quality is really quite impressive; whether it’s the termination, the Y-split, or the pins, plusSound builds the Exo cable like a tank. Everything is secured down and doesn’t seem like anything would break unless someone lets loose on it with a hammer.
plusSound equips IEM cable terminations with the excellent Viablue T6s (small) 3.5mm plugs by default; customers can choose between Oyaide plugs, 6.3mm plugs, balanced Kobiconn (RSA/ALO), balanced Hirose 6-pin (iBasso), and others as well.
The pins are nice and tight; some aftermarket pins, while not loose, don’t quite have the same tension. They seem to use the full-width 0.78mm pins, with an additional round-barreled shroud for reinforcement.
As rock solid as the build quality is, however, the liberal use of black heat shrink does detract from the overall aesthetics just a bit. The neck slider wasn’t a looker and was a bit loose; I’d recommend people putting in the extra $3 for a wooden bead instead. The heat shrink constituting the strain relief at the 3.5mm termination had plusSound‘s logo imprinted, but was lacking a bit of resolution compared to what I’ve seen from other companies. The pins, with their round barrel and additional heat shrink reinforcement, may possibly never break, but they look a bit obtrusive and get long in the tooth pretty quickly. In its defense, I just personally prefer less use of heat shrink in my stuff; there was absolutely nothing about the worksmanship of the cable that detracted from the aesthetics (i.e. excess glue, jagged edges, etc.).
I don’t like to comment too much on sound, since I believe it’s a matter of personal preference; however, I will say that the “sound” of the Exo copper cable is what it “should” be, meaning that it’s a clean, honest sound that doesn’t suffer from EM interference or self-inductance. Nothing sounds muddy, and the ends are well-extended — indicators that plusSound did a great job with the braiding and soldering, to go along with a cable made from high-quality materials.
Is plusSound‘s OCC copper necessarily better than the Mogami OFC of my BTG Sunrise? Theory says yes, perception says “I don’t know.” If I had to make a statement, I’d say that the BTG Sunrise has more of a “solid” sound, while the plusSound Exo sounds a teeny bit more transparent, but it could also be my mind playing tricks on me. There are so many minute factors to cables, from the insulation material, to the braid consistency, and the type of solder used that may possibly alter sound in a cable. I don’t try to tease all those things apart. At $99, it doesn’t really matter, either (since a BTG Sunrise cable configured with a Viablue plug and no sleeving is at $93, making the two very similar in price).
I found the Exo copper cable from plusSound Audio to be great in terms of build quality, ergonomics, and price. I’m a bit of a stickler for aesthetics, so I did feel that the Exo had a little bit to work on in the heat shrink department, but I’m sure plusSound has been making improvements. The paramount advantage to plusSound is that it is truly a one-stop shop for anyone’s cabling needs. plusSound headquarters may be a ways off from Melrose Avenue and Rodeo Drive, but it makes them no less of a made-to-order, specialty shop when it comes to audio.
[Original Review is posted from: http://cymbacavum.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/plussound-audio-exo-cable-hollywood-boutique/]
Pros - Great Looking, Clear Sound
I recently purchased an Exo Series cable from Plussound for my HD650s. I chose the silver/gold 26/50 wire and a Rhodium straight 1/8" plug. Now that the cable has burned in, I can hear a definite increase in detail and clarity compared to the stock cable. It matches up very well with the Sennheiser's and helps bring them a bit more alive. No more Sennheiser veil, at least to my ears. I like the sound of my HD650s with this cable better than the sound of the much more expensive Beyerdynamic T1s I am trying out. So this aftermarket cable will actually end up saving me a lot of money!
In addition, I found Christian at Plussound to be incredibly patient, helpful and flexible before and after the sale. It is a treat to find a company that offers such great customer service.
Pros - Value, performance
plusSound Exo Series Custom IEM Cable Review
I would like to thank plusSoundAudio for providing me a loaner of the cable for this review. I would also like to thank you, the readers, for taking the time to read this review.
I received the cables in a fairly secured package, sealed in a zip-lock bag, wrapped with the invoice, another wrap of brown paper, and, finally, the USPS box.
BUILD & ERGONOMICS
The Exo Series line is the “budget” line of plusSound, aggressively priced at $84.99. However, do not let the low price fool you – the build and sound is really good, and I suppose that plusSound treats all of their cable lines equally.
The Exo Series cable is made up of 4-wire braids insulated with a polyethylene material. plusSound offers multiple choices in their wires – copper, silver-plated copper, and silver + 1% gold as stranded wires, and copper, silver, silver-plated copper, and gold-plated copper as solid (single-core) wires. plusSound also offers a wide range of options for connector styles – UE, Shure, Westone/Aurisonics, Sennheiser, and many more.
The cable is surprisingly well-built for the price. A little stiffer than stock cables, but that is expected, due to the thickness of the cable. The cable has a reassuring solid look and feel. Comfort is good, but it makes its presence felt. However, it’s not really intruding.
Cable debunkers may say that aftermarket cables make no difference in sound at all, and cable fans may say that aftermarket cables improve the sound dramatically. These two conflicting sides makes it all more confusing, especially for beginners. However, the reality lies somewhere in between. Cables make a difference in sound. Not too large to call it a “necessity”, but just enough to improve what is there, and small enough to be considered as a luxury.
My setup consists of an iPhone 4, with a Matrix Mini-Portable headphone amplifier connected through a FiiO L9 LOD, and the Aurisonics ASG-1 revision 2 with the Silver+1% Gold plusSound Exo Series Cable. My commonly played genres is Classical, Math Rock, Pop Rock, Soul, and Electronic. I did not do a blind A-B test, since that was somewhat impossible in theory, due to the differences in comfort by both cables.
The sound improvements brought by the cables overall made the ASG-1.2 smoother and more enjoyable. The treble is smoother and more present. The mids are less congested, and are clearer. The bass is tighter. The soundstage slightly improves. Music flows through with less effort.
For those who want to try aftermarket cables on a lower budget, plusSound is the way to go. The small improvements are worth it, for me. Aside from the good sound, the build quality is good as well, and the customer service is great. Should something go wrong, never hesitate to contact them!
All plusSound Cables come with a 1-year warranty.