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STE Audio Cable - Quad AMP & AGP

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Zelda
    STE Audio Cable - AMP Quad & AGP Quad
    Written by Zelda
    Published Nov 4, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality; Price
    Cons - A bit heavy and thick
    STE Audio Cable - 7N AMP Quad & 7N AGP Quad

    ste 2-3.jpg

    Website (on Facebook) - STE Audio Cable

    Specifications

    7N AMP Quad
    • Material: 7N OFC Copper (8 Wire) & 7N OFC Silver Plated (8 Wire)
    • Cable: Double Shielding STR Cable, 16 cable conductors
    • Phone Plug: 3.5mm, 2.5mm TRRS & 4.4mm TRRRS
    • Earphone Plug: MMCX / CM (2-Pin) / A2DC

    Price
    : U$D $65.


    7N AGP Quad
    • Material: 7N OFC Silver Plated
    • Cable: Double Shielding STR Cable, 16 cable conductors
    • Phone Plug: 3.5mm, 2.5mm TRRS & 4.4mm TRRRS
    • Earphone Plug: MMCX / CM (2-Pin) / A2DC

    Price: U$D 75.

    Available from the STE Audio Facebook online shop

    I've recently posted some impressions on the budget entry cable options from STE Audio, ACP Lite (Copper) and AGP Slite (SPC), and found them both good replacement cables options for the $20~25 price, with a solid build quality while keeping a compact and comfortable design.

    These two here are what I really wanted to try from their products line, the AMP and ACP in the Quad wire option, and this time in 2.5mm balanced mode. Like the Slite, the AGP has also the same silver-plated wire type with 4 times the amount of strands, while the AMP is a mixed wire cable, or 'hybrid', of copper and silver-plated copper material.

    The cable arrives in a very compact and simple yet nice small cardboard box with some Greek writings on it (for whatever reason) at the cover and all the credits at the back. Inside, a plastic bag with the cable itself securely arrange over a foam pad.

    ste 2-2.jpg

    Build quality is excellent at this price point. Both cables consist of three separated thick strands at the lower part and then divide in pairs of two strands for each channel. The inner wiring is a bit different than usual, and actually had to confirm with a STE representative for more specific details (and still unsure how it is really made). The mixed cable AMP, at the lower half has two strands of copper wire which consist of 4 wires each, while the single silver plated strand has 8 wires; this is made using a slim wire for the silver plated. However, on the upper half the number of strands is equal, apparently using slim wire for the copper side too. I still find this a bit confusing, even more when looking at the all silver-plated cable AGP. Anyway, it is not something I'd really care about, at least not at this price, as the cables are very well made and carefully covered by extra plastic layers at the plug, split and MMCX connectors' sides.

    The plug this time is terminated in a 2.5mm TRRS balanced type, well assembled in a metal cover. Y-split too looks both sturdy and nice with the carbon fiber texture, though a bit large and heavy. Despite the slim wire material inside, the outer jacket is rather thick, adding some extra weight, and a also bit rubbery not letting the slider run smoothly enough up to the MMCX connector end. The MMCX plugs are the standard type (also available in 2-pin or AD2C options), but the connection is strong enough and didn't rotate freely.

    ste 2-1.jpg

    Sound

    As for what sound matters, I've tried both cables with same IEMs as with the previous Lite/Slite, including some of my favorite models like the iBasso IT04, Dunu Falcon-C and DK-3001, but also the IT01, Advanced GT3 and Lear Kaleido. Also, being these cable terminated in a balanced 2.5mm plug, most of the listening was from the Aune M1s player as it still has one of the best balanced implementations.

    Not too surprising, they both follow a similar tonality as their budget options but with better balance and improvements on the stage and space of the sound presentation. Changes or differences are not major, yet not difficult to discern between each other or over stock IEM cables.

    The AMP with a mixed copper and spc wire gives a richer tonality which is more perceived through the midrange, with some better and sweeter vocal texture, if just a bit of extra energy towards the upper mid region. A bit lighter on the lower mids, and mainly on the bass response with thinner body and softer impact. The AGP with whole SPC wire has bit a fuller response that starts on the bass, mid-bass and lower midrange, and then goes smoother towards the upper midrange with a bit more laid-back female vocals and upper instruments presentation. They're both very similar in treble and extension, but if have to be picky, then the AMP adds a tiny bit more sparkle, whereas the AGP goes flatter.

    Using both cables on the 2.5mm plug with Aune M1s, and briefly with the new iBasso DX120, the soundstage is more expansive, spacious and overall sound is more effortless, with a cleaner background; a credit for the player of course, but the cable make good use of it.