Aliexpress Cables
Dec 19, 2023 at 8:44 AM Post #3,992 of 4,312
Dec 27, 2023 at 6:06 AM Post #3,993 of 4,312
Oh, I'm going to cover my own ground boxes with some faraday fabric. Thanks to your information (negative result), I will put that intention aside.

In this post you can see how I wrapped a few of my ground boxes with mesh faraday fabric, but I must also repeat that this fabric was MUCH preferred tacked on the wall around my entire hi-fi system. My results with it on ground boxes matches @cdacosta who has had only negative results no matter what type of conductive shielding he used in/outside of his ground boxes, usually just added brightness. Of course YMMV and it could be different without ESD mats under the boxes like I have.

For me the mesh faraday fabric sheets on the wall (especially 3 sides) were a total game changer, to the point I'm questioning whether this upgrade alone (for $16) was better than the sum of 5 ground boxes; more likely the combination of both is what upped the game so much... to the point it sounds as if I've upgraded to a whole new DAC!
Are you still using the faraday fabric on the walls behind/beside your equipment racks? Yes, it does have quite an impact. I just tried hanging a folded sheet on the side of my rack with the regenerator and Dac LPS and it seems to make a big impact on dynamics and a deeper sound stage. Before i fix it on the walls could you please suggest how much of the wall needs covering. Should it be folded to make a double sheet or will a single sheet be better. Also should one sheet be placed on the floor under the rack?
thanks for your help.
 
Dec 27, 2023 at 9:01 PM Post #3,994 of 4,312
Are you still using the faraday fabric on the walls behind/beside your equipment racks? Yes, it does have quite an impact. I just tried hanging a folded sheet on the side of my rack with the regenerator and Dac LPS and it seems to make a big impact on dynamics and a deeper sound stage. Before i fix it on the walls could you please suggest how much of the wall needs covering. Should it be folded to make a double sheet or will a single sheet be better. Also should one sheet be placed on the floor under the rack?
thanks for your help.
Unfortunately, its application specific. The only way to know is trial and error.

Using too much or applying in sensitive areas sometimes results in a negative effect. And sometimes, its not immediately noticeable.

Where I applied some of the faraday tape, the positives outweighed the negatives but after I removed it, I noticed sometimes it compresses the stage or reduces bass while reducing noise.
 
Jan 1, 2024 at 11:15 PM Post #3,995 of 4,312
Are you still using the faraday fabric on the walls behind/beside your equipment racks? Yes, it does have quite an impact. I just tried hanging a folded sheet on the side of my rack with the regenerator and Dac LPS and it seems to make a big impact on dynamics and a deeper sound stage. Before i fix it on the walls could you please suggest how much of the wall needs covering. Should it be folded to make a double sheet or will a single sheet be better. Also should one sheet be placed on the floor under the rack?
thanks for your help.
I'm thrilled someone else finally gave this a try! Once I've applied said mesh faraday shielding on the (lower) walls around my system, I knew something was very right, and never looked back! Interesting, I hadn't considered double layer shielding nor on the floor. My hunch however was that a mesh / woven shielding would not be overdoing it vs. something the likes of solid silver faraday tape which can have a tendency to make things sound a bit aggressive if over-used. I may someday try double layers after upgrading my main components, but something tells me that's not necessary.

In terms of plalcing it under components, I'm already extraordinarily pleased with the effect of ESD mats below most of my components just like linked above (one for each device, depending on which ones it sounds good with). Let me know how the result is for you though.

It's great to have affirmation that someone else noticed the same improvements as well! (improved dynamics, deeper soundstage) and perhaps better detail without adding / removing from the frequency response. Which source did you use for the mesh shielding? Here I posted another recent impression of the effect:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/diy-ground-box-thread.968372/post-17839006
 
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Jan 4, 2024 at 11:48 PM Post #3,996 of 4,312
Has anyone tried the new AQ Thunderbird or Firebird HDMI cables that have popped up on Ali recently?
 
Jan 5, 2024 at 9:17 AM Post #3,997 of 4,312
Has anyone tried the new AQ Thunderbird or Firebird HDMI cables that have popped up on Ali recently?
Haven't seen those before, just the vodka knockoff.

Do you have a link?
 
Jan 5, 2024 at 9:29 AM Post #3,998 of 4,312
Haven't seen those before, just the vodka knockoff.

Do you have a link?
If you search for "Thunderbird HDMI" or "Firebird HDMI" you'll see them from a few different sellers
 
Jan 5, 2024 at 9:33 AM Post #3,999 of 4,312
If you search for "Thunderbird HDMI" or "Firebird HDMI" you'll see them from a few different sellers
Interesting.

I haven't heard anything about it but a friend did tell me that the cheaper vodka knockoff outperformed the real aq carbon hdmi cable.
 
Jan 6, 2024 at 10:49 PM Post #4,001 of 4,312
I've seen a few Firebird cables back in the day and they were below the AQ Dragon clones ... Go for the Dragon, IMHO ...
Agreed, but I haven't seen Dragon HDMI clones. The highest was Vodka until recently, and then Thunderbird and Firebird popped up in the last month. Dragon is definitely the move for power/speaker though I'd imagine
 
Jan 6, 2024 at 10:53 PM Post #4,002 of 4,312
Didnt know that aliexpress has audioquest knockoffs. Are those comparable to the audioquest products?
 
Jan 6, 2024 at 10:56 PM Post #4,003 of 4,312
Jan 9, 2024 at 2:26 AM Post #4,005 of 4,312
A few recent major upgrades

:heavy_check_mark: upgraded to handcrafted RCA coax cable from Darren of Arctand.com in Singapore
:heavy_check_mark: upgraded to handcrafted DC cable from Darren of Arctand in Singapore
:heavy_check_mark: implemented @cdacosta 's idea of replacing BNC connectors with zip-tie for direct contact with my ground box cables (on the only 4 connection points in my system that either weren't already directly connected or using the nice solderless Furutech clone RCA connectors)
:heavy_check_mark: implemented @cdacosta 's idea of using small Rochelle salt bags parallel along the ground box cables (component side)
:heavy_check_mark: implemented @cdacosta 's idea of using small Rochelle salt bags inside components (used 3 small bags in various spots in my Schiit Wyrd USB enhancer device and 3 more in my Kenwood Integrated stereo amplifier)

The biggest difference was from Darren's DC cable. This brought about much improved dynamic handling, detail and with further extended bass and great soundstage. This is actually my 4th DC cable from him and each time I noticed unwavering sonic perfection, solid in every aspect from FR to weight, delicacy, purity of tone, you name it. Unfortunately with the culmination of so many upgrades I was also hearing more treble detail, being taken so much closer to the truth of the recording. Finally just hours ago I went ahead with a few small bags of Rochelle salt inside my Wyrd USB 'decrapifier', on capacitors, tiny bag directly on the PCB board and another on the input power section. This was the magic bullet for me!!! Now songs that were too harsh are suddenly delectable - luscious, delicious with immense detail, soundstage, impressive PRaT and bass quality, very lifelike realism, and just as detailed as before but without harshness! Massive sonic advance in all! I do want to remind a lot of the improvement is also thanks to the LHY OCK-2 external clock with thick BNC cable as well.

The RCA coax cable from Darren replaced a highly tweaked Odin 2 silver digital RCA coax cable from Aliexpress (I added 2 ferrite chokes, spiral-wrapped copper-foil shielding and replaced the connectors with solderless Furutech clone RCA connectors from Aliexpress). I actually still have yet to do another A-B comparison but Darren't cable is certainly supreme, and it's even the cheapest of his 3 versions, at around the same price as the Odin 2 from Aliexpress. The DC cable actually replaced another of Darren's DC cables of the same type, but I had this one made with different connectors in order to avoid 2 extra adapters in the former - this improved things in every area of sound. At least the 2nd biggest improvement came from CDA's suggestion on the ground box thread for a direct connection to spare BNC ports of a ground box cable with the bare wire on the outside of the connector secured with plastic cheap zip-ties rather than the crimp method low quality conductor BNC connectors I found on eBay. Those FWIW made an impressive difference back in the day, but this was a whole new level of realism and downright fidelity! The small Rochelle salt bags also mentioned by CDA on the ground box thread made a more subtle difference in my solid state amp, but a better improvement in my USB purifier device, actually darkening things up a bit to make it overall more linear again. Highly recommended to try all of these!
 
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