Beat Audio Premium Upgrade IEM Cables Head-Fi Tour - Starting November 2017

  1. seamon
    I live in the Lafayette Area, Indiana and would like to participate in the tour.
    I agree to follow the terms of the tour.
     
    doctorjazz likes this.
  2. SilverEars
    I live in Boston, MA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour.
     
  3. SilverEars
    What type of driver side terminations are these? Are there MMCX connector type cables in the tour?
     
  4. Barra
    We opted to stick with the more common 2 pin so we could provide a wider assortment of cable types verses few types more terminations. So no MMCX in this tour. They are all terminated balanced AK2.5 with adaptors for 4.4mm and 3.5mm so we can do SE or balanced sony/AK. It should be real fun.
     
    SilverEars likes this.
  5. ericr
    Barra is da man!

    I live in Issaquah, WA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour.

    Thanks!
     
  6. eldss
    @Barra, I live in Omaha, NE, agree to the tour terms and would like to participate. Thanks again for another tour!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  7. Barra
    Tour Update - Added Pictures
    I have now received the kit and am starting my impressions. Pictures have been added to the first post and here. We shall be closing logistic friendly signups soon and beginning within a week or so.

    IMG_3994.JPG IMG_3995.JPG IMG_3996.JPG IMG_3997.JPG IMG_3998.JPG IMG_3999.JPG IMG_4001.JPG IMG_4002.JPG IMG_4003.JPG
     
    muffin9988 likes this.
  8. Barra
    Testing Discussion
    Wanted to open a discussion on testing procedures given the difficulty of ABing cables directly. Please feel free to add to the discussion to help us define good options. Below is some insight into my learning curve to may help start our discussions or maybe help others with a starting point.

    My Testing Journey:
    In comparing components in a sound chain, my goal is to be able to switch between two equal volume matched setups quickly with one item different so that I can quickly hear any differences. For example, comparing two CIEMs, I can use my Hugo2 with two headphone outs to play the same music and minimize my time switching back and forth to hear differences. This is harder with an IEM cable given that the pins have to be pulled from one IEM and inserted into another in the correct orientation/polarity. This means that there is an excessive time between AB comparisons. Because cable signatures are more subtle than HPs, this can be a problem.

    My Solution: The only solutions that I could come up with were imperfect but can be a starting point for discussions and suggestions.
    1. Long-Term Listening: Listening to my A18 with the Prima Donna 8 wire, it was easy to tell that it would be painful going back to the stock cable. The A18 stock cable is good, but the Prima Donna is simply better in looks, ergonomics, and the SQ feels more refined while hard to define without quick AB capabilities. However, I will provide feedback on the long-term listing as it is still relevant.
    2. One Ear Each: The only quick AB scenario that I could come up with was to add one cable to the right module and another to the left allowing me to quickly switch the plug or even listen to the two at the same time with the Hugo2. This turned out to be the most viable AB scenario and the only one that made sense to me. The downside is that my hearing is different in my left vs. right ear that can skew the results. However, this did make it easier to hear the subtle differences.
    Does anyone have any better suggestions?
     
  9. Barra
    Limited Initial Impressions
    Having tried all the cables in the tour kit, I have come up with some general impressions on cables as well as impressions on how the cables in this tour line up.

    General Cable Impressions:
    • Subtle can be Big: Granted, the cable upgrades provide this last few percentage points in performance and thus are subtle at best and the changes can be masked by bottlenecks downstream - so is it worth it? My answer is a resounding YES! Economics and a rich look may be enough to justify the cost. Then assuming that the upstream bottlenecks are gone, that subtle improvement can be enough to double or triple your enjoyment. There are times I skip listening to my CIEMs due to ergonomics - don't feel like untieing that knot once again - or chose a lesser cable for ergonomic convenience. The subtle enhancement from the Prima Donna 8-wire was enough that it made me want to spend time relistening through my library once again with greater pleasure than before.
    • Size Matters 4 vs. 8: The 8 wire options in the kit provide more material for the signal to travel so it seems as I am hearing consistent improvements in both 8 wire options. Both seem to be bigger imaging moving closer to the stage for more intimate details. It is almost like the smaller cables are looking through a keyhole while the bigger wires are more true to life.
    • Copper Differs: Copper is always different to me making it hard to generalize. Copper is always supposed to be darker which is not always the case. Improved dynamics happen in silver too so I cannot generalize there. The only thing that seems consistent to me in copper vs. silver is that copper seems to be bass forward with silver being treble forward. You hear both in both, but subtly there is a positioning difference. Some copper has great clarity but the treble is still in the background comparatively.
    Tour Kit: Please note that all these are beautiful and rich sounding comparatively to the stock cables I have seen. However, to be compared, I have to be a little picky to contrast the performance. I would love to own any of these. These are in order of my preference with a tie for second place:
    1. Prima Donna 8 Wire: Most beautiful of the bunch, most ergonomically pleasing, and richest sound - no surprise here. The ergonomics is the biggest area that jumps out as it feels soooooo good compared to the cables I have used before. The cable memory is gone given the weave, the weight is reduced, and the lack of tangle due to its girth is wonderful. It feels like it would last a lifetime with proper care. The treble feels detailed but smooth with both PD8 and PD4.
    2. Prima Donna 4 Wire: Stepping down to 4 wire, the ergonomics was still wonderful, but some of the girth was removed so it is easier to tangle. The signature is still lush, but it feels like I am watching the performance from further back and the soundstage is deeper losing width. Almost prefer the 8 wire supernova for that width and intimacy, but they tie due to the choice.
      Supernova MKII 8 Wire: The supernova feels more etched vs. the natural sounding prima donnas. However, the 8 wire adds width and intimacy to the signature that matches the lush in the PD4 giving them a tie. I am inclined to accept the more etched supernova in exchange for the bigger SQ feel, as the 4 wire sound too far away in direct comparison. This wire was by far the stiffest and least ergonomic of the bunch, but the weave eliminates much of the cable memory and is not going to tangle which is my biggest cable complaint. This bold cable again feels like it will last a lifetime with proper care.
    3. Thor: I was expecting to like the Thor more with the copper pairing with my A18, but it was outclassed by the three that I put above it. As mentioned earlier, the treble was pushed back slightly in comparison and I found myself preferring the treble forward. This is a great sounding cable on its own, but the PD8 is a hard act to follow behind. This is a stiff cable comparible to the Supernova 4 wire with cable memory showing looping when held up. However, it is unlikely to have tangle issues.
    4. Supernova MKII 4 Wire: This was my least favorite of the bunch after being compared directly. As you can gather from my earlier mentions, it was the most etched and sits further back from the stage in comparison. But please keep in mind that it is a clear winner over any stock cable. Ergonomically, this is the second most stiff cable so it is not likely to tangle, but definitely has cable memory showing loops when held up.
    Again, please note that these are initial impressions and I claim the right to adjust them with further listening. Most of my cable time has been spent with my A18 paired with the Prima Donna 8 wire with some time with the Thor. However, most of my direct comparisons were made using the Lime Ears Ether. The A18 is a more transparent CIEM allowing me to hear the subtleties of the cable, but the effects on the warmer Ether was more apparent. While there was a noticeable improvement going from the A18 stock cable to the tour lineup, the Ether improvements were more pronounced moving from its stock cable. The Ether came alive scaling up considerably in performance. The Ether stock projected a smaller more distant environment that felt like a band of midgets compared to the full sized feeling when paired with the upgrade cables. Wow, what a difference - Ether owners, please check out cable upgrade options as it is being bottlenecked by its stock cable. A final note is that while I have the AK100ii, Calyx M, and the Sony WM1A, I primarily used the Hugo2 as it is just far superior in performance.
     
  10. Barra
    We now have the complete set and will be starting the tour soon. I believe that we still need the contact info from a few participants so I will be PM that group this weekend.
     
  11. doctorjazz
    Sounds like the tours are full, but if there is still room,, I'd like to participate, and agree to follow the rules.
     
  12. Barra
    You are in, welcome.
     
  13. Barra
    Tour Starting Now!
    Wow, after spending a couple weeks with these beauties, I am not looking forward to losing them. Having the CA Harmony 8.2, LimeEars Aether, Hidition NT6pro, and 64 Audio A18 all on hand, I can tell you that they all benefit from the upgraded cables. The most pronounced increase in SQ was the already stellar Aethers which took off to a whole other level. Beyond the SQ increase, the ergonomics were wonderful, especially the Prima Donna 8 wire that was so wonderful to look at and no tangles ever with a very flexible flowy design.

    As much as it pains me, I will be shipping off to @hattrick15 tomorrow to kick off this tour.

    Shipping Rules Recap: Please remember, no shipping to PO boxes, physical addresses only with signature required. Each participant will be responsible for grabbing full contact info from the next participant that they are shipping out to including - name/address/phone number - so we can contact that person if needed.

    Have fun!!! - Bill
     
  14. San Man
    Bill,
    If at all possible, can I be put at the end of the tour, close to it? I'm trying to order some new IEMs and would like to test them then (if I can even get the new ones by then) rather than now.

    If that's too much of an inconvenience to everyone then you can opt me out.

    Thanks
     
  15. Barra
    Sure, no problem - moving you now.
     

Share This Page