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Chord Electronics - Blu Mk. 2 - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ChordElectronics, Jan 5, 2017.
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  1. ecwl
    So my Nordost Heimdall 2 Power Cord & 1m BNC cables finally arrived. I was using an old Shunyata Venom and the stock BNC cables previously. I honestly was not expecting much improvements to sound, if any at all. For me, it's a completely obsessive-compulsive thing where I just want all the audio cables to be Nordost. Since I'm not going to waste time A/B testing, I don't know whether it's the BNC cables or power cord that made the difference. I'd say for the amount of money spent, for most people, they're better off getting a Hugo 2 if they don't already have a portable DAC/amp. I'd say the sound is slightly better with the Nordost cables. The vocals and sonorous instruments sound smoother. The background is just a little darker/more silent. The soundstage and instruments are just slightly more 3-dimensional. And the micro- and macrodynamics are also slightly better.
    The sonic improvement really sounds more like what I got when I changed my power cords to Nordost or when I switch to Uptone LPS-1 to power my video sound source or me switching to the the Nordost power bar. So my guess is that it's more the power cord than the BNC cables that made the difference? Not sure.
    I think unless you're really obsessive compulsive or you're just really into cables and tweaking sound that way, I'd probably not spend a lot of money or time on different cables. But then maybe I'm lying to myself. All audiophiles tweak cables and are obsessive compulsive?
  2. GryphonGuy
    Power cables make the biggest difference to my ears. Some pleasant and others not so pleasant.

    Top of the range Shunyata (Sigma and less so Alpha) cables are mind-blowingly good in my system in my house especially when mated with the Shunyata Denali power system.

    As always YMMV
  3. marcmccalmont
    OK so it seems that the USB cable to Blu2 is minor and the bnc cables between Blu2/Dave and power cables are significant.
    My plan is to use my Cardas clear USB I won't upgrade, I've ordered the improved version of Pangea ac 14 se II power cords mine are 6 years old and the older ac 14's been meaning to do this for the last year anyway and they are cheap $50 on Amazon. I will make 3 lengths 1, 1.5 2m of rg179 bnc coax to see if length makes a difference between blu2 and Dave 1.5m should be optimum. Once a length is determined I'll make a semi rigid pair as my final coax. I run my HD 800's balanced to a modified Spectral pre amp (Kimber home made cable) so I'll make a balanced to single ended adapter to see which I like better straight from Dave or through the spectral (.5 amp drive capability 1 ohm output impedance) I'll run Dave directly to my Spectral amps that's one less Spectral preamp! Although I'll need to keep it for my future analog frontend
    oscarnr likes this.
  4. Triode User
    I'm not quite sure where the idea came from that the bnc cables from Blu2 to dave make a significant change. Is that what you personally have found?
  5. marcmccalmont
    I don't have the Blu2 or Dave yet (next week) that's why I'm seaking advice but I have always heard a difference between other transports and DAC's always ending up with semi rigid bnc coax spdif as my prefered interface
  6. Triode User
    Well you are not spending mega bucks and are going to do what I think is sensible which is to make some different lengths up of bnc and see what you think yourself. Likewise with the power cables, I personally just use the supplied cheap cables and get sublime music but the ones you are suggesting are not silly money if you want to go in that direction. I am currently playing with speaker cables and am getting very significant sound improvements. By playing I mean making cables up myself and not spending more than say £5 per m on the actual cable.

    It will be great hearing what you think about your cables compared to stock ones and the differing ones you are making up.
  7. marcmccalmont
    Are you using tube or solid state power amps I'm in the Spectral camp myself and have found Kimber 8tc to work well it is bandwidth limiting (350 kHz) so it keeps the spectrals stable works well on other power amps too. you might give it a try making your own saves big $$$$
    Many people question the wide bandwidth spectral design dismissing it as noncence but the philosophy is with an ultra wide bandwidth the feedback happens so fast the feedback artifacts are inaudible My ears happen to agree
  8. Triode User
    I use tube power amps. In my tests I have found THE most important aspect of speaker cables to be the cross section area along with length. I have moved kit around and now use 1.3m speaker cables with doubled up van damme 6mm2 hi fi series to give 12mm2. I am currently also listening to some 16mm2 cables that are promising.
  9. marcmccalmont
    Yes I'd expect the more copper the lower the dc resistance tube amps being current limited, that should improve things, I would stay away from pvc insulation preferring polyethylene or teflon. Not a tube expert but a fairly low characteristic impedance should help too and I agree the shorter the better look for some used 8tc on ebay and try a short length of that. I think you'll be happy!
  10. Triode User
    Thanks, I have just looked on the bay and there are several 8tc used cables for sale but I use tri wiring to my speakers and the 8tc would get expensive even with used cables. Anyway, I am pretty happy with where I have got to with speaker cables and the 16mm2 experiment is more to see if there is a diminishing returns effect with regard to thickness.

    One aspect of the thicker cables is that there is far less of the conductor in contact with the insulation so I think that material is less important.

    By the way, not all tube amps are current limited.
  11. marcmccalmont
    The thinner the insulation the lower the characteristic impedance a good thing the thinner the insulation the more prone it is to cold flow so dielectric material becomes important Kimber has a smaller 4tc if you are tri wiring I use 8tc to my external crossovers and 4tc from the crossover to the 3 drivers. any 10 gauge or better twisted pair with polyethylene insulation should be good but the Kimber weave does reject noise better
  12. onsionsi
    As you have already LPS-1, i advise you to try IsoRegen from UpTone Audio as it costs 325$ which IMHO it is mandatory tweak despite Dave is immune to USB cable and it is well galvanized but what i got from IsoRegen is other worldly.

    You can find a lot of appreciation from audiophiles in CA forum to IsoRegen.

    There are other tweaks from SoTM but it will cost an additional thousand dollars.

    AFAIK from @Rob Watts, he didn't recommend an external clock but may be he has another opinion for these tweaks, i don't know but this is what i got and indeed i like it.
  13. Triode User
    10 gauge is only 5mm2 and from my own tests I have found that to bettered by thicker cable even when tri wiring. That is why I use 12mm2 for each conductor. I have tried single wires to the speakers and then with jumpers but the sound deteriorates to my ears. Whatever wire I use for the cables to the speakers I often go into the speakers and rewire with the same wire as often there is a good meter of cable inside the speakers.

    All good fun.
  14. oscarnr
    I add one more. You could try the new Phasure Lush USB cable. I have been living with a Tellurium Q Black Diamond for 4 years (very happy with it, it made me give up looking for USB cables) and also tried in the past the ubiquitous Curious cable, audioquest, wireworld, etc cables. Always I preferred the TellQ to others. Nowadays there is a lot of "buzz" with this new Lush cable. It is not inexpensive but is cheaper than a lot of competition. I received one 1.5m Lysh cable 3 days ago. Wow! I have the best sound ever in my system now. Very dynamic, solid and layered sound, with lots of air and detail, maintaining all the coherence and life the blu gives to my system. Worth trying IMHO.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  15. marcmccalmont
    And that is why when I was manufacturing speakers ( MACH 1Acoustics, between flying jobs) I had speaker wire custom made for my internal wiring 10 gauge twisted pair hi purity copper polyethylene insulation double the runs to the woofer and midrange ( more current goes to the midrange than the woofer!)
    Triode User likes this.
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