Effect Audio cables thread
May 18, 2022 at 10:31 AM Post #5,851 of 6,294

Wyville

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I have now had a bit more time with the prototype cables and wanted to share some impressions so far.

It is funny how much I have enjoyed playing around with these prototypes. I have used a lot of high-end and TOTL cables, most recently of course I had the opportunity to borrow @EffectAudio’s very own Chiron (Thanks Nic! It was awesome!), and yet these prototypes do something special for me. I had a think about it and concluded that it must be that these bring me back to where this hobby started for me. Let me explain.

It started when I bought my first CIEMs. Those came with the ubiquitous plastic stock cable with memory wire and I hated it with a passion. That cable literally hurt my ears to the point where I would bend the memory wire straight up in a desperate effort to avoid them touching my ears. It needed to be replaced asap and what do you know… I was offered the opportunity to replace it with an Effect Audio prototype cable. That cable eventually became EA’s ‘Origin’ cable and I used the prototype until it broke, had it repaired by a friend and used it again until it broke. After that I moved on to Effect Audio’s iconic Ares II, which I bought as soon as I was able to get it in the UK (where I was living at the time). It was in fact the very first sold through EA’s UK distributor. I ended up with several Ares II, one balanced, one SE and one 8-wire, and it was always the first cable I would recommend people look at when searching for a premium aftermarket cable.

So now when trying these prototype cables, they remind me of that old prototype I started out with and the iconic nature of Effect Audio’s premium cables such as Ares II and Eros II. I am jumping to conclusions here a bit because I don’t really know the price point, but I suspect that prototypes 37 and 38 are spiritual successors to those cables.

Why did I reach that conclusion? First of all, prototype 38 feels in every way like an improved Ares II. I feel it is more balanced and more refined than Ares II, yet feels like it has the same qualities that made Ares II such a versatile cable. The 38 has an organic feel with a slight touch of warmth and a lovely bit of sparkle, while maintaining excellent clarity and airiness. I used the 38 with my Empire Ears Phantom, which came stock with Ares II, and it is a wonderful pairing. The 38 maintains everything I love about the Phantom, yet improves upon this with a larger stage, better clarity and a bit more air. There is still something enveloping about the Phantom/38 pairing and it gives a sense of intimacy with vocals quite close.

By comparison I found that the 37 feels slightly cooler with a touch leaner note size. The bass is tighter and seems to extend deeper, giving an articulate kick while leaving the midrange free to open up a bit more. Vocals sound less intimate, but there is at the same time something seductive about them. I honestly don’t know yet which I prefer, but I love both with my Phantom. However, I found that the 37 paired exceptionally well with the 64 Audio U18s (Apex = Mx). The 38 has a bit of sparkle and paired with the U18s you get a tiny hint of bite in the treble. Nothing offensive mind, but when switching to the 37 I found that while it is cooler compared to the 38 and has a bigger stage, more air and feels more revealing, the treble is superbly smooth. The 37 with the U18s results is such a high performing, yet utterly fatigue free pairing, that it has become my favourite for listening to at the moment. I suspect that only a cable as smooth as the Chiron could tempt me away from this pairing.

In all, I am very impressed with the prototypes 37 and 38. They offer excellent performance and their build quality is (as always) outstanding. I also love the ergonomics, despite both being a bit thicker than the Ares II, and the 37 a little thicker than the 38.

*All listening was done with the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch and Shanling M8.
 
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May 18, 2022 at 10:38 AM Post #5,852 of 6,294

Kerouac

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Last week I've done some cable / IEM swapping over here with the EA Prototypes #37 and #38. A big 'Thank You!' goes out to the folks at EA for sending me these cables in the first place. What a wonderful gesture => highly appreciated guys!

Before this I considered the Ares II (US$150) to be the almost perfect 'reference stock' cable. And it's not a coincidence that I ended up with keeping three (2x 4w + 1x 8w) of those over the past years. Although I mainly used one of those on my Warbler Prelude, I just couldn't get myself to sell the others, as they simply have such a great price vs quality ratio imo.

Now, when I saw the copper #38 I immediately wondered how that one would compare to the Ares II. So, logically I put it on the Prelude (which is my reference IEM with that cable) to check the differences between the two.

EA Proto 01.jpg


First of all I must say that imo the #38 looks better and feels sturdier. It's thicker than the Ares II, but still has great ergonomics and feels comfortable behind my ears. Regarding sound quality I also think that the #38 is a clear step up from the Ares II. It delivers more clarity and better definition (details) to my ears. But besides that, it also delivers a tighter and deeper (sub)bass. Which is a huge pré for the pretty bass shy Prelude. For me there's no doubt that this new combination is an obvious synergy upgrade compared to the old one. And therefore I've already decided that the #38 cable will stay on my Prelude from now on.

The differences between the silver looking #37 and copper #38 are also obvious. #37 has less emphasis on the (sub)lows and delivers more transparency and air around the instruments to my ears. It's brighter and details become easier noticeable compared to the warmer #38. But let's not forget that the warmer signature of the #38 might have better synergy with (overly) bright IEMs because of this.

At first I connected the silver looking (has anybody else noticed that beautiful soft pink glow on that one?) #37 to the EA Axiom. And although this sounded really good to my ears, I have to admit that I got a bit spoiled over the past few weeks by using the (US$ 588) EVO10 on that same IEM. Compared to that cable the synergy was just a slight downgrade (in details and soundstage) to my ears. But maybe it also has to do with (brain) burn-in with the EVO10 as I had the idea that that combination started to sound better and beter over time.

So, after some listening I decided to switch the #37 to my other hybrid IEM; the EarSonics Onyx. I mainly used that one with its (very thin and flexible) silver stock cable. The sound with the #37 resulted in an even more full bodied (without losing out on details) signature overall, and it also sounded more holographic (3D) than I was used to. So, another 'big win' synergy situation here...

EA Proto 02.jpg


Conclusion: the above picture shows the combinations that I will keep listening to over the upcomming period. Sometimes it's just plain fun to swap cables and listen to the experimental results. But to me these three combinations are probably hard to beat in the synergy department in the near future. Looking forward to many lovely listening hours ahead because of this :)

Edit: Sorry my good ol' name fellow head-fier @Wyville. I just noticed that you posted the above, while I was busy uploading my own impressions and pics. It seems that there's some kind of (Ares II) overlap here. I sincerly hope you don't mind (and sue me for copyrights) my friend :sweat_smile:
 
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May 18, 2022 at 10:45 AM Post #5,853 of 6,294

CrocodileDundee

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I have now had a bit more time with the prototype cables and wanted to share some impressions so far.

It is funny how much I have enjoyed playing around with these prototypes. I have used a lot of high-end and TOTL cables, most recently of course I had the opportunity to borrow @EffectAudio’s very own Chiron (Thanks Nic! It was awesome!), and yet these prototypes do something special for me. I had a think about it and concluded that it must be that these bring me back to where this hobby started for me. Let me explain.

It started when I bought my first CIEMs. Those came with the ubiquitous plastic stock cable with memory wire and I hated it with a passion. That cable literally hurt my ears to the point where I would bend the memory wire straight up in a desperate effort to avoid them touching my ears. It needed to be replaced asap and what do you know… I was offered the opportunity to replace it with an Effect Audio prototype cable. That cable eventually became EA’s ‘Origin’ cable and I used the prototype until it broke, had it repaired by a friend and used it again until it broke. After that I moved on to Effect Audio’s iconic Ares II, which I bought as soon as I was able to get it in the UK (where I was living at the time). It was in fact the very first sold through EA’s UK distributor. I ended up with several Ares II, one balanced, one SE and one 8-wire, and it was always the first cable I would recommend people look at when searching for a premium aftermarket cable.

So now when trying these prototype cables, they remind me of that old prototype I started out with and the iconic nature of Effect Audio’s premium cables such as Ares II and Eros II. I am jumping to conclusions here a bit because I don’t really know the price point, but I suspect that prototypes 37 and 38 are spiritual successors to those cables.

Why did I reach that conclusion? First of all, prototype 38 feels in every way like an improved Ares II. I feel it is more balanced and more refined than Ares II, yet feels like it has the same qualities that made Ares II such a versatile cable. The 38 has an organic feel with a slight touch of warmth and a lovely bit of sparkle, while maintaining excellent clarity and airiness. I used the 38 with my Empire Ears Phantom, which came stock with Ares II, and it is a wonderful pairing. The 38 maintains everything I love about the Phantom, yet improves upon this with a larger stage, better clarity and a bit more air. There is still something enveloping about the Phantom/38 pairing and it gives a sense of intimacy with vocals quite close.

By comparison I found that the 37 feels slightly cooler with a touch leaner note size. The bass is tighter and seems to extend deeper, giving an articulate kick while leaving the midrange free to open up a bit more. Vocals sound less intimate, but there is at the same time something seductive about them. I honestly don’t know yet which I prefer, but I love both with my Phantom. However, I found that the 37 paired exceptionally well with the 64 Audio U18s (Apex = Mx). The 38 has a bit of sparkle and paired with the U18s you get a tiny hint of bite in the treble. Nothing offensive mind, but when switching to the 37 I found that while it is cooler compared to the 38 and has a bigger stage, more air and feels more revealing, the treble is superbly smooth. The 37 with the U18s results is such a high performing, yet utterly fatigue free pairing, that it has become my favourite for listening to at the moment. I suspect that only a cable as smooth as the Chiron could tempt me away from this pairing.

In all, I am very impressed with the prototypes 37 and 38. They offer excellent performance and their build quality is (as always) outstanding. I also love the ergonomics, despite both being a bit thicker than the Ares II, and the 37 a little thicker than the 38.

*All listening was done with the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch and Shanling M8.
Right there with my impressions on A12t and someone else’s 18s as well.

Looks like if one wants to pair 64a 12t/18s. P37 is the one to get.

P38 for LX… if anyone around has LX and P38 please let me know your impressions.
 
May 19, 2022 at 2:45 PM Post #5,854 of 6,294

chemosapien

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I have been critically listening to the 37 and 38 prototypes for a few days after burning in at least 100 hours for each. I've listened to them using my phone Xperia pro-i or ibasso dx160 for the source both directly and in combination with my cayin ru6 and/or xduoo mt604 on both the dunu zen pro and fiio fa9. My most critical a/b testing was done with the dx160->mt604 setup. The song I like to use for very careful listening and the most scrutinizing a/b testing is 'bjork - hidden place' as it provides extreme detail while highlighting both bass and treble extension with delicate female vocals.

I've found that the prototype cables had pronounced pairing effects with the two different iems, which is likely due to one being a single dd,zen pro, while the other is all ba, fa9. Across both pairings, I noticed the 37(silver appearance) had more clarity, precision, speed and detail in the treble, while the 38(copper appearance) had more bass slam.

With the single dd zen pro, the 37 provided more forward vocals, while the 38 seemed recessed in this area.
With the all ba fa9, the 38 added quite a bit to the detail, extension and speed/slam of the bass, which seemed lacking in comparison on the 37.

Overall, both are excellent, competitive cables in the ~150 price range. The 37 provided performance broadly similar to the penon gs849(I already own), which I believe biased me towards the 38 if I had to choose one. Additionally, according to locals in my area(Phoenix, AZ, USA) the 38 screams 'god of war' so I have to give it the nod on looks too! This was very fun to participate in the Effect Audio development process, and I look forward to their future product releases.
 
May 19, 2022 at 8:02 PM Post #5,855 of 6,294

Deferenz

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P38 for LX… if anyone around has LX and P38 please let me know your impressions.
I have both LX and P38. I’m planning on doing some testing over the weekend and I’ll post up my thoughts soon after.
 
May 20, 2022 at 10:07 AM Post #5,857 of 6,294

Deferenz

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It’s time to test out P38 with 64 Audio Trio

206381A8-4033-43CC-81C6-7CC15C4A8CD6.jpeg
 
May 20, 2022 at 3:15 PM Post #5,858 of 6,294

Ace Bee

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So, I know I am perhaps the last one to post my impression here, whereas my cables were delivered last week, btu due to me not being present in the address, it wasn;t until the beginning of this week that I had them in my hand.

20220519_073718.jpg


P-38 and P-32. Today I will be talking about the P-32 only though.

P-32 (Grey): So here is my impression about Prototype-32, or, the Grey cable. I paired this cable with the bassiest iem in my roster - the IMR Elan. Now, why did I do it? Because only with this iem I had the option to use 3 types of cable: the stock OFC, the Nocturnal Audio Acrux (a pure silver cable) which I regularly use with Elan, and this Prototype-32. So how did it turn out?

Oh by the way, my source was L&P W2, high gain, balanced out, Tune 1, paired with my laptop, playing FLAC files through Foobar2000.

Well, P-32 is a strange one. The stock OFC cable of Elan acts as expected - giving the low end a boost and making it a fun iem. The Nocturnal Audio Acrux behaved as expected of a pure silver cable - cleans up the sound by making the midrange a bit leaner and giving the upper region a slight boost in energy. P-32 falls somewhat in between them. Compared to the Acrux, it adds a bit more body to the midrange and brings it slightly forward, attenuates the energy in the upper region very slightly, and also enhances the low end texture very very slightly. However, with the addition of a bit more body in the midrange, the airiness also takes a slight hit. Also, because the midrange comes slightly forward, the stage depth is reduced slightly.

Next, I move over to Shanling M7, medium gain, balanced out, playing FLAC files through Shanling APP.

Here, I am comparing the P-32 cable with the stock copper cable of IMR Elan, which is a fairly good one by its own merit. After doing back and forth for over an hour, this was my impression: The most notable effect P-32 has is on the low end, which it tightens up and enhances to produce a bit more texture and details in exchange for a slight amount of body, for the better. This cleans up the stage a bit. P-32 also brings the midrange a bit forward, and slightly enhances the stage width along with separation. The note becomes very slightly bigger and slightly more alive. Highs were mostly not affected in this case.
Well, out of curiosity, I paired the Acrux also, and here is the comparison result: P-32 seems to have slightly more body in Low End, while having comparable texture and details. Midrange is again a bit pushed forward while having slightly more body, slightly smoother compared to Acrux. Same goes for high range, the notes are slightly smoother and accentuated compared to Acrux. Acrux has a tiny bit more stage depth and P-32 has a tiny bit more width.

Overall, the P-32 is a really really nice cable. But there are 2 cons that I have a beef with:
  1. The thick 8 core really takes up space while coiled. While it isn’t so heavy despite being 8 core and fairly supple as well, the volume makes it really difficult to fit into a pocket carry case. Making it 4 core will make it an instant favourite of mine.
  2. The earhooks are really thick and stiff, very occasionally it pushes the iem out of my ears. If only the earhooks were removed, and the structure was kept the same braided instead of twisted near the 2 pin connectors, the cable would have been much more easy to wield.
Yes, I really liked the pairing of P-32 with Elan, and would have seriously considered making it a permanent pairing if not for the thickness and volume of it.

20220521_002918.jpg
 
May 20, 2022 at 6:05 PM Post #5,859 of 6,294

Tomm11

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I've been listening to the new Meze Advar (single DD) iem with the EA Prototype 37 and 38 cables. All listeing was done through 2 of my portables. Ibasso DX220 (Amp1 MKII) or A&K Kann Alpha.


Pairing the Effect Audio proto 37 cable with the Meze Advar, Subbass and midbass are strong with an open upper mid and treble range with details brought to the fore.

Proto 38 paired with Advar presents solid subbass and midbass with a hint of warming of the lower mids and a smoother, organic presentation of the upper mids and treble while retaining clarity. Details are very much present but they aren't brought as forward as they are with 37.

Steely Dan's Godwhacker, for example, has some chimes in the background that pan from right to left and back starting at around 0:05 into the track. These can clearly be heard with proto 38. But, with proto 37 the chimes announce themselves. Subtle "string noise" (fingers sliding across electric guitar strings) is present in the mix and can be heard with proto 38 but again, proto 37 brings more attention to it.

Detail and dynamics aren't at all buried by proto 38 but 37 often further highlights them. For example, With proto 38 the string rake (at approx. 4:13) in SRV's Tin Pan Alley is dynamic, as it should be. With 37 it's dynamic with a bit of extra pop. The subtle background hum from SRV's amplifier that can be heard during quieter passages is drawn attention to just a little more with cable 37.

Paired with Advar, I don't hear either cable as "bass heavy". Both cables are balanced within their own signatures. I perceive a little more slam with 37 when focusing on the low end. This balances with the cooler, more forward upper ranges. With cable 38, the bottom end slam isn't quite as prodigous but there is excellent balance with the smoother, more organic upper ranges. These are fairly subtle yet noticeable differences.

As far as imaging and staging (aside from width) ... I'd rather just proclaim that I lack the imagination to attribute meaningful perception of depth and height and meaningful imaging cues to sound that's being produced by a tiny "speaker" stuffed into each ear. With that, I'll just say that Advar can project decent stage width and it may project a hair wider when paired with cable 37.

With Advar, I think both cables pair well. There is, occasionally, a splashiness and unnatural timbre in the Advar treble (to my ear). While 38 does seem to take a little of the edge off of some of it, cable 37 doesn't accentuate it (compared to stock cable). I think that 37 would be the consensus pick with Advar. However, someone looking for a little bit smoother or more organic presentation may very well prefer cable 38.
 
May 20, 2022 at 6:23 PM Post #5,860 of 6,294

qboogie

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Anyone else having issues with their 2-pin Grandioso cable and one channel cutting out? I've had this happen to both my Grandioso black and the standard version too. I haven't owned any of their other cables so I'm just wondering how widespread it is. I take pretty good care of them, I'd say
 
May 21, 2022 at 1:53 PM Post #5,861 of 6,294

Deferenz

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Here are my impressions of the Effect Audio Prototype cable P38. I will be doing the same for the P37 a little later on.

First of all, I’d like to give a big thank you to Effect Audio @Suyang @EffectAudio @JordonEA for allowing me to play my own very small part in the upcoming launch of the new Signature Series range. I felt quite privileged when I was contacted and asked if I would like to spend a bit of time with two prototype cables, and in due course I was sent the P37 and P38.

I burnt both cables for 100 hours each. All listening was then done with: IEM > P38 > Hiby R8. The IEMs used here are: Trio, Legend X, PHoNIX and Traillii. My special caveat; I’m pretty rubbish at trying to describe sound and so I’ll just try to covey the basics of what I hear.

Prototype 38

Surely this has to be a straight up copper cable. It has that fullness and warmth that I like, and it is so easy to listen to with almost zero fatigue.

64 Audio Trio – This is a musical combination. It seems to keep the Trio’s spiky treble under control, which for me is a really good thing. The overall presentation is warm but there still seems like there is room for the mids to breath. Bass from the DD’s can hit hard, and sub bass quite deep, but it all seems to be within a defined area, as though all areas can only go so far in every direction. I’m not sure really how to describe that better. I actually like this though because it means I could use this while working. I could still have really nice sound, but the music would not break my concentration or my thinking while I work.

Legend X – Straight away the bass stands out with this pairing, I’m hearing more sub bass rumble and more punch from mid bass from tracks that have it. I am also noticing that the treble can go a lot higher on the LX than it did on the Trio. The mid-section is clear but still retains a hint of warmth. In fact, that warmth and fullness seems, at least to my ears, a main stay of this cable. The overall presentation here sounds more technical on the LX than it is on the Trio. Whereas the Trio is more straight forward musical with the P38, there are more things with the LX that try to demand your attention. I’m not certain though whether the LX and the P38 really hit it off. It will be interesting for me to see what happens when I try LX with the P37.

PHoNIX – The overall theme of warmth from the P38 continues but the technicalities on the Phonix are still able to shine through. Both mid and sub bass have a good presence and can hit both hard and deep but seem to be better controlled than the LX, which was a little more ‘bass in your face’(although it must be stressed that the bass on LX was fun). I’m getting more clarity from every sphere with this pairing. The Phonix is quite a warm IEM and I was concerned that the P38 would not pair well as that too is warm in itself. Nothing to worry about though as I feel the combo works really well. This is a very pleasant pairing to listen to. Ok so I should stop there and move to my last IEM, but the music has taken over and I’m listening to one track after another. Rock sounds good and guitars crunch, female vocals have real presence and can soar when needed, etc..etc.. You get the idea. You may have guessed that I think P38 + Phonix is a really good pairing!

Traillii – The first thing I note is that I really wouldn’t know this was a warm copper cable that I had paired with the bird. Everything seems so clean and precise and it doesn’t seem to have that kind of trademark warmth or fullness about it. It is as though P38 stays in the background and just lets the Traillii do its thing. The more I listen though, the more I might be changing my mind a little. I’m not certain how to describe this, but it is though there is a small cradle of warmth at the base of the music that is cushioning everything else. This cradle then allows all the other areas of the Traillii’s technical ability to flourish unhindered. Staggering highs, deep lows, great mids and everything else in between. This is quite a musical pairing and I’m enjoying listening to it.


Overall I like the P38. The only IEM from the above that I don’t think it pairs that well with is the LX. To me that pairing is just too warm and the bass a bit too much out of control. My favourite pairing was with the Phonix. I do not know what it is, but they seemed to gel really well together.

Next up will be the P37.

IMG_1587.jpg
 
May 21, 2022 at 2:09 PM Post #5,862 of 6,294

Ufanco

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With 100 hours on prototype 38 it’s time to give a more in-depth thought on it.
It’s a high quality cooper cable with a interesting aspect of using 2 wires of thin strands of cooper and 2 wire with thicker strands. I’m not sure why Affect Audio went this route. Hopefully once testing ends they will let us know the reason for this.

After extended listening I found the sound quality opened up with P38 it’s sound signature has impressed me more after burn in.

The bass presence has a good amount of body and details without sounding muddy. Adds some of the warmth of copper without becoming bloated or bassy. With iem’s that have a weak bass this cable would help improve it.

Moving into the midrange the sound has opened up producing a smooth sturdy sound this adds to the musical enjoyment well using this cable.
With the upper end there’s a slight roll off that is normal with a cooper cable. P38 retains nice details it’s just slightly more laid back and mellow than P37. It’s a cable you can listen to for hours without fatigue.
P38 has nice depth with good imagining. The soundstage is spacious this gives music a almost holographic 3D effect.

Either cable would be a nice stock replacement cable for iem’s it comes down to signature of iem’s.
If there more of a bright sounding then P38 would be a good choice. If there more warm P37 would work better. These are only rough guidelines things like personally hearing range, sound preference and other gear will play into this.

If planning on using with a multiple of iem having a good solid cooper cable can’t be beat. I feel for more bright sounding iem’s Prototype 38 sounds better. Since there tends to be more bright sounding iem’s P38 is slightly more versatile cable than P37.

With my setup I liked prototype 37 with tubes on a warm system it just sounded better imho.

My feeling is these cables would be prefect replacement’s for many stock cables. There quality and sound would scale up nicely with better iem’s.
 
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May 21, 2022 at 2:10 PM Post #5,863 of 6,294

rantng

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Some hi-res pics of the Prototype 38 cable w/EE Alpha-IV (Ares II) cable. Haven't been able to get much listening time in, but so far ergonomics-wise, the P38 is thicker, but softer & more pliable. Braiding seems to be more consistent as well. As you can see in the pics the Ares II is stiffer and less manageable, but I'll have to see how the P38 holds up in the long term.

DSC08538a.jpg
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DSC08549a.jpg
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May 21, 2022 at 2:29 PM Post #5,864 of 6,294

CrocodileDundee

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Some hi-res pics of the Prototype 38 cable w/EE Alpha-IV (Ares II) cable. Haven't been able to get much listening time in, but so far ergonomics-wise, the P38 is thicker, but softer & more pliable. Braiding seems to be more consistent as well. As you can see in the pics the Ares II is stiffer and less manageable, but I'll have to see how the P38 holds up in the long term.

DSC08538a.jpgDSC08542a.jpgDSC08546a.jpgDSC08549a.jpgDSC08551a.jpgDSC08552a.jpgDSC08555a.jpgDSC08559a.jpgDSC08560a.jpgDSC08561 (2)a.jpg
Great pictures mate.

The flexibility of the new version compared to Ares is the first noticeable point when getting them. Huge step up for the new series there.
 

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