Enigma Audio: Oracle 2 HD650 review
Mar 6, 2009 at 11:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

csommers

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Note: This review is only after one day of listening, I will post back each week for the rest of the month to cover any changes I can find.
**Note: The HD650s I am using are only slightly burned-in, as such I will do another listen at the end of the month with the old cord again.

First things first, ordering from Enigma Audio could not have been easier. Zach responded to my first emails within minutes of my sending them, excellent job! As well shipping was extremely fast, I had the cables in a little over a week, 3-5 days to make an another 2 to ship.

Build quality:
I must say the build quality is very impressive, the cable is housed in what feels like a nylon weave, which is slightly stiff, but I think it will become softer with more use. I ordered the cable w/ a Furutech 1/4 plug, which is massive and heavy, and exudes quality.
The cable has teflon shrink in 3 places, one of which is purely for cosmetic reasons to showcase the company name, the other 2 places are right before the 1/4 plug and right before the 2 individual strands separate to L/R.
The only downside I can find with the cable is that it is slightly, and I do mean slightly, microphonic, but only on the individual L/R strands. Otherwise this is a knockout build, and I would give it a 9/10.

Sound quality:
The quality of sound from these cables is very very clear, but not to the point of sounding shrill or too technical. There is still warmth in the sound, but overall sounds seem much clearer, and the "veil" is lifted completely IMHO.
Voices are extremely clear, and you can hear the slightly tones and inflections clearly within the ranges of voice.
Bass is more prominent, more controlled(read: clear); overall very good.
Drums are much improved, more oomph to them. On that note, cymbals/high hats are very clear, but not shrill and fatiguing at all.
Keep finding new things to comment on
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, these cables make strings sound beautiful and very lively, same for voices.
One thing I do not notice that Sennheisers are known for is the rounding off of the upper limits, these cables, IMHO have expanded the upper end of the 650s and given them a slight more emphasis.
Overall they pair VERY well with 650s and bring out the weaknesses of the 650 that were present, no matter how slight.

VS original:
As I noted above, I have not had much initial time to swap the two, but I can clearly tell a difference between the two cables.
The Oracles sound way more musical and lively to my ears, and the added bass is a HUGE plus.
There is one slight difference, it seems like the soundstage is a little bit smaller, more compact, but this coupled with the enhanced clarity, IMHO sounds better than the slightly airy 650 normal cable. Its hard to pick this out, but if you listen carefully you can hear it.
I'm listening to a live recording and I had never heard the guitarist tapping his fingers before as it was VERY subtle, but know I can hear it very clearly.
So along with better more improved bass, the highs sound clearer and more apparent, whereas before they were slightly washed out.

Overall:
I need to say this first: I am not a HUGE proponent of expensive cables, however I thought I would give headphone cables a try to see if there really was a difference, and for $220 I must say there is a definite improvement in my eyes(and ears
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). I came into the buying experience slightly pessimistic, but damn was I impressed by the difference I heard right away.
Some may argue whether the cost weighs equally with the improvements, and I must say IMHO that the cost is VERY fair for the upgraded sound I am hearing. Now I'm not saying you should buy these before upgrading your source or amp, but if you have already done that and are looking for a little more bang for your buck, check these out.
The only other 650 cable that I've heard was a Cardas cable, which was slightly better than stock, bass was better, but it still had issues with overall clarity and highs.
Other than the slight microphonic issues, I would have to say this cable is a good upgrade for 650 users looking for a more overall balanced sound with improved bass.
I'll fill in the rest of the spots as the month progresses; I am really looking forward to seeing how these improve with burn-in.
2nd week:
Little update:
Been listening to these for the past week pretty much non-stop. The cable is not as stiff anymore
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, things are going well.
Bass is slightly improved after about 100 hrs of burn-in. Little bit more defined. Highs are a little more clear, with slightly more emphasis.
Overall very slight changes, but its sounding even better now.
3rd week:
Just got around to writing this, I've let them burn in some more when not in use. No real changes I can notice this week, basically sounds the same as before, so I'm calling them burned-in.
Final Comparison:
Just got done doing a final comparison between the stock 650 cable an the upgraded Oracle 2 cable. After burn-in there is a slight change, bass is a little better, with clearer high-ends.
Overall these really bring out the parts of the 650 that some did not like, muddy bass for some, for others recessed highs. The cable really smooths out the sound signature of the 650's, giving them a very nice balanced warm sound. Very impressed with the results!
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 7:50 PM Post #3 of 7

csommers

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Quote:

Originally Posted by apatN /img/forum/go_quote.gif
PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICTURES!
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Ask an you shall receive
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Mar 26, 2009 at 9:09 PM Post #5 of 7

LostChild1

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Looks great! Thanks for the review and nice pictures!
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I just got my 650s the other week, so I'm hesitant to go switching cables and such just yet (Especially as I have more critical things to buy, Dedicated Headphone amp & DAC Anyone? :p) but it's good to hear that there are quality cables out there for me to choose from when I finally have the time & money to do so!
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Mar 28, 2009 at 1:35 AM Post #6 of 7

musicman59

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I just re-cabled and balanced my pair of MB Quart Phone 85 with the Oracle S2. I share all the same feelings and experience of csommers.
It really exceeded my expectations.
 

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