flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
Mar 28, 2017 at 12:17 PM Post #887 of 36,763

Fiberoptix

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Also, a cable CANNOT influence the speed and rhythm, which are totally dependent on the source and the IEM. For example if you are listening to fast paced music, you would need a DAP and an IEM that is able to handle the pace and rhythm.


Hey, what do you mean when you say influence with regards to speed? In my experience a cable can have quite a profound effect on the perception of speed particularly with attack and decay. I.e. the onset and dissapearence of a note.
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 12:20 PM Post #889 of 36,763

ChrisSC

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Ok so just to confirm what I've read:

The jump from decent source to great source leads to better improvements than stock cable to great cable, but I should start saving:p for plastic surgery instead. :tongue:
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 12:40 PM Post #891 of 36,763
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Question for all while we pass the time waiting for Nic's reviews to pour in:

Conventional wisdom for order of priority goes iems, dap, amp THEN cables once you've got everything else sounding how you want it. The proverbial cherry on top. Nic's cable philosophy indicates that with the great (read: expensive) cables, you're actually listening to the cable just as much as the IEM. With low impedance IEMs that don't need the power, should one spring for the premium cable and ignore getting an amp? And is the leap from stock cable to premium cable greater than the leap from a decent source (say, an iPhone) to a great source (like RWAK380)?

Tldr: what should be the next upgrade, assuming one has TOTL IEMs, a decent DAP, no amp, and stock cables- cables, DAP, or amp?
 

I think if all cables costed half of their current MRSP, there would be a revolution in the community. Pairing a 1K cable with a flagship iem would prob be the standard if it costed $500, as the price to performance would be close to even, at least to my ears. But cheaper as well as the more expensive cables would also be more attractive. Everybody is haunted by the same drive to maximize performance, but the current market price is too inflated to allow for a real change. 
 
In general, I would of course recommend going with a dap and iem first. In fact, I would recommend going with several iems first before it becomes worthwhile to invest in really expensive cables. One of the reasons being that synergy isn't guaranteed when you have one iem, but probable if you have multiple. However, if you have specific requirements (a current pairing is too warm, or the treble is too harsh) a cable can be an excellent solution. There have been cases where I'm not initially a fan of a certain iem, but a cable pairing drastically changes my opinion. 
 
Originally Posted by Fiberoptix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Quote:
Also, a cable CANNOT influence the speed and rhythm, which are totally dependent on the source and the IEM. For example if you are listening to fast paced music, you would need a DAP and an IEM that is able to handle the pace and rhythm.


Hey, what do you mean when you say influence with regards to speed? In my experience a cable can have quite a profound effect on the perception of speed particularly with attack and decay. I.e. the onset and dissapearence of a note.
 

Speed is at least partially affected by the frequency response. Specifically, greater treble extension or prominence of the higher treble frequencies can make a sound faster. Greater midrange resolution will improve the definition of fast midrange notes. On the other hand, enhancing the mid- and upper-bass can slow the bass down and accordingly the general presentation, especially when the treble extension cannot compensate. So yes, a cable can affect speed. 
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 2:08 PM Post #892 of 36,763

proedros

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[1]
For our soundtrack, we turn to Donna Summer’s disco classic “I Feel Love”. Donna takes a central position on the stage, not too distant, and not too forward. Through her position, you can feel the space around her. There’s a certain sweetness in her voice, but also warmth, and depth. It’s a solid image, starring in its central role. She’s surrounded by a number of fast-paced disco melodies, the style that Giorgio Moroder single-handedly made popular in the 70’s. The tones swerve and move, rotating through the soundstage from left to right, enhancing that holographic feel that the precise imaging is providing. Everyone of them has its own spotlight, in full view of your attention. Throughout the song, Donna is accompanied by one or two background singers, mirroring her performance. They’re strategically placed at the extremities of the stage, making the stage feel even wider. The track feels fast but always, incredibly smooth. The bass needs to be present - it’s a disco track so it should make you want to dance, or nod your head at the very least. The [xxx]'s bass is inviting: its presence is known, hitting relatively deep, while remaining clean and controlled. This isn’t a mean, hard-hitting bass that wants to impose its will on you. You can dance if you like, but hey – if you want to sit and drink a beer, that’s cool too.
 
 

 
 
nic , as someone who has dug very deep into the so-called 'disco' genre lately , i URGE you to download this album

imho, this is a masterpiece , the magnum opus of the donna/giorgio 70s collaborations and a Desert Island Disc for me (and you know how serious i take music)

Once Upon A Time

this is a disco/soul/electro/gospel MASTERPIECE , i feel bad every time people praise copycats like Daft Punk as 'geniuses' (huge LOL there) and never take the time to dig into the true source from where they stole from

get this album , this is really porn for the ears 

This is the album that made me think out loud 'damn GM is a ******* genius'
 
i can not imagine how good it will sound with your 2000$ ciems and your 3000$ daps
 
 
 
cheers
 
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM Post #893 of 36,763

EagleWings

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Speed is at least partially affected by the frequency response. Specifically, greater treble extension or prominence of the higher treble frequencies can make a sound faster. Greater midrange resolution will improve the definition of fast midrange notes. On the other hand, enhancing the mid- and upper-bass can slow the bass down and accordingly the general presentation, especially when the treble extension cannot compensate. So yes, a cable can affect speed. 

 
Hey, what do you mean when you say influence with regards to speed? In my experience a cable can have quite a profound effect on the perception of speed particularly with attack and decay. I.e. the onset and dissapearence of a note.

 
You guys are right. The term ‘influence’ was a poor choice of word. The cable does influence speed. A high resolution cable with a clean presentation, would be able to keep up with fast paced music.
 
What I was trying to mean in my post though was, if your DAP is not fast enough, even a high resolution cable with a clean presentation cannot increase the speed. So, for fast paced music, source upgrade takes a higher priority than cable upgrade.
 
For example, Mojo+Stock Cable combo can handle speed better than Fiio X3ii+Leonidas combo, because Mojo is faster than the Fiio, even though Leonidas has better resolution and cleaner presentation than the stock cable.
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 4:34 PM Post #894 of 36,763

Ike1985

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Well, it will be easy to make a decision, if you can understand what aspect of the sound, each component in the chain can and cannot influence. Cables can affect most of the aspects like tone, signature, transparency, sound-stage and separation. But there are certain aspects that high-end cables can seem to improve like; depth, layering and imaging but source is what is improving those aspects, and the cable is simply able to render it.
 
Also, a cable CANNOT influence the speed and rhythm, which are totally dependent on the source and the IEM. For example if you are listening to fast paced music, you would need a DAP and an IEM that is able to handle the pace and rhythm. Also, if you want some coloration and some good bass impact, an amp could help. But introducing an amp in the chain will reduce the transparency.
 
So it depends. Also, you can be having the best DAP and the best IEM, but without a decent cable, you are not experiencing the best the DAP and IEM could offer.

 
I not hear a lack of transparency with the CDM.  I did hear it with the impedance adapter I was previously using.  Mojo -> CDM
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 4:37 PM Post #895 of 36,763

Ike1985

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  I think if all cables costed half of their current MRSP, there would be a revolution in the community. Pairing a 1K cable with a flagship iem would prob be the standard if it costed $500, as the price to performance would be close to even, at least to my ears. But cheaper as well as the more expensive cables would also be more attractive. Everybody is haunted by the same drive to maximize performance, but the current market price is too inflated to allow for a real change. 
 
In general, I would of course recommend going with a dap and iem first. In fact, I would recommend going with several iems first before it becomes worthwhile to invest in really expensive cables. One of the reasons being that synergy isn't guaranteed when you have one iem, but probable if you have multiple. However, if you have specific requirements (a current pairing is too warm, or the treble is too harsh) a cable can be an excellent solution. There have been cases where I'm not initially a fan of a certain iem, but a cable pairing drastically changes my opinion. 
 
Speed is at least partially affected by the frequency response. Specifically, greater treble extension or prominence of the higher treble frequencies can make a sound faster. Greater midrange resolution will improve the definition of fast midrange notes. On the other hand, enhancing the mid- and upper-bass can slow the bass down and accordingly the general presentation, especially when the treble extension cannot compensate. So yes, a cable can affect speed. 


It isn't it true though that the sound ISN'T actually faster we just perceive it as faster.  The drivers fire when they receive the signal which is crazy fast.
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 10:09 PM Post #896 of 36,763

Mimouille

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My humble opinion on what affects SQ, in order of importance :

1) Quality of the recording and mastering
2) The fact that you have a cold or not / congested sinuses (happens quite often)
3) Quality of iem / earphones
4) Eartip selection
5) Quality of source and synergy with iem / earphone, including impedance matching
6) Mood

9999) Cable
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 11:27 PM Post #898 of 36,763

jmills8

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My humble opinion on what affects SQ, in order of importance :

1) Quality of the recording and mastering
2) The fact that you have a cold or not / congested sinuses (happens quite often)
3) Quality of iem / earphones
4) Eartip selection
5) Quality of source and synergy with iem / earphone, including impedance matching
6) Mood

9999) Cable
#2 China. This is happening alot this year in Hobg Kong.
 
Mar 29, 2017 at 6:03 AM Post #900 of 36,763

cocolinho

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My humble opinion on what affects SQ, in order of importance :

1) Quality of the recording and mastering
2) The fact that you have a cold or not / congested sinuses (happens quite often)
3) Quality of iem / earphones
4) Eartip selection
5) Quality of source and synergy with iem / earphone, including impedance matching
6) Mood

9999) Cable

1 really depends on 3. We know some IEMs are a window to the record and some other high end stuffs are more permissives
And I agree about 2 being very important. Actually when I have a cold I simply do not enjoy music, whatever the gear I'm using  
 

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