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Forza AudioWorks Noir Hybrid HPC US Head-Fi Upgrade Cables Tour (Cables Only - Sennheiser HD800 Series and 2.5mm terminations) - Starting August 2018

  1. Barra
    CABLE TOUR 1: Sennheiser Termination - HD800, HD800s, HD820 (Cables Only)
    CABLE TOUR 2: 2.5MM Termination - Sennheiser HD700, HiFiMan HEX/HEK/HE560/400i, OPPO PM1/PM2, Audioquest Nighthawk/Nightowl (Cables Only)

    I am not going to pretend to be an expert at cable science as I am not, but after auditioning these Forza AudioWorks Noir Hybrid HPC cables for a week, I can tell you that there is something to them - a WOW factor. Both my HD800 and HEX headphones, while TOTL HP SQ, are treble hot headphones that need a little taming to be enjoyable for a long listen. This Noir Hybrid HPC upgrade cable is a great pairing with both offering both a tamed treble, but also more meat on the bones. The HD800 needs more help so the impact is more significant with it, but both benefit considerably while being much more comfortable to utilize with the new wonderful ergonomics. While I am unsure of the secret sauce that makes these cables sound so much better than the stock cables, I do know that they offer a hybrid design with separate pathways of the highest quality UPOCC copper and silver - no cheezy SPC here. The website also mentions doubled strands per channel and proprietary geometry in the Noir Hybrid HPC design. All I can tell you is that the feel is like holding a luxury teddy bear and the improved SQ makes you want to curl up with it. You can see my personal audio setups that I am testing these cables within my signature.

    While I started out a cable skeptic through much of 2017, only buying cables for looks and termination - having played with a number of cables lately, I have found that they can make a large difference in SQ, signature, ergonomics, manageability, and longevity. Even more interesting, the wrong pairing can ruin an HP/CIEM SQ/signature - therefore, high price doesn't equal guaranteed SQ improvement. The correct pairing takes trial and error. Regardless, my experience with custom cables has been mainly on CIEMs. This made me wonder how much they can improve my HD800/HEX SQ - hence the tour. My hope was to find out together with my HeadFi friends and share our experience.

    Happily, for us US-based Head-Fiers, I was able to talk Matt at Forza AudioWorks into providing two tour kits for us to find out how much his cables can improve 1) the Sennheiser HD800 Series headphones, and 2) the other 2.5MM termination headphones such as HifiMan HEX/HEK, HD700, etc. as listed above. Matt provided us with his masterpiece Noir Hybrid HPC cable for each terminated in balanced with a balanced to SE adaptor so we can try them on our own gear. My reason for reaching out to Matt is the preponderance of his cables in the Seattle Head-Fi community that I am from. The Forza cables are very obvious with the teddy bear like appearance that makes you want to snuggle up with them. All the incredible HD800 setups at the time were using these cables and I wanted to know why. When using someone else's gear, with HP mods, Sonarworks tone modifications, etc. it is hard to know what part of the equation make for that incredible SQ. Now, by using it on our own gear, we can focus on the cables alone. Luckily, it is very easy to switch back and forth to test. So..... who is ready to give them a try?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  2. Barra


    US Premium Headphone Cable Tour, Featuring:

    Forza AudioWorks has graciously provided us with his best cable - Noir Hybrid HPC - for both the Sennheiser HD800 Series and 2.5MM terminated headphones such as the HifiMan HEX/HEK, HD700, OPPO PM1/PM2, etc. headphones for a US tour. Please note that this tour is a cable only tour, no headphones are supplied.

    • Noir Hybrid HPC - Sennheiser HD800 Series Connectors: Terminated balanced 4-pin with Sennheiser HD800 Series connectors
    • Noir Hybrid HPC - 2.5MM Connectors: Terminated balanced 4-pin with 2.5MM connectors
    • Noir Hybrid HPC SE Adapter: Balanced 4-pin to SE adaptor
    Tour Kit Pictures (Cables Only - Pool not Included :confused:):
    IMG_4915.JPG IMG_4918.JPG IMG_4921.JPG IMG_4924.JPG
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  3. Barra
    Tour Participation Rules and Responsibilities (7 Day Audition)
    The participant list is organized logistically to minimize shipping costs starting from the West Coast moving East. The tour will begin with the first in the list for a 7-day audition. On day 8 they will be responsible to deliver or ship the demo kit to the next participant in the list.

    Participant Qualifications
    To be eligible for the tour, all participants need to verify their identity, shipping address, and their phone number. We can do this by providing four types of contact information:
    1. State Issued Photo ID: We need a picture of your driver's license or other qualified ID with photo and that reflects your home/shipping address.
    2. Phone Bill: We need to verify your phone number and address with a photo of a current phone bill showing your phone number and address which matches your ID.
    3. Email Address: We will be managing the tours through email which requires an email that you can respond to within 24 hours.
    4. Backup Contact Info (Choose One of the Two):
      1. Employer: Name, Address, and Phone - or
      2. Relative: Name, Address, and Phone
    This information must be emailed to billb@ClearDiff.com before your name will be added to the participant list.

    Prequalification: If you have already provided this information to join one of my other tours, you are good for one year prequalifying for my other tours. However, if it has been on file for over a year, or you have moved, you will need to resubmit to remain current.

    Qualification Exemptions (thru @BulldogXTRM): If you wish to join the tour, but cannot provide this information - you can contact Mike Brunner (@BulldogXTRM ) at bulldogxtrm@gmail.com with options for equivalent verification options that work for you to receive an exception. Please cc billb@cleardiff.com to keep me in the loop as we work through this exception process. Our goal is to keep you on the tour so we will work with you to make it happen, but we need a way to verify your identity, the shipping address, and your phone number.

    Information Security
    : All personal information will be safeguarded by @Barra and will be deleted by request after the tour or by withdrawing from the tour. The information is stored on my personal computer is will not be shared with anyone other than to provide your contact/shipping information to the participant before you so that they can ship the kit your direction. You will be introduced in an email. Retained information is good for a year to join additional tours hosted by @Barra.

    Individual Responsibilities
    Participants must understand and agree to these responsibilities listed below as well as take them seriously. Those that do not follow through with the agreed upon responsibilities will be blacklisted from all future tours. Please do not sign up for the tour if you feel there is any reason that you cannot live up to this commitment.
    • Communicate: Those in the tour will be expected to be reasonably available to communicate in tour proceedings. Phone, PMs, and email should be responded to within 24 hours maximum. Failure to do so may negate your eligibility and potentially blacklist you from future tours.
    • Protect: Participants are responsible for the value of the kit while in their care and will be expected to reimburse the manufacturer for any losses due to participant negligence. The kits should be handled with care and protected from theft. Each participant is responsible for the kit from signed receipt to signed receipt. While the manufacturer accepts responsibility in the case of shipper losses if you ship signature required, participants are still responsible for managing the shipper loss process to its conclusion until the proceedings are concluded. Providing tracking information and following the rules is critical in determining where your responsibility stops.
    • Follow the Rules: Each participant is expected to follow the rules listed below exactly:
      • At Receipt of Tour Kit: We need to know that the tour kit was received immediately to release the last participant from responsibility.
        • Confirm Receipt within 24 Hours: Please confirm receipt on the existing email thread with myself and the sender within 24 hours so both myself and the previous party knows that the transfer is complete.
        • PM Next 2 Participants: Please PM the next two participants in the participant's list (POST 3) to provide a backup in case the next participant is unavailable. Priority goes to the tour order as long as they reply within 24 to 48 hours. Please request that they email you to an email you provide per the next step to verify readiness.
        • Next Participant Email Confirmation: Please have the next participant email you and cc me at billb@cleardiff.com - their full name, mailing address, and phone number for the shipper.
        • Barra's Address Confirmation: Wait for my address confirmation before shipping to ensure that we only ship to verified addresses. Exceptions can be made in the process if needed since I am included in the email thread.
        • Visibility: Please always respond to emails “Reply All” so that I have visibility into the shipping process.
        • Be Ready to Ship on Day 8: It is also your responsibility to ensure that you have shipped the kit to the next participant on the 8th day, so please be diligent in contacting and communicating with the next participant. Never send a kit to someone that has not responded.
        • Communicate Problems/Issues: If needed, you can always reach me directly at my email me at billb@cleardiff.com.
      • Impressions/Review (Optional): While optional, to keep things interesting on the tour, any impressions or insight that you can post in the thread would be greatly appreciated. Full reviews are even more appreciated.
      • Ship on Day 8:
        • Verified Recipient: It is your responsibility to verify the recipient before shipping through your communications. If you sense any issues, please contact me before shipping.
        • Verified Address: I will confirm that the address is verified in our email correspondence. It is important to make sure that you only mail to the verified address unless the two of you get an exception from me first.
        • Signature Required: You must ship signature required (or insured) to avoid the responsibility of shipper mishaps. The manufacturer will assume responsibility if you follow the rules.
        • Shipper Confirmation #: You must provide the recipient and me with the confirmation number within 24 hours of shipping. This will allow the recipient to plan to be available since the signature is required.
      • Responsibility Ends on Signed Receipt: Your financial responsibility ends when the shipper posts a signed receipt from the recipient. However, if there is a shipper mishap and the package is not received by the next participant, you will be responsible for driving the shipper investigation process which only the shipper (you) can do.
    Tour Sign Up
    This is an open tour which we expect to support all requests to participate. To make this possible, we are requiring complete contact info up front. So, to sign up for this tour you will need to do two things:
    1. Post: Please post your name, city, and state only – no personal address in the public forum – and then declare that you agree to follow the terms of the tour.

      Example Signup Post: From Barra: I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour.
    2. Email: Please email your complete contact info as detailed below to my personal email - billb@cleardiff.com:
      • Head-Fi Name: Please remember to include your Head-Fi alias so that I can match your email to your Head-Fi identity.
      • Subject Line Format: HeadFi Name - Your Name - Tour Name
      • Contact Info:
        • State Issued Photo ID: We need a picture of your driver's license or other qualified ID with photo and that reflects your home/shipping address.
        • Phone Bill: We need to verify your phone number and address with a photo of a current phone bill - mobile or home phone - exposing your name, phone number, and address which matches your ID.
        • Email Address: We will be managing the tours through email which requires an email that you can respond to within 24 hours.
        • Backup Contact Info (Choose One of the Two):
          1. Employer: Name, Address, and Phone - or
          2. Relative: Name, Address, and Phone
    That’s it. We reserve the right to turn down the application if we find a cause but hope to accommodate all those US Head-Fi’ers that are interested. If you follow these instructions, you are in.

    Signups begin now, and will remain open during the tour welcoming late comers. However, we reserve the right to end signups at any time so please don’t hesitate or you may lose out. The tour will start when we have enough participants to create a reasonable list. Have fun!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  4. Barra
    Tour Participant List
    We hope to gather our list over the next few weeks to build logistics into our tour order. The tour will begin on the West Coast and move East. We may start before we close our participation requests allowing latecomers to join in the process as it makes sense, but latecomer logistics will be first come first serve so likely to make postage more expensive. The good news is that we will do our best to accommodate all US Head-Fiers that wish to participate.

    US Noir Hybrid HPC Sennheiser Termination Tour: (Logistical Order)

    Name: Location:

    1. @Barra - Anthem, AZ

    US Noir Hybrid HPC 2.5MM Termination Tour: (Logistical Order)

    Name: Location:

    1. @Barra - Anthem, AZ
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  5. Barra
    Example Participation Request

    I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I will have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  6. Barra
    Reviews and Impressions

    Coming soon!

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