Head-fiers with experience with van den Hul Interconnects
Mar 8, 2006 at 11:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

cylanes

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Currently I have some no-name (suppose to be better than standard) interconnects.

The van den Hul interconnects caught my interest. I was curious if someone has any experience with this brand??
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:23 AM Post #2 of 10

saturnine

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I've never used one of their interconnects, but I do own a MainsStream power cable. The build quality is very good, and the cable itself is stiff as hell. It's been the first PC I've used with my rig and actually heard a difference.

As for the interconnects, I too am looking to see what people think of them. They sell fairly cheaply @ Ebay, and look quite good
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Mar 9, 2006 at 2:01 AM Post #3 of 10

GoRedwings19

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I use to own the van der hul d102 3 and the first ultimates.

They best comparison I can use is that they are opposite to the nordost stuff.

The van der huls usally have a full sound which might be too "thick sounding" to you, has nice "organic" sounding midrange and the highs are quite pleasant. It also has bit of prominent bottom end which maybe too much for some and don't sound as fast as the Nordost's or other cables

In contrast the nordost's sound not as thick some might say lean, A kinda of sterile midrange and some people find the bass performance a bit lean. But they are generally fast paced, high detail levels and generally highs have extension that the VDH don't have.

It's kinda of a preference call to which you prefer.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 2:11 AM Post #4 of 10

skullguise

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I agree with GR19. I have the D-102 Mk II Hybrids, and I also have the First (original version, not the ultimate). There IS something special going on with the mids using the First, but it rolls off highs and lows too much for my taste. Still, that midrange....

The D-102 Mk 3 seems to have an overall better balance than the First, but it is not as musical.

I think for the same pricing (or less), you would do well with one of the recommended cables here like the Grover or Oritek. Personal opinion, though.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:38 AM Post #5 of 10

GoRedwings19

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Quote:

Originally Posted by skullguise
I agree with GR19. I have the D-102 Mk II Hybrids, and I also have the First (original version, not the ultimate). There IS something special going on with the mids using the First, but it rolls off highs and lows too much for my taste. Still, that midrange....

The D-102 Mk 3 seems to have an overall better balance than the First, but it is not as musical.

I think for the same pricing (or less), you would do well with one of the recommended cables here like the Grover or Oritek. Personal opinion, though.



One of the many comments I have read and feel to a certain extent it may be true is that using VDH at least the ones mentioned above is that there is a little bloat basswise.

When I had a chord dac I used the VDH first ic's and digital ic's. I then switched to the first ultimates.

I think I started off using the d102 3's when I first started off in putting a 2ch system together years ago. I liked them because they were relatively cheap priced and offer decent sound for the money.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 9:30 AM Post #6 of 10

Glod

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I have used the Van den Hul IC’s for about 10 years and I am very happy with them.

I have used the The Bay C5 HYBRID, D-102 mk III, First Ultimate mk I and the mk II. My favourite is clearly the First Ultimate mk I. As you probably know the interesting thing with this cable is that it has pure all carbon conductors and traditional metal RCA’s.

The most prominent impression of the First Ultimate mk I is a very effortless, airy and spatial presentation. The frequency response is seemingly flat as a pool table and one cannot really point out any obvious dips or peaks IMO. The cable is very true to the source; you know: garbage in garbage out, and it will not inject life in inferior sources, nor add more (or less) bass or tame digital artefacts: Everything the source produces will be let through, unaltered. You have been warned.
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Good news is that if you have a good source, this cable will do it right. I find this cable a very natural sounding cable. Really great for voices and acoustic music.

Note that I have been talking about the mk I of the First Ultimate, which AFAIK is not in production any longer. Van den Hul says there should not be a difference between the two, but they differ slightly in diameter, and IMO, they do not have the same sound either. The new mk II doesn’t have the tremendous bass extension (nt the same as emphasised) of the original. The midrange is also more "polished" to a shine. The mk I could show some fine grain in the sound, but not disturbingly much so IMO, rather the opposite: It renders nice texture to voices. With the mk II the grain is definitely gone. Voices get very clear and crystal like. I like the mk I better.


To summarize it
Van den Hul First Ultimate mk I

+
Very effortless and airy presentation
Expansive soundstage
Perceivably flat frequency response

-
Not an up-front sound, rather slightly distant
A bit dark sound as opposed to lively and with emphasised mid range.

The D-102 mk III is similar to the First Ultimate mk I in general, but with one important difference. If the First Ultimate was a bit distant sounding; the D-102 mk III is absolutely more forward. It has the same flat frequency response, terrific bass extension, but the whole presentation is moved more closely towards you. The treble and leading edges of instruments are also much more defined making e.g. “s” sound sharper than with the First Ultimate. I use this cable in my modest home cinema set-up and I like it there very much.

The Bay C5 HYBRID is a bargain and basically IMO the budget version of the First Ultimate mk I sonically, though construction wise it resembles the D-102 mk III more I think. The Bay is a scaled down version of the First Ultimate sonically. It has virtually the same character but sound smallish in comparison with less dynamic head-room. Mind you, it is quite sufficient.

Mainstream HYBRID power cord.
I have not tried other after market power cords, so I don’t have anything to compare with. Anyway, when I connected one to the HeadAmp GS-1, which I use for a RME card in my PC set-up, the sound gained a very obvious better bass extension, more vibrant tones, velvetry reproduction, and better microdynamics
The soundstage expanded with more ambient cue’s and better decay of tones and the overall sound got better definition. Interestingly, I connected another Mainstream to the PC, and behold, the sound improved even more but to a lesser extent. I am honestly still in shock of this latter unexpected effect. I probably have very dirty mains. I bought these cables second hand and I consider them a bargain and really a good and fruitful upgrade.

A word of warning about eBay items: Home terminated carbon fibre cables of van den Hul are said to not necessarily hold the same sonic standard. It might be tricky to terminate carbon fibre correctly. I think they are crimped usually.


On a side note. Goredwings mentioned the Nordost sound. IMHO, at least the Red Dawn mk I does not have the effortless bass extension of the First Ultimate mk I. However, it does have a better instrument positioning. It is also a more forward and much faster cable.

EDIT: The negative points about the First Ultimate mk I listed are of course subjective, nevertheless, representative for what people are thinking about them in general. If you value those traits (like me) they are of course not negeative points.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 3:22 PM Post #7 of 10

nuhi

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I have VDH First Ultimate MKII...reduced highs and unprecise bass, best midrange.

Confirmed this on blind test with speakers and 3 interconnects, also heard it on my Sennheiser HD580.

Try Kimber PBJ, it surprised me. Now I'm waiting for some silver Audioquest to try.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 2:15 AM Post #9 of 10

GoRedwings19

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glod>I find the nordost cables seem to synergise better where systems are considered on the dark side or even in warm systems.

I don;t mind Nordost cables apart from obviously the price. The midrange I find not as organic as the VDH's but that's more of a preference thing than anything else.

I did like the chord signature cable though.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:49 PM Post #10 of 10

Glod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GoRedwings19
"glod>I find the nordost cables seem to synergise better where systems are considered on the dark side or even in warm systems.

I don;t mind Nordost cables apart from obviously the price. The midrange I find not as organic as the VDH's but that's more of a preference thing than anything else."...



I second that.
 

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