High End Cables Thread (digital, analog, power)
Jul 20, 2020 at 6:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 868

Roasty

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Couldn't find a similar thread on this sub-forum. Feel free to discuss or ask questions on "high end" cables, whether they're digital or analog or power.

Let's keep this civil, keeping in mind that expensive and high end are of course a relative concept, and how one chooses to spend his/her money is up to them.

Let me start this off.

I'm looking for advice/comments on the Transparent Ultra xlr interconnects. I thought I was content with the Cardas Golden Presence, but after spending some pretty coin on the FTA Callisto usb cable, it got me wondering if the next level of interconnects could raise my system up a notch.

Anyone using the Transparent Ultras? I read one website where the first reviewer said it had lack of bass. Or is there anything else in this price range i should be considering?
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 6:18 PM Post #2 of 868
Shout out to Jay at audiobacon. He is a premier reviewer of audiophile cables and a good place to start one’s research on cables.

For me, I have a full loom of Danacables cables (XLR IC, Power, USB). For my bnc and Ethernet, I use SOtM cables though.


If I had the money, I’d have a full loom of Audience Au24 sx cables, but their power cables are like $4K a piece :cold_sweat:
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 7:29 PM Post #3 of 868
Shout out to Jay at audiobacon. He is a premier reviewer of audiophile cables and a good place to start one’s research on cables.

For me, I have a full loom of Danacables cables (XLR IC, Power, USB). For my bnc and Ethernet, I use SOtM cables though.


If I had the money, I’d have a full loom of Audience Au24 sx cables, but their power cables are like $4K a piece :cold_sweat:

I enjoy reading Jay's reviews. Some of the purchases I made are based off what he has said.

How did you decide on the Danacables? Did you manage to audition them beforehand? I only have experience with their LR headphone cable. I feel their site a bit lacking in information on the different models, and can't really find many reviews on their interconnects (even on the respective item pages). But upside is, the best thing about Danacables is Vinh; he is such a pleasure to talk to and deal with.

In my speaker setup, I'm running a full loom of Triode Wire Labs cables (speakers, interconnect, ethernet, coaxial). The cables were slowly added one after another, and I find them all very neutral and transparent. They're also built really well. As with Danacables, the TWL front man Pete is another great guy to work with.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 9:21 AM Post #4 of 868
I enjoy reading Jay's reviews. Some of the purchases I made are based off what he has said.

How did you decide on the Danacables? Did you manage to audition them beforehand? I only have experience with their LR headphone cable. I feel their site a bit lacking in information on the different models, and can't really find many reviews on their interconnects (even on the respective item pages). But upside is, the best thing about Danacables is Vinh; he is such a pleasure to talk to and deal with.

In my speaker setup, I'm running a full loom of Triode Wire Labs cables (speakers, interconnect, ethernet, coaxial). The cables were slowly added one after another, and I find them all very neutral and transparent. They're also built really well. As with Danacables, the TWL front man Pete is another great guy to work with.
I started off with the Lazuli Reference with my Utopias when I had them. I really liked the improvement I was hearing, so I tried the interconnects. I liked those too, so I kept buying more cables. I didn’t audition them beforehand, but Danacables let you return them within 15 days. I liked them so much, I never returned any
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 8:09 PM Post #5 of 868
I may give the LR another shot with the Utopia..

As for my XLR interconnect search.. After doing some reading on Audiogon, I came across Cerious Technologies. Read a lot of good reviews on their Graphene Matrix line and how quite a few folks have swapped out a lot of their cables for full looms of the Matrix items.

Ended up placing an order for a 1.5m pair of Matrix Damping Squared XLRs. Will be looking forward to comparing them with my TWL and Cardas Golden Presence cables.
 
Jul 26, 2020 at 6:08 AM Post #6 of 868
Posted this on whatsbestforum recently, so just a copy and paste.

"I just received the Final Touch Audio Callisto usb cable yesterday. Spent the past few hours listening to music.

For those who feel they've almost "completed" their system and looking to add that one last percent, this cable may well be that finishing touch (as the company name implies... lol).

I have the phasure lush2 and mad scientist black magic, triode wire labs discrete usb, (and previously curious evolved), and the fta callisto bests all of them.

Out of the box, the callisto takes away all upper registry edginess and glare; I had this with the lush2 but I mistook it for detail and clarity; only now is it apparent that I was poorly mistaken. Pinpoint imaging for vocals, better instrument placement, which makes for a more believable and dimensional soundstage.

Also, with this cable, nothing really jumps out in your face. At the same time, nothing is noticeably lacking. Everything seems to be balanced, in exactly the right amount. It is quite an odd feeling to finally have an idea of what people are trying to convey when they use terms like "coherence" in music.

In all fairness, the other cables I have are already very good but the callisto just takes it up another notch. If I could put a ruler and measure it, the actual differences in sound are probably really small, but the thing is, they're quite noticeable.

At the asking price, it is definitely in the diminishing returns category. But like I said... Finishing touches.

I have just ordered another one."

Well, the second cable arrived a few days ago and I've been playing music through my system non stop to run it in.

The second cable replaces a Mad Scientist Black Magic USB (between an sotm sms-200 ultra neo and sotm txusbultra).

The difference between swapping in the first fta usb and adding in the second fta usb is small. With regards to imaging and soundstage, these were already really improved with the first usb cable that I didn't find any much difference adding the second. The only perceived difference with a second fta USB is music presentation is further relaxed and balanced.

In all honesty, would have probably been content with keeping the black magic usb in the chain. I will revisit this and do an A-B comparison sometime soon, and perhaps my view for this will change.

The dealer, Goran, has been extremely helpful and prompt with his replies. He mentioned that quite a few of his customers have reported that adding in the fta ethernet cable was quite favourable. I've ordered a 0.5m length to place between the Uptone EtherRegen and sms-200 ultra.

Some pics of the 0.5m fta callisto.. I think the build is as good as it can be. I like how it looks like a fat anaconda. Very flexible cable.

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Aug 11, 2020 at 6:56 AM Post #7 of 868
Hoping this thread can be more helpful than it currently is. Do share if you have some nice cables that you think others may be interested in.

Just sharing some pics of the new cables I've just received today. Cerious Technologies Damping Squared XLRs. They are built to perfection. Amazing build quality. They are pretty heavy and hefty, and thick but yet still very routable and pliable. Love the sleeving Robert has used. The plugs look amazing. Too bad they're going to be out of sight all the time.


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Aug 11, 2020 at 7:28 AM Post #9 of 868
Did you ever try the legendary curious usb?

I did have the Curious Evolved, but not the original Curious. I've read a few reports that the original Curious is better sounding than the Evolved..
 
Aug 11, 2020 at 7:44 AM Post #10 of 868
I did have the Curious Evolved, but not the original Curious. I've read a few reports that the original Curious is better sounding than the Evolved..
Is it that natural like people say?

At the moment i have a selfmade silver cable which is extremly detailed but a bit bright. Usually i prefer a more natural, organic sound.
 
Aug 11, 2020 at 8:06 AM Post #11 of 868
Is it that natural like people say?

At the moment i have a selfmade silver cable which is extremly detailed but a bit bright. Usually i prefer a more natural, organic sound.

Have u considered the mad scientist black magic usb? I find it has better low end and less forward presentation, and overall more balanced sound. I prefer it over the Curious Evolved.
 
Aug 11, 2020 at 10:32 AM Post #12 of 868
Have u considered the mad scientist black magic usb? I find it has better low end and less forward presentation, and overall more balanced sound. I prefer it over the Curious Evolved.
Nope. Live in Germany. Other things than audioquest, supra, lorad and wireworld are hard to get here. Curious is sometimes on the used market.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 4:31 AM Post #13 of 868
I have the original Curious USB cable and I like it better than a Nordost Heimdall 2 usb cable that a friend of mine let me borrow. The Curious cable has been so good that I have no desire to upgrade. I also have a Light Harmonic Lightspeed USB cable in my other system that I like better than the Wireworld Platinum Starlight. I have not compared the Curious to the Lightspeed. I feel that with all cables, it‘s system dependent and obviously user preference dependent. I don’t believe that one cable fits all systems equally well.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 6:31 PM Post #14 of 868
I would be interested to hear what headphone cables people are using with their Focal’s.

I have a pair of Stellia that I am waiting to match up with a Forza Audioworks cable.

Stock Focal cables are pretty poor to use...
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 6:59 PM Post #15 of 868
I would be interested to hear what headphone cables people are using with their Focal’s.

I have a pair of Stellia that I am waiting to match up with a Forza Audioworks cable.

Stock Focal cables are pretty poor to use...

I've not tried any offerings from Forza. Let us know how that pairs.

At present, my preference is Utopia + Arctic Cables silver series and Stellia + WyWires Platinum.

The Stellia + AC cable ended up a bit too bright up top for me, and also lacked some low end punch. However the AC cable sounds great with the Utopia. Utopia + wywires was good but it lost some top end air and clarity compared to the AC cable. Utopia + AC cable gives me all the detail and texture I want, without sibilance. I felt the WyWires had slightly wider soundstage with both headphones.

I'm waiting for some user impressions of the AC palladium cable in the AC thread before deciding if I'm gg to pull the trigger.
 
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