High end (IEM) cable thread: impressions, pics, comparisons and reviews.
Oct 10, 2016 at 10:37 AM Post #196 of 4,052

warrior1975

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
7,619
Likes
1,203
All valid points that flinkenick makes. With cables, I recommend being more cautious. If at all possible try before you buy. I own a couple of high end cables, Whiplash 8 strand modular, which is an excellent system. You can change connectors easily, mmcx, 2 pin, balanced, se, etc. Very versatile. I also own Tralucent uBer Too cable, which is a great cable as well.

I've owned some mid-fi cables, and one or two other high ends. I believe I hear a difference between them, but to me, it wasn't a night and day difference. Definite improvements, whether it's placebo or not, not sure... But if you think you hear it, you do.

Just temper expectations when purchasing cables. I'd also say that make sure you have your idea IEMS/headphones before going crazy with cables.
 
Oct 14, 2016 at 6:59 AM Post #198 of 4,052
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Posts
3,400
Likes
7,357
Location
Amsterdam
  My favorite cable so far is Effect Audio Heracles. It's so good that I have to order the 2nd one for my 2pin ciem.
I mainly use my first one with JH Roxanne.

Nice man, what kind of sound does it have?
 
You know, you can also get adapters so you can use the cable on both iems. Rhapsodio can make them on order. Then you can spend that $1400 or whatever on a totally different cable :wink: Oh wait, never mind, JH has that funky 4-pin system to regulate the bass etc.
 
ps. See that your 2-pin iem is Deca? I'm posting a review of it within a few days.
 
Oct 16, 2016 at 10:44 AM Post #199 of 4,052

Dan E

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Posts
45
Likes
136
Location
Hong Kong

Hello everyone,
Since I tried more than 100 cables within the last 6 months on the search for the ultimate cable I would like to share my experiences and give short descriptions about some of the cables that impressed me in one way or another. I hope this is helpful for some of you, since most of the cables I reviewed below are expensive flagships. All the impressions posted here are merely from my memory, so it may be possible that they are not 100% precise. If there is any cable you are interested in and that I haven’t listed here let me know – I may have tried but just forgotten about it.
I tested all the cables using the same audio equipment, namely the Cowon Plenue S paired with the FitEar 335 SR upgraded.
 
Rhapsodio Copper Wizard:
One of my first cables to try – a massive and heavy cable. 8 braided OCC copper in a black sleeve (the first edition of the copper wizard was a stiff and hard sleeve while they upgraded it now to a soft one). The cable has one of the clearest signatures I’ve tried so far. A very natural sounding cable with a V-shape signature, shifted towards the bass (like a Nike-logo V). The cable has an impressive and full bodied bass while the upper bass region overlaps with the lower mid range. This causes the lower mids to be slightly crushed in a sense that the bass is overwhelming it. The upper mid range and treble are clear and detailed. The cable is very warm, so if you are looking for a sparkling crisp and analytic sound this is not the way to go. If you are looking for a natural and real sounding cable I highly recommend it. You can imagine this cable as a heavy glass of red wine. It lacks of freshness and dynamics but has this heavy dominant character that makes it a special experience. If you like to listen to heavy, epic movie soundtracks or classical pieces that let you shiver in awe, this is the cable that would do it best.
Since the copper wizard is very complex cable to review I would like to give a very short pro-cons list to underline my impressions.
Pros: Extreme detail, improves your sound a lot if you want more control and body for the bass.
Cons: Sound of the balanced version does not differ from the normal (unbalanced) version. Sound stage above average but not comparable to other sound stage monsters (see below).
 
Effect Audio Mars:
A gold plated OCC silver cable from Singapore. I tried the 4 braid version, since I learned that the 8 braid one was a limited edition to 20 pieces (for proud 2600 USD per piece) and is already sold out. The cable looks pretty – as most of the Effect audio cables they are almost a jewellery accessoire. Concerning the sound I could unfortunately not become friends with the Mars. I found the sound to be unclean in mid and treble and the cable could not give the wide and detailed stage that e.g. a Plussound X8 GPS or Whiplash TWau give (to compare with other gold plated silver options on the market). As to be expected from silver or silver plated cables, the bass was not too strong. However, unlike other cables with a similar alloy the bass did not have the controlled punchiness that makes the plating desirable compared to a pure silver cable. Like other cables with similar choice of materials, the mid and treble was sparkling and analytic but had this steady dragging and overlapping in sound that gave me a fuzzy impression. In total, I would have loved to try the 8 braid cable as well to establish a fairer comparison (since the other cables were mostly 8 braid cables, that did not have the harsh analyticity the Mars presents).
 
Labkable Pandora:
This cable is about closest to being jewellery. An 8 braid gold plated silver-silver-copper mix with futures like Swarovski crystals at the Y splitter for maximum beauty a cable could have. A thickly braided, soft cable that feels comfy around your ear and neck despite its massive appearance.
This was the first flagship I tried and it gave me quite special feelings. At first I was stunned because of the cable’s exciting tonality. I didn’t know what it was (due to lack of my experience with cables back then), but it gave me a special “wow!”-effect compared to “regular” sounding cables. The reason is the cable’s extreme dynamics due to its mix in materials. What I found over time is that the cable itself does a lot right. It gives the bass a clean separation and punch that you would expect from a copper cable. The stage in the mids is wide and detailed and the treble is crisp but soft, like you would expect it from a gold plated silver cable. The strong analyticity in the treble is damped due to the gold part and it sounds quite warm because of the copper. This is also what brings me to the cons of the cable. It tries and does so much at the same time but can’t fully unleash its potential. The complexity of the cable feels like a permanent fight of the single metals for dominance. As a result, some frequencies sound amplified, which was the reason or the first “wow!”-effects but may not be pleasant for everyone on a long term scale. The sound was slightly but audibly messy since some of the metals were fast and dynamically responding while others were slightly dragging behind, resulting in slightly fuzzy sound when comparing it to other “clean” cables (meaning pure silver, pure copper or some gold plated silver or copper, but no complex mix of more than two metals). My personal impression is that this cable performs excellently as an additional cable. If you feel like you want to hear something exceptional and exciting today, you may want to consider the Pandora. But for me myself it could not be my main cable for every day usage.
 
YY Pro Neptune:
The YY Pro Neptune is an 8 braid OCC Silver cable from a small local cable maker in Hong Kong. The cable itself is beautifully made and built of really high quality. As for the sound, I was astonished by its sound stage. Among all cables I have tried so far it is one of the top 3 in terms of wideness of stage. It is an extremely detailed, clear and wide cable what made me like it a lot. The cable is much warmer and less analytical than you would expect – due to its 8 braids it loses a great deal of its pure silver characteristics. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the one side, the cable doesn’t sound as artificial as some other silver cables that are brutally crisp and sparkling. It gives the sound a beautiful signature and the slight warmness makes it enjoyable to hear also for treble based pieces, even over a long period. The bass was unexpectedly present. It was well detailed and punchy but not very amplified, from which my setup (the FitEar is a bass monster) benefitted a lot. On the other hand the warm and less analytic character gives rise to a slightly unclean high mids and treble stage. It is not as well separated and crystal clear as a 4 braid silver cable, but therefore does a nice job in the bass. In conclusion one of the cables I liked best.
 
YY Pro Storm:
The Storm is a 4 braid pure OCC copper cable with a very solid built. Unlike the copper wizard, its 4 braid architecture gives a very natural character to the cable with the sound being extremely flat. The stage is much wider than the wizard’s stage, while the clarity is comparable. The bass is not as full-bodied and overwhelming but rather adds control and detail to it. The signature overall is extremely balanced on all stages without characteristic V shape copper tends to have. If you are looking for a balanced and natural cable that reflects every detail your audio equipment can produce without changing its signature, this is the way to go.
 
YY Pro Pluto:
The Pluto was about the most interesting and fancy cable I have tried so far. A very spectacular OCC silver-gold-palladium alloy that highly entertained me. In correspondence to its complexity this review is slightly longer since I don’t want to miss giving you a full description of this special piece. To start with the few negative points before praising the positive parts I would like to mention two points: sound stage and treble clarity. The sound stage is wide, but not as maximally wide as for example the Neptune or the Plussound X8 GPS are. However, what impressed me a lot was the symbiosis of the metals. Unlike other cables, like the PS tri-metal and the Pandora, the alloy is perfectly harmonic. No boundaries are audible throughout the spectrum which makes this cable amazing. The second negative point is the distortion of the treble and especially high treble stage. I picked this adjective since it is not unclean or fuzzy. The cable has perfect separation and a really clean character. The treble sounds like the type of sound you get when you plug in your E-guitar to your amp and turn up the “effect”-button to maximum. It has some very shrill notes when listening to it, which especially becomes audible after trying the cable multiple times. I personally found it exciting because it is a controlled distortion, but it does not suit every type of music and everyone’s taste. Apart from that the treble sounds very analytic. Not as harsh as a pure silver cable but quite close (I expected it to be softer due to the gold part in the cable, but it maintained a great deal of the strong analytic character of pure silver). Why it is like this is not entirely clear to me: the palladium itself is said to be a replacement for copper and should merely act on the bass (more about that in a moment), so I am not totally certain whether it nonetheless has some effect on the treble or whether there are other effects leading to this special sound signature.
Apart from that there is not much to criticize. The silver makes the mids and treble amazing. If you like the analytical character of silver but find silver itself too static in the bass region then this is your way to go. It has the full characteristics of the silver without adding too much warmth (unlike the Neptune, although this cable is as well an 8-braid cable) and rather maintaining its analyticity. The spectacular part is the bass and dynamics. This cable is about the most dynamic and punchy cable I have tried so far. It technically feels like someone pinches your eardrum when you hear a guitar being picked or a base drum being kicked, and that makes it exciting. I personally love this very physical character of the cable, while the bass is not as full bodied and strong as of a copper cable. The small palladium part rather controls it and adds a pinch of bass, which harmonizes perfectly with the silver signature overall.
 
Plussound X8 Gold plated Silver:
As the name suggests, the PS X8 GPS is an 8-braid gold plated silver cable of amazing quality. The braiding is flawless and it was the first time for me to see a square cable (extremely compact, like a brick). The sound is truly spectacular. It has the widest sound stage I have found so far, pushing your audio equipment to the limit. The stage is so extremely wide that sometimes you feel that it is a bit artificially wide, but for me it is nonetheless awesome to listen to it. The cable has a silverish signature as expected (I mention this since other silver cables or silver based cables differed significantly from what I expected!), meaning that it is a crystal clear, very detailed cable throughout the low mids until the high treble. The gold does the trick: The analyticity is not as dominant as in pure silver cables and makes the sound, especially in vocals and mid-high treble, very enjoyable. The sharp character is damped here and sweetened to a signature that I could listen to all day long. The bass differs audibly from a pure silver cable. It is more detailed and separated while obtaining some power to satisfy my needs also for fast rock and metal songs (for that reason I was sympathizing with copper instead of silver as a bass for a long time!). Unlike the X8 gold plated copper the bass is not as punchy or strong, but rather adds well defined control to it. Due to its overall presentation this became my cable of choice.
 
Plussound X8 Gold plated Copper:
Unfortunately I only tried this cable twice and for a quite short time such that I cannot say too much about it. For the build of the cable please refer to the GPS review above. What remained in my mind about the tonality was its great bass. Not overwhelming or overloaded, but perfectly present and structured. Fast, punchy and extremely controlled - exactly the performance I personally like. The gold added very nice detail to the high mids and treble, where the cable became unexpectedly detailed and wide. It was warmer than the GPS and not as detailed overall, but keeping up with a silver cable of that calibre is a quite ambitious goal.
Now to the part that I unfortunately cannot remember – the mids. I would love to test the cable again and give a more explicit review since it surely had potential. If I get the chance to test it again I will post more about the missing parts.
 
Plussound X8 tri-metal:
The tri-metal is a mix of silver, copper and gold. The sound was very detailed and wide in all stages. However, I found the sound of the single metals not to harmonize that well. Unlike other cables like the Pandora, the sound does not get fuzzy or unclear at all but it rather feels like every metal and corresponding stage plays on its own, generating big barriers in between. It sounds like a nice bass stage overlaps a nice mid stage (and so on), but in a complementary way without really fusing into one symbiotic sound that I would personally cherish. I rather had the impression that you could identify exactly which metal the sound comes from, at any time. The gaps in tonality, however, were too big to result in a 3-dimensional sound and rather felt like you listen to three separated cables at the same time.
 
Whiplash TWau 4 braid:
As the third gold plated silver cable I, unfortunately, cannot compare it perfectly with the X8 GPS since I could only listen to the 4 braid version. Ignoring these initial conditions and purely focussing on the sound the cable was close to the PS X8. The signature was similar but the sound was a bit harder in a sense that the spectrum did not feel soft and continuously flowing, but rather like hard discrete lines. This may originate from the missing 4 braids, which makes the analyticity of the silver more present and dominant. Furthermore, the mids and trebles were slightly fuzzy. It was minor but audible in direct comparison to the PS X8 GPS. The stage was not as extremely wide the X8, but still very good. In total, I would have loved to test the 8 braid version to have a fairer comparison and believe that it has very high potential.
 
Whiplash TWag 8 braid:
The 8 braid OCC silver cable by Whiplash was my steady partner to check on how other alloys and platings changed other cables’ sounds. That is because the TWag is the epitome of what you expect in terms of sound from a silver cable. Unlike the YY Pro Neptune this cable is much less warm. It adds a great deal of stage compared to 4 braid Silver cables but maintains most of its analyticity. It is precise, detailed and crystal clear. There is a slight hint of warmness in the treble but not to an extent that makes the cable sound audibly fuzzy. With this cold and harsh signature if I had to add a nationality I would describe this cable to be perfectly German (being a German myself :wink: .. ).
 
Cheers!
 
Oct 16, 2016 at 10:51 AM Post #200 of 4,052

jmills8

Previously known as bmiamihk
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Posts
13,300
Likes
6,115
Location
Hong Kong and Miami
Nice review Dan E !
 
Oct 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM Post #202 of 4,052

jmills8

Previously known as bmiamihk
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Posts
13,300
Likes
6,115
Location
Hong Kong and Miami
+1!!

Id love to hear the labkables. Is the Pandora their TOTL? I was looking through some of the aforementioned cables, but now I'm confused again... Should have taken notes.
If you want huge sound stage, details and deep pounding bass go for YY Pro Audio. Their Storm cable is the best.
 
Oct 16, 2016 at 11:39 AM Post #205 of 4,052

jmills8

Previously known as bmiamihk
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Posts
13,300
Likes
6,115
Location
Hong Kong and Miami
I do!!! I'll check them out too. Thanks bro. Are they sexy cables though? You know I need beautiful cables, just as important as the sound to me... Yes, I know, I'm shallow. :wink:
Ha Ha. Thats what she said.

 
Oct 16, 2016 at 2:32 PM Post #206 of 4,052

Vitor Valeri

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 8, 2011
Posts
420
Likes
177
Interesting topic!

 
Here my cable reviews:
 
A short impression of the Effect Audio Thor Copper with JH5
http://www.head-fi.org/products/effect-audio-thor-coper-iem-upgrade-cable/reviews/16329

 
 
JH5 + Effect Audio Ares Cable
http://www.head-fi.org/products/effect-audio-occ-pure-copper-ares/reviews/12420

 
 
Soon I will make a review of the Effect Audio Ares II.
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 6:22 AM Post #210 of 4,052

jmills8

Previously known as bmiamihk
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Posts
13,300
Likes
6,115
Location
Hong Kong and Miami
Beat Audio Billow 2K Hybrid Cable. Sound signature well it does everything. Great deep Bass, smooth but detailed Mids and very extended Treble. Very wide sound stage.







 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top