If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
May 26, 2015 at 11:20 PM Post #5,971 of 17,429

Happytalk

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Advantage of the adapter is that you can use any cable with the MMXC or Westone 2-pin connector.
Disadvantage of a dedicated ER-4 cable is (for the manufacturer) it's only good for 1 IEM, and (for the user) you're in the same boat if you don't like the new cable or it breaks.

I agree it's not the cleanest looking solution, but Awwan's adapters work great (in my experience) and you can't see or feel them when you're wearing them. He's got S, P and B versions available for Shure cables and S and B for Westone.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=FOR+ETYMOTIC+ER4+IN-EARPHONE+CABLE+ADAPTOR+-+S&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XFOR+ETYMOTIC+ER4+IN-EARPHONE+CABLE+ADAPTOR.TRS0&_nkw=FOR+ETYMOTIC+ER4+IN-EARPHONE+CABLE+ADAPTOR&_sacat=0
Any difference in sound to the stock cables?
 
May 27, 2015 at 12:50 AM Post #5,972 of 17,429

gixxerwimp

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That's a completely different topic. I'm not a "cable believer", so the wrong person to answer that question.
 
My goal was to reduce cable noise ("microphonics") and add a remote for convenience (I bought the stock Shure 1-button cable). The adapters let me accomplish both.
 
May 27, 2015 at 6:13 AM Post #5,973 of 17,429

Jazic

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That's a completely different topic. I'm not a "cable believer", so the wrong person to answer that question.

My goal was to reduce cable noise ("microphonics") and add a remote for convenience (I bought the stock Shure 1-button cable). The adapters let me accomplish both.


There isn't much to believe. As sensitive as IEM's are and having a change in resistance can and will effect the frequency response curve. It might be small but its definitely enough to be audible.

Whether it's worth the price is up to you. In my opinion it's not so much about sound as it is about comfort and aesthetics.
 
May 27, 2015 at 8:04 AM Post #5,974 of 17,429

castleofargh

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That's a completely different topic. I'm not a "cable believer", so the wrong person to answer that question.

My goal was to reduce cable noise ("microphonics") and add a remote for convenience (I bought the stock Shure 1-button cable). The adapters let me accomplish both.


There isn't much to believe. As sensitive as IEM's are and having a change in resistance can and will effect the frequency response curve. It might be small but its definitely enough to be audible.

Whether it's worth the price is up to you. In my opinion it's not so much about sound as it is about comfort and aesthetics.


let's see... nope.
ever heard of threshold of hearing? if something makes a very small change, there is a point where to us it's no change at all. so let's not pretend like changing cables will always have an audible effect because it's lie.
 
 
and as far as the er4 is concerned, if you're only talking resistance and FR changes, then changing cable is a very useless thing to do for sound given how much resistance we have to add to change the sound. better focus on the source we'll be using and its impedance, that can make a bigger change than getting a new cable. but even that is of small importance on the er4 and of pretty much no importance at all on the er4s.
and of course the irony here is that better cables are those with supposedly lower impedance like silver stuff. while the er4s is supposedly the better IEM for adding 75ohm to it ^_^. so in a way getting a "better" cable would go against(in a soooooo small and irrelevant way) the better sound
wink_face.gif
.
 
May 27, 2015 at 11:12 AM Post #5,976 of 17,429

Jazic

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let's see... nope.


I don't want to get into a passing match about cables but they can change the sound. Cables are transferring an electronic signal to a dynamically responsive device that can and will change its frequency somewhat based on the signal being sent through it.

At the very least we can agree that amp impedance changes the way a pair of headphones sound then why is it so offensive to say that cables that dirty same thing but on a smaller scale do the same exact thing? It changes the signal that the headphone receives and therefore changes the frequency response shape.

Another proof is to look at innerfedility graphs and see how the impedance changes as you increase frequency range. The only exception to this is orthodontic which tends to be equal from bottom to top.

The real question and debate I think you're trying to make is whether it not its worth it? That is up to you and a matter if opinion and not a means of dismissing proof on paper that cables can change the way something sounds. As IEM's and headphones get more and more revealing and transparent it's easier to tell.

Personally I think there's a line and that's beyond the comfort and aesthetics that makes it not worth the point of diminishing returns.
 
May 27, 2015 at 11:24 AM Post #5,977 of 17,429

Happytalk

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I forgot that cables can be a hot topic. I guess I need to try it and see!

Forgive me for asking. It is just that I just have grown to really love the synergy of my portable system with the er4s. So, part of the inner peace that it brings has evolved from its sonic familiarity. The rig has been an iPod classic 7th gen with a jds labs c5. Generally lossless music. I recently bought a 5.5 gen, and while I hear more of the resolution I have looked for, particularly in cymbals (I'm a jazz drummer/listener), the 7th gen, with the c5 and er4s achieves a detailed and fatigueless experience that I really enjoy. Amazing what can be heard at a low volume. I think cables can have some to do with eq, like different gear. I think subtle changes in sound based on each piece of gear, including a cable, add up over the chain. The possibilities if these subtle changes is one if the reasons this place exists.
 
May 27, 2015 at 12:05 PM Post #5,979 of 17,429

Jazic

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Ignorance is bliss. Man I wish I had never heard the difference between a silver and copper cables.. 
 
Digital has no effect with cables. You either have 100% or 0%. There is no variance. With analog there is a variance. If it can be measured with a multimeter then it is possible to be heard with a high enough resolution device. 
 
Imagine having some hangerwire RCA cables coming from a high end source device like an Imax setup. If you change out the hangerwire cable with a proper shielded and higher quality cable of the same long length of say 500ft which should be degrading and very very clearly visible of the differences. 
 
Audio cables are the same example but to a much lesser extent. Just because you've never heard it doesn't mean it's not real. 
 
But like I say ignorance is bliss. I hope you never see the unicorn. 
 
 
----------
EDIT: Personally I use a modded Westone cable because I prefer it's ergonomics over the stock cable with memory wire removed. It's lighter and actually *gasp* does sound better. I dunno if I ever mentioned this story or not but I was at the gym and had been using the Westone cables for awhile at that point. I modded the Shure short cable by removing the memory wire and was working out on the elyptical and kept checking to make sure I hadn't changed an EQ setting and changing to songs I knew well because something sounded off. It was as if the mids were heavily boosted and the sparkle and sub bass was gone. I literally stopped the machine, went outside to my car, got the Westone cable and put it on right there and noticed an instant difference in sound. The mids tamed down and the sparkle and bass returned like I was familiar with. Havne't looked at the Shure cable since. 
 
If you still want to call me an idiot, spend $30 on the FiiO cable on Amazon and tell me you don't hear a difference. There is a lot of talk about that cable but really listen to the difference and you'll see how it sounds. If not, good on you and save yourself a ton of cash! 
 
May 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM Post #5,982 of 17,429

castleofargh

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let's see... nope.


I don't want to get into a passing match about cables but they can change the sound. Cables are transferring an electronic signal to a dynamically responsive device that can and will change its frequency somewhat based on the signal being sent through it.

At the very least we can agree that amp impedance changes the way a pair of headphones sound then why is it so offensive to say that cables that dirty same thing but on a smaller scale do the same exact thing? It changes the signal that the headphone receives and therefore changes the frequency response shape.

Another proof is to look at innerfedility graphs and see how the impedance changes as you increase frequency range. The only exception to this is orthodontic which tends to be equal from bottom to top.

The real question and debate I think you're trying to make is whether it not its worth it? That is up to you and a matter if opinion and not a means of dismissing proof on paper that cables can change the way something sounds. As IEM's and headphones get more and more revealing and transparent it's easier to tell.

Personally I think there's a line and that's beyond the comfort and aesthetics that makes it not worth the point of diminishing returns.


not saying a cable cannot change sound compared to another cable. I've been calculating an impedance change in the cable just last page to explain the sensitivity change from p to s. I just need to do it for 2 frequencies while looking at the er4 impedance curve instead of taking the 1khz spec to get the actual FR change at those frequencies. in fact I actually made a very poor excel file to avoid having to redo the calculations of each frequencies.
you can see an example where little impedance change can be clearly audible in that review at the bottom http://www.head-fi.org/products/fitear-to-go-334/reviews/10484
 
so of course I think impedance changes in a cable+source can change the sound of at least some IEMs.
 
what I'm saying is that an average cable is already low impedance, because there is no reason why copper wouldn't conduct well, if not then the cable is bad and that's it. so getting a better cable that goes down from there like using silver, won't get us to -10ohm. it's only moving from maybe around 1ohm to a little less, and that by itself has little chances to create a significant change in signature.
and the er4 doesn't go low enough in impedance to be one where it really matters. and of course as I said, with the er4s(so with the added 75ohm, changing cable wouldn't mean shiit when it comes to impedance in regard to what has already been added.
now the se846 is a counter example and one I have been using to tell people not to buy a pono or a sony ^_^. but that's because added to the wide change in impedance, that IEM goes super super low, golden ears gives it going as low as 4ohm
eek.gif
. so obviously just 0.5ohm change from the source could go close to 1db change(rule of thumb but I could make an actual calculation).  for the er4 0.5ohm would get a much lower change, one I would call insignificant to my ears.
 
 
now some cable change more than just impedance, after all a cable plays a perfectly known game with resistance, capacitance, inductance, and freqs. there are ways to mess around with those and get an audible change, but actually little ways to improve the overall signal fidelity because a basic cable is already pretty great at doing the job. 
stuff like crosstalk can be improved if the cable runs 4 wires all the way down to the plug, same if they are well separated and insulated, or it could be worst if the shielding is massive...
plenty of ways to make a change, little ways to make it audible, and even less ways to make it an actual improvement(as in what came in goes out without change).
so yeah a low impedance source is the way to go on most IEMs, and a cable should be bought mostly for comfort or how pretty it is, or if the original cable is real known crap.  is what I believe.
 
May 27, 2015 at 3:17 PM Post #5,983 of 17,429

K_19

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I may look for a new cable soon... Only because I've been more interested in the ER4B now that I may buy the cable with B resistor. I feel that I could perhaps use a bit more treble than what I'm getting with S at the moment. Even if I do I'm not looking forward to removing the cable though... i hear that it can be very difficult?
 
May 27, 2015 at 5:07 PM Post #5,984 of 17,429

luisdent

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I may look for a new cable soon... Only because I've been more interested in the ER4B now that I may buy the cable with B resistor. I feel that I could perhaps use a bit more treble than what I'm getting with S at the moment. Even if I do I'm not looking forward to removing the cable though... i hear that it can be very difficult?

 
Mine came out on their own over time :p I think the key is to pull straight out. No bending or wiggling much. There is glue, so you need to break the seal basically, which is why they don't initially want to come out. But get something between the body and cables where they meet and pull straight out carefully with more and more pressure... There's always a risk of damage, but life is a risk. :p
 
May 27, 2015 at 5:08 PM Post #5,985 of 17,429

csglinux

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But like I say ignorance is bliss. I hope you never see the unicorn. 
 

Jazic, I don't think you're insane because you're seeing unicorns. It's very likely you did hear a difference. I just think you're attributing the difference to the wrong thing.
 
The problem with any comparison that isn't carefully controlled, is that our brains have confirmation bias, especially after we've spent lots of money. And it's not just placebo. Everybody knows how seal affects low frequency, but try this one at home.... Take a higher frequency tone (say, 10 kHz) and amplitude modulate it with a lower-frequency signal - say 15-20 Hz. (A less effective alternative would be a recording of crickets chirping.) Now try playing this through your IEM and turn the volume down so that it's barely audible. Now trying moving the earbud very slightly - you should notice that movement by even a fraction of a mm causes the sound to go from quite clear to virtual silence. The sound waves bouncing off your tympanic membrane create the same type of comb filtering effect you get with stereo or surround-sound speakers. It's impossible to insert those earbuds to the exact same extent (or for you to sit in the exact same position) twice. Your brain expects you to hear something more clearly, so you adjust things until you do. Voila.
 
There's a nice test online you should be able to find via Google, where ABX tests showed people couldn't tell the difference between silver cables and a coat hanger.  Of course there is a difference, just like there's a measurable difference with 192 kHz sampling rates - but those differences are far beyond the ability of the human ear to detect. (And what if I made my copper cable 7% shorter, so that its impedance was less than that of my silver cable??)
 
BTW, I liked your recent post on the SE846 thread. I can believe that makes a difference.
 

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