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Introducing Violectric (by Lake People) Cables

  1. socks mk2
    It seems that there is no thread for my beloved Violectric Audio cables (branding/naming pending) anywhere on head-fi. Even their Lake People Cables Section has no information listed about them yet. I'm looking to remedy that. Hopefully they don't mind me quoting some details from our varied back and forth conversations spread out over the last couple of months.

    I've had photos of them in my signature for a few months now already.
    I was also going to ask you if you had any recommendations for a cheap (under ~$100, not $5,000) XLR M to XLR F w/ Neutric X or XX for use between the Pro and V100 in a balanced connection? I have read it's ideal to have at least a 4-conductor braid/twist. Silver vs Gold plated connectors seems marginal at best. Then Copper vs Silver Plated Copper vs Silver seems to be a huge price difference in price. Lol. I'm just wondering because pairing a $500+ dac and $700+ amp with some $2.30 monoprice RCA interconnects seems a little too cheap. Their XLR cables look to be rather low quality too. If anything in my chain of interconnects were to make them sound worse than they should perform, it'd be my current rca cables for sure.
    I probably spent wayyy too much time looking into this than what it's worth (5 hours?). These are a few options that I found [removed for this post]. Let me know what you think or if you have a better suggestion. Thanks.
    Well, your timing is getting even better regarding cables now.
    Fried from Violectric is starting a new brand just for cables.

    cable is manufactured made in Germany. It uses the purest copper and is then silver plated. The connectors for the balanced version will be gold Neutric XX. I'll send you more details when I have them.

    update: Do you prefer the cables with or without a braided covering? It looks like we will be using a cloth textile in a carbon fiber like pattern with the colors gray and purple. I will also be getting a roll of just black. It may be a couple weeks before I have the braided sleeving though.

    update 2: I did receive the cable sleeving yesterday. I have black or black to choose from. I also ordered gray with purple. Instead I got silver and purple. So they have to remake it. It's not bad looking, but a little LOUD to look at. If you want I'll send you pictures.

    update 3Ok, black it is. I prefer black, but the owner of Violectric wants gray and purple. He told me that he can't stand looking at black; it's too boring. I never knew cables were suppose to be exciting to look at. Lol.

    update 4: I've just discovered the XLR connectors that Fried selected and already purchased boxes of absolutely will not work with the braiding. There is barely enough room for this thick 
    cable as it is with these XLR connectors. Ironically, the RCA connectors he brought work perfectly with this cable and he was planning on having a thinner cable made for unbalanced connections. The RCA connectors he got are audiophile connectors where as the XLR are pro audio connectors. Very good quality, but Audiophiles use fatter cables. lol

    So no braiding ok? It's still black and balanced. :)

    update 5: Fried told me that Neutrik makes a larger strain relief for the XX series which is sold separately, so I ordered a whole mess of them. They fit the cable with the braiding perfectly! If you want any more cables in the future with the braid, let me know.

    Some information about the Violectric Cables:
    "The connectors are Neutrik XX gold. The braiding I spoke of is just a cover over the rubber cable

    This cable does have an internal braided shielding of silver plated copper. Both conductors are also silver plated. Not to be confused with tin plating. This is real silver.

    First, this cable is made in Germany, so it has to be better! Second, it uses top purity copper with silver plating with a Teflon insulator, individual shielding on each wire using a carbonized outer sleeve and both wires are wrapped in a tight braided shield.
    I have tried many quad conductor cables. They work great for speakers, but suck for audio connections. The 4 leads cause a capacitance issue that has been brought up by many audiophiles. I didn't know anything about this; I just tried making many cables using a quad design and I found it never sounded as good as a 2 pair cable. I never new why until I read the capacitance issue can cut some of the high end off. The difference with the Violectric cables is the the two conductors are also individually shielded. That's a much better solution than just adding two more wires and twisting them. Example: http://www.head-fi.org/t/686298/suitability-of-starquad-balanced-cables-with-powered-studio-monitors

    I use Cardas Quad Eutectic Silver Solder. None of this lead free junk. This solder also has copper along with the silver, lead, and tin. It really does make a difference since the solder joint is the highest point of resistance in a cable." - Arthur Power
    "How to make a superior balanced cable

    We believe a balanced cable should have the lowest resistance possible to ensure the proper transfer of electrons between the two connected devices. To accomplish this two basic principles need to be considered: 
    the use of a material with low inductance and of a sufficient diameter.
    We decided to use silver plated copper with a large diameter of 0.5 mm2 or AWG 20. This achieved an ultra low resistance with as little as 16 Ohm/km or 0.016 Ohm/m (25 Ohm/mi or 0.005 Ohm/ft) – close to nothing! 
    The capacitance measures 75 pF/m (25 pF/ft) from wire to wire and 160 pF/m (50 pF/ft) from the wire to the shield.
    To ensure the best possible common-mode-rejection-ratio (CMRR) the inner wires are drilled 10 times per meter (3 times per foot). Who could ask for more!"
    Back in June, I was informed that a 1 meter pair of cables will sell for about $200 bucks.
    (update: 11/9/2015) The interconnects appear to be $199.95 for their base 0.5 meter cable; anything longer can be requested at an additional cost of $25 per 0.5 meter
    In other words: $199.95 (base, 0.5 meter) + $25/0.5 meter.

    Where to Purchase Your Own Pair of Interconnects:
    Violectric Audio Premium Interconnect RCA
    Violectric Audio Premium Interconnect XLR

    My Pre-Production Violectric XLR Cables] IMG_20150612_042026.jpg
    Early Production Violectric XLR Cables w/ Gray/Purple Sleeving:] viocables.jpg
    "Under the Hood", My Pre-Production Violectric XLR Cables w/o the Sleeving:] 20150731_163153.jpg
    My Pre-Production Violectric XLR Cables Paired With My Matrix Mini-i Pro and Violectric HPA V100:] 20150731_164128.jpg
    Originally Posted by ArthurPower /img/forum/go_quote.gif

  2. Ultrainferno
    I have been using my Violectric balanced cables for several months already
    OFC copper,
    Silver plated,
    AWG 20
    They're the ones in your 3rd picture. Love them. That being said, I did have an email conversation with Fried, in which he said they wouldn't be selling their cables under the Violectric/lakepeople brand name. But I won't go into detail.
  3. Blackrain
    I decided to do a little write up and compare two other cables to my Violectric Balance ICs
    Comparison of Three Cables
    Better Cables Silver Serpent II XLR
    Siltech SQ28 Classic G5 XLR
    Violectric Audio Balance Interconnects
    Cables and more cables all over the place...as my wife puts it – “What is this mess?” 
    To each there own which is what helps make our marriage work.  I love the look of a beautiful and affordable audio cable.  They feel like fine jewelry in my hands.  I can hear my wife mumbling under her breath "affordable in terms of what?"  She is an electrical engineer and tells me all the cables I buy should sound the same as long as they are kept short and have adequate gauge to transmit the signal.  In more than one instance I have heard:  “how much was that pair of wires….?”  Not wires honey…they are audiophile quality interconnects.  Just like it’s not a handbag.  It’s a Louis Vuitton “touché”.
    In terms of cables I have to disagree with her.  I hear differences and so does she (although she won’t admit it).   You know… when you go spend mega bucks for a high end audiophile cable but you don't tell the wife and when she walks in on you..while you are sunk into your favorite chair listening to your favorite song and interrupts you by saying: "hey what did you change in the system it sounds different ." Nothing honey still the same equipment : )  
    I have had my share of Mega Dollar cables over the years.  Here is a list of cables I have used in my two channel rig:
    Tara Labs
    Van Den Hul and a number of other cables that make the list too long.
    Today I use a complete set of Siltech cables for my two channel system.  Without getting into the exact cost of Siltech in my system.  I could probably pay my daugthers state college tuition for a couple of year.  I’m not a rich man and it has taking me about 15-20 years to accumulate my Siltech Cables.  In the late 90’s when I got into this hobby, good cables cost a fortune.  Today with the improvements in cable material and design it seems that there are a number of very good sounding cables out on the market that sound extremely musical for a small fraction of the price of my Siltechs.  What a great time to get into a new hobby.  So about a year ago I did just that…I started to listen to headphones, head amps and DACs in order to enjoy my music without bothering the misses. That way we can be in the same room, enjoy each others company and not lock myself in my man cave staring at my two channel rig.  Little did I know that I would end up loving this new hobby and be spending mega bucks again on equipment and headphones.  I mean this was suppose to supplement my two channel system but these days I find I use the headphone system much more.
    My first real enjoyable headphone system consisted at the time of the Burson Audio Virtuoso and Audeze LCD 3 with fazor. I loved the LCD 3 sound but always felt that they just weren’t extended enough at the top end and sounded very closed in in terms of soundstage depth and width.  Especially in comparison to how I listen to music on my 2 channel stereo rig. 
    Of course with all things hobby related I could not leave things alone.  I long for a more open headphone and better sound staging.  At some point over this past summer I ended up buying the Hifiman HE-1000.  After giving the HE-1000 a listen I fell in love with the way they image and layout the soundstage (very much like my speakers in a two channel rig).  After extended listening I decided they needed more power and that the Burson was just not completely up to the task.   I love the way these HE-1000 sound with the Burson but they could use more oomph.  Once again I started to look at headphone amps and eventually ended up choosing the Violectric Audio 281 Amp and V850 DAC.  Wow no problem driving the HE-1000.  The Violectric pieces both had options for using balance IC’s so I started to look for some balance XLR cables.  I have never owned balance IC’s before but decided to give them a try as all the reviews seem to say that the Violectric combo I had sounded better with the HE-1000 while using the balance connections.  I find this to be true.  The balance connections make the Amp and DAC present a much quieter and blacker background to paint the music on too (throughout the years my two channel speaker rigs have always been single ended tube equipment so I never had a need to go with balance XLR cables). 
    The search for a balance XLR interconnect:
    First I started with Better Cables Silver Serpent II, which can be purchased via Amazon and has some really good user write-ups.  I found that although a great value they sounded meh and boring.  Then I decided to go back to my tried and true reference with some Siltech balance interconnects.  Now we are getting somewhere.  The Siltechs sounded like music and I was liking them quite a bit with the Violectric pieces, especially while using my LCD 3’s but with my HE-1000 they sounded very extended but not as smooth as I would like.  So a phone call to Arthur at Violectric USA asking him to recommend some cables came back with the following answer:  
    “Violectric is about to release there own cables. I have already sent samples out and the feedback has been better then expected. Violectric had a company in Germany manufacture this wire for them. I then worked with a textile company in NY to custom make us some very high quality braiding. I hope to have them on our site in the next month. The price will be around $200 a pair. No over priced crazy magic designs just quality engineering. Top grade copper that is silver plated and then double shielded in a very flexible well constructed cable.”
    Well how could I not give this cable a tried as I love my Violectric Head Amp and DAC.  But honestly I thought ok another $200 dollar cable how good could it be since I was already using a much more expensive cable.  Long story short I asked Arthur to send me a pair when they became available and the cable arrived on my doorstep a week later.
    I burned the cables in for 48 hours before giving them a serious listen (my wife says I’m nuts. It makes no difference to burn in).  I wasn’t very eager but ended up really liking what I heard and my listening session went on for 3 hours straight.  This cable was magnificent.   It was extended and smooth at the same time and did sound staging really well.   It was a fantastic match for my HE-1000.  On my LCD 3 the change was not as drastic just a different rendering of the music compared to the Siltech.  The Violectric IC was more organic sounding than both the other two cables.  Its draw of the music made me feel like I was listening to live music when orchestral music was playing.   I could feel the excitement of the orchestra, the warm and intimate setting of a Jazz lounge and the intimacy of Vocals when listening to Janis Ian, Alison Krauss, and Norah Jones.  Why do I think they sound organic?  Well these cables don't really have any fault in my system.  Maybe not the most extended cable compare to the Siltech but extended enough.  Its always a trade off so although it does not sound as extended it sounds more organic and smoother.
    In terms of aesthetics I like the way the cable looks and feel.  The feeling is definitely high end audiophile quality.  Here is a photo of all three cables with the Violectric in the middle.  The Violectric cable has no lettering on it but does have nice red and blue L/R indicators on both ends of the XLR connectors.   The other two cables do not have any color or L/R indicators on their Neutrik Connectors.
    As per Violectric USA the cost of the IC is as follows:
    0.5 meter $199.95
    1.0 meter $224.95
    1.5 meter $249.95
    2.0 meter $274.95
    Overall Comparison and findings:
    Better Cables Silver Serpent II XLR Audio Cable 1 meter -$99.00
    1. •    Great Value for the dollar
    2. •    Nicely made good quality Neutrik Connectors
    3. •    Good top extension
    4. •    Fairly tight base
    1. •    Neutral Midrange to the point that it’s a bit boring and flat sounding
    2. •    Imaging is ok but not as define as the other two cables
    3. •    Soundstage depth is a bit flat sounding front to back compare to the two other cables
    4. •    Low bass is a bit weak
    5. •    Mid bass is adequate
    6. •    Overall neutral but a bit boring sounding
    Siltech SQ28 – Classic G5 XLR Balance 1 Meter - $450.00
    1. •    Very extended top end – More extended then the Silver Serpent & Violectric IC
    2. •    Nicely made good quality Neutrik Connectors
    3. •    Fast Tight and articulate bass
    4. •    Nice Slightly Warm Midrange very good with vocals, good body and bloom
    5. •    Wide sound stage
    6. •    Seems to make the volume sound louder than the other two cables at the same levels (this seems to be a Siltech character and I have heard this on other Siltech cables and from other audiophiles).
    7. •    Overall musical sounding
    1. •    Value for dollar -2x to 3x more expensive then the other two cables especially as the lengths increase…each meter is basically doubled.
    2. •    Soundstage depth is a bit flat compare to the Violectric IC but much better that the Silver Serpent
    3. •    Top extension is not as smooth as Violectric IC but smoother than the Silver Serpent
    4. •    Midrange bloom can sometimes make the imaging seem not as sharp or clearly defined
    Violectric Balance Interconnect 1 Meter -  224.95
    1. •    Value for dollar
    2. •    Nicely made good quality Neutrik Connectors
    3. •    Smooth top end good extension but not quite as extended as the Siltech
    4. •    Nice Slightly Warm of Neutral Midrange: very good with vocals, good body
    5. •    Nice layering from front to back on the soundstage
    6. •    Musical and articulate bass – not quite as fast sounding as the Siltech
    7. •    Very organic and overall musical sounding
    8. •    Low bass has very good extension
    1. •    Soundstage width is not as wide as Siltech but wider than the Silver Serpent
    2. •    Bass is not as fast as the Siltech
    3. •    Top end not quite as extended as the Siltech
    Here is a photo of my current headphone rig.  I use my Macbook pro via USB for all my music listening.
    The Violectric IC combined with the other Violectric pieces and my HE-1000 make the already easy to listen to HE-1000 sound even more organic and musical.
    As I mentioned earlier, it’s great that there are so many really good sounding cables out on the market that are not at audiophile prices these days.  Even with that in mind I feel that the Violectric Audio IC is a rare find.  It does everything so well at an affordable price and the extra meters are not double in price as are so many cables currently on the market.  Anyone looking for an affordable cable that really has no faults in my opinion should give the Violectric IC a try.  I am now tempted to order a pair of single ended Violectric IC and give them a try against my reference Siltechs on my two channel loudspeaker rig.  
    Will they beat out my Siltech SQ110 Classic G5 MK II Cables at $2600 a meter pair.  Well I hope not LOL
  4. ab_ba
    It’s nice to see this thread exists. I grabbed a pair of XLR cables when I bought my V281/V800 stack a few months ago. It just felt wrong somehow to just use my Monoprice cables with my fancy new gear.
    I’m definitely on the fence about cables. On one hand, it doesn’t make much sense to the logical half of my brain - we’ve got tiny little wires running throughout our gear carrying our signal. That’s the bottleneck. How can it possible matter how gorgeous and well-made the external signal-carrying cables are when the internal ones are much thinner, but certainly sufficient for the task? But on the other hand, good cables have interconnects that are machined to better tolerances. They won’t mess up your jacks. They’ll last a lot longer. They look great, they feel great. Apart from the volume knob and the power switch, cables are the part of your gear you’ll physically interact with the most - why not get it right? Maybe they sound better - maybe not. That debate will rage on forever, but for me, there are other (better?) reasons to want decent cables.
    The Violectric cables plug in so snug and satisfying. I don’t hesitate to unplug and re-plug them when I want to move stuff around. I love the purple color of the sleeves - it just looks great on my desk. I haven’t carefully A/B’d with the Monoprices, let alone A/B/X’d. My cables certainly add to my enjoyment of the product - for me, cables are up there with build quality as something that add to my enjoyment of quality gear.
    I follow Robert Harley’s rule of thumb - spend 5-15% of your system budget on cables. Seems like the folks at Violectric was listening: they priced their cables just right. Certainly worth it to me. 
  5. GeoD
    I had the pleasure of picking up some Violectric RCA interconnects.  The build quality on these cables are impressive.  I've had some quality cables in the past including Jena Labs interconnects and while these are a different animal, I feel for the money, these are an amazing value when it comes to cables.  While I didn't have another higher end cable to compare these to, I was pleased to discover more detail and a wider sound stage compared to the entry level grade interconnects I replaced them with.  I look forward to some more critical listening and will report back on any new findings from these interconnects.  Here are some pictures of these beautiful cables...
  6. musicbuff
    I got a pair of Violectric balanced XLR interconnects also when I bought my V281 (wonderful HP amp). And the interconnects are very good, increasing clarity and bass extension, and toning down a bit of the brightness in my Sennheiser HD 800. Unfortunately I have to share an observation. When I used these interconnects to connect my DAC to my V281 my Audeze LCD-X became so "warm" I put them up for sale (no offers yet) because it was just to dull sounding for my taste. Just today I read Blackrain's comparison interconnect results "Nice Slightly Warm Midrange very good with vocals, good body and bloom" a light bulb went off. I wondered if connecting the Violectric interconnect to the "slightly warm of neutral" V281 DAC contributed to making the LCD-X sound overly warm. So I swapped back to the original XLR interconnect. There it was, treble sparkle and a much more accurate timbre of instruments. I'll keep and use the Violectric XLR interconnects when using my HD 800 but "the other brand" with my X. 
  7. kottav
    I just received my Violectric RCA interconnects along with my Lake People G109-A headphone amplifier. I am amazed at the quality of both products, but especially the RCA interconnects.
    I will start with a little bit about my cable history. Thus far I have mostly used cheap monoprice interconnects for my audio gear. I was used to shoddy quality both in build and sound. When these Violectric cables arrived at my doorstep, I was blown away! These interconnects are a thing of beauty.
    They have a solid weight to them and are quite thick in diameter at around 10mm. The sleeving is definitely high quality and doesn't feel like it will fray easily. I love the Violetric color scheme; it really pops with any setup. The color scheme is not too loud though. The connectors are sharp-looking locking connectors. The connectors are solid-feeling hunks of metal. The locking mechanism works reliably even on the recessed RCA connectors of the Lake People G109-A. The connectors have clear channel markings of what looks like anodized aluminum on each cable.
    The interconnects sound as good as they look. Coming from cheap monoprice cables, I did notice a difference in sound quality. There is more detail the treble. Cymbals have a more detailed decay than they did before. There is more air and space in the soundstage. It is easier to hear the locations of instruments in the recordings.
    I look forward to more critical listening with these interconnects. I love hearing new nuances in my music and these cables provide that along with stellar build quality.
  8. DiscoSmoke
    So the Violectric locking connectors are compatible with the recessed RCA jacks of the Lake People G109-A? I tried some DiMarzio M-Path locking cables and could not get sufficient bite on the G109-A's recessed RCA connectors.
  9. theveterans
    The locking connectors are not from Violectric but from Furutech rather.
  10. kottav
    Yes, I'm using them at the moment with the Lake People G109-A. It's a close fit, but it works without issue.
  11. DiscoSmoke
    Thanks kottav. Beautiful cables. I'm going to give the balanced ones a try.
  12. socks mk2
    More Photos. Pardon the sub-par focus of my LG G4. :p
  13. reklov
    @blackrain: I just ordered the V850 with a pair of balanced cables by Lake People to connect it to my V280 and after reading your review look even more forward to using them! I listen to opera and classical music, but also rock, pop and jazz thru a T1P (because I can use it with my AK240) and hope they will pair well.
    Question: what is your opinion on USB cable? What are you using (since we have a very similar set up: Mac - V850 and so on) and why?
    Do you use bitperfect and what is you opinion on it?
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
  14. jmac1516
    Violectric XLR in the wild:

  15. RobertSM
    I'd like to give my endorsement for the Violectric XLR cables.

    I'm presently running a pair of 1.5m XLR cables from my Violectric V281 to a pair of Genelec 8350a speakers. I can say in my system they have proven to be superior to a pair of much more expensive Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 XLR cables of the same length.

    The Wireworld cables had a top end harshness that was too fatiguing. I bought the cables due to the fact that I was using a pair of the same cables in .5m length upstream from my Violectric V850 DAC into the V281. For that purpose, for me, they work very well, and will stay as they are.

    But for the V281 output into the class D amplified Genelec 8350a speakers I just felt like something valuable was missing. Indeed, the Wireworld cables choked out the low end and robbed me of the warmth of both female and male vocals.

    I've now made the switch to the Violectric XLR cables, and have gained more bottom end, more mid lushness and the humanality of vocals. This change had also smoothed out the top end harshness I was experiencing.

    I'd like to add that I feel the Violectric cables are a value as they were 2/3 cheaper than the Wireworld cables!

    Just a reminder that cables are really system dependent. And in my system, in this application, my Violectric cables do the trick!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019

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