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LCD-2 and LCD-3 Owners - which aftermarket cable do you use?

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  1. mamba315


    Have you decided you like it better than the Black Magic, sonically speaking?  I know you were thinking them very close but slightly different.
  2. mamba315


    Let us know how this turns out.  How long until you expect delivery?
  3. scootermafia
    It's hard to explain why various metals with moderate differences in conductivity sound different.  As far as the argument about the signal going through various board components, therefore why have nice cables at all, I give the following analogy.  Would you have a better drive to work if only 1/4 of the road was an unpaved gravel road and the rest smooth 4 lane highway, vs. an off road trail the whole way?  The way I see cables, the more you can minimize harm by improving the various connections in the system, the better.  It isn't that one signal going through a single transistor lead is going to kill all the sound quality.  Otherwise, we'd be screwed the second that digital signal came off the laser.
  4. perrew
    Well furthering that gravel road analogy, it would be even smoother if you could levitate and travel just above the road, so no cable at all would make the sound even better.
  5. scootermafia
    Right, if the circuits could just directly communicate.  That would be analogous to getting beamed up in Star Trek.
  6. perrew
    I wonder why no one ever recables the Stax O2, oh thats right it comes with copper wire already:D
  7. MacedonianHero Contributor

    Funny you should mention that, I have worked in many engineering roles in the electronics industry for over 15 years, the reason we use copper is mainly price. Silver is too expensive in comparison. BTW, which components are you referring to? Do you know how a particular capacitor sounds in a system? Or was it the system and it's application in it? There is also more to capacitors than the plated leads. [​IMG]
    For the past 6 years, I've worked at a flexible printed circuit manufacturer (mil/aero)...where copper ductility is very important for our "flexibility" (not to mention the higher costs of silver). In hard boards, copper wins for price and ductility. That's really the 2 reasons why. Price is obvious and ductility for plated through-holes.
  8. MacedonianHero Contributor


    There is enough of a difference with my ears/gear between the copper and good silver cables for all the reasons I previously mentioned....YMMV.
  9. kwkarth


    To my ear, they're both still very close, but slightly different.  The differences are so subtle, frankly, that as I said before, I would need a double blind test to convince myself of the real differences.  They're that close.  For me, I'e never heard any other cable sound as good as ALO's best until I heard the Black Magic.  So they're both outstanding, and for sure I prefer the comfort factors of the Black Magic.  It's far more flexible, far lighter, less microphonic, etc.  With the ALO, there's no doubt in my mind that you could pass it on to your descendants.  With the Black Magic, you may only cover one or two generations, with the ALO, four or five or more.  Obviously, that's goofy speculation on my part, but I wanted to try and impart some sense of the aesthetics of each of the cables.
  10. gogogasgas
    I was reminded of the downside of unshielded cables by Peter from Double Helix when I was toying with the idea of making a DYI braided cable.
    Getting a small signal from an amp to a set of headphones via unshielded cable is just asking for trouble. RFI, EMI and other junk that is collected through the power grid/the home's electrical wiring system, and interference from other audio equipment can ruin a system. You add a 10 foot run of unshielded headphone cable to that equation and the whole rig could just become a large antennae. Result? Muddy sound, grey sound, buzz, to name a few symptoms.
    I've had trouble before with unshielded interconnects. Some equipment is OK when hooked up with unshielded cables, but other gear can be a real pain, with annoying hum coming through the speakers (and headphones, I imagine, as well).
    The other side of the argument states that the shielding itself can cause a different set of woes, sonically at least. (interfering with the flow, so to speak)  Perhaps some PVC insulation and braiding is enough.
    I'm still in the market for the headphone cable, so I am unbiased when I say that the effort and method that Double Helix use to insulate their cables looks impressive. I think that Tara Labs use a similar idea in their hyper-expensive, top-of-the-line cables. What is the Silver Dragon design like in this area - V3 users like to comment?
  11. kwkarth

    Shielding headphone cables is destructive to the sound and completely unnecessary.   Signal levels are on par with speaker levels, and there are no active components in the headphones to amplify any EMI/RFI.  If you're using an amp with high levels of negative feedback, a long run of unshielded parallel cable (like zip cord) to your headphones might make trouble, but it is unlikely since the headphone impedance is usually too low to allow interference from induced/detected interference.  Braided cable will self cancel any coupled interference even if it were to get back into your amp.  
  12. gogogasgas
    KWKARTH: What about cross-talk between the left and right channels in the headphone cable? (or is that what you mean in regard to 'coupled interference'?) Wouldn't there also be a chance the cable would act like an antenna and pick up 'stuff'? I remember as a kid, the braces on my teeth picked up radio signal (yes, it happened to one of the Brady Bunch too!) Radiohead...
    With some of thicker braided cable designs, I am also worried the weight/stiffness of the cable will damage the wooden end pieces of the LCD-2s.
    In regard to the 'is silver worth the expense' debate: The superior conductivity of the silver has been stated clearly. What needs to mentioned again is sound quality of the silver v copper. Audio reviews of silver cable often mention the liquid and neutral presentation of music using silver cables. I get the impression that copper adds colourations and it also bloats certain frequencies.
  13. kwkarth

    In practical terms, there is no cross talk between left and right channels...not an issue.  I was referring to coupled (induced or detected) interference from EMI or RFI.  (Electro-Magnetic Interference or Radio Frequency Interference)  
    LOL!  I experienced the braces thing too, as a kid.  I lived in the ground plane of KSTP, a clear channel (50kW) AM station in the Twin Cities, MN, US.  I suspect the diodic function was created by the interface between brace metal, braces cement, and an amalgam filling or two.  That added to the mild acidic condition of saliva allowed me to charge my braces up with an ohm meter, and it took a while for the charge to leak off.  I digress. [​IMG]
    The cable weight / strain / stiffness thing is more of a comfort factor for me.
    I think if you research things a bit you'll find that skin effect, (yes, at audio frequencies) cable geometry, and dielectric issues are larger influencing factors on the audio performance of a cable than is resistance per thousand feet of cable in a ten foot cable.
  14. grokit
    I can see the point of the highly-regarded Piccolino's silver/gold construction; as it has been said silver is a superior conductor but what hasn't been said is that it also oxidizes/corrodes the most easily. So adding gold to the mix would preserve that superior conductivity for perpetuity as gold is the most resistant to oxidation.
    Having said that, I am a big fan of Peter's Double Helix Molecule series of headphone cables, I have four of them and they provide great sound quality, ergonomics and sensible economics as well as a very efficient ordering experience. I highly recommend the Molecule for any headphone with an upgradeable, modular cable.
    The only other cable I would buy for myself with the LCD-2 is the Norse Audio from Trevor. I remeber what pains he went through to find the perfect setup for the LCD-2 regardless of cost as he posted about his journey in detail befor he became a MOT. His introductory prices are unmatched and he reportedly offers very quick shipping, as well as great packaging and aesthetics.
  15. DannyBuoy
    Received my LCD2 on Saturday. In a twist of fate one of the owners of Audeze "Sankar" was heading through Southern CA and I met him at a Starbucks to be handed my long awaited delivery. It was very nice to meet him and talk for a few minutes, but sadly they did not have a balanced 4 Pin cable in stock.
    So I have it hooked up to the Violectric V181 via SE stock cable and I am wondering what the balanced amp will sound like. So I thought perhaps I can wire up a set of balanced cables as I have a large supply of OCC silver coated and shielded kapton coated wire.
    I was looking for the earpiece connectors and noticed someone pointed to a page with a Rean RT4FC-B earlier in this thread but the connector on my pair look more like this one: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=242-382 I was wondering if someone can confirm please?
    Also, I see a few options for Neutrik 4 Pin XLR. There is a nice fully black plug with gold connectors like this:

    Neutrik NC3MXX-B XLR Male Black w/Gold Contacts http://www.neutrik.com/us/en/audio/210_2028879036/NC4MXX-B_detail.aspx

    Any thoughts? I'd like to purchase the connectors one time if possible and make a balanced cable to head the V181 and LCD2 together and then decide if I want to purchase a Norse 4 wire or not.
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