Hello, I guess this might be my first official review here on Head-Fi. I was chosen for the Linum SuperBAX Tour, and am very appreciative of this opportunity. Firstly I need to apologize to Linum for me taking this long to get the review finished. Let’s just say this has been a super busy month or so. This review was originally much longer and had more info on my other gear. I decided it would be better for everyone if I narrowed it down to just the cable as much as possible. I too was offered the chance to purchase this for a discount.
The gear I’m using for this review is my Dell Precision 7510 running Windows 10, via several DAW’s (Harrison’s Mixbus, Pro Tools, Studio One), into my Apogee Groove, and then out to the different headphones. I also have an iPhone 6s that I use for when I’m on the go, nothing added. Just straight out of it’s headphone port. I’ve narrowed down my mix of IEM’s for this test to my 64 Audio U4SE, U6, and then my Empire Ears Zeus XR Adel.
So I’ll start with what I think is the most amazing aspect of this cable. It’s size, build, and comfort. It is quite tiny and lightweight, and also very flexible and soft. It also does not tangle. Ever. Putting my Zeus back in the case is the only thing I don’t love about them. It’s a great case, but getting the original cable to stay coiled up in it’s compartment isn’t my idea of fun. This is one area the 64’s have over the others I others. I love the case they came with. So easy to wrap the cable up around the stand offs. However my Zeus customs are too big won’t fit in one. I tried. Anyway with this cable I simply roll it up and it stays. Doesn’t try to unwind or pop out like others. It also seems quite well built and should last a long time with proper care.
Comfort is also phenomenal. Once wrapped over my ears and the earpieces in, it just disappears. Especially with my Zeus Customs. At times I can almost forget that I even have anything in my ears. The included magnetic clip is also fantastic. I had initially overlooked it, and was planning on getting a standard plastic clip, but was looking through the case one day and realized this one was in there. It’s a bit rubbery so that it grips the cable well, and stays where you put it, but not so grippy that it can’t be easily adjusted if need be. Plus the magnets are quite strong and have never had any issue clamping through my shirt.
Next up is sound. I’m not a big believer in cables making really noticeable changes in sound. Tweaks maybe, not big changes. I’ve always been a tech guy and even took some EE classes in college, while trying to decide which degree to persue. So I understand how a cables resistance and capacitance can change the sound. I personally don’t see how the change in sound could enough to justify the cost of many super high end cables. Maybe when considered along with durability, and/or comfort improvements, and maybe even appearance (if that’s why you buy cables), I can understand a $200-$400 cable. But I can’t imagine myself ever spending more than $200 on a cable. If someone wants to send me a cable to demo and prove me wrong, please do so. It’s the only way I will ever try one. Unless I make it to a can jam some time. And maybe I’m wrong and need to try a $1000+ cable. But that’s a lot of money compared to the cost of materials. Anyway I digress.
That said, to me, this cable does enhance the qualities the monitor already has. It’s not a huge drastic change. It’s not going to make a bad monitor sound great, but it somehow takes whatever qualities the monitor already has and improves them. I’d be hard pressed to quantify the amount of change it has. Maybe 5%. But it’s enough to be noticeable.
I mostly use my in-ears on stage and for mixing music. I could never quite get any of the mixes I had done with the 64’s I had to translate like I wanted. There was always something off. And to me this is the most important thing in a monitor. Stock the U3 and U6 are nice and warm with awesome low end. The highs are clear but never fatiguing, and warm detailed mids. They were great on stage, but my mixes were always off on the top end. The U4SE’s have more high end, but at the cost of mids that don’t seem quite as natural, but still have the great low end of the others. However their gain in high end also leads to some peakiness on some tracks. They were closer to what I like to use to mix with, but still not quite there for me. With the SuperBAX the low end on all of them gets a bit deeper and has a bit more punch. The highs on the u3/u6 also seem to open up a bit. I haven’t tried mixing on them, but I could probably do a better job. The U4SE also benefits from this cable, but instead of the more highs, the highs get smoother. I don’t notice the peakiness near as much. Of all the monitors I tried it with the SuperBAX probably helps the U4SE the most. I won’t say it takes it to another level or anything, but it definitely brings the sound closer to what I want.
Then there’s the Zeus. This one is kind of weird to me, but it also makes sense. As I said before, this cable accentuates whatever qualities the monitor already has. And the strongest point of this monitor is the detail in the mids. I would say the R tuning is quite neutral, but with the SuperBax, it almost goes a bit mid centric. The highs get even smoother and the lows deeper with more punch, but the mids become the focus even more. The effect isn’t as strong with my iPhone or wireless in-ear pack on stage, but it’s there. Maybe it’s because I tried the 64 audio ones first, but I wasn’t expecting this. I had anticipated it opening up both the top and bottom end a bit. I’m not disappointed in anyway, just surprised. And when i want to use the more mid focused XIV tuning, it’s awesome. It really brings up the low mids and body of the sound. Big warm deep sound all around. Not the side I use for mixing, although I do check with it, but for casual listening it’s a treat. If I had to describe it more analytically, I’d say it’s almost like it has a tilt EQ with the R tuning. Maybe up a dB or two in the low end and down a half dB or so in the highs. But with the XIV, it’s more like a shelving eq with a 1-2 dB boost from 500hz and down. Not what I expected, but like I said, it enhances the qualities your in-ears already have. So it makes sense.
Overall I would recommend this cable to those that are interested. The build quality seems solid, the comfort is fantastic, it doesn’t tangle and is very manageable, and it does enhances the qualities your in-ears already have. Which for the ones I tried was all for the better. As previously mentioned, I was offered the opportunity to purchase the cable at the end of my time with it, which I did. And would have only for the comfort and manageability. The improvement in sound was simply a bonus for me. I would say that me not wanting to let it go, is the best endorsement I can give. It will be my go to cable for the foreseeable future.