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Low end. Cheap. Generic. Otherwise bang for buck cable thread!

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  1. Slater
    On Aliexpress they have universal silicone earhooks (for about $1). They have a slit in them that you can tuck the wires into.

    094E8374-6D96-4C3F-ABFC-707F2813076B.jpeg E807BBCF-6914-43F0-8B02-774983EAC75C.jpeg A3E77F81-73C5-4474-9E42-70107E289EB2.jpeg
    keoki likes this.
  2. BadReligionPunk
    keoki likes this.
  3. Dani157
    Thanks @Slater for your hardwork and analysis. Feel indebted to your and @hakuzen 's contribution to the cable community. Measurements shared by @hakuzen surely reflect the anomalies these cables have. KZ copper-silver cable looks dicey and may have such faults. Sadly, most of us aren't adept at these technicalities and blindly blame the gear or IEMs or everything. Also, if they "sound" as per one's liking then everything is fine despite all these shenanigans. One thing I have learnt from all this is that Chi-Fi is still a gamble where you're set up to lose (intentionally or otherwise). Most of the organisations in developing economies prefer scale of operations over quality, which is primary reasons of these QC misses and this will deteriorate exponentially in future as well. And that's not at all a good sign. For us in the Indian subcontinent, China presents fantastic value but still there is absolutely no trust in the Chinese goods because of their lack of durability and after service. In Hindi, there's a saying about Chinese goods which roughly translates to either it will last forever or never. Sadly, this the harsh reality. Although this is slowly being changed by brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus et all.
    perfecious, archdawg, fokta and 2 others like this.
  4. CoiL
    This is great match for my S'''''4in1 as it requires high-impedance of around 1Ohm to sound good and tame BA highs spikes.
    Currently using Tennmak "upgrade" cable bought long time ago but it has turned ugly-geen below transparent sleeve. Yak! ;S
    Slater likes this.
  5. Slater
    Thanks friend, I appreciate it.

    I will also mention that I rebuilt a KZ 8-core cable last night. And based on the extreme difficulty with dealing with all 8-cores (2 L+, 2 R+, and 4 gnd) I can say with 95% certainty that the vast majority of 16-core cables are fake.

    And yes, I know they use smaller wires with 16-core cables. Regardless, it’s a near impossible task to solder all 18 cores. And I have ninja soldering skills, high magnification, and a Hakko digital soldering station with SMD-sized tips.

    The issue (besides labor time) is physical space. If you have ever seen the microscopic pins on a mmcx, 2-pin connector, or a TRRS plug you will know I speak the truth.

    A true 16-core cable would be a work of art, and I’d charge $300 in labor just to make one. There is no way, even factoring in Chinese ‘free’ labor and microscope soldering stations, that it can be done - not at the ridiculous prices we see many of these 16-core cables ($12, $15, $25, $40). And this has nothing to do with TRN; physics is physics.

    I know that’s a bold claim, and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. I’ll bet anyone $100 cash that I can obtain 3 different and popular 16-core cables and physically dissect them, and that only 4 and MAYBE 8 are actually connected. Anyone want to take me up on the bet?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    zedbg, fokta, BadReligionPunk and 3 others like this.
  6. Dani157
    This is very much possible. Most of the labour in these regions is unskilled labour. People just stumble and blindly learn the tricks of trade from their seniors. They might not even know the importance of these cores. If it's functional, then it's job done for them. In west, the skilled labour+state of the art tech leads to higher costs and minimal QC issues. You get what you pay for. Most companies neglect consumers despite them being protagonists of their business. It's really disappointing. But for the uninitiated ones like me will not even notice this and purchase them for the fantastic value and magical cores made of gold, diamond, platinum, moondust and what not. If not for this community, I would've lost hundreds of dollars in purchasing magical IEMs and cables. I really respect the brave ones who take the plunge on day 0 and even braver ones who actually care to test the lofty claims made by the manufacturer.
    fokta likes this.
  7. Slater
    I know my testing has opened my eyes. And the only way I’m buying cables anymore is if I test them myself or rebuild them myself. It’s just too easy to fake them.

    Have you guys ever wondered why 90% of these cables have GLUED ON plugs? It’s because anyone would be able to simply unscrew the 3.5mm plug and see everything right there as plain as day (fake or not). So, glue the plugs closed so they can’t see what’s under the hood, so all they’ll worry about is how pretty all those braided wires look.

    And you hit the nail on the head with the unskilled labor. That was my point - I am VERY skilled, and even building a true 8-core wire was a stretch for my skills. And I wasn’t even doing mmcx or 2-pin! All I was doing was cutting off the 2-pin ends, and soldering 2.5mm plugs in their place to make a full size headphone cable). The 2.5mm plugs I used have 10xs the soldering surface area than a mmcx or 2-pin plug.

    So if I had that much difficulty (when I am not only highly skilled but I also had 10xs more room to work with) then there is no way on earth I believe that there’s any more than a few wires connected to 90% these 8 and 16-core IEM cables.

    Sure, a manufacturer might build a real 16-core IEM cable for ad photos, or to send to a reviewer. But the ones they’re mass producing for general sale in their factory and selling for $24 are gonna be fake, and I’m willing to bet $100 cash on that belief. I hope someone takes me up on the bet and proved me wrong.

    I think the only hope of a true 16-core IEM cable is a hand built cable from a small specialized boutique builder. And I’d expect to pay $250+ for it. Plus I’d want photographic proof taken during cable construction before I placed an order. And a boutique cable builder would be willing to do that.

    The point is to look at buying an 8 or 16-core IEM cables for the looks. It’s a fashion accessory. Some of the 8-core cables might be real. But 99% of the 16-core cables will be fake.

    In the future, if I’m buying a pre-made cable I’m going to stick with 4-core cables. Why? Because 4 core cables are impossible to connect any less than 4 cores (L+, L-, R+, R-). You can’t fake a 4 core cable and have it still be a functional cable.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  8. hakuzen
    measured all KZ upgrade cables, and none of them showed the problems found systematically in TRN 8 cores cables..
    so if it's same cable manufacturer, they might use different departments for each brand..
    archdawg likes this.
  9. hakuzen
    dunno how they do, but measured many 8 cores and 16 cables where result matched perfectly with advertised structure. so guess that these trn cables are an exception, not a rule
  10. emer3211
    [​IMG] Hi guyz, i have Harman Kardon Soho wireless and my left speaker stop working. Now i know where is problem and problem is in cable in head bow. I talking about cable with 6 conductors. But i can't find it on web. Can u help me guyz? Pls
  11. Slater
    But what I’m saying is that a low resistance value can be achieved with only soldering half of the cores but using better grade wire.

    I’m sorry, but there is physically not enough room to solder 8 individual wires to a mmcx plug (when building a 16 core cable). 4 to the ground and 4 to the positive terminal is not physically possible. At least not a full gauge wire. If half of the individual wire strands were trimmed away it might theoretically work, but then you’re still not getting what you paid for.

    2 full gauge wires on each terminal would be possible (ie all strands), although extremely difficult.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    fokta and BadReligionPunk like this.
  12. bhazard
    Funny enough, I trashed my gold TRN 8 core cable because it didn't work out of the box. One side was dead. I figured poor QC, but not at the extent Slater uncovered.

    Avoid them. Makes me wonder what is actually connected on those 16 core cables now.
    Slater likes this.
  13. hakuzen
    you can get lower resistance with better grade wire, but difference is way far from half resistance, even in the case of 7n up-occ wire.
    i don't know about these 16 cores cheap cables, because don't know the structure of each core, but can vouch for isn audio 16 cores cables, for example. they are thick and can confirm that every core and strand are conveniently soldered.
    Arkady Duntov, fokta and Slater like this.
  14. fokta
    left burn in for around 7 hours. And use it during my commute to office.

    changes? yes. Will try to do proper comparison next weekend though.
    Increase the volume up to 13 with 165 to get dynamic, while Volume 8 on 130 alrd get it... Not bad since I want a lighter cable.
    But somehow I felt 165 the Hi freq is not refine also... anyway, let's use it for a couple of days... already happy with lighter weight...

    Im not saying 165 is no good, prob I just compare to 130 (with high expectations that it will be the same) ... but I can confirm @hakuzen said before, Darker background, so it makes good separation. but with this effect, Mid will felt a bit recess (same as 130).

    I assumed this is no Litz version... not expecting too much... but if u manage get clearer info, it will be great help to us all...
    hakuzen and subwoof3r like this.
  15. Otto Motor
    I am not surprised at all about the cable fake. I have visited China 12 times and have a house full of fakes including non-working iphone adapters, fake ipod etc.

    On the other hand have I personally never entertained the idea of "upgrade" cables, as I am sure nothing is being upgraded, certainly not the sound.

    Are there any reviews of the tonally of fake "upgrade cables" around? Would be amusing to read.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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