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

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  1. Xduoophil

    So its not better than an 8 core cable but even worse, because
    of the parallel capacitance loss ? What does this mean soundwise ?

    And what about that review ?

    Seems to be really good with neutral sound!

    So if i got it right i have a kind of cold DAP with a kind of warm
    IEM and a neutral cable, should be great. I think the V-Shape sound could not be neutralized
    with a certain type of cable if i got it right. And as i like a little more bass and highs
    its okay!

    But anyway... Should i better get a decent 8 core cable instead or as well ?

    Thanks for advice again!

    Best wishes

    zachmal likes this.
  2. daid1
    hakuzen likes this.
  3. kingdixon
    Well, thats not only from one other poster, thats nearly a consensus that i always read within reviews on high end cables thread, and its almost priced at nearly double price for most companies.

    I never compared a 4 wire to an 8 wire of the same cable, may be we can get some detailed opinion here from hakuzen or others who tried comparing both.

    but anyway the idea of cables is very debatable here and you will find lots of contradicting opinions, even the guys that believes in cables says that changes are subtle, unless your coming from a really crappy cable, so its always better to believe in what you hear urself, what we are sure of is that its more bulkier and flexible.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily, fokta and hakuzen like this.
  4. superuser1
    I would take such reviews with a pinch of salt
    subwoof3r and hakuzen like this.
  5. hakuzen
    yes, that's cable 115. at that price, the cable can be worth it. at 50€, it doesn't.
    look is superb, so white, thick, and shiny. but it's on the stiff side (one of the most rigid) even having a loose braid, and it's not pure silver, obviously. it's silver plated copper.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  6. hakuzen
    BTR5 has got balanced output (2.5mm) and single-ended output (3.5mm).
    You have to buy cables with 2.5mm TRRS balanced jack, because you'll be able to use these cables in both outputs, getting balanced signals if plugged in balanced output, and single-ended signals if plugged into single-ended output (you'll need an adapter for this: adapters (measurements, pics, and links) ).
    While you can get only single-ended signals for cables with 3.5mm TRS jack.

    EDIT: Yes, no frequency response changes. but different soundstage can lead to a different imaging, lows and highs perception. You get some illusion of getting louder bass or treble, but it's not exactly true. That's why we recommend copper cables for bright combos, and silver or true silver plated copper cables for dark combos.

    It's not easy to answer these questions, because many cases are involved: 4 cores vs 8 vs 16 identical cores? 4 cores vs 8 vs 16 thinner cores? Same material supposed, of course. 4 cores vs 8 vs 16 cores, of Litz (enameled/shielded) strands? I'm going to explain my subjective preferences in each case.

    I'm not an expert at all, I'm only reading and experimenting by my own.

    About capacitance.
    It's said that low frequencies travel through the inner part of the conductor, and highs through the output part, surface. Due to geometry and isolation, if capacitance is higher, the current (highs specially) tends to be attracted by the other strands/cores and concentrates in a part of the conductor. Lowering the capacitance, by geometry and isolation, would help the current to use the most part of the conductor.
    I don't know if this is proven, but it looks like reasonable to me.
    About the effect on the sound, guess (and this is a subjective supposition) it would affect to highs sound stage and background noise, because they are the most polarized frequencies in the conductor (surface). Bigger sound stage and blacker background help to imaging, separation, and details perception.
    As always with cables, the effect is subtle compared to other gear changes (sources, phones, tips) and probably won't affect to frequency response in audible frequencies.
    If we accept this, we can understand the benefits of geometry and isolation. Litz geometry. Isolation of individual strands (Litz shielding) and of cores (the parallel capacitance I'm measuring lately refers to the latter mainly). The materials with higher dielectric attributes provide better isolation, but they also are stiffer usually.
    I might be making/telling big mistakes; please forgive my ignorance, I'm learning day by day.

    Once said this, my actual subjective opinion is as follows.

    - Identical cores of litz strands. Preference: 16 > 8 > 4 cores, because i get near double or quadruple conductivity. Always seek for lower resistance to minimize highs FR alterations in BAs, increase electrical damping factor, and decrease attenuation (refer to my first post in List of cables ). But in this case, stiffness is 16 > 8 > 4. It has to be taken in account. I'd get the most cores version i can accept its stiffness.
    Also, my measurements indicate parallel capacitance between cores is only a bit higher with more cores version (check measurements of 170 vs 171 in my list). So fewer cores cables of this type also have their advantages. Decide your preference.

    - Identical cores of not isolated strands. Preference: 16 > 8 > 4 cores, because same considerations about conductivity and stiffness than in the above paragraph.
    I have to check how parallel capacitance grows with number of cores. I'm afraid it was higher than in the last case. Depending of the result, I'll might change my preference.

    - More amount of thinner cores (litz or not litz strands). Preference: 4 > 8 > 16 cores, because after measuring some of these cables (same conductor and sleeve material, of course), got better conductivity with fewer cores in most cases. In this case, stiffness uses to be 4 > 8 > 16 cores. I'd get the fewest cores version I can accept its stiffness, always its resistance is lower.
    About capacitance, fewer cores cables show lower capacitance between cores (expect higher difference with no-litz strands). But capacitance between strands should be lower in more cores cables (expect higher difference with no-litz strands). I'd wish to find a method to measure capacitance between strands; guess I'd have to measure between individual strands, removing the litz at the extreme, after unsoldering and cutting the wire, much work).

    Another consideration about thickness of strands (independent of number of cores). Thicker strands seems to help with bass rumble (low frequencies travel through the inner part of the conductor), and also with other sound parameters. But they are quite stiffer as well. Got good results by using UP-OCC solid cores (one thick strand), insulated by Teflon (or by other material with high dielectric coefficient). I'm replacing many short interconnect cables (which aren't moved frequently) with these wires.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    frapp2latte, rurika, fokta and 5 others like this.
  7. dfung
  8. LaughMoreDaily
    Are NiceHCK cables the best option for iems under $50?

    KZ seems to be watering down their cables with their newest versions.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  9. dfung
    This is great advice! Will do. Will read up on the kinds of jacks to understand the differences on sound for balanced output vs. single-end output.

    This is textbook level of detail. Thank you for taking the time to dive deep into this! Will take some time to fully digest this and come back with further questions.

    One question on capacitance if I understand you correctly - So the goal is to achieve lower capacitance in order to improve the sound stage and background noise? So that's why cables with more cores improve this aspect because the capacitance between strands are lower?
  10. Xduoophil
  11. SinisterDev
    I finally got my TRN 16 Core Silver Plated Copper cable today. I'm kinda torn on what to do. I ordered it all the way back when I purchased my first CCA C10. I thought it might be a nice upgrade over the stock cable. And it does seem to be a good cable thus far, but the 2 pin connectors make me a bit weary. They don't have the little plastic cap that locks it nice and snugly into the body of the C10's. And it's been a looong month of learning more about IEMs since I ordered it. Now that I've purchased the ZS10 Pro since then, which has become my new daily driver, I'm even more weary about how the cable connects to them! Since the female connection actually protrudes out. There's nothing to reinforce the connection and protect either end of the connectors. Im concerned that one incident causing a hard tug or something might damage either the cable or the IEMs.
    The seller told me that the cable fits both the C10 and ZS10 Pro. Which was I suppose is technically true. But how well or securely they fit didn't become aware to me until I finally got it in my possession.

    Idk if I should try it for a while, or send it back and pick up something different for the C10.

    I did pick up the KZ 8 core silver/gold Upgrade cable that Slater recommended to me, and I like that much more than the stock cable already. But I can only use those on my ZS10 Pro's.
    courierdriver likes this.
  12. hakuzen
    The differences on sound between balanced vs single-ended are two:
    - More power (+6dB) with same voltage applied. No sound difference, just power. But you can get also higher noise and distortion in the other hand; and double output impedance. So this feature is only useful for hard to drive headphones.
    - Much less crosstalk. You get wider soundstage. This can help to better imaging and separation perception, but if excessive, you can loose a bit of central image.

    The goal is to achieve lower resistance, capacitance, and inductance.
    More cores achieve lower resistance if the cores are identical to those in fewer cores version; but higher resistance if using thinner cores, usually.
    More cores achieve lower capacitance between strands, in the case of no-litz strands; but higher capacitance between cores.
    In general, flexibility, resistance, and capacitance depends of what are you comparing to.

    EDIT: best way to decrease capacitance between strands is using shielded strands: Litz.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  13. courierdriver
    Yeah, I had the same initial thoughts about the female connectors on ZS10 PRO also. It was an unusual design and not one that I have commonly seen, except for on the TFZ No.3, which I had researched for a few months and was considering before I bought the KZ10 Pro. I bought a JCally balanced cable for it when I ordered the KZ, and it fits perfectly (also like that it has a chin slider, which is a must for me). A month or so later, I decided to buy the TFZ No.3 and another JCally cable, assuming that the iem connector was identical to the KZ Paragraph C found on the ZS10 PRO. Much to my surprise, the cable doesn't fit the No.3 as the plastic piece on the cable that fits over the protruding female connector on the KZ is too small and even a different shape from that on the TFZ. With all this said, I would say keep your TRN 16 core, as you can probably use it somewhere down the road if you decide to get another 2 pin iem with a more traditional connector. Just exercise caution when using it on your C10. I've got a SPC Nicehck cable on my TFZ now which had improved the sound, but I'm still concerned that because of the less than ideal fit, there's a good possibility of snapping the pins off with an accidental strong yank on the cable. I'm using that iem mostly at home now instead of on the bus or when out and about to try to mitigate any damage by accidental pin snapping. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine, that iem manufacturers keep trying to reinvent the wheel with these types of novel connection ideas, and then there are few to no aftermarket cables that will properly fit.
    LaughMoreDaily and SinisterDev like this.
  14. Hinomotocho
    I've just bought another HeadFier's XBA-N3 without cable and was looking for a low priced decent value cable option around US$35.
    I have read through half this thread, but I figured I would be better to ask specifically if anyone can please recommend a MMCX 3.5mm cable for the XBA-N3 - I will wear cable down so will probably need one without the curved ear guide design and one without too much weight to it.
    I feel that a silver plated copper would be in line with the Sony official upgrade cables, is anyone able to please direct me to some options?
    I was looking at Penon audio's ISN H8 but was not sure of the weight factor of it.
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  15. PreetyAdrian

    I have a problem with a KINBOOFI 8 Core Cable that I've got recently and the problem is that I get electrified when I use it trough an AMP from my desktop.
    From what I see the MMCX connectors don't have a plastic end like all my other cables, and this means the metals make contact directly. Could it be this the problem?
    This happens with my NiceHCK M6. The only other IEM with MMCX connectors I've had was the Tin T3 which I gave away as a B-Day present so I can't try with other IEMs.

    Anyone else experienced this problem?

    KINBOOFI 8 Core Silver Cable - 01.jpg KINBOOFI 8 Core Silver Cable - 02.jpg
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