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

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  1. djray
    So I've been procrastinating at getting some MMCX cables and I'm now looking at these two options (thanks to HungryPanda and hakuzen for recommending):

    Noob question - what's the difference between silver plated and high purity copper? Is there a better option at this price point or should I wait for the next batch of AliExpress sales in March for more options?
  2. Carlsan
    My experience is that the best of the cheaper cables are either single crystal copper (preferred) or high purity copper.
    Outside of more expensive and exotic metals or metal combinations, such as true gold cables, these two options are the best.
    Of course, connection soldering, and the general quality of the build have impacts.
    Silver plated. unless I am mistaken and feel free to correct me, really has no or little impact on the conductivity of the cable.
    hakuzen and fokta like this.
  3. kaushama
    That's my thoughts too. These plating of exotic metal cannot have an effect on conductivity as they are layered in micro amounts. Whether they have effect on capacitance and field effect on a cable is another matter. I think solid-core hybrid cables with both silver and copper could be having better results. However common thinking of cumulative effects (Caused by silver and copper) achieved in such cables could be just over-simplification of electric properties. Real world effects on sound, of course, measured by direct experience by listeners and have so much subjectivity instilled into such claims.
    hakuzen and fokta like this.
  4. djray
    hakuzen likes this.
  5. fokta
    Its been a long discussion and debate about cable, material, custom,build quality etc...
    One theory, that doesnt make sense based on my exp, is having copper cable (very low ohm) which claims to be the highest purity, but the shocking impression result was Detail on High freq, and decent bass (low freq).

    Just be open mind to option...
    IMO, SPC cable if make in industrial scale, with good QC, it makes a good Quality product with much more reasonable price, can delivered a better sound quality.
    True gold cable is stiff, and breakable, had seen it, not for mobile purpose. I found it will be a good pair end game combo if your preference in the Mid freq.

    Valid point, in the end The main question is how much the market willing to pay. The chicken and egg theory comes next, pure or artificial, which can delivered almost the same result (in time can be better).

    Try it first, i had used this on my POLARIS, due to looking soundstage and better sparkling (high freq) over copper stock cable.

    I always want to meet somebody who had this passion hobby, my first indicator is cable, How far he will go to upgrade his cable, because the upgrade result will be not significant with the chance make it worst or not even a good combo with the DAP nor IEM.
    And the next question will be, is it worthy ?

    I met some audiophile who alrd in the end game, some how I found their gear is not the high end version. Is based on what his/her ear preference.

    My point is be open mind, the frustration of find a good pair of cable is time and money. I know cause i am also in that road... #Cable geek
    My greatest fear is when wireless already reach the SQ of cable... Then I need to find other geek product to annoy....
    djray and hakuzen like this.
  6. archy121
    Other than its cosmetics how did you find the BGVP OCC cable in terms of sound alone ? Mid/Lows improved ?
    How does it sonically compare to the NiceHKC OCC at the $68 range atm ?

    Seems to be the cheapest OCC in its price range at the moment and thinking to use with DM6 single ended to V30.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  7. arielext
    With my iems i did not hear any differences between the 2 cables. YMMV ofc. For me the cosmetics and handling made me chose the nicehck over the bgvp cable.
    archy121 likes this.
  8. ddmt
    Have anyone else bought the NiceHCK 8 core 6n GC-OCC single crytal cable ? No 140 on @hakuzen list
    I found both of mine (1 mmcx with BGVP DM6 & 1 2-pin with Moondrop Kanas Pro) sounds overly piercing bright. Other than that this cable is really good in craftmanship, really good connectors too.
    hakuzen likes this.
  9. battosai
    Works probably better than my 8 core pure copper cable from nicehck...
    Just happened 5 minutes ago
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  10. hakuzen
    ouch! that cable has superb conductivity (due to wire thickness) for the price, but plugs and build quality aren't the best..
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NIC...mm-Balanced-8-Core-6N-GC-OCC/32945688424.html has better plugs and better quality copper for sure (6N g-OCC vs simple OFC), but it's very thin, so conductivity is not great.

    based on my experience with chi-cables:
    when they say high purity copper, it means simple OFC (oxygen free copper).
    there is better quality copper (single crystal, OCC -Ohno Continuous Casting-, and variants, like frozen copper or others). in theory, few boundaries in copper help to better conductivity, more linear resistance.
    same with purity grade of copper (4N=99.99%, 5N=99.999%, 6N=99.9999%, 7N=99.99999%). fewer impurities help to better conductivity, more linear resistance.
    if the changes when using this better copper are audible, is still in discussion. measurements say the difference is not audible. but there might be some differences (minor distortions, for example) which can't be measured, and our brain is very special when perceiving sound.
    anyway, difference of price is usually huge, compared to audible improvement. chinese manufacturers and sellers lie frequently about the quality of the copper (specially about purity grade) and it's difficult to prove it.
    so trying them is the only way to know if it's worth it for you.
    silver plated copper
    when they say silver plated copper, it is usually tin plated. when they say pure silver wire, it is pure silver plated copper wire frequently.
    true silver plating raise the price considerably. and true pure silver wire is around double the price of true silver plated copper.
    silver is only a bit more conductive than copper. its structure and purity could contribute to better conductivity, more linear resistance, as well.
    again, we are in the same place than before: audible improvement? at what cost?

    there is some consensus about copper and silver (true silver, not tin or other alloys): copper preserves lows better, silver preserves highs better. not demonstrated once again, but some people affirm to be able to distinguish between them.

    that's a good spc cable to start with. number 037 in my list, it's a decent upgrade from many stock cables. it's probably tin plated copper wire. around 380mΩ per signal.

    if you prefer copper to spc (which is tin plated copper probably), you can consider this cable at similar price (~$10):
    not in my list yet, but i guess it's 0.1mm*7strands*8cores (~26.7awg/signal) simple OFC. resistance should be around 230-240mΩ, which is a bit better than 037's resistance (380mΩ).

    its 16 cores version seems to use same wire. if so, its resistance should be around 120mΩ. but cost is ~$28:
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    archy121, FlySweep, subwoof3r and 8 others like this.
  11. kingdixon
    Guys, I have a question about aliexpress,

    I made an order 2 month ago for some cables and now buyer protection has 3 days remaining out of the 2 month, i still didn't receive the item but it seems going through the process.

    i contacted the seller to extend the buyer protection, but they don't answer ( i guess they have Chinese new year vacation)

    I contacted support of aliexpress she said you automatically get additional 15 days of buyer protection after the 2 month. ( i am not sure about that myself but she said so)

    So, since there are 3 days remaining on the order page, should i dispute now ? or should i wait after the 3 days may be i get another 15 days as the support said then i would dispute at the end of them 15 days)

    I also don't want to dispute to get refund and receive the item later without paying for it, so anyone with experience could chime in ?

  12. zedbg
    I would start the dispute it will take few days and you can cancel it if you receive your cable.
    kingdixon and hakuzen like this.
  13. hakuzen
    spoiler PART 2 of DC resistance of some cables (below 400mΩ, average)
    (had to split the spoiler of pics and comments, due to limitation of attached files..)

    pics & comments of cables, part 1

    065. jcally 5n painted ofc/tpc 4c (various colors,cheap furt,MV)
    structure: 0.08mm*63(22AWG)*4c pvc sleeve. 500D fiber yarn, to absorb moisture.
    they say copper is plated, and then painted. various colors and combinations available. some versions come with a nice small soft fabric zipper pouch.
    superb conductivity, due to thickness of cable. similar structure than cable 125, but strands are 0.08mm instead of 0.10mm.
    sound is less clean than cable 125, because of worse quality of copper, paint around copper, and worse plugs and solders (found some units where some threads of the cores are not well soldered; small space to solder?). but way cheaper and good enough for not very resolving iems.
    colors are nice, but i'd prefer to achieve it by coloring sleeves, rather than painting conductor.
    zsn termination (c-type) is intended for QDC and BQEYZ: pins are inverted polarity respect KZs,

    copper 5n ofc/tpc not painted?: 88/86..89/89..90/82..92/93..[36]

    dark blue painted 5n tpc: 84..184..80..107..[34.4g]

    4 colors painted (these are the plugs i got with dark blue cable; cheap look)

    gold painted 5n tpc

    possible wire used: http://www.lunashops.com/goods.php?id=6229 (not accurate structure, doubtful quality)
    or: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32945488579.html (more accurate structure, doubtful quality)
    (although conductor quality doesn't match; it's probably 4N or 5N ofc, like jc ally claims)

    copper (not painted?):
    dark blue:
    silver+dark blue:
    4 colors:

    066. jcally 5n painted tpc 8c (black,cheap furt,MV)
    structure: 0.07mm*25(27awg)*8c [2c/signal:24AWG]. 500D nylon. 0.4u plated thickness. anti-oxidation protective paint. pvc sleeve, various colors.
    nice conductivity. but i don't like this kind of cheap furutech styled jack (found some units where one signal core is not well soldered; small space for solder?).
    softer and more flexible than 065.
    good enough for not very resolving iems.
    zsn termination (c-type) is intended for QDC and BQEYZ: pins are inverted polarity respect KZs,

    black (zsn version): 249..130..126..126..[29.2g]




    053. great conductivity. some details (strain reliefs, easier repairable plugs) are better in (052). this wire is thicker, softer but less flexible. weight: 27.2g. variants: copper/ mixed copper & silver plated / silver plated (various colors, worse conductivity though).
    structure could be: 0.10mm*19(25awg)*8c [2c/signal:22.5AWG]. if true, and wire material/plugs were better quality, it'd measure about 95mΩ (15-20mΩ less).
    however, different color versions use different wire.
    decent sound and quality and superb conductivity for the price.

    hck ct1 ofc 8c (brown,slim plugs,M): 110..avg (115 mmcx)..[27g]..many measured

    hck tdy1 tpc 8c (silver,slim plugs,M): 134/155..163/150..132/138..148/152

    other colors and wires:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    . this wire looks like (053). in fact, same colors available (orange+white, red+white, silver..). but brown color version of this cable says it's spc, while brown (053) is copper. the wire is not identical, when you close look at it.
    anyway, superb conductivity for the price as well.
    this is audio-technica plug version; other non-standard terminations are available.

    . oem (various re-branded) chinese cable.
    good conductivity, very well built, quite long threaded (repairable and trimmable) plugs.
    ofc or tin/alloy plated ofc (unsure, each color use different wire).
    0.08mm*19(27awg)*8c [2c/signal:24AWG] or 0.10mm*19(25awg)*8c [2c/signal:22.5AWG].
    various terminations, colors: gold, silver, silver+copper, copper, brown, black.
    soft and flexible, but in different grades (like conductivity), depending of the wire and color.

    oem tpc 8c (gold,eid): 96..99..91..104..[27.5]
    BEWARE: version with gold plated jack (instead of nickel/rhodium) is being sent from some shops; different wire, resistance ~235mΩ

    oem tpc 8c (silver,eid): 130..avg..many measured

    oem tpc+ofc? 8c (silver+copper,eid,M): 135/131..131/132..190/184..208/240
    one type of conductor used for signal, the other type for ground (cold, in balanced)

    oem tpc 8c (copper,eid,M): 180..avg..[24.7]..(many measured, the most flexible)

    oem tpc 8c (brown,eid,M): 188..188..185..185

    possible wire used:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32881372793.html (last sent was the worst conductivity version)
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32989617222.html (don't know which version they'll send)
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32900868698.html (don't know which version they'll send)
    (there are other shops and re-brands)

    051. tpc 8c (grey,eid,M): 128..128..126..138..[27.4g]
    very similar to cables 052. same jacks and strain reliefs, but different termination plugs (2pins version is flush, not protruding; different splitter and chin slider).
    wire could be similar quality to the best 052s.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    155. oem (various re-brands) silver spc 8c (silver,eid,MV): 256/254..258/249..245/245..260/246..[23.4g]
    advertised as pure silver, it's spc, or even tin/alloy plated copper.
    it's funny to see prices going from $80 ("pure silver") to $27 at different shops. the cable is identical.
    although less conductive than 051, 052, 053, guess conductor material is better, maybe true silver plated better copper (price wouldn't be justified otherwise). AB listening is pendent.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32963189583.html nicehck cy1
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32963249926.html nicehck vs audio
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32982939514.html toneking avckck
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32964307166.html antcodo (way cheapest!, various terminations, but not 2.5/4.4mm)
    (there are other shops and re-brands)

    pics & comments of cables, part 3

    DC resistance of some cables for KZs (below $40, approx.)
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  14. hakuzen
    spoiler PART 3 of DC resistance of some cables (below 400mΩ, average)
    (had to split the spoiler of pics and comments, due to limitation of attached files..)

    pics & comments of cables, part 1

    pics & comments of cables, part 2

    110. 7n spc 16c (silver,viablue): 165..145..155..155
    16 very thin cores of spc wire.

    120. bgvp 6n occ+spc? 8c (grey) =DM6 stock: 169..173..277..190
    bgvp spc cable, identical to DM6 stock cable (but this has balanced, straight plug). nice looking (grey and silver), ear guides cover part of the mmcx plug. but strain relief of jack is too short and stiff, conductivity could be better, and one of the solders in my unit was not as good as the others. they give extended info of the cable at product's page, but it doesn't seem to match reality, after measuring it. anyway, one of the best stock cables provided.

    100. impactAudio infinite copper 5n 4c (custom,MV): 190..190..182..180
    impact audio customized cable. this is not my unit. true eidolic plugs, excellent built and look. voluminous and heavy, due to the thick braided textile sleeve. honest 5n copper cable. pity for us he is taking some vacations now.

    060. hck ct3 ofc 8c (brown,furt,M): 206/210..206/204..200/205..486/195..[19g]
    best conductivity and build quality in the cheapest segment (<$10) cables.
    very soft and flexible. blue point marks ground/- pin.
    sound is acceptable.

    . lz 6n frozen spc 8c (brown,M): 240..240..240..300
    6n frozen spc.. maybe, but thin conductor (it could be 0.1mm*7*8c)

    . tpc 16c (silver,oyde,M): 221/232..218/236..221/221..232/235
    16 cores, but worse conductivity than some cheaper 8 cores. (050) is its 8 cores sibling. very soft and flexible, though. decent sound.

    070. tpc 16c (pink,eid,M): 240..240..237..252..[22.2g]
    ultra soft and flexible. nice color for pink lovers. better jack (my fav) than other 16 cores cables.
    decent sound.

    063. hck tdy3 tpc 16c (black,furt,M): 223..226..225..230..[21.9]
    again, not remarkable conductivity being a 16 cores wire.
    very soft and flexible. not ear guides. blue point marks ground/- pin.
    decent sound.

    . hck ct2 ofc 16c (brown,furt,M): 402..259..239..244..[22.50g]
    worse conductivity (narrower conductor) than its 8 cores sibling.
    very soft and flexible. not ear guides. blue point marks ground/- pin.
    decent sound.

    050. 2pins version is wrong molded for kz (but good for BQEYZ KC2, for example) in the 2 units i own -watch phase!-. you can remold the ear guides. soft and flexible.
    various colors and terminations.

    tpc 8c (black,oyde,M): 260..270..260..260

    tpc 8c (gold,oyde,M): 346..636..374..443


    059. kz spc 8c (silver+gold,oyde,M): 281..278..250..255..[17.9g]
    kz upgrade cable.
    structure: 0.05mm*25(30awg)*8c, equivalent to 27AWG per signal. silver color alloy plated + gold color alloy plated ofc (of course it's not true silver and gold plated).
    terminations available: 2pins type A (0.75mm), type C (zsn, 0.75mm), mmcx.
    only 3.5mm jack (single end) found.
    it uses more even spc wires (silver color alloy plated and gold color alloy plated ofc copper) than last kz cable (058), so you don't find so high and random resistance difference.
    good conductivity for the price, decent jack, good strain reliefs, it's last and best upgrade cable made by kz now.

    105. 7n silver 4c (silver,mps): 300..290..280..280
    7n pure silver, bought at nicehck. but it's very thin, so conductivity is not that great

    057. nicehck spc 8 cores. very well built, but thin wire, so conductivity is far worse than (052). various colors (and materials?). light and very flexible.
    hck spc 8c (silver,furt,M): 310..303..302..319

    061. hck tdy4 spc 8c (black,furt,M): 350..average..[17.4g]..(many measured)
    quite lower conductivity than copper version (narrower conductor).
    very soft and flexible. blue point marks ground/- pin.
    sound is acceptable.

    056. trn spc 6nocc 8c tA (various colors,cheapBal furt).trn 8 cores cable.
    advertised structure is: 0.08mm*25(26awg)*8c [2c/signal:.~23AWG], "6N monocrystalline occ copper, plated with 85 microns of extruded silver, kevlar fiber reinforced" (judging by the price, it could be alloy plated ofc copper). PE sleeve.
    but it looks more of 0.07mm*25(27.2awg)*8c [2c/signal:24AWG], given the resistance values.
    the wire looks great (very low resistance), the plugs and splitter look cheap (black color hides this better). available in 0.75mm, 0.78mm, mmcx, and 3.5mm, 2.5mm (balanced),
    it would be great if they right soldered the cores; only 1 core for some signals, and possibly, many strands of the cores broken while soldering. very poor solder work.
    you won't notice the difference between left and right, in volume (<0.2dB imbalance), but i don't like this uneven measures, it spoils the purpose of using a decent wire. left signal could be lost with time (very few strands of only one core have been soldered).

    black and silver: 423/414..219/216..289/244..150/223

    gold and silver: 429/454..289/219..265/135..137/267

    058. kz tpc+ofc 8c (silver+copper,oyde,M)
    type A(0.75): 216..213..479..503
    type B(0.78): 541..552..222..220
    kz upgrade 8 cores cable. two types of wire used (copper and sliver plated copper), which have very different resistance. one type is used for signals (left, right), the other type for ground (cold signals in balanced). the problem is that you can't know which material is used for each (got 2 cables, different configuration; it seems random). dunno why they don't use one core of each type for each signal (that would be real copper+spc mixed), if possible.
    in one cable, right plug was molded reversed for kz (had to use a hair dresser to remold it).

    037. kz mmcx tpc 4c (silver,oyde): 384..384..375..376
    kz cheap upgrade cable for mmcx. good conductivity for the price
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    DC resistance of some cables for KZs (below $40, approx.)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    Dsnuts, superuser1 and fokta like this.
  15. Dsnuts Contributor

    So like Penon does. I got my cables fairly quick. These are the thickest cables I have ever bought. They are made extremely well and have good solid connectors.

    As for the sound. As thick as this cable is it also brings out a thicker warmer, smoother sound. A bit too much so. I am thinking I should have gotten the hybrid version. These cables will come in handy with BA based earphones I am listening to it connected to my IT04 which is my most treble emphasized phone and it almost takes a bit too much from the treble end. I am not gonna judge them quite yet. I will have to try this cable with some of my all BA earphones to see how it meshes with them. Will be back with some observations.
    zachmal, Arkady Duntov, fokta and 2 others like this.
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