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

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  1. hakuzen
    @moee79 , cable 053 silver is like brown copper color. they both are ok, it's just i get noticeable better sound quality (better detail, more accurate texture, cleaner sound, more rounded overall sensation) with the more expensive cables, when listening to very good resolving iems, like moondrop blessing.
    if you use not very resolving iems, the difference is minimal compared to price difference.
    there are many cables below $30 with great conductivity. check my list, and then, their links at spoilers (you'll find them at spoilers 2 and 3).

    @candlejack , i've checked microphonics of cables 165 and 168 (and some others). iems over the ear, chin slider at my back, no music, tapped the cable with one nail. if acrolink cables microphonics is 3, and cable 054 is 1, microphonics of 165/168 is 2, like cables 125/128. i.e., not so microphonics than acrolink, but higher than the most flexible cables. anyway, when playing music, i can't hear any tap on any of them. if you are so sensitive to microphonics, better forget 165/168, despite of the highest quality of their mmcx plugs, and of the high sound quality of 165. you need to aim to very soft cables, like cable 140 (better sound quality than 054).
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    perfecious likes this.
  2. perfecious
    Not sure if the BGVP DM5 is a "very resolving IEM" (it's ~$50 I believe, because I guess price doesn't matter in some cases) :o2smile:, but the difference in treble clarity with it's stock (treble enhancing) silver plated cable vs. cable 053 was as huge as the ~25% bass bump and tonality "correction" I got with cable 053. DM5 + that stock SPC cable has to be still to this day the clearest, most "distinguishable" sounding cymbal/hi-hat hits I've ever heard, better than the DM6, the CCA C16, the Tin T2's, and all of my other IEMs. Song I use for evaluating that is Pink Floyd - In The Flesh? (just for clarification/context).

    And hearing what cable 125 can do compared to all of my other cheaper cables, I will have to say that stepping up to the pricier cables above $40 definitely is an improvement, even on cables like 053, which has amazing conductivity (but conductivity apparently is not the final word). I regret forgetting to mention in my "impression post" how 125 sounded on the TRN V80 (which was the first thing I tried the cable on, because it's my "tester" IEM, just in case the cable is wired funky, and I don't want to risk damaging the crossovers on my expensive ones). It was like I was listening to a completely different IEM with that cable, so... Yeah. :gs1000smile: I can confirm, that better cables sound better even with cheaper IEMs.

    BTW, I'm gonna be buying these 2pin-to-mmcx adapters, which I believe are the same that were on massdrop a few days ago. I just have to try/use cable 125 on the DM6.
  3. hakuzen
    i do agree 100% with what you tell. conductivity is not the final word. conductor material type and quality do mind. and cables above $40 are usually a clear step up.
    you always get an improvement when using a better cable, you can get the maximum potential of your iem (about cleanliness). but the improvement is smaller when your iem potential is small. that's why i use to suggest to keep proportion, in order to get your best quality/price value rate.
    i use top cables even when using cheap and low resolving iem, because i own them. but wouldn't invest on a $70 cable for a $15 low resolving iem, if i don't own nor plan to purchase a more resolving iem in a near future.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    courierdriver, Slater and perfecious like this.
  4. candlejack
    Thanks for taking the time to test this out!

    I already have a 055 that sounds decent enough to my ears and is superb in handling. Ok, it doesn't feel very durable, but comfort (including the absence of microphonics) is excellent. As mentioned before, the Acrolink cable, while very well built and durable, is worse for me from a sound quality perspective because of the induced microphonic noise. This becomes less relevant if you are completely stationary or are listening at high volumes. In those situations I feel like it adds some clarity and detail to the music, but it's impossible for me to say with certainty.

    I'm looking at 168 because it seems like a good deal right now with all the discounts (and because of your review). 165 is too expensive (everything that is above 45 euro gets stopped by customs and I get a minimum of 25 euro added on top - this makes 165 much more expensive than 168).

    140 falls into the same (>45 Euro) category, so I'll probably get 054 instead (which in these circumstances ends up being half the price). Although, the more I look at them, the more I prefer the build of 140.

    Btw, what exactly does "chin slider at my back" mean? I have an idea of what it might mean, but is that really better in minimizing cable movement?[/user]
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  5. hakuzen
    yea, 16 cores cables use to be the softest and most flexible.
    "chin slider at my back" means (sorry for my english) that cable is over-ear and runs along the nape (back of your neck); chin slider goes up to the base of the nape; then cable goes to the player, wherever it's located. this way microphonics are lowered
  6. Broquen
    Finally ordered it. I think the other one is no UPOCC like this or Neotech ones. Anyway, I have no experience with this price range, so maybe I'm wasting my money. I can't wait to try it and compare with the rest of cheaper ones! :L3000:

    hakuzen likes this.
  7. hakuzen
    added more details and links (nicehck store) of cables 165 and 168 of my list.
    best mmcx plugs from the whole list (except of cable 100), imported from taiwan.
    sound with cable 165 is superb, very clean, reference.
    168, not so great, even having better conductivity, just ok. conductor material is worse quality.
    both are not much flexible. quite more rigid than usual 8 cores cables.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    perfecious and Broquen like this.
  8. candlejack
    Could you try to describe the difference you are hearing between these two? I'm asking because I cannot really tell one cable from another, so I'm curious what you focus on (what do you listen for exactly) when you evaluate sound quality. Maybe also mention songs and headphones used.
  9. Trisse
    Hmm i got my kz zs7 a week ago along with a trn 8 core cable. Ofc i missed that cores are wrong soldiered but now when i know they are imagine i can hear a volume difference between left and right channel. I know the difference in not hearable but knowing it's there disturbs me alot

    So i have decided to buy a new cable and have been looking at the kinboodi @Slater posted a few pages back. I have also looked at the isn 8 and 16 core.
    Would i hear a difference on my kz7 buying a more expensive cable then say 50$? I would like a cable that can bring out more details
    hakuzen and KimChee like this.
  10. KimChee
    I noticed a change just the KZ SPC upgrade cable on my ZS7. That cable was $11 when the ZS6 came out...I wouldn’t spend more than $50 on a $50 iem unless you really just want to, cable 130 looks pretty nice...and I love the ZS7..

    Slater likes this.
  11. hakuzen
    - source: xDuoo X20 last stock firmware, output impedance: 0.12Ω single end / 1Ω balanced out (when comparing cables, i use single end if any of them is single end; otherwise, i try both outputs), sharp roll-off, low gain, no eq nor any kind of dsp. volume matching at around 94dBSPL@1kHz.
    - earphones: moondrop blessing (flc8s before)
    - songs: i'm always trying to locate high dynamic range songs, plenty of different sounds. nothing strange, well known themes.. still searching the best themes for this purpose. i focus some songs, which i know well, or i listen to them before, to locate the passages and details to focus on. last used were "lose yourself to dance", daft punk, and "have a good time", the brand new heavies. my fav albums to search in:
    edm (house, big beat): the chemical brothers (most albums), the prodigy ("the fat of the land" album), rinocerose ("installation sonore", "music kills me".albums),.saint germain ("tourist" album, electro+acoustic)
    soul/funk: daft punk ("random access memories" album), the brand new heavies (most albums), maceo parker (many albums).
    others: nicola conte ("jet sound revisited" album), michael jackson ("thriller" album). some themes from nine inch nails and massive attack.

    there are no tonal variations (measured a ton of them). differences are very slight, and are about thickness, definition, textures, detail and imaging, imo. so i focus sub-bass and bass texture (rumble, definition), treble (cymbals, highs effects) definition, definition of low volume sounds at dense passages, and overall sensation: the best cables don't hide details, textures, but at same time overall sound is rounded, smoother, more pleasant to listen. with some low quality "silver" plated cables, for example, you seem to perceive more defined and detailed highs, but then you find they are too grainy, more metallic, and overall sound is not as smooth as it should be with your iem, you hear like a grain rain. with some low quality copper cables, you seem to perceive more sub-bass rumble, and smoother bass, but then you find you've lost some bass definition and texture, and overall sound is thicker, kind of loose bass, not as rounded and pleasant as it is with a better cable.

    edit: forgot to tell the difference between 165 and 168. with 165 you get good sound. but 168 excels it in cleanliness (definition and textures -both lows and highs-), and overall sensation (rounded, more pleasant).
    however, all these differences are not big. they don't transform an iem in another iem, but you can notice that slight difference, and get a more pleasant long session.

    there is a limit of details you can bring out: zs7 limit.
    of course you'll get lower sound degradation when using a better cable, but differences are subtle. if you only own zs7, i'd say you can find decent cables below $30.
    buying a more expensive cable, above $50, would only be justified if you plan to purchase higher resolving iems, or if you have some iems like zs7 and want to try a very good cable with them in order to judge the improvement yourself.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  12. assassin10000
    Got a Nicehck EBX a few weeks ago and it came with a nice looking cable.


    Wires are pretty thin. It appears that except for a different splitter, chin slider and a silver cf on the plug, that it is the same as cable 57. Just mixed copper/plated.

    I averaged around .3 Ω (300 milli-ohms) measuring the cable with my not-so-accurate multimeter.
    hakuzen and Broquen like this.
  13. CoiL
    Ok, since my Fidelio X1 connectors mod takes some time, will post pic just of cable:

    Just reminder note - each core is self-sleeved with PO shrink tube (almost soft like PVC), which to my knowing is quite rarely done with DIY cables :)
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  14. Broquen
    It reminds me more that one

    € 17,24 62%OFF | NICEHCK MMCX/2Pin Connector 3.5/2.5/4.4mm Balanced 8 Core Copper Silver Mixed Cable For ZS10 AS10 BA10 AS06 NICEHCK M6 N3 NK10
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  15. assassin10000
    Only because that cable is copper/plated mixed.

    The 3.5mm and mmxc connectors are almost identical to #57, except for a silver carbon fiber inlay vs a black one. That and it has a mixed cable that has both copper & plated wire. Instead of all copper or all plated like is available separately on AE.

    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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