Mid priced IEM cables thread.
May 29, 2022 at 3:38 PM Post #1,036 of 1,090

Ace Bee

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I received the review samples of the Prototype cables from Effect Audio's upcoming Signature line. The cables I received were P-32 and P-38.

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Here are my impressions on them:

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P-32 (Grey): So here is my impression about Prototype-32, or, the Grey cable. I paired this cable with the bassiest iem in my roster - the IMR Elan. Now, why did I do it? Because only with this iem I had the option to use 3 types of cable: the stock OFC, the Nocturnal Audio Acrux (a pure silver cable) which I regularly use with Elan, and this Prototype-32. So how did it turn out?

Oh by the way, my source was L&P W2, high gain, balanced out, Tune 1, paired with my laptop, playing FLAC files through Foobar2000.

Well, P-32 is a strange one. The stock OFC cable of Elan acts as expected - giving the low end a boost and making it a fun iem. The Nocturnal Audio Acrux behaved as expected of a pure silver cable - cleans up the sound by making the midrange a bit leaner and giving the upper region a slight boost in energy. P-32 falls somewhat in between them. Compared to the Acrux, it adds a bit more body to the midrange and brings it slightly forward, attenuates the energy in the upper region very slightly, and also enhances the low end texture very very slightly. However, with the addition of a bit more body in the midrange, the airiness also takes a slight hit. Also, because the midrange comes slightly forward, the stage depth is reduced slightly.

Next, I move over to Shanling M7, medium gain, balanced out, playing FLAC files through Shanling APP.

Here, I am comparing the P-32 cable with the stock copper cable of IMR Elan, which is a fairly good one by its own merit. After doing back and forth for over an hour, this was my impression: The most notable effect P-32 has is on the low end, which it tightens up and enhances to produce a bit more texture and details in exchange for a slight amount of body, for the better. This cleans up the stage a bit. P-32 also brings the midrange a bit forward, and slightly enhances the stage width along with separation. The note becomes very slightly bigger and slightly more alive. Highs were mostly not affected in this case.
Well, out of curiosity, I paired the Acrux also, and here is the comparison result: P-32 seems to have slightly more body in Low End, while having comparable texture and details. Midrange is again a bit pushed forward while having slightly more body, slightly smoother compared to Acrux. Same goes for high range, the notes are slightly smoother and accentuated compared to Acrux. Acrux has a tiny bit more stage depth and P-32 has a tiny bit more width.

Overall, the P-32 is a really really nice cable. But there are 2 cons that I have a beef with:
  1. The thick 8 core really takes up space while coiled. While it isn’t so heavy despite being 8 core and fairly supple as well, the volume makes it really difficult to fit into a pocket carry case. Making it 4 core will make it an instant favourite of mine.
  2. The earhooks are really thick and stiff, very occasionally it pushes the iem out of my ears. If only the earhooks were removed, and the structure was kept the same braided instead of twisted near the 2 pin connectors, the cable would have been much more easy to wield.
Yes, I really liked the pairing of P-32 with Elan, and would have seriously considered making it a permanent pairing if not for the thickness and volume of it.

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P-32 with FAudio Dark Sky: I decided to connect the P-32 to my current TOTL, FAudio Dark Sky, today. And quite honestly I was surprised by how the output evolved!

Let's get the aesthetics over with. The Dark Sky has a 24 AWG Silver Alloy/Germany Pure Silver/Immersion Gold Silver Alloy cable. From aesthetics, the stock cable is much better and is more soft and supple compared to the P-32.

Coming to the sound performance, I found P-32 was distributing the sound on a more three dimensional plane with added depth and a bit of height, enhancing the overall imaging and making the presentation more immersive. The stock cable sounded slightly flatter with the midrange a bit more upfront compared to the P-32. P-32 also enhanced the low end noticeably with more body in the lower register notes, resulting in a healthier slam and more pronounced & textured rumbles. The separation did improve slightly also, with more distinct space between notes.
However, P-32 also introduces a slight warm tonality to the sound of Dark Sky. The stock cable has a rather cooler tone. This may or may not make or break things for individuals. Me, I am just a bit intrigued at this change and cannot feel any affection or repulsion to this particular effect yet in my mind.
Another point to note is because the stock cable has slightly leaner bass, mids get a bit more spotlight. The mids with P-32 are by no means subdued or drowned behind the bass and after just a moment they come at you in their full glory, but on the stock cable they just do not wait for that moment also, they are in their full glory from the get go.

The way P-32 improves the sound in its entirety is quite unique. The most notable enhancement is the stage created by the iem. As it improves the depth, separation, and imaging all together, the soundstage becomes a bit more grand in all dimensions. Coupled with that the refinement of individual notes makes the experience all the more pleasing and takes its performance to a new height.
My only beef with it is the thick 8 strand braid, the weight, and the stiff & thick earhooks. @JordonEA confirmed that the first two cannot be addressed, but the third issue can very surely be addressed. I hope that will make it a bit more easy to bear with.

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P-38: P-38 is an amazing cable and the favourite of mine from the two. Visually, they are extremely pleasing to look at, with 2 different geometric structures in the different cores. One has thinner individual strands and has considerably more helix angle, and the other one has thicker individual strands and has lesser helix angle. Grabs your attention easily.

I paired it with the current flagship of 634EARS, the LOAK-T(CL) Cocobolo. Titanium front housing, Stainless steel back housing, and Cocobolo wood backplate. The sound in general is very transparent and bright (but never harsh), with a nice emphasis in low end that simultaneously satisfies the cravings for a meaty bass and the requirement of not cluttering the midrange. The midrange, as stated earlier, is very transparent with crisp notes and yet natural. Treble has brilliant energy and extension. Overall a very mature tuning. I was using a XINHS Alloy Copper cable with it.

What P-38 does in this case is, it adds a bit more volume and power in the low end, making the sound fuller and slamming slightly stronger. However, following the original DNA, the bass never clutters the midrange. In midrange, it adds a bit more body to the notes, maintaining the crispy nature and making them sound a bit fuller. It also applies a slight smoothening effect, which calms down the uncomfortable peaks, if any, but does not smother them, so the overall life in the LOAK-T(CL)’s tone isn’t held back. Both male vocals and female vocals are benefitted from this and they do sound mesmerising. Coming to the treble, again, the energy and brilliance is in no way affected, but the slight smoothening effect just enhances them into a more complete form, where the brilliance is preserved and discomfort is toned down. The notes do have a bit better defined body. P-38 also enhances the separation slightly more, increases the depth a bit more, and makes the imaging slightly more three dimensional.

Suffice to say the P-38 is currently my most favourite pure copper cable as of yet. I am for sure going to have this in my collection.
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May 29, 2022 at 8:35 PM Post #1,037 of 1,090

lgcubana

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EF proto 37, with FiiO FD5
EF proto 37.jpg


TLDR: the 37 has turned my FiiO FD5 into a more better FiiO FD7. I think the EF proto 37 can be a nice change of pace, for those that favor a more neutral sound.

Starting with my pre-sets for the FD5 (on the Qudelix-5K, PEQ), the 37 made the low end and lower mids sloppy.
FiiO FD5 PEQ.jpg


For the sake of expediency, I switched to my Pre-sets for the FiiO FD7 & with a few tweaks (to 125hz - 500hz), my FD5 (with the 37) now sounds better (for my liking), than my FD7, on the stock FiiO cable. While vocals have less color to them (than my normal setup for the FD5), the playback is more akin to the FD7, on the stock FD7 FiiO cable, but still lean towards the warm side. In other words, the combo of the proto 37 & the FD5 replicate the merits FD7 (fast bass and truer vocals), but with just enough emphasis to the lower mids, that the end result is leaning away from neutral, towards "fun".

When I hear others describe a sound signature as a W shape, this current setup is what I would envision. A clean, fast bass, true vocals and enough up top to make out all of those little details

FD7 Presets (L), tweak for EF 37 (R)
EF FD7 vs 37.jpg


@EffectAudio @JordonEA
 
May 29, 2022 at 8:48 PM Post #1,038 of 1,090

DrewVz

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Received the replacement that was sent for free... the exact same problem of a loosely wired left ear connector... stay away from HICLASS audio on AliExpress, they ship junk
Hey, just to follow up on this, I figured I'd roll the dice and give it a shot. Bought the $206 2-core cable, silver in color. Got it today.

Cable is solid, but very comfortable and I can't even feel it when I'm wearing my IEMs. Right away, I noticed a huge, huge 3D soundstage and very full bass. Details are about average, but the real strength is its smoothness. Everything just feels so realistic and authentic, it's quite amazing.

Fortunately, I have not seen or heard any problems with quality control of my cable. Everything seems top notch. Going to let it burn in a bit before doing any critical listening. But out of the box, I am impressed with what I'm hearing so far.
 
May 30, 2022 at 11:28 AM Post #1,039 of 1,090

DrewVz

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OK, so not much time for critical listening so far, but it is obvious that this cable is the real deal. Absolutely huge soundstage, excellent imaging, and much better clarity than any other cable I own. This us more of a "1st row center" cable compared to some others where you're in the 3rd+ row, which also makes it very immersive. Once you add the clarity and imaging, it's a really great experience. Very easy to get lost in the music.

One thing that I'll add is that this cable also increases the dynamics as well, as it offers very good driver control. Soft sounds quietly fade off into the background, even as louder instruments are blasting into your ears. Of course, you need fast drivers to keep up with this contrast in dynamics, so the benefits might not be brought out of just "any" IEM.

These are my first impressions. I think this cable is a clear winner for the price. If they can fix their QC issues, and get some good publicity, this would sell like hotcakes.
 
May 30, 2022 at 9:28 PM Post #1,040 of 1,090

DrewVz

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Yet another update on this cable. I've been listening to it on and off for the entire day (between bathroom renovations and eating meals, LOL), and I am going to emphasize my opinion that this cable is a serious performer. Imagine your favorite UPOCC copper cable, of a substantial gauge, combined with your favorite pure silver cable of a similar gauge, and add a dose of soundstage and imaging and you'll come close to this cable. The bass is at least equal to the quality of the best pure copper cable I own, and the clarity and treble air is equal to the level of the best silver cable I own. They are combined perfectly to literally make every other "specialty cable" obsolete. And there is a special synergy between the metals used in this cable that make the overall impact, dynamics, and coherence special. Vocals are super clear and intelligible, but not sharp or biting. Bass is full and impactful, but not bloated or dominating. When the vocals take center stage, the background music is present, but not emphasized. Everything is extremely clear. There's no other way to put it. This cable is very well balanced.

After about 12 hours of listening with this cable, and after at least 30+ hours of burn-in, I would say that this cable combines the best of everything I've heard from pure copper and pure silver cables, and adds a significant amount of body and dynamics. There isn't one single frequency that stands out above the others. I've spent hours trying to find some indication of sibilance or bass bloat, but I can't find it. If anything could be improved, it would be a slight increase in 6-8k treble to bring a bit of bite to the sound. But that would throw off the balance. Everything is a tradeoff. This cable comes close to an ideal balance.

I'm going to listen to this throughout this week and see if things change, but for now I hope things don't change. This cable provides such a well balanced sound, with solid bass and airy treble, without being V-shaped in any way. I just adore the clarity of vocals without any hint of sibilance, along with solid, textured bass and adequate mid range. I've been looking for flaws in this cable for several hours and really haven't found any. I'm sure there's another cable out there that's "better", but for the price I haven't found anything remotely close. At $200, this cable stands out among the crowd as a super well-balanced option at a bargain price. I'll let you know if I find any flaws.
 
May 30, 2022 at 10:13 PM Post #1,041 of 1,090

yaps66

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Yet another update on this cable. I've been listening to it on and off for the entire day (between bathroom renovations and eating meals, LOL), and I am going to emphasize my opinion that this cable is a serious performer. Imagine your favorite UPOCC copper cable, of a substantial gauge, combined with your favorite pure silver cable of a similar gauge, and add a dose of soundstage and imaging and you'll come close to this cable. The bass is at least equal to the quality of the best pure copper cable I own, and the clarity and treble air is equal to the level of the best silver cable I own. They are combined perfectly to literally make every other "specialty cable" obsolete. And there is a special synergy between the metals used in this cable that make the overall impact, dynamics, and coherence special. Vocals are super clear and intelligible, but not sharp or biting. Bass is full and impactful, but not bloated or dominating. When the vocals take center stage, the background music is present, but not emphasized. Everything is extremely clear. There's no other way to put it. This cable is very well balanced.

After about 12 hours of listening with this cable, and after at least 30+ hours of burn-in, I would say that this cable combines the best of everything I've heard from pure copper and pure silver cables, and adds a significant amount of body and dynamics. There isn't one single frequency that stands out above the others. I've spent hours trying to find some indication of sibilance or bass bloat, but I can't find it. If anything could be improved, it would be a slight increase in 6-8k treble to bring a bit of bite to the sound. But that would throw off the balance. Everything is a tradeoff. This cable comes close to an ideal balance.

I'm going to listen to this throughout this week and see if things change, but for now I hope things don't change. This cable provides such a well balanced sound, with solid bass and airy treble, without being V-shaped in any way. I just adore the clarity of vocals without any hint of sibilance, along with solid, textured bass and adequate mid range. I've been looking for flaws in this cable for several hours and really haven't found any. I'm sure there's another cable out there that's "better", but for the price I haven't found anything remotely close. At $200, this cable stands out among the crowd as a super well-balanced option at a bargain price. I'll let you know if I find any flaws.
Do you have a link for this cable?
 
May 31, 2022 at 11:16 AM Post #1,043 of 1,090

yaps66

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Thanks!
 
May 31, 2022 at 11:46 AM Post #1,044 of 1,090

TheDeafMonk

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Showing up today 2.5mm MMCX to bad I just sold all my IEM with MMCX😕
 
May 31, 2022 at 11:51 AM Post #1,045 of 1,090

yaps66

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Jun 2, 2022 at 6:11 PM Post #1,047 of 1,090

TheDeafMonk

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New one in today custom w 2 core Pure Silver 2 OFCC 7N Copper black ends! XINHS you rock.
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Jun 2, 2022 at 9:14 PM Post #1,048 of 1,090

Sandbox2

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Posted this in the high end cable thread also:

I don't know why, but the cables I purchase just aren't very durable from Aliexpress. It seems like after a year, they need to be replaced. I was wondering if anyone can tell me the best material cable that would absolutely be most durable. For example, I'm currently using the Yin yoo 16 Core Silver Plated Cable 2 pin 3.5 Balanced Cable and it's about to fall apart near the top portion of the cable. The cable is kinda thin so maybe that is the reason.

Are there any recommendations mid range in this case that would be 100%+ more durable and will last me a lifetime?
 
Jun 2, 2022 at 9:34 PM Post #1,049 of 1,090

TheDeafMonk

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See post above
 

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