Portable Mini-to-Mini Cables Quick Impressions

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  1. I've had a few mini-to-mini SE cables in my possession for some time. Whilst some are mine, others have been on loan to me by the makers for some time. Although I've not paid much attention to them enough, I thought I'd spend some time actually focusing on them, jot down my thoughts and share them here. In no particular order :-
     
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    1) Twag2 Mini-2-Mini purchased as a set 2nd hand from another HF member about 20 months ago. Price as a set was $200
    2) ALO Copper 18AWG (discontinued) - a gift from ALO. Retail price ???
    3) VentureCraft V7MJ2L 7N Class - on a (permanent??) loan from VentureCraft. Retail price $98
    4) VentureCraft Go-DAP DD Limited Edition Promotional gift - copper/silver mix with Neutrik right angle connectors, soldered with ViaBlue silver solder. Estimated $100
    5) Mezzo Soprano with Oyaide straight connectors - on loan from Mezzo Soprano. Retail Price $350
    6) Mezzo Soprano with (unknown?) right angle connectors - on loan from Mezzo Soprano. Retail Price $350
    7) Tralucent Uber Cable with Oyaide cables - gift from Tralucent. Call for pricing.

     

    Setup as follows :-
    - iPhone 4S
    - Cyperlabs Algorhythm Solo (CLAS) -dB
    - ALO Audio Rx Mk3
    - Tralucent Uber Cable
    - Tralucent 1Plus2 Hybrid IEMs
     
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    The Twag2 probably the brightest but also harshest signature of the cable lot. Bass leans a little on the thin side and overall sound feels quite dry & sterile. It was great when it was released during its time but since then cable technologies seemed to have changed and improved quite significantly.
     
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    The ALO Copper 18AWG on the other hand was the opposite where it felt warmer, lush, and presents a fuller or somewhat more robust signature. However it lacked resolution and detail that I'm accustomed in new cables. Again, this was quite a popular cable back 20 months ago.
     
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    The VentureCraft V7MJ2L 7N Class starts to show the improvement in some cable technology. Aside from a proper 7N Class (not certain what VentureCraft means by "proper" but just regurgitating what they have told me), I don't know much about this cable. Sonically though to my ears the V7MJ2L starts to have a more holographic stage and the presentation sounds smoother and cleaner. It seems to blend the rather opposites ALO Copper 18AWG & Twag2 but in a refined signature. For $98, they're actually quite good value for money.
     
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    During the promotion of the VentureCraft DD 12V Limited Edition DAC, VentureCraft bundled in a mini-2-mini cable made by another cable maker in Japan. The cable is made up of stranded tinned copper for the signal lines whilst the ground signal is a single sterling silver wire. ViaBlue Silver solder was used to solder the wire strands to Neutrik L-shaped plugs. There's even an orientation to the able where one side should be plugged into the source whilst the other to the amp. This cable although sonically preferable over the Twag2 and ALO Copper, seems to have a slightly smaller soundstage and sound somewhat "flatter" than the VentureCraft V7MJ2L. However due to it's size and lower profile, it shortfall in SQ over the V7MJ2L is somewhat forgivable.
     
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    The next two are the Mezzo Soprano cables, one with Oyaide straight gold plated connectors whilst the other with an unknown maker's right angle connector. Again I don't know much about the make of these cables however they do appear quite chunky and thick. Sonically I find both of these are again, another step up from the V7MJ2L. Signatures are further cleaned up and with an even more holographic presentation. Resolution and detail retrieval is a step up again, but yet maintains a smooth signature. The difference between the connectors is the unknown maker's L shaped connectors seem to have a richer vocals and treble focused signature, whilst the Oyaide has a somewhat slightly warmer signature. The Oyaide connector has better instrument separation though. The prices of these cables don't come cheap though. They're $350 each (as per Mezzo's home page).
     
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    Finally is the Tralucent Uber mini-to-mini with Oyaide gold plated connectors. To my ears this is my preferred connector. It's not as aggressive as the others but feels more spacious, articulate with lots of room for the instruments to breath. It maintains an exceptional holographic staging that's wide and deep. Resolution and detailed is maintained and almost in a much more natural presentation without being "in your face". However if the pricing of this Uber cable is anywhere along the lines of the 1Plus2 earphone Uber cable, don't expect the pricing of this cable to be cheap. Since it's solid core gold/silver mix, it's also quite delicate and once a flex position is decided, it should maintain that same position or the solid core can crack and break.
     
    EDIT: Added Custom Art SilverLine to the thread on post #54 :-
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    http://www.head-fi.org/t/668330/portable-mini-to-mini-cables-quick-impressions/45#post_9739299
     
    Edit Added: Crystal Cable Connect Micro from Gavin/Spkrs01
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    Edit Added: Siltech Duchess also from Gavin/Spkrs01
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    Both Crystal Cable and Siltech quick impressions can be found on Post #63: http://www.head-fi.org/t/668330/portable-mini-to-mini-cables-quick-impressions/60#post_9864941
     
    Edit: Added Forza AudioWorks Claire Hybrid
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    Impressions can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/668330/portable-mini-to-mini-cables-quick-impressions/60#post_10388016

    ALO Autobahn (self term, not official name!) Mini-2-Mini IC P5040036.jpg
    Impressions can be found here:http://www.head-fi.org/t/668330/portable-mini-to-mini-cables-quick-impressions/120#post_12555841
     
    nephilim32 likes this.
  2. vicjohn
    Wow, I just testing some Mini to Mini cables too! :)
     
    Thanks for good information and nice review!
     
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  3. cravenz
    Thanks for that :)

    I'm just glad I'm not intending to go beyond a DAP and get more stuff. That said, never say never. Shrugs.

    Prices are getting mad!

    I think upgrades tend to be upgrades when they deal with resolution, detailing and to a lesser extent staging. The rest, for example, having a warmer sound signature, deal with preferences in my opinion.

    It's good to see upgrades getting better now! The prices are a different issue though.

    What I'm curious to know is if, for example, given your experience with the v1 and the 1Plus2, the amps used may limit the changes of the interconnects just like there 'may' be more potential for scaling with the 1Plus2?
     
  4. AnakChan Moderator
    Those are pretty serious cables you have there too. Very nice! What's the L-shaped gold/black-wired mini-2-mini? Looks beautiful.
     
  5. vicjohn
    From top(1st. pic)
     
    1.Stefan art audio(Endorphin)
    2.ALO
    3.Lzio S cable(each cables are thin like micro fibre)
    4.Lzio R cable(rhodium plated cable & ㄱhodium 3.5mm Plug)
    5.Lzio V cable(cable material from Western Electric 50's vintage cables)
     
    You mean V cable? yes, that is my favorite. 
    Just thin single copper wire with silk tubing, for me better than most expensive germany made Silver/Gold cable.
    And you'll be hearing soon.:)
     
  6. Lenni
    nice review! 
    [​IMG]
     
  7. charlie0904
    oh... more and more cable price coming close to crystal cables.
     
  8. seeteeyou
    .
     
  9. audionewbi
    Thanks for the thread. Truth be told I am always incredibly pessimistic when it comes to interconnect and cable pricing. The margin for the cable world is incredibly high. It simply does not make sense of having cables which are costing more and more in times when the technology to produce them is becoming more advance and the production cost is keep reducing due to improvement of the technology.
     
    I have been in market for good quality rca-mini and mini-mini. There are virtually no objective review of all the highly regarded cables in the audio-enthusiast world. 
     
    I hope people do not get me wrong, I have heard how cable can alter the sound however my arguments is against whether the cables do cost that much to produce considering the current pricing of copper and gold and china mass production mecca. 
     
  10. AnakChan Moderator
    Audionewbi, despite me writing this review, I kind of partially agree with you that return on cables are small compared to pricing and is that money better off spent elsewhere. Some of these cables I tested are more expensive than earphone cables. However, hypothetically speaking (& maybe practically to some??), if they have reached to the pinnacle of running out of components to tweak, this is one place they could consider upgrading just to squeeze out the extra ounce.

    Although probably not by other audiophiles' standards but for my transportable IEM rig, I think I'm almost there for my budget & for my sonic preferences - Tralucent 1Plus2 with Uber cable, VentureCraft DD LE OPA627SM, & Analog Squared Paper TUR-06 (bring built right now). I'm left with finding a decent mini2mini & tube rolling the TUR-06 left. Considering this portable rig is already coming up to $3600 already it'll make me wonder if skimping on cables worthy.

    Mind you though, I'm not saying the cables are worth the price charged, but unless I wanna DIY, it is what it is. Hmmm...may consider DIY. Also in my reviews I don't really try to talk much about whether some product "is worth it" or not cos that's highly subjective (note, this is different from my comment of value for money which I consider to be separate issue). So I write what I hear & will leave it up to the reader if #1 they can relate to what I've shared, & #2 if they determine if its "worth it" for themselves.
     
  11. rudi0504
    Very nice review Sean and very clear and easy to understand
    I have some from your mini to mini cable
    My impression is almost the same like your review
    I love Tralucent Audio UBER mini to mini , it is my best mini to mini now .
     
  12. rudi0504

    Congrats for your Wagnus Epsilon S
    Look like you and me have this wonderful amp Wagnus Epsilon S
    I don't have Tera Player , I have heard my friend Tera
    I would like to recommend you , please try UBER cable mini to mini .
     
  13. tomscy2000
    Subbed. In the market for a reliable interconnect as well.
     
  14. AnakChan Moderator
    For now I'm in the process of procuring the Mezzo Soprano L-shaped IC. It's the closest I can get to the Uber without fear of breakage from flexing the cable.

    According to Mezzo Soprano, their cables here are silver Vaird-based but they re-sheath the actual wires.

    Edit: I was also given the Tralucent Uber pricing of $325 (on special? Regular price?). I'll update my 1st post later tonight.
     
  15. audionewbi
    Are you planning to add more mini-mini products in the near future?
     
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