RNB Audio Diamond Reference Mini-RCA Impressions
Mar 8, 2006 at 11:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

DeeJayBump

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The Reason For This Review:

I had a JMT-built Mini-RCA that I had been using with my trans-portable rig. I finally admitted that I needed a Mini-RCA with right angle RCAs and right angle Mini plugs so that my gear would better fit into my bag (Headroom Traveller) so I set about to find someone to make one for me. I quickly learned that sadly JMT was no longer in the DIYFSE business, and I read the glowing reviews that were coming in about RNB Audio's Diamond Reference, and contacted Myo to see if he would make me a cable to fit my needs.


My System:

Sony D-515 Discman with 8XAA battery PSU
Tangent-built PPAv2 amp with OPA637s/OPA627, BlackGates, variable bassboost, Alps Blues (volume and BB) and 12XAA battery PSU
Sony MDR-CD3000 Headphones

Other cables I've owned:

Bolder M-80 Mini to RCA (sold)
JMT-built Silver Lace Mini-RCA (sold)
Markertek Mini-Mini (sold)
Radioshack Gold Mini-RCA (emergency backup, still own)

My Sonic Preferences:

I like a certain degree of warmth, expressiveness, body, and texture in my equipment. I like bass with depth, control, and body. I want to feel the emotion the artist is trying to get across to the listener. If the artist is passionate about the song or album, I want to hear that. I want to be involved and moved by my music. I want to be invigorated and replenished by my music. So I keep cables and equipment that provide these things for me in my listening and I sell those that don't meet these needs.

Disclaimer:

I am not markl. If you are expecting this review to be on par with one of his, you will more than likely be disappointed. Also, I am not affiliated with Myo or RNB Audio in any way other than as a satisfied customer. I paid full retail price for my Diamond Reference and receive no financial discounts or benefits as a result of buying or reviewing this cable.

The Pics:



Reader's Digest Version (for the impatient Head-Fiers)

WOW. Believe the hype. This cable has to be heard to be believed.

For those with a little more patience, the review continues:

I thought I knew not only what my trans-portable system could sound like, and what my music sounded like, but I was wrong. This cable has not outperformed my previous Mini-RCAs in a few areas, it has eclipsed them in each and every area.

Once the cable arrived from Myo (RNB Audio) I started to see the care and effort he put into the shipping and packaging of the cable. It came in a small box, packed well and with the Diamond Reference in a zip-lock anti-static bag. Nice touch, and this was a sign of things to come. The cable he built for me is 12" in length and has standard (non-gold) right angle Mini and right angle RCA jacks. The pics don't really do it justice. It looks outstanding, it's flexible, and it suits my needs perfectly. But how does it sound?

I listened to the cable for about 30 minutes immediately after receiving it, and heard a few things with familiar songs that sounded promising, so I grabbed my trusty Stereophile Test CD3 and put the burn-in track on repeat for a few days. I listened to it for another 30 minutes or so about the 36 hour mark of burn-in and heard more improvements, so I vowed to not listen to it critically until the cable had at least 100 hours of burn-in on it.

When I started listening to this cable in my setup to determine what it brought to the table, I kept having the same problem. I had promised Myo that I would post my impressions of his creation to the forum, but every time I sat down to listen to my setup with the Diamond Reference, I found myself not only hearing new things in CDs I thought I knew well, but I found myself listening to and enjoying my music until the wee hours of the morning. Then I'd realize that I hadn't completed a single word of the review I'd promised Myo. This process repeated itself many times. I heard so many things to like and love with this cable. I was afraid that I was suffering from new acquisition syndrome, and that the more I listened to the Diamond Reference I would eventually find things about it that I didn't like. So I waited, I burned it in more, I listened to it more and I promised to temper my enthusiasm before writing the review. Well, I have almost 200 hours on the cable now and I absolutely love it.

I could list all of the CDs and songs I listened to during this period and what new things I heard, felt and experienced on those CDs and in those songs, but I'm not sure that would really convey how this cable will sound to you in your system.

During my listening sessions, I started making mental notes of what this cable excels at. I stopped doing that when I realized that there are a lot of things it does well and that I couldn't name a single thing I felt it did wrong. Will this cable clear up problem acne? Nope. Will it make your teeth gleam like the sun or prevent the build up of plaque? Negative. What it will do is get the tone and percussive nature of pianos right. It will allow you to hear the subtle changes of vocal inflection in a singer's voice. It will allow you to hear and feel where the album you are listening to was recorded. It will allow you to hear and tell the difference between an upright bass and and an acoustic bass. It will reveal spatial cues in your music that other cables might obscure. It will convey the emotion amd intent in a song or an album that you had no idea existed in a favorite song or album. It won't make badly recorded CDs magically sound great. It will, however, make all your above average discs and great CDs sound better than you ever thought they could sound. This cable resolves complex mixes extremely well. You will be able to hear things deep in the mix that you did not know existed. Some cables do this in an almost surgical manner, but the Diamond Reference will convey these complexities while never letting you forget that each of the individual parts are but pieces of a musical whole. I've listened to everything from Prince, Tracy Chapman, Meshell Ndegeocello and Led Zeppelin to Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and Norah Jones with the Diamond Reference in my system, and it has handled everything I've thrown at it with subtlety, with grace, with fluidity, with funk, with stygian bass reach texture and control and whatever else it has been presented with. I've not once felt that the cable has been a limiting factor. It's almost as if the Diamond Reference has sneered “Is that all you've got? I thought you were going to test me.”

Will you connect with your music in the same ways that I did with the Diamond Reference in my system? Will it make you laugh out loud, make you cry, make you get up and dance, and bring you closer to your music? Will it wash away the stresses of your daily life? Will it renew you, your passion for music and replenish your spirit? It has done all of this and more for me, but the only way to know if it will have the same effect on you is to hear one with your system and with your music. Try one, and like me, you may find that you've found the perfect cable for you.

Thank you, Myo.

-Scott
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:39 PM Post #2 of 8

yellafella321

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wow great review!

makes that pricepoint seem a little softer
wink.gif


edit: if you're a poor unemployed student like me!
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:53 PM Post #3 of 8

Oski

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Great review Scott. The Diamond is an exceptional cable and is my reference mini as well.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 7:12 PM Post #6 of 8

milkpowder

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Thanks a lot for the review! Very genuine and honest comments. It only makes me more jealous of you. When the time comes to get a mini to RCA, I will definitely consider Myo's offering seriously.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 8:26 PM Post #8 of 8

RnB180

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Regarding the price point, this was a concern took into consideration. The cable is targeted to the reference market and designed to perform as a reference level. Its priced according to the time, labor, costs, and quality. There are intricacies in the construction of the cable one of which includes a mold injected into the RA rca connectors formed under a ground sleeve combined with mechanical strain relief in conjuction would an adhesive sealant underneath. Its a substantially more complicated and costly build process than the RA mini to mini, construction quality aside. Sonic performance of the cable speaks for itself.

Thank you for sharing.

God bless,
myo
 

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