UP-OCC K501 Recable
Nov 22, 2008 at 11:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 35

pataburd

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(MOVED FROM THE CABLES . . . TWEAKS THREAD)

Just a brief, preliminary report on the UP-OCC recable that Zach, at Enigma Audio, did for me, by special request. The cable is Ultra Pure Ohno Continuous Cast, 24AWG, 7N, solid core, single crystal silver (for signal) and copper (for return). In hindsight, cryoed wire would have been nice, but this cable was not cryo-treated.

I'm not sure how much break-in time to give this cable, although silver typically takes awhile. After about 50 hours the highs are smoothing out, but still retaining excellent refinement, detail and roundedness. This is not a thin, anemic treble response from the silver wire. Instead, I'm getting exceptional clarity and a tonal purity and openness that is really quite special. Mids are very open and crystal clear. Bass is deep and punctual, and definitely fuller--more foundational and supportive--than what I recall from the stock cable. I am hoping that with an additional 100+ hours the bass will acquire even more weight and definition; but even for now, it's quite respectable, particularly given the stock K501's inherent bass response. (Reader note: this is a "Version I, bass-heavy" pair of K501.)

Right now, with the Bada PH-12 back down south on Fitz's bench, I'm running the RAM-modded Samsung DVD HD-841, Denon AVR-1905 (headphone out from the a/v receiver), the EVS IC100 (UPOCC copper) interconnects, MAC cables and PowerVar AC conditioners.

Lee Ritenour's "Festival" disc, with its Brazilian, rhythmic flair, sounds excellent. Vocals are incredibly detailed and expressive. Acoustic guitar is presented with wonderful body, as well as complex tonal and harmonic character. Bass and drums have quite adequate impact and dynamics. This UP-OCC recable brings out the best from the K501, preserving their remarkable coherency and expansive soundstage, but adding a level of high frequency refinement, layers of detail, rightness of speed, bass definition and noticably improved dimensionality over the stock cable.

Another 100 or so hours, I am guessing, should only bring about further improvements. And when the Bada PH-12 returns . . . well, I can only imagine how much better the K501 will sound, then! : )

Thanks again, Zach, for your very solid, professional-looking and quality feeling work on this recable. It really does the K501, my favorite pair of open headphones, BTW, sonic "justice." : )

UPDATE:
After another 25 hours, the bass is really filling out and coming across with more punch, shapeliness and articulation. Spatial separation and sense of instrument/performer placement is truly exceptional. The native cohesion of the K501 is taken to another level with this cable.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 1:17 AM Post #3 of 35

kool bubba ice

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pataburd /img/forum/go_quote.gif
(MOVED FROM THE CABLES . . . TWEAKS THREAD)

Just a brief, preliminary report on the UP-OCC recable that Zach, at Enigma Audio, did for me, by special request. The cable is Ultra Pure Ohno Continuous Cast, 23AWG, 8N, solid core, single crystal silver (for signal) and copper (for return). In hindsight, cryoed wire would have been nice, but this cable was not cryo-treated.

I'm not sure how much break-in time to give this cable, although silver typically takes awhile. After about 50 hours the highs are smoothing out, but still retaining excellent refinement, detail and roundedness. This is not a thin, anemic treble response from the silver wire. Instead, I'm getting exceptional clarity and a tonal purity and openness that is really quite special. Mids are very open and crystal clear. Bass is deep and punctual, and definitely fuller--more foundational and supportive--than what I recall from the stock cable. I am hoping that with an additional 100+ hours the bass will acquire even more weight and definition; but even for now, it's quite respectable, particularly given the stock K501's inherent bass response. (Reader note: this is a "Version I, bass-heavy" pair of K501.)

Right now, with the Bada PH-12 back down south on Fitz's bench, I'm running the RAM-modded Samsung DVD HD-841, Denon AVR-1905 (headphone out from the a/v receiver), the EVS IC100 (UPOCC copper) interconnects, MAC cables and PowerVar AC conditioners.

Lee Ritenour's "Festival" disc, with its Brazilian, rhythmic flair, sounds excellent. Vocals are incredibly detailed and expressive. Acoustic guitar is presented with wonderful body, as well as complex tonal and harmonic character. Bass and drums have quite adequate impact and dynamics. This UP-OCC recable brings out the best from the K501, preserving their remarkable coherency and expansive soundstage, but adding a level of high frequency refinement, layers of detail, rightness of speed, bass definition and noticably improved dimensionality over the stock cable.

Another 100 or so hours, I am guessing, should only bring about further improvements. And when the Bada PH-12 returns . . . well, I can only imagine how much better the K501 will sound, then! : )

Thanks again, Zach, for your very solid, professional-looking and quality feeling work on this recable. It really does the K501, my favorite pair of open headphones, BTW, sonic "justice." : )

UPDATE:
After another 25 hours, the bass is really filling out and coming across with more punch, shapeliness and articulation. Spatial separation and sense of instrument/performer placement is truly exceptional. The native cohesion of the K501 is taken to another level with this cable.



How does the stock Bada compare to your Denon?
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:15 PM Post #5 of 35

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lil' Knight /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Those UPOCC cable looks very interesting. I definitely will try it in the future.
Is it flexible enough to move around? Any idea on how much did it cost you?



Because the cable is solid core, it is not as flexible as stranded wire and must be handled carefully. I reserve time with the UP-OCC K501 for serious, stay-put listening sessions.

The wire used in the recable was purchased from Take Five Audio in Canada. 14 ft. of each type was used to make a 7 ft. cable, terminated with a good, Neutrik 1/4" headphone jack. Copper cable was about $2/ft. and the silver about $5/ft.; so there's about $85 in cable alone. Zach provided the Neutrik plug and labor for making a dual-entry recable.

PM me and I will give you final cost. : )
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:18 PM Post #6 of 35

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bozz_Keren /img/forum/go_quote.gif
@pataburd
do you send your K501 to enigma audio ?



Yes. Plus, I had the cable shipped there, too. If I could have found stranded UP-OCC available--somewhere other than in China, where I could not deal directly with the manufacturer--I would have tried that route. But I am quite happy with the sound of the solid core cable. I just have to be extra careful not to flex, twist and bend it, since it is not as durable as stranded wire. : )
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:31 PM Post #7 of 35

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kool bubba ice /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How does the stock Bada compare to your Denon?


The stock Bada betters the Denon on almost every front: detail, musicality, extension. By comparison the Denon sounds a little cold and sterile. : )

The modded Bada? Raises the stock Bada's performance to the exponent of 3! : )
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 3:11 PM Post #9 of 35

pataburd

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With an additional 50 hours of break in time, the UP-OCC cable is evidencing an even higher degree of detail retrieval, at levels I before didn’t think possible for the K501. Bass response has also settled down, becoming better regulated and articulated. Treble is smoother, but without losing a many-faceted brilliance and an almost indescribable musical “sheen.” Midrange is ultra-clear and marvelously well knit with the highs and lows.

In addition to increased “quantity” of detail comes increased “quality” as well. There’s what I’ll call a “wholeness of rendering” with this cable, in that, in addition to the sheer amounts of extra detail, the tonal and timbral rightness and spectral fullness of an instrument comes through quite convincingly.

We’re not talking about a limited purview of “transient edge” only on, say, a cymbal strike; but the full characteristic development of the cymbal strike: its full, metallic cresting, shaping and glowing; its ambience of overtone and harmonic transport, integral with its transient shimmer, carry and decay. Brass is rich, expressive, lustrous and “alive” with respective tonality, while listening to the exchange between trumpet and tenor saxophone solos on some of my favorite Henri Mancini selections. Tom-tom hits are taut, warmish and rounded. Chimes/bells are portrayed with an almost addictive wealth of delicacy and a finely nuanced enunciation. Vocals are seamless and profoundly penetrating. The sound is delivered, both technically and, as it were, “magically,” with an unrivaled aplomb.

I’ve never heard such fullness, rightness and integrity of detail from the K501 before. Coupling the inherent cohesiveness of the K501’s drivers with the complimentary cohesiveness/liquidity of the UP-OCC wires, we have something very special here, something very enveloping, arresting and satisfying. In this instance, the “unbridled” detail unleashed by the UP-OCC cable ultimately provides an overwhelmingly musical, not analytical service, to the listening experience.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM Post #10 of 35

Lil' Knight

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Some teasing pics please
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 5:38 PM Post #11 of 35

apatN

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I'm a believer in cables but I don't believe in burning in your cables, I'd love to see you DBTing against 'not burnt in'. The UPOCC sure looks nice and I might give the copper one a try one day.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 5:44 PM Post #13 of 35

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by apatN /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm a believer in cables but I don't believe in burning in your cables, I'd love to see you DBTing against 'not burnt in'. The UPOCC sure looks nice and I might give the copper one a try one day.


Yes. This is an age-old squabble on these forums. I readily admit that cable "burn-in" can arguably be (partially) synonymous with one's psycho-acoustic conditioning, and that there's a bit of both going on--in relative proportions--in my case. I'd argue that, materially, something dynamically is going on within/along the cable itself, as well as a fair amount of my simply "getting used to" the correspondingly static properties of the recable. : )

Ideally, I'd like to try an all silver UP-OCC recable of the Denon AH-D5000.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 6:02 PM Post #14 of 35

apatN

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Yeah. I'm not skeptic of burn-in in general but cables.. Sorry. With my new HD595s I could swear the sound was changing when I let it play for some time. With my DT880s (which I'm sure were burnt in as well) it was the same. The first hours I thought they were bright but after that they seemed neutral. My guess is that the cable does make a difference but the burn in is in your head. No offense.
wink.gif


Oh yeah, let's not change this in a burn-in discussion. My last post on this matter.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 6:08 PM Post #15 of 35

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by apatN /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah. I'm not skeptic of burn-in in general but cables.. Sorry. With my new HD595s I could swear the sound was changing when I let it play for some time. With my DT880s (which I'm sure were burnt in as well) it was the same. The first hours I thought they were bright but after that they seemed neutral. My guess is that the cable does make a difference but the burn in is in your head. No offense.
wink.gif


Oh yeah, let's not change this in a burn-in discussion. My last post on this matter.



I whole-heartedly, and with scorched ears and singed hair, agree! : )
 

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