Watts Up...?
Nov 17, 2021 at 1:35 AM Post #2,807 of 4,601
I love reading this post anytime I think about listening close to direct to the DAC as possible:

It has a lot of output power and a very low output impedance (0.075 ohms), so it is in fact the best possible «headphone amp» you can get: almost zero harmonic and intermodulation distortion, extremely linear frequency response with virtually unlimited bandwidth, infinite S/N ratio – in other words: perfectly neutral and accurate. No buyable amp is capable of that. And it comes for free!

Now there are people who refuse to take advantage of this unique feature, somehow they feel the urge to add an amp to the system. Because adding an amp to a DAC is standard and makes the system look more complete or valuable. Or to color the signal to their liking or to compensate for their headphones' sonic balance.

I don't deny that you can make a headphone sound more pleasing by doing so, but you can't make it more accurate. If you demand high-end sound quality and are ready to invest thousands of $ for your headphone system for that purpose, it would be absurd to castrate your gear just to do the «usual thing». If you feel the need to change the sonic balance (which is absolutely understandable, as no headphone has a flat frequency response), don't introduce such a bunch of analogue electronics! It will only corrupt the signal. Use a software equalizer instead! Learn how to use it and get used to it! I'm sure you will get advice if you need some – like when you're seeking advice for an amp. Note that a good equalizer is much more powerful than any amp (when it comes to taylor the sound to your ears)!

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-hugo.702787/page-798#post-11936756

This feature allows my Hugo2 to max out transparency and resolution at 10/10. My perfectly neutral non-OEM 12-wire cable also provides the full bandwidth to provide max transparency and resolution 10/10 with colourful tonality up to the transducer. I appreciate RW's life's work on every listen. Since CIEMs are sensitive and I exclusively use only CIEMs, there will never be a need to be bottle-necked by a amp.
 
Nov 17, 2021 at 5:25 AM Post #2,809 of 4,601
Solid core wiring is vital for analogue, but not so for digital. The reason solid core sounds better is down to the non-linearities of each strand due to surface oxidation and other impurities; and this becomes significant at high frequencies (treble) due to skin depth, where current flows towards the surface. For small signals, the strands are partially isolated due to the oxidation; for larger signals they are not isolated. This means the impedance of the cable varies with signal levels, which upsets depth perception.

But this is not an issue for digital cables, and here you are not better off making your own, but buying quality certified cables of the correct impedance.
 
Nov 17, 2021 at 7:10 AM Post #2,810 of 4,601
Thanks RW. I get tears in my eyes when someone of your audio knowledge talks about solid core wiring. I just love solid core, but I never considered it for digital or analogue until your post since I'm just in this for CIEMs. I use solid core exclusively for passive power solutions. Although, I just remembered, my Uber CIEM cable was solid core but that was about a decade ago.

Okay, I'll give up on a USB solution for the Mojo2 and stick with toslink optical. USB is much too rigid. The toslink cable is made from OptiSilk which makes it very pliable and actually feels like silk when bent, so that works better for my needs.

Do you use solid core with your B&W diamonds? I had the 801s at a young age, but was too impatient on how to align properly at that time. I guess I always had a fondness for UK audio. Do you have any recommendations on aligning, angling and positioning your diamonds? Do you use a cord to measure centre (sweet spot)? Just curious if you do any objective alignment. I'm amazed at the current models sensitivity. I don't recall the specs on the low-end 801s.
 
Last edited:
Nov 18, 2021 at 6:52 AM Post #2,811 of 4,601
For loudspeakers I use 16 PTFE insulated 0.6mm OFC sliver plated solid cores - 8 red and 8 blue. They are twisted into 4, then 4 twisted again. Then put into an oven, cooked at 200 deg C for 15 minutes, then left in the oven to cool down overnight. This anneals the wire. For interconnects you are better off using 0.4mm cores.

Setting up speakers takes a great deal of time, and needs to be set-up within one inch. This was a pain with the 803 D3s considering their weight!
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 7:52 AM Post #2,812 of 4,601
For loudspeakers I use 16 PTFE insulated 0.6mm OFC sliver plated solid cores - 8 red and 8 blue. They are twisted into 4, then 4 twisted again. Then put into an oven, cooked at 200 deg C for 15 minutes, then left in the oven to cool down overnight. This anneals the wire. For interconnects you are better off using 0.4mm cores.

Setting up speakers takes a great deal of time, and needs to be set-up within one inch. This was a pain with the 803 D3s considering their weight!
How to tell they’re in the right place though, as there are a lot of inches. Is there a particular track one would use ?
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 9:06 AM Post #2,813 of 4,601
Drool. Many Thanks RW! The only reason I would get back into speakers, besides cost, is if I could implement solid core for a project. Chord DAC direct (no 3rd party amp, yes I consider the Anni a third-party amp) + Solid Core + Diamonds w/ sensitivity == pretty good.

That's why I've given up on speakers, CIEMs are dummy-proof. Setting up within an inch takes experience.

I used mine mainly for LaserDisc back in the day with the B&W HTM centre and triangle surrounds, so it did not have to be so precise.

I'll test some leftover solid core and throw them in the oven to get use to the idea of heating PTFE.
 
Last edited:
Nov 18, 2021 at 2:11 PM Post #2,814 of 4,601
For loudspeakers I use 16 PTFE insulated 0.6mm OFC sliver plated solid cores - 8 red and 8 blue. They are twisted into 4, then 4 twisted again. Then put into an oven, cooked at 200 deg C for 15 minutes, then left in the oven to cool down overnight. This anneals the wire. For interconnects you are better off using 0.4mm cores.

Setting up speakers takes a great deal of time, and needs to be set-up within one inch. This was a pain with the 803 D3s considering their weight!

Rob, are you driving the 803 D3 directly from Dave?
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 3:21 PM Post #2,815 of 4,601
Ignore, I just want to focus on solid core, ultra cap power supplies and CIEMs and not get distracted. But the direct to efficient speakers is very interesting with a solid core foundation. Mind blown.
 
Last edited:
Nov 19, 2021 at 2:07 AM Post #2,816 of 4,601
Solid core wiring is vital for analogue, but not so for digital. The reason solid core sounds better is down to the non-linearities of each strand due to surface oxidation and other impurities; and this becomes significant at high frequencies (treble) due to skin depth, where current flows towards the surface. For small signals, the strands are partially isolated due to the oxidation; for larger signals they are not isolated. This means the impedance of the cable varies with signal levels, which upsets depth perception.

But this is not an issue for digital cables, and here you are not better off making your own, but buying quality certified cables of the correct impedance.
That's very interesting. One of the brands of IC I have been trying, with good success, has larger strands per conductor, and they have a very thin coating on them to prevent oxidation. They seem to be quite good value as I can't tell the difference between using them and a pair of $1500 (retail) cables I have here.
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 3:48 AM Post #2,817 of 4,601
Don’t forget terminations too, simple “less is more” for silver plated speaker wires is the bare wire clamped in the binding posts and maybe a contact enhancer to slow oxidisation, for IC’s a lead free solder with some silver content and “good quality” plugs, gold plated bronze is ok just don’t pick the “bright shiny” ones on looks alone as the brighter appearance can be gold plating over nickel plating, gold plated copper alloy would be the preference but they are more expensive…
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 5:04 AM Post #2,818 of 4,601
Solid core wiring is vital for analogue, but not so for digital. The reason solid core sounds better is down to the non-linearities of each strand due to surface oxidation and other impurities; and this becomes significant at high frequencies (treble) due to skin depth, where current flows towards the surface. For small signals, the strands are partially isolated due to the oxidation; for larger signals they are not isolated. This means the impedance of the cable varies with signal levels, which upsets depth perception.

But this is not an issue for digital cables, and here you are not better off making your own, but buying quality certified cables of the correct impedance.
If you could ever provide a measured evidence of this, many controversies would be finally surpassed. Subjectively, I've always found your observations true, but this is just my single experience. This is what I hate about audio, the fact that many people measure the wrong things and nobody seems to really care about going beyond those standard insufficient measurements. We can measure gravitational waves, but for some reasons we still can't get a hold of why cables affect their signals. I wonder why we don't put the right physics to work....
 
Last edited:
Nov 21, 2021 at 7:18 AM Post #2,819 of 4,601
Does anyone have a link for me where I can order those cables internationally or even better in Germany?
I can’t find any cable that comes close to Robs description.
@Rob Watts, Do you also built your own headphone cables like that. I imagine it being very heavy and not very flexible. Or is it not so important because you don’t get massive depth on headphones either way?

Update 1: I found an old post of Rob saying he got his on Farnell and then I found this one, https://de.farnell.com/alpha-wire/2856-1-wh005/draht-weiss-20awg-1-20awg-30-5m/dp/2290929
It’s just 0,5mm, but everything else seems to be the same except I can not find if it is OFC copper, it just says silver plated copper. The picture seems wrong, because it says solid core.
If this this is the right one, three rolls should do it for 2m cable.
Update 2: I can not order directly on Farnell because it is restricted to commercial buyers (at least in Germany), but I did find on mouser (for a lot higher price) and they do ship to privat costumers.
Now I just need to know if the above cables are ofc copper.
 
Last edited:
Nov 22, 2021 at 8:10 AM Post #2,820 of 4,601
Does anyone have a link for me where I can order those cables internationally or even better in Germany?
I can’t find any cable that comes close to Robs description.
@Rob Watts, Do you also built your own headphone cables like that. I imagine it being very heavy and not very flexible. Or is it not so important because you don’t get massive depth on headphones either way?
I ordered ferrites (not cables) from Farnell UK in July 2018, (the order mentions "Farnell Element14" in one part but just "Farnell" elsewhere). I don't think I had to prove I was in the trade : I'm in IT with my little limited company not electronics.
HTH,
Hugh
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top