Anyone use ZY Headphone cables?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by gamerstudent, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. gamerstudent

    gamerstudent Rando

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Likes Received:
    20
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I was lucky enough to get into the MD for the HD6xx, but now I'm slowly doing research on amps and dacs. One of the amps I am looking at (Schiit Jotunheim) has a balanced output. I found these balanced cables which are quite affordable, but I know nothing about the company, any one have any reviews or opinions? I know MD has sold their cables before as a drop for the HD800s.

    http://www.shenzhenaudio.com/z-zy-h...ance-line-4-pin-xlr-male-occ-zy-002-2-5m.html
     
  2. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    99
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Fairfield, IA
  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine,CA
    If it was on Massdrop then I generally trust them. Plus with cables I don't mind getting the cheapest. You can also rest assured that with 300 ohm headphones there won't be much current going through them so the cables are even less of a factor.
     
  4. k1arg

    k1arg Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    93
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London, UK
    I have a balanced ZY cable for my HD 650. Perhaps it's good for the money, but honestly I'm not very happy with it and wish I had opted for something else. The headphone-side connectors are big and gaudy, but mainly the cable itself is very stiff, has it's own ideas about twisting, and is pretty slippery so that it doesn't end up staying put very well. I haven't compared it seriously wrt sound quality. I have a vandamme cable with other connectors which is way heavier, but still more flexible. Ergonomically, the Toxic cable I have is far and away the nicest, but also cost more, so...
     
  5. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    London, UK
    If people don't want to get their hands dirty, and want a "nicer cable", I can highly recommend http://forzaaudioworks.com/. I've had a couple of nice copper cables from them so far (balanced and SE), and they're beautifully made, pliable and sturdy.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, you can make a decent cable yourself for a fraction of the price, but not everyone wants to- or would do as nice a job.

    Forza's service is fast, both orders took about a week from start to finish. In contrast, I made the mistake of trying to buy a crazy audiobling cable from "Toxic Cables" on the 4th of August, and it still hasn't shipped- I'd avoid that one like the plague, very slow and unreliable.

    (You may laugh, but Hifiman stock cables are so terribly inflexible and microphonic that replacing them with something luxurious is an understandable response.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  6. gamerstudent

    gamerstudent Rando

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Likes Received:
    20
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I'm personally in the boat that unless if somehow you are using a wire thickness that is way too thin for the current and power you need, cables make zero difference in sound quality. There isn't enough conclusive evidence subjectively or objectively to tell me it would, under the conditions I listed. Potentially, because different cables would have different levels of resistance it can change, but, I doubt any cable would make any real difference in resistance to a 300 ohm headphone. The difference due to resistance change I'd argue it would be minimal at best, even on low impedance headphones.. I would easily believe though cables make differences in other issues ways, such as microphonics, tangling issues, and looks. If anyone has stacks of evidence on the contrary I'm happy to read it, or if an electrical engineer can explain it using formulas and as such. But as of now, I think it would be more placebo effect than anything else. Placebo effect can be *very* strong, even in health care settings. The brain is a phenomenal organ :)

    I'm not too picky on how the cable looks, as long as the build quality is good and it allows me to go into a 4 pin XLR i'm happy, and has minimal microphonics. It'll be used only for desk listening anyways. I'm also happy to buy a spare OEM cable and terminate it my self. However, I live in Australia, getting an OEM cable here is around 30-35USD shipped from the USA being the cheapest option. Then getting a 4 pin XLR connector here is around $12-15 so that makes it up to $50...it's much better to pay the extra $20 to get the ZY cable (if it's actually good).

    Kattefjaes, thanks for the link to forzaaudioworks, i'll take a look. But I'm not willing to spend much more than $100 USD for the cable, as the headphones only cost $215USD shipped to Australia!
     
    Blixy likes this.
  7. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    London, UK
    As you imply, a cheap/easy option is to buy a spare stock HD650 cable and re-terminate it. However, if you can't be arsed, these people charge a small premium to do it for you:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Entry-lev...or-Sennheiser-HD650-HD600-HD580-/142154359911

    It's fine, it's not pretty but it works properly. A nice solid Neutrik XLR plug won't let you down. It's the stock cable, so it's pretty flexible and quiet.
     
    gamerstudent likes this.
  8. gamerstudent

    gamerstudent Rando

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Likes Received:
    20
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Kattefjaes, that is an awesome link. Even with shipping, it's actually not too much more expensive than just getting the stock cable + plug, and it's the cheapest option.
     
  9. Malabargold

    Malabargold Flipper

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
    Likes Received:
    118
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thats a beautiful cable! Do you mind telling me which type of Forza cable that one is?
     
  10. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    London, UK
    It's a "Claire HPC Mk2", but with semi-transparent black insulation:

    http://forzaaudioworks.com/en/product.php?id_product=80

    It's a good sturdy copper cable with a nice flexible braid- just heavy enough to hang properly, never gets in the way. Very happy with it.
     
    k1arg and Malabargold like this.
  11. Blixy

    Blixy Rando

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I have a pair of ZY cables for my Focal Utopia. They are XLR4 terminated. They use a branded Neutrik connector, paracord, and claim to use 6N PC-OCC copper. Sound great, no problems, better than the stock unbalanced cables the Utopia comes with at a fraction of the price. I'd use them again.

    I also own Kimber Cables for the Z7/Z1R, Custom Cans cables for various other headphones I currently own.

    I generally buy upgrade cables so I can get balanced connections. Looks are an important factor. The science behind everything else is not really there, there's not really good enough evidence that better conductivity means better sound, but there is a slight difference between balanced and unbalanced cables. And in the end, upgrading cables is fun and part of the hobby, that's how I look at it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine,CA
    There's other issues besides conductivity. Cable capacitance is pretty important and can result in high frequency rolloff if capacitance is high. That's why you'll see Stax as a flat cable to minimize the effect.
     
    9suns likes this.

Share This Page