Headphone Cables

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by rhythmdevils, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    I am ordering a drausk clear 17awg for the utopias. Would like to try the silver again sometime
     
  2. recstar24

    recstar24 Friend

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    It’s been awhile since I’ve been down the path of headphone cables. I had blue jeans make me a custom one for the focal elex a while back, 12ft was about $60 and have been happy with build quality, usability and sound.

    Recently picked up some hd800s and wasn’t willing to drop almost $400 on their xlr cable. Found impact audio and just received a 15ft with eidolic connectors for $200. One of the nicest cables I’ve seen going back to my 2000s headfi days. The litz braid is excellent and not bulky at all; surprisingly flexible with a soft sleeve with no micro phonics. The eidolic connectors appear to be quality and am enjoying the sound right out of the box.
     
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  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    is this the og @recstar24 from head-if way back in the day???? It’s been a long time! Good to see you around.
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Some interesting rather damning though still subjective proof that cables actually change at least perceived FR even between copper cables.

    These were the settings on my Lokius with an AliExpress OFC copper cable on an og Solaris.

    [​IMG]

    These are the settings to achieve the same perceived FR with a Lunashops AliExpress OCC copper cable

    [​IMG]

    I wasn’t expecting this, I caught it while reviewing another iem and listened to the same test tracks used to make the Lokius adjustments to the first cable but with the new cable the sound was off. I used the same tracks to get it back to the same sound with the OCC cable.

    I just thought this would be of interest or at least interestingly controversial. :p
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  5. recstar24

    recstar24 Friend

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    Yessir! It’s great to see and hear from you. To say I am no longer on the headfi would be an understatement lol. I’m still on HC though and the local Chicago crew is still very much intact as we occasionally get together and hang. Hope things are well with you!
     
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  6. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    This guy is one of the original headphone enthusiasts from the first days of head-fi and a very good guy. One of the best in the hobby. Upgraded status coming ;)
     
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  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Cool. Qualitatively, the change is what would be expected from the general shape of the Solaris's impedance curve and the cables having different resistances (would have to go through the math to figure out whether the indicated amount makes sense though). Have you tried the same thing with your Andromedas?
     
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  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I hane't, no they're currently on loan to a friend. But I also have the Lokius dialed in now and am reluctant to mess with it. It's actually kind of difficult to get it right because the knobs have a broad affect, so each knob affects the one before and after it. Part of the 10k treble reduction is cancelling out the rise in 10k from the knob before it.
     
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  9. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Andromedas have a much more extreme but narrow impedance peak so if it's cable resistance, even with the Lokius's broadish Qs you might find your EQ tweaks limited to the 2k & 6k bands.

    But in practice this is usually hard to justify. Cable resistance differences are often thrown out there (like I did above :rolleyes: ), but they're usually small and not always in the right sense wrt the earphone's impedance curve to account for the perceived FR differences (eg SPC cables always(?) being perceived as brighter than pure copper).
     
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  10. recstar24

    recstar24 Friend

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    Thanks bud for the vote of confidence, or at least advocacy for slightly above the rando level of hifi :)
     
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  11. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    does anyone have a set of the silver NORNE cables they would be willing to send me so i can try them on the Utopia. Would love to hear them on my system so I can know if they work for me. I am waiting for the Drask lite (all copper)from norne to arrive.
     
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  12. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    The stock 4m Utopia cable is way too cumbersome and I need a shorter cable. Trying to keep it at or under $300. Looking for a copper cable, Eidolic or Furutech 4pin xlr, ideally 6' long. Does anyone have any listening experience with the following? Also open to suggestions.

    Wanted Forza Noir (Copper) but its 329 Eur as configured (about $380 USD right now). FWIW though, I've been very happy with multiple other cables from them in the past.

    Norne Drausk Lite is $274 as configured.
    Custom Cans comes out to $129GBP (~$175 USD today) although they don't specify the XLR connector used
    Headphone Lounge is also $175 + a few dollars shipping but they also don't specify the XLR connector used
    Null Audio Tiburon MK2 comes out to $279 + shipping from Singapore - think I'd rather try the Norne for this time + money.
    Cablearchitect seems to be down on ebay right now.

    Have tried ZMF, Double Helix, and a some others before in the past. Looking to try something new this time around.
     
  13. Ksorota

    Ksorota Friend

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    I have always enjoyed Wywires products and Alex is fast to deliver. The red series is almost always on sale and would come out to just under 300$ at 6-feet. Thankfully you can get them in other colors than red nowadays.

    the platinum series is nice but not worth the cost new. With enough time you could probably get one used at your price point and Alex reterminates for sound 35$ plus connectors cost.

    If going with Norne you better order soon to beat Black Friday, or wait and get the sale pricing…but then you after going to wait a while. Norne is my preference when given choice.
     
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  14. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I have a balanced and SE cables from them and mine have Neutrik connectors all around
     
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  15. deafenears

    deafenears Rando

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    Check out Arctic Cables if it's not already on your list. See also https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/occ-copper-headphone-cable-porn.11549/

    Their Magnus line is probably a bit over your budget but they also have lower ranges.

    DHC used to have 22 AWG Molecule SE but they don't seem to offer that anymore, just the 25 AWG version.
     
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  16. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

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    Does anyone have experience in re-terminating stock Focal Clear cables? Or any Focal cables with 3.5mm male plugs going into the headphones.

    I have the 6.3mm TRS stock cable, and would like to turn it into 4 pin XLR.
    Just want to make sure when I cut open the cable there will be 4 wires (L+, L-, R+, R-), and not 3 somehow (L, R, shared ground).
     
  17. roughroad

    roughroad formerly mephisto56, Rando

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    @penguins, I've been having good luck with the Forza AW Claire HPC Mk2. In the configuration you are looking for, it would run you about $214 plus shipping + PP fees (around $45-46). However, it only comes with a Neutrik connector. I have three of the Claire cables and find their sound to be smooth and grain-free. HTH.
     
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  18. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I've already ordered Norne but have had the Claire cable in the past. I liked it a lot as well. Slightly microphonic if it bumped against my desk but otherwise but that's about it. Can share about how it compares to stock if wanted later. However, I'm not expecting a huge sonic difference - as mentioned this is mostly so I don't have to deal with a bulky 4m long stock cable.

    Also decided to try a customcans XLR (hp) to SE (amp) adapter.
     
  19. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I've only cut open a Utopia cable so am unsure if it holds for the Clear cable, but in marketing photos, it looks like the same cable for either balanced or single ended. It wouldn't make a ton of sense to have two different types of cables, so odds are, you will be fine. Just about any dual entry headphone cable will have to have 4 conductors unless something really funky is happening.
     
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