Mystery cable loaner EU

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by frenchbat, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Dear Friends,

    @atomicbob and I exchanged a few messages about cables lately, and some idea spawned from that. Bob would like to get some feedback on some interconnects cables he has been using and measuring. He offered to loan a pair of those, to test in my system.

    As I am located in EU, this loaner is open to EU Friends and contributors, but maybe Bob will want to open a separate loaner in NA for additional feedback. A few things are still in the air though :

    A. What would be the preferred length for the cables ? 1 ft / 2 ft / 3 ft ?
    The package will include 4 cables :
    2 ft XLR and RCA
    3 ft XLR and RCA

    B. What would be the right amount of time to test the cables ?

    In any case, cables would first reach my place before being dispatched to people in the loaner. Once this is concluded, cables would have to come back to my place, before being shipped back to Bob. Since I'm using balanced connection in my system, the preferred plug is XLR. No idea if there is a possibility to include both XLR and RCA. Please keep in mind this will require some sort of organized feedback posting.

    List of participants :

    1. Fenchbat, 2/3ft XLR / Package shipped on July 12 to @m17xr2b
    2. @m17xr2b UK, 2/3ft RCA preferred, XLR ok.
    3. @Serious DE, 2/3ft XLR (package received on august 19th)
    4. @jayeshrc NL, 2/3ft

    EDIT July 12th : Please insure the package for the equivalent of 250€ when you ship it. Thanks.

    EDIT July 22nd : as per Bob's indication, insurance level is now set at 40€.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Are these headphone cables, interconnects, speaker cables?

    You said XLR/RCA, so interconnect. My bad.

    (I'm not in the EU, but I thought I'd ask as a point of clarification.)
     
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  3. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Good point. It's interconnects indeed.
     
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  4. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Yes please, I've got WyWires platinum on the Stellaris and I'll be curios to compare.
     
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  5. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    If there are RCAs in the loaner (i dont have a balanced system), I'd love to join!

    I've taken part in one of the previous loaners, but I'm not sure if I'm eligible since its for Friends only?
     
  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    @m17xr2b any thoughts on the length and duration ?

    @jayeshrc will discuss with Bob about opening to contributors. Same questions as above, please.
     
  7. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    Oh, yeah sorry - I think 1ft is a tad too short for me. either 2 or 3ft would work, and regarding duration.. well i think a week? more than that is always welcome, but having it over a weekend would be really cool to be able to spend time with them
     
  8. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    2 feet would do for me and I agree with @jayeshrc on the weekend. RCA or XLR? I would prefer RCA so I can test both my tube amps but XLR will be just fine or is it both?.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  9. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I'm also interested. Anything that's just a bit more than 2ft would work for me (let's say 70cm to be safe), but I can move my DAC so 2ft should work too.
    I'd prefer XLR, but I'm also fine with RCA. The differences might be more apparent with RCA anyway.
     
  10. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    The original discussion with Bob was about XLR. Will also ask if RCA is a possibility.

    EDIT: Contributors are in, and there will be both XLR and RCA, in 2 and 3 ft lengths. Thanks Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  11. MrButchi

    MrButchi Gear Master Europe

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    @frenchbat - thanks for setting this up. As agreed offline, please just keep me in the conversations loop as it unfolds.
    Also, we need to set an insurance level for the shipping. Please advise.

    Rock on!
     
  12. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Dear everyone, given Bob's crazy schedule for measurements, this is on hold for now.

    It'll likely be delayed a few weeks, but I'll keep you posted when things get cleared.
     
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  13. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Package arrived from Bob. I would take a pic but the cables are already in use.

    Can I have your address @m17xr2b please ? I'll ship in a week or two.
     
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  14. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Since we have to set an insurance level for this thing, and I will be the last recipient, let's set the level at 250€. I'm taking the responsibility for the remainder.

    Package on its way to m17xr2b. Hope you enjoy it.
     
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  15. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    First time testing out different cables with my setup. My initial thought was go big or go home and with the Stellaris I got a nice pair of WyWires Platinum XLR interconnects. No other cables was used since I owned the amp.
    Caveat: I've got the balanced input transformer on the Stellaris which makes volume matching kind of impossible so I decided to use whatever volume on wanted on either option. Pavane as source.
    HP:Mystery HDXXX, HD540 and HD250 both 600ohm.

    Test 1: Mystery cable on RCA, WyWires platinum on XLR
    The air,openness and dynamics took a big hit from what I'm used to. Background got greyer, a veil on the mid range and glare on treble that made me lower the volume on occasion. Focus was lost. Killed the spirit of the DNA amp.
    Test 2: Mystery cable on RCA, Mystery cable on XLR
    XLR sounded like a refined, evolved version of the RCA. Where the RCA cable had issues not only with tone but also technicalities, here most of the issues were less obvious but the presentation still fell well wywires. Tone is wrong, nastily, gritty treble. Since the same wire was used it's clear the XLR output of the Pavane with the balanced input of the DNA yields a more mature and refined sound.
    Test 3: WyWires Silver on RCA, Mystery cable on XLR
    Got the openness and crispness back, richer tone without a veil,. Balanced operation is not enough to overcome the cable shortcomings with the silver series coming on top even if on RCA(no actual silver in this cable).
    Test 4: WyWires Silver RCA, Mystery cable RCA on uber BH crack with dual transformers
    Much less annoyance here with the mystery cable and does a fine job overall, fine detail is smeared and low end doesn't growl as hard. Sounds like a well built store cable, Hama comes to mind.

    I had more cables to try with my own DIY cables but I was perplexed as to why it's such a drawback. Looking at the wires used for the first time it's a bog standard mogami 2964 at 2.9€ a meter. Basically this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mogami-2...368318?hash=item2873324d7e:g:7PsAAOSwXV1bWL31e

    I'm sorry gentlemen but I'm a bit annoyed here for the mystery cables don't add up even if bought new anywhere close to asked insurance of 250€. Just for the insurance premium without actual shipping cost I could have DIY them, try out and still had a few quid left on the side and some spare cables.

    For the budget minded with low/mid tier gear they're quite good, cheap and cheerful, B+, could do better. Should not be touched on high end gear.
     
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  16. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Thanks for the impressions @m17xr2b

    Quick question : does the UK post charge a lot for insurance ? It was just cost a couple more euros to insure when I shipped to you
     
  17. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    It's 10£ for insurance and around 15£ for shipping to another EU country.

    At least I've busted for myself the myth of all cables sound the same, again.
    One of the best DIY cables I've built was using furutech μ-P2.1 wire. After OCC diminishing returns really kick in and geometry has more of an impact where builders such as WyWires, Danacable, DHC etc. take advantage.
    OFC usually sucks but not always. Could it be the high 75ohm impedance is responsible for the warm/veiled sound?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  18. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Wow that's some serious gouging there. I understand your comment a bit better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    There may have been a typo in communications. I only insured the cables for 40 euros when I sent them to @frenchbat
    By now it may be realized these are not high priced audiophile cables. However, these are found connecting hundreds of channels together in most recording studios in the world. This tour is an experiment and comparison comments are valuable.
     
  20. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Any pictures of the cables?
     
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