Mystery cable loaner EU

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

  1. frenchbat

    frenchbat Almost "Made"

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    @atomicbob, it's not a communication typo.
    I set the insurance level arbitrarily to try and keep bias to the minimum AND because it was inexpensive to insure at that level (I paid like 3€). What was unexpected was the insurance level to be that different in UK (and possibly others in EU).

    I had already told @m17xr2b to lower the insurance level and keep the insurance cost at a reasonable level, but let's set it to 40€.
     
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  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    @frenchbat - ah, I see now. Well I screwed up your best intentions towards reducing bias with my comments.

    @Thenewerguy009 - pictures:

    cables on tour
    IMG_0488_small.jpg

    broadcast / studio cable characteristics:
    20190721 cable characteristics.png

    Belden 1192 and other 40 ~ 45 Ω Znom cables are currently used almost everywhere in broadcast, studios, live sound, etc. There is a move afoot migrating towards 110 Ω Znom in the balanced audio paths and 75 Ω Znom for unbalanced audio paths.

    These are used by the hundreds of interconnections. Think about a 48 channel Neve 5088 in a studio for example.

    If there is sufficient interest I may post data from LCR and Pulse testing.
     
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  3. frenchbat

    frenchbat Almost "Made"

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    That's all good @atomicbob , somehow the cat was out of the bag and it was kinda impractical for the situation anyway.
     
  4. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Well it did have an impact, negative but the price didn't quite match up to the quality so it still achieved in a way its goal. I didn't look at the make and price until after I finished my testing and my initial though is if it's some late April fools joke given the insurance requirement.

    I don't know if it's the fact my whole system is wired with the same wywired platinum cable from transport to headphones but the interconnects really stick out and in an obvious way where in no time at all you can tell the difference.

    In fairness I've had the same exact config for over a year and know it very well. The tour cable has an earthy presentation, mild, beans with jacket potato to my fresh cucumber and avocado salad wywires with the Stellaris.
    What I'm sure is it sounds rolled off at both ends, focus is lessened and tone is shifted to the warm, dull side, microdetail is smeared. As a whole I'd say it's 80% of sound for 0.015% the cost. Damn that puts things in perspective.

    Because the differences were much much less obvious on the bottlehead crack but still there it's a good cheap and cheerfuller cable.
     
  5. frenchbat

    frenchbat Almost "Made"

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    @jayeshrc just informed me he was out on holidays and unable to receive the cables.

    @Serious please send me your shipping address.
     
  6. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Just wanted to update this thread to mention that the cables are still with me. I haven't listened to them after initially connecting them for a couple minutes and deciding that they were not for me.
    @jayeshrc are you back? I can ship you the cables at any time. Currently they're just gathering dust. I'll do a more proper comparison and write-up before I ship them, but I found them pretty lifeless, basslight and generally not as refined as the one I was comparing them to.
     
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  7. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    I am back but I dont feel too motivated to run down the spiral of cable swaps right now.. I'm sorry about sitting this one last minute, but I guess I'm happy with what I have at the moment and dont want to start getting back into thinking about spending money on audio when I have other stuff to deal with
     
  8. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I know it took way longer than I wanted it to, but @frenchbat assured me it was okay if I kept the cables a bit longer. A bit longer ended up being months, but here we are. I just quickly tested the cables again before shipping them back. Unfortunately I still think they don't really warrant further testing. Quick swaps are all that is needed to tell that these cables suck.

    My current XLR interconnects are some cheapo in-akustik XLR cables (NF-202?) with the cheapest XLR connectors that I could find, soldered with pedestrian 60/38/2 solder (not a good sounding solder). I'd describe those as a bit full-bodied sounding, yet still extended in the treble and generally smooth and decently clear. They are definitely not the best thing ever (in the grand scheme they're pretty shitty), though. I plan on upgrading those after I get better speaker cables. I got to compare them against some cheap silver cables in oversized teflon tubing, which IMO are much better sounding than my current XLR cables. More open sounding, clearer, neutral and with good bass impact and still smooth. I'll probably get something similar myself. Maybe cotton instead of teflon insulation for the street cred.
    I compared the shorter XLR cables against my cables since they seemed to sound slightly cleaner and less grainy.

    vs my current in-akustik DIY cables these are:
    • Rolled off towards both ends, especially the bass
    • Slightly grainy sounding, but it's not too bad. The treble is annoying, but there are worse cables in that regard.
    • Still, the treble coloration is different from the in-akustik. Makes me realize that my cables don't have great treble, either. I think it's mostly the dielectric and geometry at play here.
    • A lot worse at imaging and they seem to hurt microdynamics somehow
    • A lot less clear sounding
    • The bass sounds ridiculous. Muddy, one note. Slow. Bass is just there to remind you that it exists
    • Soundstage depth suffers and the width also suffers more than I expected
    • It seems tonally limited compared to my XLR cable. Everything sounds same-ish
    Since they sounded much worse than my DIY cable I decided to get my old XLR cables out of storage:

    vs my previous Adam Hall K3DMF0050 (Basic 10€ cable that I got on Amazon)
    • The loaner cables sound less smooth
    • The Adam Hall cables are even more rolled off sounding
    • The Adam Hall cables also have annoying sizzle in the treble. Sounds like a treble peak that I've heard in DIY cables with bad dielectrics. The loaner cables still have some of it compared to the in-akustik, but are more bearable than the basic 10€ cables
    • Somehow I think the Adam Hall cables are less veiled sounding. Somewhat better microdynamics, clearer?
    • Bass is a lot less normal sounding with the loaner cables
    • Imaging is a bit more precise/less diffuse with the loaner cables.
    • Overall it's a wash between these two. I wouldn't want either one in my system, but I think I'd take the Adam Hall cables.
    For comparison I think AQ Tower cables are somewhere in-between my current cables and the basic 10€ cables. Would be interesting to compare against a PYST.

    I also spent some time comparing the RCA cables against an RCA cable of similar construction as my XLR cable. Same wire, same solder, equivalently terrible RCA plugs. Somehow the longer RCA cable with the Amphenol plugs sounded so sizzly, that I unplugged it after less than 30 seconds. The shorter one had much cheaper looking plugs, but I thought it was much better sounding. Here's how the shorter one compared against my in-akustik DIY RCA cable:
    • Less extension in the bass region, slightly muddier again
    • Tonality is much more similar to my in-akustik cable though
    • Less grain than the XLR cable, clearer sounding relatively
    • Also a bit smaller staging than my RCA cable
    • Treble seems much more normal than the XLR loaner cable
    • I have no clue why, but this one actually has pretty natural treble. Not sure what's wrong with the Amphenol plugs.
    • Imaging is still a bit diffuse
    • Microdynamics still seem limited
    • Slightly fuller sounding than my RCA cable overall, also more mid-treble
    • Seems a bit compressed sounding
    I quickly double checked the longer RCA cable with the Amphenol plugs since they are the same cable. I think they're indeed sizzly as shit. They may possibly sound a bit less noisy, but I can't stand them.
    The shorter RCA cable really isn't too bad. Maybe better than an AQ Tower, though I still prefer my DIY RCA cable, which I thought was more natural sounding.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019

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