Cables - 3rd Party/Upgrades & Recommendations

IMO and experience the brand or model won’t make much difference beyond the copper vs. silver wire. Pick something that’s comfortable or affordable.

Understood - thanks. And I’m not looking to spend more than I need to; I’m just trying to do justice to the investment in the Utopias. I’m happy to spend for a basic Arctic Ion cable, but wondering if a little more money moving up their ladder will pay dividends.

They offer terminations for the Utopia.

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I just got the Danacable Lazuli Ref for mine and am enjoying it so far. I found it helped with the bass and added some organicness/sweetness to the Utopias while keeping its technicalities. The Lazuli Ref Plus is supposed to bring out more of the treble sparkle if that’s what you’re looking for. They have a 30-day return (minus shipping and fees) if you are unsatisfied but I really like it paired with the Utopia (plus I got a discount). But it looks like it might not be the sound you are after. I’ve heard good things about the DHC Prion4 (haven’t tried personally) for detail but it looks to be out of your price range. I will note that the Danacable is thicc and not the easiest to handle. Anyway, just my 2 cents. You’ll probably be advised to find one that is ergonomically sound and to that I say, they’re right. But once I heard the Danacable myself, I think I’ll put up with it.

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Audio Sensibility cables could probably get you into silver for your budget.

https://audiosensibility.com/blog/

Another consideration is to build a ten - twelve foot headphone extension cable, and a new cable for your Utopias. The extension cable could be used with other headphone cables. I had 4-pin XLR (6 meter) and single ended (4.5m) headphone cables reterminated /fabricated by Cardas Audio (Cross headphone 4x24 cable).

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I’ve been replacing some of my aging RCA interconnects with Worlds Best Cables products. In searching for suitable models I came across their product comparison in Amazon comments. I already have some WBC items installed, and wish I’d seen this before buying them.

WBC’s answer is useful, but leads to additional questions. How “warm” and “bright” can these cables be? See bullets 1.0 and 2.1.1 to 2.2.3. Are tone shifts audible with short headphone system lengths (e.g., 1’ to 2’), or only with longer cable runs?

One of my setups sometimes has a DAC, a passive RCA switch box, a Loki, and a headphone amp used as a pre-amp in the chain – I think three or four warm cables in series might be a problem. WBC states Mogami 2549 offers the best combined performance (i.e., tone and noise cancellation). Any real world experience or comparisons?

Note: I removed the username and hyperlinks from the block quote.

Question: When deciding between gotham, mogami, and canare cables, where can we go to see the difference? How about the connectors?

Answer:

Hello [USER], though there is no single place where it explains the difference between each cable, please go through the below brief explanation.

1.0 Regular RCA Cables (low capacitance neutral & bright tones)
1.1 Standard everyday use
1.1.1 Mogami 2964: the general all purpose RCA cable from Mogami
1.2 Audiophile use
1.2.1 Mogami 2497: Audiophile grade RCA cable
1.2.2 Mogami 2803: do not allow the looks fool you. This is unarguably the most high definition RCA cable and definitely the most expensive

2.0 Directional RCA Cables (enhanced EMI/RFI rejection capabilities to be used in highly noisy environments)
2.1 2-core RCA cables
2.1.1 Mogami 2549 (low capacitance and directional, the best of both worlds, bright tone and improved noise cancellation)
2.2 4-core RCA cables
2.2.1 Mogami 2534 (slightly low capacitance, warm tone and improved noise cancellation)
2.2.2 Canare L-4E6S (medium capacitance, warmer tone and better noise cancellation)
2.2.3 Gotham GAC-4/1 (the most capacitive of all our RCA offerings, the warmest tone, but offers the best noise cancellation of them all)

As for the RCA plugs;

Amphenol ACPL : Smallest in size and the least expensive
Amphenol ACPR : Medium in size and slightly expensive
Eminence Locking RCA : Biggest and the most expensive and gives a customizable fit thanks to the locking feature

All of the plugs feature gold plating, so the conductivity is pretty much the same :slight_smile:

We sincerely hope the above information will be useful to you.

Warm regards,
WBC
By WORLDS BEST CABLES [SELLER ] on December 17, 2020

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I’d be surprised if many of us that choose to use WBC level of cables believe there is signifigant or any difference in the way well engineered RCAs sound. It would seem if you beleive i using cables as EQ you would buy more expensive cables.

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I don’t focus on cables, but they do deliver slightly different flavors. Very cheap and unshielded ones can result in grossly degraded performance, and I report that as an experienced fact. Still, running four good warm cables in series…? While the purchase total is only $100 to $200 at WBC prices, it’s a pain to buy, try, reconfigure, etc…

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This description runs counter to my experience with this cable, bought two sets of varying lengths and could not wait to swap them out for a trusty pair of Blue Jeans RCAs. They most defiantly did not sound warm, but rather thin and lacking body. In terms of noise cancellation, no idea if that was good or bad. I ended up chopping off the connectors as they seemed decent to reuse with something like the L-4E6S.

I should have bought the Canare of Mogami, that Swiss flag on the packaging suckered me into Gotham.

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WBC as well as Blue Jeans, makes some good cables and I have many examples of each.

Almost all of my RCA’s in use on both my rigs presently are Mogami 2549 - 2 with Neutrik NF2C-B/2 RCA Professional Connectors from Cables for Less. Been running them over a year and very satisfied on all accounts. (I also have many XLR terminated as well for my balanced equipment).

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“Precision Machined & Super Heavy Duty, the Profi RCA series are the ideal audiophile’s choice when making a connector decision. The unique design makes ground before signal contact & breaks signal before ground so no more disturbing noises & broken speaker cones. Precisely machined to Neutrik’s demanding quality standards. Also features hard plated gold contacts and Neutrik’s unique chuck type strain relief with Spring Loaded Ground Contact. The retracting element with separate wedge contacts always keep the shell in the front position.”

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“Mogami Neglex Balanced Mic Cable Designed For High End Recording Applications. Lower Capacitance Than Quad Style Cable. AWG #22. Capacitance @1khz 23pf/ft. .236” OD., Highly Flexible. Color: Black."

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Yeah, me too. “Used by Neumann Microphones…” It’s fantastic marketing. Long ago I read something saying that Gotham audibly colors the tone while Mogami doesn’t. Color is likely desirable in recording, as vocalists usually want more depth and resonance. I recently cancelled a Gotham order but may eventually try one.

I ordered one of those and a Canare to compare. I have Mogami 2534 cables installed and have been happy with the sound, but never liked their long silver Amphenol connectors. They are too long and too silver. Note that WBC is now also using Neutrik-Rean NYS Gold connectors, and they seem to have been added after the Amazon Q&A above. These seem to be a lower cost option.

image

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/888496-REG/Neutrik_nys373_2_DIN_RCA_Plugs_With.html

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The Rean NYS are a good connector. Fairly cheap. They are nicer inside and to work with than the same priced Amphenol ones.

The Nuetrik Profi ones are about 5-6x the price (someone linked above). They have the ground make contact first, before the pin. Some professional use thing, not so much needed for most of us.

Swtichcraft make some, made in USA. Whilst their external fit/finish is a bit industrial, internally they are much thicker metal / contacts.

I personally use the Rean NYS. I think they are as good as they need to be.

As for cable, Canare and Mogami sound the same. All just Japanese OFC. For RCA I prefer good ol’ Coax cable. Using these balanced interconnect/microphone cables and running direcitonal/floating shields etc doesn’t seem to yeild results for me. Maybe in some systems.

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This is obliviously a tricky topic and I don’t know if you need single-ended or balanced connections but everything I have read says that single-ended line level RCA cables should be coax. Full stop.

Twisted pair is the right topology for balanced connections.

I only say this so you can research on your own if desired.

I’m not an engineer nor do I have a personal view on this. It’s just that from what I read the physics say coax is the correct choice for single-ended.

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I think WBC tacitly admits this in their reply – Mogami 2803 is said to offer the highest definition while all the 2.x items trade signal purity for noise rejection. Some time ago people started adapting pro audio and PC hardware for home audio use, and they may have missed the original intentions (i.e., long cable runs, managing electrical interference, etc.). However, various websites prove that many do buy based on specs and measurements.

I personally don’t think there are differences I care about across the vast majority of cables upon reaching sufficient electrical quality. Plus, there’s even less variation within the WBC product family. My concerns include possible interference in the cable “rats nest” behind a complex setup, and that some cables could sound warm and thereby not be suitable for some setups.

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A big thanks to PlusSound for my new X6 Z1R custom cable, sounds great and looks awesome + great comms and customer service 5* treatment all-round recommended …

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I received a new cable from Fedai for review.

Fedai 8 Core 6N Single Crystal Copper Cable

I would like to thank Kimberly from Fedai for supplying this item for review. The price at Amazon.com is $29.99.
Product Link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B09GN1GXG1?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image

Fedai is a fairly recent store on Amazon USA specialising in popular IEM brands such as CCA, TRN and CVJ and also markets cables.

The new 8-core 6N single crystal copper cable is very well made and resembles those supplied with BQEYZ models. It has a braided pattern of copper and silver coloured wire and the 2.5mm plug is made from alloy with a brushed matt effect. The waisted Y-split has the same finish, as have the 2-pin plugs which also feature “L” and “R” channel identification, and there is a clear plastic bobble serving as a chin slider. The cable is supple and comfortable and the ear guides are not too stiff but stay securely in place. I did find the fit of the 2 pin connection very tight on certain earphones. I am not sure whether it was due to the pins not being spaced accurately or that the pins themselves are thicker than normal. In some cases it proved impossible to push the pins all the way in to the sockets.

The cable was tested with an Xduoo X20 DAP via the balanced output and three different earphones were used in the process. I selected IEMs with varied tonality for testing.

Shuoer Tape Pro
The Shuoer Tape Pro is a dual hybrid featuring a carbon nano diaphragm DD coupled with a magnetostatic driver. With the stock cable it has a powerful bass, clear mids and a bright treble which can occasionally sound uneven. The connectors were very tight in this case. Using the Fedai cable there was a marked increase in bass depth and weight. Sub bass was extremely impressive and although powerful it did not dominate and the mid bass remained clean with a solid “kick”. Mids became a touch warmer but still retained their original clarity. The treble was slightly softer and the slight aggression in stock form was noticeably reduced. The soundstage became wider and more spacious. In all this cable really improved the sound of the Tape Pro.

HZ Sound Heart Mirror
The Heart Mirror is a single dynamic driver IEM with a carbon diaphragm. With the stock cable, it has a very neutral profile with a bright upper register. The bass is linear. Switching to the Fedai cable brought some moderate changes with the sub bass gaining some extra depth although not as noticeable as in the Tape Pro. The mids once more became slightly warmer in tonality without affecting the excellent detail and clarity of which the Heart Mirror is capable. The treble was largely unaffected in timbre but I did detect a widening of the staging and a little more “air”. Overall, the differences were subtle at best. I was unable to push the 2 pin connectors in fully on this model.

BQEYZ Summer
The Summer is a “Tribrid” employing a large 13mm dynamic driver with an LCP diaphragm for the bass region, a proprietary BA covering the mids and a 5 layer piezoelectric unit handling the high frequencies. In stock form it has a balanced profile with solid bass, well tuned mids and an extended treble which sometimes displays a thin or brittle tonality characteristic of piezo drivers. Its stock cable is a high quality silver plated type. The Fedai cable was very successful with this model. The bass became somewhat tighter, faster and more textured, sub bass being nicely balanced with the mid bass and an increase in “rumble” was noted. The mids which are slightly recessed in stock form were pushed forward a little, becoming clearer and more articulate and resulting in a more even profile. The treble benefited with a smoother, more even presentation and improved timbre, with the original thin tonality largely absent. The soundstage increased in size with improved imaging. In this case, the 2-pin connectors fitted perfectly. This was the most successful of the three models tested.

The Fedai cable gave varied results with the different IEMs I auditioned. You should certainly consider it if you have the BQEYZ Summer or the Shuoer Tape Pro. Both of these have a mild V shape in stock form so the cable is likely to be beneficial if you have any other IEM with a similar profile. It was not so effective with a more neutral presentation as in the Heart Mirror. Do also bear in mind that the 2 pin connection can be very tight. With the right earphone, however, this cable deserves a solid recommendation. It is well made, comfortable and represents good value.




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Do you happen to have the Forza Noir Hybrid? I’m thinking of buying one for my ZMF Auteur and would appreciate anything you could tell me. Thanks.

I have Forza Noire Hybrid for my Utopia and love it. It’s thick, but very soft and flexible with a luxurious fabric-y feel to it. I like it so much I ordered xlr-to-1/4" and 4.4mm-to-1/4" pigtail adapters to match. I don’t really believe headphone cables make any difference sonically, but I AM a believer in treating yourself to high quality accessories for your favorite toys. If you’re looking for a luxurious high quality cable with world class service at a great price you can’t go wrong with Forza.

p.s. it’s usually best to ask this sort of question once in a relevant thread and then wait and see if you get an answer. If you’re patient, you will. You don’t need to spam it in 15 different threads. :wink:

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