Becoming a Believer

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Comments

  • @Emlyn - I have to laugh, b/c it seems we come from opposite ends of the cable (pun intended) debate, but have similar open-mindedness, AND wound up with cables from the same manufacturers.
  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 7,875
    Yeah, I was also a nonbeliever before.

    Then now I have the audioquest wels.... not sure how that happened.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Primary:
    Digital: Torus RM15 -> Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x/TSDx
    Analog: VPI Avenger Reference w/ Rim Drive w/ ADS + 12" Fatboy Dual Pivot + Lyra Etna
    Pre/Amp/Speakers: Audio Research Ref40 -> Boulder 2060 (w/ AQ WEL Signature) -> ??? + JL F113v2 x2 + JL CR1
    Secondary:
    Rotel RA1592 -> SF Olympica 3
    Tertiary:
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570/RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,981
    Joey_V wrote: »
    Yeah, I was also a nonbeliever before.

    Then now I have the audioquest wels.... not sure how that happened.

    Told ya
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Emlyn wrote: »
    There are lots of approaches with speaker cables. Look into the technology used by MIT, Audioquest, Nordost, etc. Also look into materials selection with higher end Kimber products including the termination methods and connectors, insulation, types of metal in the cable itself, time to construct, etc.

    Of course some argue that all cables sound the same regardless of materials and construction and someone would have to have miles of cable to measure any audible differences. I don't subscribe to that.

    Nothing wrong with Blue Jeans or entry level Kimber products. In my experience they do a very good job. Kimber tends to look better doing it though. I use Kimber Hero and BJC RCA cables interchangeably and have never noted a difference between them in what reaches my ears. The Kimber Hero cables do have locking WBT RCA connectors though which is cool.

    I'll also add that I really do believe someone can have an outstanding audio experience while only using "generic" or low cost cables as long as they pass a signal cleanly.

    ———————

    Concerning the first two paragraphs of your above response, I would agree that there are plenty of things that can affect the “sound” of cables, and I am aware of some of those you referred me to; thanks for the response, btw.

    So one point of which I think we agree: cables may sound different.

    Another point I think we agree on is: differences in material types implemented AND construction can affect the sound of cables.

    I say, “absolutely”, to both of the above assertions (an additional caveat, for me, is that this is not necessarily commensurate with price).

    As a matter of fact, it is precisely these things that affect key characteristics described in my June 11 post: R/L/C, jacket/dielectric materials, conductivity of metal used (the wire itself and the attached connectors), and wire geometries.

    That being said, I think why many people have disagreements on this topic results from a lack of definition of terms, and concepts of discussion get blurred to a point in which individuals eventually aren’t even partaking of the same conversation.

    My current opinion concerning cables is that the “sound” they produce is the result of a cause-and-effect relationship measured as a frequency response (e.g. low R/L/C characteristics by-and-large equates to a reasonably flat frequency response in the audible range).

    What about the “sound” of the conductors (i.e. wire) itself? I think we perceive differences in this regard by way of extension of the above R/L/C characteristics (i.e. more or less transparent, bright, warm, rolled-off, dull, etc.). This concept further extends to the connectors attached to the wire, which typically is less conductive than the wire itself. These are the immeasurable aspects of the sound; our perceptions, or interpretations, of what we’re hearing in relation to the cable being used.

    So frequency response is objective, but the associated perception is subjective. If this distinction is not maintained during conversation things become confusing. I think this is the yin/yang of cable-speak.

    This is difficult since people use the same word, “sound”, to describe both aspects.

    Jacket/insulation/dielectric materials and design geometries also cause measurable differences to cable performance, but work a little differently, because the goal here is to reduce noise (an objectively undesirable form of “sound”), in the absence of which we can more greatly perceive (subjectively) with our hearing the “sound” coming from the recording and the rest of the system.

    Danny from GR Research put together a simple object lesson demonstrating this and refers to cables as being either “antennas”, or “filters”, and argues how geometries and materials affect which category a cable falls under:



    Recommend use 1.5x speed to get through faster.

    I took notice that the first set of cables are 12awg copper multi-strand types with PVC jackets (similar to BJC Beldens), and the Kimber look-a-likes have teflon on their windings, and the tri-braid geometry, which Kimber says is how he overcame noise at the disco in the ‘70s.

    Earlier this year I researched dielectric constants to understand why Danny stresses the importance of jacket materials in his videos. Some are better than others at rejecting EMI/RFI than others. PVC is terrible at this, but teflon, polyethylene (PE), and foam polyethylene (PE) are very good at this.

    All said, I would describe myself as one, not who claims that all cables sound the same; but if made with the right goals in mind, most cables SHOULD (italics) more-or-less share similar design/measurement/material characteristics, which would result in more consistent sonic outcomes (i.e. desirable outcomes)

    In other words, a poorly-designed cable is one that is lacking one, or more, of the following:

    high conductivity (i.e. low R/L/C), a flat frequency response from 20Hz-20kHz, simultaneous mitigation of RFI/EMI, and a reasonable cost.

    If these characteristics are all present, I can’t imagine being too concerned about the cables in my system.

    THANKS TO ALL WHO WERE PATIENT ENOUGH TO READ THIS!!!
  • This past Monday I received the Kimber Kable 4PR speaker cables I ordered (2.5m).

    Kudos to Kimber on presentation. The cables were packed nicely in a proper box, inside was tissue paper with the Kimber Kable logo all over it, and a zipper bag with the company logo, a card with my name, and the cables inside. Way to show appreciation for your customers Kimber!

    This actually created a little excitement about my new wire purchase. High praise coming from me considering I don’t expect magic from cables.

    The look of the cables is pleasing from my perspective. The positive wire side was clothed in brown PE insulation, and the negative wire side in black PE insulation. This combined with the braided geometry should combine for good rejection of EMI/RFI noise.

    The appearance of the cables goes largely unnoticed once connected, which I prefer. I elected the standard banana plugs offered by Kimber Kable. I must say the connectors are of excellent quality and they make a sturdy/solid connection. This is important to me since these are swapped in place of the long-time resident BJC locking banana connectors (excellent!). Kimber’s banana connectors are superior to any non-locking type I’ve tried in my system(s).

    Presentation and construction aside, how did they sound?

    Well, I was surprised that they, in fact, did sound different than my BJC 5T00UP speaker wires. I would have expected some difference in the form of potential reduction in bass fulness, due to the smaller overall wire gauge, but otherwise anticipated overall similar sound.

    The anticipated differences were not what I experienced, however.
    _____

    Objective (Measurable) Differences:

    On average I am listening to familiar recordings in my bedroom system at a 4dB lower volume setting than with my BJC cables! This is because playback is undeniably louder with these cables (i.e. superior signal transfer).

    There was also a noticeable reduction of mid/high-frequency hash. This resulted in being able to hear lyrics on certain recordings more accurately. Wow!

    I would stress that I don’t consider this to be a result of loudness levels being more easily reached, because, as stated, I compensated for this by significantly reducing the volume.
    _____

    Subjective (Immeasurable) Differences:

    Prior to inserting these cables I would listen to my BJC cables sometimes eyes open, sometimes eyes closed. I found in doing this my brain would interpret soundstaging/imaging cues more clearly with eyes closed.

    I would say the paradigm is the same with the Kimbers, however, there is a greater perceived 3D effect in terms of depth perspective; like you could walk into the soundstage and around the performers. The BJC seems more 2D, like a wall of sound. The soundstage of the Kimbers also seems taller. Cool, but can’t prove it. Again, this is eyes closed listening; eyes open I do not perceive these differences so much.

    I felt that I could also hear the trailing sounds of instruments a little longer with Kimber versus the BJC cables. Bass seemed more defined and powerful, as well.
    ____

    Now the faith statement (Am I a believer?):

    Some are convinced that faith is inherently blind. I disagree, in fact, faith may be reinforced/supported by logic and science.

    In this case, the example here is the measurable loudness level difference, which is something that would result from a cables combination of R/L/C. Also there obvious noise reduction (these wires serve at least as a RF filter, as demonstrated on the GR-Research video shared previously) when the Kimbers were added to my system.

    I believe in cause-and-effect, and my conclusion is that the above measurable differences did in fact inform my subjective experience.

    For roughly $150 I’m very pleased with the Kimber Kable 4PR speaker cables. BJC has been moved to a back-up system.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,439
    Glad you like them. A fun thing to do is leave them in place for a month then swap them again to see if you can still tell a difference.
  • I bought a used set of Kimber 8TC cables a while back (blue and black jacket) and I have been very happy. It was a noticable change over my DIY cables.
    Rega Planar 8, Apheta 3 MC , Aria mk2 Phono
    Aurender n100h, Benchmark DAC2 HGC
    Arcam SR250, Parasound JC5
    Revel F208, SVS SB-4000
  • Emlyn wrote: »
    Glad you like them. A fun thing to do is leave them in place for a month then swap them again to see if you can still tell a difference.

    Makes good sense; harmless and easy to do, to boot!
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    @Emlyn - Do you (or anyone else reading) have experience with Wireworld cables?

    The Kimber’s have gotten me looking at other brands, for comparison, and WW seems to have a lot of patents, and makes similar sonic claims to what I experienced with the 4PRs.

    I was looking at the Oasis 8s as an entry-point to WW.
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    Ok, ok, ok.

    Working my way back to the wall socket. Got some Kimber 4VS jumper cables to rev up the engine on my MA Silver 1s.

    As were the speaker cables, these also are packaged with class.

    h1o5xvkg40np.jpeg

    x1tpmesbj071.jpeg

    I was gonna go with KK Tonik ICs to keep costs down and stay with the same family of cables, but decided to spring for Wireworld Oasis 8s. These are the 4th level above WW’s entry-point.

    Lastly, I bought the WIREWORLD Stratus 7 power cable @Erniejade was selling.

    Pending delivery on all the WWs.

    Never thought I’d be excited about cables!

  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,875
    Shipped tonight :)
    I have the ww eclipse silver 8 speaker cables. Love them. I also have ww eclipse 7 rca and eclipse 7 silver rca. All good stuff.

    Remember if the Oasis 8's are new, let them break in for at least 100 hours. On used cables, yes they should be broken in but, I beleve in some settle time where i listened to something, leave it plugged in or turned on and a few days later listened again and the sound changes. I know not everyone believes in letting things just settle in and that is OK. Just my experience on my rigs, even used letting it sit a few days made a difference between first time listening and a few days later.
    T+A PA 1530R,Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 SC, Tyler Highland H2, Audioquest Thunderbird Interconnect , Innuos Zen MK3 W4S recovery, WireWorld Platinum Starlight 7 USB, Border Patrol SE-I

    Have but haven't used in a while: Cayin SCD50T, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    A small update, but not a definitive opinion on the WWs, @Erniejade advice to allow for burn-in.

    The Oasis 8 interconnects are good cables, so far, but haven’t wowed me like the KK 4PR speaker cables did.

    So far Pros are: Smoothness, liquidity (this is surprising!), wide soundstaging 2D, noise mitigation

    So far Cons are: veiling, bit less detail, bit less 3D (in terms of depth), timbre/texture less convincing, decrease of trailing sounds

    I have alternated between these and the Philips PXT1000 interconnects a couple times, and they seem to be the inverse of each other. So far, my feeling is I like the Philips better, because I will take timber/texture over wide soundstaging, if forced to pick between them.

    The Philips are ok, concerning noise mitigation, but not quite as refined as WW, in that regard. Philips definitely have a shrunken soundstage width (but more depth) and less liquidity/smoothness.

    Theoretically, I would think less noise would equal more details/dimensionality, however that’s not what I’m hearing. It’s hard to describe, but instruments and voices are just a bit less colorful and convincing, less emotionally involving.

    I have been considering what could cause this, and I’m thinking possibly purity of materials.

    Closer examination to the WW lineup reveals that Oasis 8 has OFC, but Equinox 8 is 7 nines copper, as in 99.99999% purity. In comparison, The Philips cables have 99.97% purity copper (speculatively, between the WW’s for purity?).

    If the Equinox 8 combines the virtues of the Oasis 8 and the Philips cables that would be a complete cable indeed! It’s also substantially more expensive, and the Oasis 8 are already not cheap, IMO.

    But, burn-in…Gonna give it more time…

    Thanks for reading.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,641
    Be glad you didn't hit up the Kimber Tonics. Possibly the worst cables I've heard in the last 30 years. Thats just me though. Rock on...
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,875
    @jbreezy5 since you are testing out RCA's and power cables, we can start a road show. I have a set of WW Eclipse 7 RCA ( non silver) that I am not using right now and since that Electra 7 has not sold yet, I am down to put that in as well and start a road show. I might even have a 6 foot Cullen Gold power cable I can put in there as well. ( not giving up the Cullen Crossover yet).
    Let me know if you are interested in this. If you are and others are interested ( Polkies with over 100 posts ony) , we can open up a new thread for others to join the list. The only thing I ask is pay shipping to the next person and people who might be interested, shoot me a PM.

    For me in the Wireworld series in RCA, the Eclipse is where they start to open up and shine. In my rig, I am using a combo of Eclipse silvers and a set of High Fidelity Revel RCA. https://www.highfidelitycables.com/products/reveal-rca-interconnects for the ones not familiar with them. $$$$
    T+A PA 1530R,Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 SC, Tyler Highland H2, Audioquest Thunderbird Interconnect , Innuos Zen MK3 W4S recovery, WireWorld Platinum Starlight 7 USB, Border Patrol SE-I

    Have but haven't used in a while: Cayin SCD50T, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    tonyb wrote: »
    Be glad you didn't hit up the Kimber Tonics. Possibly the worst cables I've heard in the last 30 years. Thats just me though. Rock on...

    In that price category, or empirically (i.e. even cheaper cables at big box stores sound better to you)?
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    erniejade wrote: »
    @jbreezy5 since you are testing out RCA's and power cables, we can start a road show. I have a set of WW Eclipse 7 RCA ( non silver) that I am not using right now and since that Electra 7 has not sold yet, I am down to put that in as well and start a road show. I might even have a 6 foot Cullen Gold power cable I can put in there as well. ( not giving up the Cullen Crossover yet).
    Let me know if you are interested in this. If you are and others are interested ( Polkies with over 100 posts ony) , we can open up a new thread for others to join the list. The only thing I ask is pay shipping to the next person and people who might be interested, shoot me a PM.

    For me in the Wireworld series in RCA, the Eclipse is where they start to open up and shine. In my rig, I am using a combo of Eclipse silvers and a set of High Fidelity Revel RCA. https://www.highfidelitycables.com/products/reveal-rca-interconnects for the ones not familiar with them. $$$$

    That’s a generous and fun suggestion. I’m gonna allow the Oasis 8s more burn-in time; maybe they’re still changing.

    I’m pretty sure there will be more KK in my future, before WW! 😬


  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,356
    F1nut wrote: »
    IMO there are only 3 brands of cables I would buy. Kimber Kable , Cardas and Audioquest.

    Cardas is one of the most colored cables you can buy.
    That is an interesting point as something I have not found myself. I use to work for a Cardas dealer where we sold tons of Cards cables. The goal of their cables was never to be warmer or brighter then any other cable. The goal as I learned from them was to pass along the signal without altering it. Trying to retain the purity of the audio signal.

    I also learned about Ray's Cables at Kimber and his goal was to protect the audio signal. He makes his cables to combat incoming EMI and RF signals altering the audio signal. That's why they are braided , not to look cool but to do a job.

    With Audioquest, same goals, not to claim their cables sound the best with lush bass or sparkly high end or any of that marketing jumbo to sell cables.

    Sure all companies use marking to sell their cables but when you get to talk to the actual engineers behind these brands, you come to respect them more.

    Let's admit it, cables are fun exciting and incredible to look at. They bring a level of pride and satisfaction to ones system as if you took all them out, had some plain cables that just did their jobs as they should, not many of us would be satisfied with that.

    I don't think anyone should not buy any cable they feel good about. This is a hobby and without some bling , it makes it a bit dull.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 449
    It’s been a couple of months since my last update, and I have decided the Oasis 8s weren’t the right fit for my set-up.

    I did love their soundstaging capabilities and noise-free presentation/smoothness. But my system became a little reticent sounding.

    Since October, I have purchased a set of KK 8PR speaker cables for my Dynaudio Audience 82s and another set of KK 4PRs for my Wharfedale 10.1s.

    But today(!) I got my first set of KK Hero ICs (1.0m length), and I gotta say they won’t be my last. I put them between my Jolida Tubedac III and B&K Ref 5 preamp, not expecting much, but hopeful, and KK has wowed me again!

    The neutrality of my overall system’s sound was preserved, but the noise-free presentation of the Oasis 8s is reintroduced, with some soundstaging expansion (not as big as the WWs, but that was a full system change of ICs, not just a single pair). The liquidity of the WWs, yes I perceive that also.

    My best guess is the noise-mitigation of both the WWs and KKs is what is causing that perception of liquidity, if you will, and smoothness. Once glare is significantly reduced, one can really hear more of the recording, and it is extremely satisfying.

    This leads to my next impression that is the standout characteristic heard tonight. It is a naturalness that I don’t know how to describe; maybe pro-reviewers call that more “organic” sounding. I don’t know, it just sounds right. The imaging is more stable and well-delineated; like one can perceive the size and shape of the performers and instruments.

    These are just my first impressions, but I’m already thinking once I get my ICs upgraded to Hero throughout, I may seek to upgrade from PR to TC speaker wires.

    Holy crap, I’m in trouble!