HiFi XLR cables...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Oelewapper, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan Senior Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    The bolded part is why two pairs of XLR cables are on my Christmas list this year. For the first time, my phono stage (Parasound JC Jr.), preamp (Sonic Frontiers Line 1) and power amp (Bryston 4B SST) all support balanced connections. My cable runs are short, but with cell phones, computers, Wifi router, appliance motors, etc. I want to make sure the noise floor is as low as possible. To make it simple for Santa, I'm asking for some Mogami cables with Neutrik connectors from Amazon. They are affordable and look to be well made.
     
  2. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor. Thread Starter

    Except for differences in their CMRR, no.
    Don’t hear it while playing and don’t see it on my screen after recording.
    It’s nice to have flexible ones though, makes proper cable routing a breeze.
     
    timind likes this.
  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Well, good for you. Stick with whatever you’re using and be happy.
     
  4. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    So I picked up the AS Statement from my friend yesterday and slotted it into my system last night. Runs from an Aqvox phono preamp to my Shengya A216 integrated and replaced a Vampire AI II interconnect terminated with Vampire XLR's. That was the top of the line Vampire Wire when they were still doing IC's etc. (now focused solely on connectors I believe) and I purchased it about 12-13 years ago for around $225 so by today's inflated mid to high end audio standards it would probably sell for around $500-$600 :D. I'm only partially kidding....

    Both of these IC's are OCC copper as mentioned above so I was expecting them to have a very similar sonic signature, and for the most part they did. I heard a pretty dramatic difference when I replaced a lower end Vampire IC (which was CCC copper with decent RCA's) on my DAC a few weeks ago with a single ended run of the AS Statement (copper, not silver, as is the balanced cable) and the difference this time around was less dramatic, but there was indeed a difference.

    Compared to the AI II, the Statement is a little more full bodied while also offering a touch more clarity and refinement, for lack of a better word. The Vampire cable just sounded a bit more ragged with the Audio Sensibility cable sounding smoother and just a touch more in control. Background was also just slightly blacker with the AS cable and surface noise pushed just a bit more into the background as well which I found somewhat interesting.

    Now it is very possible that I'm getting these results simply from unplugging the existing cables and getting a bit of a cleaning action on the contacts and a slightly more secure connection connecting the new IC. So I'll play with the AS cable for a few weeks, or as long as my friend is happy to loan it to me, and then slot the Vampire back into the system to see if what I'm hearing is simply the result of that.

    If it is, I'll stick with the Vampires; if not, I'll be looking to do a minor but worthwhile upgrade.
     
  5. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Location:
    Missouri
    The cables in my primary system are all OCC or equivalent. That’s about as much as I want to spend. I didn’t spend time comparing to OFC cables, but I like the notion of consistency, so here I am.
     
    blakep likes this.
  6. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident


    Yes, I like the overall balance and tonality of OCC in terms of my experience with it. My experience with silver (non OCC) cables in the past was not particularly positive and while I'm tempted to try some of Steve's (Audio Sensiblity) OCC Silver it's just a bit beyond what I'd be interested in spending, at least for now.
     
  7. shakesomeaction

    shakesomeaction ‘s what i need

    Location:
    couch
    Dramatic difference in sound between (silver) Siltech XLRs interconnects and (copper) Transparent cables, in my experience.
     
  8. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Or laugh because I didn't want to go find the XLR cable box in the spider basement to make some measurements last night, and instead just soldered some XLRs onto balanced mic cable in under 10 minutes. The calibration software can't tell.

    Then they probably dramatically don't meet specs. Belief in angels is high among those to tithe the church. Now stomp on those cables with a mic preamp to check for microphonics. Hook up to AES3 gear to see how massive the reflection and data corruption from impedance mismatch.
     
    timind likes this.
  9. shakesomeaction

    shakesomeaction ‘s what i need

    Location:
    couch
    Why yes, I think I’ll do that! Not.
    This is exactly the kind of lunacy that puts me off even posting in this forum.
     
    TarnishedEars and MGW like this.
  10. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    That's practicality. Lunacy is attempting to normalize $9000 per meter cable that uses nonsense phrases like "military-grade insulation":

    "All Siltech Silver-Gold alloys (an alloy means a mix of two or more metals) do have positive aging. In other words, electrically, the wires improve over time, even when not playing music. Moreover, distortion reduces over the years, continuously improving sound quality.."

    This might be the most that mere mortals have to spend on XLRs...when making a new mixdown master for those who's battle cry is "then your system isn't resolving enough":
    [​IMG]
     
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  11. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    "All Siltech Silver-Gold alloys (an alloy means a mix of two or more metals) do have positive aging. In other words, electrically, the wires improve over time, even when not playing music. Moreover, distortion reduces over the years, continuously improving sound quality.."

    :biglaugh:

    I use Mogami Gold 2534, it has slightly better shielding than the Mogami most run.

    [​IMG]

    Back when I recorded from 95-01 (and did serious blind ABX), I could not differentiate (when using balanced interconnects as mic cables bw Schoeps CMXY-4V mic and Grace Designs Lunatec V2 mic pre/PS) bw the mic cables that came with my Radio Shack #33-3007 mics (their TOTL mic from the mid 90s, made by Shure, each ran off a single AA, $99.95), Monster M1000 (made by Doug Oade) and Harmonic Technology Truthlink "single crystal".

    YMMV of course (but I still think <<2% of audiophiles can really hear differences in cables, been there done that, used to be just like the 70% or so on here surveyed who think they can until I did major blind ABX testing. IMHO knowing what is what makes all the difference in the world, proved that to myself)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
    harby and Oelewapper like this.
  12. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor. Thread Starter

    Sounds like there's some kind of aging beer or whisky inside.
    We should cut one to see if there's magic juice coming out! o_O
     
    timind likes this.
  13. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    I've used the 2534 in the form of a Jelco 506 tonearm cable (pink cable below).

    [​IMG]

    I currently use two Audio Sensibility Impact SE tonearm cables which replaced the Jelco. Very little difference in price between the two cables but a huge difference in sonic performance-one does not have to struggle to hear the difference in my system I can assure you.

    But different connectors as well as different wire so who knows? As you say YMMV.

    I do generally feel that some of the Mogami lineup offers very good value and use cryoed 3103 currently as speaker cables so am definitely not "anti Mogami". Those replaced Kimber 8TC which retails for about 8X-9X the price of the 3103 as I felt the 3103 marginally outperformed the Kimber and I sold the used 8TC for quite a bit more than I paid for the 3103.

    And I also felt the Jelco 506 tonearm cable sounded marginally better than a previous custom built (also balanced) tonearm cable that I had using Cardas wire and a Cardas phono DIN. Think that one had Vampire XLR's on it and it was definitely pricier than the 506. So I definitely wouldn't say the 506 (2534) is a bad cable. But the AS tonearm cable is head and shoulders above those two.
     
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  14. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I am not a TT person, but I seem to think 2534 is not the best choice for a tonearm cable due to its higher capacitance. I also know differences in cables are most apparent in TT cables due to the much lower levels. Im definitely a believer in connectors. I wanted the best shielding bc I know shielding can make a positive difference in SQ. Ive proven this to myself with the switch on the back of my Kyocera A-910 that bypasses the external pre out/main in RCA jumpers and makes the connection internally(internal connection = "dead silent" for all practical purposes). Flip switch back and forth in real time (with RCA cables attached from pre outs to main ins) with volume cranked during quiet parts of a song(then try with other RCA cables to test shielding effectiveness). This (and the Kyocera A-710) are the only pieces of gear Ive seen that have such a switch.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
    blakep likes this.
  15. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor. Thread Starter

    The specs look interesting.
    Is it also sold as spare cable on a reel?
     
  16. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Yes, possibly if you're running MM. But I've been a low output MC guy for about 35 years so capacitance does not really come into play much.
     
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  17. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Did I say Im not a TT person? :). If records werent so expensive (or if I had a bigger collection of records that I really wanted to hear) Id be more into TT, but right now Im content with my basic Sansui FR-1080/Ortofon OM5E(MM). :agree:
     
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  18. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Yeah, If I did not have the table I have (originally acquired for a song around 1985 and then upgraded fairly substantially in the past 15 years or so) as well as a pretty decent collection of records that I really like (I probably bought 5000-6000 used records in a 10-12 year period from around 2002-2014 when records were dirt cheap to ultimately end up with around 2000) I don't think I would focus on vinyl if I had to start over.

    There's no question I would miss the sound quality but the convenience of streaming/digital and the strides it's made in the past few years as well as the performance you can get with a reasonably modest financial outlay are just too compelling. I'm probably down to buying 4-5 new records a year unless I hit on a stash of cheap used stuff that looks interesting every once in a while.
     
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  19. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I suspect you've got about twice as many records as I have DATs. :D
     
  20. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    My wife would probably prefer that I have DAT's. ;)
     
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  21. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
  22. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I'm using a mix of XLR cables from Signal Cable and Wyred 4 Sound. They are well built and sound fine to me. I believe my Oppo 105, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE and SX-500 amps are fully balanced.

    STP-SE
    C1 Ultra Analog XLR
    Analog XLR
     
  23. I once asked Chuck Hinton of McIntosh which cables they recommend between the amp and preamp, and he told me -- and I paraphrase -- that he doesn't like to play the "cable game" and that any XLR will do, intimating they're all going to sound the same when using the XLR connections. He said it's different with single-ended (RCA), but that I shouldn't use those with my Mac gear anyway because of the noise-rejection, etc. afforded by the XLR connection.
     
  24. Tajo1960

    Tajo1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU/Cro
    In the next two or three days I have to assemble this set of XLR cables and XLR connectors.
    Silver cables (99.99%) and Rhodium plated connectors. It should be fine. It will be in place between the cd player and the preamp.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. Roger P

    Roger P Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond VA
    My entire system is balanced from top to bottom, Worlds Best Cable Mogami 2549.
    I am not a cable expert by any means but, if major studios around the world use Mogami I am good with that.
    Since they are producing a lot of the music we listen to......
    At the end of the day what someone else thinks really means nothing.
    It is what you hear and perceive in your system and space.
    If expensive cable makes you happy great, if studio industry standard Mogami or whatever makes you happy that's great as well
     
    Texado, ChrisR2060 and gakerty like this.

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