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Interconnect cables - Top fight

Last Edit: December 2nd, 2016.

It has been a very long time since we have written an article related to the interconnect cables, simply because we have been very busy with other reviews, tests and upgrades.

Nevertheless, without writing a full article, we have to give you 2 important news that we have recently verified in our Reference system #7 and in our Reference system #2.

 

News 1:

This is not really a news for us because we have already verified it many times over the last few months: the best Silver cables equipped with the best Silver connectors cannot compete with the best copper interconnects if the comparison is done in a high end system.

Silver interconnects are often more musical when inserted a lot of systems, but they remove a part of the Magic that a high end system can deliver.

This has been verified in our 2 Reference Systems mentioned above, but also in a lot of the major French high end systems that we know.

Even the best Silver interconnects, such as the Tempo interconnects, equipped with the very best RCA Silver connectors, such as the EICHMANN Pure Harmony, cannot compete.

 

News 2:

The well known cables DNM British manufacturer has recently issued the version 3 of its interconnect cable.This version 3 looks similar to the version 1, it has the same topology, but is different: the mass section is bigger than the signal section.

This new version 3 has been equipped with the same (and world's best) connectors, -the EICHMANN Copper Harmony-, than the version 1, in order to be sure than the comparison is not modified by the RCA connectors.

interconnect v3.jpg

The version 3 is easy to recognize because the digit 3 is written on the cable.

The topology is unchanged, whereas the ground cable diameter becomes bigger than the diameter of the signal cable: 0.65mm versus 0.50mm. The dielectric has the same look but is slightly different proving that the manufacturer has optimized something at this level.

The musical improvement delivered by the version 3 over the version 1 is just unbelievable !

Therefore the DNM version 3 equipped with the EICHMANN Coper Harmony RCA connectors has the best Musicality / Price ratio on the market.

The version 3 is priced similarly than the version 1, and the EICHMANN Copper Harmony connectors are priced at 53€ for a set of 4...which is just a ridiculous cost when inserted in a high end system.

Therefore, the DNM version 3 with EICHMANN Copper Harmony plugs wins our 5 stars "state of the art" award:

TL_5stateart.jpg

 

 

Over the past 20 years, I have been using only the SILTECHTM 4-80S silver modulation cable, because it is the one that has always won against any competitor in terms of musicality. On our Reference System #2, and more particularly between the JADIS JP-80MC preamp and the power amp, we have tried different cables with different:

  • topolgy
  • price (from the cheapest to the most expensive)
  • the material (copper, silver, etc...)
  • connectors (this point is even more important than most of us believe)

and almost never a cable has been superior to the SILTECH.
We remind that the SILTECH 4-80S are silver cables, and their price tag was approximately $1.000 per half-meter 20 years ago !... They are of course no longer manufactured and almost impossible to find on the second hand market.

 

The SILTECH 4-80S cable:
siltech.jpg

To date, only the STEREOVOX SEI-600 have outperformed the 4-80S on our Reference System #2, and they are also made with silver. Their price is also very high, approximately 2.500€/meter..., and we believe that it is simply crazy... For our members, we precise that STEREOVOX has recently changed its name to STEREOLAB.
 

The STEREOVOX SEI-600 cable:
stereovoxsei600.jpg   stereovoxsei600_1.jpg


With Nounours, this website co-administrator, I have decided to build various DIY modulation cables, in order to find a cheap cable, idealy able to outperform the SILTECH 4-80S (!...), or at least able to be as close as possible to it.
We have assembled the following DIY cables:

with the following items:

  • Very high quality WonderTM Solder Signature leaded version (it is less expensive than other «stars», such as WBTTM for ex, but is excellent).
  • VampireTM 800CB RCA male connectors
  • EichmannTM Copper Bullet RCA male connectors

Our previous tests confirm that the RCA connectors and the solder are as important as the cables themselves ! We strongly recommend you to not underestimate the importance of the RCA connectors, that are far more important (in the modulation cables area: our tests have not confirm this in other domains such as the power cords area) than most of us believe. If we had to rank the importance of the various parts, it would be: 50% for the cable itself (including the insulation), 45% for the RCA male connectors, and 5% for the solder.

Regarding the RCA male connectors, we have made different tests, and we definitely consider that the best one is the EICHMANN Copper Bullet (it also exists in a more expensive silver version, named Silver Bullet). It clearly outperforms any other  RCA male connector, including the beautifully manufactured OFC type Vampire 800CB, probably because of its reduced point of contact design. We know that another connector uses a similar design, the WBT Nextgen, but it is even more expensive than the Eichmann,and so it has been excluded to this DIY approach.

For our member who have enough money, we precise that we strongly recommend to use silver RCA male connector when using a silver cable, and use a copper RCA male connector when using a copper cable.

The Vampire 800CB OFC, and the Eichmann Copper Bullet:

800CB.jpg   Eichmann_bullet_plug.gif


Regarding the test procedure, the Reference System #2 has been used, and all the cables have benefit of a burn-in period exceeding 150 hours. Every cable need a burn in period before it gets a stabilized musical signature, so comparing the cables without a burn-in period, as we too often see..., is not he best approach.


1-.The SOMMERCABLE ALBEDO.
This cable is an interesting German production, with an excellent midrange... but it did not outperform the SILTECH...

 

albedo.jpg

Sommercable Albedo


Bass 8
Mid 9
High 8
Soundstage 9
Price 8



2-.MOGAMI 2534.

This price gets a lot of comments on the DIY forums, and a few people rank it at the same level than the best cables. But on our Reference System #2 it has been far from such a performance and is the worst cable of this competition...

Mogami 2534


Bass 5
Mid 6
High 7
Soundstage 6
Price 8


3-.VAMPIRE CCC-II.

As we like very much the VAMPIRE RCA female connectors made with OFC copper (probably the best available, the male connectors being clearly outperformed by the Eichmann), we expected a lot from this cable. But we have been disappointed...



vampire.jpg

Vampire CCC-II


Bass 8
Mid 7
High 7
Soundstage 8
Price 8



4-.DNM.

This cable has been very lucky to be part of this comparison ! this is because a neighbor of mine own this cable that it has been tested... This cable is totally different than the other cables we have tested. It does not look serious at all, it completely flat, it looks as cheap as a gadget.... but... it is clearly the best one of this comparison ! Please visit the DNM manufacturer website: www.dnm.co.uk
This cable offers very realistic timbres, a lot of dynamics: to be honest, it is the most dynamic cable that I have ever ear on my Reference System #2 !



dnm.jpg

DNM


Bass 9
Mid 8
High 8
Soundstage 10
Price 10


Conclusion and ranking:

To date, my SILTECH 4-80S have always been the best when I performed a comparison, except when compared with the STEREOVOX SEI-600. Even the HSM ot he JORMA did not outperform it.
Now, we have discover a winner, a true incredible cable for its price, the cable that we recommend to any DIYer because the price/performance ratio is simply unbelievable. You must associate it to the Eichmann RCA male connectors that are the best : furthermore, you will see that the manufacturer clearly recommends the Eichmann connectors with this DNM cable:


  TL_5stateart.jpg


The SILTECH is stil 5 stars, but a bit behind the DNM... and the price of the DNM is clearly unbelievable !


This article has been written by Florent


 


Creation date : 28/12/2010 @ 17:04
Last update : 05/12/2016 @ 20:03
Category : Interconnect cables
Page read 630 times


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Reactions to this article


Reaction #3 

by banzai 25/08/2011 @ 13:24

bonjour

merci pour votre réponse. le coté reperé double isolant est branché à la sortie CD , coté non reperé entre dans l'ampli.

bonne journée k

Reaction #2 

by provence13 25/08/2011 @ 11:53

Comme tout câble de bonne qualité, il y a effectivement un sens. Celui-ci s'entend normalement facilement en essayant et en inversant. Chez moi la sortie est repérée avec une double couche d'isolant donc comme chez vous.

Reaction #1 

by banzai 24/08/2011 @ 13:19

bonjour, je viens d'acheter un siltech 4,80 mais je ne sais pas dans quel sens le brancher. j'ai mis le coté reperé coté sortie CD. en tout cas quelle écoute... renversant
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