Did you not read the 'intro' that you directed us to. BJ explains their position in a rathur humble way, I think. But, FWIW, I've always think, as with most manufacturers, it's just more of a matter of marketing their product or what they sell, not to educate end users about what works, why, or even if. They are no different than any others in this regard. At least they provided some spec's for their stuff and some of it is quite good for beginners, I think, at a low cost. When/as their critical listening skills improve they can better judge the differences, at little financial loss. I wish they had existed when I started out.........................
Are they expensive? Yes, certainly, in relation to our usual offerings; in relation to the "high end" audio cable market, not so much; in relation to the high cost of developing and producing these designs, not at all. Are they worth it? Obviously those of us with more modest systems can find other cost-effective ways to improve audio quality, and as we've said above, there's no denying that conventional designs work very well indeed. But if you are one of those who is reaching for the utmost in audio quality, and you're interested in whether wire and cable can play a role in that, please give them a try.
@tonyptony - my point seems to be missing here. Not that these Iconoclast are uber expensive or that they have a great theory behind them, but BJC were one of the biggest naysayers regarding fancy cables.
I've had many, many BJ cables over the years and still do. I recall talking to one of the guys there and asked if they would ever consider making power cables and he said they don't make power cables because they make no difference in performance.
Now they are selling cables they said make no difference.
I have tried Blue Jean cables a few years ago. Over my 50 years pursuing high end audio, I have spent many hundreds of hours evaluating cables and their impact. I have a good system and can pretty quickly characterized the impact of interconnects and other wires in my system.
I own a fairly large collection of very good cables, Straight Wire, Harmonics, Cardas, Transparent (currently on all my equipment), DH Labs, Wire World, Shunyata, and a few more. I found Blue Jeans to be no better than commonly supplied interconnects with components, and cheap aftermarket brands like Belkin, Monster, or common Amazon type wire. As far as I can tell, Blue Jeans managed to sell enough to start thinking about developing something better.
@navyachts, everyone has the opportunity to learn, I guess. Probably helps that the man behind the Iconoclast name is the same man who, at Belden, was perhaps involved with the designs of the more common industrial cables that BJC believes in.
They are selling power cables under the Belden / BAV line at the request of customers like me. The wire geometry used has been explained and the connectors are top quality.
The power cables are high quality and worth the asking price IMO.
I believe they are working on a power cable for the Iconoclast line but it is not fully developed yet.
A 4 foot pair of XLR in OCC = $2100. I would say that is very expensive. I did read the whole intro and I'm sure they are good cables. I do have to chuckle a bit at the supposition that what makes these cables so good is the fact they finally found an engineer who knew how to make good cables. So all these other high end manufacturers have just been guessing up to know? I mean really, has there ever been a cable manufacturer that hasn't made the same claim, just using different words? Otherwise the guys at Cardas must be slapping their heads and saying "oh, that's how you do it". 😆
I suspect in more than a few cases, yes. How many of these wire and cable guys actually had a degreed electrical/RF engineering background when they first had “an idea”? Some, but I’m guessing not all by a long shot. If it’s any comparison worth noting, how many other companies have the engineering basis for their designs fully documented for all to review, and (for those who understand the papers) open to challenge and comment? OTOH, how many companies describe their products by relying on catch phrases, touting the purity of materials or some magical treatment, etc etc?
Doesn’t mean some of these cables aren’t potentially good, even great, but as with everything in audio it seems there’s more than one way to get to something good. Some ways are done by people who have the engineering background to know why they need to do something a certain way - and have the ability to explain it, some are done by dedicated DIYers who’ve figured things out over years of trial and error who have to presume the basis for why something they just did sounds the way it does, some by people somewhere in between.
Not at all. Nor am I saying they don’t matter at all.
At this year’s AXPONA I attended Galen Gaeris’ tech talk, where he explained how the engineering affects basic parameters for cables. It was well attended, including a very well known member of the audio press. At the end of the talk (which included the math behind how each of the three Iconoclast cables are different) the well known fellow - whose been in the business for decades - asked “which one would be the best for my system”? First, lovely guy that he is, the question at the end of that tech talk was a giveaway he really didn’t understand what was being said. Second, the answer he got from Galen Gaeris was “that’s not something I can tell you as I don’t know the reactive characteristics of the particular equipment you have, and even if I did it’s still a personal choice”. His recommendation was for the fellow to try all three and decide for himself. The poor fellow seemed a bit perplexed by that. Iconoclast claims only what’s stated in their technical papers, nothing more. The company flies under the usual audiophile radar, but a little searching will show two or three of the usual online characters having written about them.
I use what for me are the right cables in the right places. Some are Iconolclast, some are Audioquest Dragon, some are Purist Audio. There are others. They each fit best where they are to have my system perform the way it sounds best to me. No presumptive decisions made in advance without trying first. Seem fair enough? 🙂
I’m not looking to wade too far into the waters of whether Blue Jeans is moving from their core value proposition by now offering the Iconoclast line. To me, it seems a like a reasonable jump for a business to offer a step up in products, following their philosophy that there is good value and sound to be had from well known, very large manufacturers of cable in the home audio (and video) world. Iconoclast cables are definitely expensive, again at least to me, but I now own several pairs of their ETPC RCA interconnects and I think they sound terrific.
I also use the Blue Jeans Canare 4S11 speaker cable. I think it is an outstanding value and also sounds wonderful in my system. I don’t know about all of their products of course, but the 4S11 cable is a big step up from cheaper products found on Amazon, etc. (I tried some of those as well). For transparency, I am not someone who can personally stomach spending half the price of my speakers on speaker cables, though I know others can, do, and I respect their opinion and the results they achieve by doing so.
The Iconoclast ICs were a bit of a leap to faith for me. I reached out and exchanged a number of emails with Bob from Iconoclast and he is a true gentlemen and was patient with my inquiries. I am glad I leapt and while I started with a single pair of cables, I have added more. In my system, they are dynamic, detailed, and imaging is great. They don’t really have much of a tone of their own and let the rest of my equipment shine through. Also, I am glad that they have all of their technical documentation available, that Galen is very frank in his talks (I did not see him at AXPONA, but have seen him on YouTube), and that the cable shows up in a bag with basic measurements recorded and not a jewelers style box that I don’t really need.
I’ve sold cables many years ago and know that there are some other good vendors who have now stood the test of time out there. I also believe that there are other cable vendors who couldn’t tell you the technical specs of their cable or why they are designed as they are.
+1 from an Iconoclast owner. I am glad Blue Jeans made the leap that they did and now offer this product.
There is very little science that supports the need for ultra exotic cables beyond what is explained by the Iconoclast engineer. Nothing that is manufactured In small quantities that is made well will be inexpensive, so I’m not suggesting that cables should be so, but tens of thousands of dollars for cables is marketing and not science. The difference I heard in my rather highly resolving system between BJCs and Iconoclast is minimal to nil. I will include a Furutech power cable in that list. Regardless of if one is better or worse, one should at least hear a difference if there is one right? I believe the brain is a strange thing!….
I was using a respectable cable line about 14 years ago and wanted to try cabling that was more affordable, just to see how they faired against my cables. I chose Blue-Jeans cabling for both the speaker cables and RCA interconnects and I didn't feel the investment was bad due to a return policy. After some light break-in, there was a noticeable improvement in the music with more detail across the board and a little stronger lower bass. I was certainly impressed. I ordered a complete complement of these for my system and a set for my really good audiophile friend since they were so reasonably priced. After some time of use, I wondered if there would be other less expensive more obscure cables I could try. I found Audio Envy and since they had a return policy, I ordered a pair of interconnects and speaker cables. Another great find ! They bettered the Blue-Jeans cabling notably in micro-detail with the Blue-Jeans cabling only having an edge in the lower bass. Again, I was sold and bought the full complement of cables for my system and again a complete set for my good friend. We both agreed on the improvements the Audio-Envy cabling made. These have been our cables and we've upgraded with their latest iterations of cable enhancements. That said, I am intrigued by the theory behind the Iconoclast cables however their cost is notably much higher than the Audio-Envy cables. I've had the recent pleasure of trying another higher end set of cabling from a company I won't mention now that has a return policy. While after an extensive break-in they do have a slight edge in micro-detail and sound stage over my Audio-Envy cables, the cost is 3X the price ! I will listen to them a little longer and then back to my Audio-Envy cables for another final comparison. At this point, in my opinion, the amount of difference vs. price between the two, there isn't enough there to warrant the much higher cost.
My suggestion would be to give Audio-Envy cables a try before you go for much more expensive cables. I believe you'll be impressed. Regards, John
Oddly enough I can't see a way to order Iconoclast cables at the Blue Jeans website. The links and information still push people over to the Iconoclast website which is autonomous.
I'm a big fan of Iconoclast, having recently invested in two runs of speaker cables, XLRs, RCAs, and an AES/EBU. (I haven't switched power cords yet.)
My guess is that Galen and Bob needed to partner with someone who could handle the low-volume custom orders, rather than invest heavily into their own operation. Blue Jeans seem like the perfect fit. Bob and Galen do the marketing and sales support, BJC does the terminations, testing, fulfills the orders, and handles any returns or repair work. Their Ultrasonic welding setup does a fantastic job on the terminations, and the company is super-fast and responsive.
I damaged a banana plug on one of my cables and had to ship it back from VA to Seattle WA and it was only gone for a week.
Anyway, the cables sound really good. There's more info here: https://www.audioresurgence.com/2023/04/iconoclast-speaker-cable-review.html
@jahatl513 - my budget has runneth over on the old audio system of late, but if I happen to come into some cash somewhere down the road, I’d like to try them out too! Thanks for the insight. By the way, which series of the Iconoclast speaker cables did you purchase, Series 1 or Series 2?
@liquidsound - liquid sound advice, lol! Keep us posted and maybe share the third cable companies name once you’re done your testing.
@rooze click here: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/ then click where it says "Introducing Iconoclast Cable" there is a link there that take you to the Iconclast website: http://www.iconoclastcable.com/ Click on the PRODUCTS tab then scroll down to the bottom of whatever product you’ve selected, and you’ll see the BJC style order form there.
I think this was a smart business decision. Many people believe that cables make a significant sound improvement. Others simply have money to spend and want something expensive and esoteric. Now they can buy all this from BJC. There is no point in ignoring market demand even if that demand is on shaky ground.
I have a pair of Iconoclast UPOCC Gen 2 4x4 XLR’s. Expensive but was a great match in my system. Only interconnect in my rig so that’s why 2!00 did nor seem so bad for pretty close to state of the art
They will send you one to try. If you don’t like it send it back and they pay shipping both ways. You have absolutely nothing to lose.
@benzman Thanks for sharing. XLR's would be over the top for me, both pricewise and work related as mine are like 15" long each and run under the house to keep them out of sight. Wouldn't mind trying out their speaker cables though, some time down the road.