Digital Cable (again).
Vintage system that works with today’s upgrades but can’t find a cable that does it all. The digital link is a Cambridge CXN (V2) Ethernet connected to a high speed router via Category 7 Ethernet cable. On Cat 6 my computer measures 247 mbps all day and all night even if tablets, phones and TV Netflix are streaming besides Tidal to my system. The Cambridge connects to a Benchmark DAC 3b via RCA digital cable. The DAC connects to an Audio Research LS2B MKII pre via a meter of XLR Straightwire Virtuoso, a well known neutral cable.
Cables tested so far for the Cambridge to DAC link are;
Belden 1694a ... grainy, abrasive and just doesn’t play music. Does have a big wide and deep layered sound stage.
Silver Sonic D750 ... smoother than 1694a, rolled off highs and lows,someone moved the sound stage outside my music room to the parking lot . ...gave it a 18 hour break-in, no point in even thinking about going further. They (DH Labs) don’t take returns so I dumped it on eBay at more of a loss than I wanted.Canare F1800 ... just a wring cable for this application.Canare LV 77 S .. Interesting cable. Great (GREAT) dynamics,sound stage is terrific side to side and front to back. Depth beautifully layered from singer backwards to the rear of the band instruments/members. Just about 1/3 to 1/2 octave high on everything in it’s presentation. Classical acoustic guitar, piano, voice.. you are tonally lying to me..... next but give me these dynamicsCanare Digiiflex Gold Cable; Stereophlle talks about in their recommended components 2019 and 2020... The dynamics are not quite up to the LV77 level, the sound stage is (maybe) even better side to side and front to back. The front to back is among the best I’ve heard at any show let alone in my room. Besides the stage the imaging is superb in conjunction with the stage depth. The singer is in my room with their support musicians behind them. As a late teener my retired father was among other things, a musician, he played everything with strings from piano to harp but concentrated on Classical Guitar, Mandolin and Violin. He liked to play (practice) guitar in the morning. I have a picture or two of him performing in an orchestra on television from long ago so we can assume he wasn’t just another hack. Years and years of acoustic classical guitar sounds have been ingrained in my head so I know that and piano when I hear it. This cable plays guitar honestly, piano depending on manufacturer and (as far as I can tell) acoustic voice honestly, if a bit grainy... gravelly?.. This cable needs a couple hundred hours of burn in... it’s not smooth, not slick, gravel in the voice and throat is gravel through the speakers, just like Bruce and many other sing..Straightwire Info-Link.... again, great dynamics and focused stage. Plenty wide stage and maybe as deep as the Digiflex, very smooth, very focused, wife actually preferred this cable overall and clearly. For me, it seemed a bit tilted up in my system and for me in my vintage gear if guitar and piano aren’t right I'm not changing anything elkse to get them right, but certainly a very nice luscious sound. I burned it in 4 X longer than manufacturer’s recommendation but it didn’t change after the first 12 or 14 hours. If you area bit dull and lifeless in your digital connection this would be the ideal cable to get..Next up: I’m waiting for the Cable Company to send me a Kimber D60 and a Stealth something or other for demo.
What’s been your experience rolling cables?