I recently ordered the dCBL CAT7 with the isoCAT 6 filter (with Black cable).
They have been in system for two days now.
It's early, so I need to spend more time with them in system but a definite, definite improvement.
@lalitk Was late last night, so held off on posting my initial findings.
Right out of the box, what was most apparent, was that the noise floor was lower and the background was ’blacker.’
My system is already performing at a fairly high level, so the improvements fall in the "More" and "Incremental" boxes, but are still easy enough to pick out.
Crux Audio recommends under two days for the cables and filter to settle in. I’m approaching three days of active use with the SOtM cables/filter in my 2ch system and here’s what stands out:
Less noise and therefore the ’blacker’ background. More solidity to the image (the added Solidity is surprising!) which has made the speakers ’disappear’ even more. Increased transparency, so inner and micro-detail is clearer and cleaner. Slight improvement in the crispness of the layering and separation (this was already very strong in my system). Tonality and timbre remain spot on. The music has more energy yet remains smooth sounding. Body and weight of the music is enhanced, in the right way.
Layering, Separation, Tone, Timbre, Musical Energy, and so much more were very good prior to adding the SOtM to the chain. The improvements are there, are better, and are noticeable.
Here is the chain: (it replaced Supra CAT8)
Network LAN Switch > dCBL CAT7 > isoCAT 6 filter > Black Cable > Sonore microRendu > Uptone Regen > Schiit Yggdrasil
[Both the mR and Regen are separately powered by Uptone UltraCap LPS-1s. I’m using Cardas DC cables and USB A>B adaptors]
[I'm using Supra CAT8 for the connection from Router to Switch, and for the connection from the Small Green Computer sonicTransporter AP to the Switch]
I have not played around with positioning of the SOtM cable/filter (yet).
The Audio Bacon reviews of both SOtM products are well fleshed out, descriptive and thorough and serve as a good reference.
Thank you for sharing your experience. That's quite a setup you have, I bet your system sounds amazing.
One of the comments from the review got me little concerned, "Compared to the dCBL-CAT6, vocals are a bit thinner and lean but still natural sounding".
Did you observe vocals being thin and lean in your system?
Hi Lalitk. Thanks. .... it seems more like a work in progress to me. :)
Yes, there were a few statements that perhaps were contradictory or confusing to me as a reader. Sounds like you have picked up on similar issues. Having the SOtM cabling/filter in my system has made his review much clearer to me and I now better understand what he is communicating in those two reviews.
I don't have the dCBL CAT6 on hand, so I cannot answer your question directly, and with a comparative lens.
However, I can say that in my above setup, I in no way find vocals to be lean or thin. In fact, they are much more solid and with added body, tightly imaged, and very clean.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the SOtM's impact on solidity was really surprising to me.
Thanks again for clarifying. I am going to start off with a pair of dCBL-CAT7 in my setup as below,
1) AT&T Modem > dCBL-CAT7 > AirPort Extreme
2) AirPort Extreme > dCBL-CAT7 > Aurender
I will re-access after this installation if I need to insert a isoCAT6 filter in either of these configurations.
Post your findings once you get them.
@ david_ten : Can the SOTM filter be used with the Supra Cat8 cables ? Thanks in advance. Jeff
@yoby Yes, and with any LAN cable.
I haven't used it with my Supra CAT8 cables yet. I want to get an extended feel for SOtM's dCBL CAT7 > isoCAT6 > Black configuration before playing around with any combos.
Jay's review of the isoCAT6 filter (over at Audio Bacon) does address the Supra CAT8 in the chain and is one of his better combinations.
What I did in my setup was get rid of the airport extreme (with it’s switching power supply) and replaced it with a 1 box netgear router/modem for Comcast.
I power the Netgear box with an Uptone JS-2.
Also, I added a Waversa hub (network switch with filters).
These upgrades brought massive improvements.
I’m curious how the sotm cable would improve upon this. Or would it be too much filtering.
@macdude Are you going to be trying the SOtM cable/filter out within your system? Or was it a question?
If it is a question, I can't answer it since I don't have the Waversa hub with filters in my system.
All I can say is that the dCBL-CAT7 followed by the iso-CAT6 filter + Black Cable delivered within my system.
I have a standard slightly higher end Netgear 8 port switch and am using a Google Mesh WiFi Router to feed the port. My Cox modem/Router is standard issue but is removed from the Google box by about 50 feet. The Cox box and the Google box communicate wirelessly.
Hope you get to try it out...I'd love to hear your results.
Great contributions here.:)
Compared the SOtM dCBL-CAT7, the SR Ethernet UEF SE, and the Purist Audio Ethernet cables in extensive focused comparisons using two vastly different, yet equally excellent (one SS and one tube), systems with two close friends (one owns the other system).
All were excellent to my ears, more alike than different overall but each with specific strengths, and also according to the comments of my friends. Two of us ending up slightly preferring the Purist Audio Ethernet cable (the least expensive of the three) in both systems and one the SOtM in his own. No one was or is wrong. Strictly a matter of preference and system synergy as always between excellent products. As it should be...
Are you going to be trying the SOtM cable/filter out within your system? Or was it a question?
More just thinking aloud. I would like to try the SOtM cable.
One thing I noticed is turning off the wi-fi radio on my router/cable modem box makes a substantial difference.
The radio needs to be turned off, not just the SSID broadcasting.
@dlcockrum Dave, thanks for sharing your findings. Always helpful.
@macdude Thanks for the tip. I'm having trouble getting Cox to drop a new line in so I can get a dedicated feed to the other side of the house where the audio room is. If I can make it happen, I'll apply your suggestion.
Do you think if your system did not include a router or modem and it consisted of NAS - Ethernet cable - Network Player would there be a need for a filter? Do they have a trail period?
I would say YES!
The 'Filter' block and eliminates the wide band digital noise inflow from the router or NAS.
The dCBL-CAT7 cable in my system sounds amazing over my previous non-filtered cable. The overall soundstage is touch more airy, defined, detailed and vocals are crisp without being edgy.
They do offer 15 days trial but sadly with a 15% restocking fee. They are offering 10% discount at the moment. If you're interested, visit Cruz Audio website for the coupon.
It looks like they have a price increase on all Ethernet cables.
I just checked site and don't see a price increase on dCBL-CAT7. Did you get a pop up for 10% discount?
Are you going through the Sotm-usa.com website? I have the dCBL-CAT7 LAN cable special edition for $1100. I did install this with the black cable followed by the Revelation Audio cryosilver Ethernet into my Ayon Audio S-5 Network Player/Preamp and I'm blown away by what this does. My system is simple. I use a Qnap TS-251+8GB with single ssd and Uptone Audio JS-2 power supply into the S-5. Both the NAS and Uptone sit on a Synergistic Research Tranquillity Basik. All traces of noise are eliminated, bass and image depth enhanced, and speakers completely disappear. You can't skimp on the front end of digital.
You have a pretty awesome digital front. I am glad to hear that 'Special Edition' dCBL-CAT7 worked out nicely in your setup. Since my setup doesn't have external NAS, I didn't feel the need to employ $1100 special edition.
My digital setup,
Apple AirPort Extreme > dCBL-CAT7 > Aurender N10 > Acrolink 7N-D7000 AES/EBU > ARC DAC9 > Verastarr Grand Ilusion Signature II XLR > ARC LS28.
All of the above components & rest of the rig is powered by Nordost QRT system and on QKORE6 parallel grounding.