The best digital IC, period.

I've spent a great deal of time, too much really, to find the best IC between my transport to my DAC. After listening to six cables from some big names and big $$ as well as some not so well names for small $$. The winner came out to be a HAVE/CANARE $25 IC. With this cable there is no eye candy at all, ZED, but it's combination of GEPCO International, VSD2001 high definition 75ohm serial series digital coax, and CANARE true 75ohm RCA terminations, simply killed all of the esoteric cables with a few others coming in very very close, but the HAVE/CANARE $25, 3' was just beyond belief. Now I know that people feel strongly to use at least 1.5M in length for a DIC, but with this company I tried cables at length of 12" to 1.5M, i tried them all and the best of the buch was their standard 3' cable, defying the math. Hey, for 25$?
Excellent News. I am quite content to put this topic forever to rest. Thank you Rpg for finally settling this question. Amen!

I feel really, really sorry for those who have spent one or two months salary on other exotic cables. I bet they feel foolish now.
Their is no "best" of anything. It's about personal preferences in one's system. It's not really news that Canare makes excellent cables.
I had a $25 Canare coax cable and thought it was great until someone made me one from a length of Supra Trico with WBT terminations and it was a step up from the Canare in a lot of areas (bass, tone, detail, air, etc.).
It cost all of $100.

It just goes to show what Onhy61 said about preferences in one's system.
good to read this & thank you for being up-front & admitting that the very high $ cables did not measure up. That takes a lot of candor & guts (as you well know). :-)
Now, where does one buy this Canare digital cable - the exact one that you bought? I'm looking for one to use btween my ipod dock & external DAC. Thank you.
Bombaywalla, type in HAVE/Canare into your web browser and you will be brought to the HAVE website. They provide their telephone number to call them or you can select Digital IC's from their menu and order the cable. You will know you are on the right website as there is a picture of an Elephant on it. Enjoy!
Rpg, Please provide information about the equipment that you are using.
Ozzy, Wadia 171i Dock/Transport connected to one of the two digital inputs on my Cambridge AZUR 840C CDP. With the HAVE/Canare cable we could not tell the difference between playing a CD and the Wadia,(loss-less files) this was the only cable that could pull this off and that was after an intensive effort that took a great deal of time. During this effort I even included my budding Audiophile teenager helping out with his young ears picking up on the micro elements of the sound reproduction. These components are connected to Krell balanced amplification and Sonus Faber speakers.
A statement about what was the "best" in a field of contenders is worthless unless those contenders are revealed.

As for Canare ICs for analog signals, I tried enough in 1m and 5m XLR lengths and they were horrible at best in the portrayal of space. $25 might be fine between NAD, Rotel or the like, but in a high-performance system, they are not at all in the same league as the Jade Audio, Stealth, Silent Source, Purist, to name a few.
John Atkinson will not be pleased with you!
Maybe John A would not be happy, but Corey G would be. As for Jafox's comments about HAVE/Canare analog cables I agree, they don't measure up, but for digital they are one of the best. Again, for a small $25 listen for yourself! If you don't like them you can throw them in your pile of extra cables & stuff, or you will be as surprised as I was and make them a permanent IC in your system.
I am going to try one.
IMO RPG is to be commended and congratulated for the thorough, disciplined, and logical manner in which this comparison was conducted, as further described in this earlier thread.

I would emphasize, however, his reference in the OP above to "the best IC between MY transport to MY DAC." (Emphasis added).

Quoting from myself in this recent thread, in which my comment is based on the assumption that the main effect, and arguably the only effect, that a digital cable will have on sonics is via its effect on jitter:
Given reasonably good quality, I see no reason to expect a high degree of correlation between the effects of a given cable on jitter in one system, and its effects on jitter in another system. And many reasons to expect a low degree of correlation. The same even applies to the effects of a given cable on jitter in one system, and the effects of a different length of the same cable type in the same system.

An example: Impedance mismatches can be a significant contributor to jitter. No impedance match is perfect. If the input or output impedance of a component that is being connected is inaccurate to some degree, relative to the 75 ohm ideal for S/PDIF, then a cable whose impedance is SIMILARLY inaccurate will provide a better impedance match to that component than one that is more accurate.

The other major contributor to jitter that can be affected by the cable is noise, that is either "picked up" by the cable, or that results from ground loop effects between the components that are being connected. In general, a shorter cable length will minimize both of those effects. However, a shorter cable length will often worsen the effects of impedance mismatches, unless the cable is very short (see this paper). Whether noise-induced jitter or jitter that results from impedance mismatches will be a more significant issue in a given system cannot generally be predicted.

Putting it more generally, the effects of a given cable on jitter are dependent on a complex and largely unpredictable set of relationships and interactions between its parameters, including length, impedance accuracy, shielding effectiveness, shield resistance, propagation velocity, etc., and the technical characteristics of what it is connecting, including signal risetimes and falltimes, impedance accuracy, jitter rejection capability, ground loop susceptibility, etc.

My suggestion to the OP is simply that you try a variety of different cables at different price points, and make your own choice.
-- Al
Ozzy, let this forum know your perception of this IC after introducing it into your system. I am very interested if you have similar results.

Almarg, thank you for your comments and description about the complexities of this interface as well as the links to other forums on the topic!

The Ridge Street Poiema or the other better cables from RSA will beat this hands-down. You get what you pay for if you select the right manufacturer. I dont sell them nor am I affiliated.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve, always in search for real performance at sane prices, can you tell me what these cables you are suggesting cost? I will not deny there must be cables that can compete with my findings, but I only tried six cables and have never heard of Ridge Street cables. Can you elaborate a bit more please? Thanks!
Unfortunatly I will need at least a 6 foot cable. Rpg, you said that did not sound as good as the 3 footer.
RPG - see their website:

Poiema 1.5m is $685.00

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

Most people just keep changing equipment but never solve their cable issues. My views on cables are real simple; 99.999% of cables are pure scam with a nice sleeve. We have been blind testing cables for over 30 years with a 20 point (4 areas worth 5 points each) scoring system among 5 guys and a 6th person swapping the cables out. We are not allowed to talk to each other during the test or be in the listening room unless it is your turn to evaluate the cables and we are not allowed to see any cables being tested. HiDiamond cables from Italy are the only cables to score a perfect 100 point score (that is 5 different people giving the cable a perfect 20). When we hook up HiDiamond cables there is a very clear distinction between the HiDiamond clarity versus any other manufacture but really it is the phase coherency or musical flow that separates HiDiamond from all the pretenders. The HiDiamond Digital Carbon ate my reference $2000.00 digital and the HiDiamond digital cost around $400.00. We did test the Canare digital and it tested good but it would not be our top 10 digital cables. We have tested over 400 different brands.
Musicxyz - Did you happen to test the Ridge Street Audio Poiema in 1.5m length?

What lengths did your test include?

What digital source did you use in the tests?

Both of these will have a major impact on the results.
Musicxyz, What other HiDiamond cables has your group tested? What were the results?
There are 6 different guys with very good systems but we all prefer the HiDiamond Digital Carbon, Power 3 power cords, Signal 5, 7, 9 and speaker cables D4, D7 and D8. We all have several different systems so depending on if the system is in our main listening or just a secondary system. If I had to pick one series I would pick their series 7 speaker cables and interconnects with the Power 3 power cord and Carbon Digital. Sound in my opinion is all about reproducing what the recording studio intended you to hear and HiDiamond cables do that in our systems but it is still just our opinions.
I am not sure how much honesty you are looking for but please remember this is just my opinion from blind test results. We have tested Ridge Street and they also tested well but we were never looking for OK we are always looking for a new reference. I would personally say if the cable company does not a real factory or a metallurgy background probably stays away from that manufacturer. I could build a good cable with a nice sleeve and market that cable but who really cares. When you buy a cable it should have little to no effect on your equipment; you should never us a cable as an equalizer. You will know the cable is correct when you become emotionally attached to the artist. Cables with bloated bass or cables that are too analytical will not allow you to connect with the artist.
When we test digital cables it is always 1.5 meters unless the manufacturer recommends a different length.
There are 6 different guys so the source and DACs vary when we do our test. Several of the systems are very expensive and do have what we consider reference components. The equipment will definitely affect the results of any test.
Ozzy, no, the six foot cable lacked articulation and sounded a bit too warm for my taste. Your system being different than mine may not have a problem. Measure exactly what you need to the inch, HAVE will custom make you a cable without extra cost, just tell them what you need.
Audioengr, $685. I'm trying to share my experience that a $25 can, and most likely is, nipping at the heals of such crazy expensive cables here.
There is no definitive "best" of anything. There are way too many variables involved. The "best" you can hope for is to find something that works well in your system. You can then say it's the "best" for you until you find something you think is better !!!!
I do agree there is no “Definitive Best “but at some point you must know what you are trying to accomplish with your personal system. This is a huge problem and my opinion this is why people keep buying and selling equipment. My goal has always been very clear; try to reproduce what the recording studio intended you to hear, good or bad. Once you reproduce the artist at their purest form you will become emotionally attached to the recording if you have your system correct. Cables are the artery of your system and without proper cables your arteries become clogged and your system dies. It is surprising how many cables actually clog the system but again this really is just another opinion.
Hey Ozzy, did you go for it and if you did what do you think. You mentioned you needed a 2M cable, can you get by with 1.5M? If you can this is one of the most popular length for a number of technical reasons.
Damn this thread...Might have to pick up a P!!! R-v3 DIGITAL MASTER to compare to a cryo treated Oyaide DR-510...
Rpg, Yes I need 2 meter, it's for my Squeezebox Touch. I kind of dropped the idea based on your comparison comments.

I own a Kimber Illuminati D60 digital cable and I have compared that cable to a Morrow D4 cable. The Morrow sounds way better in everything that matters.
Its funny, you would think that digital cables would all sound the same, or at least be close, but these are NOT.

I still may order a 2 meter Have/Canare just to compare.
You never know how they may react in my system and the price for them is cheap.
Rpg, I just ordered a 6 footer to try.
Ozzy, let us know what you think after a listen. My 6' pair that I tried sounded dark and a little slow compared to my 3' cable, but the math suggests 1.5M minimum, so it will be very interesting to hear back from you! Happy listening!
Rpg, Well I recieved the 6 footers today.
Cold and out of the bag and straight into my Squeeze Box Touch... it doesn't sound too bad. In fact is sounds very good. Not dark or slow. Very lively sounding with good soundstaging and frequency extremes. Really, everything I want in a digital cable.
Comparing it to the Morrow D4 with silver Eichman RCA's it is really quite close. It seems to have a sharper leading edge but perhaps more playing time will smooth that out. But right now, it seems like quite a bargain.

My Morrow Dig4 is better in my system than the Kimber Illuminati D-60 was so if this cable can play with those, save your money and buy the HaveFlex Dig SPDIF.
Ozzy, I'm glad your pleased. I think the HAVE/Canare option is a great place for people to start especially in the dark waters of IC's. I believe there indeed may be other cables out there that may sound better in their system than the HaveFlex, but I think the improvement might only be slight and you might get sucked into cables nearing the price of your equipment, I tell you, this cable business seems to be quite the racket with a lot of players making big claims. Yes, give your cable some time to break in, a couple of weeks I found and that bit of sharpness you detected will smooth over just a bit with no loss of resolution or extension. Enjoy, and forget that just because the cable is inexpensive does not mean it can't be a world class performer in many peoples systems, with the money you potentially may have saved, you can purchase a lot of music, and is that not what it's really all about?
Musicxyz, I noticed HiDiamond does not have an AES/EBU digital cable. Are you using their digital cable? If so, how does it sound?
A friend brought over a MIT digital balanced cable a while back, $3500. The best I've heard but just a bit pricy for me. Back to my cheap $1000 beater cable.

Are you a dealer for HiDiamond? You are from Canada and so is the Distributor of this cable located in Canada.
I personally bought my cables directly from the manufacturer in Italy about 2 years ago; I didn't even know there were any dealers for HiDiamond. All I can say is this is the most emotional sounding cable I have owned.
What was your # one cable before HD?

Have you heard and CHACOUSTIC cables? Opinion?
Ozzy, you have had some time to break-in the HAVE/Canare 6' Digital IC, what is your conclusion with this cable? If you have found it was not the best Digital IC you have used, what did you replace it with that sounded better and what was the retail price of the better cable, still, I have yet to find a better cable considering all sonic qualities of Digital IC's.
RPG, The Morrow Dig4 with silver eichman RCA is still the best cable I have ever owned or tried. But to be honest, I have'nt tried that many.
The Have/Canare is a very good cable for the price but the Morrow has more depth and smoothness.
Musicxyz, I am running an AES/EBU digital cable at the moment. Would you say that the HiDiamond digital (which is not available in AES/EBU) is better sounding than even the best XLR digitals you have tested?
Stealth Sextet, especially AES/EBU. I have tried many: AZ, Kimber, Nordost Valhalla, Kharma Grand ref, Chris Sommogio's Black Cat predecessor, etc. Valhalla and Kharma's were close, but nothing as good all around as the Sextet. Just one man's opinion, of course.

Ozzy, thanks for the feedback. A number of cables I tested were smoother at the top, a Kimber comes to mind, but for me I liked the extended detail of the HC cable in which some may call it a bit bright. However when I compared it to strait CD playback the HC cable sounded closest to the CDP. Thanks again!
My vote goes to the Acoustic Revive cable on Sp/DIF and while I have experimented with Siltech, Chord and others, I feel that on the Acoustic Revive replacing the wallwart with a linear PSU yields real benefits. I think there is a need for research on the transmission of clock signals in digital links which are paramount for good results and Acoustic Revive's circuitry majorly contributes to accurate clocking.

USB is a different topic, altogether
Link to the have/canare cable? I can't find the exact product on the have site.


Musicxyz, since Audiogon makes it difficult to PM at the moment I would appreciate hearing your opinion about the difference between the HiDiamond D7 and D8 speaker cables.
I really appreciate you asking and trusting my opinion but unfortunately mentioning that you prefer one brand over another on these forums is taboo unless it is a name recognition brand. I will try and keep my opinions to myself and just watch the same 10 name recognition brands get all the headlines.

Sabai asked a question to you that shots down your thought of only 10 brands get all the talk. He wants to know about the HD line.

Nobody shot you down. Folks here want to make sure everyone is upfront and honest with one's thoughts on gear and is not from a dealer.

Glory, you may have misunderstood. I was not shooting at or shooting down anyone. I was simply asking about the difference between the HiDiamond D7 and D8 speaker cables.