Belden ICONOCLAST Interconnects and Speaker Cabling

Thanks for the reply.

I assume you have the disc drive in yours?

SEE

[Edit: Never mind. I can see the disc slot in the picture you posted.]

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I seem to have another benefit in biwire and using the iconoclast jumpers and second set of SPTPC cables versus the gold plated jumper plates in that my amps are running a whole lot cooler. I don’t seem to have to use as many WPC to hear everything as clearly. The levels can be reduced ten fold in relative WPC. Seeing equivalent improvements on HT use.

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This phenomena is probably more to do with group delay properties than “amplitude” changes. A better time aligned signal will seem louder and have better detail but it is SLIGHT. What we hear is the improved fundamental + harmonics structure. If the harmonics aren’t properly time aligned with the fundamental that creates them, we hear a distortion. I won’t impact the phase of the fundamental.

Yes, if we shift two sine waves initial PHASE enough we hear nothing, but that’s not what is happening, it is likely the signal group velocity differences of the frequencies that improve the coherence of what we hear, and that makes it easier to enjoy as things sounds more like the instrument that made them.

The COPPER paper looks at the from the equations and how it can be changed and optimized SOME, but not eliminated as the physics say we go from zero at DC to the limiting Vp at RF. The slope of that curve through audio can be manipulated with cable L and C parameters. The effect is real, but how we hear it isn’t something we can easily put into a number. R, L and C are numbers, not how it sounds.

Best,
Galen

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I’ve now had my new XLR cables in my system for close to 3 weeks and I must say that I am impressed with what they are doing in my system. I’m using the 4x4 OCC cables between my preamp and monoblocks. This is a 25ft pair, so I would expect differences would be a bit more obvious than with a short pair.

I was hesitant to buy expensive cables because of the long length. Most higher-end cables get very pricey in lengths this long, and because they are a custom length, it’s difficult to find vendors that will accept returns if I wasn’t satisfied. So, up to this point, I have made due mostly with DIY cables costing me in the $300 to $600 range.

Thankfully, Iconoclast/BJC offers a 30 day trial even for custom lengths, so I decided to give them a try despite their high cost (relative to other cables I’ve purchased in recent years). Well, I’m glad I did, and I’m not sending them back.

The first thing I noticed, which was very obvious, was sharper transient response. Percussion, guitar string plucks, etc. were cleaner and faster. I also noticed that decay was more natural and extended.

My wife even commented that my system was sounding really good even though she rarely pays attention to it. I have my home office set up at the back of my listening room, and I’m working from home these days, so I’m listening to music for most of the day, every day, except when I’m on calls. So the system is getting a LOT of playing time.

One thing that I wasn’t expecting is that even lesser quality recordings sound better. With the availability of millions of songs at my finger-tips through Qobuz and Tidal, I’ve gotten spoiled and tend to ignore a lot of good music with less than excellent recording quality. But sometimes Roon radio slips these into the mix and I’ve found myself enjoying them a lot more with these new cables.

OK, now I have to figure out how to justify another set between my DAC and preamp, and a set (or two for biwire?) of speaker cables.

Thanks Galen and Bob for creating a great product!

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I’m not using iconoclast but I’m a fan the brand and Galen. I’m using Audioquest Earth XLR running to my mono amps which is great! I was using a lesser quality AQ XLR on my DAC to preamp. When I upgraded the XLRs on the DAC to preamp it was a huge upgrade in sound quality! Trying to make a long story short, upgrade the dac to preamp connection to match the cables on your amp I think you will be shocked!

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All the changes made to the cables are in the tech notes. We sell the tested and measured data and how it was achieved. Of course, numbers are numbers and as we’ve said before, they don’t have a sound at all. Our ears have to define if things get better sounding if the data does too. Most agree that the experiment to leverage the data as far as I can does sound different and most agree, better.

Give the data a once over to see what we did, and how it may impact what you hear. No Belden cable sells a sound, just how we get them to test as they do. ICONOCLAST is just a real hard push for better tested data. We pretty much tell all for each design.

Best,
Galen Gareis

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Loving my Iconoclast (SPTPC and OCC) and BAV (power) cables so far, and am trying to work out how best to supply power to my mono-blocks. Hope the question will be of use to others, too.

I want to get some more BAV power cables, in other words :slight_smile:

My options are:
A) Long power cables (12 feet or so) to the mono-blocks, from the same power bank as my front-end equipment. They all use 3-foot cables — and sound fantastic.
B) Short power cables (3 foot or so) to the mono-blocks, but from a different wall outlet.

Option A would keep a shared ground for the entire system (a good thing as I understand it), but I don’t know if there’s a downside to long power cables. Or perhaps 12 feet isn’t actually all that long…

Option B would sell less BAV power cabling, but would be simpler to route across the floor. Are there ways to keep the system on a shared ground that are just as good, but simpler?

Thanks so much for the help, and the cables I already own and love!

Welcome @all2ofme!

Proof is in the pudding. Got noise? I use a set-up that runs short cables to the high current mono amps where the noise would be worst, and longer cables to the low current sources. All to and from a P20 into one 20A line.

Best,
Galen

Doh! The opposite of what I wanted to hear. Bloody physics!

I have no noise whatsoever at the moment, but that’s likely because all of my existing power cables are 3-feet long and into a single P20. For now, everything is between the speakers.

Why change a winning formula?! My upcoming house upgrade (biggest component :slight_smile:) means that I need to have the amps a long way away from the source gear. Six bits of source equipment, only two amps. Figured it makes sense to change two cables, rather than six!

If you had to choose between:

  • short power cables but the power amps not into the P20
  • 12-foot power cables into the power amps so that the entire system was in the P20

…what would it be?

For what it’s worth, the power amps have a max draw of 1,500W each, and the system is fully balanced start to finish.

Thanks as ever for the help (and hello @paul172 :wave:)

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I personally prefer having the amps close to the speakers. My speaker cables are 4’ long and I run a long XLR and power cables to feed them. IMO this gives me the best sonic solution in sound quality.

Agreed — and my speaker cables will be the same length in both cases. It’s only the power cable routing that I’m trying to work out.

10 AWG power cable should not be an issue in lengths of 10 to even 15 feet. 10 AWG is 1-ohm per 1000 feet, so in ten feet we have (1/1000)*10 = 1/100 of an ohm.

Best,
Galen

Great, @rower30 — thank you. Those BAV power cables really are lovely :heart_eyes:

It was always going to be 10 AWG cable. Glad to hear that I’m not likely to have any problems with a longer run. Not having an enormous stack of gear between the speakers will be a huge plus.

Thanks very much for the help!

On a related note for those of us who love the BAV power cables…could one use Belden 19105 cable all the way from the main panel for a dedicated 20A line, or is that silly?

Your panel and outlets are made for solid or LIGHTLY ( seven strand max) stranded conductors for proper long term low resistance connections. Besides, you can get 10/3 AWG ROMEX if you wish. It’s is expensive.

Best,
Galen

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I always find it revealing to go to the big box, mostly Chinese made retailers for home and business building supplies aka Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, etc. Most of the power cords up to 50’ seem to to be relegated to 12/3 cords and have low strand counts if you can even find a spec.

Though we should attempt to keep cable runs as short as I can, we “mostly” live with the rooms we have. If most knew just how little even the finest and most powerful high-end audio systems draw in terms of voltage and amperage at levels below ear-splitting we would have less concern for the cables but more concern for the “quality and stability” of the power entering our abodes.

I live in a small town and am on the same grid as the local hospital. My P10 tells me what comes in is clean and stable and yet still improves the current. On the other hand, I have customers/friends who live in Manhattan in buildings with 200++other units. Their power dims and flickers and most times has some level of noise to deal with. What a nightmare!

For the vast majority of applications including longer runs our power cables are going to be a vast improvement over OEM power cords and, they won’t take out the bank account.

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