Belden ICONOCLAST Interconnects and Speaker Cabling

Quite a report on your cable journey and good in-site on the psychological and physiological conditions that affect our listening. Nice to have an audio doctor in residence. I have used single pair and now parallel pair of Iconoclast cables. The FR30’s allow direct connection to mid/top and bass cabinets. Running the SII SPTPC on the top and the SI SPTPC on the bottom is my end game (for now :slightly_smiling_face:). This replaces the SII TPC on the top. A bit better HF definition and extension but much better instrument placement. Things are better delineated in space with greater depth and width. The SII TPC is still no slouch, and since they are close in price to the SII SPTPC, the later is the easy winner. The takeaway is try to get the SII in your system, full range or bi-wire, copper or silver plate.
Galen’s mantra of “design over materials” seems to hold true with this new series.

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Bill, I have the same dehydration issues when listening as well. It’s good to know that it’s not just me!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I’m seriously jealous of y’all. I haven’t asked Galen for a set of the latest and greatest Iconoclast speaker cables to test because… I don’t have any speakers right now. The Boss finally convinced me that the modular open baffle setup that I’ve had for the last 15yrs just takes up too much real estate and it’s time to downsize. They’ve been disassembled for quite a while now and I’m anxious to get back to listening. I have a pair of Eminent Technology LFT-8c’s on their way with a custom crossover that will allow me to bypass the onboard DSP and digital crossover that comes with the latest version of the LFT-8. They will take a while to break in and will sound awful for a bit, like planar magnetics do so I’ll have to be patient, even after they arrive. It sounds like you guys are starting to appreciate the new design. I was pretty stoic in describing the comparison of the original and latest designs that we did on Galen’s system. I was kind of tired when I wrote it but also, truly, have run a bit thin on ways to describe audio. These things just sound amazing, and all the more on Galen’s system. It’s a tremendous tool to allow him to discern the slightest nuance that a change in equipment or wiring topology makes.

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Since you’re the thread starter it is only fitting you try a pair on your new speakers. Your thread start happily sucked me into a great Iconoclast ever improved experience with each iteration. I searched high and low for s pair. until the BJC arrangement started true production and ongoing sales. Thanks for starting it all!

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Hi @BobBJC,

congrats for new speaker cables, can’t wait to give them a try but I need/want to pospone the purchase.

I’m planning some upgrades of my room, related to acoustic treatments and set up of the system. It means that I’m going to separate ampli (M1200s + REL T7/i) from pre and sources, ampli on the front wall and all the rest on the side wall.

Last spring I bought 2 pairs of XLR UPOCC cables, 5.5 feet long, I really love. If you remember I posted here on the forum a few charts comparing them to AQ new Dragon XLR.

In my new set up I would love to use UPOCC again, no doubts. Here a few questions for you:

New length needed will be around 26/28 feet, considering a 90^ angle between the walls and a right amount of room from walls to units as I know they are very stiff. Do you think that a so long distance may affect SQ compared to my actual 5.5 feet cables? Any suggestions?

Is there a chance to receive a private offer from you more affordable than the price calculator amount on the website?

Can I trade-in my actual cables? Shipment and import taxes to Italy are things to take into account. Not to mention that all the costs related to this project (treatments, carpenter, electrician, cables, new regen and racks, etc etc) are relevant and they are concentrated in a very short period all together.

Decisions, decisions…

Room work will start next march and I need to define the budget needed as soon as possible. Next step in summer 2023 will be for sure STPC new series once new room will be set up properly.

Thank you for your help, you already have my email address and we will discuss details privately but posting here my general question might be useful for other members with similar needs in future. Anyhow feel free to send me an email directly, if you prefer.

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Luca, you asked the hardest questions among us :joy:

28’? OMG, I am glad I do not have plans to move my front end to side, because I will need even longer distance than you, and I am not sure for such long distance the cable would maintain its performance (It is absolutely a guess without any scientific proof, and someone will correct me soon).

Happy Thanksgiving! Even though you don’t have that holiday in Italy.

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Definitely want custom clocking of connectors at 90 degree right angles to shorten that length eliminate long arc turns when paying $$$ for the wire.

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Hi Luca, great to hear from you and to know that you enjoy those UPOCC 4x4 XLR’s. They “are” incredible balanced IC’s.

Your project sounds exciting and like many things audiophile, “expensive.” :grinning:

1st question is answered by Galen.

"ICs, Especially XLR, are designed to go long runs. Cable +I/O and the expected cable high impedance load. Speaker cable not so much.

The reactance does change, but yes, get the length reasonable and results are benign. Curiously, the basic “character” of a cable is consistent to length as the ratio of all the aspects that give it a sound are constant.

How does that work? At RF (it’s easy there) Impedance is a VECTOR (fancy word for ratio) of the real to imaginary parts of the signal. The equation is SQRT (L/C). As the length goes up, the ratio stays the same as L and C follow along with the length. Using basic number 2/4 = 4/8 = 8/16 and so forth. At true RF, the termination can be a PURE RESISTOR. Why? Because the equation assumes we are at true stable transmission line frequencies where SQRT(L/C) is the impedance. Since L and C are opposite degree phase the “angle” of the vector is math wise a pure number because the two phases cancel. Presto, theory says it is a pure resistance at RF thus we can terminate into a resistor.

The Return Loss, RL, is the mismatch to the load AND the remainder of the vector’s reactive value BELOW where the cable is a pure resistance or…the wrong resistive value compared to the resistor used as a load. Some call that resistive and vector mis-match SRL or the STRUCTURE of the cable missed the intended vector magnitude. Some devices have a variable load you can tune for the lowest reflections based on the cable’s true structure (impedance). You can cheat and test SRL, when you and I are stuck with true RL as our stuff is a set ideal 75-ohm resistance (that could be off too!). We can’t remove a 73-ohm’s cable SRL to a 75-ohm load.

Audio cables are NOT even close to RF and reactance properties and phase shift are always there through audio. How do we know that? Like Vp through audio, the phase for L and C go from zero at RF to a maximum value at DC where it looks capacitive. And again, this happens right through the audio band. All passive cable does this. ALL of them. Just look at an open-short impedance + Phase trace.

But RF’s impedance equation explains HOW a cable retains and impedance no matter the length. It also rats out more of analog’s problems.

We want to improve the WORST thing in our systems. With a turntable, moving the table away from noise significantly improves the clarity of the sound over anything the cable can offset. Thus, moving the table is better than longer cables and where ever that is, may not be off to the side, is where the table really wants to be.

Want proof? Set your needle on a STILL record. YELL at the cartridge / head shell and listen to your voice come out the speakers. The vibration moves the needle and how it all works. The music is playing more than once in a room with the playback speakers. This smears the sound. No cable can be better than removing that as an upgrade.

XLR can go 100 feet per the specs and some even 200 feet. 30 feet is pretty easy for a good XLR cable.

Best,
Galen"

The 2nd question is for me… “Everyone knows” that we don’t discount cables. We didn’t build in price margins for dealers and use the same basic cost/pricing matrix as BJC keeping costs as low as we can and to make Iconoclast cables within reach to as many audiophiles as we can. We can by helping with trades as shown below. Private emails are always best.

The 3rd question is also for me… I will take a trade where a 5.5’ “Gen 2 XLR” cable is traded for a “Gen 2 XLR” +/-26’ cable assuming they are in good shape.

Have a great weekend.

Bob

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You let me know when to let the puppies loose and they will be on the way. You have to hear them. Good luck getting back in the saddle with the LFT-8c’s.

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Happy Thanksgiving to you Donald! It was a hard work week here but this evening I can finally relax myself. How many bottles did you save?

In my new room project the BHK Pre on the rack will be along the side wall (13 feet needed plus 4 feet from wall to unit) and the M1200s along the front wall in the center (6 feet plus 4 feet from wall to units).

This is the reason why 26 feet more or less is the length needed. I love so much UPOCC XLR cable that I would be happy to continue to use them, if they can perform and if my wallet permits.

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Thank you Bob I will send you a private email to discuss details.

Thank you Vmax, I’ll take your wise advice into account.

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Luca,
I am currently using a set of 32 foot long BAV XLR’s and they work fine at that length. I will be replacing them soon with a matching length set of UPOCC XLR’s.
We are in a similar setup predicament.
My source rack is in a closet behind the seating position and the amps and speakers ore on the opposite wall. These long XLR’s run under the floor to get from the preamp to the power amps.
They are expensive but a relative bargain when comparing to anything close to the same cost or more.
Vern

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We are similarly brave or crazy… I think to start my refurbishment work next march, now I’m collecting offers from all suppliers involved to realize the total cost I have to face. Can’t wait.
MK II and AirLens apart.

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Not much bravery in my blood. :thinking:

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After using the SPTPC series 2 had an unpleasant burn in experience last night. Reminded me of SR purple fuse break in. Things got shrill lost most of the mid bass. I even resorted to software reload on the DS. Still no improvement. The incoming AC was low distortion 1.4 percent. Swapped genres. Tried everything. Letting the speaker cables play longer again.

I am wondering if any other users had this issue yet?

Hmm, can’t say I’ve heard that as yet. How many playing hours do you estimate when this popped up?

Well I thought I had them run in so I have been only listening 3 or 4 hours a day. . I think I might be near 200 hours. The two days prior they sounded fabulous. Thus I was pretty perplexed.

I think I recall some moments with the TPC series 2 where they ran a bit rough to my ears. It might be al small diameter wire and FEP insulation. I have read it can take 400 hours or more for insulation and 300 for silver plated wires to settle down.

I went back and retightened the cables and jumpers on mids and highs. They were loosened slightly after initial playing which it often normal after initial install and playing . The LF was still down.

Seems I am still fighting the issue so far today. I checked all settings this far even switched off DSP with same sound. I even tied manual trim controls and can’t boost system in mid bass. i turned system off last night versus running it. . It will be interesting how long it stays before switching back to sound I know these cables can provide

Do you maybe have a tube going haywire somewhere in the chain?

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