Belden ICONOCLAST Interconnects and Speaker Cabling


#1006

@ELK Which cables have you purchased (sorry if I missed the details in a previous post)?


#1007

Actually, how much more HIGHER frequencies are there, not more bass. Let me explain.

First, cables can only REMOVE information, or change the PHASE of frequencies. When we listen to an instrument, the harmonics are what make one sound different from another playing, say, middle C. Nothing new there.

When we REMOVE harmonic information from the fundamental signal, the ability to properly tell what it is starts to goes away. Usually the higher frequency harmonic structure is the first to go, or get moved in phase enough to be disassociated with the fundamental. We hear a softening of the presentation. Zip cord cable does this like 1313A.

Here is a gross example, turn OFF your mains speakers, and listen to a set of stereo subs by themselves. Yes, you can hear midrange information, but the bass sounds dreadfully syrupy and soft. Muffled and smeared all over! Nothing I’d want to listen to, right? Now turn the mains ON and everything tightens up and yes, the bass seems MUCH better and tighter. There isn’t more bass per say, but now we have much more fundamentals associated with that bass, and your brain can connect it all to a single instrument.

Better and better, to a point of too costly, cable design more accurately connects the harmonics to the fundamentals. This can make music seem LOUDER, and we know that can’t really be the case (I’ve measured it). Music gets much more relaxing to process as, well, there is less processing for your brain to do to identify WHAT the fundamental is as the harmonics are able to better define it for you. This throws a way better TIMING soundstage at you. And, it is all about timing at every frequency. This timing, to my ear, is what some call a natural sound. It is what I REQUIRED ICONOCLAST to have.

Cables COULD get better but at monstrous costs. I designed for maximum bang for the buck and manufacturability. I hope the price and performance surprise everyone, and no, you don’t need $$$ copper to get vastly better sounding cables. Materials fall behind the DESIGN. This let’s ICONOCLAST offer a value that is not even considered “audiophile” by many. I proved it to myself, design first, materials second. I never made expensive copper cable till the very END of the project! Yes, high quality TPC copper is wonderful in the right DESIGN. Many of you have TPC copper, so there is no fooling you at this point. The new four wire “conductor” with TPC is better than the OPOCC single wire conductor. The DESIGN did that, not the copper. What this new design did do, is allow a far better sounding cable at a far lower price than before.

Chalk it up to Belden`s do it right on design first over just throwing money at materials. The changes are very explainable with accepted measurement and calculation. No need to join a special club to hear it, or better yet, see it proven with measurements and calculations. We measure every cable we make, and you get those values for the assembly.

EVERYONE gets to hear a more natural sounding cable and yes, it does make music seem new all over again, a newness you never get tired of. The idea was to get better more affordable for everyone.

Galen Gareis


#1008

All things being equal…what’s the bigger bang for the buck: interconnects or speaker cables? Asked another way, would you buy two sets of interconnects before speaker cables or the other way around? Thanks!


#1009

Hi Galen,

I do use subs with my Magnepan 3.7i speakers, so that goes to your point of the sound tightening up. The change in my system is definitely there and that is the reason, thanks for your explanation.
I will be using tpc cables for my home theater channels and ofe cables for the connection between my dacs and preamp, my assumption is there should be no problems with that, but will there be a step down in sound quality? I also use tpc speaker cables.
Finally, I wanted to say Hi to Elk and thank him for his welcome, also for his insight on this cable.


#1010

@amsco15: That is a good question and it probably depends on which one that you think is your weaker link. I have 24ft speaker leads, formerly very basic, and that was a big problem and a huge upgrade when I swapped in the Iconoclast speaker leads. On the other hand, when I first got Gen I XLRs, they handily smacked down “Norse God Heaven” interconnects, not cheesy by any means. The Gen IIs are even better. For me it was the speaker leads but both were significant improvements to my system. There is no easy answer to your question, IMO.


#1011

Day 2 listening to my Gen2 inters and I’ll repeat what I said yesterday that they’re better in every way than what they replaced in my system.
But your explanation about timing helps me understand why the biggest change that I’m hearing is in the depth and specificity of the soundstage. I once heard someone say that they felt like they could walk around the instruments on stage and that is actually how it sounds now.


#1012

Just plan on both. If you need to split it up the spend, just pick one and do it. You need both as I’ve experienced the past couple of days.

To comment on the bass. I first received the speaker cables. My bass apparently decreased. I had to dial in the phase as I had compensated for my lesser speaker cables. When I added the interconnects, I felt a similar loss of bass and added a couple clicks of gain to each sub. After a few hours, I came to realize there wasn’t less bass but much more articulate bass. I returned the gain to the previous setting.

Maybe some of it is cable burn-in but I think most of it is my ears adjusting to the more time coherent signal.


#1013

Amsco15,

Here is my pat answer, and you can buck it if you want to but…

If we consider what cables have to interface with we see speaker cables have a complex and ever changing reactive load, where interconnect cables see a 47k, or technically an open circuit / very low current, more resistive load. And, the load is pretty close to the same at all frequencies. Yes, too high capacitance can upset some lower quality driver circuits but those are rare.

What did I just say? Simply that speakers have a far more messy situation to deal with than interconnect cable and thus are the tougher cable to design. And, they will VARY more in their reaction to different speakers input impedance, they electrically have to. I’d try speaker cables first to tame your amps ability to drive the “speaker” as it sees the cable as part of your speaker.

Interconnect are an easier load for your driver circuit since it is essentialy the same at all frequencies and much more resistive. This means there is less variation in what the do, electrically.

OK, does less variation still mean less improvement? Not the same thing. That’s where people will flip the product that they feel does the most. But, if you ask me, and more importantly WHY, I’ll start with the speaker cable.

Galen Gareis


#1014

You are correct, the better match in harmonics make it sound “brighter” but when you hear electronic base, with poor to no overtones, it sounds just like you remember it. What happened? Your ear has more information attached to the bass fundamental, and this shifts the balance “up” when it is properly attached to the right instrument. You figure this out in time, it plain sounds more like real instruments. Real music isn’t nearly as bass heavy as we hear it at home.

We get used to the poor frequency balance of typical leads, and we have a reference bias. I did, but a switch back to my old 1313A I said, nope…that’s not right, where did the information all go?

Galen Gareis


#1015

There will be a difference, not up or down. This is why we WANT you to try the differing copper in your price range.

ICONOCLAST is about the ONLY quality audio lead that uses TPC as a choice and because it sounds so good, and allows a proper mechanical design for your money. A true head to head comparison can be made to chase out the copper`s true change. What’s the downside to allowing a real face off? Nothing except customers now pay less, and get far better sound quality in a better DESIGN.

My stance on copper, is yes, the grain structure at the quantum level changes how it superimposed at the Newtonian level. The overall magnetic field is a SUPERPOSITION of the fields of all moving individual electrons, both direction and magnitude, that make a PART of the final magnetic field. Those moving electrons are in the quantum rhelm so it is tough to be more precise with the REASON copper draw science sounds different, but it does. That’s as close as I can get you in any meaningful way.

Galen Gareis


#1016

My head hurts… :exploding_head:


#1017

There really is no reason to invoke quantum mechanics here, as MOST all relevant interactions involved in current through a wire (and the associated electron drift) can be treated classically.

Though phonon scattering of electrons is the main source of resistance in a metal, and of course is fundamentally quantum mechanical in nature, even it can be treated classically.

The main difference in electrical properties of various coppers is lattice defect scattering due to impurities and, most importantly, grain boundary scattering, both of which are classical phenomena, though of course they can be treated quantum mechanically.


#1018

Great, Monday I get to find out, and I will report what I think if there is a difference, which I know there will be, and how much. So far I’ve been very happy with the change in sound I’ve heard and on Monday I get to hear that great sound on more speakers.


#1019

Hi Galen/Bob,

I got my 2 sets of xlr interconnects yesterday as well, but unfortunately I have to wait on installing as I just got new pre that I am breaking in.

I had a quick question on the difference in DC Resistance and why there is a seemingly large difference between both sets of cables. All the other measurements seem close. Let me couch this in the fact that I have no idea what DC resistance is anyway.

Should they be closer? Also if not is there a set you would use from DS Senior to Pre vs Pre to Amp?

Here are the pics of the measurements you guys sent:

Thanks in advance.
Veneet


#1020

If it changes the direction of the electron, it will change the PHASE and the superposition (classic vector addition if you will) and the final field properties. Yes, grain boundaries will have an effect based on differing properties that, of course, make the crystal. Before we get too sure of ourselves, it was just in the last few years scientists determined that copper atoms DO NOT assemble per older “classic” models. In light of what we think we know, we find we didn’t know what we thought. We still have the problem of “sound”, however and that’s up to you to fathom as all I can do is make sure the comparisons are fair.

I have that document if you would like to review it. Interesting stuff…and it does CHANGE the crystal models used in copper. The sound is the same of course, but what we think is going on isn’t.

Galen


#1021

Vaneet,

One is for the heavy shield (low number) and the other is for the CONDUCTOR that is for smaller and higher resistance wires. And, between the two cables they are within measurement error for the type wire;(shield or conductor).

Galen


#1022

I’d be interested in reading the paper. Let me know if you’d like a place to host it for a period of time.


#1023

Thanks Galen, so really no difference using either set between pre and amp or DAC and pre


#1024

Brett,

Send me your email to galen.gareis@gmail.com and I’ll forward. Classic theory has no repeatable data to concretely define signal distortions between the wire draw structure. Yes, we can measure grains, but there is no evidence of EXACTLY how they change the electromagnetic signal. Plenty of talk, no beef. Resistivity and tensile and elongation properties are measurable, but don’t account for what we hear, and that is phase oriented as the cable is far too short for attenuation effects. Technically, on calculation, cable is too short for just about everything we CAN measure as the value can be dismissed as inaudible.

Then, you make cable as good as it can practically be made to PROVE wire and all the other parameters don’t matter only to hear that it does. Do you kill the project because you don’t like what you hear, and that it goes against classic training, or do you offer the cables, explain what you can with true calculation and measurement and also honestly say what is still not even measurably repeatable on wire?

ICONOCLAST does that, I offer what I have done to reach the DESIGNS and with measurements to show WHY the designs work. I have no secrets, and you won’t be sold any. I show what and how it was done for review, that’s far more than most esoteric sources will do for you. Being wrong possible, so why not try to be most correct? Yes, mistakes hurt your pride but being correct is more important to me.

The discussion, there is no firm data, on wire has to be at the quantum level as that’s the root of classic theory. It is the easy way out, an approximation. It is where we are most ignorant.

Remember the Mary Poppins song, start at the very beginning it’s a very good place to start? Skipping over an entire part of physics isn’t going to reach the right answer. Engineers use “approximations” to hide ignorance. Using classic theory is one such approximation because it DOES work to reach the requirements when it is used for most things. But, it doesn’t completely defining copper structures effect on electromagnetic fields. Because we don’t know everything is not a reason to do nothing. My father, working for the NASA space program said, engineering is simply the best wrong answer.- at some point shoot the engineer and make the product.

Galen Gareis


#1025

Veneer,

No difference between the cables. One reason we supply test data is so you know what you paid for, and that it works to xesign theory and calculations. The danger is that cable being a structure will VARY some, so no two lengths are exactly alike. Close enough to be measurable the same statistically, yes, but exactly the same, no. The shorter a cable is the more it is the connectors, the longer it is the more you see the cable.

ICONOCLAST is marketed differently, I agree. We feel that this is how even audio cables SHOULD be marketed. It forces a more straight up approach that can be used to define future progress. Without documented evidence of design support, what do you have? THAT is what people call snake oil.

Galen Gareis