I would think some 3/8" ~10mm fiber reinforced Tygon tubing or maybe 1/2" garden hose from the hardware store would probably be a good representation for required length measuring and fit purposes? I think I will pick some up today to use as a length trial test for interconnects.
I use VISIO to model the cabinet and interconnects. However, garden hose can be a practical approach. VISIO helped me with placing my P20 above my BHK250. Preamp to amp need to be modeled for XLR cables. When physically implemented it was spot on. Also, Nordost XLR was speced at 0.6m and I measured them to make sure. Oddly enough the 0.6m was after an acceptable bend radius. They are actually 30in end to end.
Thank you! Very helpful and very much appreciated.
Careful. XLR cables, due to polarity orientation, need to TWIST up to 180 degrees. RCA don`t have that issue and can use much tighter bends as it is a smaller cable and sees no axial torque. The XLR need to absorb that torque AND the bend, both. Too short cables don’t allow those stress to be absorbed. Three increased to four feet of length is substantial in stress reduction of axial twist. The min bend radius should be 10x cable diameter or 10x0.320", 3.2" times 2 for a ~6.5" mandrel.
ICONOCLAST are made with the best dielectric available and in a structure to provide the best measured electrical possible. Air core cables are stiffer, no question. I know some of you want it all and so do I but, physics is as it is. To illustrate that, read on.
To that end, I have BAV designs that use a different dielectric and are super flexible. They use single wire 4x1 design as the 4x4 isn’t appropriate for the tight bends the cable can accommodate. These are near the same measured values as the ICONOCLAST 4x1 FEP dielectric cables, but made to be super flexible. They are self healing air tubes!
You can’t do BOTH maximized sound quality and flexibility at the same time. I certainly won’t do half way there, as these are best in class cables for the purpose each is made for.
For those interested in the analysis, send me your direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I can’t do attachments here, and I’ll send the design analysis on the BAV high flex. There is substantial changes to design the BAV XLR and RCA cable to arrive at superb electrical for the application.
We will get the 4x4 BAV high flex analysis paper added to the web site soon.
I’m very impressed by the engineering you put into these cable. And look very much forward to hear more about these 4x4 BAV high flex cables. (What does BAV stand for?)
Thank you for that hint to be careful. I’ll try to follow that advice. Let’s see… I’m considering getting some over to Europe/Germany, which will involve customs and other trouble etc. Anyhow, I’m in the process of thinking it through, taking measurements, putting pennies in a jar…
a) 1m XLR (Vovox textura, unshielded) between Directstream and Pass Labs Pre.
b) 10m XLR (Vovox sonorus direct, also unshielded) between the Pass and my active speakers (ATC SCL50ASL). I might get these down to 9m, but as the ICONOCLAST are not that flexible, I probably should stay with 10m.
These Vovox are good cables (actually the system sounds great, I can’t imagine how it should sound better, just reality told me another story again and again), but I’m convinced your design is superior. Still, I can’t replace both of them at the same time, the jar ist just not full enough yet. For the 10m run I can “only” afford a pair of 1x4 OFE. For the short one (following your advice to go with four feet minimum) I want to go for a pair of 4x4 OFE.
My thinking goes like: Replacing the long run with a 1x4 will have a greater impact than the short run with a 4x4, as that line has varying, low voltage (I keep the DAC always at 100 and change volume via the Pre - and I listen to low levels most of the time, below 1 V), and the cable is ten times longer (so more timing issues and possible noise issues as my current cables are unshielded).
Do you agree?
I think BAV stands for Belden Audio Video. It is their professional line.
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!
At Belden BAV is the “Broadcast and AV” team. It is a key component of the Belden Enterprise division. Primary functions are large venue broadcast, sporting venues such as stadiums, the Master’s, the Olympics, Network facilities, NASCAR tracks, commercial AV integration with the national integrators, contractors, engineers, specifiers and consultants. These are only examples since Belden is hands down the choice cabling provider for restaurant and retail chains, hotels, cruise ship lines, government, military and practically everything you can come up with. 117-years designing and manufacturing leading edge technology products primarily in the USA. Recent acquisitions has moved Belden into the forefront as the technology leader, patent holder and primary provider now including broadband and data. Signal transmission and delivery any time, any where and on any device and it better work. That’s Belden. And since I no longer work for Belden it is not really a sales pitch but rather stating facts. Oh, and I didn’t talk about Telecast, Grass Valley, Think Logical and other recent acquisitions.
BAV just stands for Belden Audio Video. These fall under the extra high end of the studio market products where XLR durability, cost and performer are a different balance (pun there).
The longer the cable the more it changes things, yes. The differences SHOULD mirror your current “differences” in magnitude UNLESS you have vastly different types of cable in the long verses short runs. Really good cable in a long run can be better than bad cable in a short run.
Can you try them here, first…it’s free?
The cables were all made to please ME first. They were actually never intended to sell at all. They were a blue sky development effort to square away what cables could, or could not do, for audio. I was very surprised what they did, and so were several beta testers. There is ZERO “marketing” in the cables. They are made to work as best as possible, and stay in reasonable manufacturing costs. Every decision was based on real measurement and calculations. If those numbers didn’t get better based on how I prioritized what made the biggest differences, the cable
didn’t get made. Reasonable priced is relative to the market they perform within where there is no such thing as too good. BUT, there is, to me, a too much to pay for nice cables so overhead is kept out everywhere we can. Still, these are difficult to make cables.
ICONOCLAST is pretty much BEFORE a TEAM or committee ruins them! One person, one objective, one vision.
Send me your direct email to email@example.com and I will forward you my BAC cable design justification paper. This isnt a maketing paper, by the way, but truly HOW the cable works. Stuff you should know to see if this product is right for you.
The high flex does the primary fustification, be flexible. The second, and far higher in the performance range than typical for this kind of cable, is measured performance. It is near the equal to the 4x1 iconoclast XLR. It can`t be exact as the dielectric had to change to a SOLID type with different electrical values but I got it darn close, though.
The most amazing attribute is that the air tubes self heal if you bend the cable too tight. Something REALLY necessary in a rough studio or like application. This was done with some tricky geometry and structure adhesion zones.
The paper explains all this. Cable is not nearly as simple as people want to believe it is. Truly good cables are marvels of physicsl and electrical balance. Look at the demands people place on cable, yet expect every aspect to be at 100% of capability, and be nearly free. You get what you pay for, and ONE aspect has to be first.
I posted this in another thread but it should be here.
I have the Gen1 XLRs in my system (DSsnr, BHKpre, BHK S300 monos) and also Iconoclast speaker cables. All TPC. I was thinking of ordering a 5ft Gen2 interconnect to compare (I’m in Australia) but my preamp -to-power amp XLR is 27ft so wondering if that length of Gen1 XLR will negate any uplift from the other cables?
Hi Frank, you should be fine with a 5’ cable. I will have to stand by until Galen comments. I also might ask him if there is benefit in moving to the 4x4 design while everything else is a 1st Generation design. Galen will respond shortly.
Yes, the chain will be best if it is all the same cable for sure, but there will be improvements trying a gen II in the link. With the improved 4x4 the wire coherence is better, providing a sharper focus and stage location of sounds. The new design lowers phase, too (lower inductance) but the wire coherence (smaller wires) is the major thing you hear in my experience. You need BOTH improvements to really do it right.
I switched back briefly from gen 2 TPC to Belden 1800F to experience the difference. It was immediately clear and I chose to switch back to the gen 2 in short order.
Have been lurking here a bit and I am thinking of making a jump from current interconnects mogami Gold and speaker wire to the Iconoclast series.
I have a set of Mcintosh MC1000 amps and audioquest 500 series spades were not wide enough for the amp termination. Will your spades fit the MC1000 binding post. The speakers are Mcintosh XR290s with stock binding posts. I could get by with a five foot or 6 foot length.
The current Mogami gold XLRs are a one foot length from the PS Direct Stream. The preamp to amp XLR s a five foot version.
The MC1000 XLR connection points straight up. Will the gen 1 or Gen 2 be better to make the bend. What is the desired bend radius on both cable types? The curent Mogami does a four inch downward loop. I am looking to improve phase and timing between frequencies. Is matching or mixing gen 1 or 2 best. Where are the best bang for the bucks to be achieved?
Now for conductor type. My highs are nice right now with Mogami Gold. What are recommendations there for sound on the speaker and Interconnects?
We have a large 9mm spade for speaker cables. Check what binder post size is used. 9mm are pretty big.
I would NOT recommend a one foot XLR iconoclast cable, you need length to absorb the twist to align the XLR as they are polarized, and will require up to a 180 degree twist.
With FEP air tubes, either 1x4 or 4x4 XLR have the same bend limitations. Sound is absolute first place. The BAV design is easily used in one foot length, because it was DESIGNED to be! But, it can
t SOUND as good as it uses a dielectric better suited for bends. It can be very close, though. Whos on first is a different requirement.
The recommended bend radius is 10x cable diameter, or 10x0.320", so this is about 6.5" mandrel DIAMETER end. Iconoclast is a true air tube design, tubes are STIFF by physical design regardless of material.
I would TRY the cables PRIOR to purchase for actual fit. 3 feet is the most practicle short length for FEP iconoclast XLR. There is nothing to be gained using shorter cables, they may be damaged.
Send me you direct email, and I can forward the BAV design justification paper. The BAV are very, very good high flex design cables.
We want you to understand the product.
VMax, I just called and left a VM at Mac to make sure I give you good information. I suspect you will need the 9mm option. I will let you know as soon as I hear back. If the budget allows then I recommend the SPTPC speaker leads and OFE, 4X4 XLR cables. As Galen stated, we are reluctant to make cables shorter than 3’. We also have a 90 degree termination option of the bend ratio is of concern.
Physical characteristics of Iconoclast Speaker Cables
The ICONOCLAST speaker cables are rectangular in cross section; JKT DIA: 0.405" X 0.355"
The ICONOCLAST XLR cables are round in cross section; JKT DIA: 0.324" +/-0.010"
Min Bend Should be 10X cable diameter no load, and 20X diameter with load.
These are true AIR CORE designs on the interconnect so, like any tube, they can be KINKED if bent too tight. The copper doesn’t change the size any at all, it is just a material change in the copper itself.
Speaker cables are stiffer due to the TIGHT proximity of the two polarities for best electrical, and bend best across the minor axis, but this will be obvious when you handle them.
I have users who have used speaker and interconnects up to 35 feet with excellent results.
ICONOCLAST Design Engineer.
VMAX, you will need 9MM spades to work with the MC1000’s.
Good News from Blue Jeans Cable. The Gen 2, 1X4 RCA cable is now available (in stock) in the plant in the OFE copper variant. These will be special! Snow at the plant yesterday causing us to mostly loose a day.
They got a snow day? No fair!