Belden ICONOCLAST Interconnects and Speaker Cabling


Yeah right. Talk to Galen about the snow and cold in Ohio…Been a nice winter here in Florida. In the 70’s again today!


Where in FL are you?


7-8 inches of snow that turned into 2 inches of solid ice. My Scion couldn’t make it up 2% grade. I’m from Montana where we drive on snow all the time but here, only an idiot tries to drive on this stuff…


Pensacola. A very beautiful spot.


Rain or shine, I gotta go to work, but I am allowed to call in dead :skull:… Yeah, SW Ohio is famous for its ice. Nasty stuff.


Yeah, I live in Hilliard on the west side of Columbus so I feel your pain. This winter has been a roller coaster of rain, ice, snow and 60 degree temperature swings.


So, my friend just had his new Jadis pre delivered (lucky sucker) and the dealer brought along, and left, some Stealth Sakra V12 interconnects and we got to play. These are fine sounding cables, mind you, but the detailed, balanced presentation of the Iconoclast Ver 2 TPCs (yes, lowly TPC) won the day. The Stealths, much like Nordost, present a crisp and forward midrange leading edge that can be appealing but the relative lack of both fine detail and open 3D soundstage that the Iconoclasts provide made the Sakras come in second place. As always, YMMV, and it’s all about what we like as individuals. So far, the only cables that I have experienced that would make me think twice about anything in the Iconoclast line are the Nordost Odins which I find to have an almost spooky “vocalist is in the room with you” thing going on. The overall balance and musicality of the Iconoclasts is better than Odin, IMHO. So is the price! (!!!) He also left behind one pair of the Stealth speaker cables (sorry, don’t know which ones). They met a similar fate. Between my own experience and reports from other people in the industry, including several current and former cable reps, on whose products one could spend literally over $100k for one loom, Galen’s designs are at least at he leading edge of the market. It would not surprise me if these are soon regarded as the best available at any price.

Note: It is possible that the helium filled jackets on the Sakras could have developed a leak and all or part of the helium was allowed to leak out. Without the proper helium charge surrounding the wiring inside the cable it IS possible that the sound of the Sakras would be totally unaffected… :laughing:

Helium. :roll_eyes:


BTW, cable comparisons are some serious sh*t.


Helium will leak through any container eventually.


Sneaky little buggers! :joy:


Exactly. So small and non-reactive, helium atoms can walk through walls, so to speak.


Thank you! I couldn’t agree more.


Sieve is right. Gas molecules can diffuse through some membranes over time. This is why that helium balloon in deflating on you.

Also, burial cables use olefin jackets so they don’t rot in the ground, not for being waterproof. The waterproofing is using grease that creates a polar to non polar barrier that holds water away from the wires. Water will diffuse through the polyethtlrne jackets. HDPE is often used for toughness, in time water will diffuse through that too.

Burial RF cables need dielectric greased to stabilize the electrical measurements. Low frequency cables don’t need the added issues of dielectric greases. They can use SOP, super absorbent polymers, to create a gel with enough water to block its migration through the cable. Fiber optics, or low frequency AC and DC cables can use “dry block” tapes or powder.

RF cable MUST have a consistent ground plane capacitance to work though. Using grease tells you ahead of time what the dielectric values will always be.


OK, already I got the question what Doesn’t diffuse? Metal tubes.

Coaxial cables for your cable service are examples, called hard line. Some are under nitrogen pressure, not a vacuum, as a vacuum pulls in the water. This keeps water out and the holes are detected and repaired. This keeps the dielectric stable too.


Quick Quiz:

The helium under the tapered, non-metallic (and therefor useless) outer sheathe of the Sakra interconnect,

a. Makes the cable lighter therefore stressing the electrons less
b. Is used in superconducting magnet arrays and therefore makes the cable…um, super… con…duuuucting? :lying_face:
c. Is useful for slashing open and inhaling for a $12k joke at your next party
d. Like, totally useless


Not totally useless, there is a slight improvement in dielectric constant with helium, improving from 1.00059 (air) to 1.0000684 for He. (remember dielectric constant is the capacitance of a unit in the tested material divided by the capacitance of the same unit in vacuum.)

I mean, if they really wanted to improve things, just put a vacuum jacket on the cable . . . .



Mm. Practically useless, then. :smiley:


Can’t use a vacuum as it pulls in moisture offsetting the gains in dielectric, it needs to be a pressurized system with your choice of gas. All systems leak somewhere even if someone doesn’t drill a hole in it in outer space.




Measuring the binding posts on the MC 1000 it appears 9mm is right. However there are plastic safety shields installed to protect from 160 amp peaks the amps can supply. What is the cable diameter if I run with safety shields. I also checked out XR290. Mcintosh used same large binding posts on the speakers. Is the speaker cable really stiff also and have bend radius issues? The bananas on the XR290 are not optimum since Roger Russel designed speakers to be pushed against back wall and having tried both pulled out and to the wall his advice to me on placement is dead on perfect. . The XR290 is unique design and some say Mcintosh best line array. I have been squeezing all performance from them by installing Isoaccoustic isolators Titan Gaias which simply took them to the stratosphere with imaging. It is time to see what wires will do.

My XR290s have a recessed binding post. I am concerned that I can navigate the spades within the recessed area . How much termination wireis on the end.

I read in one of Galen’s posts the sound differences in conductors regarding air, warmth and highs. Does the sound apply across speaker as well as interconnects? I am also wondering how the trial period works to get the cables right. You mentioned I should trial fit on length.

I have some work colleagues in on the 19th of this month into DFW from southern CA. I would like to be able to swap out conductor types then. Do you have some trial cables ready to go? How does the selection and trial work regarding credit card charges? Do I order by phone or the iconoclast site? I am leaning towards aTPC vs OFE trial. But might be able to swing the STPC for speakers. If they bring out pleasing performance.




Speaker verses interconnect will not show same same type of sonic changes. My comments are on my system, and will vary from different set-ups.

We have many users who go opposite ways on their favorite cable. The cost is the copper and not the sound. More money isn’t better sounding every time and in every system, this is why we have the TPC as it is so good in so many systems.

Bob can get you going to make sure you get the right cables.