Iconoclast BAV XLR vs Gen 1 ETPC XLR

Has anyone tried both of these XLRs options? I’m finding it difficult to find any comparative options. Obviously, the BAVs are much cheaper (and more flexible) but I’m confused by the statement that they are ‘very close’ to the Gen1s.

I have used both. They are very close, BAV lack just that little last bit of clarity and focus. I needed the flexibility or I would have kept the TPC. You must try both in your system to know.

Thanks Brett - I appreciate the response. I guess I’ll try them both and see what happens but given burn in times not sure I can try them both out properly.

I didn’t find either respective character changed much over time. A couple weeks with each (or both at the same time) should be plenty.

If you need the flexibility or have budget constraints, no question BAV, all other cases Iconoclast.

Thanks again! What other interconnects did you compare them with?

I had Belden 1800F from Blue Jeans for several years

FWIW, I auditioned the BAV and G2 ETPC XLR’s. Very close on my system as well. I ended up sending the G2 ETPC’s back mainly because I needed the extra flexibility of the BAV. I really didn’t feel that I was loosing out though. As Brett66 said, it’s that last little bit of clarity & focus that the Icono’s get ya. For the price and if price is the main denominator, get the BAV’s and don’t worry about it. After living with them for the last 6+ months I have never felt like I need to change or wish I could have made the Icono’s work. They really get it right, in a very neutral way.

On the other hand I also compared the BAV RCA’s to the G2 Icono RCA’s and felt there was a much bigger difference between the two compared to the XLR shootout above. Ended up with a couple pair of the G2 RCA’s, and the BAV XLR and one pair of the BAV RCA’s for phono use (and because there was no money left, lol). Will trade-in the BAV RCA’s for the Icono’s when I can though.

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Thanks @jslateiv, that’s very useful info.

Great info. I have held off specifically because of flexibility issues. Speaker cables would be the priority in my situation, then I’d opt for the XLRs.

I went with the Icono speaker cables first as well. Excellent upgrade. Ended up with the TPC and felt they were superior (in my system) over the OFE. Didn’t have the budget for the STPC so didn’t even try them.

Did you find the OFE to be slightly relaxed versus the TPC, or to put it another way was the TPC more forward in its presentation?

Yes, in my sys the OFE was def more relaxed or a bit darker/recessed if you will. This was more noticible on the top end. The TPC seemed to shimmer and shine in comparision if you will, but not in a bad or distracting way. Very natural.

Thanks, that helps.

You are all spot-on on the differences;
BAV - designed to be absolutely as CLOSE to the GEN 1 design as possible but with, of course, the flexibility a paramount advantage for harsh installations.
GEN 1 - These up the dielectric properties with all Fluorocopolymer.
GEN 2 These lower the conductor impedance efficiency across the frequency range with smaller and more conductors.

The tech papers show all the changes, and what the measurements show to be changed. There aren’t any hidden magic in ICONOCLAST, just logical improvements. Copper still need needs to be auditioned as we have no measurements that match the physical changes in the structure of the wire. How the physical and identical electrical measurements support the copper does vary. Something we aren’t measuring is clearly different electrically. Still, that’s not going to tell you how it sounds any more than L or C variations. Those values are INDICATORS of possible “sound” performance. This is why we can’t judge components just on those values.

The differences in the sound, using the same copper as a reference, will climb the ladder in sound differences. The amount, or if the change is better, is dependent on your IO equipment, but far less so than speaker cables where pretty substantial amplifier to cable to speaker impedance changes are going on.

RCA and XLR see a high input impedance that stays virtually stable with frequency, and this helps IC cable be more consistent than speaker cables.

Galen Gareis
ICONOCLAST design engineer

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That was a great summary.

Thanks @rower30, this is super useful.

All great questions and responses. Here is another prospective on copper variants though my own perceptions might be slightly different on speaker cables. I love the SPTPC in my system.

Thanks, unfortunately, the article doesn’t cover BAV or Gen 1.

Hello. Is there information/experience relative to the GEN 1 used as an AES/EBU cable, and the 3 metal types available?

Pro’s use the TPC for AES/EBU as the digital is re-clocked at the equipment end and the sound is the DA quality. Noise in an XLR is really low so that’s not an issue.

The BAV series, for the pros, is a TPC only design for that reason. ALL Ethernet is TPC no matter the grade. Digital doesn’t “see” the copper once the signal leaves the cable and is inside the NIC card and re-clocked. For ANALOG, the effects of the cable no matter what it is, stays with the signal. Not so with digital, the cable’s “sound” is lost with Ethernet re-clock and that’s a good thing!

If we have cable with POWER and other signals running concurrent (USB, HDMI and the like) we can have shield issues and cross-talk that can compromise longer cable runs from inductive coupling. Ethernet is pretty bare bones digital, though. Ethernet PoE is DC so no noise there. Well, unless your PoE is crap.

Use the TPC XLR and compare it to the OFE, there should be no real difference in AES/EBU. And yes, use the ~100 ohm gen1 design for AES/EBU.

The ICONOCLAST was designed for ANALOG and still is and why the three copper choices are available. For AES/EBU we recommend the BAV XLR.

Galen Gareis

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