What Balanced ICs

Hi Folks,

I have been using DirectStream DAC in all Genesis system. DS directly into Genesis M60 tube monos. Only have rca single ended input.

I have acquired new amps - Oasis S200M SS mono blocks - Class A to 200w per side. They have both SE and XLR inputs. I have reread the DS manual a see that balanced is the way to go. (I was using Silnote ICs prior)

What XLR ICs do you recommend?



You’ll probably get as many recommendations as you get responses. I’m using Belden Iconoclast balanced interconnects (the least expensive model) from DS to preamp and preamp to BHK250 and have been very happy with them. There is a thread on them at http://www.psaudio.com/forum/accessories-cables-and-room-tuning/belden-iconoclast-interconnects-and-speaker-cabling/

Superb recomendation

stevem2 said ...I'm using Belden Iconoclast balanced interconnects (the least expensive model) from DS to preamp and preamp to BHK250 and have been very happy with them...
Where do you audition/purchase these gems?



As far as I know and if nothing’s changed the only place to get them is hansonav.com in Dayton, OH. They don’t exactly feature the Beldens on their website. Give them a call or email them. They should be able to arrange a home trial and they sell with a 14-day return option. There are attachments in the Iconoclast thread with product details in case you didn’t see them.

What does Paul M. use?

MG Audio Cables are my favorite. While I have tried the Beldens and like them, they don’t hold a candle to the MG.

Thank you kind sir.

JGlacken1, just as a heads up, both the Belden and the MG Audio cables are in the"Audiophile price range", so be prepared. All reports on the Belden Iconoclast are excellent and if Paul recommends the MG they must be excellent too, but at a price. Given the high price of cables I buy used, but I have never seen a pair of the Beldens for sale (they are a very recent release to the market) and I don’t recall seeing the MG’s for sale either. Keep in mind that cables can be very specific to a system, some will work great in one but not in another. It’s all about synergy.

Man, I’ve gotta hear those MGs sometime. Hanson will send you a loaner pair of the Beldens. Why they don’t have some sort of listing on their website is a total mystery to me. It makes me crazy. They are easily the best bargain (if you can call it that) out there, bang-for-buck.

Kimber Kabel Select KS1136 sound remarkably transparent from DS DAC to Classe Omega. “Affordable” only if you can find them used (where I buy most of my gear).

Audioquest Colorado from DS Dac to Hegel amp. I am certainly extremely happy with the sound I am getting, but honestly have not compared the Colorado to alternatives. They are available now at a very deep discount from MusicDirect, FWIW

Well, Hanson was kind enough to send a demo pair of Icons and hooked them up direct from PS DS to my Oasis s200 monos

and I get nothing! No sound, no hiss, no noise, no nothing. Yikes. I don’t see a switch on the amps or the dac settings to

switch from SE to XLR Balanced.

Any ideas please?


Never mind. Sorry to trouble . The switch I thought was master power is actually for SE/XLR. Duh!

I thought only I did stuff like that. And I do it more and more all the time. I’m looking forward to hearing your impressions.

The balanced outputs are better/different. Not quite a fair assessment as the ICs are different as well. Was using Silnote Morpheus Reference SE. A very good value I feel. First used them with Genesis M60 tube monos that only had SE RCA inputs. Then just acquired Oasis S200M SS monos (200W class A) which have both inputs and as the PS DS recommends Balanced XLR, I wanted to try that way. In searching the forums you all have been talking about the Belden Iconoclast, so Hanson was nice enough to send me a demo pair. I only needed a 1 meter pair, but I think I got 2 meter pair. They look very well made although a bit stiff to handle and with the extra length a bit clumsy to hook up. So I am dealing with three changes to my system: amps, cable brand and cable type. All I can say is that each change improved the system to my liking.

The class A power took control of the Genesis 5.2 speakers and once I dialed them in with proper bass setting, the whole sound stage became much more cohesive. Integration of the drivers now seems like one driver or no drivers. Speakers started to disappear. With the addition of the ICs, everything became smoother without losing any top end (more liquid) without losing any detail. Female voices became a little more chesty and the breath between notes more natural. Acoustic guitar was sitting right in front of me. Segovia was actually giving me lessons(LOL). The sound was bigger, but not artificial. I am not sure if these demos have been played before, I’ll have to check as I feel everything in electronics seems to have a break in period or at least a settle in period. Violin from Rachel Podger is not quite as edgy although when I played, it was always edgy so that sounds more normal to me. However the violin had more weight to it with the Iconoclasts. Trumpet of Miles or Botti was super smooth and tone was right on. Sax in the City files were live. Best sax I have heard in my system in my room. Coltrane too.

Is this where to stop for a while? Maybe. I am curious about the cables Paul mentioned and also Siltech Classic 770i.

BTW, this all started when I was really thinking about new speakers. Then I will need new speaker wire 'cause I use Genesis wire that Gary developed due to his speakers having powered servo bass and so the synergy needed to be just so.

Anyway, I hope this helps some of you and I would be happy to try to answer your questions and if you have compared other ICs (xld) with the Iconoclasts, like Siltech or other, I would love to hear it.



Thanks for the excellent report Jeff. Let us know if you get a chance to compare with other ICs.

I have been using the Acoustic Zen Absolute copper balanced from the DS to the Cary Slp-05 preamp for a while now and wondered if there is something better out there (especially for the DS) but not too uber expensive. Anybody can tell (if that’s possible) how much do the Iconoclasts cost ? I don’t find any information on the hansonav website.

There is a price list somewhere in the Iconoclast thread, although it may be a bit out of date by now (I have not heard of any price changes but that doesn’t mean much). http://www.psaudio.com/forum/accessories-cables-and-room-tuning/belden-iconoclast-interconnects-and-speaker-cabling/

I recently upgraded from Kimber Kable KS-1121 to KS-1136, and they are excellent best I’ve heard in my system so far - neutral and natural.