Headphone Recabling

Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
646
So i didn't find any topic on this but i was curious. Looking through the Headphone pics thread i noticed alot of you get your cans recabled. So i ask, what exactly is the purpose of this and what are the benefits?
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
Ohh no he's entering the world of cables!!! it's never ending ...

Anyway, I've done many A / B listening tests, it's ridiculous, but cables make a difference
Some will improve bottom end, some will sound crisper in the high end, some give you a slightly wider sound stage, while others will smooth out the high end.
My experience is mainly with RCA Interlinks, not actual headphone cables, but the same things will apply.

Someone please chime in with more experience! BTW what headphones do you have?
 

Cat1yst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
1,616
it affects the sound slightly...nothing too great...but improvements nevertheless
its the last thing you should upgrade...
 

dandragonrage

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
8,298
Absolutely no difference can be heard, unless your cable is broken. And by no, I mean absolutely none, not the smallest amount. #2 needs to do some double blind A/B/X listening tests, anything less is meaningless.
 

Viper87227

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
18,018
Here we go... :rolleyes:

There are going to be people that say cables make an audible difference, and others that say not a chance... and this subject pretty much always turns into an arguement.

The bottom line is, it does, and I've done A-B testing as cloes as you can. My current headphones, I ABed with two pairs on hand, both around the same number of hours, one stock, one with a silver cable I put in, both plugged into my amp at the same time so that I could just switch back and fourth directely, and it was most certainly noticable. I could have been blindfolded and told you every time which was which.

It is minimal, and to many, the cost isn't worth it, but the difference IS there. However, enhanced SQ is not the only reason to do a recable. I've done several simply to customize the cable to my liking. You can get a much better looking, more durable cable, custom to the exact length you need, and half the time that alone is the reason to do it. There is also of course also the fact that people often recable headphones as a means to reterminate them to a different sized plug or a balanced configuration.
 

dandragonrage

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
8,298
Your test was meaningless. Do a double-blind ABX test and get back to us. Or just continue to think the way you do, but realize that your test is meaningless. Placebo effect.
 
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
555
I'll agree that there is a very small difference. I've never heard anything drastic from changing cables unless the cable was having problems to begin with or was a $2 radio shack cable. One thing to point out in all of this is that even professional studios and audio schools don't always use expensive mic cables and everything else. That must say something about price vs what they really give you...
 

Garret Jax

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
296
Your test was meaningless. Do a double-blind ABX test and get back to us. Or just continue to think the way you do, but realize that your test is meaningless. Placebo effect.

Notice the well-mannered, respectful attitude in this post. He's really going for the hearts and minds!
 

phide

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
16,693
Absolutely no difference can be heard, unless your cable is broken. And by no, I mean absolutely none, not the smallest amount. #2 needs to do some double blind A/B/X listening tests, anything less is meaningless.
That certainly isn't true. While I'm of the group that believe that cable improvements yield benefits that are sometimes vastly minimal (and certainly inaudible in some cases), they can indeed yield audible improvements.

You have to understand that the majority of interconnects we use in the home (and many we also use in the studio) are unbalanced. They are susceptible to interference of various sorts. Electromagnetic induction becomes audible because there is no component that cancels out the effects of that interference. A low-gauge, thinly-shielded cable is more susceptible to such interference than a high-gauge, thickly-shielded cable. That's pure physics -- there are no differences in opinion on this. Even balanced cables are susceptible to the same kinds of interference. The audible impact is minimized because balanced connections employ a system which isolates and rejects the induction throughout the length of the cable, but that certainly doesn't mean it can't be inaudible.

This is all exceedingly well-documented, and common knowledge amongst both engineers and enthusiasts. High-quality cables can yield audible sonic improvements, though may not always.

Whether or not re-cabling is "worth it" is an entirely different debate that could have no possible conclusion. It's a choice, so don't mislead someone's contemplation of that choice with blatant misinformation. You are in no position to demand A/B testing from anyone, and in no position to determine whether or not various experiences or tests are "meaningless".

To answer the OP's question, re-cabling can increase clarity, heighten the extremes in frequency response and reduce noise slightly. But, again, whether or not it's worth it is probably not something we could answer for you in any definitive fashion.
 

FLECOM

Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar
Staff member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Messages
15,740
i recable all my headphones myself with the mogami neglex 2534... its pretty inexpensive and it sounds just plain great IMHO... use all gold plated neutric connectors also... a few ITT cannons when i have them on hand already... i mostly recable to make my headphones balanced for my dynamight but certain cables are especially bad and should be replaced (sennheiser 5xx 6xx series cable comes to mind)
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
Absolutely no difference can be heard, unless your cable is broken. And by no, I mean absolutely none, not the smallest amount. #2 needs to do some double blind A/B/X listening tests, anything less is meaningless.

LOL ... did I not say I did A / B tests!?
Yes, double blind with a random swapping of interlinks on each input after each test.
The pre-amp used had 5-inputs and we had two sources with three interlinks that night. Did these tests with Audio Technica AD900s and you could pick out the source (one source had 2 avail outs) and interlinks fairly easily after a few minutes of going back and forth.

The one point I want to make is that this is one of those things that will be never ending, you'll always hear about some other cable that's supposed to bring the world across at amazing clarity or whatever. You just GOTTA STOP SOMEWHERE.

I'd do some research and just stop at one cable... and call it done, it may be worthwhile improvement to your cans.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
646
Wow, i like the fact there's quite a bit of discussion but i didn't want to start a war, stay cool dudes. While i myself don't have a pair of headphones worth recabling ( i plan on buying a good pair soon ), i just wanted to know why people do that. I think the most appealing part of the recabling is the protection to the wire, and i've had plenty headphone wires minced in some way or another. Thanks for the replies though.
 

spaceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
14,877
audiophiles are a bigmisterfussypants bunch of ninnies. I know b/c I am one!

Cables give a different flavor at most but there's just a bit more "quality" to a say K340 that really needs recabling but for a modern headphone the biggest benefit is found in balancing the can.

The HP-1000 has that ultrabandwidth cable that certainly makes a difference imo.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,454
recabling may or may not make a difference in the sound quality. if there is a difference, it will be very slight, and may offer to balance out your set up (if needed).

with the differences so slight, I believe the money (plus an additional savings) is better spend on better gear, not just better cables.

of course, this is subjective, but better headphones will sound better and are generally more expensive. guys, we are dealing in vague generalities here, so don't go with bang-for-buck crap now. so save the recabling fee, sell you current headphones, put some extra cash down and you will be able to buy better headphones. Hopefully there will be no argument that they will sound better.
 

Nicolaskl

Gawd
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
973
LOL ... did I not say I did A / B tests!?
Yes, double blind with a random swapping of interlinks on each input after each test.
The pre-amp used had 5-inputs and we had two sources with three interlinks that night. Did these tests with Audio Technica AD900s and you could pick out the source (one source had 2 avail outs) and interlinks fairly easily after a few minutes of going back and forth.

The one point I want to make is that this is one of those things that will be never ending, you'll always hear about some other cable that's supposed to bring the world across at amazing clarity or whatever. You just GOTTA STOP SOMEWHERE.

I'd do some research and just stop at one cable... and call it done, it may be worthwhile improvement to your cans.

A/B doesn't inherently mean double blind. How exactly did you make the test double blind? So you could easily pick out all six different combinations of interlinks and sources in a double blind test? 100% of the time? How many times did you ABX? I find that pretty difficult to believe. A lot of the time audiophiles have trouble identifying the difference between things like amps and CD players in an DB ABX test, so being able to AB(C in this case)X interconnects infallibly seems like bunk.
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
:D
A/B doesn't inherently mean double blind. How exactly did you make the test double blind? So you could easily pick out all six different combinations of interlinks and sources in a double blind test? 100% of the time? How many times did you ABX? I find that pretty difficult to believe. A lot of the time audiophiles have trouble identifying the difference between things like amps and CD players in an DB ABX test, so being able to AB(C in this case)X interconnects infallibly seems like bunk.

Seems like the OP is done with us !!! but just to throw in the last 2cents...

Please don't make me look up a double-blind test and how to do it ... I'll just explain what we did real quick.
Two sources, E-MU 0404 PC Sound Card / External DAC fed through USB/COAX (I forgot)
Three Interconnects +Generic Cables - All I remember was I liked Silver Cable the most (I'm not a huge AudioPhile)
One Cambridge Azur 640 Integrated Amp (Front Headphone Out used)

We filled three inputs with all high-end interconnects, external DAC had two outs.
First step - Listen, get used to which one is which, keep doing it over and over till you're familiar with the differences.
Secondly, the interconnects were swapped but not the sources, the listener did not see what inputs were used.
Like I said before, after a while, we got real good at picking out the source and the interconnect used. The sources were easy, since the EMU and the External DAC had much different soundstage and stereo seperation. Also, the EMU had a bit flatter, more EQ-ed sound to it, where the DAC was real open and had more vocal presence. Here's where it shows I'm not a true AudioPhile, I really liked the EMU0404 and the Silver Cable - It was very easy on the ears, comfortable, something you could listen to for hours at a time. The External DAC was a real eye opener, but kinda drilled into your ears after a while!
Third Step - Swap things randomly without knowing what went where!
Anyway, I couldn't believe the BS when I went through it, but since then, I know there's a difference especially with high end gear. Every single time before, when someone bought some high end cable, I'd just think, "uhuh ... that's nice ... those look good !!!":D
 

Nicolaskl

Gawd
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
973
So you don't even know what a double blind test is, but you're sure you did it. About what I figured. Your test wasn't double blind. I question whether it was even really single blind. And it wasn't an ABX test.
 

dandragonrage

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
8,298
So you don't even know what a double blind test is, but you're sure you did it. About what I figured. Your test wasn't double blind. I question whether it was even really single blind. And it wasn't an ABX test.

FINISH HIM

muahaha

But hey, it's just some stupid wire. Let's not start a war...
 

delerium

n00b
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
55
shit, you guys are all argueing about wether it sounds better...


i think it just looks cool :cool:
 

Cat1yst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
1,616
If you want to look at it scientifically *cough* Nicolaskl *cough* the distortion ratio in silver...is different than tin....(think ratshack cables)
 

FLECOM

Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar
Staff member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Messages
15,740
recabling may or may not make a difference in the sound quality. if there is a difference, it will be very slight, and may offer to balance out your set up (if needed).

with the differences so slight, I believe the money (plus an additional savings) is better spend on better gear, not just better cables.

of course, this is subjective, but better headphones will sound better and are generally more expensive. guys, we are dealing in vague generalities here, so don't go with bang-for-buck crap now. so save the recabling fee, sell you current headphones, put some extra cash down and you will be able to buy better headphones. Hopefully there will be no argument that they will sound better.

which is why i recommend the mogami cable... its very inexpensive and excellent cable... anything that costs more is probably just a waste of money
 

phide

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
16,693
If you want to look at it scientifically *cough* Nicolaskl *cough* the distortion ratio in silver...is different than tin....(think ratshack cables)
I'd like to try out silver-based interconnects as much as the next guy, but the artificially-devised pricing structures are intolerable. I'm not entire sure how the fine folks at Nordost, and other similar so-called "high end" cable manufacturers, are able to sleep at night.
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
So you don't even know what a double blind test is, but you're sure you did it. About what I figured. Your test wasn't double blind. I question whether it was even really single blind. And it wasn't an ABX test.

L O L !!! does this sum it up.
"Double blind means that nobody in the room or the imediate surrounding can know if X is A or B"

B T W why am I hearing this from someone who's got high end Denon gear?
You didn't buy a SONY just cuz it's cool and has pretty flashy lights, you bought Denon.
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
I'd like to try out silver-based interconnects as much as the next guy, but the artificially-devised pricing structures are intolerable. I'm not entire sure how the fine folks at Nordost, and other similar so-called "high end" cable manufacturers, are able to sleep at night.

Agreed. I guess we could all get filthy rich selling those cables.
Shoot, sell one cable for a few thousand dollars, with a markup of 1.2Billion Gigawats and you can take a vacation! Must be nice
 

dandragonrage

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
8,298
B T W why am I hearing this from someone who's got high end Denon gear?
You didn't buy a SONY just cuz it's cool and has pretty flashy lights, you bought Denon.

Because Sony is weak on FEATURES, even in their ES lineup. Try reading AVSForum sometime if you can't understand that. Also, what does it have to do with this thread? I have this receiver and other than having less hiss than the Technics it replaced (which is certainly a good thing), I can't say it's noticibly better sounding. But it has way more power and way more features.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,454
I'd like to try out silver-based interconnects as much as the next guy, but the artificially-devised pricing structures are intolerable. I'm not entire sure how the fine folks at Nordost, and other similar so-called "high end" cable manufacturers, are able to sleep at night.

easily, with 100% Egyptian cotton sheets with a bazillion thread count, a thousand dollar pillow with blankets stuffed with feathers from only day old ducks.

like any "hobby" the top end is dominated by exclusivity not practicality or cost effectiveness. That goes for video cards as well.
 

phide

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
16,693
That doesn't hold true for all products, and there's a cost of manufacturing factor that you're omitting. Using your example, consumer video cards, the retail price is not significantly higher than the BOM. Factor in the many other associated costs, and NVIDIA, AMD and AIBs aren't making large profits on a per-product basis. Granted, these products are targeted (and priced) for a wider audience, but the BOM tends to float around half the MSRP (higher at the low end, and lower at the high end). To me, that's quite reasonable. The case is not so for most silver interconnects.

The problem here is that you have essentially one company that establishes a sort of "benchmark" price, and lesser-known manufacturers just end up undercutting slightly to attempt to gain an edge. The lack of demand is also problematic, though no manufacturers, that I'm aware of, have attempted to bring silver cabling into the mainstream, reducing the need for high per-product margins. Even Monster has only dabbled in useless "silver coated" conductors.
 

Viper87227

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
18,018
I'd like to try out silver-based interconnects as much as the next guy, but the artificially-devised pricing structures are intolerable. I'm not entire sure how the fine folks at Nordost, and other similar so-called "high end" cable manufacturers, are able to sleep at night.

Thats why you make then yourself :p. It can be done rather cheaply.
 

Nicolaskl

Gawd
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
973
If you want to look at it scientifically *cough* Nicolaskl *cough* the distortion ratio in silver...is different than tin....(think ratshack cables)

Link? I've never heard of this quantitative distortion ratio measurement that you're talking about. If you're talking about being a good conductor then yes, tin sucks, but copper rules, and copper is cheap.
 

MrkXCeL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
1,207
MrkXCeL said:
B T W why am I hearing this from someone who's got high end Denon gear?
You didn't buy a SONY just cuz it's cool and has pretty flashy lights, you bought Denon.
Because Sony is weak on FEATURES, even in their ES lineup. Try reading AVSForum sometime if you can't understand that. Also, what does it have to do with this thread? I have this receiver and other than having less hiss than the Technics it replaced (which is certainly a good thing), I can't say it's noticibly better sounding. But it has way more power and way more features.

dandragonrage, relax man, was I saying anything good about SONYs'?
Please re-read my sentence. BTW nice receiver. I own this
If SONY's have anything, it is a bunch of features, uselss over-exagerated features.

You know, honestly time to lock this thread...

I love the [H]forums, but man, seeing stuff like this day in day out gets lame.
I come here to learn something, I think the OP was trying to do the same.
Most of the questions here get handled like this, only rarely does someone resolve their problem or question... kinda sad. Peace out
 
Top