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Best FW 800/800 cable to use between computer and ext drive?


wgscott

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The Firewire 400/400 (9 pin to 9 pin) cable that came with my Oyen Digital drive doesn't seem to make a nice firm connection to my mac mini. If I breathe on it wrong, it interrupts the connection.

 

Can anyone recommend one that doesn't suck so much?

 

I'd prefer to keep this under $12K.

 

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"I'd prefer to keep this under $12K."

 

Good luck. That may be impossible :~)

 

In my experience 400/400 cables have much better connections on both ends than 800/800 cables. The FireWire 800 connection is one of, if not the, worst termination option I've ever used. A little clip to keep it in place would make all the difference.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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I use a lot of 800/800 cables at work, and I've yet to find one where the connection is really secure. It's particularly bad when one end is connected to a laptop.

 

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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I've ordered a $20 Belkin one from Amazon that supposedly is more flexible than my Oy Vey supplied one. Apparently, the stiffness of the cable makes the problem worse. I just worry I have ruined the port on my Mini.

 

The whole point of getting the Oyen Digital drive was to use the firewire instead of USB (which is working fine, by the way).

 

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I have been battling FireWire connection problems for several weeks. It seemed no matter what I did the connection was inconsistent. I have been blaming the port on the Mac Mini instead of the cable. I gave up and put USB in place and voila issues gone. It does defeat the recommendation of not sharing the USB bus between DAC and external HDD but it works and I hear no difference.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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Is to go Thunderbolt! It's too bad there aren't many TB solutions available yet. I am currently using the Lacie Big Little Drive (whatever it's called) with modes: remove the annoying loud fan and replace the drives with 750 GB Seagate Hybrid drives.

 

BTW, I asked Oyen Digital sales folks when they are going to offer Thunderbolt solutions...and there was no replay.

 

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I found a silver colored 400/800 cable at work, in a drawer, and brought it home and it made a very nice satisfying 800 connection, and the 400 connection on the disk works fine. These connections seem completely stable, so it is definitely cable-dependent. I am also relieved that I haven't ruined the firewire port on my 2010 mini (no Thunderbolt until the 2011 mini).

 

Edit: I received my Belkin Firewire 800/800 from Amazon today. (Actually, it arrived yesterday, but I didn't find where they hid the package until today.) It also worked immediately. ($20.88).

 

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The common factor appears to be the cables that work have solid connections (you can feel it snap into place) and the cables themselves are much less rigid.

 

The one I bought, unfortunately, is 6 ft long, but since it is flexible it is easy to coil up.

 

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
In re-reading this post, I realized I confused 800 and 400. The 800 connector (as in the figure above) is what I found to be problematic. The Belkin cable solved that problem and it has been fine for a year and a half.

 

And I tried again with other FireWire 800 cables and my issues were also resolved.

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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I like the C2G cables, they are stiff though. Also Granite is a very nice cable. Unibrain is nice also. B&H Photo carries a cheap cable, Pearstone or something close. Another GREAT cheap cable is labeled Haurtian. But these are never sold as such.

One item I look for is the center plastic in the FW800 plug. I avoid the ones with nine holes. The cables with a solid center part seem to work better. And, I like the cables that have a metal housing over the FW800 plug. But not sure they are still manufactured. Not many are still manufactured period. FW does not have a very bright future.

But that can be a positive, the Oyaide cables I was paying 120.00 for two years ago are now 35.00 delivered. B&H sells the C2G cables that were 30.00 for 10.00. Stock up; drives, cables, and interfaces.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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I probably spent more than I had to to get the job done, but my Audioquest Cinnamon FireWire cable has been rock solid and completely reliable.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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