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Elijah Audio Quad Braid mk4 usb cable


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I am not a frequent poster and I am not trying to post an ad for Elijah Audio but I think this subject is worth a post.

 

I will start this out as saying that I am not a reviewer nor do I have experience with tons of usb cables. I saw an offer to trial the Elijah Audio Quad Braid mk4 and thought it would be a good opportunity to test a new cable. To provide some context my system consists of: 2009 MacMini (Audirvana Plus) > Mapleshade Clearlink Plus usb > MF-VLink192 > Black Cat Silverstar digital cable > Rega DAC > Tortuga passive preamp > Rogue Audio Medusa > Fritz Rev 7 speakers.

 

My initial usb cable in my foray into computer audio was the Wireworld Ultraviolet. I simply bought an entry level usb cable unsure of whether or not it made any difference in a system. After reading so many glowing reviews on the Mapleshade, I decided to give it a try. I was quite surprised at the difference it made. In comparison to the WW Ultraviolet everything came through sharper and in more detail.

 

My biggest concern about trying another cable was losing the additional detail and soundstage that I was getting with the Mapleshade in the chain. That definitely did not prove to be the case. I let it burn in for 20 hours before trying to make an assessment. Characteristics that I found were:

 

· Detail was excellent. It doesn’t add any more detail than the Mapleshade but I did not feel that I was giving up anything.

· Soundstage compared equally to the Mapleshade – it may have had more depth but differences were minimal

· Tone is full and smooth. There seems to be a fuller, smooth, and relaxed sound. This is the same impression I got when I upgraded my digital coax to the BlackCat Silverstar. This to me was the biggest differentiator between the cables.

· Dynamics? I can’t really say that I noticed a significant difference between any of the cables in this area.

 

Both of the cables are excellent and the differences to me were subtle yet noticeable. I could get on the usb cable merry-go round and try other cables in all kinds of price ranges but for me the Quad Braid mk4 delivers everything I want and can be had at a reasonable price point. If you are in the market for a usb cable, this is definitely worth a try.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using the Quad Braid as part of Elijah's U.S. road tour (also includes an Isolate Cu). A Larry Moore (Ultra Fi) prototype dac got fried for a second time, so it and his USB cable went back, leaving a temporary desktop PC computer audio system that includes everything in my signature, plus a Grant Fidelity Tube-Dac 11 with a "Russian Rocket" tube and Acme Audio fuse swapped in. After a sufficient burnin, I've found the Quad Braid to be a very nice cable, the kind I could pleasantly live with, and would were it not familiarity with what those in the $500-$1000+ bracket can offer.

 

The first things I noticed with the Quad Braid were its fine tonality and smoothness, which are what I look for above all in any component. They really stand out. For example, I've listening to Laura Marling and Richard Thompson mp3 albums via foobar/JPlay as I write. What stands out is how good the voices sound, as do the guitars (tho sometimes a bit dac tube tubby). Soundstage width and depth are good, and detail is far more than adequate.

 

For an hour yesterday, I swapped in a PS Audio PerfectWave Dac II. Even using the computer's USB port w/o LPS instead of the SOtM/Kora combo - 0.8m is not long enough - the Quad Braid handled its place really well.

 

I'd say the Quad Braid and Michael's other cables are well worth an audition. What's the difference between the Quad Braid and a $500+ USB cable? Based on my experience with a really good Ultra Fi Usartza (dual legged) - dealing with Larry Moore not recommended - I'd say what you get is not so much fundamentally different as more and better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took advantage of Elijah's US cable tour and took a listen to the Isolate Cu usb cable. Because the usb output of my macbook goes to a Jkenny modified hiface (runs on battery) I don't need power from my computer to power anything. The isolate keeps usb/computer power away from the digital signal traveling along the usb cable.

 

In all honesty I didn't expect much. My system is set up to be pretty quiet as far as self noise is concerned. My dac, hiface, line stage, and amp all run off battery power. There just isn't much of a noise floor to reduce.

But I was pretty wrong.

In comparison to the Fururtech GT2 cable that I've been using, the Elijah was better in every regard. Instruments resonated and vibrated like they do in real life. It was easier to follow different instruments all playing at the same time. My notes read back with words like "relaxing, organic, natural" Instruments just sounded more real. I'm to going to tick off a list of examples because in the end, the Elijah just made the music more fun to listen to. I have no experience in the high dollar usb game so I can't compare to the pricey competition, but at the price point, I'm sold.

I do wonder now about cutting the power leg on the firewire link to my hard drives....anyone done that yet?

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I also was the recipient of Elijah Audio's generous offer, and had the Quad Braid Mk. 4 USB cable in my system.

 

I use two DACS, a Mytek Stereo 192 DSD and a Lampizator L4 /G4.

 

I've settled on the Mapleshade Clearlink USB Plus as my go-to USB cable.

 

The Mytek is normally used via Firewire, as I feel that it sounds much better than with a USB feed.

I was surprised that the Elijah USB Cable sounded better than the generic Firewire cable I usually use, and also better than the Mapleshade.

 

OTOH, the Lampi sounded better with the Mapleshade cable.

The Elijah had a bit more bottom end, and a slightly fuller sound, but the Mapleshade presented the highs in a much more airy, smoother way.

 

The most important fact that I came away with is how critical it is to listen to any component in your system, as everything really does matter.

 

If you're looking for a USB cable, give Michael's cable a try. His return policy makes it a no brainer.

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