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Advice on FW 800 cable


PierreDLC
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Hello,

 

I got a new MBP which I must connect to a Weiss Minerva. Hence, MBP FW800 output to Minerva FW400 input. Some members suggested to get GoldX cable but it doesn't exist yet with 9 pin connector (FW800). Does anyone know a source where to buy good quality cable with such configuration ? I spent a lot of time browsing the internet looking for one. But no result for the moment.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Pierre

 

MPB/iTunes + Audirvana / Amarra / AVS 3D - Accuphase E 550 / DAC 30 - Apertura Altra Signature

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Hi Pierre,

 

Belkin makes great cables. I purchased the FW 800 cable from Apple:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/TP319LL/A

 

Although, I haven't compared it to others yet, I've been told that the Belkin FW 800 cable sounds the best.

 

Gary

 

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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got this one, and likes it...not sure if from here or another distributor

http://www.granitedigital.com/firewire1394-b3ft6pinto9pinwithled.aspx

 

He has Mini to Weiss and needed 9 pin to 6 pin too.

 

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Pierre - Ooops, I missed the part that you were looking for a FW 400 to FW 800 cable.

 

Here is the Belkin version that is 6-pin to 9-pin Firewire:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/TP320LL/A?mco=Nzk2ODc5NQ

 

Gary

 

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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Here's what I recommend:

 

Get a GoldX 6pin to 4pin cable. 2 meter should cost $7.94 plus shipping from Cables Plus.

 

http://store.cablesplususa.com/cpcgx1394ab-06.html

 

Get an adapter to convert from 9pin (FW800) male to 4pin female.

 

The adapter will cost more than the cable.

 

Voila - a 9pin to 6pin cable using GOldX AND eliminating the power signal running the length of the Firewire cable(as 6pin or 9pin is required for power).

 

The guys at VRS (who first recommended the GOldX for audiophile use) don't yet have a recommendation for FW800 cables.

 

As mentioned above, Granite Digital is a well known pro audio source.

 

clay

 

 

 

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to eliminate power, versus keeping a clean GoldX path (i.e adapterless, no extra connections to muck up the signal path)? I know Geoff (Silverlight) was touting this originally but never heard whether it's theoretical or sonically good in practice. And what kind/brand of adapter impacts the least, sonically? Thanks

Ted

 

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the short answer is 'not yet', and it's not likely to happen soon for a number of reasons.

 

On one hand, I'm a recovering 'audiophile' - in the sense that I'm no longer paranoid about 'adapters', I no longer listen to 'audiophile' discs (unless I would listen to the same content from a non-audiophile label/format/etc.). Down with audiophile nervosa. I think you get the idea.

 

On the other hand, the 'power' issue could make a difference, and this probably deserves investigation, i.e. if we cut the Firewire (i.e. the cable) power source, where does the DAC get its 'juice' - the AC power supply. My PS is custom linear power supply, but my DAC only needs AC to boot, otherwise can run exclusively via Firewire.

 

so..... What if the source of the Firewire power is from a 'battery' powered laptop? Would this sound better? If power is provided by Firewire, what about the possibility of transmitting add'l noise? What about ground loops? IOW, there are a lot of variables to think about here. Down with audiophile nervosa, yeah, right.

 

More importantly, I just received my new GoldX with 4pin connection, havent even taken it out of the package yet. I've got an SSD that arrived this week - still in package - hope to install this weekend. I received a Mac Mini probably two weeks ago now, and also picked up a new amp that I have on home trial. The point being, cable comparisons will necessarily fall to the bottom of the list.

 

Will report back if I hear anything definitive. I'm relying on Silverlight's recommendation (of pulling the power) at this point. I was already using GOldX, based on Vincent's recommendation. Putting them both together is the only way to continue to use GOldX on a Firewire800 installation.

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

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gulp!

 

Apparently my DAC cannot run without the power leg of the Firewire cable, so I can't test what I presumed to be the best likely cable combination for Firewire800.

 

I'll continue to investigate, but this is likely the cause of my Mac Mini not recognizing the ULN-2 upon hookup with the 4pin to 9pin adapter.

 

Could be a bad adapter, but unlikely.

 

Bummer.

 

clay

 

 

 

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No I haven't. I'll admit to being quite surprised that it didn't work as I know the ULN-2 works fine without being connected to a computer. I use it with Apple TV via Toslink connection all the time with no issues.

 

As I said, I need to investigate more. Could be PEBKAC. ;)

 

UPDATE: I just checked the same cable combo (GOldX 4pin connection plus 4pin to 6pin adapter) to the ULN-2 from my Macbook Pro - which is Firewire400 - and it worked fine. sooo...the 4pin to 9pin adapter might have poor connection, or perhaps there is something different going on with Firewire 800.

 

stay tuned,

clay

 

 

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FINAL UPDATE: Turns out the adapter was bad. I was successful with a different Firewire 800 cable - and a different adapter (4pin to 6pin, this time), and can therefore confirm that with a functioning adapter, it is possible to connect via Firewire 800 via 4pin connection (to eliminate power) from Mac Mini to my DAC (ULN-2).

 

I was using the NitroAV 9pin to 4pin cable, with a 4pin to 6pin adapter, so... unfortunately, it wasn't with the GoldX cable that I prefer, so I'm off to find a functioning adapter to complete my test. If anyone has done this successfully, please share your source of adapter.

 

Thanks

Clay

 

 

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Clay, great find! Thanks for sharing this idea. I will have to pick up the cables you mentioned along with adaptors and do some comparisons myself.

 

Cheers!

Gary

 

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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Clay, any differences in sound you can hear? I switched from a Belkin Pure Silver series 6-pin to 6-pin cable to an Audioquest 1394-1 4-pin to 6-pin cable at a local dealer and a cheap 4-pin female to 6-pin male adapter off of ebay. My interface is not powered via firewire. The difference in improvement wasn't subtle to me, quieter backgrounds, bass has more impact, instruments and voices aren't nearly as jumbled together / better seperation, less fatigue in higher frequencies. I've been wanting to pull the power pin off of the Belkin cable to do another comparison, but I'm really not sure how to do so without tearing up the connector, any ideas?

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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David,

it's gonna be a while before I get to do actual Head to head comparisons. I've made lots of changes simultaneuosly recently.

But my system definitely sounds great overall after recent upgrades.

 

Right now I'm sitting in the 1848 Shaker Meetinghouse with a couple of hundred other people waiting to hear Natalie Merchant.

 

My only advice of the power pin removal is to do it 'surgically '

:)

perhaps Silverlight can offer a "how to".

stay tuned,

Clay

 

 

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Chris,

 

below is an article about Natalie's performance. The acoustics in the building are amazing, although I'm sure the most discriminating audiophiles among us could find bass nodes to correct. ;)

 

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=846845

 

More interestingly, Natalie and her two guitarists walked around the room for much of the show. She has new material coming out in the fall, albeit more inline with her most recent release - House Carpenter's Daughter, i.e. it will be folky, not pop.

 

Indeed she played Weeping Pilgrim from that release, with most of the remainder of the set being folk music, some of which had Shaker origins.

 

She did sing three more well known songs - Tell Yourself, Break Your Heart, and closed with Kind and Generous (given the benefit nature of the two shows).

 

She's a born performer, very engaging, but not show(wo)manship. I found her to be very genuine, even breaking into tears near the end of Tell Yourself, and then explaining to the crowd why she had done so - she was flooded with memories of her own 13 year old experiences.

 

Totally acoustic set, just Natalie and a couple of guitarists, plus a cellist or fiddle on a few numbers, if you can call a several hundred year old violin a fiddle. :) One of the guitarists was playing a Dobro style guitar, but I must say, when Natalie is standing 3 feet away, there's not much chance that you'll be inspecting someone else's guitar closely. She is quite captivating.

 

I must ask you though, what is your approach to playing her recordings? Her voice is quite difficult to record, and I'm not a big fan of listening to microphone glaze, esp. added onto her textured voice which seems to excite (or exacerbate) poor recording techniques. There's a reason mastering engineers say 'that sounds just like the mic feed', as opposed to 'that sounds like the original performance'.

 

If some enterprising preamp manufacturer ever offers a 'resolution' control, i'll stand in line to buy it. :)

 

clay

 

 

 

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Hi Clay - What a wonderful experience. You'll never be able to recreate that one in your listen room! Thanks for sharing it all with us.

 

I'm captivated by talent, authenticity, and emotion. Natalie certainly fits the bill on all three.

 

Her voice is so rich and powerful I do know what you mean about reproducing it at home. I really love the richness on Motherland. I get lost in than recording and think her voice sounds very clear throughout. Tigerlily has good material but I don't like the sound as much as Motherland. The DVD-Audio only has a 5.1 mix and 2 channel mix-down so it's only so-so. Her Live in Concert album has some good live sound as well.

 

Thanks again for the comments :~)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hey Guys,

I'm using a new Mac Mini to go to my Focusrite Sapphire LE to my outboard dac. I'm using a 6 pin to 6 pin Goldx cable with a 9 pin to 6 pin Rohs adapter and it works great. You guys are always giving me great ideas to tweak my system such as the Goldx cable and eliminating power in the FW cable. I have an outboard power supply for my LE which really gave me another level of clarity when I first installed it and it will power the LE by itself. The only problem I had was that if I unplugged the PS with the power taken out of my FW cable it would not turn on again until I restored the power to my FW cable. Here is my solution. Where my FW cable plugs into my adapter I have the power pin covered with electrical tape. (It's the bottom left pin when the plug is oriented with the domed part of the plug is up). So, I can always remove it to repower my LE. Anyways, that little piece of tape that effectively removes the power from my Goldx makes my system sound so much cleaner. Much less grunge. Another great tweek from the many CA contributors. Thanks! The next plan is to upgrade the 12 volt PS that came with the LE.

 

Current system: Mac Mini (Bolder PS- Pure Music) -jkeny modified M2tech hiFace - Peachtree Audio Nova - Modified MF X-10 V3 Tube buffer - Wyred 4 Sound amp - Gershman Sonograms

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  • 1 month later...

Clay, did you ever find a 4pin to 6pin adaptor that works? I ordered a few different 4 pin to 6 pin Firewire cables (GoldX, Belkin, and Audioquest) to test along with a 4 pin to 6 pin adaptor. But when I tested it, the cable didn't work and I tried it on both my Weiss AFI1 and an external HD and neither were recognized, so it points to a bad adaptor.

 

If you did find an adaptor that works, please share the link to where to buy it.

 

Thanks!

Gary

 

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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No, I didn't find an adapter. Consider me 'insane' per Einstein's definition - insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

 

I ordered another adapter - same brand as the other - and it didn't work either.

 

I'm starting to wonder if converters from 4 pin back up to 9 pin just can't work for some reason. I tried Tec-nec. Which brand did you try?

 

Let me know and I'll try another, just to certify my 'insanity'. :)

 

clay

 

 

 

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No, I have not. I was trying to kill two birds with the proverbial stone.

 

I wanted to use a 6pin to 4pin GOldX cable, which is not made in 9-pin configuration, with the 4pin to 9pin adapter.

 

thoughts?

clay

 

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Clay,

 

The adaptor I purchased that did NOT work is from Your Cable Store (item FW AD 6M-4F). It was one of Amazon's vendors so I bought through Amazon.com.

 

Gary

 

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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