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Kimo

The more accurate cable

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I have been comparing two professional xlr cables; Grimm Audio TPR and Vovox Sonorus Direct.  The Grimm is heavily shielded and stranded.  The Vovox is unshielded and uses solid core wire.  The Grimm produces larger images.  It is more extended and brighter on top with bigger bass  Center images are lock solid.  The Vovox provides a bit more clarity and perhaps better texture in both bass and treble, though seemingly less of both.  Both produce good tonality, but the Grimm is more lit up, or the Vovox is more dull, depending on your viewpoint.

 

For example, the opening double tracked vocals on Roy Orbison's HD version of Pretty Woman are presented with greater clarity by the Vovox.  With the Grimm, the dominant vocal dominates more.  The drums are smaller but more textured with the Vovox, and bigger and more propulsive with the Grimm.

 

Both of the these cables work fine, actually great, but they do not present the music the same way.  Both are designed for studio use, and as such, are built for accuracy.  My question is which do you think is more accurate to the original recording?  I am leaning to the Grimm.  It almost sounds louder.  That being said, the Vovox does allow one to hear with a bit more precision.  

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good XLR interconnects use a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cable. The best ones have a braided shield (rather than foil & drain wire) and a symmetrical core wire placement. With a cable that is unshielded and uses solid core wire, it's anybodies guess as to what noise & interference it may pick-up.

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9 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

good XLR interconnects use a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cable. The best ones have a braided shield (rather than foil & drain wire) and a symmetrical core wire placement. With a cable that is unshielded and uses solid core wire, it's anybodies guess as to what noise & interference it may pick-up.

I wonder how the noise typically changes sound.

 

Vovox makes shielded cable as well but claim the unshielded performs better, provided there are no issues.

 

I turned the system all the way up but all I got was dead silence with either cable.  No hash or hum.  I guess that means that the Vovox are performing as the manufacturer intended. 

 

Maybe I will try adding a ferrite collar to the Vovox and see if notice anything.  

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12 hours ago, Kimo said:

I wonder how the noise typically changes sound.

There is no typical answer. Such a wide range of sounds and volume levels.

But sometimes audiophiles enjoy a bit of added background noise.

 

John Atkinson at Stereophile magazine, wrote:

 

I think that what the listener perceives with this cable is that at low levels, the sound is fattened and made more coherent-sounding by the dominant second-harmonic distortion. In addition, the presence of background noise cannot be dismissed, as there is some evidence that introducing small amounts of random noise results in a sound that is preferred by listeners. At higher signal levels, transients are accompanied by bursts of higher harmonics. However, these subside as quickly as they appeared. The overall effect is to render the system sound as being more vivid,
John Atkinson
August 2005

 

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39 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

There is no typical answer. Such a wide range of sounds and volume levels.

But sometimes audiophiles enjoy a bit of added background noise.

 

John Atkinson at Stereophile magazine, wrote:

 

I think that what the listener perceives with this cable is that at low levels, the sound is fattened and made more coherent-sounding by the dominant second-harmonic distortion. In addition, the presence of background noise cannot be dismissed, as there is some evidence that introducing small amounts of random noise results in a sound that is preferred by listeners. At higher signal levels, transients are accompanied by bursts of higher harmonics. However, these subside as quickly as they appeared. The overall effect is to render the system sound as being more vivid,
John Atkinson
August 2005

 

 

Thanks.  I don't believe that I heard any differences with Ferrites added, so that is tha. 

 

Vovox primarily is a pro audio company.  They are run by a material scientist, not an EE.  It seems like they have a completely different take on what makes up good cable transmission, based on materials used and lack of shielding.  They only recommend shielded cables for stage work, however.  

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1 hour ago, Kimo said:

Thanks.  I don't believe that I heard any differences with Ferrites added, so that is that. 

Cables acting as interference antennas is very situation specific. Rearrange your equipment differently on another wall and everything changes. There is a lot more to Ferrites than would first appear. Again, it's very situation specific.  Core material choice and placement are very important. It's not a case of one and done.

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9 hours ago, Speedskater said:

There is no typical answer. Such a wide range of sounds and volume levels.

But sometimes audiophiles enjoy a bit of added background noise.

 

John Atkinson at Stereophile magazine, wrote:

 

I think that what the listener perceives with this cable is that at low levels, the sound is fattened and made more coherent-sounding by the dominant second-harmonic distortion. In addition, the presence of background noise cannot be dismissed, as there is some evidence that introducing small amounts of random noise results in a sound that is preferred by listeners. At higher signal levels, transients are accompanied by bursts of higher harmonics. However, these subside as quickly as they appeared. The overall effect is to render the system sound as being more vivid,
John Atkinson
August 2005

 

 I  agree. The brighter, or a little more loud sounding version is in most cases the technically worst of the two.

 Often you can turn up the slightly softer sounding version and notice that it is a little cleaner sounding overall, and less fatiguing with longer term listening.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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1 hour ago, sandyk said:

 I  agree. The brighter, or a little more loud sounding version is in most cases the technically worst of the two.

 Often you can turn up the slightly softer sounding version and notice that it is a little cleaner sounding overall, and less fatiguing with longer term listening.

 

The louder brighter cable is the shielded one in this case?

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27 minutes ago, Kimo said:

 

The louder brighter cable is the shielded one in this case?

 That is possible due to different construction and possibly Earth loops.

How does the softer one sound when you turn up the volume ?  Is there anything missing ?

 


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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49 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 That is possible due to different construction and possibly Earth loops.

How does the softer one sound when you turn up the volume ?  Is there anything missing ?

 

 

No change.  Just louder.

 

I am hearing what I have seen described as the house sound of both of these cables.  Maybe neither one is particularly accurate.   The unshielded cable would certainly be described as more reserved by comparison.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, Kimo said:

I have been comparing two professional xlr cables; Grimm Audio TPR and Vovox Sonorus Direct.  The Grimm is heavily shielded and stranded.  The Vovox is unshielded and uses solid core wire.  The Grimm produces larger images.  It is more extended and brighter on top with bigger bass  Center images are lock solid.  The Vovox provides a bit more clarity and perhaps better texture in both bass and treble, though seemingly less of both.  Both produce good tonality, but the Grimm is more lit up, or the Vovox is more dull, depending on your viewpoint.

 

For example, the opening double tracked vocals on Roy Orbison's HD version of Pretty Woman are presented with greater clarity by the Vovox.  With the Grimm, the dominant vocal dominates more.  The drums are smaller but more textured with the Vovox, and bigger and more propulsive with the Grimm.

 

Both of the these cables work fine, actually great, but they do not present the music the same way.  Both are designed for studio use, and as such, are built for accuracy.  My question is which do you think is more accurate to the original recording?  I am leaning to the Grimm.  It almost sounds louder.  That being said, the Vovox does allow one to hear with a bit more precision.  

 

IMO, one should never assume anything is built for accuracy (performance) even if "designed for studio use".   For example.  It's not that uncommon for "pros" to consider durability as highest prirorty performance-wise in a commercial application.

 

Assuming your claims of both cables are relatively accurate, without hesitiation I'd venture the Vovox cables to be the superior performer.  Primarily because you claimed instruments were bigger or produced larger images, brighter, and with bigger bass.  Distortions make borders fuzzy and enlarged and in playback music distortions will make instruments sound larger than actual size.   Some see this as a positive characteristic but it's not.  A 6-inch triangle should sound like a 6-inch triangle, not a 12 or 18-inch triangle, and it should also sound pristine if not delicate.

 

So based on your claims alone I'd definitely hedge my bet toward the Vovox.  As more and more distortions are sufficiently addressed, you should hear music instruments sounding, among other things, more and more toward the actual-size while simultaneously the ambient information from the soundstage and soundstage should continue to grow larger and larger to also provide a more actual-size perspective.


The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt. and extreme forms of vibration mgmt., the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of mechanical energy.

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7 hours ago, shtf said:

 

IMO, one should never assume anything is built for accuracy (performance) even if "designed for studio use".   For example.  It's not that uncommon for "pros" to consider durability as highest prirorty performance-wise in a commercial application.

 

Assuming your claims of both cables are relatively accurate, without hesitiation I'd venture the Vovox cables to be the superior performer.  Primarily because you claimed instruments were bigger or produced larger images, brighter, and with bigger bass.  Distortions make borders fuzzy and enlarged and in playback music distortions will make instruments sound larger than actual size.   Some see this as a positive characteristic but it's not.  A 6-inch triangle should sound like a 6-inch triangle, not a 12 or 18-inch triangle, and it should also sound pristine if not delicate.

 

So based on your claims alone I'd definitely hedge my bet toward the Vovox.  As more and more distortions are sufficiently addressed, you should hear music instruments sounding, among other things, more and more toward the actual-size while simultaneously the ambient information from the soundstage and soundstage should continue to grow larger and larger to also provide a more actual-size perspective.

 

Thank you for this detailed analysis.  I find it rather interesting that the cable that appears technically more likely to be compromised may very well be the more accurate one.  

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13 hours ago, Kimo said:

 

The louder brighter cable is the shielded one in this case?

Just the opposite! The apparent brightness/sparkle/detail is causes by noise/interference.

 

DF96(RIP) posted these responses on another forum:

 

How do you know this "detail" is in the recording? There is reasonable anecdotal evidence that some people confuse noise and interference with 'detail' - for example the popularity of badly-made DIY cables.

 

What is wrong with that is that perceptions of "detail" can be fooled by the presence of extra noise and interference. Hence you may be choosing the amp with inferior interference rejection. This issue is a reason why some DIY cables (with appallingly bad design or construction, so admitting lots of RFI) are perceived to give more 'detail'.

DF96 28 July 2016

 

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23 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

Just the opposite! The apparent brightness/sparkle/detail is causes by noise/interference.

 

DF96(RIP) posted these responses on another forum:

 

How do you know this "detail" is in the recording? There is reasonable anecdotal evidence that some people confuse noise and interference with 'detail' - for example the popularity of badly-made DIY cables.

 

What is wrong with that is that perceptions of "detail" can be fooled by the presence of extra noise and interference. Hence you may be choosing the amp with inferior interference rejection. This issue is a reason why some DIY cables (with appallingly bad design or construction, so admitting lots of RFI) are perceived to give more 'detail'.

DF96 28 July 2016

 

 

This is the brighter bigger cable.  Well shielded and twisted.  It seems like this would be much more immune to noise and interference then the unshielded Vovox?

 

https://www.grimmaudio.com/pro-products/pro-cables/tpr/

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5 minutes ago, Kimo said:

 

This is the brighter bigger cable.  Well shielded and twisted.  It seems like this would be much more immune to noise and interference then the unshielded Vovox?

The Grimm Audio interconnect looks like a well designed Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cable. So yes it would be much more immune to noise and interference.

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35 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

The Grimm Audio interconnect looks like a well designed Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cable. So yes it would be much more immune to noise and interference.

Right but it presents a brighter bigger slightly less precise image than the unshielded Vovox .  Seems backwards.

 

I also an Audioquest Mackenzie and Livewire Essential cable and determined that the Grimm may be a bit tipped up by comparison.  From what I read online, the TPR is a little tipped up compared with Grimm's more expensive version.  The Grimm is still very clean, maybe as a result of the shielding?  

 

Here are the Vovox cables.

 

https://vovox.com/collections/xlr-kabel/products/sonorus-direct-s-pair

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It's doubtful that many (if any) of those reports could be supported by proctored, ears only listening tests.

Or measurements.

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26 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

It's doubtful that many (if any) of those reports could be supported by proctored, ears only listening tests.

Or measurements.

 

Here is a Dutch comparison that includes the Vovox and Grimm.  They do a better job of describing the sounds than myself.  I typically find European reviewers do a better job than their American counterparts.

 

https://www.alpha-audio.nl/review/multitest-vijf-interlinks-getest/8/

 

 

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Now don't think that all analog interconnects sound the same!

 

But when real differences are heard, it comes down to:

a] noise or interference

b] some overlooked uncontrolled variable or poor test protocol

c] a circuit or cable defect

 

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13 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

Do you think that many of us can read that?

and no, Google translate doesn't speak hi-fi.

 

I just clicked on the link and Google translate worked fine. 

 

The pro-audio cables come out very well in this test and the tested ones differ in sound compared to some popular retail cables. The Grimm and the VOVOX come very close to each other. The sound of the VOVOX is slightly preferred, but the price of the Grimm is a solid buying argument. 

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6 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

Now don't think that all analog interconnects sound the same!

 

But when real differences are heard, it comes down to:

a] noise or interference

b] some overlooked uncontrolled variable or poor test protocol

c] a circuit or cable defect

 

 

Let me say this, the Grimm, Canare, and LIvewire sound very similar.  The Mogami star quad never sounds right on top, so I excluded it, but the cheaper Mogami also sounds similar to the group.  I slightly prefer the Grimm.

 

The Vovox seems to be do something a little different.  A little more clarity and texture without being tipped up.  In many ways it gives a more modest but natural presentation.  The differences are not huge, but anyone should be able to notice them.  I am just trying to figure out if the Vovox is merely preferred or more accurate.  To be honest, I generally eschew solid core cables.

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10 hours ago, Speedskater said:

Just the opposite! The apparent brightness/sparkle/detail is causes by noise/interference.

 

Yes, that is normally the case unless the other has much higher capacitance.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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