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Bill125812

Reviews on my cheap Van Damme RCA & XLR interconnects

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Fair enough.  Everybody does have their own preference for sound quality.  But I ask because the specifications for the XKE pro-patch and Starquad are better.  With interconnects it's good to keep the capacitance as low as we can, and the XKE instrument cable has higher capacitance at 90 pf per metre.  The XKE pro-patch and starquad are 50 pf per metre.  And the latter also have better EMI rejection from the twisted pair and starquad geometries.  That's in terms of design theory at least.  Generally speaking Van Damme do make some of the best pro-audio cables around, so I would expect anything they do to be good. 

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2 hours ago, gmdb said:

Fair enough.  Everybody does have their own preference for sound quality.  But I ask because the specifications for the XKE pro-patch and Starquad are better.  With interconnects it's good to keep the capacitance as low as we can, and the XKE instrument cable has higher capacitance at 90 pf per metre.  The XKE pro-patch and starquad are 50 pf per metre.  And the latter also have better EMI rejection from the twisted pair and starquad geometries.  That's in terms of design theory at least.  Generally speaking Van Damme do make some of the best pro-audio cables around, so I would expect anything they do to be good. 

Agreed.  The theory is certainly correct and your cables are a testament to real research and quality.    But as I stated before, the coax Van Damme seems to sound fantastic in combination with the metal rca’s     I suppose it’s all about what sounds good, and certainly for the money, they sound fantastic, and it gives those who can’t, or don’t want to spend a lot on cables a chance to ditch the generic ones that come with equipment, which has always been my intent 

Edited by Bill125812

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Hi Bill,

 

Could you elaborate a bit on the shielding of the cable.

They mention 2 shields. One would be the copper strands wrapped around the core, while with the other they speak of a conductive thermoplastic. I assume that is the thin plastic layer between the insulated core and the copper shield. How does one use this configuration into creating a shielded cable when the 2 shields don't seem to be electrical isolated from each other?

 

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4 hours ago, Primare Knob said:

Hi Bill,

 

Could you elaborate a bit on the shielding of the cable.

They mention 2 shields. One would be the copper strands wrapped around the core, while with the other they speak of a conductive thermoplastic. I assume that is the thin plastic layer between the insulated core and the copper shield. How does one use this configuration into creating a shielded cable when the 2 shields don't seem to be electrical isolated from each other?

 

Hi mate. 

 

There is a isolating material between the outer copper strands and the core as well as the thermoplastic.  These totally insulate the two cables.  

 

 

B731F60F-5C9D-4FF2-A595-5B3AC13FCF90.jpeg

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Moderator

Hey Bill, any recommendations for XLRs ?

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2 hours ago, joz said:

Hey Bill, any recommendations for XLRs ?

Hi Joz 

 

mine.  I use canare cable and Neutrik xlr’s 

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10 minutes ago, PKay said:

How about speaker cable recommendations?

Hi Pkay 

 

i use Canare cable.  Nakamichi spades or banana plugs.  Techflex covered.  Outperform some very expensive cables at a fraction of the cost 

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Found this thread last week, with the positive feedback from a few early adopters, I decided to make contact with Bill and ordered a 1m pair to test out on my rig.  So far having them in my system running from the output of my dac to the preamp for a day now, happy to report that I concur with the whats been said so far by others.  These cables do perform at a much higher level than my existing commercial cables.  Quite surprising really.  It just lets through what was recorded to be heard.  It doesn't really have a sound signature of its own, and I tend to agree with others that have reported earlier hearing a neutral signature with this cable.  But what did catch me off guard, from an expectation point of view, was that the noise floor was quite low and it offered a revealing view of the music.  Pinpoint placement of instruments were easily discernible but not exaggerated.  Tonality of the cable in my opinion, erred toward neutrality, it was neither warm nor bright.   I have been using a track off Adam Ben Ezra's album 'Pin Drop' which was recorded live and the tone off the double bass was spot on.  String plucks, reverberation and hand strokes on the instrument were just accurate. 

Bottom line is that these cables are well worth the asking price and are recommended.

Edited by katattack74

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53 minutes ago, Bill125812 said:

Hi Pkay 

 

i use Canare cable.  Nakamichi spades or banana plugs.  Techflex covered.  Outperform some very expensive cables at a fraction of the cost 

Thanks Bill, I have just tried some Van Damme and have been very impressed especially when you consider the relative cost.

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3 hours ago, Gruffnutz said:

Sensible cables at a sensible price.  Nice work Bill.

Thanks mate 

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Bill was kind enough to drop some XLR and RCA cables off to me the other week. I've been interstate a bit so it's been hard to get much of a listen.

So I've let them run for bit before writing this but to be honest, I could have written this review 30 seconds after installing the interconnects as the benefits were immediately apparent.

I am running a Direct Stream Junior (now on the latest Redcloud Firmware - get it quick if you don't already have it!) into Pass Labs power amplifier and then some quite detailed speakers.

 

Firstly these cables a very nicely finished - they certainly look the part. Nicely flexible too which is good for feeding things through awkward cabinets and stands. Connectors are all good too - I'm sure there are more exotic ones out there but the proof is in the listening.

As a point of comparison, on the balanced front, I have some Van Der Hull "The integration" XLR's and some QED Reference 40 XLR's on hand - both around $400 RRP. I also have some Zu Audio Mission balanced IC's as well. The Van Dam's have a very neutral character with good extension. The ZU's have slightly less bass and a slightly more pronounced treble which would great in a system that is otherwise too "dark". The QED's are quite unusual - I have compared them before to the Dueland Tinned Copper speaker cable - they have (to my ears) a slightly elevated presence region which tends to highlight ambient sounds in recordings - in the context of a system that is SS and someone is looking for what people might characterise as a more "tube" like sound this might give some of that perhaps (apologies to all tube lovers). The QED's have very good bass though they may be a little recessed in the midrange for my tastes (and my system as it stands). The Van Dammes are most similar in sound to the Van Der Hulls. Very balanced and detailed but without any harshness or brightness.


When I swapped out the QED's out for the Van Dammes I instantly heard excellent low level detail and a nice wide soundstage. I am also impressed by the bass - maybe not quite a deep as the QED's but that might be a function of a subtle tip down in high frequencies in the QED's. The best way I can summarise their sound it is that the Van Dammes offer a clear, uncoloured window what whatever is played through them. Couple that with the excellent price and I can't see how anyone would not be happy with them, unless they want to pay a lot more for something exotic that might only be "different" rather than "better" ;)

 

With the combination of the new DSJ firmware that I installed yesterday and the XLR cables, I am hearing some amazing sounds. 

 

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I should mention the RCA cables of course. I can output unbalanced and balanced simultaneously from my DSJ DAC and my preamp has a balanced and unbalanced input so I can quickly switch between the 2 on the fly. I have an Auralic Taurus Pre at the moment and this preamp  does not have a true end to end balanced topology. I personally don't have any issue with that I don't feel that it compromises anything in any way when using either type of interconnects. Anyway for what it's worth, switching between BIll's RCA and XLR cables made an immediate and very noticeable difference. Basically there was a reduction in detail (but maybe what might be considered a frisson more warmth?), less channel separation and more bass (subjectively) but not as tight or extended with the RCA's - that sounds like the HIFI reviewer's cliche doesn't it? And of course that's not to condemn the RCA's as the Pass Labs (and perhaps the Auralic) is designed to take full advantage of it's balanced inputs - I just think in my system there was a greater synergy with the XLR IC's and that might vary with other systems and other people's tastes.

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I bought two pairs of rca's off Bill a couple of weeks ago and now they would have 30hrs of playing time.

I figured for the price it was worth the exercise just to compare.

Anyway, these cables have settled right in and have a new home.

The two rca's that Bill's have replaced cost me $390 and $670.

 

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Moderator

Doesn't surprise me at all.

Bill is using cable that are professional industry standards  coupled together with the same level of connectors .

I will have my order in after the new year.

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3 minutes ago, flanders said:

The bass might become more extended over time @scumbag, has with mine.

Actually, there's no shortage of bass. It goes very low and is perhaps more accurate. 

Edited by scumbag

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Hi all,

 

I've been trying Bill's interconnects for a couple of weeks now. I actually purchased them a while back but a house move and then work got in the way. Anyhow, very happy with the purchase. They looked solid and well made when I first opened the package. Bill even made me some preamp jumpers which I appreciated! I'm not an audio expert by any means but compared to what I had previously, these gives a more expansive sound and is definitely more enjoyable. I'm still playing with them but so far so good.

 

Cheers

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I received my cables from Bill late last year and they are brilliant. Clean is the only way I can describe them. My system has never sounded so good.
I haven't managed to put a lot of time on them but have been more than impressed from the get go

Thanks Bill

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I bought Bill's interconnects last week and have been using them on and off on my system. Gotten very good results for a startling modest price~!

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