View Full Version : i-link cables
09-03-2004, 08:31 AM
Simple question really; is there anything to be gained from upgrading the freebie cable that came with my Pioneer 757Ai?
It just looks a bit flimsy and I can't imagine there's a great deal of shielding.
Seen these (http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=cpc+catalogue&category% 5Fname=&product%5Fid=252160) on CPC, is there any technical reason why they should or shouldn't be any better?
09-03-2004, 05:34 PM
You'll no doubt be wholly unsurprised to learn that Russ Andrews have their own 'upgraded' i-Link cable in development.
I've toyed with the idea of getting a 'better' i-Link cable but, as much of a believer in cables as I am, this strikes me as one format that probably won't benefit from esoteric cables as it is so computer/data transfer based rather than signal based. I'm also sure that Pioneer wouldn't want to hamper their little babies too much if an obviously better alternative was available at sensible prices.
Although I'll probably totally disown what I've written above when Nordost bring out their version :D~:-D~:grin:
09-03-2004, 09:31 PM
Belkin have a high percentage braided sheath and specially plated connector version of their normal Firewire cable, so by all means feel free to go for that one. Kindof like Groundy's SPDIF Coax, the king at low cost :nod:
30-04-2004, 03:15 PM
Dragging up an old thread, just ordered one of these (http://www.ixos.co.uk/interconnects/products/data/product.asp?id=421), for £15 I thought it's worth a go. I'll let people now if there's any perceivable difference when it gets here
11-05-2004, 01:13 PM
OK, my new Ixos i-link cable arrived this morning and I've had a brief listen over lunchtime.
The cable itself is well made and has gold-plated contacts, installation was no issue and both amp and dvd player 'saw' each other over the cable.
Now I'm quite prepared to accept a case of 'Emperor's New Clothes' but I'm fairly certain there's an improvement to be heard with the caveat of only a brief audition: listened to CD (Cafe del Mar - volumen otto), SACD (Feeder - Comfort In Sound) and DVD-v (LOTR: FOTR).
On both musical formats there appeared to be improved separation and the decay of acoustic guitars felt more natural. I find Kate Blanchett's prologue a good test of vocals as I find it can sound a little muffled if I listen hard; again, I felt this was improved.
I need to have a prolonged listen to pass any serious conclusion, and in theory I accept that i-link cables shouldn't be as critical as other applications, but I think there's a difference to be had.
Anybody else care to try a similar 'upgrade' to see if I'm talking images/smiley_icons/censored.gif ocks or if there's really something in it?
11-05-2004, 01:28 PM
Interesting initial impressions :nod:
Like many other i-Link users, no doubt, I'm very open to anything that can potentially make this method of data transfer even better. After all, what's £15 for a 'better' cable if you've lashed out around 1000 times that for the hardware?
Decks, do Ixos make any specific claims as to how/why their cable should perform better than Pioneer freebie?
The only thing that puts me off from the Ixos, and this probably sounds daft, is the cost... it seems too cheap. I'll be awaiting a more in-depth listening report though because if it continues to impress I'll grab one too.
11-05-2004, 01:53 PM
Ixos don't appear to be making any claims over the cable's performance, what appealed to me was the gold-plated contacts and the fact that I could see that it was shielded.
I know what you mean about the cost issue, but having previously upgraded from a £160 digital coax to one of Groundy's for £21(!) I've realised that a well worked cable need not be that expensive, and as we've pointed out, i-link 'should' be less fussy.
11-05-2004, 01:54 PM
I know what you mean about the cost issue, but having previously upgraded from a £160 digital coax to one of Groundy's for £21(!) I've realised that a well worked cable need not be that expensive,
A good point, well made :D~:-D~:grin:
13-05-2004, 08:31 AM
Well I spent last night doing some critical listening (mostly on CD) and I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and state that there's an improvement.
No, it's not an audio revolution, the difference is subtle, but it's there.
Mostly listened to Leftfield's 'Leftism' and noticed a few points; the opening to 'Release The Pressure' starts from silence with a slowly increasing set of notes, with the Ixos cable there was an increased sense of 'emptiness' around the music which lent an increase to the sense of scale over the supplied cable. 'Afro-Left' features a peculiar stringed instrument (don't ask me which!) which sounds as though it has metal strings, the detail of the notes was greater with the Ixos and had a more 'metallic' character than the freebie, the vocals on that track too sounded more natural.
Later on swapped to some more aggressive material, Ministry's 'Psalm 69' and there was no perceivable difference to heard amidst the cacophony!!
So in essence there's a small but perveivable improvement to be had. Really only notable on more detailed and/or acoustic material; if you only listen to Extreme Noise Terror I wouldn't bother, but for the rest of us I'd recommend having a punt for the sake of fifteen quid.
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