Roasty, May 6, 2020
i've had an silver Arctic Cable for quite some time now, so am comfortable with writing this post.
It is most definitely my favourite cable with the Utopia. i enjoy it the AC cable with the Utopia more than the Danacable Lazuli Reference and Moon Audio Black Dragon (both terminated for Utopia). i've also used ultrashort adaptors with cables from Norne (Silvergarde S3), JPS Labs (Superconductor) and PlusSound (X8 gold plated silver). The Utopia is such a fast and resolving headphone, but so far i found only the AC plays to that strength. I felt the other cables listed above (aside from the Black Dragon) seemed to dull out the upper registry, rounding off the top end just a bit too much.
There is this amazing clarity and transparency with the AC cable. the leading edge to notes is so clean, making vocals so crisp and clear. i also thought it was the most holographic with amazing 3d placement of elements in the music. it also had by far the best soundstage width, both laterally and in depth. Even with busy passages and songs with lots of instruments playing, there is really really good separation and just crazy pinpoint placing. In the lower registry, low end extension and texture were great, and there was fantastic punchiness and impact. The utopia is definitely not lacking in bass!
i've done countless quick a/b comparisons with this cable and my other cables and it really is no contest. not to say that the other cables are not good, just that they sounded better with other headphones. for eg, i preferred the JPS Superconductor with the Abyss 1266 (naturally) and the PlusSound X8 with the Verite Closed. The AC cable simply plays extremely well with the Utopia. Quite honestly, i'm done with a cable search for these headphones.
i have absolutely no complaints with the sound that i get with this cable. if i had any gripes, it would be with the construction; these are minor but i figure i might as well list them out. i would have preferred a heatshrink/sleeve over the furutech spring extension. the braids in the cable could have been tighter and more even. and lastly, the L and R markings on the headphone end are not lined up with the red dot on the utopia lemo connectors. the other cables i listed above all edge out the AC cable construction wise, but then again, it really is the sound that matters in the end.
if you have the Utopia, the AC cable is really really worth a try!
I felt the AC silver brought out the best in the Utopia without taking anything away.
I quite liked the S3 with the Empyrean. But with the Utopia, seemed like there was not as good low end texture and high end sparkle as the AC silver. Felt the top end was dulled/rolled off, similar to the LR. Also less bass slam/impact than the AC.
In the end, I sold off the S3 as I had bought the plussound X8, which had better build, but comparatively thicker mids and mid bass (some may not like this with empy).
cismax, Apr 5, 2020
my endgame is iBasso DX228EX+Stellia+Arctic Cables pure silver, 8 wire, with high-purity rhodium-plated carbon fiber connectors.
Sound is stellar, there's more space, more air, soundstage, looks even more natural than before, separation enhanced, so it is resolution. Never made a purchase that contributed that much in improving the sound in a hi-end chain like this one.
TooFrank, Feb 3, 2020
I can only echo everything regarding Arctic Cables. After reading about noplsestar’s Christmas present, I wrote to AC and eventually ordered the same cable for my Stellia’s. Very efficient delivery. Very good service. I am really happy for my new piece of jewelry. The sound to my ears is far beyond the stock cable which now sounds dull in comparison......
noplsestar, Dec 31, 2019
So. Here it is, my Christmas present I gave myself! A new Arctic Cable for Focal Stellia, which is an 8-Core Neotech UP-OCC Pure Silver 7N LT-6 Cable (with Neutrik plugs on the phone and Viablue 3.5mm plug for the DAP -> Calyx M -> Vorzüge VorzAMP Duo II)
This is it. End game. Easy as that. It was a pleasure to deal with Roy (as always, because I already own a UPOCC 4 core copper cable that matches nicely with the brown/black coating ... well, I guess I won't use it that often anymore, now that I have this silver beauty)
I had a Silver Lavricable once and can tell you: This is no contest. UPOCC is on another level compared to a "normal" silver cable.
I never thought I would write that stereotype cliché, but I really can hear details I never heard before in tracks I know by heart. I also made a blind test with a friend of mine and could tell in an instant which cable is which after a few seconds (compared to the Focal stock cable).
For starters: There seems to be more room. Not exactly in width but more in height and depth. Especially when listening to very complex songs, such as "Before your very eyes..." from Atoms For Peace, it´s such a pleasure to listen to this tidy stage where every nuance is heard and the voice of Thom Yorke is right there in the middle, clear and with this great reverb (thanks to the genius producer Nigel Godrich!) Also the separation is clearly making a step up. Pin point. I am in honeymoon, I know, but it is that good.
This cable takes everything what's there and makes it better. Bass, mids, treble. I am sorry to boast here, but it really is unbelievable what a cable can make a difference. It´s not that the Stellia sounds different in any way. It sound refined. I always found the upper mids a bit shouty. This shoutiness is gone without taking away anything of its resolution. In the contrary. The resolution is like I have never heard it before out of these phones.
The cable manages to extend the treble (and bass) without adding something that isn't there. It is a neutral cable, if you ask me. The Stellia doesn't sound "brighter" at all, like you would expect from a silver cable. It doesn't sound warmer either. The treble is just "there". On spot. The mids are present. The voices so nicely rendered. And then the bass. I didn´t expect the subbass to be elevated, but it somehow did by a small margin. That's a very welcome alteration, too, as I always found that the very low sub frequencies of the Stellia somehow were too gentle (primarily compared to the mid bass).
Oh, and by the way: As you can see on the pictures: The cable looks absolutely stunning. In real life even better than on any photo I have seen (and made of them). They are completely pliable (laughable when compared to the stock cable!), and there are no microphonics whatsoever.
I am not a reviewer, just a musician / engineer and a guy who loves to listen to the music on the go and that needs to feel all the emotions that are evoked when I listen to the records as well as to hear the accuracy and beautyness of the production.
So, what can I say as a conclusion: It is a balanced cable. No frequency is exaggerated, no frequency suppressed. It reminds me when I was at a mastering studio for finishing a recording I produced and when I heard some albums I love on those great loudspeakers and I thought f***, that's what music is supposed to sound!
parimento1, Oct 20, 2019
Just got a new amp with a balanced output, so I ordered a 16-core balanced Mogami cable for my Focal Clear headphones. Cable is impeccably built and uses quality neutrik connectors. I would order from these guys anytime. Customer service is excellent and it has always been delivered by the promised date.
rajphi, Sep 17, 2019
Hi, I'm another new member. I recently got a pretty stupid good deal on the Meze 99NEO Headphones and went to Arctic Cables for their new Cardas cable for the Meze. The headphones with the Arctic Cardas Cable is better than I could have hoped for. For under $500 total, this headphone system sounds amazing. There's no noise, no distortion, only pure clean great sound with amazing soundstage and imaging. I would recommend this combination to anyone. I'm going to try to include some pics. I also have the same Cardas cable on order for my Sennheiser HD 600's.. can't wait!parimento1, Aug 20, 2019
I have been using the cable for 2 days now and all I can say is wow. It isn't heavy, as you would expect from how much wire there is in it, thanks to them stripping off the outer jacket of the cable. It is very comfortable, and I don't really notice the extra weight at all; however, I do notice the improved sound quality over the thinner cables I had previously. I don't know of any company that offers cables of this gauge for anywhere close to this price. They make it affordable to be an audiophile, while providing products of impeccable quality and excellent customer service.
I'm a long time Arctic Cables customer and I've been nagging Roy about a new cable for my LCD2... no make that Ether flow ... no wait Elegia ... no ok you know what Stellia! And Roy, what if I send my current cables back to you, can you merge them into 1 cable? 2x 4core up-occ neotech.
He agreed and I sent the cables back in march. He noted it would take some time in the end it was around 7 weeks, but worth it! In the mean time I was swearing around about the stock focal cables for bloody 3k euro they can invest in better, more human friendly cables! but oh well ... I didn't pay anything except for the original cables and shipping ofc. No dime for all the time and labour that went into making this new cable. If I talk cables I talk Arctic Cables.
Jacob ISR, Apr 25, 2019
Ordered one of the first UP-OCC pure silver 26-awg 7N purity type-6 litz AC made for my MrSpeakers headphone.
First of all it's one of the best looking cables I've ever seen in my life, it's absolutely gorgeous!
Sound wise it's just as impressive, the biggest change I've heard coming from an aftermarket cable.
The amount of extra details I'm getting from my Aeon's had left me speechless. The soundstage also increased significantly and the mids feels more vivid and fuller, bass feels better extended as well.
This cable is not cheap, and I asked Roy to give me all the information he could about this particular cable, and kindly and patiently Roy explained everything I wanted to know, which gave me the confidence to buy this expensive cable from them.
And BOY i'm so glad I did.. I had some cheaper "silver OCC" cables before, but now I know for a fact how a real silver UPOCC looks and sounds like, and it's nothing like I had before.
With that level of craftmanship, customer service, and the fact that Roy promised to reterminate the cable to a different headphone if I ever needed to in the future basically for free, (which is AMAZING), I don't think I would ever look elsewhere for my aftermarket cable needs!
parimento1, Apr 19, 2019
I purchased these for my Focal Clear headphones. They are the UP-OCC 8- core Neotech wire. The build quality is flawless-- fantastic quality! It sounds a bit different than the Mogami 2534 cable that I purchased from them previously. This cable is a bit more smooth and a bit more laid back. The Mogami was very much neutral. The Neotech cable is good for headphones that need a bit of taming in the highs. I would do business with them again. Their customer service is very responsive and their products are extremely high quality.
tellephone, Apr 14, 2019
IMO, Arctic Cables is one of the best reasonably priced headphone cable alternatives out there.
I purchase Arctic Cables for all of my headphones, they look and sound great.
Of course AC is a great seller to deal with and they stand behind their products.
I bought this cable specifically because of the posted picture by Head-Fier MParrott (thanks MParrott). ArcticCables are totally bling — gorgeously crafted. Tell them your gear and the sound signature you seek; they are helpful. Then choose core type, length, connectors, color, and splitter type. Affordable prices too. Just add music.
Roger Dodger, Apr 12, 2019
parimento1, Aug 18, 2019
Just bought ANOTHER cable from Arctic Cable. It is a 16-core Mogami cable for the Focal Clear, etc. I had a 4-core and 8-core and both were improvements on the other, so I splurged and got a 16-core, which is far better than the previous 2. The thicker wire makes all the difference in the sound. The synergy between the Mogami cable and these headphones is amazing. I highly recommend these if you have the Focal headphones. In a nutshell, the midrange opened up, the bass is now more present, and the soundstage improved immensely from either the 4 or the 8-core. There is also more detail than before.
The workmanship on these cables is IMPECCABLE and I know I will enjoy these for years to come. The cable is remarkably thin for 16 cores and is light as well.
Roy's customer service was impeccable-- he responds quickly and delivered the product to my door well-before it was promised AND for a great price. Highly recommended.
EDN80 Apr 8, 2019
For all your audiophile cable needs, I can heartily recommend Artic Cables.
Long story short: Back when the SONY Z1R were my main listening headphones, I followed some recommendations here on Head-Fi to improve the sound and purchased the white Arctic Cables Neotech SONY MDR-Z1R MDR-Z7 8 Core Litz 19AWG UPOCC High-End Cable in white and indeed, there was a marked difference between the unbalanced stock SONY cables and the balanced new Artic Cables-- for the better. Some on the Z1R thread said night and day!
Since I decided to let go of the Z1R after getting the Audeze MX4, I figured I'd ask if the cable could get rewired as I'd have no use for it otherwise. Roy from Artic Cables kindly rewired and rehoused the cable free of charge and I believe he even upgraded it to their latest cable specifications. So, about a year removed from my initial purchase, I found myself with a brand new cable in black!
Things have been hectic on my end, so my listening time has been cut short these past weeks, and on top of it, I'm yet to take the plunge on a new DAC to replace the Oppo HA-1 I sold. But even listening on the "lowly" Nuforce HDP DAC hooked to my SPL Phonitor 2 amp, it became clear after some burning in that the cables were a noticeable upgrade over the Audeze stock cable.
Just as had happened with the Z1Rs, it almost felt as if a veil had been lifted from the MX4, the sound opened up and the sound is improved across all metrics-- more dynamic, more articulate, more details and resolution across frequencies, wider soundstage and more precise imaging, bass is tighter and cleaner, and better transient response…Will report back when I get a new DAC and can have a truly balanced setup. That said, if you're on the lookout for a new audiophile-grade cable, don't hesitate to check out Artic Cables
xtr4 Apr 7, 2019
I've recently reached out to Roy of Arctic Cables as I was interested in the Neotech Cables for the Hifiman HE6SE. My special request for the headphone cable termination in 4 pin XLR + XLR to 1/4" adapter + XLR to 4 banana plugs were accepted without question and even came with suggested design terminations as well as recommended lengths. Quotations were provided promptly while payment and order confirmation went flawlessly. Would definitely recommend anyone interested in aftermarket cables to consider Arctic Cables for their impeccable product quality and workmanship. You definitely get what you paid for and more.
Product: Neotech 8 core HE6SE headphone cables + 1/4" and speaker taps adapters
Look and Feel: Compared to the crappy medical grade rubberish sleeved stock cables, these Neotech cables are so much better in terms of comfort, feel and storage. Soft to the touch with solid terminations
Sound: Slight improvement on clarity with better imaging and slightly wider soundstage. Also sounds a bit more holographic with better details in the height and depth of the soundstage.
Bonus: The cables come delivered in a very nice hand stitched leather jacket (A4 sized)
parimento1 Apr 3, 2019
Got these the other day from Arctic Cable. These are the Mogami 2534 cable for the Focal Clear that they offer. The workmanship is top notch-- no sloppiness or carelessness, here. Fantastic and responsive customer service, as well. I will definitely order other cables through them. Prices are fair for the high quality of product that you are getting. One of the things I like the most, is that you know exactly what type of cable and what brand you are getting, as opposed to most places where they give their cable a fancy name, cover it in techflex, and charge you $500/foot for lamp cord. I really like their no nonsense approach to cables. The cables are well-made with no unnecessary bells and whistles.
The sound of the Mogami is essentially neutral. I would recommend the cable highly if you aren't looking to change anything about your headphone's sound signature. All in all, a well-made cable for a fair price.
HorseKnight Sep 26, 2018
I also have Arctic Cables for my Hifiman HE400i & my Monoprice 1060.
Mine is Mogami core, 10 feet, Balanced XLR and I selected RED color for the cable. In addition, I also purchased the XLR to ¼ plug.
First, I have to say the cable is made with excellent craftsmanship. It looks beautiful like a piece of artwork.
My testing source is the new and highly regarded Topping XL7s Balanced DAC/Amplifier with Harman Kardon multi-media player and/or Onkyo CD player.
The connectors of the Arctic Cable are all high quality with proper assembling. The cable itself is thick and sits soft & well-behaved!
Now, the sound, the most critical part why we spend extra cash for these beautiful cables. It sounds GREAT with both of my Hifiman HE-400i & Monoprice 1060.
First, with the 10 feet of length, I can be more mobile with these large headphones on my head. Also, my HE-400i sounds cleaner with more separation and wider sound stage and better imaging on the Arctic Cable than the original. I am sure the high quality XLR balance plug and the Mogami core both have significant contribution to this pleasant outcome.The Monoprice 1060 also sounds different with this arctic cable. The original Monoprice cable was OK but sounds dry and restricted. This Arctic Cable cleans up the overly booming bass and brighten up the treble. The earcup connectors from Arctic Cable are so well-made, I enjoy looking at the plugged Monoprice 1060 with bright red thick cable.
Lonson Aug 31, 2018
I too ordered a UPOCC 3 meter cable for my Sennheiser HD800S. I also have a 3 meter UPOCC cable from ArcticCables for my Audeze LCD-2 headphones. I loved these so much that I ordered the cable for the HD800S.
The new versions I have are very thin and flexible, with a fabric covering. The sound is excellent. The stock Sennheiser XLR cable is quite good. . . this cable makes the sound even more involving. I don't have a camera to take photos, but I'm very happy with the ArcticCables products AND service and would recommend them strongly.
Love mine so much I have two and one on the way. Very helpful seller! I highly recommend working with Arctic Cables.
Very sturdy and much better looking than the stock wires. Sound great too.
bdkillian, Jul 7, 2018
I wanted to post a quick update to my previous postings on this page. I have since expanded my headphone collection with additional cables from Arctic Cables as I am continually impressed with their quality and workmanship!
I have just ordered a Cardas High-End Ultra Pure Copper Litz Cable for my Sony Mdr-Z1R's after communicating wiht Roy from Arctic cables who took the time to help me choose the correct cable to match my headphone and listening preferences as well as took the time to explain all of the options available to me. Truly sets the standard for customer service!
That said, I am looking forward to making a direct comparison between my current AC Mogami W2534 OFC and the AC Cardas UPOCC cable. I will share my thoughts and pictures when the new cable arrives!!!
In the meantime, here is a picture of my current AC cables. Each are spec'd the same, 5 ft. of Mogami W2534 OFC terminated with 4-pin XLR balanced connectors for my Sony MDR Z1R, Audioquest Nighthawks (my top two favorite cans right now), Audeze LCD-X, Monoprice M1060\Hifiman HE4XX (same cable), and the Sennheiser HD6XX,
The most important thing I'd like to point out is how much more flexible the new manufacturing process is for these cables... the original version is purple and as you can see that is as tight as i can get it - the other 4 make a much tighter loop. Like i said before, this process that Roy started with all of his cables just made great cable, awesome!
arielext, Jun 30, 2018
I've ordered a new cable at Arctic cable cause I enjoy the cable for my Edition X v2 that much. The only downside I had with that cable was the thickness and stiffness. Roy said the neotech cable is super flexible and lot less thick and boy is he right!
I ordered a 3m neotech up-occ cable for my HD800S.
The quality of this cable is outstanding! It's by far the best audio cable I have had ever.The cable is super thin. In terms of music quality it's a step up from the stock cable. More clarity , more musicality.
All in all I am happy with my cable, so happy with the neotech cable that I promptly ordered a new cable for my other headphone: the beyerdynamic T5p.
parimento1, May 28, 2019
Just bought my 4th Arctic Cable from Roy. This time it was the 8-Core OFC cable using 2x Mogami 2534 microphone cables. The cables are impeccably made and I love the soft paracord covers for the cables. The most amazing thing is that the cable is incredibly thin and flexible, considering that it contains 8 conductors of 24awg wire.
Roy is a pleasure to deal with and he provides excellent customer service. He answers emails promptly and has always delivered the cables on or before schedule.
bdkillian, Apr 18, 2018
I just completed my third order of custom balanced cables from Arctic Cables and wanted to share my opinion of their custom cables with the Head-Fi community.
1. I liked the options provided during the ordering process - from choices of wire manufacturer, to connection types, and to the colors available for cable sleeves.
2. Their follow-up and communications after placing the order has been exemplary.
3. Manufacturing and shipping times with each order has exceeded their estimates.
4. The quality of cables can be seen and felt in the hand.
5. The performance of the cables exceeds my expectations.
ES_EF Apr, 16, 2018
I've purchased 3 sets of cables from Arctic Cables and have had excellent experience every time. Extremely detailed and meticulous work with great attention to detail. Obviously reasonable pricing does not hurt either.
My last purchase was for my ZMF Auteuer, they made me cables from Cardas 4x24 and its my favorite cable so far, extremely detailed and clean sound and just as importantly an easy cable to manage.
Does not tangle and even for such a long cable, does not overly weight down the headphone, top notch connectors used and i love their unlimited warranty, for eg. if a connector ever comes loose or whatever, they will take care of it.
interweb-tech, Mar 9, 2018
I purchased new cable for my Fostex TH-X00. I ordered the dual 2.5mm variety. They have several options including Balanced XLR. Excellent build quality with nice thick cable. Little on the stiff side but also doesn't get a mind of its own and start doing weird loops on your desk like some more flexible cables do. The paracord is a nice complex weave available in several colors. I ordered with the purple color sleeve.
Cable spec as ordered: Connector(s) A: 6.35 mm (1/4") Jack Male, Cable Length: 2M 6.5FT, Model: Klotz SQ422Y. They provide comprehensive details of all the cable options as well as the specs for each option. Rather than repeating all that here I encourage you to check them out.
The cable sounds great with my Purplehearts. I haven't tried any other of my collection yet but expect they will sound great too. As for pricing, they come in at the upper range of what I am willing to pay for a cable ($90). I feel they are worth the price.