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Belden ICONOCLAST XLR Cable Review

Rate this cable

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 136 52.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 81 31.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 20 7.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 23 8.8%

  • Total voters
    260

Emlin

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Lots of companies are genuine in their intention to sell you whatever....and some of the 'phool stuff is said to be helmed by "true believers".
It's often been said that a salesperson is the easiest to fool because they all claim that they will not sell anything that they don't personally believe in. Hence they have to believe in everything they're told or they'd be out of a job.
 

Dmaumau

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the ICONOCLAST XLR by Belden (manufactured by Blue Jeans Cable). Tested sample costs US $785 for 6 foot length:

@amirm


If you just had used a good quality mono recording and each cable in one of the channels, couldn´t you just subtract one from the other without all of that pre-work ?
 

BlackH20

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Roger Russell told us all this almost fifty years ago; I have used cheap wire ever since as I was lucky enough to communicate with Roger by email in the late nineties. He was so gracious of a man and so educated. Roger passed away last year and never got a mention in any audio press. A true engineer and innovator at McIntosh Laboratories for years, he gave us the truth and the economics of the great cable/wire money grab. Unfortunately, the marketing dollars outweighed people's logic, science, and engineering. The money grab started in the seventies ("Monster Cable"), and most audiophiles have been brainwashed into wasting thousands of money on the plain old wire. They could have made a much better investment in higher-end equipment or maybe a few stocks and retired early. http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm. Yes, his website could use a refresh, but the facts remain the same, and they are all there. Challenge these boys to some A/B double-blind testing and see where they hide; they always hide and take out more ad money; sadly, the magazines are gone now, as many of the reviewers made a handsome some carrying their false promises.
Thanks to Amir for picking up the torch for Roger Russel and carrying it forward as we advance (he would be so proud, Amir). Roger was a class act and the only industry executive that would stand up and state the scientific, electronical facts for nearly fifty years. Read his entire site in detail. It's an excellent education waiting for everyone.
 

Bruce Morgen

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Roger Russell told us all this almost fifty years ago; I have used cheap wire ever since as I was lucky enough to communicate with Roger by email in the late nineties. He was so gracious of a man and so educated. Roger passed away last year and never got a mention in any audio press. A true engineer and innovator at McIntosh Laboratories for years, he gave us the truth and the economics of the great cable/wire money grab. Unfortunately, the marketing dollars outweighed people's logic, science, and engineering. The money grab started in the seventies ("Monster Cable"), and most audiophiles have been brainwashed into wasting thousands of money on the plain old wire. They could have made a much better investment in higher-end equipment or maybe a few stocks and retired early. http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm. Yes, his website could use a refresh, but the facts remain the same, and they are all there. Challenge these boys to some A/B double-blind testing and see where they hide; they always hide and take out more ad money; sadly, the magazines are gone now, as many of the reviewers made a handsome sum carrying their false promises.
Thanks to Amir for picking up the torch for Roger Russell and carrying it forward as we advance (he would be so proud, Amir). Roger was a class act and the only industry executive that would stand up and state the scientific, electronical facts for nearly fifty years. Read his entire site in detail. It's an excellent education waiting for everyone.

Roger was also my guru for decades when it comes to these matters and I very much enjoyed our brief e-mail exchanges. He was -- and continues to be, thanks to whomever is keeping his quaintly coded old website hosted -- a real blessing to audio enthusiasts who share his commitment to separating the audiophool codswallop from actual, audible benefit. R.I.P. to a thorough professional who was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge -- and utterly incorruptible!
 

welsh

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What is interesting is the average person couldn't tell the difference between 16ga wire and 10ga for their speakers. Most of audio is obsessing over issues that ARE NOT AUDIBLE! But, since I have said as much about 50 times on ASR, you are free to ignore me. I will just sit in in amazement at (you guessed it) people with God like hearing that they think they have.

I'm not as sweet as normal in this post. My cat just puked on the floor and I wanted to drop kick him into next week. He looked at me and his look said "You and who else"? He knows he gets away with murder. Always thinking he is my boss and I'm his slave. The nerve of that guy!
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.
 

welsh

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I do play instruments so I have to say the music is ahead of the cables for me. But we’re talking about price, not about eschewing cables. I follow the mantra that far wiser and more educated audio enthusiasts have taught me, which is to invest my money in the following descending order of priority: headphones/speakers—>amp—>DAC—>cables/connectors. And the degree of decline price-wise is exponential, not linear.

By the way, guitar and other instrument cables come in a huge price spectrum as well, and there are similar dichotomies in who buys the ultra-pricey ones and who couldn’t care less. I’ve met all sorts of pretentious paraprofessional or amateur rock gods who spend into the four figures for a guitar cable, with all the same “premium” materials and connectors and lofty claims from those manufacturers as well.

But I’ve delved deep enough into the gear that players of true eminence prefer, and although some may shell out astonishing amounts for their Les Pauls or Strats, they record and tour with cables that cost nothing and nobody is complaining that their albums would have sounded so much better had they just gone for broke and spent til it hurts on a $1,000 guitar cable. Those are made for fools and wannabes and everyone in the industry knows it.
I did once know a guy that spent countless hours ‘rolling’ pre-amp valves in his guitar amp. Actually, the audience doesn’t even care about the guitar you’re playing…
And good point about recording. Just how do these audiophool wires compensate for the thousands of feet of bog-standard wire in the recording studio?
 

welsh

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Any test for fancy Tellurium? I think they got one of the most mysterious stories in this business.
The genius who sells ‘em refuses to tell reviewers what they’re made of. Instant, profitable mystery. In the guitar world we had the Klon Centaur boost pedal. The circuit board was covered in black goop. Again, mystery, and allegedly ‘magic’ diodes.
 

welsh

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Well, i really don't want to hijack or answering this kind of unconstructive question.

Basically transcient response definition is Here, it's not entirely the length, material, drift velocity alone, but also temperature, gauge size, and capacitance.

In lay man term, a frequency response is sound energy vs frequency, transcient response is trascient speed versus frequency.

Whatever you "think" it is transcient resposne, it isn't. I think you mean drift velocity but I'm not sure, cause if you use two identicle cable, material ,gauge size and length, same shielding and outer dimeter, it will be the same.

Hence I donno what you're trying to pointing out, at all.
I take it you are not a ‘lay man’? By the way, you have now spelled ‘transient’ wrongly in TWO different ways.
 

DSJR

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The genius who sells ‘em refuses to tell reviewers what they’re made of. Instant, profitable mystery. In the guitar world we had the Klon Centaur boost pedal. The circuit board was covered in black goop. Again, mystery, and allegedly ‘magic’ diodes.
If tellurium Q, the conductors were widely spaced to apparently put a good bit of inductance into them. Can't speak for the rest though, but apparently they sound 'mellow' from what I've read, compared to the Naim A5 and similar they replaced in people's systems....
 

srkbear

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I did once know a guy that spent countless hours ‘rolling’ pre-amp valves in his guitar amp. Actually, the audience doesn’t even care about the guitar you’re playing…
And good point about recording. Just how do these audiophool wires compensate for the thousands of feet of bog-standard wire in the recording studio?
I build guitar amps and I must say the jury is still out on that one. Amir’s tests have not shown there to be much in the way of measurable differences between valves in a Hi-Fi setting, and I’m definitely inclined to trust his methods and conclusions. But with guitar amps we’re driving tubes way past their usual operating ranges and seeking a specific quality of sustain, dynamics and tone that results from intentional distortion—and not only has that not been subjected to measurements, I’m not sure how it could.

The NOS tube industry specific to guitar amps is ensconced in a long, storied tradition that is widely-held among professionals and hobbyists alike. Although I have bought many a pricey NOS Telefunken, Genalex or Mullard tube in my time, and like to think that I’m hearing what my musical heroes have heard in their own gear, I have no doubt that there’s a considerable amount of snake oil rampant in that market as well.

But your point about the miles of serviceable, spliced and taped together patch cables that have been utilized to record the vast majority of revered albums we enjoy is certainly well-taken. There’s nothing that a $1,000 XLR cable in home audiophile setups is going to retrieve that wasn’t captured during the mastering stage.
 

Bruce Morgen

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I did once know a guy that spent countless hours ‘rolling’ pre-amp valves in his guitar amp. Actually, the audience doesn’t even care about the guitar you’re playing…
And good point about recording. Just how do these audiophool wires compensate for the thousands of feet of bog-standard wire in the recording studio?

Let alone the dozens of those dreaded off-the-shelf NE5532 op-amps found in so many studio mixing desks.
 

mhardy6647

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With my set-up, she’s in the kitchen. She can then comment on how much better she sounds…
a quintessential audiophile fantasy, eh? Diana Krall rhapsodizing about the quality of one's hifi...

You know, I always sort of questioned her cred as a serious musician, until I saw this album cover. Clearly she takes her muse quite seriously.
51yfL9YdGfL.jpg

;)

... but I digress.
 

mattanderson

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. . . But with guitar amps we’re driving tubes way past their usual operating ranges and seeking a specific quality of sustain, dynamics and tone that results from intentional distortion . . .
I think this is the crux of the issue.

I don't think it's that contentious to say that different tubes (and amps) might sound different when driven far past clipping.
 

SIY

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I don't think it's that contentious to say that different tubes (and amps) might sound different when driven far past clipping.
But it is contentious to say (absent evidence) that different brands or vintages of tubes will have distinctive sounds when driven into clipping characteristic of that brand or vintage. Different tubes, sure, but two different (say) Amperex ECC83 from 1957 with square getters and L70F factory markings will also sound different from one another. In any population of tubes, there's a spread of grid leakage current, plate resistance, and input voltage to take the tube to clipping. The shape of the ink on the glass envelope is not relevant to that.
 

srkbear

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I take it you are not a ‘lay man’? By the way, you have now spelled ‘transient’ wrongly in TWO different ways.
I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that English is not his primary language. Although I empathize with the tediousness of being officiously lectured on the proper definition of a term when the term itself is not only being misspelled, but misspelled several different ways… :facepalm:
 
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