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Belden ICONOCLAST XLR Cable Review

Rate this cable

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 134 52.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 81 31.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 20 7.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 22 8.6%

  • Total voters
    257

Balle Clorin

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I wonder why the first dashboard plot shows noise\ hash at -150db but the table below say -121. I see this difference in every dashboard. Why is not the values similar , Is it averaging in the plot that reduces the noise level or what?
 
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D

Deleted member 46664

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Oh sorry Douglas, I understood your point but I phrased it wrongly.
I mean I'm glad most cables don't and should not strain or break devices connectors. I took that for granted for years based on my experience (using typical cables). Never really considered there are designs that could harm and burden the devices connectors/sockets like that.

No worries. It was one of those things you could read more than one way.

It's not something I would expect someone who buys half a dozen cables to consider... but it is something that gets plenty apparent from the service side when you end up having to fix the problems it causes.
 

pkane

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I wonde why the first dashboard plot shows noise\ hash at -150db but the table below say -121. I see this difference in every dashboard. Why is not the values similar , Is it averaging in the plot that reduces the noise level or what?
Look up FFT gain. What you see on the frequency plot is the total noise divided over multiple FFT buckets. The larger the FFT size, the lower the noise in each bucket.
 

Geert

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It is common knowledge that silver needs longer than others.

hearsay.png
 

Billy Budapest

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Hi

Opinion:

Belden knows cables intimately. Not only the technical aspect of all things cable, but also, the cable and wires Market. The objective audiophile is , by now I hope, fully aware of the extraordinary (insane?) price of audiophile cables, thus the astronomical margins that those products provide.
HEA (High End Audio) manufacturer A, takes some basic copper cable likely made by Belden itself, dresses it with some inexpensive but good looking sheath, tacks some well-made but still "normally"-priced connectors at each end; invents a story and sends said cable to a reviewer. Once the cable arrives, in a great-looking box that could make Apple jealous, ..., the soundstage opens even more, becomes clearer, more defined, the separation between instruments becomes more pronounced, yet more realistic. Diana Krall, who up to then, was only in the room, is now seating on your lap, licking you with her lyrics, while the bass now, is something you weren't ever expecting from your $35,000, single driver and bandwidth-limited mini-monitor...
Total cost cost of manufacture of such competitor cable , perhaps $250... I am being generous.. Price of the ware? $15,000.oo.
Science backup of such cable? :rolleyes: .., Quantum Tunneling , cryogenic treatment perhaps ultra high-purity 99.999999% copper, ... vacuum deposited soldering.. graphene granules acting as micro-Shock absorbers perhaps ? Why not? nanotech somewhere intonation in the marketing blub

Now you have Belden. They know how to make the wires. Even the subjective audiophile knows they are the real thing. Belden knows there is a market... Belden taps into the market, Belden keeps the price low enough so that it seems to abide to Belden philosophy, but makes sure there is something scientific behind it and perhaps there is, but all that , knowing for well, such differences are not audible. Now Belden is in HEA conversation

Subjective reviewer receives the Belden cable, find it superb , perhaps better than all such cables costing less than $7500.oo. He loved it so much it had to keep the review sample. Boom! A new market opens for Belden. Could well be for, them one of the the quickest to add a few millions to their coffers.
================

Not pleased by this Belden stunt, but .. I am fully aware we are living in a capitalist world ...

Peace.
The real story is more like this:

Semi-retired well respected Belden engineer has a “pet project.” The engineer is accomplished and knows the materials science and physics, but is also a “true believer” in his pet project. Belden acquiesces to his pet project knowing that only small amounts of cable will be involved and it won’t affect the company’s bottom line whatsoever.. The wire geometry is complex and requires Belden to construct and employ new machinery. The cost is amortized into the price of the cable. The cable is expensive to produce. Cable is sold at cost to purpose-built company (Iconoclast). Iconoclast subcontracts to BJC to connectorize and market the cables.

I’ve spoken with Galen Gareis via email, read the information in the link below, and watched a number of interviews with Gareis. I think I have the story correct.



So, what we have here is a product designed by someone no less than brilliant, manufactured by a huge multinational corporation that’s in the business of making all kinds of cables, sold for an expensive but not ridiculous price, but that in the end performs no better but no worse than off the shelf cable. Pity.

I would love for Gareis to show up and comment.
 

Blockader

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I rated them with *great*, they are definitely transparent cables. I think all cables are great.
 

Geert

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I would love for Gareis to show up and comment.

Don't know if that would make us any wiser, because according to this article:

"He (* Gareis) admits to hearing a difference between the various copper variants – and agrees it isn’t measurable. And that is why the cables are offered in a variety of copper pulls. Each pair of Iconoclast cables have similar LCR values, are built with exactly the same dielectric, geometry, and connectors. Any audible differences would only be attributed to the copper used."

Not measurable, and no difference in a null test. Hearing is believing ...
 

Talisman

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It seems to me that the only logical option with xlr cables of this price is missing, the panther with his hands in the piggy bank.
But it seems that for some reason we have gone light on this review
 

martijn86

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They do look pretty. That's at least worth $15/m.

Nothing really exotic going on, except for the price and the marketing material. I like something that's properly build, not compromised to shave costs (aluminium wire) and with some attention to shielding and locking connectors but nothing justifies a price tag of >$40/m.

Oh and Belden, it is actually ETP copper.
 

REK2575

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At this point, isn't it safe to assume that all 'premium' cables claiming to improve listening quality are snake-oil? I keep coming to these revieww wondering if, at last, Amir has finally found a cable that actually improves on whatever the low-cost generic equivalent may be. And I've yet to see that happen.

So I'm not sure why Amir keeps bothering with these product reviews. Yeah, those $1,000 what-have-you cables don't actually do squat. Surprise, surprise.
 

phoenixsong

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pkane

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It's just wire...

But... the atoms are better aligned to improve the timing at different frequencies... o_O:facepalm:

Galen's theory on why cables make a difference is that different frequencies in audio have different propagation delay/speed in the cable and he aims to reduces this differential as to have all the frequencies arrive closer in time.

By the way, DeltaWave phase plot will tell you all you need to know about variable group delay across frequencies. That's the claimed benefit to using Iconoclast -- easy enough to measure. Here's the difference between Iconoclast and WBC cables using Amir's captures:

1652453473793.png
 

Somafunk

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Do you guys think this cable is effective or a gimmick at negating external noise/interference?

No opinion on their claims but I use Sommer Carbokab and Neutrik xlr connectors on advice from a mate in the industry for my cxn v2 streamer > active sub > active speakers, his static studio equipment is wired up with carbokab and for mobile gear that is swapped out/in all the time he uses a more flexible sommer cable, I plugged the cables in to my equipment and sound comes out, that’s as far as I feel the need to explore with cables.
 

Labjr

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Do you guys think this cable is effective or a gimmick at negating external noise/interference?
Judging by this review, I would say it doesn't matter.
 

Garrincha

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These are great, detailed measurements, but for sure the believers will have to point out any (in fact non-existing) flaw, there unfortunately is no rational and scientific way to convince them. Same with religion.
 

Spkrdctr

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True believers only accept it as evidence when the cable is tested when installed in a hifi system, preferably their system. And you shouldn't use digital equipment to test of course, because it can't capture micro detail ;)
Yup, that invalidates the use of the digital AP555 in testing. So, in essence since Amir's testing method is so weak it can't possibly pick up the sonic detail that we can hear. Therefor Amir's testing is a waste of time. So, the entire ASR website is useless. We have to go to the best method of testing product, that is by listening with our ears. Our ears catch so much micro detail and sonic artifacts that Amir misses.

There, this is why the Audiophools will never agree that testing any audio equipment is valid. We can only get this fantastic info (Amir's testing) to people who have not drunk the Audiophool Kool-Aid. Our job is big and hard, but I feel that we are penetrating into the Audiiophool arena slowly but surely. We just have to keep pushing!
 
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mightycicadalord

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Whoa, it's a cable!

Speaking of cables though , got into a spat recently at geartrash. Some new IEM's from some company called clear. You can scroll down and read their claims on their $200 IEM cables.


While obviously full of shit, wouldn't mind at least seeing some sort of test on IEM cables to rule everything out.
 
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