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JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2 XLR Cable Review

Rate this Cable

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 240 94.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 4.3%

  • Total voters
    253

amirm

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This is a review, detailed measurements and listening tests of the JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2 1 foot XLR cables. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $799 for a pair.
JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2  XLR Cable Review.jpg

As you can see, there is no fancy braiding or termination. Cables are a bit stiffer than my reference but still pliable enough to interconnect two pieces of audio stacked up. Neutrik connectors are used which are good.

JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2 XLR Cable Measurements
I used my Audio Precision analyzer as the "audio" source and destination to measure the performance of these cables. I used my lower cost measurement cable, the World's Best Cable (WBC) with Canare L-4E6S star quad cabling and Amphenol connectors. The WBC cables are 3 feet so at a bit of disadvantage relative to JPS cable. Let's start with wideband frequency response measurement going from DC all the way up to 90 kHz (4.5 times our hearing range):

JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2  XLR Cable Frequency Response.png

Using my standard ± 5 dB deviation vertical scale, the two graphs land on top of each other, ruling out any tonality differences. To dispel the myth that we can't measure differences between cables, let's zoom all the way in:

JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2  XLR Cable Frequency Response zoomed measurements.png

At this zoom ratio (0.002 dB), we have a difference in favor of JPS labs of 0.002 dB. This is to be expected as the JPS cable is 1/3 of the length of WBC so hast ever so slightly less loss. The loss is linear in the range so it only serve to change the volume of your amplifier by the same 0.002 dB. Breath on your volume control and you likely change it more than this! :)

Comments are often made that the noise floor goes down with premium cables so let's check that:
JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2  XLR Cable SNR measurements.png

The incredible dynamic range of Audio Precision analyzer let's us enjoy more than 22 bits of dynamic range/133 dB with either cable (4 volt signal). The tiny difference is run to run variations. So the noise floor has not changed either.

Lastly let's check for distortion using dual tones: 60 Hz and 7 kHz to cover both low and high basses:
JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2  XLR Cable IMD measurements.png

The difference once again is run to run variation.

We could keep going but results will be the same so let's move on.

JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2 Cable Listening Tests
I created a test setup using Toping D70s as the source and Topping A90 as the headphone amplifier. The output of the A90 then drove my Dan Clark Stealth headphones. I started with JPS cable and pulled up my reference test clips. The sound as expected was superb. So I swapped out the JPS for WBC cable. I immediately noticed more detail, and even slightly louder sound! The sound was that more enjoyable. I swapped back to the JPS cable and it was back to be slightly less loud and detailed. Once that difference had set in my brain, it was hard to get rid of it. :) Of course this is not a valid test. The switching took almost 30 seconds erasing any memory I had of the exact detail of the music I was playing. And at any rate, I was listening to a different segment of that track. But if you want to pick a winner, there it is: the $27 WBC cable!

Conclusions
The results here are no different than other cables we have tested. But we have had no coverage of JPS cables so is good to add data about it to our database. As noted, the differences in cables are absolutely measurable. And I am talking about direct difference in amplitude level. Alas, at 0.002 dB, it is not a meaningful difference and was most likely due to JPS cable being shorter than my reference.

Listening tests produced the typical response of the "second cable sounding better" which in this case turned out to be the much cheaper $27 cable. Of course the test did not follow proper protocol and test of repeatability. But such is the standard in premium audio tweak business. So going by that, "my ears told me the WBC cable was better than JPS!"

Needless to say, I can't recommend JPS LABS ULTRACONDUCTOR 2 XLR cable. Save that money and put it toward more music, better speakers/headphones.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Last edited:
Thanks for the reivew.
How someone can buy this is beyond me. The look of this cable is so poor, the name is awfull...
No luxury shielding, nothing.... just plain ugly.
At least with other snake oil cables, you get the looks.
 
I made my own, with Mogami cable and Neutrik XLR, for about € 25,- (and a hour of fun)

Guess these measure at least as good ;)

1610656321474.jpg
 
In the UK JPS is a cigarette brand.
Same here... John Player Special's.

1678260508595.png


UltraConductor 2 brings a closer glimpse into the source by giving their owners exciting bass definition, clarity of voice and life, and effortless high frequency extension, some of the exceptional qualities JPS cables are so well known for, and then some- sound conveyed in a very well balanced, exciting manner without noise, fatigue, or remorse, just beautiful music.
These lower cost JPS cables are best suited for those who are looking for a way to improve an already good system, who are ready to hear all that they have assembled to date, or those who wish to stay off of the merry-go-round many cables in the lower price ranges can place you on. JPS cables are an excellent tool to fine tune, then enjoy, any system. By minimizing the addition of their own sonic character, what's left is simply what remains to be adjusted. Once system faults become obvious and ironed out through time, further resolution toward hearing the intentions of the original artists can be gained with exciting results. You never would know how good your gear really is without taking this path.
If you're looking to take your musical or movie enjoyment to a significantly higher level, UltraConductor 2 interconnects and speaker cables will certainly be the life of any party. Be sure to have a listen to what JPS can do to introduce you to your system and your investments- all over again.
:facepalm:


JSmith
 
There's a minor typo „At this zoom ratio (0.002 dB), we have a difference in favor of JBL labs of 0.002 dB”. Otherwise, helpful as ever in debunking the „You need 1000% purity, space-grade dried Tibetan intestines cable if you are really serious into audio” myth.
 
Thanks @amirm !

We're beating a dead horse here, but it is always useful for those who still doubt...

Cablophiles will still going in circles, anyway: "You listen to music, not to graphs", "I've been an audiophile for 40 years and I hear a significant difference", "Your system is not resolving enough"... Blablabla...
 
JPS is one of the top brands in audio cables.

I'd be interested to see the standard of their internal termination in the XLRs. (easy to unscrew...) The look of the cable doesn't exactly instil confidence.
 
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