Has anyone tried different AES cables with the Vivaldi other than the basic brands suggested here. Shunyata Sigma or Omega for example? Are the potential SQ gains worth the extra resources?
I have got two Transparent Reference AES cables. The sound of my stereo is fantastic, that is all I can say. The AES cables play their role in my system, but no idea of the importance of these cables in the overall sound quality.
I use Atlas Mavros AES on my system which retail for about £450 in the UK. My dealer, who only sells audio cables, advised that it was not a good investment to spend anymore than this, despite my willingness to do so. Clearly, many of the recommended AES on this forum are even cheaper than the Atlas. Whilst I have not compared my Atlas with any other AES cables, there does seem to be a reasonable level of consensus that there is a ceiling beyond which the value for money aspect of AES diminishes significantly.
I have tried Mavros and thought it was quite ok compared to others. I slowly moved up the chain (including the Transparent reference which came after the Mavros and which I thought was very good and better than the Mavros) The Nordost Valhalla was ok too but my favourite for quite some time was the Siltech triple or double crown thingy aes. I was quite content until I heard the Entreq Olympus. Now that has stayed !!! And yes I have a Vivaldi stack
I received the set of Shunyata Sigma V1 AES cables today and they are reburning in now. I switched back and forth from the Van Damm factory cables and found that the Sigmas are better in terms of image depth and fill in. They reduced sibilance on female vocals as well. The differences are clearly there, but this was an expensive gain. Not going back now that I have heard them, but moving to Shunyata Alpha V2 power cords on the dCS components was a very big improvement by comparison. I am mentioning brands here as these made improvements in my system, but I did not do a cable shootout. There may be more to gain with different cables, but I am happy with what I am hearing with these now. Thanks for the comments.
If by " factory cables" you mean those that came in the box as supplied by dCS I have never found them to provide cables from Van Damme. Still things may have changed at some point so , just out of interest, are you able to confirm their origin? Van Damme label their cables clearly so the jacket will display both Van Damme ,the product reference e.g. 268-482-000, type and impedance.
Pete, mine are Van Damme (the name is printed on the cables). I bought my dCS boxes late last year. I think the cables are 1.5 m. I bought some QED AES/EBU cables as replacements, partly to get something a bit nicer, and partly because I didn’t need that length. I did not test them one brand vs the other. Now, amazingly, none of the connecting cables touch any of the others, but I would not claim that is any more than an aesthetic benefit.
The cables that came with my used Vivaldi that I replaced with both the cheapo Mogami (part number 3080) cables and the Shunyata Sigma V1s are Van Damme 268-402-050 110-ohm digital audio upofc microphone cable, per the labeling on the cable. In terms of sound the Mogami cheapos were average, then Van Damme better, and Shunyata Sigma V1 better still. That is, and shall be the extent of my AES shootout for now. I like the Shunyaya soundstage depth and fill in, bass is better and female vocals and cymbals sound great with little ringing or sibilance. Overall a more refined sound. I am also running the Mogami 75 ohm cables with the clock per recommendations from this forum. Is this also a questionable choice?
If you like them then they are great. If you don’t then they aren’t .
Objectively, and at the simplest level, all that is required is a 75ohm coax cable terminated with 75 ohm BNC connectors and of sufficient length to reach between the components. Subjectively it’s a case of each to their own.
NB : there is another current thread running on our community forum about clock cables.
My view is that different wordclock cables do make audible differences. They also can measure differently of course ( see eye pattern tests).
My odd finding over the past twenty odd years is that , for reasons that I cannot explain, 75 ohm coax cables that make good sounding music data carriers make poor sounding wordclock cables and vice versa ( so far no exceptions to this rule of thumb). Surely they should be equally good for either purpose?