Finally got around to doing some AB testing.
I only swapped out the power cord used on the Holo Spring DAC.
Rest of the kit is as follows:
Source: Surface Pro 3 (Mine)
USB: Anticables USB
Interconnects: 1.5' & 3' Electra cables
Pre: Tsakiridis Alexander
Amp: Tsakiridis Apollon "Ultra"
Pre & Amp Power: Audio Art Cable
Speakers: JBL Studio Monitor 4309
Sub: Dual servo stands (Mine)
(Most items I'm borrowing from Ron to help burn things in)
B-24: Crisp, detailed with great definition, wide soundstage spatial cues, but natural with rich mids with and a very fluid quality i expect from tube based pre/amps. It's easy to get lost in the music.
Generic cable: VERY forward treble (on the edge of harsh) veiled mids, constrained/narrow soundstage, decent spatial cues, but imaging less well defined. Bass is muddy, esp upper/mid bass as details seem to smear into one another.
I honestly got a headache after about 4-5 songs.. lol
I know it's not a perfect or scientific A/B test, but I was honestly amazed how much more forward the treble on a generic cable was and how quickly it affected my desire to keep listening...
Not at all surprised the B24 sounded better, and in the ways you have described. Good on ya for doing the evaluation.
I'm kinda curious to see if "burning in" the generic cable for a few days helps any..
Nah...they're always going to sound like sh*t. They also carry RF and EMI, and...allow noise from the component's (e.g. amps and preamps) internal full-wave bridge rectifier power supply to come back out
and contaminate the quality of the power of your other components, in particular, your source components
, and do all sorts of nasty stuff. It's AC...alternating current. That means it goes...in both directions. You know, alternates.
Not just into the component, but also back out of the component; but now with added noise from the component's power supply.
I also need to build a rack to put things on, and start looking into buying some furniture/room treatment, cuz its definitely a lively bare room still that needs some attention.. lol
Yeah, a rack will really help. Putting components directly on carpet on the floor is just about the worst thing one can do. It really makes components sound thick (or...thin), dark, and compressed and adds "blur and slur". Believe it or not, even a rack with shelves made of particle board for shelves can work really well; it turns out that painted or epoxy-coated particle board is an excellent material for damping vibration (and, I've done the vibration tests using Vibsensor, and measured as imparted power, RMS, to know). All components are sensitive to vibration, but DACs, network bridges, streamers, etc. are particularly sensitive to it (it messes with their crystal oscillators). The Audio Advisor Pangea racks would be a good start. https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGVULRK
Even putting an amp on a nice maple board on solid wooden footers is a big improvement, as shown in this photo of the Conrad-Johnson ART 150 amp I have in for review, shown resting at lower left on the floor. The key here is to get good mechanical grounding
between the component and support. This is why even a hard rock maple board resting on wooden blocks on carpet can work really well.
Since this photo was taken with the ART resting on its stock footers, I've subsequently put the amp on HRS Nimbus couplers and spacers, between the amp and the maple board. Those work really well
; highly recommended. Those HRS guys really know what they are doing. If there are budget consraints for the HRS, get the Herbie's Audio Labs Tenderfoot. I've also measured those for attenuating imparted vibration using VibSensor, and they quite work well, also. https://herbiesaudiolab.com/collections/component-isolation/products/tenderfoot?variant=12643255353399
Oh, another tip, if you use a power distributor, get it off the carpet, as well. You can see my Shunyata Everest to the right of the main rack, on it's own rock maple board resting on Diversitech anti-vibration pads.
Cheers, have fun, and keep us updated. You will likely find that Danny's power cord will sound better over the course of 48 hours as it settles.