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Vovox Mic Cable vs Standard Mic Cable spoken-word test (WAV's posted) - you decide!
Old 20th October 2007
  #1
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Vovox Mic Cable vs Standard Mic Cable spoken-word test (WAV's posted) - you decide!

There are lots of threads about cables on this Forum full of theoretical speculation and conjecture but entirely devoid of substance; it seemed like a good idea to start another from the more sensible base of hard auditory evidence, which is surely the soundest route to impressing denizens of a Forum like this.

It would seem difficult to record and post the results of speaker and power cable listening tests on an Internet Forum, but microphone and other interconnecting cable surely is something that can be tested, recorded and results posted for 3rd party evaluation...

So here is a realworld spoken-word test I ran a couple of years back between two different mic cables of the same length. (Inevitably I've upgraded my gear a bit since then so at some point I aim to re-run the test in a RealTraps treated space and utilising a Pauli Superscreen popshield; watch this space.)

Vovox Mic Cable

Standard (Belden/Neutrik) Cable

Is there a difference?
For once, because I have posted WAV's you can decide for yourself, rather than speculating one way or the other!
I know what my ears tell me!

Do the files null?
I don't know - I haven't tested this but I doubt it since the sonic differences (at least to my ears) are so apparent. Feel free to try it and report back! Of course some obvious reasons these particular files probably won't is that however good manufacturing tolerances are these days I suspect there's no such thing as a perfectly cloned microphone. And also that I cannot say my positioning was accurate between them to less than a millimeter. Did I swap around the mics and rerun the test? Yes. Did I swap around the pre-amp channels and rerun the test? Yes. Were the results and sonic differences pretty much identical and thus attributable to the principal variable of swapping the cable? Yes. Will you be re-testing this one day with a single microphone and a splitter to eliminate at least some of these outstanding variables? Yes - watch this space!

Why didn't you make this test blind and ask folks to choose?
Because it's irrelevant which one you 'prefer'; for the purposes of this argument the only interest is in establishing whether or not there is a sonic difference between the two WAV's.

Can we trust you not to have messed with the files?
I have no connection or financial interest in Belden, Neutrik, Vovox or any of the other cable/equipment-makers here. I'm just a regular Gearslut like you are. I have absolutely nothing to gain from posting the results of my test and it's not even like I need to justify a large outlay on the so-called 'boutique' Vovox cable as it was included free with my Brauner Phantom AE microphone. So why on earth would I bother skewing the results?

Do you honestly expect this to be the last word on this?
Of course not - I'm not that naive, this is Gearslutz after all and we're all here to exchange views and share expertise! However, I'm an empiricist so I'm firmly of the view that if at all possible, in audio as in anything, it's very helpful to provide evidence to back up one's POV. So with respect to this thread it's now quite reasonable to ask anyone wishing to discredit my opinion (which is that switching cables does make a difference to the sound) to do so either in reference to the WAV's I've provided or to ante up WAV's of their own test.

Testing equipment was as follows:
Mics: Matched pair of Microtech Gefell M300 SDC's
Pre-amps & Conversion: Metric Halo ULN-2
DAW: Logic 7
Format: 24-bit/44.1k WAVs
Processing/Normalising etc: None
Room Type: Living room, ie no special acoustic treatment
Pop shield: I honestly don't recall if I used one or not, I think not but if I did it's a Sennheiser
Tracking Cans: Sony MDR-7509
Old 24th October 2007
  #2
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Thumbs up Vovox Cable

Vovox Cablethumbsup

Do you Have Apogee Wide-Eye XLR AES-EBU ? ...heh
Old 24th October 2007
  #3
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mljung's Avatar
Both examples suffers, to my ears, from a presence peak [from the M300] that I dislike.
Although they sound different I find it hard to find a real winner when it comes to which cable handles this the best.
Maybe a comparison would be easier to judge using say 3 different mikes on acoustic instruments [piano, guitar, cello]

Anyhow; thanks for doing this shootout, I have been looking at Vovox for some time, but nothing in this test would make get those instead of my standard cables, which are easier to handle and cheaper to get.

Old 31st October 2007
  #4
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
I find it hard to find a real winner

brain damage ?
Old 1st November 2007
  #5
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

Vovox Cable wins this one for me, not cause of brad.. I just find it clearer and less muddy than the other cable.
On the Other Cable you have more bass and mids. Maybe this one is better for bass sounds as the vovox...?? Can you also post here a file maybe?
It would be cool if you can put also Mogami, Monster to your test, if possible.... what cost like the same as the Vovox.

Do you know if there is a sound difference with the shielded and the unshielded Vovox Cable also?

I read somewhere that they mostly sell unshielded, so that's why I'm wondering...
Old 3rd November 2007
  #6
I talked to Jürg (the owner, and founder of vovox) on the hi-endgear.com exebition in Germany about it.

he told me, that it's not necessary to buy the shielded version, as his cables usually dont have any troubles with outcoming magnetic waves.

if you have, you can buy the shielded version.

no sound-diffrence.

yes there is a sounddiffrence between cables.heh

cheers
Old 11th January 2008
  #7
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

I wired my connection to my monitors now with vovox cables. The first cable from my soundcard to the SPL Volume 2 was already Vovox but the second one to the studio monitors was a standard Monster Cable (doesn't exactly know which one but not the expensivest one).....
OMG i love to listen to music again on my studio much more than ever !!!!
It's so much more trasparent and you can hear a lot of details and deepness in the sound. Just Love it!!
Old 31st January 2008
  #8
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i prefer the regular. vovox is too 'hyped' in the highs for me. more clear but less natural/relaxing.

Old 31st January 2008
  #9
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wildpark's Avatar
 

Smile

i have gotham cables

and this cables are the first choice for dirk brauner microfones

this cable is easy too buy used actually by some many facility in around

of course professional ones

per meter you pay around 4 euro

so why this vovox test too

a standart crap cable ! there are so many choices out there


patrick
Old 2nd February 2008
  #10
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpark View Post
i have gotham cables and this cables are the first choice for dirk brauner microfones... so why this vovox test too
Then you need to ask Dirk Brauner why he ships his microphones with Vovox cables, because that's where I got mine from - it was included with my Phantom AE.

Besides, I did the test for my own interest and posted the results in case it was interesting for anyone else. I'm not telling anyone to buy Vovox - if Gotham works for you that's cool.

But what I am fed up with is threads about cables in which folks rail away for or against without supplying a shred of evidence in either direction. With something like speaker cable I accept that presenting recorded evidence is difficult, but with microphone cable it certainly isn't. I would suggest that anyone who wishes to contest the view that there is a marked difference in sound between microphone cables will need to provide evidence of the sort I have before they are taken remotely seriously.
Old 2nd February 2008
  #11
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wildpark's Avatar
 

Smile

jens first you are right this time its a vovox

but the first years they was gotham my vma is one of that produktion date.

as dirk brauner made his tooday reputation.


gotham cable made him famous and this mikes the ones sold too all the big facilitys and pros

i never hear anybody talking everywhere too replace it with vovox.

thsi guys just work with it every day critical listening.

at the original produktion days where allready expensiver cabeles outs there he could used for that projekt.


gotham audio is a company was the original neumann and telefunken seller and service department at the early days of the golden age

with the same cables used for oldfashioned mics like neumann series (u47,67,m....)telefunken

also known for emt cabeling (you now that emt)

gotham made hollywood history with cabeling

the first and tooday they have original cables and best

cables you can get (without fancy collors like sommer epilog or other ones !)

for a price its worth and luky customers



just call gotham swiss

iam shure they will send you a cable example (you can

ask them my was free !)


all the best patrick
Old 3rd February 2008
  #12
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

Maybe we can proove the difference with these gotham cables with a little shoutout one day, would be interesting...
Old 4th February 2008
  #13
Kai
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpark View Post
jens first you are right this time its a vovox

but the first years they was gotham my vma is one of that produktion date.

as dirk brauner made his tooday reputation.


gotham cable made him famous and this mikes the ones sold too all the big facilitys and pros

i never hear anybody talking everywhere too replace it with vovox.

thsi guys just work with it every day critical listening.

at the original produktion days where allready expensiver cabeles outs there he could used for that projekt.


gotham audio is a company was the original neumann and telefunken seller and service department at the early days of the golden age

with the same cables used for oldfashioned mics like neumann series (u47,67,m....)telefunken

also known for emt cabeling (you now that emt)

gotham made hollywood history with cabeling

the first and tooday they have original cables and best

cables you can get (without fancy collors like sommer epilog or other ones !)

for a price its worth and luky customers



just call gotham swiss

iam shure they will send you a cable example (you can

ask them my was free !)


all the best patrick

Dear Patrick,

Dirk Brauner changed from Gotham to VOVOX because there was a very obvious difference in sound quality, especially in the tube-cables. Dirk won't change to a much higher priced cable if there was no difference in sound.

We have pretty much clients who buy a new tube-cable for their "older" Brauner mics.

Regards

Kai
Old 4th February 2008
  #14
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For anybody who wants to get an insight into the mic cable question, I suggest connecting a mic directly to the pre-amp and comparing that to a connection via good length of any mic cable.

This at least indicates what might be lost and can direct you toward the cable that sounds the most like the direct connection.

For my testing of this I simply attach my mics directly to the pre-amps but I also built a very simple connector from two XLR connectors essentially soldered together back-to-back. This allows almost any mic to be plugged straight into the pre-amp. Cheap and easy to build.

Andy

PS, I can post some clips in the spirit of this forum if anybody is interested.....
Old 5th February 2008
  #15
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

That sounds a really interesting approach Andy - you create a sort of 'control' by having no cable at all!

I'd certainly listen to the test results - please make them WAV's not mp3's.
Old 6th February 2008
  #16
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wildpark's Avatar
 

Smile

dear kai

just take a gotham cable and test yourself


greetz patrick
Old 6th February 2008
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
That sounds a really interesting approach Andy - you create a sort of 'control' by having no cable at all!

I'd certainly listen to the test results - please make them WAV's not mp3's.
Ok, will do if I have time tomorrow!

Andy
Old 7th February 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson View Post
For anybody who wants to get an insight into the mic cable question, I suggest connecting a mic directly to the pre-amp and comparing that to a connection via good length of any mic cable.

This at least indicates what might be lost and can direct you toward the cable that sounds the most like the direct connection.

For my testing of this I simply attach my mics directly to the pre-amps but I also built a very simple connector from two XLR connectors essentially soldered together back-to-back. This allows almost any mic to be plugged straight into the pre-amp. Cheap and easy to build.

Andy

PS, I can post some clips in the spirit of this forum if anybody is interested.....
now we should start comparing connectormaterials used, soldermaterials, soldering iron, temperature, envirnoment humidity, the mood of the solderer, and the phase of the moon...

don't forget the musician who doesn't deserve a vovox-cable/braunermicrophone 99% of the time.
Old 7th February 2008
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
now we should start comparing connectormaterials used, soldermaterials, soldering iron, temperature, envirnoment humidity, the mood of the solderer, and the phase of the moon...

don't forget the musician who doesn't deserve a vovox-cable/braunermicrophone 99% of the time.
Now George, stop causing trouble!

Ok, here is round 1:

This is nylon acoustic guitar strummed with some energy. Background noise from workshop PC & other bits inc. monitors buzzing away.

Stereo file - one side is with 50ft of cheap (unbranded) cable (which is actually two 25ft cables chained together in series) and the other side is direct. Matched mics.

I'll give my opinion of the outcome later but maybe I'll do a bit of tambourine first and post that too if I have time this week.

Andy
Attached Files

Acoustic_ModelA.wav (2.41 MB, 5611 views)

Old 8th February 2008
  #20
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

I doesn't get that test really...thought you want to compare something, not only one audio file with some music goin on.........
or am i missing something???
Old 9th February 2008
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuewi View Post
I doesn't get that test really...thought you want to compare something, not only one audio file with some music goin on.........
or am i missing something???
Sorry if I didn't make it clear.

The sample above is a 'stereo' file made with a pair of matched mics as close together as possible.

One mic went via 50ft of cheap mic cable and the other went direct into the pre-amp.

To compare the two you need to load the stereo file into some editor/daw and compare left channel with right channel, as individual mono recordings.

Andy
Old 10th February 2008
  #22
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Well, the difference is pretty obvious. A lot more high end on the left channel. Also more transient detail which cannot be restored by EQing.
Old 11th February 2008
  #23
Kai
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpark View Post
dear kai

just take a gotham cable and test yourself


greetz patrick
Believe me, that's what we did and Brauner of course did also.
Brauner won't include a much more expensive cable which makes no difference or sound more worse than the cheaper cable... They decided to include the more expensive cables to their mics because the difference was simply to obvious.

Kai
Old 11th February 2008
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Well, the difference is pretty obvious. A lot more high end on the left channel. Also more transient detail which cannot be restored by EQing.
Impressive ears.

So, what are you listening on?

Andy
Old 11th February 2008
  #25
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You mean substance and everything? Just kidding.

I'm listening on Adam A7. But really, this test got me convinced to try it out for myself. As soon as my new converter arrives I'll connect the mic directly to the preamp and will also test the teflon-insulated silver-copper cable I bought more than a year ago.

Is the difference this obvious only with low-amplitude signals like mics and guitar coils? Or will this come up audible as well between - say - outboard and converters?


Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson View Post
Impressive ears.

So, what are you listening on?

Andy
Old 11th February 2008
  #26
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glowworm's Avatar
 

reguler
Old 11th February 2008
  #27
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wildpark's Avatar
 

Smile

anyway kai

the gotham cables are good if i need some asskicking cable iam going with sommer epilog

the only reason why gotham sucks is the service people itself cuz i resently payd gotham but they never send me my cables i all ready payd ! just watch my posts for the full story.

so better you go too them direktly paying cash for cable.


all the best patrick

Last edited by wildpark; 19th June 2008 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: reason for edit !
Old 12th February 2008
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
You mean substance and everything? Just kidding.

I'm listening on Adam A7. But really, this test got me convinced to try it out for myself. As soon as my new converter arrives I'll connect the mic directly to the preamp and will also test the teflon-insulated silver-copper cable I bought more than a year ago.

Is the difference this obvious only with low-amplitude signals like mics and guitar coils? Or will this come up audible as well between - say - outboard and converters?
I never felt the need to try this with line-level cabling. Impedances are less problematic and voltages are much bigger.

There is one significant caveat to the test however.

I first did this test when I was in the late prototype testing stages of the microphone used for the test above.

I wanted to find out if the mic cable had become a limiting factor in the increased resolution of the design.

Honestly, I'm not sure if you would get the same result with a conventional microphone. You would probably get more HF, but not necessarily increased resolution.

My mics are a something of a special case for this test since they have better inherent time-response than normal mics (hence the transient detail you noticed - which can't be added back with EQ).

If you have time to make the test with some different mics maybe you could post some clips up here and we can see what happens?

Andy
Old 12th February 2008
  #29
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Sure, I'll post the results. But I won't be able to do singe-take-tests as I haven't got matched mics.

What kind of microphones are you building? This sounds interesting!
Old 12th February 2008
  #30
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Well, the difference is pretty obvious. A lot more high end on the left channel. Also more transient detail which cannot be restored by EQing.
What he said!

I've also got some noticeable increased LF 'boominess' in the Right side sample.

There's enough of a difference in this test to make one think there could be two different mics involved!

This is a fascinating and thoroughly convincing test - another nail in the coffin of those that still doubt that mic cables can make a significant difference to sound recordings.

Many thanks for posting Andy - I hope this thread becomes something of a reference for all Gearslut cable-sceptics!

What we need to examine next is how different cables perform in different environments - for example the Vovox cables I tested are unshielded and could, in certain circumstances, behave differently in different environments.

Also, is there any evidence to suggest that cables behave differently at different temperatures and change their characteristics with age too?
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