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  1. #1

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    Default Quick budget ic shoot out

    I'll admit this was a short demo on my part, but the truth is I could tell that the Douglas cables were staying. On loan I have a pair of Silnote Morpheous Reference and another pair of Grover Sx or 5x.

    Build quality easily goes to Douglas. They have more heft and the furez locking connectors are far and away better than the clamping designs on the other two. The silnotes are second in that respect, but I almost broke a sweat getting them to wrap around my preamp inputs.

    The silnotes are nice. They offer great detail that gave me low volume performance like I haven't had in my rig before. It was just as detailed and to ally correct regardless of the volume dial. I'd highly recommend this route if low volume is your preferred presentation. My only complaint is that it felt like the soundstage lost its depth - nothing felt recessed or forward. It was all on the same plane in space.

    The Grover's were also detailed and added a bit more weight to the music. However, they are my least favorite of the three. Their sound has depth, but it also introduces a fatiguing element that I did not care for. I imagine on a treble-shy system these would be a good option to consider. Like the silnotes, they offered greater detail than the Douglas while maintaining a feeling of space.

    The Douglas are my reference cables now for a reason - they are very well balanced cables. They don't scream out perfection in any one category (outside of tonality), but they don't do anything wrong. These are the most musical and holographic of the bunch, but separation isn't as strong as the other two. Just like the Pioneer bdp-51fd that took so long for me to replace, I think I'm going to have to spend quite a bit of dough to better them in my system. They also share the same feelings I had with the pioneer - I wish they just had higher resolution and detail, but every one I hear that offers that gives up the musicality as well. I'm just not willing to sacrifice musicality for a bit more detail.
    Last edited by DSkip; 04-13-2014 at 01:08 AM.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  2. #2

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    Good review. I wish I knew of Douglas Cables when I was buying Pangea, Kimber, and Mapleshade. I bet they would have saved me an upgrade step or two.

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    Wait til you get the alpha's in your system Derek ;) I should be sending them up to you tomorrow. I'll be interested in your thoughts on them.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I'm just not willing to sacrifice musicality for a bit more detail.
    My thoughts exactly also. Your findings in general echo my own. Finding those pieces of the puzzle that offer a tad more detail without sacrificing other area's isn't as easy as it appears to be.

    Doug's cables are indeed well balanced, not surprising you like them and an easy recommendation to anyone looking to up their game in cables without spending MIT prices.

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    I agree on the grovers, the place I used them was between the amp and preamp while using interconnects employing gold to mellow the sound. the grovers also have a smaller sound stage but they do let the music through. the reason I have held onto the silnotes was for their great midrange in my second system.
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  6. #6

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    Looking forward to trying some of the Douglas cables( IC's and speaker) for the HT system in the near future. Just bought a couple used pairs of Ben's Silvers in the flea market. I've never had any nice cables, always ran monoprice ,radio shack or a pair of Monster IC's.(yeah, I know I'm a cheapskate,lol)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polkie2009 View Post
    Looking forward to trying some of the Douglas cables( IC's and speaker) for the HT system in the near future. Just bought a couple used pairs of Ben's Silvers in the flea market. I've never had any nice cables, always ran monoprice ,radio shack or a pair of Monster IC's.(yeah, I know I'm a cheapskate,lol)
    You grabbed those huh. Nice cables and well balanced also. Was going to snag those as I have a pair of Bens cables that I somehow managed to pull a wire out moving stuff around. I liked them a lot and they compared well to many others costing more.

  8. #8

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    Hi Tony, I thought about trying some of these years ago and just never did. Along came some used ones so I figured I would give them a shot. At first I wasn't going to get both pairs, I wanted a fellow polkie to have a shot at picking up the other pair. I waited a bit and decided to go ahead and get both pairs to help the seller close his sale. Maybe he'll list more of them.

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    DSkip, have you done a shoot out with Blue Jeans Cables? I'm intrigued by them and lots of folks around here were high on them for a while. Their price-point appears to be just a notch lower than the Douglas, so that, of course, is appealing too.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMuell View Post
    DSkip, have you done a shoot out with Blue Jeans Cables? I'm intrigued by them and lots of folks around here were high on them for a while. Their price-point appears to be just a notch lower than the Douglas, so that, of course, is appealing too.
    I have not because I haven't known anybody local who has them. They are honestly not that high on my list because they don't seem to register at all with the people I seek input from. I've been fat and happy with Doug's cables, who just like any other company, I'm always skeptical of until I get to know their products. His product is excellent and has given me no reason to really look at options in the same price bracket.

    For what its worth and for those who think I'm just blowing smoke, I helped Doug out last year at Lone Star Audio Fest by promoting his company. I wanted to see another Polkie, especially in Texas, succeed. His product left me VERY impressed and they have had a permanent home in my system since. Doug is making it to the show this year to represent himself, but I'm still choosing to show his products and act as a second showroom for him. My long-term goal is to get into this industry and I know that representing poor products is not a way to build a name. That should speak to how highly I think of his cables.

    I've also tried to represent Essence Audio this year because their HDACC is a very impressive little DAC. The guy poured tons of his own money into it and I really believe he has a winner on his hands. I have the fear that it will die in obscurity and its too nice of a component to do that. I tried to get him more involved in LSAF this year, but it will be limited to me using it in my room and putting his company on my door sign. I'm not really representing him, but I am showing his product and trying to give him a little bit of exposure to the right people.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    Dskip - nice to hear your support of Doug. Great guy and products. I recently had a chance to trial his Furez IC's and biwire speakers cables. My Morrow IC's I thought sounded slightly better than the Douglas IC's, but his speaker cables had an edge over my DIY cables. Hope to get a chance to trial the Alpha's in the future too. Very solid build quality.
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    dskip, do me a favor and put the grovers on the amps and silnotes on the source and let me know what you think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvda1 View Post
    dskip, do me a favor and put the grovers on the amps and silnotes on the source and let me know what you think.
    I will sometime before LSAF.

    I got Doug's Alpha IC's yesterday and finally had time to hook them up tonight. They've been playing for about an hour now. I wasn't initially as impressed with them as I was the speaker cables. The subtle sounds in the background are not as prevalent as they are with Doug's cheaper IC's. The soundstage also lost the depth that it had before, both forwards and backwards. Not exactly 2-dimensional, but definitely not holographic. One thing it does seem to offer over the other IC's is a more transparent sound. My speakers disappear well in my setup, but with these in place, that property has definitely improved. They also seem to present a more natural sound - sort of like turning the vivid setting off on your television. I've been listening to the Gladiator soundtrack and the timbre of all instruments seems much more realistic now.

    These cables are also a new build, so I'm going to try to get as much time as I can over the next few weeks to see what they're capable of. Given the transparency and tonal characteristics they already offer over my "well-loved" IC's, I'm very anxious to see what the final sound signature will be.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  14. #14

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    Thanks for the review. It's always great to find great, cost-effective cable choices. I'm definitely going to be trying some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMuell View Post
    DSkip, have you done a shoot out with Blue Jeans Cables? I'm intrigued by them and lots of folks around here were high on them for a while. Their price-point appears to be just a notch lower than the Douglas, so that, of course, is appealing too.
    Anyone looking for budget IC's should seriously consider the Blue Jeans LC1's, although I will say they let everything through,i.e. they don't roll of the top end or favor any specific frequencies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon1952 View Post
    Anyone looking for budget IC's should seriously consider the Blue Jeans LC1's, although I will say they let everything through,i.e. they don't roll of the top end or favor any specific frequencies.
    While a few other cables may equal the Blue Jeans LC1's, it would be hard to better them at any price.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon1952 View Post
    Anyone looking for budget IC's should seriously consider the Blue Jeans LC1's, although I will say they let everything through,i.e. they don't roll of the top end or favor any specific frequencies.
    I ended up with a full complement of IC and bi-amp wires from BJC. Wow. Best couple hundred I have spent on this system. End of story, period. For now.

    Who knows, maybe someday I will dig a little deeper and try some "more expensive" cables, but for now, I am very content.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    While a few other cables may equal the Blue Jeans LC1's, it would be hard to better them at any price.
    So you tried some of those "any price " cables to make that statement ?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    So you tried some of those "any price " cables to make that statement ?
    Well the LC1's are around $35 for a 1m pair for starters so you don't have to spend much on other cables for the LC's to be a huge bargain. But I like the LC1's better than the Kimber Hero's which are hugely popular at their price point of a little over $200 for 1m, Audioquest Jaguar 36v dbs which I believe were well over $200, Dave's Cables D1 which were around $150 (because he sells from home but considering the materials were more in line with a $200-$300 cable), and about equal to Gabriel Gold Rapture V3 (silver/gold alloy conductor) which I got for $200 on Audiogon auction (the next auction went for over $300), but his list price is $995 (which isn't really realistic). The LC1's are a very low capacitance solid core conductor which many feel is a better option for unbalanced IC's vs a stranded conductor (which I believe is what most cables use).
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    While a few other cables may equal the Blue Jeans LC1's, it would be hard to better them at any price.
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    So you tried some of those "any price " cables to make that statement ?
    Good question.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Good question.
    While we don't know this person's credentials, after 40+ years in this hobby I have learned a few things. One, it is not rocket science to transmit a signal 1m in pristine form, and, even after buying into a lot of the hype over the years, I am convinced that past a certain price point we are throwing money down the drain. Add up the cost of even 24K gold conductors and the best connectors out there and you come in well below some of the prices out there. As for geometry and technical research and design being in the cost, give me a break. Like I said, it's not rocket science....in fact it's extremely simple.
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  22. #22

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    Well, I too have been in this game for roughly 40 years, and while I can't comment on what I don't have experience with or what you do, I can only share my opinions based on my own experiences. Fair enough ?

    As far as getting a signal from point A to point B, on the surface it's simple, but many variables come into play to effect the sound of that signal. If we were just transferring data, say like on a computer from one to another, it wouldn't matter much. Why ? Because we are using our visual sense to realize that data, not our hearing....different animals.

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