Silver Dragon Premium Cable for Abyss AB-1266 Headphones
Silver Dragon Premium is our top-of-the-line cable for Abyss headphones. It is a silver conductor based cable, and it uses 4 x 99.99998% UP-OCC Stranded Silver 24AWG Teflon insulated stranded conductors.
It can improve the listening enjoyment of the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC Headphone and it has lots of detail, great energy, a fantastic soundstage with lots of air. It is also a great candidate for warmer sounding headphones or planar magnetics like the Abyss, Audeze LCD-2 or LCD-3.
- 4 x 24AWG
- 99.99998% UP-OCC Silver
- Varying Size Stranding
- Mudorf MSolder SUPREME Silver-Gold mix
- Aluminum Foil, Braided Wire Shield
- Silver Polyethylene
- Dual Entry (Y-type)
- 3-pin Mini XLR
- Fullsize Headphone
- Sound Signature
- Break-In Time
- 80 Hours
2 months ago
A 27� quad-core iMac with 32GB of RAM and a 3TB Fusion drive running El Capitan and Audirvana Plus (no iTunes)
A three-meter AudioQuest Diamond USB cable
An Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC
Two pairs of Stealth Sakra interconnects, one balanced and one single ended
A Cavalli Liquid Gold
A Woo Audio WA5-LE V2 with Western Electric 300Bs
Many pairs of headphones, including the Abyss AB-1266 Deluxe, which are not necessarily my favorites, but which I like very much
I�m also using all Stealth Swift power cables (one with pure silver connectors) and an Equi=Tech balanced transformer plugged into a PS Audio Power Plant 10 plus a Chang Lightspeed CLS-309 just for good measure.
I started reading about third-party headphone cables for the AB-1266s a while and even though I�m just crazy enough to spend $3,000.00 on the JPS Labs �super cable� now offered for the AB-1266s, I decided to pass. Instead, I asked Drew Baird at Moon Audio to make up a ten-foot, balanced Silver Dragon cable for then with just one long cable (not a separate cable from each ear cup) leading to a full-size four-pin XLR, which I knew would work with either my Liquid Gold or my WA5-LE V2. I like the cable that came with the Abyss headphones, but they seem to sizzle a little in the high frequencies at least without significant burn in and they also seemed to be lacking in a certain degree of spaciousness of sound. I could have tried many other third-party cable, but I know the Silver Dragon sound very well and I also trust Drew Baird of Moon Audio not to rip me off (i.e., to charge me an excessive profit margin regardless of his cost just because he could).
If you�ve never heard of Drew, or his company, Moon Audio, I have to tell you that you�re missing out. Located in Cary, NC, Moon Audio started as a hobby for Drew, who is a Professional Engineer, and eventually became a full-time business with employees and everything, not only selling headphones and other audio equipment, but some of the finest, least expensive headphone cables out there. Drew�s, or Moon Audio�s, three main cables are the Blue Dragon (all copper), the Black Dragon (silver-plated copper), and my personal favorite, the Silver Dragon (all silver). Although I will occasionally get a Blue Dragon cable attached to, e.g., my slightly bright Beyerdynamic T70p�s that I use at the office with a 13� MacBook Air, Drew�s Black Dragon USB cable, and a space gray Woo Audio WA8 Eclipse, or the Black Dragon headphone cable for my HiFiMan HE-1000s, I most often favor the Silver Dragon because of the overall clarity of sound. So that�s what I choose to go with my Abyss AB-1266 Deluxe headphones for the most part paired with my Woo Audio WA5-LE V2 with Western Electric 300Bs, which is not to say that I disliked the sound of the Cavalli Liquid Gold. It just seemed to be a better match for my Silver Dragon modified Audeze LCD-2.2s and my Audio AN-SPx modified AKG-K701s, which found the perfect match in the Liquid Gold.
Drew made the Abyss Silver Dragon cable for me �on spec�, meaning that we were just trying it out to make sure I didn�t want a double run of Silver Dragon, one from each ear cup, or some such thing, and that he would only charge me if and when I decided that I wanted to keep the cable. I had actually been visiting a friend in Cary, NC, the home of Moon Audio, and got to spend an afternoon with Drew chatting and listening to various headphones and headphone amps. I�ll say right now that I�m in love with the Mr. Speakers ETHER headphones and the Pass high-current headphone amp, but I only have so many dollars in the bank. We also discussed the design of the Silver Dragon Abyss headphone cable and came to what I felt would be an optimal balance of sound and convenience, not to mention cost. I returned to my home in San Francisco, CA and a few weeks later a padded envelope arrived with exactly what Drew and I had discussed!
I carefully tore open the envelope and connected my AB-1266s to my Liquid Gold. Suddenly all of that �tizzy� high frequency nonsense was gone and the sound seemed smooth as silk. I notice an increase, somewhat paradoxically, in the overall clarity of the sound, as the midrange opened up, and although I didn�t think I was l was listening to a pair of Beats, the bass also sounded a lot more firm. Next I connected I connected the whole thing to my WA5-LE V2 and, even though I was then running single ended instead of balanced (using the same cable with its four-pin XLR) I noticed a relatively dramatic increase in the spaciousness of the sound particularly after I replaced the stock 300Bs with a matched set of non-NOS Western Electric 300Bs. I listened a lot. I tried my HiFiMan HE-1000s with Drew�s deluxe Black Dragon balanced cable using a special rhodium-plated four-pin XLR connector. I found the HE-1000s to feel much lighter and more comfortable on my head plus they just look a whole lot nicer. However, the music sounded a lot closer. In other words, I lost a lot of that spaciousness that I got with the Abyss/Silver Dragon combination, something that I can�t say I heard with the stock Abyss cables.
I listened to the 24/96 of Linda Ronstadt�s Heart Like a Wheel. I hear near-electrostatic detail without the high-frequency sizzle that I often hear with the higher-end Stax headphones even on reference-level amplifiers like the Woo Audio WES (the stock version with stock tubes). There might have been a tiny bit of congestion in the higher frequencies but the overall presentation of the music was so pristine that I may have been hearing the limits of the recording. Next up was the 24/96 download of Mark Knopfler�s Shangri-La, a very rich sounding album, which had much deeper bass and more extended high-frequency detail, without ever sounding bright, and a lush midrange featuring Knopfler�s resonant voice and the dulcet tones of his carefully plucked electric guitar. Then I upped the game a bit and played the 24/192 remastering of David Bowie AKA Space Oddity, which sounded like a dream. I could hear every detail of the recording but it held together as a whole in a way I don�t think I�ve ever heard before and that I can�t say excited me as much using the stock Abyss cables. Next I changed musical directions a bit and queued up Yo-yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble with the 24/44.1 album Sing Me Home, which is just so well recorded and so interesting musically that I had to stop and take an extensive listen as the Abyss AB-1266�s with the Silver Dragon cable delivered all the music in that album and just laid it bare as it had been recorded and mastered. Finally, I changed over to some jazz and one of my own personal reference recordings, the 24/192 download Movement to Moment by Cava Menzies and Nick Phillips. This recording sounds extremely lush no matter how I play it, but with the Abyss/Silver Dragon combination, the saxophone just dripped soul and the piano notes hung in midair until they gently dissipated like moist fog in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
I think both the headphones and the cable have a lot more hours to go to before they reach their peak, but I�m happy and I didn�t need to spend an extra $3,000.00. The retail price for the ten foot Silver Dragon cable, if I am not mistaken, is $520. I think that�s quite a bargain if it brings out the best in a $5K+ pair of reference-level planar magnetic headphones.