Silver Dragon Premium Cable for Focal Utopia Headphones V3
NEW The Silver Dragon Premium Cable for Focal Utopia headphones V3 is a Premium version of our award winning Silver Dragon.
Made specifically for the Focal Utopia headphones, it is our Top of the Line headphone cable. It can improve the listening enjoyment of most high end headphones and it has lots of detail, great energy, a fantastic soundstage with lots of air.
The Silver Dragon Headphone Cable Version 3 (V3) is our Top of the Line Headphone Cable. It is a silver conductor based cable and it uses 4 x 99.99998% UP-OCC Stranded Silver 24AWG Teflon insulated stranded conductors.
This Premium cable is excellent for the Focal Utopia headphones and includes premium connectors to enhance the look, feel and listening pleasure of all your hifi music sessions. Higher grade Silver Solder is used and all connectors are treated.
The difference between the Standard Silver Dragon and the Premium Silver Dragon are the connectors used on each end and a harder to work with higher silver yield solder. The wire is identical. When you are trying to squeeze out every last percentage point of performance, the Premium version makes sense. The Furutech Top Line connectors are quite simply the best made. And every point of signal saturation will make a difference. Is there a night and day difference between the sound quality of the standard and premium? No. Is the Premium the best of the best? Yes. These cables are meant for the cream of the crop headphones where every little thing makes a difference in terms of bring you closer to audio nirvana.
"The...Silver Dragon cables…brought me closer to the music…to what I hear in live performances...The air and separation of the musicians and instruments were more noticeable. Vocals became crisper and the transparency increased...I forgot about the cables and just enjoyed the music," Frank Iacone, Positive Feedback, Issue 73, May/June 2014
Moon Audio has improved the conductor properties on the Silver Dragon Headphone Cable V3 over the previous Version 2 as these conductors are free from impurities and have virtually no crystal boundaries. The conductors have almost no distortion compared to ordinary silver conductors. The previous version used 4 x 99.998% Ultra Pure Silver 24AWG Teflon insulated stranded conductors. Therefore, we have stepped up the purity to the purist available by today's technology. The Silver Dragon Headphone Cable Version 3 (V3) uses 4 x 99.99998% UP-OCC Stranded Silver 24AWG Teflon insulated stranded conductors.
Each conductor is made up of a special varying sized stranded geometry. The silver stranding's are mixed with Kevlar standing's to reinforce the conductor making it stronger overall and less prone to failure due to the harsh constant flexing that headphone cable experience.
Each conductor is encapsulated in a Teflon casing. The conductors are then surrounded by cotton and a thin layer of Aluminum Foil.
It is then protected by a 100% coverage silver plated copper secondary shield and placed in a polyethylene jacket for further protection. To improve it's flexibility, we are no longer using a Techflex jacketing as we did with our previous versions.
The wire is soldered to the connector with high quality silver solder. The default 1/4" Plug is the new Furutech CF-763. Furutech’s beautifully finished, beautiful sounding CF-763 connectors are the result of meticulous engineering and careful audition of various suitable materials. The CF-763 features an Nonmagnetic Rhodium-plated α (Alpha) phosphor bronze conductor and Fluoropolymer insulation for minimal impedance and a nonmagnetic stainless and carbon fiber finished housing for superior damping.
For XLR connections there are 2 choices. The FP-601M（R) XLR which uses a Beryllium copper and phosphor bronze α (Alpha) Conductor: the body is a Copper alloy with PVDF Fluoropolymer insulation. The second choice is the top of the line CF-601M（R）XLR which utilizes an α (Alpha) Beryllium copper and phosphor bronze Rhodium-plated Conductor with Carbon fiber and nonmagnetic stainless steel housing. The Body is PVDF Fluoropolymer insulation with a Specially designed cable strain relief.
After satisfying myself that the DAC has the muscle to drive the cans, and that the impedance of the passive pre would mate well with the Utopia, I thought I would upgrade the cable to fully balanced. I have bought Moon Audio cables before, and have always been very happy with them.
So, I selected the Silver Dragon in 10-foot length, but with female carbon fiber/rhodium 3pin connectors. Drew built the cable and shipped it promptly, and the USPS was even good enough to deliver it a day early. I did a quick listen before making the swap, and after the swap, heard a significantly improved SQ.
As the other reviewer noted, the utopia OEM cable is not a bad cable at all. This is just better. $690 better? Absolutely.
Better depth, micro detail, and overall tonality. Utopia is very good; this makes it better.
Closer to my Stax. Very well made, well packaged.
However, having recently moved to silver interconnects between my DAC and Pre-Amp - and having been astounded at the improvement in resolution, definition and particularly low-end detail, I started to actively consider silver elsewhere in the signal path.
Enter a brand new set of Focal Utopia cans, admittedly supplied with a very good standard copper lead, and I started looking for something silver to see whether I was missing anything.. After a look around what was being said around the world, I ended up here at Moon Audio - because it looked like I'd find the best combination of price and quality. And, of course, a Silver Dragon Premium cable for the Focals had already been put together!
For me, everything starts and ends with how 'real' the sound I am hearing is. I'm not persuaded by 'perfect' and am frequently astounded at just how 'un-real' the sound in high end gear can be. When we blow out the lows or make the highs unnaturally bright, all we're doing is creating something that never existed.. I just want exactly what the engineers captured and subsequently released.
Musically, there's almost not a genre I don't listen to. However, music that is heavy on acoustic, with little or no electronic, is probably where my greatest passion lies. This lends itself to a lot of classical, blues, Indie, 'folk' and vocal music. I have a reasonable amount of 'Pure' DSD, some other high res stuff and a very large collection of good ol' 'Red Book' CD recordings. I don't use compression, so have about 6TB of music in the library at the moment.
This, by way of explanation, is just to say that everything for me is about resolution, detail and honesty - and that's a big ask from a headphone cable, driving a very nice set of cans, which sounded pretty great already! I'm driving them from a Woo Audio 5LE headphone amp, driven by a silver interconnect from the record out RCAs on a Brinkmann pre-amp.
So, how did the Silver Dragon Cable go..?
Great! Probably the two most marked differences were definition and space in the lows - which started to make it clear just how amazingly low and full the Focals are capable of playing (and which is a very significant ask of any cans) and then the fullness and bell-like quality of the upper registers. It's probably also true to say that any signs of harshness or edginess in recordings was dealt with even better with the new cable - if anything a slightly warmer, but equally accurate reproduction.
I was also really impressed with the fact that the best sound was attainable using the unfiltered, high power output from the Woo - which delivers enough more detail to add to the dynamism of the listening experience. By comparison, the standard Focal cable was a bit happier with either filtered and/or low power settings, with less definition through the spectrum as a result. Listening fatigue - zero!
So, all in all, worth every penny! Add to that a great online, experience, swift shipment and very high quality manufacture, and I'm one very happy customer. And just to explain my 4 star rating on price, when you live in Australia, everything costs about 50% more once we've paid in A$. Still, in the scheme of dollar per hour of enjoyment, no doubt a great investment!
Highly recommended.. :)
I was wondering if any amelioration was possible. Having experienced before a silver Dragon with my Oppo mp3 with delight. I have redone the experience with my Utopia. You have to know the this headphone is crystal clear and gives a "true" sound rendering with a perfect dynamic.
I was expecting improvement with that cable and It has, but I was not expecting that much !!
Best in each domain, pushing the headphone one step further..