I’ve been experimenting with various connections between my K50 & MBL N31. I had a few high quality cables anyway & my N31 is also equipped with the Roon end point module. I’d tried my Audioquest Wild AES/EBU cable & whilst it was ok, I was a little disappointed & found the sound too forward, not as detailed as I’d have expected & in some need of fleshing out. Using the direct stream out to the Roon endpoint on my N31 actually improved things, as did using my Live Cable Xtreme USB, only considerably more so. Both of those results rather surprised me as I’d expected the best sound between these two components would be obtained with the AES/EBU connection. Being as the Live Cable USB had up until that point rendered the best overall results, I arranged to try a Live Cable Xtreme AES/EBU. The result has totally shocked me, as it’s so much better in every area & on an entirely different level to anything else I’ve tried. I was obviously expecting it to be better, but not to such a large degree. The Xtreme version isn’t even their most expensive AES/EBU cable, however it’s still a hideously expensive (£4890). As for the top line Live Cable Grand Xtreme, I’m just not prepared to even go there (my long suffering wife would probably end me in my sleep). Before I finally push the button on the Xtreme AES/EBU, I’m also going to try a MIT Oracle MA-X AES/EBU, on the basis that if I’m going to spend that much on 1 metre of cable then I want to at least try a competing product. But I was just wondering if anyone else uses this connection & if so, what cable are you using & how do you rate it? I’d rather not spend this much anyway, but there’s simply no way of going back to any of the other options, now I’ve heard what can be done.
Hi Chilli - I use the Jorma Digital XLR (AES/EBU) with great results. Another company if you consider the Jorma pricey is the Audio Sensibility Signature AES/EBU is an excellent digital able, as well. I use their interconnect and digital SP/DIF cable.
Thanks for the tip, I see Jordan Acoustics is a U.K stockist of Jorma Cables. I already have a good relationship with them, so might see if they have a demo cable I can borrow. My existing Audioquest Wild wasn’t exactly cheap & used to work very well between my old MBL 1521 transport & MBL 1511 DAC. It’s just less suitable between the K50 & my current DAC. The Live Cable Xtreme AES/EBU on the other hand sounds superb & if that’s what I have to pay then so be it, but think I’d be foolish to do so without at least listening to some alternatives. I can’t imagine what their Grand Xtreme AES/EBU sounds like, or what possible benefits that could bring over the Xtreme, but at £9490 per metre I’m not going to be finding out either.
I’ve had very good success with Sablon’s AES cable. Dynamic without being fatiguing. Preferred it to Shunyata’s new Omega digital cable. Plus the Sablon is very reasonably priced.
Thank you for your assistance, I’ll look into it.
On your Sablon AES cable, did you go with the Bocchino option?
No, I picked it up second-hand for about $250 USD and it came with the Oyaide connector. Even at full retail ($750), it’s an extraordinary value and its performance is simply superb. Mark Coles from Sablon (not to be confused with Antipodes’ Mark Cole) really knocked it out of the park with this design.
I have purchased from Sablon prior–2020 ethernet cable. Congratulations on a great buy on your pre-owned Sablon AES/EBU cable and thank you for bringing to our attention. I have been musing on a number of different AES/EBU cables, and your posting preference for the Sablon over the Shunyata Omega certainly has gotten my attention.
May I ask, what DAC are using for this cable from your K50?
The Sablon AES cable is a silver conductor and Mark advised me that he has used that same design for a few years now and has not updated it. For me, some of the updated Sablon cables do not work as well as the older versions and I’m glad that he’s kept the original AES in circulation.
I’m using it with the AES input on my Lampizator Baltic3 DAC. I find that the AES output on the K50 is superior to the USB and likewise with the AES input on the Lampizator DAC.
I use Black Cat Tron.
Chris Sommovigo is a true artist when it comes to cables and has quite a following.
And while I really enjoy his AES EBU , what makes my K50 truly shine is his power cable.
Really nice guy too.
The MIT Oracle MA with great results
That’s very encouraging news being as I currently have an Oracle MA-X on the way from the U.S to audition. It’s apparently going to be roughly 3-4 weeks wait before it arrives though.
I only have a DX3 with USB which I feed to a SOTM USB + clock. then out to a Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC via AES or SPDIF
I find the AES overall better in my system.
I use an Organic AES cable (copper) around 2k in Australia for 1m
If you prefer slightly brighter purer sound then Argento (silver) around 3k for 1m
I use a Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (silver) for SPDIF buy prefer the slight softer output from the copper AES
IF you can get try before buy maybe worth considering
Thank you very much for your input Robert & welcome to the forum.
At the moment I prefer the AES output (K50) (over I2S). I use an Ansuz D1 AES/EBU XLR (2mtr) and a Jorma Design AES/EBU (1mtr). They are different, Ansuz is more organic and has a wide stage, Jorma has more details (not really much more but it stands out more) and is more dynamic (same thing as with the details) and a narrower stage (!). The Jorma is more like the i2s (Tubulus Concentus).
Very difficult to describe…
Again & as with all who’ve been in a position to participate & have done so, thank you very much for the information. I appreciate you taking the time.
I use an Atlas Mavros. Thoroughly enjoyable organic sound.
I was really hoping to find a deal on a pre-owned Sablon AES/EBU like the excellent pricing Agent86 enjoyed on his buy. Unfortunately for me, I just didn’t find any pre-owned Sablon AES/EBU ones being offered. I corresponded with Mark at Sablon on what his perceptions are regarding the $400 upgrade Bocchino platinum plated connector option vs his standard AES/EBU cable. His responses spoke about more evolved micro details / nuances / tonal structures and emotional connection–reminds me a bit of how Srajan at 6Moons I asked him what server and DAC he is using for his evaluation. He has Aqua LineQ and Formula xHD. I am a fan of Christiaan Punter reviews at HFA, hifi-advice.com. He did reviews of the K50 and of the Tambaqui as well as the Aqua LineQ and Formula xHD, and from his reviews, there are several similarities to presentation of the K50 and the Mola-Mola DAC with those units. I went ahead and ordered the Sablon Bocchino option and have approximately 100 hours on it.
I actually find my take on the cable presentation similar to what Mark at Sablon indicated. The cable character, for me, settled in pretty quickly. The first few couple hours seemed lean to me but then bass became a bit dominant. By the 20 hour mark, it became, to me, quite balanced and that has maintained. It certainly has great resolution and detail, but also fine body weight with realistic vocal presentation and layers of musical presentation.
I have not listened to the other fine recommendations on this thread, including the non-Bocchino Sablon version, but I do very much like what I am getting with it. I have primarily listened using Roon but with some with Squeeze, as well. With this cable AES/EBU has become my favored output from the K50 to my Mola-Mola over USB (Triode Wire Labs and WW Platinum Starlight) and ethernet to Mola-Mola Roon Ready ( Audio Sensibility ethernet cable from PF Buffalo switch to K50 with Sablon 2020 USB from K50 Directstream port to MM).
I did ordered this Sablon AES with the Bocchino for my K50 and I can confirm your impressions.
Connected to my Denafrips TP it gives my a very natural and lively picture. I prefer the AES over the i2S, which is a bit more technical……