The audiophile will know that although many excellent headphones come with great cables, there are always better options out there. One of the indicators of how this industry has matured is the number of high-end cables out there. So why choose Mood Audio’s custom Dragon Cables?
Why Cables Matter?
Many devices come with cables designed for a specific purpose, usually for the target user of a set of headphones. For the average user, this is probably enough For instance, the cables that come with the Focal Utopia do an excellent job of transmitting a pretty rich sound, and there is certainly nothing wrong with them right out of the box.
However, plugging in a set of custom Dragon cables designed for the Utopia reveals a subtle, yet noticeable difference. This includes a smoother and very slightly sweeter top end, with no loss in transient speed, focus, or definition.
Moreover, the Black Dragon Premium offers a subtle natural-sounding midrange warmth and a rounder, full-bodied, and three-dimensional midrange sound.
While the stock cable has a ‘bass leanness’ problem, the Dragon cable solves this by adding a touch of mid-bass weight. The effect of substituting the Dragon cables is that the Utopia’s bass suddenly seems more balanced in the critical mid-bass-to-low-bass transition region.
While these differences individually may be small, they add up to a huge difference in the overall sound and feel of the music played through the headphones.
The Devices on Either End
Regardless of what devices you have on either end of Dragon cables they make a noticeable difference, but of course these devices are the reason you need a custom cable. While length is also a factor, the primary concern is going to be how you will connect to the devices you choose.
For instance, in this test, the headphone side has LEMO type connections, but on the other end there are a couple of choices. A standard 6.35mm TRS headphone style plug works in many cases, but a balanced 4-pin XLR connection is available as well. If you are using something like a Questyle CMA600i fully balanced headphone amp/DAC, the balanced connector will be best, but Inspire IHA-1 headphone amp requires the TRS style.
Both listening platforms provide excellent sound, enhances vocals, base undertones, and warms the midrange sound nicely.
The Material Difference
The difference in premium cables is the material used for the cables themselves and for the connectors on each end. The Dragon Black cables use Furutech Top-Line series connectors, which they say are “simply the best made.”
Black Dragon cables use four Teflon-insulated, stranded conductors featuring single crystal copper at seven nines (99.99998%) purity. “Each conductor is made up of a special varying size stranding geometry”, says Moon. Copper stranding is mixed with Kevlar stranding to increase physical strength and resistance to flex-induced failures. The four strands are surrounded by cotton and a layer of Teflon tape. The outer layer of the cables is shielded by a sturdy polyethylene outer jacket for added durability. Soldering to the connectors uses a high quality silver solder.
Hearing is Believing
While delving in to technical specifications has its place, the real proof of these cables is to give them a listen. Taking a standard pair of Focal Utopia’s and swapping cable for cable in various musical styles gives you are great idea of the differences. For many, the added richness of the sound is well worth the price tag that starts at $395.
The Dragon Cables also offer a durability factor not always met by OEM cables. Not only is the sound better, but the longevity, especially in situations where the cables are exposed to a great deal of flex, is greater as well.
Richness of the music you hear matters, and the Black Dragon cables paired with the Focal Utopia’s revealed that very quickly. Your results may vary, but if you have quality devices on both ends, the differences will be obvious. No matter what the headphones you choose, or the listening devices, you can be assured that these cables will be well worth the investment.
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