Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
Image: Abbatron / HH Smith XLR Connectors - Gold Plated Tellurium Copper/Beryllium Copper Base Metals
Here's another XLR connector recommendation. This time, it's an audiophile-quality XLR connector that sounds quite different than the EIZZ XLR connectors mentioned before.
It may look like a Neutrik or Switchcraft XLR connector, but it's not. To my ear, the Abbatron XLR connector is a better performing option at a similar price point, since the fundamental design of the Abbatron XLR connector has more in common with audiophile notions of signal purity based on superior conductivity. Other than that, the cast zinc XLR connector body, plastic shell, and unknown dielectric are essentially the same as what Neutrik and Switchcraft products offer. However, the connector contacts feature tellurium copper or beryllium copper base metals rather than brass or bronze.
The audiophile presentation is quite different, since the presentation of the Abbatron XLR connectors is far more focused and streamlined in terms of tonality, with a more assertive and upfront soundstage vs. a more diffuse if not lackluster sound of Neutrik XLRs (both gold plated and silver plated versions), with the gold plated Neutrik XLR sounding too bloated and polite, and the silver plated Neutrik XLR sounding too lean if not sterile in comparison. Both seem mediocre in comparison. I figure the notion of an audiophile XLR connector is overdue to be discussed in Cable Asylum, even though Cardas and Xhadow have both offered high-performance XLR connector options for quite some time now.
The difference between the Abbatron XLR connectors and the EIXX XLR connectors is the Abbatron XLR connectors present an increased level of speed, with minimal tonal bloom, while the EIZZ XLR connectors present a richer and more relaxed presentation, with more body and texture than the Abbatron XLR connectors present. Without opining about which connector is superior, it would be best for a listener to compare them for themselves, since synergy can be found via different cables and system configurations, including an individual listener's taste.
I find VH Audio's V-Twist Cu24 bulk interconnect cable when terminated with gold Abbatron XLR connectors for a DIY AES/EBU cable project sounds very coherent and dynamic from a front row perspective, without sounding too forward if presence from a midrange POV is desirable. There is a level of warmth, but there is also a sense of speed involved in the presentation that offers good PRAT. I might go as far to opine that the gold Abbatron XLR connector is the best lower-cost level XLR connector option for use with the VH Audio V-Twist Cu24 bulk interconnect cable. A substantial step-up from the lackluster presentation of bronze base metal Neutrik and ViaBlue XLR connectors, IME, YMMV. Additionally, there is a silver plated version of the Abbatron XLR connector worthy of exploration that's next on the list. The only other XLR connector on the main wish-list is a rhodium XLR connector made by Furutech as a higher-performance option vs. the impressive-sounding EIZZ XLR connector terminated AES/EBU digital cables within my collection.
what would you use for the third conductor?
VH Audio recommends the use of an external counter-spiraled ground wire connected to the XLR ground contacts at both ends of the V-Twist when implemented as a balanced cable if a ground wire is wanted/needed. That said, I completely ignore the ground contact since it is unnecessary for a home audio application, in my opinion. The ground contact is also in the return signal path along with the negative contact of the twisted pair, so it's unnecessary and simply gets in the way of the optimized balanced twisted pair geometry, and does nothing good for the performance, in my opinion. The same issue applies to a shielded twisted pair, in that a DIY XLR cable builder should first try connecting the shield to the ground contact at the source end of the cable only, and leave it unconnected at the load end, then connect the shield at the load end as well in order to hear which method sounds best to their ear. YMMV
where can these be purchased?
Allied Electronics carries the Abbatron XLR connectors under the associated G&H Industries brand:
G&H Industries Gold XLR Female: Mfr. Part#: XLR3FBG06:
G&H Industries Gold XLR Male: Mfr. Part#: XLR3MBG06:
Post a Followup:
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: