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Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?

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Posted on July 23, 2020 at 09:29:54
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
For the last year I've been running DH Labs Power Plus power cables with good aluminium-bodied Chinese plugs. These really renewed my belief in the power of good power cords.

But always open to one more DIY upgrade, yesterday ordered Black Mamba cable and four pairs of Hercules plugs per Duster's recommendations here. The plan is to make up four cables. One each for MC452 Power Amp, C2200 Preamp, Denafrips Terminator DAC and the SBooster 12v power supply to the Nativ Vita Network Player.

> If anyone knows the Power Plus and the Mamba, is this gonna be a significant upgrade? What kind of changes in SQ to expect?
> I saw that Duster at some point mentioned the Mamba is great with upstream digital but might not be the best choice with a power amp. My amp is 400W/Ch so am curious if the Mamba will work there, or if I should stick with the Power Plus.
> Are there any useful tweaks to employ when constructing the new cords, (i.e. vibration damping inside the plugs; crystals inside the plugs; carbon fibre sleeves on cable ends; other?)

Thanks for any advice!

--Rob

 

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RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 15:26:58
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Hi Rob,

I think you'll find the presentation of the Oyaide Black Mamba V2 to sound more linear, more coherent, with a lowered noise floor. A high degree of musicality rather than a more analytical perspective tends to be the most obvious aspect of its sonic signature, in my experience. A fine choice for each of the audio components you listed, including the power amplifier vs. the Power Plus.

The DH Labs Power Plus features 12 AWG conductors like the Oyaide Black Mamba V2, but the individual strands of the Power Plus are a much finer gauge, and the dielectric is not as advanced as what the Oyaide product involves. The metallurgy and lay of the strands of the Oyaide product are also more advanced, so even though both are 12 AWG power cords, they will sound quite different. The Oyaide Black Mamba V2 as an alternative to the DH Labs Power Plus even for power amplification should be an obviously superior power cord upgrade, without concern about whether the Oyaide product tends to be better for source and preamplifier applications vs. power amplification. I use an Oyaide Black Mamba V2 for a pro audio power amplifier application and it sounds excellent, with no downsides.

If I were to recommend anything, perhaps some different AC connectors could be chosen after you get a handle on the sound of the Black Mamba V2 power cords when terminated with the MPS Hercules AC connectors you selected. The Hercules AC connectors are competent entry-level products that can be bettered by others, but are a good baseline to work with if putting together a custom system tuning project. For example, if you wanted to get a more upfront sound from your power amplifier, perhaps a particular set of AC connectors could be swapped-in for greater satisfaction. I'll be glad to provide further assistance if sought.

Be sure to connect the drain wire of the Oyaide Black Mamba V2 to the ground slot of the AC plug, and leave it unconnected at the IEC connector end by cutting-off the drain wire next to the jacket.

Cheers, Duster

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 17:36:35
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Thanks Duster. I am trying to re-tune the system, so I may pick up on your offer of further advice once the new cords bed in.

My sources have been digital for the last 30 years. Only with the recent addition of a top-flight DAC did I realize the degree I had tuned my system down to avoid digital artifacts. And some things were lost in the process. With the new DAC digital harshness is a non-issue. And I'm anxious to get detail, openness and soundstage back. So that is my goal in switching to better power cords.

My next target may be the Duelund tinned copper wire I wired the speakers and crossovers with. If you know of good candidates for this that are full-bodied but also detailed and open with good sound staging, please let me know.

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 21:57:47
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002



Hi, Rob. I meant to add this before the site went down this afternoon:

I recommend that you terminate one of the power cords with a set of unplated copper Viborg VM502+VF502 AC connectors.

Try the Oyaide Black Mamba V2 with Viborg VM502+VF502 for the power amplifier first. Then try it for the network player/source component, and let me know about your findings.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X5M1NK4/ref=dp_prsubs_1

---

Try Furez FZ124AS 12/4 bulk speaker cable wired with a cross-connected geometry (Star Quad) instead of the Duelund wire:

https://www.avoutlet.com/av-cables-connectors/av-cables/bulk-cables/speaker/furez-fz124as-25/

Choose HQ speaker cable connectors such as Furez SP8-SB60NP bare copper spades, carefully terminated with copper crimp sleeves:

https://www.avoutlet.com/av-cables-connectors/av-connectors/speaker/furez-sp8-sb60np/

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 22:56:37
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 1538
Joined: June 15, 2020
AND ... enjoy a Black Mamba as you listen

they're really good ... if you like beer that is

link:

with regards,

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 23:44:26
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Queen Victoria was said to drink a tankard of Oatmeal Stout in the morning, rivervalley817.

See link:

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 01:05:00
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001



So the site did go down! I thought my network was acting up again. Thanks for the advice on the Viborg and the speaker/crossover wiring. I live in France and have found the above on Amazon France. It looks to be the same (in Schuko). I know the lady @ Viborg in Shenzhen, so will confirm with her its the same. I will try it and let you know.

On the Furez I will have to pass as I cannot find an EU supplier. Due to recent changes in U.S. approach to trade, goods coming in from the U.S. are subject to high and unpredictable tariffs so getting anything in from the U.S. is no longer workable. It looks to be a very high price/performance offering so I'm bummed! Might you have a similar suggestion that would be available here?

I have on hand 2-3 different types of Mil-Spec Ag over Cu. Also have some of the unusual configuration Belden 9688 (IBM Token Ring Specification). At 19AWG would be workable as speaker hook up wire. Have NO IDEA how it would sound!

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 01:16:15
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Ha! Thanks for the suggestion RiverValley. I do like beer and am familiar with Oatmeal Stout. In fact your post brings back memories. Many moons ago I lived near Edinburgh and was able to have many "tasting sessions" after classes at University there. I must see what's available locally! And knowing that it was part of the health regime of Victoria is quite an endorsement. She was one of the toughest characters in British history.

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 02:34:41
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
I wonder if this from Audiophonics in France is essentially the same as the pure copper you reference, but without the aluminum shell. I have several Chinese aluminum shells that would probably fit. At 30 Euro for the Schuko and 20 for the companion all Cu IEC it would be half the price of the one found on Amazon.fr

Also have you seen this new style Viborg in the US yet? Here is a full Cu version of it from Audiogears in Italy. Have dealt with both Audiophonics and Audiogears and they're both 1st class. A few days ago Audiogears sent me an order of solder that was partially in error and he simply sent me the entire order again without charge!

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 02:45:31
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Here's a somewhat better price for the Viborg VM502+VF502 from a seller in France:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/fiches-secteur-connecteurs-schucko/viborg-ve502-schuko-power-connector-pure-copper-o20mm-p-13166.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/fiches-secteur-connecteurs-iec/viborg-vf502-iec-c15-connector-pure-copper-o20mm-p-13167.html

---

For use with bi-wired Spendor S100 loudspeakers, I suggest JANTZEN AUDIO 6N Solid Core Cable HP Polyethylene 2x1mm 7mm (17 AWG) for the low-posts, with JANTZEN AUDIO 6N Solid Core Speaker cable Polyethylene 2x0,5mm 6.5mm (20 AWG) for the high-posts. Think of them as highly advanced "bell wire" which was popular in Britain back in the day when BBC monitors became popular. Should provide a spacious if not classic soundstage presentation:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/cables-hautparleur-conducteurs/jantzen-audio-6n-solid-core-cable-hp-polyethylene-2x1mm-o-7mm-p-8789.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/cables-hautparleur-conducteurs/jantzen-audio-6n-solid-core-speaker-cable-polyethylene-2x05mm-o-65mm-p-8788.html

Terminate the cables with EIZZ EZ-502 Gold plated Copper Spades. I'll provide tips on how to do it effectively:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/spades/eizz-ez-502-gold-plated-copper-spades-o5mm-pair-p-9904.html

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 03:17:26
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
My intention is to keep my Eclipse 7 from amp to crossover but rewire crossover, crossover to speaker, and inside speaker. Crossover is all solder connections. Crossover to speaker is solder on the crossover end and low mass banana Au over pure Cu jacks and plugs from Audiophonics that I believe do a good job. So will prob pass on the spades.

I will total up what I need and put my order in for the "bell wire" today. And you are saying use the smaller gauge for both tweeter and mids right? You sure this is gonna be an improvement for body/imaging/detail? It looks kinda pre-historic!

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 05:06:42
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker cables along with the Jantzen cables should be impressive. Use the smaller gauge cable for the highs, and the larger gauge cable for the mids and lows.

Keep in mind the Jantzen cables will essentially be serving as an extension of the crossover sections and the internal wiring of the Spendor 100 loudspeakers. Take a look at what they use as internal wiring. Unless there is overwhelming evidence that Spendor loudspeakers sound better with larger gauge internal wiring, I think the solid core Jantzen wire is a safe bet if you seek high-performance spatial cues, while increased body due to larger gauge wiring from a crossover, and for internal wiring is not my idea of improving the application. I'll consider a larger gauge cable to suggest if you would prefer it, Rob.

The NEOTECH NEMOS-5080 OFC Loudspeakers cable 2.10mm 12.5mm is a wildcard, since I'm not familiar with it, but it does share a similarity with Wireworld speaker cable designs. The results would be more unpredictable than a pair of single round-shaped solid core copper wires for the application.

See link:

 

Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 05:15:47
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Thanks Duster -- Jantzen cable ordered!

Any thoughts on the other Viborg AC connectors I sent you links to. In particular the new style Viborg look quite nice and they seem to have the same internals as the aluminum bodied ones. I believe the aluminum shells I have on hand will probably fit.

What do you see as the best leverage points for getting better body/detail/imaging? I think I'm doing pretty good with tubes (Bugle Boy or Tung-Sol 5751 @ the 12AX7s and Brimar "superman" @ the 12AT7s. The added Silmic and Russian caps in the C2200 and Terminator may be holding back detail/imaging, but were a big help with body and tonality.

Adding teflon bypass caps in crossover midrange? (I've resisted using on midrange as they can sound hard, but may be OK when fully burned in.) Going to rhodium binding posts? Using additional Furutech rhodium IEC's?

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 05:45:07
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
The Viborg V503 line-up, both the unplated and with the various platings are excellent options if a less expensive polycarbonate shell is preferred vs. an aluminum shell that does provide sonic benefits. The polycarbonate shell of the V503 line-up is the most beautiful plastic shell I've experienced. You might try one of each: unplated, gold plated, and rhodium plated versions and swap-out the Black Mamba V2 power cords on each audio component in order to find the best synergy. I won't second guess the tube rolling in terms of tonality, nor the caps selection. I suggest evaluating the results of the new wiring and power cord upgrade projects, and report back with your findings in the forum, Rob.

 

Will Do, posted on July 24, 2020 at 05:57:31
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
I am ordering now and will report back. Thanks so much for all the time you have spent and you much valued advice. You are a great asset to AA!!

 

RE: Any Advice for Black Mamba / MPS Hercules Build?, posted on July 24, 2020 at 09:48:06
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 1538
Joined: June 15, 2020
I think I knew her daughter in high school

with regards,

 

RE: Will Do, posted on July 29, 2020 at 22:15:02
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Take a look at the Jantzen PDF file link below, atkinsonrr.

It indicates the solid core speaker cable is:

-snip-

Recommended application: Internal connections (crossover to terminals & drivers)

-snip-

Keep in mind that Jantzen of Denmark is a fine European maker of high-end crossover components, such as capacitors and inductors.

The Jantzen Superior Z-Cap is one of my favorites. They know what they are doing. I really look forward to the results.

See link:

 

I Agree, posted on July 29, 2020 at 23:56:31
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001



As you can see, when I rebuilt the crossovers for the S100s I used their Alumen Z-Caps. And Jantzen inductors are on the underside of the board.

User comments on the Audiophonics website re: the solid wire are very positive. Those who've used both the 1mm and 0.5mm say the 0.5mm is superior. So I'm determined to try the 0.5mm on midrange as well as tweeter. Should arrive by next week. I will for sure be reporting back!



 

RE: I Agree, posted on July 30, 2020 at 13:14:42
tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 681
Location: SF Bay Area
Joined: June 20, 2020
You might want to try damping those caps with some fresh Mortite rope caulk. Not much to lose if you don't like it. Herbie likes the stuff.




"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Alfred E. Neuman

 

RE: I Agree, posted on July 31, 2020 at 02:08:02
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Cool. Make sure to listen to the integration of the midrange and woofer if you try the 0.5mm (20 AWG) cable for the midrange.

If you seek more body, with a richer tonality, and perhaps better fleshed-out timbrel information, the 1mm (17 AWG) cable might provide more of what you seek for the midrange. Try both, for sure.

The chief difference is the 0.5mm (20 AWG) cable does not involve skin effect like the 1mm (17 AWG) cable, but the skin effect of the 1mm (17 AWG) cable will not affect the midrange in a notable manner.

 

Herbie Mortite Damping, posted on August 7, 2020 at 01:01:57
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Hello tweaker456 -- Can you direct me to a page that shows how Herbie is using the Mortite on caps? I have searched but cannot find. I would actually use plasticine (like Mortite but does not dry out). Thanks.

 

Now Working on It!, posted on August 7, 2020 at 02:49:03
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001



All the material is now in to rewire the boards. While doing that, I thought I would make things a bit easier to look at. Here is how the new boards and layout will look. I am moving the wiring and inductors to above the board but still leaving two transformers under board.

 

RE: Now Working on It!, posted on August 7, 2020 at 03:13:50
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Very impressive parts layout. I like the carbon fiber look you selected for the board. I don't know what the prevailing wisdom is regarding the minimum spacing of adjacent inductors, but you might want to mount the air core inductor "sideways", by using a plastic cable tie with two holes drilled through the board to strap the inductor on its side onto the board, atkinsonrr.

 

RE: Herbie Mortite Damping, posted on August 7, 2020 at 03:19:13
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I use museum putty for the purpose. It adheres very securely onto a capacitor. It must be good, since it's intended to save precious antiquities on display from accidental damage.

 

RE: Working on it!, posted on August 7, 2020 at 03:26:11
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Oops, yes, that was my intent. I forgot when setting up for the picture. Thanks for the reminder!

 

Boards are Complete, posted on August 12, 2020 at 13:23:51
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001



Just finished boards tonight. The vendor was short the 0.5mm solid copper Jantzen wire so I wired the midrange inside the speaker cabinets with 1mm. Elsewhere (crossover and crossover to speaker) used the 0.5mm wire on midrange. Used the 0.5mm on HF throughout and 1mm on bass throughout.

In terms of damping the caps, after reading Herbie's comments my take was that he was saying the best solution is blue RTV. I have some on hand and so used that. Mounted the caps on self-adhesive rubber gasket material that has two ribs with a valley in between. Filled the valley with the RTV to secure the caps to the gasket.

Very noticeable difference from the Duelund tinned/stranded wire. The best I can say it is everything is much more delineated. And not at all hard or bright. As if the Duelund wire was smearing the sound. Making porridge out of everything. The more precise nature of the sound seems to bring forth more spacial cues and thus soundstage is better also. Loving the improvement!

 

RE: Boards are Complete, posted on August 12, 2020 at 13:36:00
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Great. I'm glad that the 1.0mm (17 AWG) wire was used for the midrange after all, since I think it should provide more body that you sought, and better integration with the low-frequency driver than the 0.5mm (20 AWG) wire would have provided for the application. BTW, the solder joints and wire will take some time to burn-in. I'm looking forward to your reports about the upcoming DIY Oyaide Black Mamba V2 with Viborg AC connectors power cord projects, atkinsonrr.

 

Duelund vs Jantzen Wire Final Assessment, posted on August 16, 2020 at 01:35:49
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001






Have now lived with the change from Duelund stranded tinned to Jantzen "Solid Core Full Range Speaker Cable" in speakers and external crossovers and links between for a few days. The improvement is not subtle. As mentioned earlier the difference is similar to an out of focus camera. The Duelund being ill-defined and 'fuzzy' in comparison to the solid copper Jantzen. It strikes me that the Duelund is not so much about tone as it is vintage in sound. The change in wire was similar to going from my old refurbed Dyna ST70 to a modern tube amp. I had a very definitive demo of this at one point listening to Cream's Cant Find My Way Home. Ginger Baker uses a high hat as a kind of exclamation mark throughout the song. As long as I can remember I've been bothered by the sound as it came out a very annoying hashy SSSHHH sound. Always chalked it up to bad miking but after the change to the Jantzen it sounds completely different and completely natural.

I originally wired much of the midrange circuit with .5mm/20AWG Jantzen and the sound was a bit lightweight. I went back in and rewired with the 1mm/17AWG Jantzen and body improved. I tried the .5 initially in response to comments about the .5mm being superior overall to the 1mm. I think I understand where the comments are coming from. There was very little burn-in with the .5 but the 1mm initially sounds flashy and harsh. Happy to say a few hours of burn-in completely eradicates that.

Overall one of the better changes. And I thank Duster for the pointer over to the Jantzen wire. I will leave this with one of the classic review comments. You know, the one about the wife comes in from the other room and says "your stereo sounds really good". Yeah that really happened.

 

RE: Duelund vs Jantzen Wire Final Assessment, posted on August 17, 2020 at 11:07:55
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16478
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Fantastic! Very nice transparent display of the crossover components. A finer gauge wire tends to be used for a capacitor lead and an inductor wire intended for a tweeter for good reason, while a larger gauge wire tends to be used as an inductor wire intended for a midrange and woofer for good reason. I think you made the right choice for your DIY crossover project, atkinsonrr.

 

RE: Duelund vs Jantzen Wire Final Assessment, posted on August 17, 2020 at 12:05:43
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 1538
Joined: June 15, 2020
nice! congrats on the project, it's great when a plan comes together!

btw ... 'Cream's Cant Find My Way Home' ... ?

the only version I have is Blind Faith ... is yours from a bootleg or

??

regards,

 

Blind Cream, posted on August 17, 2020 at 12:23:22
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001
Hahaha... Cream and Blind Faith always morph together in my mind. Might have something to do with the "sound enhancement products" I was ingesting back when the supergroups were popular?

 

RE: Blind Cream, posted on August 17, 2020 at 14:36:21
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 1538
Joined: June 15, 2020
yeah, could be the self 'tweaks' ...

at least I didn't miss an obscure recording

thanks for your reply and enjoy your new cross over town traffic

with regards,





 

RE: Duelund vs Jantzen Wire Final Assessment, posted on August 18, 2020 at 01:21:06
atkinsonrr
Audiophile

Posts: 108
Location: SW France
Joined: February 18, 2001



Hey Duster -- Thanks for the compliment on the crossover boxes. I inherited a sheet of plexiglass when we moved into this house in France. So just had to find a project for it. The learning curve for cutting plexi without chipping or shattering was steep! Now am determined to get a piano black lacquer finish on those boxes. Again, steep learning curve, but I will get it eventually.

 

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