We have been selling our modified version of the HD25-1 for a couple of years now. It has an SPC cable, modified drives and improved damping to give them incredible levels of detail across the range, better bass extension and less muddy bass. Now we have made a version to take advantage of the balanced mode on the PONO player – ideal for the audiophile on the go
It’s always nice when we can do a colab with someone else. We were lucky enough to have the artist and illustrator Paul Newman in the building for a few days and he made us two pairs of hand drawn headphones which we then clearcoated to protect the artwork. These are hand drawn with rotring rapidograph pens over one of our white HD25 Aluminiums
We have been making a lot of PONO cables over the last month – so many that we have had to take on a new member of the team just to deal with the demand. Most of they have been in classic black which is all well and good but it is always fun to make some other colours as well 😉 Here are a few we have made in other colours
This one is a 3m one in fire orange – may be a bit hard on the eyes but you would not lose it 😉
This is quite an awesome one in glow in the dark white – again easy to find, even with the lights off. This one also has neutrik right angled TRS plugs which I personally prefer
Here is quite a cool camo green fully shielded balanced XLR to TRS cable for pono
The one above has individual shielding for the + and – conductors. Inside they are based on our 84 strand high purity litz copper which is then wrapped in silk, then an oversized former, then the shielding and finally covered in paracord – as we make the cables up by hand – these take a long time to make.
New from our black ops department … A balanced version of our Uber DT770 for use with the Pono Player and other balanced amps and equipment.
We take a stock pair of beyerdynamic DT770 and modify the drivers and enclosures with mass loading and damping to give more detail and bass extension. They are them rewired internally with Litz copper wire in a balanced configuration and fitted with a 4pin MiniXLR to give them a detachable cable. They come supplied with a braided Litz copper cable terminated with balanced connections of your choice and we re-terminate the stock cable with a 4pin MiniXLR as well to allow them to be used as standard unbalanced headphones as well.
With these mods the DT770 become a much warmer and more engaging headphone and would put a lot of headphones twice their price to shame.
We are always tweaking and testing our designs. Our latest Litz ultra low capacitance cables have several advantages over our SPC cables. They have even lower capacitance and inductance and eliminate skin effect from the audio spectrum. To do this we started with 84 strand litz copper, it is made up of extremely fine strands of copper which are individually insulated to keep them separate and gives them a very small cross-sectional area. This takes the skin effect way outside the audio spectrum so it keeps the sound neutral. Our original ultra low capacitance cables had around 30pF which was pretty impressive but our new cable now has such a low capacitance it is not measurable on our equipment. A lot of that is due to the litz wire being wrapped in silk rather than using a traditional dielectric coating – it makes it trickier to build but gives better results. The lower capacitance ensures all the frequencies arrive at the same time making it sound more realistic with better timing and impact. The cable also has lower inductance ensuring less crosstalk, better stereo imaging and soundstage. We also do a balanced version which further improves things when used with a balanced headphone amp
Here is a pic … As you can see a stock HD650 cable shows roughly 612pF of capacitance and our cable is below 0.01pF
Here is the next in our series of pono cables. This one is a fully balanced cable with separate shields for – and +. Inside each core you have 84 strands of litz copper which is wrapped in silk to give a bit of an air dielectric then an oversized PVC former seperating that from the copper shield then that is covered in paracord in a choice of colours. This cable took most of the day to make so if we start selling them with this spec they would be quite expensive but it is nice to go for it and make an awesome cable now and again. We will be doing some tests on it over the weekend so we can give some accurate figures for capacitance and inductance but they should be pretty low even with the shielding.
We have been working on a few new cables for the upcoming pono player to give a balanced connection to the headphones. This is our new entry level cable ideal for those who want to take advantage of the balanced output on the pono without breaking the bank. We take a stock OFC HD650 cable and the re-terminate it with twin 3.5mm TRS plugs this gives a seperate connection for the left and right channels this gives better stereo imaging and also as it utilizes both amps in the pono it can drive higher impedance headphones like the HD650 more easily.
Obviously if you have deep pockets and want the bast I would go for our braided litz copper one as it has quite a few advantages over this one but this will give a nice step up from using the stock cable with the pono.
We had seen the PONO Player on kickstarter and it had been in the tech and audio press quite a bit in 2013 but now there are finally units being shipped and it looks to be one of the most exciting DAPs to come out in a long time. One thing that made it look particularly interesting to me was the balanced output mode on it giving not only the option of a connecting it via XLRs to a balanced amp but also balanced connection to headphones. As standard on headphones the left and right channels share a common ground connection which holds them back a bit and can cause crosstalk between the two channels. With a balanced connection both left and right are kept seperate with their own + and – wires.
We now have a cable for the HD650, HD600, HD580 and HD25sp which is designed to be used with the balanced output on the pono and we are working on a couple of custom pairs of headphones designed to work with it as well. We will be selling a balanced version of the DT770 and the HD25 under our Uber range of modified headphones
We are also able to re-wire most headphones to take a balanced input so if you are looking to get the most out of your PONO player just pop us an email and we can work with you to tweak and modify your headphnes