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Sound. Recordings used during listening sessions: Audiofeels, Uncovered, Penguin Records, 5865033, CD (2009);  Beverly Kenney, Lonely And Blue, Cellar Door Records/Sinatra Society of Japan, XQAM-1022, CD (2007); Chet Baker, Chet Baker Sings and Plays, Pacific Jazz/EMI Music Japan, TOCJ-90028, HQCD (2008); David Sylvian, Sleepwalkers, P-Vine Records, PVCP-8790, CD (2011); Joe Pass, For Django, Pacific Jazz/EMI Music Japan, TOCJ-90027, HQCD (2008); Johnny Holiday, Blue Holiday, Contract Records/Sinatra Society of Japan, XQAM-1014, CD (2007); Josquin Desprez, Missa D’ung aultre amer, Motets & Chansons, Alamare, David Skinner, Obsidian, CD701, CD (2007)...

... Julie London, Julie Is Her Name. Vol. 1, Liberty/EMI Music Japan, TOCJ-90014, HQCD (2008); Marek Biliński, Mały Książę, Bi.Ma, BiCD-09, CD (2010); Nosowska, 8, Supersam Music, SM 01, CD (2011); Pat Metheny, What’s It All About, Nonesuch Records/Warner Music Japan, WPCR-14176, CD (2011); Paul McCartney, Kisses On The Bottom, Universal International [Japan], UCCO-3038, SHM-CD (2012); Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook, Sleeps With The Fishes, 4AD, GAD 710 CD, CD (1987); Ralf Illenberger, Red Rock Journeys, Stockfisch, SFR 357.1020.2, CD (2011); Sibelius, Symphony No. 1 & Karelia Suite, Maazel, Decca/Esoteric, ESSD-90020, SACD/CD (2008).

Entreq Konstantin 2010 + Sennheiser HD800. This wasn’t the first time I dealt with headphone cables designed to connect different models from HiFiMan, AKG and Ultrasone. Replacing the cable on these headphones is simple. This has prompted various companies to offer their own aftermarket cables. But I must say that so far this type of fix seemed not worth the money or make any sense. Often changes introduced by new cables went not forward but sideways - and usually not quite in the direction I would have wanted. The problem was that they usually sharpened the sound. It was more resolved—a plus—but almost always at the expense of overall tonal balance and coherence (worse). That’s why I never wrote about these cables. It didn’t seem worth my effort of writing or yours of reading. The mediocre is not worth our time.

That experience was however not without an important lesson. The cable is an integral part of the headphones that clearly shapes their sound and must be carefully chosen to make the headfi system (headphones with replaceable cable and amp are a system) maximally balanced and coherent. As it turns out, the wire harness plays an important function here. It allows us to hear how the headphones really sound. It will not improve anything if the transducers or their application are bad but it will rather help bring out their best.