Belden Iconoclast cables

EldRick

New Member
May 18, 2018
7
1
1
#1
I've been very surprised that the only place one can find reviews or even a thread about these newish high-end IC and speaker cables is on the PS Audio forum. They have gained a very good reputation there, and are being favorably compared to the high-end Nordost offerings.

Granted that the Belden marketing has been non-existent, and that their web page (http://info.belden.com/iconoclast) is offal, and mostly dead, but the XLR cables are very good indeed, in my experience (particularly in their Series 2 incarnation) and the speaker cables are said to be even more impressive.

There are six excellent technical papers on the design of audio cables by Galen Gareis, the genius designer, which can be found in issue #48 and later of the PS Audio e-zine Copper https://www.psaudio.com/article/cables-time-is-of-the-essence-part-1/
(PS Audio has no business interest in these cables at this time.)

I'd be very interested in comments from the group on these relatively new (about two years) cables.

I've attached two documents: one is the test sheet supplied with my XLRs, and the second is a document describing the development of the Series 2 XLRs.

xlrtest.jpg

View attachment PRJTRPT_ICONOCLAST_4 X 4 XLR.pdf
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Likes: dbeau

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,556
979
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#4
Has anybody compared directly the sonic attributes of these interconnects to interconnects which are widely used or known?
 

EldRick

New Member
May 18, 2018
7
1
1
#5
There is a 400-post thread on the PS Audio Forum, buried in which are several comparisons. The designer, Galen, participates there.
https://forum.psaudio.com/t/belden-iconoclast-interconnects-and-speaker-cabling/2038
At least one poster described a replacement of Nordost Valhalla speaker cables with the Iconoclast. I've personally replaced US$7300 dollars-worth (retail) of Kimber Select KS-1126 interconnects for a 5M run.
 
Apr 3, 2017
50
9
8
Hong Kong
#9
I will be receiving the XLR v2 interconnects and silver-plates conductor speaker cables (two stereo sets for bi-wiring) next week. Pending audition results, the Iconoclasts will be candidates for replacing similarly-priced well-known brand “A” cables which I’m currently using in abundance as a full loom installation. Please stay tuned !
 
May 30, 2010
15,331
605
113
Portugal
#10
I will be receiving the XLR v2 interconnects and silver-plates conductor speaker cables (two stereo sets for bi-wiring) next week. Pending audition results, the Iconoclasts will be candidates for replacing similarly-priced well-known brand “A” cables which I’m currently using in abundance as a full loom installation. Please stay tuned !
Would not mind trying them. Unfortunately it seems they do not have distributors in Europe.
Can I ask why you preferred the silver plated over the Oxygen-Free Electrolytic Copper?
 
Apr 3, 2017
50
9
8
Hong Kong
#11
Would not mind trying them. Unfortunately it seems they do not have distributors in Europe.
Can I ask why you preferred the silver plated over the Oxygen-Free Electrolytic Copper?
Essentially, because of silver’s functional advantage in mitigating deleterious skin effects which are essentially propagation velocity differences between the highest frequencies and the rest of the audible spectrum. I believe silver provides the conduit through which you will hear lower phase shift and hence better temporal/timing across the entire spectrum, whose coherence are so critical to the reproduction of the delicate edges and envelopes of the soundstage and acoustic venue.

BTW, don’t worry about the lack of Iconoclast dealers in Europe - there are none in Hong Kong, or Asia for that matter!
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,255
367
83
Hong Kong
#12
Met QuadDiffusor in Hong Kong yesterday.
He passed me a pair of Iconoclast Series II xlr interconnect cables for trial.

20190713_065425~2.jpg
20190713_065557~2.jpg

Looked very unassuming but a brief listen showed that it's no slough definitely!

Will listen more and then share my view here.
:)
 
Mar 16, 2019
42
21
8
33
#13
hi Peter, any update on the cables?
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,255
367
83
Hong Kong
#14
hi Peter, any update on the cables?
Tested it on 2 systems till now.
In Hong Kong there is a group of audiophiles advocating the use of studio cables such as Belden, Gothem ...etc.
They claim that these cables won't emphasize a particular frequency range and therefore more truth-telling.
However I think they suit middle level systems at most. They are inexpensive but because of limitation in the cost of raw materials used, their eventual/overall performance is limited too.

IMHO this Belden Iconoclast xlr cable is a hi-end studio type cable for audiophiles.
Mr. Galen Gareis of Belden has infused it not only with his expert knowledge and 35yrs of work experience at Belden but also given them a bit of audiophile ideas such as the use of OCC. He strikes a good balance.

When compared with my Goebel xlr (pre-poweramp) and my frd Betta's Siltech Triple Crown xlr (dac-preamp), it couldn't the two giants but it was NOT performing at 10-15% of their levels either.
IMHO Iconoclast can fight with cables 2 to 2.5 time its price.
It won't apply equalization/sectional emphasis to the signal. What it does is faithful reflection of the incoming signal.

I will be out of town this week.
Shall listen more to it when back.
Thanks QuadDiffusor again for lending me the cable!
:)
 
Likes: dbeau

RnRmf

New Member
Apr 29, 2015
22
2
3
#15
I've been using the same Iconoclast XLR's in my system since early June and I've decided they're a top class cable, in my opinion. They certainly don't do everything better than cables I've used, but it's a compelling contender and worthy of audition given that no single cable is right for every system and ears. The cable has a pleasing mix of attributes and sounds very natural.
I compared them to Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 8 and Audioquest WEL in a system with the Marantz PM-10 and SA-10, along with Harbeth 40.2 speakers.
I wasn't positive I was going to keep them until between the 3rd and 4th week of listening. I mainly used the Audioquest WEL to compare it to from the 2nd week and found the tone of the Iconoclast became warmer and more natural at the expense of nothing in the later weeks. I don't know how to explain that change, but it was this change that compelled me to keep them.

I've recently been auditioning their speaker cables, too. I had the OFE copper cables, first, but the silver plated tough pitch copper was recommended by the Iconoclast rep as superior and he was accurate about that. I'm not sure I like the speaker cable as much as the XLR interconnect, but I'll keep listening and comparing. I wonder why OCC isn't offered in the speaker cables given how they perform as XLR cables, though.
 
Apr 3, 2017
50
9
8
Hong Kong
#16
Tested it on 2 systems till now.
In Hong Kong there is a group of audiophiles advocating the use of studio cables such as Belden, Gothem ...etc.
They claim that these cables won't emphasize a particular frequency range and therefore more truth-telling.
However I think they suit middle level systems at most. They are inexpensive but because of limitation in the cost of raw materials used, their eventual/overall performance is limited too.

IMHO this Belden Iconoclast xlr cable is a hi-end studio type cable for audiophiles.
Mr. Galen Gareis of Belden has infused it not only with his expert knowledge and 35yrs of work experience at Belden but also given them a bit of audiophile ideas such as the use of OCC. He strikes a good balance.

When compared with my Goebel xlr (pre-poweramp) and my frd Betta's Siltech Triple Crown xlr (dac-preamp), it couldn't the two giants but it was NOT performing at 10-15% of their levels either.
IMHO Iconoclast can fight with cables 2 to 2.5 time its price.
It won't apply equalization/sectional emphasis to the signal. What it does is faithful reflection of the incoming signal.

I will be out of town this week.
Shall listen more to it when back.
Thanks QuadDiffusor again for lending me the cable!
:)
You’re very welcome! There’s nothing quite like two audiophile buddies trading ideas furiously back and forth, plus expanding the sphere of auditioning experiences, both component-wise, and system-wise. I’m so glad to have connected with you through WBF!

Regarding the Iconoclast XLR cable, please give it a couple of weeks to break in. Mine have become my reference interconnects, linking my MSB Select II DAC with my JRDG 725S2 monoblock amplifiers, replacing the very highly regarded Audience (both SX and frontRow) XLR interconnects. Have a safe trip, and looking forward to our next meeting in August at my home! :)
 
Likes: CKKeung

GSOphile

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
148
28
28
#17
I've been using the same Iconoclast XLR's in my system since early June and I've decided they're a top class cable, in my opinion. They certainly don't do everything better than cables I've used, but it's a compelling contender and worthy of audition given that no single cable is right for every system and ears. The cable has a pleasing mix of attributes and sounds very natural.
I compared them to Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 8 and Audioquest WEL in a system with the Marantz PM-10 and SA-10, along with Harbeth 40.2 speakers.
I wasn't positive I was going to keep them until between the 3rd and 4th week of listening. I mainly used the Audioquest WEL to compare it to from the 2nd week and found the tone of the Iconoclast became warmer and more natural at the expense of nothing in the later weeks. I don't know how to explain that change, but it was this change that compelled me to keep them.

I've recently been auditioning their speaker cables, too. I had the OFE copper cables, first, but the silver plated tough pitch copper was recommended by the Iconoclast rep as superior and he was accurate about that. I'm not sure I like the speaker cable as much as the XLR interconnect, but I'll keep listening and comparing. I wonder why OCC isn't offered in the speaker cables given how they perform as XLR cables, though.
Read Deeper Questions at the end of this review where the manufacturer explains his rationale r.e. SC materials choices.
https://audiobacon.net/2019/02/25/i...ts-and-speaker-cables-review-the-real-deal/3/
 

RnRmf

New Member
Apr 29, 2015
22
2
3
#18
Read Deeper Questions at the end of this review where the manufacturer explains his rationale r.e. SC materials choices.
https://audiobacon.net/2019/02/25/i...ts-and-speaker-cables-review-the-real-deal/3/
Thanks for posting that. I forgot there was an explanation provided.

It was the Audio Bacon comparison review from May that compelled me to give these a try, in fact.

Still, the quote, "Iconoclast believes high quality continuous draw wire in SPTPC, TPC and OFE exceeds UPOCC performance on less well made designs" suggests to me that the door isn't closed on additional performance from a UPOCC speaker cable.

My concurrent audition of the OFE and SPTPC has me questioning who would think the OFE (and likely the TPC) is a better performer, regardless of if the measurements are similar. I realize Audio Bacon picked the OFE in his comparison article, though. It's just odd, because I found the OFE brighter and lacking bass compared to the SPTPC. I guess it's just system differences, though.
 
Likes: CKKeung
Apr 20, 2018
50
17
8
OKC,USA
#19
My concurrent audition of the OFE and SPTPC has me questioning who would think the OFE (and likely the TPC) is a better performer, regardless of if the measurements are similar. I realize Audio Bacon picked the OFE in his comparison article, though. It's just odd, because I found the OFE brighter and lacking bass compared to the SPTPC. I guess it's just system differences, though.
I wonder why too. This week I should receive all 3 for trial and hopefully be able to discern the differences in my system/hearing preferences. I do have a revealing system.
 
Apr 29, 2015
22
2
3
#20
I wonder why too. This week I should receive all 3 for trial and hopefully be able to discern the differences in my system/hearing preferences. I do have a revealing system.
PS - it's almost a week later and I'm noticing the same signature in the SPTPC as I did with the OFE; I'd still say the SPTPC is better but the same character has come out in the SPTPC as emerged with the OFE and in about the same listening time. These cables really seem to develop their sound over extended listening and while I've always been on the fence about the effects of "burn in," that seems to be what I've experienced with the speaker cables and interconnects. I'm going to get the opportunity to try the speaker cables in another system later next week, so I hope to get a better handle on the way they sound with the benefit of my cable references in that system
 
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