LFD Cables (phono and I.C.) from the UK, cables as components

Mike Lavigne

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I am very pleased that you are enjoying your cables Mike. I do agree that cables form a core part of the system and they play a very important role. However, all cables have their own voice. My experience tells me that as a listener, you need to know truly what voice you want to hear otherwise you will spend the rest of your life chasing cables. Knowing the voice you want to enjoy holds the key to the cable question. And perhaps one does need to try various cables before you discover the voice you are after.

I am a music person first and foremost and I have two reference points, the Melbourne Recital Centre for chamber music and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for the rest. They are not the absolute sound but they are very helpful reference points! They certainly helped me find the right voice for me and that has been most helpful for my own cable journey. I can understand if you are a transparent to the source kind of person, this search could be quite elusive.

Just my two bobs worth on cables.

Brahmsian,

it seems like you are making 2 points. (1) that somehow you question my reference for how a cable should sound. and (2) that only live music is valid for that reference and that somehow my approach, which you identify as 'transparent to the source', is not correct.

i suppose i would invite you to sample LFD cables and then let us know what you think. but maybe your comments are not about LFD cables, but about me.

i certainly respect your live music experiences, and have enjoyed mine too. and i'm very happy with my particular system building and cable viewing approach. my 'ear' for my sound references is not anything singular, but a learned thing over many years of listening, including live music.

there are dozens of threads on WBF regarding system building references; 'live music' verses 'transparent to the original recording' or variations of that theme. i guess we know how you think about that.
 
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Brahmsian

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Brahmsian,

it seems like you are making 2 points. (1) that somehow you question my reference for how a cable should sound. and (2) that only live music is valid for that reference and that somehow my approach, which you identify as 'transparent to the source', is not correct.

i suppose i would invite you to sample LFD cables and then let us know what you think. but maybe your comments are not about LFD cables, but about me.

i certainly respect your live music experiences, and have enjoyed mine too. and i'm very happy with my particular system building and cable viewing approach. my 'ear' for my sound references is not anything singular, but a learned thing over many years of listening, including live music.

there are dozens of threads on WBF regarding system building references; 'live music' verses 'transparent to the original recording' or variations of that theme. i guess we know how you think about that.
Hi Mike,

If the post came that way to you then apologies. It wasn’t my intention to question you or anyone or the LFD cable. I am just sharing with people my journey and it is another angle, that’s all. There are different types of listeners and depending on your taste, process for selecting cables may also vary. A Everyone is different. Just a generic point.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Hi Mike,

If the post came that way to you then apologies. It wasn’t my intention to question you or anyone or the LFD cable. I am just sharing with people my journey and it is another angle, that’s all. There are different types of listeners and depending on your taste, process for selecting cables may also vary. A Everyone is different. Just a generic point.

honestly; how could i have taken your post any other way?

i'm not saying that was your intent. but it is what you said. i do respect that you have every right to judge. it's the internet after all. don't worry about it, no need to apologize as this is normal stuff, and i was just commenting on your points.
 
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Bobvin

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another way to view this is i use a $17k phono preamp. and i added a $4250 SUT. add in my phono cable and i'd put it against 'ANY' phono stage at any price. so i might be saving significant money in the final equation to attain my net performance. it's a subjective opinion un-provable from either side, but one i buy totally.

a caution; do not listen to high level LFD cables unless you are prepared to buy them.
Agh shit Mike... I was chatting with Mik this morning and he's prepping the details on a couple phono cable offerings. I can feel the $$ slipping through my fingers already.o_O I probably can't reach the mountain top like you've done, hopefully at least there will be a nice view from Camp 4.
 

Chop

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FWIW.

Although I can't claim to have Mike's level of kit or his abilities to fine tune a system I have read this LFD thread with great interest. I absolutely agree that cables ARE a component in their own right, with everything that entails. I use interconnect and mains cables from Cut Loose Audio, a one man firm in the UK who used to make the cables (or at least many) of the cables for Audio Note UK.
These are either made from silver ribbon of various dimensions, or a silver / palladium ribbon hybrid which is used for different purposes. Both with a custom dielectric. The thinking appears superficially similar to the LFD but thats as far as my understanding goes - I just listen and enjoy!
These came in over a year or so and they absolutely transformed the sound of my system without me changing anything else. Of course YMMV. Anyway, thought I'd share my support of the thread.
 

Mike Lavigne

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FWIW.

Although I can't claim to have Mike's level of kit or his abilities to fine tune a system I have read this LFD thread with great interest. I absolutely agree that cables ARE a component in their own right, with everything that entails. I use interconnect and mains cables from Cut Loose Audio, a one man firm in the UK who used to make the cables (or at least many) of the cables for Audio Note UK.
These are either made from silver ribbon of various dimensions, or a silver / palladium ribbon hybrid which is used for different purposes. Both with a custom dielectric. The thinking appears superficially similar to the LFD but thats as far as my understanding goes - I just listen and enjoy!
These came in over a year or so and they absolutely transformed the sound of my system without me changing anything else. Of course YMMV. Anyway, thought I'd share my support of the thread.

thanks Chop.

i can't really comment on the technical advantages of the multi-piece bespoke/custom cable approach, only on what i hear. this approach seems to cross a performance threshold of some sort. congrats on that and also for very top notch system you have there to fully enjoy it with.

today i have a second 'super-uber' LFD phono cable arriving from the UK, which will go on my Etsuro Gold/Durand Tosca/Saskia. when i have more details i will share them. excited to hear it.
 

Chop

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thanks Chop.

i can't really comment on the technical advantages of the multi-piece bespoke/custom cable approach, only on what i hear. this approach seems to cross a performance threshold of some sort. congrats on that and also for very top notch system you have there to fully enjoy it with.

today i have a second 'super-uber' LFD phono cable arriving from the UK, which will go on my Etsuro Gold/Durand Tosca/Saskia. when i have more details i will share them. excited to hear it.
I'll look forward to that!
 

Mike Lavigne

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I'll look forward to that!

been listening to the new LFD phono cable for the last hour on my Tosca/Saskia. i've decided i'm not going to comment until this weekend after my friend jazdoc can hear it and give me a sanity check.

i don't trust my first impressions. and the cable just traveled 8000 miles. plus i need to get a proper description of the cable from Mik.

sorry, forgive me, i'm not typically a tease.
 

Bobvin

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Eager to hear your impressions Mike. Another LFD for the Saskia--whoa Baby!

I can’t afford to move up yet, but moving up or adding another LFD cable to my system is something I’m jones-ing for because adding an LFD phono cable to my rig has really upped the performance in a startling way. I had no idea the kind of choke point my “amg reference” cable was. adding the Etsuro really was eye opening, but adding the LFD cable has opened not just a door or window to the music, its like stepping through the door into a whole other realm. Together my upgrades have been transformative. thanks for sharing some listening time in the barn a year ago and letting me get a taste of Etsuro, CS Port, and LFD together.

Thanks to Mik too, I understand how he has the moniker the “analog guru of the UK”
 

Mike Lavigne

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Eager to hear your impressions Mike. Another LFD for the Saskia--whoa Baby!

I can’t afford to move up yet, but moving up or adding another LFD cable to my system is something I’m jones-ing for because adding an LFD phono cable to my rig has really upped the performance in a startling way. I had no idea the kind of choke point my “amg reference” cable was. adding the Etsuro really was eye opening, but adding the LFD cable has opened not just a door or window to the music, its like stepping through the door into a whole other realm. Together my upgrades have been transformative. thanks for sharing some listening time in the barn a year ago and letting me get a taste of Etsuro, CS Port, and LFD together.

Thanks to Mik too, I understand how he has the moniker the “analog guru of the UK”

i really get what you are saying, Bob. there is something very 'right' about these LFD cables and the way they open the music to you.

i'm fully captured tonight by this new LFD phono cable. Mik had tried to explain what he was hearing from this cable, but i had to actually hear this to understand what he meant. i was skeptical of the magnitude of performance difference he claimed. now i don't want to trust what i'm hearing.

my ears tell me it's a paradigm changing experience. my view of the relationship between signal path pieces might shift significantly. i need to take my time with this.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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i've visited this new LFD phono cable at least 2 or 3 sides daily this past week since it arrived. it continues to push into new frontiers of performance in my vinyl listening. it's uncovering musical information and increasing degrees of suspension of disbelief. on the subtle side it's added dynamic snap, weight and lower octave extension, on the obvious side it's added textures and timbral shadings by surprising degrees. plus adding more harmonic richness and vividness. the differences are bordering on a feeling of a new better recording.

these are my perceptions so far over 8-10 hours of my own listening to my reference cuts.

on Saturday jazdoc came over and we listened for about 3 hours. previously we had done a few sessions with the other LFD cable compared to some other cables so had a sense of where it stood. i don't want to speak for jazdoc at all; but his comments to me confirmed my perceptions. he did post this on my Saskia thread (post #226);

i'm struggling with the implications of the degrees of influence of this cable on my vinyl experiences. but need some more time to go down that road. it's tempting to say this changes things.....a lot. but i'll see how i feel about that down the road. still waiting for Mik to give me details on this specific LFD cable so i can share it. whatever those are........i'm captured fully right now.
 
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Ron Resnick

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i've visited this new LFD phono cable at least 2 or 3 sides daily this past week since it arrived. it continues to push into new frontiers of performance in my vinyl listening. it's uncovering musical information and increasing degrees of suspension of disbelief. on the subtle side it's added dynamic snap, weight and lower octave extension, on the obvious side it's added textures and timbral shadings by surprising degrees. plus adding more harmonic richness and vividness. the differences are bordering on a feeling of a new better recording.

these are my perceptions so far over 8-10 hours of my own listening to my reference cuts.

on Saturday jazdoc came over and we listened for about 3 hours. previously we had done a few sessions with the other LFD cable compared to some other cables so had a sense of where it stood. i don't want to speak for jazdoc at all; but his comments to me confirmed my perceptions. he did post this on my Saskia thread (post #226);


i'm struggling with the implications of the degrees of influence of this cable on my vinyl experiences. but need some more time to go down that road. it's tempting to say this changes things.....a lot. but i'll see how i feel about that down the road. still waiting for Mik to give me details on this specific LFD cable so i can share it. whatever those are........i'm captured fully right now.

I am very happy for you Mike! Your enthusiasm for and excitement about this new cable is coming through loud and clear!

Most cable changes, I think, might tilt tonal balance slightly one way or the other, or allow slightly more or less detail to come through. You are describing this cable as adding and/or improving several important and desirable sonic attributes, as if you changed out an active electronic component. How do you think this could be?
 

Bobvin

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Most excellent Mike, even with a lower tier cable from Mik I think I have a good idea of what you’re experiencing. The Etsuro / CS Port combo in my system was quite an astonishing improvement, but adding the LFD really just opened things up. In my opinion the magic of the Etsuro is realized; with the LFD cable (yes I’m jonesing to take it up another notch) any impediments to the flow of information (the astonishing amount offered up by the cartridge) are removed. And as you say, the picture goes from 4k to 8k and beyond and all in the service of the music. I was listening to The Doors “Soft Parade” with my wife the other night and it was as if that recording was recut with every magic trick known--half speed, direct to disk, UHQR, whatever it was I heard it anew.
 

Mike Lavigne

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I am very happy for you Mike! Your enthusiasm for and excitement about this new cable is coming through loud and clear!

Most cable changes, I think, might tilt tonal balance slightly one way or the other, or allow slightly more or less detail to come through. You are describing this cable as adding and/or improving several important and desirable sonic attributes, as if you changed out an active electronic component. How do you think this could be?

thanks Ron.

honestly how Dr. Richard Bews builds these LFD cables is really beyond my ability to explain technically. he was a student of Dr. Hawksford, and Be Yamamura was a mentor to him.

these are not what we normally think of as commercial cable products. especially at the higher levels of the LFD cables. they are very labor intensive, and all built personally by Dr. Bews. if you wanted to have one built now you would get in line and it might be years to get one. here is a link to a picture from earlier in the thread.


does that resemble any cable you see advertised (here or) anywhere? of course not. my 2 LFD phono's are the best LFD versions with a DIN connector. since the separate strands of the cables are so thick, there is a higher performance version of the LFD phono with RCA ends and a dongle to connect it to the DIN or it's direct wired to the headshell.

my hunch is that what is going on here is that the weak link in a vinyl playback system is the cable with such a tiny signal. it's got all this great data, just waiting for the exact right cable assembly to allow it to pass completely. and using a heroic approach of completely hand built multi-strand/multi-material/variable diameter combination get's closer to that ideal of allowing the whole signal through. Mik can better articulate this than me.

conventional cable products are more one trick ponies with real world build approaches, as they have to be to be healthy commercial concerns. the LFD approach is off the grid and doing whatever it takes.

this is just my take based on what i hear and my discussions with Mik. he has been telling me about these cables for quite a while and now i'm deep into it and i'm bitten bad by them.

very few will ever hear these cables, and that is how it almost has to be with the limited production capability of Dr. Bews.

maybe Mik can chime in to more completely answer your question of how this could be? i wish you were here and i could just play a few records for you. then i would not have to explain anything. a week ago when i first heard this i did not believe what my ears were telling me. now a week later and with the feedback from jazdoc i guess i have to accept what i'm hearing as real. but i cannot explain the why/how of it.

i can't blame anyone thinking i've gone off the deep end here.....until they hear these cables. which few will ever do. i'm ok with that. :cool:
 
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Mike Lavigne

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here is a description of this new LFD phono (DIN->RCA) cable. thank you Mik.

The LFD Kotonaru Shujin Arm cable

Uses a variety of conductors comprising of a custom made and pulled solid massive amorphous (made from copper and silver clad) core conductor, custom made pure silver ribbon conductors, and silver clad copper conductors. Multi core copper conductors utilizing a custom made dielectric slightly different to Kontonaru further reduces grain. The hot and the cold conductors are totally different from each other which is used to enhance the sound quality. Overall the main conductors are larger than the Kontanaru in some areas, which have its own attributes. Plugs are custom made LFD designs. RRP £17700 (includes 20%VAT).

note; pictures 3 posts below..
 
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Bobvin

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Thanks God he didn’t say anything “quantum”.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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pictures of LFD The Kotonaru Shujin DIN->RCA Arm cable.

Shujin-3 (1 of 1).jpg
Shujin-1 (1 of 1).jpg
Shujin-2 (1 of 1).jpg
 
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Afveep

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here is a description of this new LFD phono (DIN->RCA) cable. thank you Mik.

The LFD Kotonaru Shujin Arm cable

Uses a variety of conductors comprising of a custom made and pulled solid massive amorphous (made from copper and silver clad) core conductor, custom made pure silver ribbon conductors, and silver clad copper conductors. Multi core copper conductors utilizing a custom made dielectric slightly different to Kontonaru further reduces grain. The hot and the cold conductors are totally different from each other which is used to enhance the sound quality. Overall the main conductors are larger than the Kontanaru in some areas, which have its own attributes. Plugs are custom made LFD designs. RRP £17700 (includes 20%VAT).

note; pictures 3 posts below..
Wow Mike, you had me until I saw the GBP17,700 price (less 20% VAT of course) LOL. Although ironically the price is really not the craziest in the realm of high end cables, especially when you consider what you have described as the craftsmanship involved.

Bob, which cable did you buy? You seem equally thrilled but perhaps didn’t go as all-out as Mike?
Tom
 

Mike Lavigne

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Wow Mike, you had me until I saw the GBP17,700 price (less 20% VAT of course) LOL. Although ironically the price is really not the craziest in the realm of high end cables, especially when you consider what you have described as the craftsmanship involved.

Bob, which cable did you buy? You seem equally thrilled but perhaps didn’t go as all-out as Mike?
Tom

hi Tom,

sure; the price is not a small thing. for me this is a 'cherry-on-top' sort of end game move. before i call it a wrap on my vinyl wanderings i wanted to explore where phono cables might take me.

check. done that.

in the context of dozens of $135k to $150k to $350k turntable's (just here on WBF), $60k arms and such gear the price for this cable hardly moves the needle (and price<->performance only has a loose relationship.....more $$$'s does not always = more performance). but even if it mostly does.....just consider......it's not out of the realm of possibility that this cable and much more modest accompanying gear might just better those lovely but spendier combos. it's just a thought and nothing i can really know. but it would not surprise me at all.

i don't know of another access to what this cable can do for delivering the music from a cartridge. OTOH maybe there are other Richard Bews fellows out there doing wacko "mental" cable stuff.
 
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