Masterbuilt Ultras and Bocchino XLRs

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Bangkok
#44
FC4C9863-B296-4007-8B4C-1E870D2CAA7A.jpeg
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
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California
#46
WBT definitely makes use of plastic in all the products. But the parts that really count are of very high quality.

I've tried the following:

(1) FP-101(G) and FP-106(R) on two pairs of otherwise identical cables. Both hollow center pins. The rhodium was easily better in terms of detail and attack. The gold was softer and less resolving.

(2) Built a Slagle autoformer line stage with redundant inputs and outputs using a combo of WBT-0210 Gold and WBT 0210 Silver RCA chassis connectors. This way I could simply swap cables between silver and gold on the input, output or both to hear the contribution of the chassis connector. Silver was easily better. Much more detailed and clean.

(3) installed Furutech gold, rhodium, and rhodium NCF wall outlets next to each other. This way I could easily plug and play to hear the contribution of the outlet type. NCF is great. Gold is least preferred being excessively bloomy and warmed over.
 
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Number9

Active Member
Oct 15, 2018
131
43
35
#47
With interconnects we need connectors but if we are spending big bucks for speaker cable why compromise when amplifiers and speakers have the flexibility? It is pretty easy to slow down the oxidation process by limiting exposure. I have used and still have on hand Duelund hookup wire (both tinned copper and silver 12, 16 awg wire in oil impregnated cotton) and I have experimented with all of the best spades and solder/crimping tool on the market and nothing imo beats the bare wire for sound.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#48
If you own, or owned Nordost, they were utilizing WBT’s...not anymore as they are using holoplugs...which I actually think are inferior.
In fact I have Nordost Valhalla with WBT's

I live and learn
 
Likes: DaveyF

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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#49
The power cables I use have Furutech Fi 28r’s on them, having listened to the same cable with Fi 28g’s (gold), I much prefer the sound of the rhodium versions. The Fi28g’s are less expensive.
I think its important to point out that the requirements for AC power delivery is not the same as audio signal transfer and there is certainly room for different metals to perform differently in each application. I have little experience with male and IEC AC cable terminations but do agree that the gold FI-28s are soft sounding and I stopped using them some time ago. In fact, I have some F28 rhodium male and IEC connectors that I use for my JL Gotham subs and think they work well in that application. But signal transmission is another matter and in my case, I am achingly uncomfortable with the timbre of certain instruments as conveyed through rhodium connectors on interconnect cables.

Finally, I would like to suggest another point for reflection. As I've mentioned before, the connector should probably be considered in the context of what exactly it is connecting with. The sonic consequences of this is often overlooked. For example, a male rhodium XLR or NEMA plug may sound very different with a female rhodium XLR receptacle or IEC connector than with a gold or silver counterpart. Finding the right pairing for any type of metal used in various connectors can be a daunting task but a productive one. I'm still exploring.
 
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Likes: Leif S

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
925
536
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#50
In the spirit of this discussion, I would say that there is no best connector just the least bad. All connectors will impose their own competencies and character upon the music signal and the best a cable designer can hope for is to minimise this influence. Thus far, Bocchino has many qualities which IMO elevate them to the top of the tree in performance.

I would recommend that those interested in the quality of connectors also look closely at the jacks and binding posts in their equipment as these can often be low quality generic items. Upgrading to wbt / furutech / cardas / whatever can give some pleasing improvements.
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
1,446
711
200
California
#51
Sablon, how would you compare and contrast the results of the same cable with NCF vs Bocchino for the IEC and male AC connectors? Thanks.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
3,258
1,180
390
#53
If we talk about phono cable, do you find the WBT rca connector has sonic advantages to others? Sonic aspect aside, I dont like the WBT rca connector for phono. I do a lot of plugging in and out. I dont find them as tightly securely connected as the others and the connector sleeve feels very filmsy and light. I took them apart and found internal configuration not very immaculate in design. Instead if you take apart the Acoustic Revive rca (I used to have picture but cant find it) you will find the design and made is very solid and well thought out. I cant confirm the model of both brands. Both Axiom and SAT phono cable uses WBT. My Kuro phono had Bocchinos gold and I actually sent them back to Emiliano. He replaced them with Acoustic Revive because I said it put too much stress on my SME arm. My Bocchino gold might be going to Gian now..hahaha.

I cant isolate the sound of connectors from cable and not willing to investigate. You are the cable guy and definitely have extensive experience with different parts and materials than 99% of people discussing here. Your comments has a lot of weight to me.

Sorry for off topic. This will be my last OT for this thread. :D

Kind regards,
Tang

Thanks, you are too kind. :)

WBT are interesting because they are a unique example of German minimalist engineering. The plugs are simple and designed to be closer to a wire with their low mass design. The plugs you have are the original Nexgen design, sometime after they made the WBT 0102, which has a metal body and the locking barrel is made of brass instead of the light alloy they used for the plastic version. I like the 0102 as they have a nicer feel. One thing you can do to make them a little better is wrap some teflon tape, the kind plumbers use to seal threads, on the threads of the WBT RCA plug's body. You can also experiment with adding some damping to the locking barrel. I use 2 small strips of a high density viscoelastic material. The locking design is a PITA but OTOH if you plug and unplug a lot the WBT plugs release all tension when loose so you don't wear through the plating on the plug or the jack. This can happen quicker than you'd think with a lot of use. With some practice the locking barrels become easier to use.

Some of the WBT speaker cable connectors are even worse as far as build quality, the conductor is basically just enclosed in clear plastic, and they sell for big $. But the pure silver spades and locking silver bananas are excellent. The binding posts are also excellent and have a nicer look and feel vs the spades and bananas.

I have found the WBT platinum plated silver to have the least coloration relative to any other plug. I put different plugs on the same cable to compare so it can only really be relative. Anyways, with a little experience it's easy to identify the sonic signature added by the connector. Good ones like rhodium plated Furutech are slight and less objectionable additions vs alternatives, but WBT silver has no identifiable characteristics. I really can't identify or describe anything they add to the sound.
 
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DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,134
143
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#54
I think its important to point out that the requirements for AC power delivery is not the same as audio signal transfer and there is certainly room for different metals to perform differently in each application. I have little experience with male and IEC AC cable terminations but do agree that the gold FI-28s are soft sounding and I stopped using them some time ago. In fact, I have some F28 rhodium male and IEC connectors that I use for my JL Gotham subs and think they work well in that application. But signal transmission is another matter and in my case, I am achingly uncomfortable with the timbre of certain instruments as conveyed through rhodium connectors on interconnect cables.

Finally, I would like to suggest another point for reflection. As I've mentioned before, the connector should probably be considered in the context of what exactly it is connecting with. The sonic consequences of this is often overlooked. For example, a male rhodium XLR or NEMA plug may sound very different with a female rhodium XLR receptacle or IEC connector than with a gold or silver counterpart. Finding the right pairing for any type of metal used in various connectors can be a daunting task but a productive one. I'm still exploring.
I have to agree with you, not all connectors work well in all instances.I posted that the Rhodiums sound better in this particular application, but you are right, they may not in another...maybe on an ic or speaker cabling for instance. However, I think it is important to not dismiss any of these technologies without first hearing them in your own system, before coming to a conclusion that is totally specific to your own particular circumstance and taste. Same goes for everything in this hobby, imho.
Many conclusions based on minimal information, and or experience...and a dissemination of information across the web that isn’t warranted, or in many instances correct ( Not saying you are doing this Marty, but it is prevalent in our hobby and with online forums).
 
Likes: DaveC

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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#55
Sablon, how would you compare and contrast the results of the same cable with NCF vs Bocchino for the IEC and male AC connectors? Thanks.
Will write in more detail later as we are presently at airport on our way for a family break in Budapest. Bocch ac connectors however sound better by a significant margin across the board than NCF.
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
925
536
328
#56
Ok here goes.....

From a sonic perspective, the Bocchino plugs cast a bigger, denser and more tonally saturated presentation than NCF. The noise-floor is even lower, which gives more detail and stronger dynamics over an extended frequency range at both extremities. The only area where I detect a comparative shortfall is in the laser sharp image definition of the NCF, though some may consider that to be an artifice.

So far so good from an analytical perspective however where Bocch really nails home its advantage is in emotional involvement, where it draws the listener in without straying into euphony. The majority of people who audition proceed with an order.

From a practical perspective, the Bocch plugs are huge and weighty which can cause them to droop in iec sockets. The only mains plug offered is USA type and this is @50% larger than the iec, which can cause problems with access to adjacent outlets in conditioners / distributors. The Bocch plugs are also made to order with limited stock being kept which means lengthy waits. They are only sold to cable OEMs for use in their products and we are not allowed to resell. Cost runs at @3 times NCF.

I did the initial stages of beta testing using a Bocch iec with an NCF mains plug before the Bocchino one arrived and can happily say that the majority of gains accrue from the Bocch IEC alone. Doubling up with the Bocch USA deepened the sonic impression but was more of an incremental gain than the step change conferred by the iec alone. This hybrid offering represents the optimal offering for schuko and UK plug users but also a value sweet spot for USA plug users.
 

John57

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2015
195
15
98
Saudi Arabia
#57
One of the possible reasons for needing an entire system of one make is shielding. If you have one leaking cable ingesting EMI RFI into your system there’s your leak. Until you have an entire system that locks out cable antennae effects, your experience can be limited. Consistency of connectors is another great question that may have similar implications. I don’t think we understand material science and electromagnetics sufficiently to explain these experiences clearly yet.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#58
I'm pleased to say these finally arrived today.
These are Masterbuilt Ultra cables using the Bocchino 'Rocket" B3 RCA connectors. They will connect my Lampi GG2 to my Solution 725 preamp

https://www.bocchtech.com/bocchinoaudio/bb3.htm

These RCAs are the size of a small truck and are built like the proverbial battleship! I chose the silver plated option rather than platinum because I already have Bocchino's silver plated XLRs on Mastbuilt Ultras for my long 9m pre-amp to amp run and am very pleased with their sound.

Thanks to Leif at VSA and Nick at Masterbuilt for terminating these so beautifully.

IMG_2380.jpg

IMG_2381.jpg


IMG_2382.jpg
 

John57

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2015
195
15
98
Saudi Arabia
#59
I'm pleased to say these finally arrived today.
These are Masterbuilt Ultra cables using the Bocchino 'Rocket" B3 RCA connectors. They will connect my Lampi GG2 to my Solution 725 preamp

https://www.bocchtech.com/bocchinoaudio/bb3.htm

These RCAs are the size of a small truck and are built like the proverbial battleship! I chose the silver plated option rather than platinum because I already have Bocchino's silver plated XLRs on Mastbuilt Ultras for my long 9m pre-amp to amp run and am very pleased with their sound.

Thanks to Leif at VSA and Nick at Masterbuilt for terminating these so beautifully.

View attachment 61162

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View attachment 61163
I use similar dimension rca. I wish they were fully sealed over the metal terminal. I find when force is applied to the terminal it over-strains the wire at the entry point into the terminal.
My wish confounds rca application for locking types that require turning.
Ah well you can’t have everything I guess.

What kind of shielding is deployed in your cable?
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,814
1,029
585
United States
#60
I use similar dimension rca. I wish they were fully sealed over the metal terminal. I find when force is applied to the terminal it over-strains the wire at the entry point into the terminal.
My wish confounds rca application for locking types that require turning.
Ah well you can’t have everything I guess.

What kind of shielding is deployed in your cable?
I have no idea. Perhaps Leif can answer.
 

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