Product: Max Rochlin's Memorial digital & video cable
Designer: Steven Rochlin - USA
Approx. price: FREE (visit the site for details)
Steven is a friend. After all :-)
He likes what I like: Music, HiFi, vinyl, tubes, Ferrari's and Italian cars in general, nice women...and helping audiophiles around the Globe to enjoy their fav Music better. He manages a wonderful site about Music and Hifi: the well-known Enjoy the Music.
Browsing through the hundreds of pages of the EnjoytheMusic site you'll find a pretty cool and interesting DIY project for building a coaxial digital and video cable: the Max Rochlin's Memorial digital & video cable.
Steve's brother passed away because of AIDS so Steven is offering this design for free and suggests, in turn, to buy his wonderful EnjoytheMusic T-shirt. Buying this T-shirt you will support the research against AIDS. Need I say more.
If you're going to build the cable please refer to the EnjoytheMusic site where you'll find a fool-proof no-frills say-it-all step-by-step description of the whole eaaaaazy procedure.
Please don't ask me about this, here you'll just find the listening test.
I've asked Steve to build a digital cable for me and here it is!!!
For those digital hi-tech guys out there who are already complaining: "...uh-oh, what's next? After all a digital cable has to trasfer a sequence of 0's and 1's...what difference can it make?". I won't go deep into tech details here but let me remind you the main problem about digital transfers of signals: jitter! The infamous time distortion between the transport and the converter clock. That is, the main reason why optical/toslink connections sound horrible compared to electrical ones.
For details I warmly invite you to read an Inter.View, here on TNT-Audio, with a world famous digital mastering guru: Bob Katz...
Back to reality. The Max Rochlin's Memorial digital and video cable seems to work well even on video connections. Being a die-hard audiophile I've tested it only into my HiFi system...:-) (Oh yes, I own a earth-shaking Home theater system too...but..please!)
The tonal balance of this cable appears to be naturally bright, with an excellent upper end and a shiny mid range. The harmonic richness of this cable is outstanding and can be compared with way more expensive commercial cables.
The mid range has something, dare I say it, "analogue", smooth and refined with a good level of introspection. Just sometimes I've noticed a "grainy" and "nasal" sound on certain voices and instruments.
The sound is airy and "refreshing", plenty of inner detail and harmonics.
The bass range appears to be fast and dry, with a slight sweet roll-off at the lowest frequencies, at least when compared with my reference cable in "mid-class" price range: a Tara Labs Prism D-1.
This compact bass range contributes to the agile sound of this cable which is also very coherent. The mid and the high range melt together better than the mid-bass with the bass, though.
A warm thank you to Steven Cool Dude Rochlin for having sent me his cable for reviewing and for all his efforts to make this world a little bit better.
© Copyright 1999 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com
How to print this article