Double Helix Cables - Clone Fusion cable review - expatinjapan

DHC - Clone Fusion, Opus#2 and Jomo Haka

Double Helix Cables - Fusion review
 - expatinjapan

DHC Clone Fusion – ultraportable 22awg OCC Silver + Copper Cable for Headphone or IEM

https://doublehelixcables.com/product/new-dhc-clone-fusion-ultraportable-22awg-occ-silver-copper-cable-headphone-iem/


With Double Helix Cables you get what you pay for, and that can not be said of all cables. A strict approach to sourcing of materials and also their own brand of connectors etc makes Double Helix Cables stand above the majority of bespoke cable makers and mass produced offerings. 

The review was going to be hard as Double Helix Cables offers more than information on their website about their new Clone Fusion cable. They are not alone, gone are the days when trying to find out from a company which dac chip they had used was like getting blood from a stone, let alone all the other components with their information scratched off and output impedance was a closely guarded secret until some brave traveller tested it themselves on home calibrated equipment.

Now days most companies themselves are more transparent and lay out all the specifications quite clearly. Double Helix Cables has been one of the companies at the forefront of this transparency, easy to do when you have nothing to hide because you use only the best materials with an impeccable eye to detail and construction.


Bonus! Double Helix Cables pure occ silver cable review:



Unboxing and details



'The Clone has identical left & right channels that are isolated from one another and are wound together into a flexible pair.  A single, streamlined cable goes to each ear – nearly weightless and perfectly sleek.  We believe this is the most compact 22awg x 4 headphone/IEM cable in the world.'


'Even the outer jacket was carefully considered on the DHC Clone.  The U-polymer material was specifically chosen to have similar electrical properties to the Fusion mesh conductor underneath it, so that they do not interact and exchange static charge.  This jacket is highly resistant to heat, scratches, bending, or stretching, beyond any other material we’ve tested.  Its elastic qualities make it a potent damping material in line with the cable’s overall design goals.'



'The matching 22awg (-) conductor is directly braided around the cotton-encased (+) Fusion conductor.  In this way, both conductors benefit from the cotton boundary layer, as they are both positioned against it.  The copper and silver OCC litz groups alternate for a unique aesthetic effect.'


'The Clone, as with Complement4 and Prion4 flagships, features a cotton primary dielectric layer.   DHC was the first to offer a litz cable with a matrix of cotton braided around the strands inside a durable, insulated cable.  The result is a cable with cotton as its true primary insulation – a material that does not add or subtract charge from the strands, damps vibration, and offers superior dielectric strength to practically everything – without the strands or constructs being vulnerable, as the cotton-encased litz construct is protected in the outer layers.'


`Clone Fusion has the 22awg heart of the Complement4 Fusion design at its center for the (+) conductor – consisting of 14 alternating groups of ultra-pure OCC copper and OCC silver litz strands around the center core.  This design greatly reduces skin effect as each strand is kept close to the surface as the bundles rotate 360 degrees, equalizing impedance throughout the wire from end to end.  Each tiny strand of OCC litz is coated in an invisible, razor-thin enamel layer which prevents oxidation and cross-talk between strands, eliminating diodic junctions and their resulting propensity for energy storage.  This is a very substantial conductor – more than ample for all audio systems – and dwarfs most of its rivals.`


'Fusion’s combination of copper and silver includes our surprising OCC copper that is more detailed & dynamic than syrupy and dull copper competitors.  It’s paired with our even more surprising OCC silver, which expands on the detail & transparency of copper without showing any signs of harshness.  DHC’s careful choice of metals, refining, casting, gauges, drawing, and insulation – every step of the wire creation process – is how we avoid our copper and silver conforming to industry stereotypes.

The core. 

We take the damping core type 4 model to another level with our conductive core – a DHC innovation.  The core is made of a proprietary resistive material which absorbs any internal static buildup, while also allowing vibration damping on all sides of the litz strands – they are “sandwiched” between cotton and this core – the perfect internal environment.'


'A CNC machined titanium logo tube with engraved DHC dot motif is standard on all Clone Fusion cables, secured in place by custom gray silicone Eidolic grommets inside.  The same silicone grommets are used whenever possible to seal connector and split openings and avoid the use of heatshrink unless absolutely necessary.'

DHC Clone Fusion and AAW W300U

'With the best possible connectors from Eidolic at each end and an Eidolic y-split, DHC Clone Fusion has an unfair advantage.  Try the full package of CNC machined titanium upgrades – the E-STB 2.5/3.5/4.4 barrel, E-SXST titanium IEM slider, and E-SXT y-split – for an unmistakeable industrial edge.'



Sound and impressions

As with my earlier review of Double Helix Cables pure occ silver cable review:
https://www.headpie.net/2017/05/double-helix-cables-pure-occ-silver.html I found it hard to review this cable. Reviews come and go, some write themselves, others are a grind, a few are just ticking off the boxes etc etc. Double Helix Cable reviews are difficult, because the owner Peter Bradstock knows what he is doing inside out and is probably going to pick this feeble attempt at a review apart. Anything I write is going to fall short of his focussed knowledge in this area. But sometimes a lay mans opinion and subjective view can be useful for the average punter.
I like the DHC cables so that makes my job all the much more easier.

Double Helix Cables has been going since 2009 and whilst a short time by some standards the effect on the rest of this area of the industry has been substantial, setting a standard for others to emulate, a no compromise approach which has seen other well known companies beating down his door for tips and advice. Hopefully I can distract him with pretty pictures....


The Double Helix Cables Clone Fusion cable has been described in detail above in the unboxing and details section using quotes from the DHC site. Impressive stuff. I do not pretend to follow or understand all of what is written and I guess the average reader also is a bit lost in the technicality of it all.

But how does it sound? You ask. Tell us in simple human language please.

Well thats the beauty of reviews I guess, breaking down the impenetrable technical specifics into everyday speak. Simplifying the magnificent.

I touch on build in my overall section, but I will say it is a solid cable, thicker than some, especially the usual cable one gets boxed with a  set of earphones these days. But not overly so as was seen in some unwieldily thick cables from a year or two ago from other companies. Everyone seems to be doing IEMs with two pin or MMCX cables from $50 up to...well what are we up to these days ?? US$2500+ IEMs? Many are pretty on the outside, but with cables as with people its whats on the inside that really counts.

Whilst many of the higher companies take care of procuring the best materials it can not be said for all companies, from the small to the large.

A decent aftermarket cable can enhance the already existing sound signature, perhaps with a singular or mixed approach of materials can slightly alter the sound signature more towards or away from ones particular choice of sound signature, it can add more bass or treble though incrementally and on the odd occasion can give the cheaper range earphones and added dash of clarity, separation and sound stage.

At this stage the 'cables make a difference' camp will be reading on whilst the 'cables don't make a difference' camp will have flown the coup with a snort of derision.


I have done several in depth comparisons using high end daps and IEMs to test out various cables such as this ALO Audio cable shootout from a year ago  https://www.headpie.net/2017/03/alo-audio-tinsel-litz-and-reference-8.html using several daps volume matched with a spl meter hooked up to a headphone switcher. Whilst ideally one would have several identical IEMs instead of a quick swap, the headphone switcher makes a difficult job slightly easier. Ones ears get sharper over time from dedicated gear listening, like a wine sommelier being able to distinguish the many components of a bottle of wine. I find my sharpness declines over the Christmas holidays when I take a break for a few weeks from reviewing. Thankfully now we at at the middle of the year when my aging faculties must be peaking. Right up to 69% of pure power!

Which brings us to the Double Helix Cable - Clone Fusion, the 22awg OCC Silver + Copper Cable for Headphone or IEM.

You have been bathed deep in technical information, build, photos and all sorts of verbal meandering by yours truly. But thats half the fun. Those skipping to the sound section hoping for Lows/mids/highs/summary must be snapping their iphones in half by now.

Simply put the cable is largely transparent, neutral...yet the quality of the materials lifts everything up a notch in terms of clarity, imaging, separation, tonality and detailing. Adding a splash of extra resolution to what is hoped is an already well performing pair of headphones of in ears you already own.

The Clone fusion also has a touch of extra lower bass emphasis that it adds into the mix, mids and treble are enhanced as they are with no significant additional boosting.
There is a slight warmth, a lushness If you will to it. Yet it is a soft touch, with a gentle dynamism.

Cable audiophiles: For rabid and no-nonsense kultists, literally its very exquisitely super. I like it a lot. I have found it pairs best with a  neutral or brighter dap, or with an earphone that one want to give an added boost to the lows where it maybe lacking, or perhaps there is already sufficient bass but you just want moar!

The employed use of top shelf copper and silver materials yields a perfect complementary balance which allows the best of each to shine, whilst taming the other where preferred.

My only sadness is the review unit is a two pin as I would have loved to pair it with my beloved Campfire Audio Andromeda IEMs, although I did find the Jomo 6R to be an excellent combination.

Apart from the minor details, its like an added sound enhancer slider on your daps touch screen and sliding it up a few notches on the sound quality meter.

Neutral, organic and natural.

Nothing detracts, everything just adds.



Detailing



DHC logo hiding on this extra piece of exquisite detailing



Price
From US$549.00 depending on cable length, titanium upgrades, adapters etc.
Easily custom design your cable on the Double Helix Cables site:

DHC Clone Fusion and Jomo 6R an excellent combination

Included extras



Overall

The Clone Fusion cable from Double Helix cables like their other offerings is a synergy of art and technology. Beautiful to hold, view and use.

The Clone Fusion is a solidly built cable, ready to withstand more than the usual commuters daily romp, that is no reason to beat it about though. Forgiving though it may be one would not want to risk damaging it. Though from my use it certainly has a robustness.

With that said it also has a certain suppleness to it. In part due to its form of two interwoven main strands which make it more pliable and flexes where it should much more easily than If it was four strands.

Using their own brand of Eidolic connectors, each part designed by Double Helix Cables and some 3D items printed by DHC makes each part a delicious original, from the neck slider to the DHC logo imprinted on a metal band 10cm above the plug.

Channels are not marked by the usual L/R on the connectors that were on my cable but I was instructed to have the Eidolic logo facing outwards, that combined with the natural curl applied to the cable where it touches the upper ear made it easy to work out.

The sound is one of neutrality and transparency with an ever so slight bump in the lower bass and a touch of lushness in the mids regions. But clarity and resolution rules overall.



“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats



Bonus!

Double Helix Cables pure occ silver cable review:
https://www.headpie.net/2017/05/double-helix-cables-pure-occ-silver.html




Thank you to Double Helix cables for sending the Clone Fusion cable to Head pie for review

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