Sablon Evo usb cable

Sablon Audio

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I had never really considered myself as being especially competitive by nature however when I recently received reports from a reliable source of my 2020 usb cable having been usurped by another brand, it riled me. It didn’t matter that the other cable cost five times as much and came from a well-established manufacturer, whom I hold in the highest regard, it bugged me… still, there’s no point in getting mad, may as well try harder to get even. Therefore work started on building a better usb cable than I already had…

I won’t bore you with the development details (some of which are on the 2020 usb thread) however several iterations and a few wrong turns later, I think I am now onto something special. That something is the Sablon Evo usb cable. As the name implies, it is an evolution of the 2020 design, which has been thoroughly extrapolated to the limits of what the plugs can physically accommodate. Bigger wire in fact than a >$20k power cord I can think of.

Last time around with the 2020 cable development, I acquired what were widely considered to be the two leading usb cables in the marketplace. This time, I did intend to get hold of an Omega (in case you were wondering….) but concluded that I was racing against myself. I ‘just’ needed to improve upon what I already had rather than try to emulate another.

Sonically speaking, and feel free to take this with a pinch of salt given my inevitable bias, I am hearing all the attributes of the 2020 cable but with a fair-sized slug of extra musical energy, authority and tonal density.

Are they cut from the same cloth? Yes. There hasn’t been a significant overall change to the voicing; it remains neutral but with a greater bias towards emotional involvement whilst stopping short of euphonic colouration. GIGO principle still applies to the quality of your equipment.

Are the gains incremental? No, they are easily discernible and significant. Equivalent in my view to a significant dac upgrade when fed by my Taiko Extreme. These are the sort of gains that don’t ordinarily come easily or cheaply when you are already at this exalted level.

Anyhow, enough of my rambling and I will hand the discussion over to others to make their comments and/or queries. Several examples have been circulating over the past few weeks for final user acceptance testing and hopefully, these people can chime in to add their thoughts to this thread.
 

Sablon Audio

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Let’s copy over Romaz’s feedback of yesterday from the 2020 USB cable thread….



The Sablon 2020 USB had been my reference USB cable in my main listening room since January of 2020. It was so good, it replaced my previous reference, the much more expensive Intona Ultimate USB. In July of this year, someone sent me a Shunyata Omega USB cable to try. It didn't have the speed and liveliness of the Sablon 2020 but it had a lower noise floor that resulted in a midnight black background with beautifully rich and vivid timbres. It also had more body to the presentation which benefited the SGM Extreme and so the Shunyata Omega replaced the Sablon 2020 USB cable in my big listening room.

I was asked by Mark to evaluate his new USB cable and I was happy to oblige. After considerable FedEx delay, this "Evo" cable finally arrived yesterday and I had a chance to evaluate it for the first time today.

Pictured below, to the left is the Shunyata Omega. In the upper right is the Sablon 2020 USB cable:

1641124125686.png



The cable on the bottom right is the new Evo. Here is a closer up view:

1641124241876.png



It has a similar appearance to the original but if you look carefully, the Evo is a considerably thicker cable than the 2020 cable.

1641124307673.png



With zero hours on it, I was shocked with just how good the Evo already is. It matches the fullness and black background of the Shunyata Omega with vividly rich but accurate timbres. It is a balanced, neutral cable with excellent treble air, richly textured vocals, and fantastic bass. What really stands out above and beyond the Shunyata Omega is the transient response. The attack is cleaner and and strikes more fiercely. The Shunyata sounds muddled and too polite in comparison. The Shunyata Omega is an excellent USB cable. I didn't expect it would be toppled so soon.
 

VoicesInMyHead

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Apr 7, 2018
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Sablon Audio 2020 USB cable was my first introduction to Mark's cables, I remember it as one of those cables that makes it feel like there's no cable in between, it was incredibly transparent and detailed like an open window without being overly bright or sharp for the ear. After that I've also bought some ethernet and DC cables from him. Just before Christmas I received the Sablon Audio Evo USB cable and it's easy to understand where the name comes from, it's simply an evolution that builds on something that was already very very good.

Funny thing that @romaz should mention the Shunyata Omega, because although I was indeed excited about the new Evo cable I was also thinking that if I should change my USB cable now I should probably do this the right way and compare a few "heavy-weight champions" to each other. I was preparing to borrow a few cables including the Shunyata Omega that I've seen more and more people consider the best recently. But then I got the Evo cable and after inserting it in my system I just felt relief, everything felt so relaxed and right in place that I actually lost all interest in what any other cable could possibly bring to my system.

I can't articulate and express in words as well as @romaz did above, but I do agree with everything he wrote regarding the characteristics of the cable, I especially get what he mean with the fierce attack and amazing bass. At first I thought I would need to move my speakers around due to the bass, this is what usually happens when I introduce new hardware like a DAC or amplifier.



For me the most important in music reproduction is what it brings in emotion, the vividness and that the music feels natural and alive. This is what I aim for with all my hardware choices, cables, tubes and how I tune my system in general. Sablon Audio Evo is definitely helping me to reach even further in this direction. With Evo in place sounds that used to be merely "sounds" now feel much more real, like I can tell that "oh, they're actually hitting this kind of metal piece" and I can almost picture it in front of me vibrating afterwards and how it would look like.

I'm using a LampizatOr Baltic 3 DAC with the new JLSounds USB board and as a source I have a DIY server with the great JCAT XE USB card externally powered by a Sean Jacobs PSU. At one point I actually thought that my setup more or less had become immune to USB cables, but here comes Evo and reminds me with a big bang(!) that's simply not the case. As a LampizatOr owner I also make use of the "special version" of USB cable that Mark offers without vbus attached.

Evo is without a doubt a great USB cable that in 2022 and onwards needs to be considered among the best.
 

joaovieira

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Feb 16, 2013
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Congratulations Mark! Sablon cables are top and have a correct price.
I love my Ethernet cable.
 

Sablon Audio

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@VoicesInMyHead - thanks ever so much for sharing your thoughts and I am delighted with the outcome we have achieved. The Baltic is a fantastic dac by all accounts and I quite fancy one myself ;-)

@joaovieira - thanks for your kind words Joao and I hope you and your family in Brazil are keeping well.
 
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Steve Vu

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Oct 26, 2020
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@VoicesInMyHead - thanks ever so much for sharing your thoughts and I am delighted with the outcome we have achieved. The Baltic is a fantastic dac by all accounts and I quite fancy one myself ;-)

@joaovieira - thanks for your kind words Joao and I hope you and your family in Brazil are keeping well.
Hi Mark,

Do you intend to upgrade your ethernet cable?

Steve Vu
 

VoicesInMyHead

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The Baltic is a fantastic dac by all accounts and I quite fancy one myself ;-)

it definitely is and if you should find yourself owning one anytime soon, then I know a USB cable that will work amazingly good with it... ;)
 
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Jeffy

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You need to upgrade the ethernet cable as I find it does not have enough body and the highs can be at times too bright. I noticed this with my better source the MSB Select Dac that I now own. Its funny because I am now using the Shunyata Omega ethernet cable.
 

Blue58

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Mine arrived this morning and after a few hours cooking I listened to some favourite tracks. Well, I’m flabbergasted. Concur fully with Romaz and Voices’ and can only add that it sounds like when you upgrade to Duelund capacitors or dare I say it, hear R2R tape on a Studer (thanks Bill, I’ll never forget that sound).
this 2022 EVO is a major upgrade from 2020.

Blue58
 

spiritofmusic

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I guess I could make the effort to visit you, Barry. I hate to see a guy keep his improved sound selfishly to himself.
 

VoicesInMyHead

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I'm glad to read about your impressions @Blue58 so that I'm not imagining things. I continue to be equally impressed and amazed at the same time by this USB cable upgrade, right now I just want to tell all my friends how good it is and it's almost difficult to not sound like an overexcited fan boy hyping products on a forum. I apologise for that and I do try my best to keep my words on the ground, but you all recognise the feeling when you think that you have discovered something special and want to share it with everyone. Last time this happened to me was just before xmas a year ago when I received my Baltic 3 DAC and started raving about that (and still do!). It seems xmas shopping is the best! :)
 

spiritofmusic

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Guys, as I've reported elsewhere on the forum, Mark's Elite pwr cord w platinum IEC Bocchino has revolutionised my humble Eera CDP, in so many ways it's hard to list fully. I'm equal part ecstatic and dumbfounded. If premier gear like Extreme also has it's game raised by the EVO, that must be quite something.
 

bonzo75

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spiritofmusic

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Better than dumb and dumber.
 

Sablon Audio

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@Blue58 - I was brought up believing the highest form of praise to be the absence of complaint. Not true, your feedback truly transcends that! I’m especially excited by the analogies you have chosen as this level of realism typically eludes digital replay and is also testament to the level of your system. The race car saying ‘built not bought’ certainly applies to your stunning amps.

@VoicesInMyHead - it’s perfect fine to be a happy customer! I, too, feel a similar level of enthusiasm as I rediscover old albums with the Evo usb cable. Yesterday I cued up Don Henley’s End of the Innocence album and discovered some hithertoo unknown levels of nuance amongst his pithy lyrics.

@spiritofmusic - the evo usb has similar qualities to what you experienced with the Platinum Prince ;-)
 
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My promised EVO USB from Mark had been sitting in a UPS warehouse since 22nd Dec so a new one was sent two days ago by old fashioned Royal Mail and arrived yestreday!

Although I myself make what I regard as the best available BNC cables (I guess I would say that!!) I have seen no reason to stray into the world of USB cables. Why would I when I had already found the best one in the form of the Sablon 2020 USB and have been happily using that in my own system since 2020.

My own system I should explain might at first sight not look as if it would be susceptible to USB cable changes because the USB cable is not the final cable in the chain. In fact it is quite early on in the chain which is :-

Streamer (K50), usb cable to PhoenixUSB, Sablon usb cable to SRC.DX (usb to bnc convertor), Storm BNC cable to Mscaler, dual Storm BNC cables to Dave (ARC6 version).

In this chain I have always found the usb cable between the PhoenixUSB and the SRC.DX to have a significant effect on the overall sound quality. And for this I have always been very happy with the Sablon 2020. This is perhaps not surprising because I picked it out having compared all the chief culprets at the time.

But come yesterday evening this all changed as soon as I plugged in the new EVO USB. And I do mean as soon as I plugged it in. What I heard is not subtle. It is audible within the first few notes.

What I heard was a filling out of the bass and lower mids in a very satisfactory and balanced way. I had never thought of the Sablon 2020 being lacking in this department but going back to the 2020 from the EVO left a gap in what I was hearing. I very quickly stopped swopping the cables for comparison purposes and just kept the EVO USB in the system because it was simply much more enjoyable.

This was all with zero burn in. Mark has suggested that the EVO USB is pretty benign as to burn in but I left the system over night in continuos play mode with the amps switched off just in case and I will listen again later today to see if there has been any change.

I have never heard the Omega USB but it had been on the radar to be considered as an upgrade but all I can say to Mark is, well done, your new cable is a significant move forward and the Omega is no longer on my must try list. In fact I have torm up my must try USB cable list since getting the EVO USB.
 

Sablon Audio

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@WAVE High Fidelity - Nick, thanks ever so much for your glowing endorsement. The recognition of an industry peer is most gratifying, not least of all since I have a direct sales model. I recall you tested the market extensively before choosing my 2020 model and I’m delighted to now be able to offer a jump over that.
 
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ronfint

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I've had my demo Sablon 2022 Evousb cable for a few days. It's the fourth Sablon usb cable that I've had. Each time that I've upgraded, I've thought first that I couldn't believe that a usb cable could have such impact, and second that it was so good that I'd never have to upgrade. But each new cable that Mark produces brings more joy.

This one, the 2022 Evo usb really fleshes out the music's foundation. I guess that I'm talking about bass, but whatever it is, music has more oomph, it puts me closer to my goal -- to be able to my close my eyes and feel like I'm at the recording venue. It's a big step over the 2020 usb. OK Mark, can I just buy the demo?

I'd say that Mark has hit a home run with this new cable, but that analogy has the wrong country. I need a cricket analogy. Cricket has something to do with Pimm's Cup doesn't it?
 
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