Witch hat cables

I've just ordered a run of Phantom as a hopeful replacement for my 14 year old Chord Epic, plus a BNC-DIN interconnect in place of a Shawline on a Rega Aria Phono Stage. I'm hoping for great things, not sure how this greatness will manifest itself but I'm on tenterhooks.

I placed my order for 8m Phantom cables, at the beginning of October. Mine arrived yesterday, due to the quality assurance problem with previous Phantom cable reel, if that helps anyone on timescales to delivery. Obviously, when back log has cleared, delivery times will return to normal.

Man with no Naim posted:

I placed my order for 8m Phantom cables, at the beginning of October. Mine arrived yesterday, due to the quality assurance problem with previous Phantom cable reel, if that helps anyone on timescales to delivery. Obviously, when back log has cleared, delivery times will return to normal.

That's strange, I placed my order on 23rd Sept and still haven't received mine. Off to write to WitchHat now ...

I found chord speaker cables to be a good performer and are well constructed (i've tried several up to their signature range) however they are heavy on the bass and could occasionally sound a little dark.  They are also expensive depending on which model you choose.  I eventually opted for the Naim Nac A5 and have not looked back.  In my experience I found it to produce the most clean and crisp 'Naim' sound, it has a certain snap and finesse, the type that makes you sit up in your chair when listening.  Naim have spent many years and invested a lot of knowledge in designing this cable to work with their systems, it seems a simple choice to make to follow their recommendations. 

Lewis posted:

I found chord speaker cables to be a good performer and are well constructed (i've tried several up to their signature range) however they are heavy on the bass and could occasionally sound a little dark.  They are also expensive depending on which model you choose.  I eventually opted for the Naim Nac A5 and have not looked back.  In my experience I found it to produce the most clean and crisp 'Naim' sound, it has a certain snap and finesse, the type that makes you sit up in your chair when listening.  Naim have spent many years and invested a lot of knowledge in designing this cable to work with their systems, it seems a simple choice to make to follow their recommendations. 

I've have used NACA5 for the past 20 years with various Naim setups but the Phantom speaker cable is on another level. Witch Hat do a sale return why not try the Phantom for yourself.

I’m not saying it’s not better, but you have only had them a day or two. The only way to really know if it’s genuinely better is after a few months. I thought a different cable was better once, and after a few months found I was listening to far less music. I put the A5 back and enjoyment was restored. I’m a little wary when people say something is better in every way, as it’s just an easy get out. 

hungryhalibut posted:

I’m not saying it’s not better, but you have only had them a day or two. The only way to really know if it’s genuinely better is after a few months. I thought a different cable was better once, and after a few months found I was listening to far less music. I put the A5 back and enjoyment was restored. I’m a little wary when people say something is better in every way, as it’s just an easy get out. 

 

 

Wise words

Different isn't better or worse ...it's different

Enjoyment is the real deciding factor...it's ,(relatively) easy to give a boost at the top end and make people think that they are hearing more ...but it can be wearing ...

hungryhalibut posted:

I’m not saying it’s not better, but you have only had them a day or two. The only way to really know if it’s genuinely better is after a few months. I thought a different cable was better once, and after a few months found I was listening to far less music. I put the A5 back and enjoyment was restored. I’m a little wary when people say something is better in every way, as it’s just an easy get out. 

Point taken.

There's a number of people on this thread that have received the Phantom cable or waiting.

I guess in a few months we will find out.

I’ve been using the Phantom speaker cables for about 3 months with SL2s and they are a big step-up compared with NACA5. They are very relaxing to listen to, smooth but without loss of detail and bass is both clearer and tighter. They take a few days to burn-in as they can sound a bit bright at first but this soon goes to give a balanced sound.

Whitchhat provide a 30 day trial period and I would have returned them if I wasn’t completely satisfied.

rjfk posted:

Has anyone had issues getting a refund on cancelled cables from Witch Hat? Been trying for over a month now and about to launch a Small Claims action against them.

Russ

Haven't tried (requesting a refund) but sounds strange as they've always been responsive (typically within a few hours only) whenever I've had queries - lastly today, where I also got a quick response. Have you tried calling them?

rjfk posted:

Has anyone had issues getting a refund on cancelled cables from Witch Hat? Been trying for over a month now and about to launch a Small Claims action against them.

Russ

I returned a cable for repair and they were great - they have a good reputation.  Try a phone call? 

Yeah will try a call before I lodge the claim. After some faffing they agreed to the refund, then it didn’t appear and was offered an excuse and was told it would be done and still not received it. Now they’re not responding to emails.  

rjfk posted:

Yeah will try a call before I lodge the claim. After some faffing they agreed to the refund, then it didn’t appear and was offered an excuse and was told it would be done and still not received it. Now they’re not responding to emails.  

That's not good is it?

Let the forum know how you get on ..as I'm sure several on here would buy on the promise of a refund if they didn't like

I remember the buzz about tellurium black cable some while ago ..it was the wonder replacement for A5 and every one had to have it...

Then the very people who were shouting loudest about it went back to A5 or moved to the next big thing...

This is starting to sound similar...

 

They’ve now responded to a post in the Facebook group. I find it quite sad that it’s taken me going public to get a response. Will see what happens and let all know for the record. They may be damn fine engineers but customer service clearly doesn’t seem to be their strength.

Japtimscarlet posted:

I remember the buzz about tellurium black cable some while ago ..it was the wonder replacement for A5 and every one had to have it...

Then the very people who were shouting loudest about it went back to A5 or moved to the next big thing...

This is starting to sound similar...

 

There are three people who have given positive comments about the Phantom speaker cable and nobody has said that they went back to A5 so your comment about “starting to sound similar” is based on zero evidence.

The rjfk post concerns a refund but doesn’t say what the cable is or why it was returned so again your comment makes no sense in the context of the Phantom speaker cable.

Looking at their website, they claim to use silver plated AudioQuest banana plugs. Which concerned me a bit. Silver oxidises very fast (weeks). How do you keep these contacts in good shape?

I can't see using silver polish being any good because of the residue and hassle and besides, it won't take long to strip back silver plate to the underlying metal if you use silver polish a few times.

This is a question rather than a criticism. I use their XLR lead to my 250 and it was a very cost effective upgrade.

Jonn posted:
Japtimscarlet posted:

I remember the buzz about tellurium black cable some while ago ..it was the wonder replacement for A5 and every one had to have it...

Then the very people who were shouting loudest about it went back to A5 or moved to the next big thing...

This is starting to sound similar...

 

There are three people who have given positive comments about the Phantom speaker cable and nobody has said that they went back to A5 so your comment about “starting to sound similar” is based on zero evidence.

The rjfk post concerns a refund but doesn’t say what the cable is or why it was returned so again your comment makes no sense in the context of the Phantom speaker cable.

I am one who went Tellurium Black (though I can't remember shouting loud about it) it was better suited to the speakers I had at that time when I changed speakers I changed back to Nac A5 as they were better suited to it.

There are people prepared to try something different and to change and then there are those rooted to the same rigid spot. The day I finally sit in front of my speakers and think that's it will be the day I finally turn to drink probably as hifi is my hobby and keeps me occupied a lot of the time, reading about hifi, researching hifi, buying and selling hifi and taking part in discussions about hifi on forums like this are all a great source of pleasure and trying out something new with good or bad results is too.

Japtimscarlet posted:

I remember the buzz about tellurium black cable some while ago ..it was the wonder replacement for A5 and every one had to have it...

Then the very people who were shouting loudest about it went back to A5 or moved to the next big thing...

This is starting to sound similar...

 

Interesting to know that all who have bought Phantom cables (myself included) are apparently wrong ... If only we had consulted with you first we could all have saved our money ...

Japtimscarlet posted:

I remember the buzz about tellurium black cable some while ago ..it was the wonder replacement for A5 and every one had to have it...

Then the very people who were shouting loudest about it went back to A5 or moved to the next big thing...

This is starting to sound similar...

 

I tried Tellurium when I had some PMC speakers, and found that I preferred it to NacA5. Then, when I changed to Naim SL2s it made sense to return to Naim cables, which sounded better with the A5. I now have Super Lumina. 

It’s easy to get excited about a new thing that gets discovered and perhaps go over the top in how much better it really is, and then after a while it becomes the new normal, and time may reveal that it’s actually not as good in terms of engagement. 

hungryhalibut posted:

It’s easy to get excited about a new thing that gets discovered and perhaps go over the top in how much better it really is, and then after a while it becomes the new normal, and time may reveal that it’s actually not as good in terms of engagement. 

I agree there's always that risk (of new initially being perceived as better but may prove not to be in the longer term) but the post from Japtimscarlet above is unnecessarily dismissive of people's willingness to try different options. Phantom cables may be better, they may not be better, or they may be a sideways move - all dependent on system context and the individual listening. I previously used some expensive Audiovector cables in my home office system and ended up preferring NACA5 in that system as I found them to be better (for me ...) in terms of pace/timing (posted on the forum a few months back), but NACA5 also has some characteristics that I think can be improved on - and that's the reason I'm willing to try the Phantom cables.   

HiFiman posted:
hungryhalibut posted:

I’m not saying it’s not better, but you have only had them a day or two. The only way to really know if it’s genuinely better is after a few months. I thought a different cable was better once, and after a few months found I was listening to far less music. I put the A5 back and enjoyment was restored. I’m a little wary when people say something is better in every way, as it’s just an easy get out. 

Point taken.

There's a number of people on this thread that have received the Phantom cable or waiting.

I guess in a few months we will find out.

This.  Sometimes you initially hear an improvement, but this increase in dynamics can become tiresome during longer listening periods, it takes a good while to decide whether you prefer the change or not.  I'm happy with mine I have no intention of changing it out.  If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Good debate,one thing i will say is the people at witch hat did used to work for Naim and as such base their cables to work best with Naim kit,not to say they are better than Naim cables but have a better chance to shine in a Naim base system, as they try to improve rather than change the Naim sound.

I have also considered swapping to the Phantom cables from NACA5, when people say things like bass is better defined & easier to follow as well as things like additional detail with also a smoother sound (less harsh), these are all things that should be a step in the right direction for me.  Being in Canada, shipping isn't as easy if they aren't to my taste, so any owners if you could continue to post your thoughts as time goes on, it would be appreciated.  Also, what lengths are people typically running?  From when I spoke to WH, it sounds like they don't think longer then 3.5m is better (seems most seem to think 5-10m NACA5 is the ideal length/best sounding) & to stick with 3.5m if they'll work in your application.  I'm currently 5.5m runs of NACA5.

Also curious if people have used their Phono source to DIN cable, if so what configuration (standard or KLE plugs) & how does it compare to other cables you have tried?  Currently running a HiLine for my digital front but just the standard grey lead for the TT, was thinking about trying this cable with the KLE plug out.

Installed the Phantom cables earlier today and have been listening to music for about 2-3 hours on and off. I'm sure they'll need some time to bed in, so obviously too early to pass judgment. Initial impressions, however, are a bit divided in that the bass is a bit firmer/defined than NACA5 but also quite a bit leaner. Not sure if this is due to the Phantom cables being (too) lean or NACA5 having too much of a loudness effect - probably a bit of both (NACA5 certainly does have a loudness effect compared to most other cables). The Phantom cables seem more open, but that may be due to the extra energy in the treble relative to NACA5. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next week or so. On balance, as things stand right now, I think I prefer NACA5 ...  

hungryhalibut posted:

It’s far too early to make a judgement. It will very likely fill out and relax over a few weeks. Probably by the time the free return expires. 

Why the unhelpful comments? You have your expensive Superlumina so why don’t you leave more sensible people to make their own decisions and observations on something that might be as good as what you have at a much lesser price. 

hungryhalibut posted:

How on earth is my comment unhelpful?

The first sentence is helpful and accurate as most cables do take a while to bed-in.

The second sentence is disparaging as well you know.

Hope this is not becoming a habit as it sullies you often good advice.

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