07 April, 2014

Review: Belden 9497, Part III


L: 497mkII; R: 9497 (click pic to enlarge). pic courtesy of icefox.

Review: Belden 9497, Part III
Finally, 9497 vs 497mkII

Written at Incheon airport

This is strictly not a review by me, but the information is too good to pass up. It came about thanks to my friend (and occasional task-master) icefox.

FYI, icefox and I share many similar viewpoints on hifi and often (though not always) similar listening priorities. He is also an avid user of the Belden 9497. He contacted me to discuss new information he had gathered on this topic with the help of one of his friends. I am posting to share with everyone what he told me, and I hope I haven't mis-represented anything.

Those new to this topic would want to read my other articles on this:

Part I
Part II

New Information (according to icefox)
  • icefox told me a friend of his went to Japan recently, and sought to buy these cables. Apparently, in Japan they are easily found, often side by side. I am sure many stores in Akihabara sell them. Interestingly, in Japan, 497mkII is more famous (no surprise, given Shindo's patronage) and also more expensive than 9497.
  • The 497mkII has the same left-handedness as the 9497.
  • The 9497 is more tightly wound. For the same length, the 9497 has more turns.
  • Not shown in the pic, on inspection, both have very similar (possibly identical) strands. Of course, human eyes cannot possibly analyse further. One day if I have time, maybe I shall take samples to my Chemistry professor friend for an NMR analysis to see if they are similar in constitution.
  • Apparently, the price of 9497 has increased quite a bit from the time I wrote about it.

Listening Test (according to icefox)
  • Though both excellent sounding, the 2 cables definitely sound different and the differences can be easily heard. The 9497 is a tad faster and more extended; the 497mkII is a little more emotive.
I have nothing more to report, but I'd LOVE to get my hands on some of that 497mkII!