16 April, 2017

Belden 9497, Part IV, 9497 vs 497 MkII

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

Definitive Review: Belden 9497, Part IV
Talk Cable: USA Belden 9497 vs Japanese 497 MkII

See Part IPart II and Part III.

It is amazing how the humble US Belden 9497 has remained in my various systems for as long as I remember. I first wrote Part I in 2009, then Part II in 2012, and Part III in 2014. And now in 2017 it is time for the last one (ha!), as my dear friend Seng finally brought me some 497 MkII from Japan and I have used them for long enough to make some comments.

There are very few blogs/magazines that anally re-visit again and again what they deem worthwhile. For that I am proud. But the Belden deserves it, as many of us have never been able to find something better. Different, maybe; better, no.

Tested in my Kondo system.

Sonic Impressions

  • Air The US 9497 is airier in the high treble, more open.
  • Upper Midrange The Japanese 497 MkII has just a touch of hardness here, making the US 9497 a smoother listening.
  • Bass Similar.

  • The 9497 is the better cable, and cheaper!


  1. Hi DoctorJohn,

    I bought this cable from Japan and using with my Harbeth C7 and Clones Audio 25i amplifier. And, result is excellent! So really thank you, I got it thanks to your excellent comments.

    Did you compare belden 9497 with Western Electric 16GA or Duelund DCA16GA cables? Basically, these cables tinned copper cables, but I wonder which one is better than others..

    Thanks again!

    1. I don't know about the Duelund, but I definitely prefer the neutral Belden (for it is really that, no color, just music) to the vintage cables like WE.

      I have used the 9497 for YEARS, and I have never found anything that can completely trump it. Also, it works with basically everything, as versatile as they come.

    2. Thanks John! I think difference between these cables may be coming from outer material. Belden is made from plastic and WE and Duelund is made from cotton. Some say that cotton material sounds more natural than plastic.

      Anyway, belden is really great!

  2. I have been around hi fi for a long time. we can say I have been there and back. Current system is Oppo 105 with mod, Anticable RCA to the VanAlstine 300w hybrid power amp and speakers are from the fantastic Canadian company Tri Art Audio and I got the Prebbles Mini Tower. And I have been looking for speaker wire. Been using my old Chord signature, good but I knew I could get better. And a friend send me a link to Belden and off Ebay I bought a pair for 50$ with band plugs. And man o man. This is simply the best speaker wire I have come a cross. Open - details - everything one can ask for in a speaker wire and the price is a steal. LOVE it.

    1. I am glad! Is yours US 9497 or Japanese 497 MkII? I presume the link you mentioned pointed you to this blog?

      In any case, enjoy!