Unique Melody UM Mason v3+ and Mentor v3+

Cables.

Just like v3 models, the v3+ update also features a Dual-Tone cable, but instead of 4 conductors, the new cable has 8: 4 pure copper and 4 pure silver wires.  The cable has a nice round braid, soft, pliable, and with the same proprietary 4pin metal socket with a securing bolt (smaller than JH type).  The idea behind this 4pin connector is that main cable contains 2 separate copper and silver cables, instead of being a hybrid.  And to switch between the cables, you just flip Left and Right sides of it between the shells.

The cable has conductors grouped and attached with copper wires going to one pair of the female connector pins and silver wires going to another pair of that 4pin connector.  The shell with its male connector pins only has two of them wired to internal drivers.  4pin connector is keyed and aligned, so you only connect either copper or silver wires at a time, depending on which cable side goes to L/R shells.

One huge improvement here was the actual connector housing.  The original v3 cable had a right-angle plastic mold connector with bumps to ID the sides when flipping the cable.  I found that right angle connector to be very uncomfortable for my average size ears.  The new v3+ cable has a standard short cylinder connector housing with a cable coming from the top and forming a springy earhook with a help of heat-shrink transparent tube.  This is a lot more comfortable, and they also have a clear label with one side connector housing having “UM” and another side labeled “V3+”.

um_v3+mason-mentor-47

I assume both Mason and Mentor cables have the same wires, though Mentor cable uses brown/black wire jacket, while Mason cable uses brown/silver wire jacket.  Also, both cables use a clear piece of tube as a chin slider, while feature a new metal y-split with a design to match connector housing.  The housing of headphone jack also had a matching color and a custom design.

Mentor v3+ w/Dual-Tone cable.

Mason v3+ w/Dual-Tone cable.

Aftermarket EA Phanes cable.

I already mentioned about Effect Audio optional Phanes cable in the intro, and will talk more about its effect on Mason and Mentor v3+ sound in Sound Analysis section of the review.

The upgrade cable from EA follows the same design principle as a stock Dual-Tone cable, using the same 4pin connector and 2 sets of different wires which turns Phanes into 2 separate cables packed in one, depending on switching between Left and Right sides.  While design principle is the same, everything else has EA custom touch.

Instead of stock copper and silver wires, EA stepped it up using their new premium materials: 4x Palladium Plated Silver wires and 4x Silver, Gold, and Palladium alloy wires.  Wires have silver and black jacket, arranged in a tighter square braid, but still feeling soft and pliable.  Also, Phanes uses EAs Black CF y-split and headphone plug housing, exactly the same one as in Horus X.  The IEM connector uses 4pin custom metal socket, but it was personalized with a different labeling to ID the sides when switching between cable wires.  With EA logo facing outside, you are using Silver, Gold, Palladium alloy wires.  With UM logo facing outside, you are using Palladium Plated Silver wires.

One important thing to note, when you look at this cable by itself on MusicTeck site, the price is relatively high.  But when you are configuring Mason or Mentor and add this cable as an upgrade, the price is a fraction of standalone cable.  Considering the caliber of the material and the quality of the build, EA Phanes is a very attractive upgrade.

Page 3 – Design.
Page 4 – Sound Analysis, and Conclusion.

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