Here is how I hear FT pairs up with different IEMs in comparison to their stock cables. In this test I was using LPGT as a neutral reference source, volume matched, and playing the selection of my usual test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, Galantis “Hunter”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.
Please keep in mind, I’m describing the sound of IEM paired with a specific cable, driven from LPGT source. I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic EQ-like effect on the sound of IEM. Based on what I’m hearing, cable can finetune the sound, but if you find the original signature of IEM to be not your cup of tea, no cable alone will fix that.
stock 1960 4w to FT – with FT the soundstage of Traillii expands a little wider and feels more open and airier. The difference is not the same as with Orph which expands even wider, but FT definitely has an edge over 1960 in soundstage expansion. When it comes to tonality, the difference is more noticeable in the mids where 1960 is smoother, with a fuller body (in lower mids), and sounds more relaxed. In comparison, FT still has body above neutral in lower mids, but it is less colored, more transparent, with upper mids being more revealing and having more micro-details. And the same with treble, you get more sparkle with an overall effect that feels like a thin veil was lifted off Traillii when compared to original 1960. It doesn’t turn Traillii into a brighter iem, just more micro-detailed, more revealing, more precise, with blacker background and improved dynamics while still retaining the analog natural characteristics of the sound.
Vision Ears Phoenix
stock 4-wire silver/gold alloy & copper to FT – in this pair up comparison I hear changes related to soundstage having a little more depth, which gives the sound more holographic expansion, and with vocals being a little more out of your head. Also, upper mids have more clarity, reminding me of the change with Traillii where it felt like a faint veil blanket was lifted off and the sound gained more clarity and higher level of micro-detail retrieval. Furthermore, I also hear the background to be blacker.
Empire Ears Odin
stock 1960 2w to FT – the soundstage in this comparison didn’t change by too much. The most noticeable difference I hear is how FT gives Odin a touch smoother tonality and a better retrieval of micro-details in upper mids. That’s FT specialty, improving micro-detail retrieval without making the sound brighter or too revealing. Overall, I find improvements here to be rather minimum, and some might prefer to stick with a stock cable. Warmer tonality of Orph will have a better pair up synergy with Odin. One interesting observation, I didn’t like 4w version of 1960 with Odin because it pushed mids more forward, but with FT it only extracts more micro-details without pushing mids forward.
Empire Ears EVO
stock Copper (PWA) to FT – very interesting transformation where the sound sig becomes more balanced due to mids being more forward relative to the bass. The bass still has a very powerful impact, but the sound sig shifted from L-shaped to W-shaped, and upper mids are more forward with a smoother tonality and improved retrieval of micro-details. Also, the soundstage seems to be wider. This is a good example where the same cable has a different effect between Odin and EVO, the reason why I always say it is not about standalone cable sound sig but rather its pair up synergy with specific IEMs.
64 Audio U18s
optional 64 audio hybrid silver to FT – a noticeable improvement in soundstage expansion; that was the first thing I noticed, soundstage becoming wider. The overall tonality didn’t change much, U18s is smooth to begin with, it will not get smoother with FT cable, but retrieval of details and blacker background is definitely noticeable. Again, that is specialty of FT cable, improving the retrieval of details without making sound brighter. I don’t use 64 Audio stock cable that comes with U18s, but if I did, I’m sure the sound improvement would have been even more noticeable in comparison to that stock cable.
stock SPC vs FT – in this pair up comparison I used FT with 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter since RS10 comes with a stock 3.5mm cable. With FT cable the soundstage width of RS10 expands wider, giving the sound a more holographic feeling. The overall sound characteristics didn’t have a drastic change, but the sound with FT is a little smoother and more natural, and I also noticed that upper mids are not as forward anymore, making the sound more balanced. RS10 has a very unique neutral reference tuning, don’t expect cable to change that, but it can certainly refine it.