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Comparison: Mangird Tea cable vs. Drop Premium copper

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I have no real point of reference here, other than what few specs are provided for each product. But I'm curious about actual performance and/or any benefit of one cable over the other:
The standard cable that comes with the Mangird Tea IEMs [8-core OCC]
vs.
Drop's 2-Pin IEM premium cable [premium 0.3 ohm braided copper]

I purchased the Mangird Tea IEMs first, and to me it looked like it came with a pretty decent cable. Much beefier than any of the other (cheap-o) IEMs that I have used before, even bulkier (with more braids) than what came with my Auclair custom IEMs.
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But as I skimmed through some commentary here and there, I was reading that the Mangird cable was 'crap,' or that it was 'cheap and should be replaced.' So with that I decided that I would try the first step with an affordable upgrade to the Drop premium copper cable. Now that I have received the Drop cable, it would appear to me that the Mangird cable is still more substantial, but I have no idea about how to judge the comparison of materials, which I'm sure is what makes ALL the difference.
So my question is:
Can anyone provide more information about what the specs mean
or how they would compare performance wise?
When I first swapped the cables I thought that I was actually a little less high end through the Drop cable, but it's tough to compare with my untrained ears, and no equipment.
(Edited)
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MaverickAH
729
Aug 14, 2021
I own the Mangird Tea as well as many other IEM's. Some things that I've learned over the years:
  1. When you get a new IEM, live with the stock cable for a while. Trust that the product was tuned with the cable supplied.
  2. I generally prefer a single crystal, pure copper cable as they tend to offer a warmer presentation that a lot of IEM's benefit from. This is not the case with the Mangird Tea as it's already on the warm side of neutral. It works better with a silver or silver coated copper wire which gives more energy to the treble. The stock cable is going to work better than the Drop cable & you got exactly the result I would've expected!
  3. There is no consistent correlation between price & cable quality.
So my recommendation would be to leave the stock cable on the Mangird Tea alone. The only issue I have with it is from a comfort level as it doesn't wrap comfortably over my ears. It is not a crap cable & performs admirably.
MaverickAHYes! Short version: I agree with MaverickAH, and often third party cables come down to side grades or downgrades, and only rarely are upgrades (unless you’re looking for something specific and willing to spend for it). A cable is a “subtractive” feature… they don’t enhance a headphone, mostly there’s the pure response of the driver + voice coils (like on an engineer’s test bench, where you can’t really use a headphone), and then how much of that you lose by adding an extension (the headphone cable). EMI Shielding, geometry of how the wire strands are arranged, capacitance, inductance, and resistance. I’m still learning, but from what I’ve read, reducing inductance increases capacitance, and vice versa, so ideally you would want those two factors to be equaled out, so lowering resistance becomes the key to preserving the signal waveform. Shielding prevents interference, and geometry has an effect that I still have yet to learn (but hey, it sure looks pretty, right?). Higher consumer cost isn’t a guarantee of quality (many factors go into the final cost of a product, not just sound quality), but often a cable won’t be an upgrade over stock unless it’s cost have been substantially “upgraded” over a replacement stock cable. I agree with Maverick… the engineers who work on the acoustic and electrical systems usually take careful consideration to balance cost, ergonomics (flexibility, weight, touch), durability/longevity, and signal preservation into account when they design their package. A fat cable may have really good acoustic properties, but nobody wants a $700 cable for a $100 in-ear. A copper wire hangar (who has hangars made of nice copper??) would be very thick gauge, but unshielded and way too stiff and heavy to use comfortably with any headphones.
quicklytoo4
677
Aug 5, 2021
in my experience as long as the cable isn't complete crap (picking up noise/static from things touching it) there isn't a noticeable difference usually so it's more of if you want lighter/comfort vs durability
ajt53
10
Jul 18, 2021
I have found the only difference a cable makes is to the feel and usability, i.e. does it tangle, maintain kinks or have strong joints at the plugs. Most cables don't make a scrap of difference to the sound output (that you can hear anyway). I figure a good cable is one that doesn't end up in a 'birds nest' when removing from the carry case. I use DUNU DUW02 cables if possible for this very reason, and they have interchangeable plugs for balanced use.
AudioChimp
3
Jul 16, 2021
In my opinion, it doesn't matter what the specs say. It is only numbers. The only thing that matters is which of the cables sounds better to you. Which one do you enjoy better listening to.
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