Whiplash Audio TWag v2 GOLD aftermarket custom in-ear monitor cable

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Whiplash Audio TWag V2 GOLD CIEM cable

Manufacturer: Whiplash Audio
Model: TWag v2 GOLD non OM
Price: $300

The Whiplash Audio TWag V2 GOLD adds 1% gold to the silver TWag V2, changing the wire composition and ultimately the performance. The wire is the standard high-strand count 26 gauge wire quad braided below the Y-split and twisted above the Y-Split. There is a wood cable cinch and the Y-Split is held in place with a clear heat shrink. Looks are great as is to be expected from Whiplash. My cable has OM (over mold) shell connectors, but the cables are only available with non-OM shell connectors with built-in memory wire.

Flexibility is great as with the other Whiplash quad-braided cables, with no memory effect and great tangle resistance. Microphonics are non-existent and the overall ergonomics are on par with stock twisted CIEM cables, even though the cable is significantly thicker. Build quality is up to the usual Whiplash standard, which is top-notch. Overall, this cable is an exceptional replacement cable from a looks and use standpoint.

Fit and sonic testing was performed on a variety of custom in-ear monitors and one universal fit IEM. Pin polarity matched that of the stock cable and fit is secure unless otherwise noted. The score is my Order of Magnitude score, which rates the amount of change the cable provides, with higher scores representing more significant changes. The text explains the actual sonic changes.

PAIRING

Hidition NT-6 Pro: The TWag V2 Gold fits the NT-6 Pro as securely as the stock cable, but an OM version’s lower profile would work better with the protruding sockets. Sonically the TWag V2 Gold cable pushes the presentation closer than the Hidition upgrade cable. The TWag V2 Gold cable is clearer and more articulated, but it also accentuates the bass and treble more than the stock cable. Spatially, there is no advantage with the TWag V2 Gold paired with the NT-6 Pro. This pairing doesn’t offer the benefits that would justify the price. 2/10

Hidition NT-6: The TWag V2 Gold fits the NT-6 as securely as the stock cable, but an OM version’s lower profile would work better with the protruding sockets. Sonically the TWag V2 Gold cable adds to the midrange presence and warmth with a smoother overall sound, but in doing so the details loose the articulation they have with the stock upgrade cable. The TWag V2 Gold changes the character of the NT-6 more than improving the sound, making it closer to the warmer IERM, but still with the NT-6 flavor. 1/10

Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference: The TWag V2 Gold fits the SE5, but not quite as securely as the longer pins of the stock cable. Sonically the TWag V2 Gold cable brightens the sound while smoothing the top-end, tightening up the bottom-end, and adding an overall sense of clarity to the sound. Spatially, the TWag V2 Gold cable has a larger space with spacious tracks, but can sound smaller with tracks that have more forward mids. 5/10

Fit Ear PS-5: The PS-5 uses a faceplate mounted cable, and the non-OM version is a better replacement than my OM test configuration. Sonically, the bass is kicked up a notch, but it is also cleaned up, and the warmth is reduced. Spatially, instrument separation and imaging are improved within a larger space for an overall more concise presentation. The TWag V2 Gold also adds more punch and immediacy to the presentation, which makes the stock cable sound a bit dull in comparison, if not relaxing. 8/10

Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors (IERM): Sonically, the TWag V2 Gold cable improves the quality of the treble, with a smoother note that retains the detail while the bass is more precise, cleaner, and has better texturing. The center imaging is improved over the stock cable without losing spaciousness. The overall improvements are significant and change the IERM from analytical to musical. 9/10

M-Fidelity SA-43: Sonically, the SA-43 presentation is brought a bit forward with a brighter and more detailed sound. Background notes are much clearer and more audible and there is an added clarity to the entire performance. The overall presentation size is reduced a little. 8/10

EarSonics S-EM6: Sonically, the TWag V2 Gold cable brings the presentation into a bit better focus by pulling the presentation a bit closer while maintaining the depth for a more 3D sound. Tonally, the cable brightens the sound, but the stock cable has a bit better detail articulation. 3/10

Lear LCM BD4.2: The LCM BD4.2 comes with Lear’s C2 cable, which is considered an aftermarket cable. Pin security is the same as with the C2. Sonically, the TWau cable pushes the presentation more up-front and extends the depth of presentation while improving imaging and clarity within. While the C2 cable sound wider with a further back perspective, the TWau cable gives the BD4.2 a better sense of being in the same room as the musicians. Bass is a bit more prominent due to more prominence of the deepest registers. 5/10

 

SUMMARY

The Whiplash Audio TWag V2 GOLD cable is combines great form and function with excellent sound that can be used to take select CIEMs and IEMs to another level. The cable generally brightens the sound while reducing harshness and improving imaging. The entire spectrum is cleaned up, but depending on the matchup, details can be smoothed over a bit. If you are in the market for a new cable, the TWag V2 Gold is well worth consideration.

Ergonomics: 9.5
Tangle Resistance: 9.5
Memory Effect: 10
Microphonics: 10
Build Quality: 10
Works with recessed sockets: Yes

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About Author

Having a life-long love of high-quality audio and gadgets, average_joe got back in touch with his audiophile side after a hiatus caused by life. His focus became headphones and related gear as the size and price fit his life better than home audio. He believes the entire audio chain is important, and likes to continue to think past the headphone and on into the head, as he believes understanding the details of how we hear will lead to a better audio experience.

3 Comments

  1. Hf on

    I bought a DUNU 2002 last week.
    Could a replace cable (like “Brevity 5N CGOCC-A SPC” from Null-Audio) make the sound even better?
    Thanks

  2. average_joe on

    Hi Anders,

    Thanks for your questions and compliments. In my experience, most Whiplash cables have been an excellent match for JHA products, but before diving into that, let me add my thoughts on gold in cables.

    I approach these topics from two angles: what do my ears and physics tell me? Going a bit into the physics, gold isn’t as good of a conductor as silver or copper, and there are many other factors seem to determine sound characteristics of wire. From my understanding (and note that I am making inferences from my knowledge on the subject and experience with many different cables/CIEM combos), two main factors are inductance and capacitance, especially with earphones that use crossovers and resistance is secondary (for a low power audio signal).

    Properties of the cable can affect crossover frequency and shape, if only slightly, but in the world of high-end audio, its the little things that make a difference and what change you are trying to induce. For example, do you want more top-end resolution or more bottom end power and oomph. My experience is the Whiplash TWag v2 will brighten the JHA sound a bit while cleaning up the entire presentation while the v3 will remain closer to the original sound balance while still cleaning up the presentation. Others might make similar improvements, but unfortunately it is a crap shoot.

    Without thinking of how a cable is constructed, I listen. And listen a lot since many times the changes are initially subtle, but over time I can much more easily identify the difference between cables by the little things.

    As far as making claims that aren’t true, I have seen that happen quite often in the world of audio at all levels. For example, there was a low cost IEM that claimed to use a patented feedback technique for superior sound, but ripping the earphone apart showed what looked like a standard driver with standard wiring.

    I recommend Whiplash because I know their quality and while they sometimes take a while to reply, they stand behind their product and make a good one. Yes, they have had an issue where a silver wire was oxidizing green instead of black. Same cable I had (TWag v2) that had a small area of tarnish that was the right color. Seems like a bad batch of wire from the manufacturer as I don’t believe Whiplash would ruin their reputation over a relatively small savings.

    OK, how do you get the most out of your gear? I recommend Whiplash for top-notch performance because I know and trust them. I also used to recommended Effect Audio, but they have recently increased their prices quite a bit. The Silver Dragon is good depending on what you are trying to accomplish. What characteristics do you want to hear from the cable/JH16 combo and that should help me make a better recommendation.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  3. anders on

    Hi Joe!

    I wonder what kind of cable you recommend for my CIEM JH16 pro bought in 2013,and i use AK 240. I listen the most to electronica,house,techno music. I have read a lot of things you have written and it seems that you like the Whiplash cables best for this kind of earphones? What kind of Whiplash? What kind of connector will you prefer?2,5mm TRRS 4 pole balanced.Which type,Switchcraft, Oyaide or Hicon? What about Crystal Cables?
    I have some big issues right now after reading a real fight between Toxic cables(Frank Donghi) and Steven Teddy (audiotruth) in the UK .I assume you know about this,but it makes me wonder if the cable companies are trustable!
    Add 1% gold in a wire makes it less good to listen to. Is this right? Thats what we all thought Frank did (SilverWidow)when Steven get hold of an example and sent it to AMC Company in Austin Texas and they found out that it wasn´t added anything. Its a plot for all the customers out there.
    I can see that Whiplash also do this with his new cables add 1% gold to it. I don´t know what to think anymore. Need help from someone that really know the deal.
    By the way your sitting on a huge competences which i haven’t seen somewhere else and i feel secure when i ask you. So please help me out to get the best out of my gear!
    Best regards
    Anders Norway

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