Cardas Clear Digital SPDIF


Any experience with the Cardas Clear Digital SPDIF?

How does it compare with Aural Symphonics Echelon Digital?

No answers so I'll answer my own question after trying one out on loan from a friend.

It’s a nice cable. A self effacing type of sound with no real emphasis in any frequency. Overall natural and smooth sounding with midrange sweetness but not as much midrange emphasis or warmth as the older Cardas cables.

It has a lot of detail and the layering of and space between musical notes is both impressive and engaging, as is the soundstage. The musical flow has a correctness about it.

So far, I would like more warmth or a midrange bump though vs the natural “clear” presentation it gives but will wait to see how it settles in.

I know it's been a while, but how did the Cardas Clear cable settle in? Did you keep it long term? 

Uh, I’ll submit this one at 1.5m and $60.  I dare u to put this up against pricier cables.  Musical, detailed.  If u find a better digital cable at or anywhere near the price, go for it. 

Ah crap. Sorry. That would be useful information dammit. Here ya go, and I’ve recommended this to several other members and they’re happy with it. John Atkinson from Stereophile used is as his reference digital cable, so it has some cred beyond little ol’ me. I much prefer it to my Stereovox XV1, which is a descendant of the acclaimed D60. My take, buy it for 60 bucks and wait til something else knocks it off the shelf. In the meantime, you’re listening to a very refined and solid digital cable. One other note if you get this excellent cable — pay close attention to the directional arrows, which are faint and hard to see, as they’re not a suggestion.  I installed mine backwards once and it was a disaster until I figured out my error. I’d guess you’d need to spend $1000+ to better it. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

I agree Geist’s custom terminated Apogee is a good deal. I’ve had various lengths over the years and still use the BNC version today on my Naim NDX and Bryston BDP streamers. It’s nice that someone is still making them today, however the Cardas Parsec Digital is also reasonably priced and it tastes delicious. Now I’m curious about the Clear AES/EBU.
@mikey8811 please report back!

@dr3 I’ve since replaced my Apogee with an AZ MC2, and it’s at a different level entirely across the board — not even close. It’s a lot more expensive even used but more than well worth it. Here’s an AES/EBU version…

In my system Cardas clear spdif was a small step up from transparent premium spdif. 

@soix thanks. AZ are certainly well known around here from back in the day.

@spearl8 that’s interesting because I also have the Transparent Premium AES/EBU. Why or how was the Cardas better to your ears?

@dr3 it seemed a little more musical and open. Has that nice Cardas rightness to it. 

I ended up replacing it with an Aural Symphonics Echelon Digital. It has all the positive traits of the Clear plus the fullness and tonal density that Clear lacks. The Clear is a decent value cable but in my system was not full sounding enough for me.

Aural Symphonics certainly know their way around digital even though you don't read much about them.

Thanks all.

So I borrowed a Clear AES/EBU from my dealer and I think you're all right.  The sound is a bit more open, with more instrument separation than the old Transparent Premium.  It's probably more accurate but a bit too lean in my system (Bryston and Thiel). The Transparent keeps that much needed harmonic richness or tonal density as you say.

By the way if I really want to mellow out I can switch to the Apogee BNC at the touch of a button, which is still an amazing value!

@dr3 Transparent is always priced at a high premium. The Premium is at a lower tier vs Clear despite the price. You need to compare the Reference to Clear and as it is supposedly on a similar tier.

You will find the Reference is superior in all ways.