Cables. They should only be used to change some small variables in the tuning. Don’t expect them to turn your monitor into a completely different sounding product though. If you’re not happy with the sound of your IEM or headphone, don’t buy a cable to change it. Because it’s the wrong product for you. If you want to change minute sections of your monitor, go ahead and experiment.
64 Audio provides an upgraded cable in comparison to the stock cable of tia Fourté. If you’re still thriving for something more exquisite you can look for more premium solutions. There are cable-makers all around the world, and we’re looking at a few offers from the most renowned in this segment.
Effect Audio – Leonidas II
The Leonidas II is one of my favourite boutique cables. I can hear a tighter bass that extends further into the sub-bass regions. The background is darker and instruments stand out more clear than before. I hear higher resolution overall and improved layering. Leonidas II keeps the slightly warmer sound of Fourté Noir alive, but adds some upper midrange energy. The sound stage hasn’t changed much in comparison to the stock cable, maybe there’s a slight enhancement in terms of width. Imaging seems to be slightly sharper and more precise with Leonidas II.
Plussound – Tri-Silver
The Tri-Silver gives Noir a smoother midrange with higher levels of resolution. One of the most obvious changes to me though is the added upper and mid-bass body. Bass has slightly more punch than with the stock cable. I hear a darker background, but it’s not as black as with Leonidas II in my opinion. The Tri-Silver gives Fourté Noir a more holographic sound stage, that stretches slightly more into depth with improved layering. Treble gets sharpened slightly, but it’s still not close to sibilance.
Double Helix Cables – Clone Fusion
Clone Fusion adds a certain amount of resolution and details to the sound of Noir. It darkens the background, improves imaging but does not stretch the sound stage in any dimension further. With the DHC cable Noir sounds more energetic and dynamic. Bass is slightly tighter bound with the Clone Fusion, but it didn’t gain in body like with Tri-Silver. Treble shimmers slightly brighter and has wider extension. There is a touch more body in the midrange with a slightly more organic sound.
From the above three cables, I have reached out for Leonidas II the most. However, I don’t find it a necessity to attach an aftermarket cable to Fourté Noir, as the standard signature really speaks to me already.
Fourté Noir isn’t a hard to drive monitor. Although I find hybrids to be a bit more difficult to drive right than all BA designs. I have tried Noir with a multitude of different sources during my review-time. The most ear-time however did get the following products.
Lotoo – PAW Gold Touch
I have disabled all sound altering options on my PAW Gold Touch, as this is the truest of its forms in my opinion. The Lotoo has absolutely no issues driving the Fourté Noir in either high or low gain. I did set mine to high gain for most of the time though. I couldn’t hear any hissing with this combination.
The Lotoo fires great amounts of information into the Noir. It’s a fast and precise sound with very good imaging and separation. Instruments stand out from a dark background, that’s almost pitch-black. You get an expansive sound stage, that stretches very well into all directions. Noir picks up every little beep from the Lotoo and resolves the image beautifully.
Bass has very nice weight, thunder and punch in it. It’s dynamic and detailed, well structured and layered. It goes deep with nice rumble. Mids are clear and transparent, but still with good body and emotions. Vocals are filled with blood and sound very convincing in terms of transporting emotions. Treble is articulate and fast, shimmers bright and could be on the edge of comfort for some. For my taste it’s good, I can handle a good dose of highs.
Astell&Kern – SP1000M
The SP1000M is next to the Lotoo my personal everyday carrier DAP. Usually I bring both to work and decide in the morning which one to pick for the commute.
With the SP1000M you get a fuller sound, that puts more weight on the notes. To me Noir sounds richer and more engaging with the SP1000M. You still get an incredible sound stage that goes beyond your head front, back and sideways. The AK doesn’t bring out details like the Lotoo or the Chord Hugo2, but it still presents a well resolved and dynamic sound.
Bass has more body and sounds a notch more forward that with other pairings, but that’s not to say it sounds boomy or overly bassy. No, absolutely not. You just get more body in the lows than with others. Mids are dense with good note size and weight. Vocals are a touch more on the heavier side, but there still is good energy in the mid-mids and upper mids so they don’t come across as slow or sticky. Treble is detailed, fast and crisp. The entire sound is nicely rich, this goes especially for upper mids and lower treble in my opinion.
Woo Audio – WA11
The WA11 has more than enough power to drive Noir to blasting volumes. At low gain I don’t have a lot of room for the potentiometer to reach comfortable listening levels. I prefer to listen to lower volumes, others that like it loud could potentially still go up.
Noir has a tightly bound and dynamic bass, that’s fast and detailed. The WA11 puts more weight in the lower registers, mostly into the lower midrange though. You get a well structured and layered sound, that has impressive imaging and good levels of resolution. Though other pairings bring out more details, the organic and natural sounding WA11 does something different to Fourté Noir. You get a slightly more laid back sound, that features a fuller body and more weight.
Midrange is full and thicker. You get denser vocals, which still have good air in them. Instruments are separated with care. The background is dark, but not as dark as with other pairings in my opinion. Noir has good resolution and imaging with WA11 as sparring partner. Layering and stereo separation also is superb. What I love about this pairing is the organic and full body all musicians enjoy. Treble is more laid back here than on any other pairing. It’s not veiled or covered in any form, it’s just not as forward and bright.
Chord Electronics – Hugo2
There is very mild hissing with the Hugo2 that I can hear, but it’s so faint that I really have to concentrate to hear it. I’m sure most people will find this pairing dead silent though, as I’m more sensitive to hiss than most others I’ve met.
You get a wonderfully dynamic and controlled low end. Heaps of resolution and superb stage dimensions. The Hugo2 puts in a lot of energy in the entire sound of Noir. The sound is very realistic and probably one of the best combinations for Fourté Noir I have found.
Bass has great texture, punch and superb sub-bass rumble. It reaches deep, has good body and weight. Midrange is full, with good speed and transparency. It is a spacious sound, that wraps around your head and pulls you in the scene. The stage is wide and deep, you get incredible imaging and separation. Mids have perfect body and the right amount of air around the instruments. Treble is extended and airy, fast and energetic but never hot or sibilant. Which is very welcome.
One last page to go through, then you’ll know everything about how Fourté Noir compares to the competition.
Saw your post on instagram and went to your webpage immediatly! These are so end-game worthy.
You have reviewed some other aftermarket cables since this review( Horus X, Code 51, Eeletech Iliad…).
Could you please tell me which pairing do you prefer and why ?
thanks for your comment.
For the Noir I pretty much always use the Eletech Iliad. It brings out the even more resolution and gives the bass superb texture. I also like what it does to the top end, as it gives highs more pronounciation. The Iliad also stretches the stage noticeably and enhances other technical parameters such as layering, imaging and background darkness.
A cheaper option would be the Clone Silver from DHC. It also gives a darker background, better imaging and resolution. The Clone Silver gives the Noir an immense technical power. It adds texture to the whole scene and controls everything extremely well. It doesn’t stretch as wide or deep as the Iliad sound stage wise, nor does it create the same holographic sense, but it’s also a full 1000 USD less than the Iliad.
Hope that helps.
For people who are looking for a brand new pair i found one here : https://www.hifi-portable.com/en/universal-in-ear-monitors/25-64-audio-fourte-noir.html
That helps a lot 😉
I was interested in the Iliad, and obviously, this should be a good option.
I will consider too the Clone Silver, I do not know this cable.
I will keep you in touch.
Thanks again, I really appreciate what you do on this blog 🙂
happy to help.
The Iliad sure is fantastic and the same goes for the Clone Silver, but be warned DHC has a lead time of up to 12 weeks and I’ve seen people complain about the communication with them. Eletech is much easier to communicate with.
I love the Clone Silver, I have three of them.
febriyanto valentino s
I owned the fourte prototype directly from Vitaliy during Portable Audio Festival Indonesia in March 2017 and i could say that the Noir couldn’t match the analogue sound of the prototype. From depth, layers, and emotion. The prototype soundsig will not affected too much by changing the 3.5 cables. Use the balance cable and it will take the prototype to another level.
To : FEBRIYANTO VALENTINO S
Which cable do you use ?
I cannot believe you use the stock one when I read you…
Anyone looking for a brand new pair (possibly the last)?
Found one: https://reverb.com/item/36248173-64-audio-limited-edition-fourte-noir-new-in-box