"the Audio Doctor"
by Maarten van Druten
When we don't feel well we go to the doctor, but what do we do when
our high-end audio system is not sounding good anymore?
Than it's time to call the "Audio Doctor", his name is Wim Rodenburg
from the Netherlands.
Wim is very experienced audio and music enthousiast and he calls him
self "the Audio Doctor"
My friends told me about this remarkable man that really can tune your
audioset just how you want to have it.
I became curious about this man, so I made a appointment to meet
"the audio doctor" to listen to my audio-set.
Personally I'm very skeptical when it concerns to cables.
I always believed that 80% of the final sound quality was determinated
by the loudspeakers, 15% by the amplifier
4% by the source (SACD player) and 1% by the cables.
So during my Audiophile "career" I always spend very little money on
I did a blind test once in a shop, when I wanted to buy a new interlink
for my CD player.
The sales man was very honest and friendly, and like me he was also very
skeptical about those so called expensive
"high end" interlinks.
He changed two interlinks three times during a listening session, I
couldn't see the cables, and he didn't tell me
which cable was connected.
One cable was a expensive "Van den Hul cable" of 200 euro and the other
one was a cheap basic quality cable from the far east with gold plated
connectors of 30 euro.
After three listening sessions the salesman asked me which session I
liked the most.
I said the last one.
He smiled and told me that I was very lucky and saved 170 euro's,
because in the last session the cheap asian interlink was used.
After this experience my thoughts about so called "high-end" cables was
confirmed: "good cables doesn't have to
expensive and basic cables are good enough"
The door bell rang, the "Audio Doctor" was standing in front of my
"The Audio Doctor"
Wim Rodenburg gave me hand, and placed three big heavy bags on the
floor full of cables, powercords and other
making acquaintance, Wim quickly inspected my audio set, and told me that
he already saw that something was very wrong.
I had placed my power cords wrong!
In Europe we have 230, 240 volt power connectors with fase, with two
pins, which can be placed in two different ways in the wall outlet.
In the USA the pin lay out is made on such a way that you only can
connect the connector in one way.
What a lot of people don't know is that there is only one good way to
place the power connector in the wall outlet.
He used a volt screwdriver to dettermine which side has the voltage, and
then he placed the powercord upside down in the wall outlet.
After this adjustment we played some music, and the quality was already
improved! and the "Audio Doctor" was just 5 minutes in my appartment
Wim told me that he uses "cables" in such way to achieve the desired
With cables you can fine tune a high-end set to the desired sound
quality that you want.
He also gives advice to improve the sound quality of your high-end set,
he has gained a lot of valuable knowledge
during his career.
This kind of knowledge is very important to give a good advice. I was
very curious what Wim would think about my system!
"the doctors bag"
Wim told me that he made his own cables,
based on his experience.
His brand is called "M-Way" and there are three different lines.
"First way" are the standard basic cables
they are a good choice if you want better then stock cables, and they
will definitely improve the sound
of your current system.
The cables of the First Way have the following characteristics:
- transparent open and clear.
- spatially. The ability to display the recording space again
- homogeneous. Tonal balance
- imaging between and behind the speakers
- standard brass ( some goldplated ) connectors, stranded
- copperwire, no shielding
- reference interconnects have solid gold plated copper rca
- connectors. (Twisted Pair Design or WBT NextGen copper)
Then there is the "NaTuRaL WaY" line, which
is more expensive and uses different materials and connectors.
"NaTuRaL WaY" cables have the same characteristics of the "First
Way" cables plus...
- more tonal density
- more spatial density
- more colour density and less colouration
- more contrast & cleaner
- more expensive.
the Top of the line series is called:
characteristics; see "FiRST" and "NaTuRaL WaY" plus:
- more solid presentation
- more richness and definition
"Double-Dutch" cables seperates the "voltage" and "signal" from each
The "voltage" and the "signal" have their own cable and connector.
Because of this seperation you will hear a more balanced sound and it
also will be more resolving.
Because of this also the soundstage will improve in a more solid 3D
This "Double Dutch" concept is also used in
other "M-Way - Double Dutch" products like power cords, signal, digital,
and even speaker and intercords.
I tested the "FiRST usb reference Double Dutch" cable, which is a
digital signal cable to connect a music server (computer)
This USB cable splits into two cables: one cable for the "power" and
another cable for the "signal"
this cable seperates the "USB 5V" from the "signal"
"Double Dutch" USB cable -
the power and data signal are splitted and each have their own cable.
I am a IT system administrator for my
profession, and I have never seen such a USB cable before,
I was sceptical about if this cable would work!
Wim reassured me that no driver were needed, and that it would work
without any problems.
So I connected the cable to my Audio-GD NFB-1 DAC, and I placed the two
other USB cables in my HTPC.
And it worked! my skepticism was gone when
I heard a very clean, solid and balanced music coming out my speakers.
Remarkable that a digital signal cable can have so much effect on the
I said to Wim: "now I'm going to place the
standard stock USB cable again on my system."
He laughed, and I quickly placed my standard USB cable that came with
The sound was more nervous and the balanced, relaxed sound that I heard
with the "Double Dutch" was gone...
So to reproduce the situation again, I placed the "Double Dutch USB"
cable again between my HTPC and DAC.
And yes, the sound was more relaxed, balanced and had more definition.
I never expected that this was possible, how can a cable have so much
I always thought that the chain is so strong as the weakest link, and
the weakest link is mostly the small cheap standard signalcable that is
offten used in your dac, or cd player.
No, Wim said, the quality of final soundstage is the sum of all parts
I never have looked it like this before, but after this test on my own
set, I aggreed with Wim, cables are more important
then we in the first place maybe realize.
So for the people that connect their music server, SACD player with a
DAC with a USB cable,
I think this "Double Dutch" cable is a must buy.
It's much better than the standard so called "high-end" USB cables that
only uses one cable for the "power" and "data" signals.
The cheapest Double Dutch costs 150 euro (180 dollars) and Double Dutch
Reference costs 250 euro (300 dollars)
This is not cheap but the result is remarkable and definitely improves
your sound of your set.
So now you know what to ask for when you are having a birthday or when
it's Christmas :-)
My big and power full Master-10 amplifier has a standard powercord.
the "Audio Doctor" adviced me to place a different power cord, a simple
one with hollow brass connector pins from the "First Way" line.
After having the changed the powercord, I could not believe what I
I was doubting of it was a psychological trick? because I couldn't
believe my own ears!
The sound was much quieter and was more balanced and warmer.
Wim explained me that some expensiver materials like Rhodium doens't
guarantees that the sound will sound much better.
This "First Way" powercord was already a big improvement over my
During the listening test we changed a lot of other cables and I could
really hear differences!
Something these differences were more perceptible than others, but I was
Cables can realy change the final sound quality of a high-end set!
After having determined which amplifier, loudspeakers and dac you want
to use, with cables you can "fine tune" you high-end set.
The "Audio Doctor" was still not finished yet...
He also changed my speaker setup, and placed them a little bit more
wider, so that the sweet spot was a little bit more in front of me and
not on the place were I normaly sit.
Later he checked also the "fase" of my other equipment,
Then we changed the power cord of my DAC, and did some listening tests
The time flew by, and the chances were remarkable.
After being a stubborn and skeptical person
for many years, I have to admit that I can realy hear differences in
These differences can be small, or they can be remarkable.
Wim Rodenburg knowledge about cables, materials, and how a high-end set
should be set up is very valuable.
"There are many ways to connect devices and speakers together but
only few will connect you to the music.
My Way of connecting is just one of many but proved it self over the
I agree with Wim, that cables are important
instruments to fine-tune your setup, don't underestimate them!
I want to thank Wim for the very interesting and instructive afternoon
testing different cable and speaker set-ups.
His advise was very valuable for me, and the quality of my high-end set
has improved greatly after his visit.
I can only recommend to call the "Audio Doctor" when you are not
satisfied with the sound quality of your current set
Fine tuning takes some time, and a lot of listening hours, but want you
want perfection make sure to call the doctor!
Many thanks to Wim, for his patience and for sharing his knowledge with
His advices have resulted in a better and more musical listening
experience in my livingroom.
You can contact the "Audio Doctor" (The
Vredeman de Vriesstraat 52
Telephone : +31 135 441 667
Mobile telephone : +31 640 683 467
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