I've been documenting my various experiences with the Ether CX (on HiFiGuides forum and Drop's reviews) and the one real complaint I had was the cable microphonics. The DUMMER cable works as a cable but I couldn't take the microphonics. I bought a Periapt cable which is a solid cable, but I still have issues with microphonics. Then I bought a no-name AliExpress cable and realized that I probably should have followed my first intuition and bought the better cable from MrSpeakers. And guess what, VIVO has solved my microphonics problems!
Not only is it dead quiet, drape nicely, and really make me forget that I have a wire attached, but changed the sound for the better. I will spare the gushing details in this review, but you can find it on the aforementioned forum under 'Drop + MrSpeakers Ether CX' thread. But before I'm just dismissed by anyone who has not experienced a cable improving the sound by that subjective 5% from other well made cables, do know I remain a skeptic even having this anecdotal evidence because 'physics' and would argue that the VIVO cable is worth it for killing the microphonics alone, but I cannot ignore the differences that I hear.
Anyone still reading that has had the experience of cables changing the sound, I can describe a few changes. Highs sound tighter and better defined than the other cables. The bass is in greater quantity and feeling without tilting the sound dark as the mids have what sounds like a linear energy. Almost like spreading paint from thick to thin over the frequency range from bottom to top, the VIVO cable has that Goldilocks presence to enhance the sound. The sound stage has expanded ever so slightly but it feels larger as I hear more details in decaying echos and reflections than before. The imaging was almost the same as before, but I now have a better defined point that was most notable for sounds very close to my ears where I can now tell the sounds are just that little bit further out of my head than previous.
VIVO is worth the price as it solved the micrphonics problem I have had and also the sound got better.
I spent quality time at the RMAF with the VIVO cable and my beloved Ether C's comparing it to my cables, a Moon Audio Black Dragon and MIT Vero. Mr. Speakers and Mojo Audio had a private quiet room upstairs run by Ben of Mojo Audio who's DAC and music server are phenomenal. There was a bunch of amps to try and Mr Speakers entire lineup.
The Vivo had a more detailed, textured and punchy bottom end than the Black Dragon, a bass monster, stand up bass had more growl and drums more slam.
The Vivo had greater clarity in the mids and highs and a larger and more open soundstage than the Vero a staging champ. While the differences weren't huge, they were significant enough that I'll be investing in a Vivo cable when funds allow. Thanks Dan.