DHC Complement2 Flagship Headphone Cable
For today's top headphones
5th generation with state of the art features
DHC's most technically proficient, highest performing cable
The Complement2 is blowing reviewers away! Some new reviews to come going into 2014:
The Part-Time Audiophile tests the Complement2 with Abyss, Audez'e, and HD800:
Positive Feedback Online review coming this month from Mike Mercer!
The DHC Complement, since day 1, has been our way of showcasing our best ideas, construction techniques, and materials. Since 2009 we have brought this cable from prototype status with emerging DHC technologies to a full-fledged masterpiece of synergistic components refined over five generations.
The Complement2 through years of preparation can now be made available at a more accessible price point, replacing the previous Complement and the little brother of the Complement, the Clone. The Complement is simply the most detailed, accurate, and realistic headphone cable ever made and brings things to the table that have never before existed.
The Complement at its inception was a headphone cable that separated left and right channels into two independent cables which could not interact with one another or the outside world, by using an onion-like system of protective layers that were each implemented to combat a different natural phenomena - be it mechanical vibration, static charge accumulation, or interference across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
The Complement2 builds upon this base to add more effective layers, better size efficiency, more thorough coverage, and improved reproducibility. More than an evolution of the original Complement, the new Complement2 is a back-to-the-drawing-board design that is able to protect the audio signal in ways that were previously impossible.
Technology overview and concept:
The DNA that makes up our genetic code is comprised of two "complementary" strands, mirror images of one another. Together, they form a stable molecule. The Complement uses an unprecedented design to keep the audio signals for left and right separated and protected from harm from headphone to amplifier by using a separate, shielded cable for each channel. Other types of cable layout and geometry attempt to prevent crosstalk between channels, but cannot match the physical separation and isolation that the Complement provides. The Complement is more than just the sum of its parts - the synergy between the layers is the secret. The dampening layers reduce capacitance due to the shielded design and the concentric layers exert force on the central cable core, preventing detail-robbing vibration.
We have upgraded the headphone connectors on the Complement to the best ones we can find, without question. Often these are the most expensive plugs on the market, occasionally we have to make close calls and pick the connectors with the best materials and durability. If there's a headphone you'd like a Complement cable for that's not listed under the headphone menu below, just email us and ask.
Sennheiser HD650 - We use the Furutech HD650 plugs for this headphone - bronze, rhodium, and Teflon with an incredibly durable screw-together shell.
Sennheiser HD800 - Our custom-developed Jumbo HD800 plug is the best plug money can buy, with a smarter design that lets us optimize many aspects of the installation.
Hifiman - Our custom SMC plugs are the best ones for the job.
Audez'e - After trying every available option for Audez'e, including custom solutions, we've found that the most reliable locking fit comes from the Amphenol mini xlr connector. It is also the only plug that uses phosphor bronze with gold plating for its contact material. Lots of options were passed over for this plug.
Denon - With Denons, the DHC Elite gold mini plug - made from gold plated phosphor bronze and anodized aluminum - is a perfect fit, with its extended shaft tip fitting the earcup nicely.
Abyss - replace the stock cable with pure OCC copper litz, and enjoy our Amphenol bronze/gold mini XLR connectors.
The Complement2 features DHC's most neutral and accurate wire. The DHC "Peptide" wire is only available here and is a custom type 2 litz construct. It features more than 100 ultra-fine strands of individually enameled ultrapure Ohno continuous cast copper, with multiple sub-bundles in a type 2 "bundle of bundles" arrangement. This strand arrangement and individual strand insulation is thought to reduce AC losses and minimizes skin and proximity effect, offering an improvement over conventional stranded wire. A practical benefit of DHC "Peptide" is that it will stay beautiful forever as each strand is sealed in clear enamel. "Peptide" has a intricate rope-like appearance from the complex of strand bundles inside, with a flexible polyethylene jacket that keeps the type 2 litz construct inside rigidly locked in its configuration, ensuring a lifetime of reproducible service. DHC "Peptide" is the first PE-insulated type 2 litz OCC copper wire in the headphone world and is the highest-performing stranded wire we know of.
The Complement2 features a reproducible, computer-controlled central core rather than a hand-twisted assembly, keeping electrical performance consistent throughout the length of the cable. Every aspect of the Complement2, from the twist rate to the insulation profiles to the dampening materials layout has been agonizingly pored over for the last year.
Twice the typical amount of textile dampening has been employed in the Complement2 to prevent microvibrational energy from interfering with the signal. This approach also prevents static buildup as this dampening material is triboelectrically neutral - it will not build a charge when it rubs against something.
A newly developed carbon-infused composite is directly applied onto each strand of Peptide wire, providing further protection against a wide bandwidth of interference. The individual carbon shielding on each wire takes the place of the single carbon fiber shield used in the original, less-effective design. The material is highly compliant, absorbing mechanical energy and draining static buildup by acting as a semiconductor.
Super-thin custom mylar foil shielding against low-frequency interference and a non-magnetic super-high-coverage copper braid for iron-curtain isolation from high-frequency noise - don't let your cable become an antenna for signals traveling through the air! The Complement is the most protected cable on the market today, and provides a sense of quiet, black space - an empty canvas for music. The foil layer helps to compact the inner layers and prevent vibration.
ERS paper treatment is the last word against signal pollution - a high-tech material that is a black hole for unwanted noise. Strategic placement allows noise entering the cable near the termination to be absorbed and reflected.
To make the Complement the best performing cable as well as the best value it can be, the standard termination is the Valab pure copper and rhodium XLR plug with carbon fiber trim. It features hollow pins for enhanced surface area, made of tellurium copper (a hard, machineable copper variant with traces of tellurium metal to enhance its machinability and strength) plated heavily with rhodium. This is a beautiful connector and it is the best on the market today - there is no reason to get any other connector and it is the one we personally use. We can accomodate nearly any termination, however.
Choice of Viablue metal y-split cover or DHC logo tube for y-split. If you pick the single Viablue splitter, logo y-split, or dual Viablue y splitters (for 3 pin XLR cables) then your cable will have the two cables conjoined in a single sleeve for the main body of the cable (below the y-split). If you choose the option for separate cables (for 3 pin XLR only) then your cable will consist of two separate cables for right and left channels (Headphone connector to XLR) and this is what we most highly recommend.
Extensively tested by hand and broken in, guaranteed for life - no questions asked
We have decided to make the DHC silver fiber sleeve standard for all Complement cables. The black nylon sleeve is a thing of the past and is no longer an option, as it is not as durable as this sleeving nor is it as attractive and sleek. Please discuss with us if you want a different look for the cable, but we feel that the silver fiber sleeve is a signature appearance for our top cable which we'd like to maintain into the future.
The silver fiber sleeve is custom sized within 1 gauge of the correct fit, as a result this new generation of Complement cables currently being offered is the sleekest Complement yet.
Our "Capsid" carbon fiber-trimmed CNC-machined aluminum y-splitter is a free option on our IEM and headphone cables now. This splitter is very small, weighing next to nothing, and exists to make our cables look and feel awesome. We still offer DHC logo heatshrink if you would prefer an even smaller option.
Complement Cable FAQ
Q: Why the heck is it 2 cables?
A: For twice the fun. No, in all seriousness, when there are 4 wires together in a headphone cable, regardless of fancy geometry and what have you, there is the potential for electromagnetic interaction between left and right channels. As current travels through any wire it generates a magnetic field around the wire, and cable geometry can only go so far in preventing inductive effects. Separating left and right into their own cables is the only logical step towards preventing this from happening. Besides protecting the channels from each other, this is the most thoroughly shielded and dampened cable for headphones that money can buy, with complete immunity to electromagnetic, electrostatic, and vibrational interference - the cable is protected from anything the outside world can throw at it.
Q: Why am I seeing it here first?
A: Sometimes you have to think outside the box to do something right. While it is unusual to have a dual headphone cable, and adds an insane amount of extra work to the equation that would put most companies off, it is worthwhile when you enjoy the newfound capabilities of the HD800 and other top cans.
Q: Can I have the Complement for other headphones?
A: We can do one of these for many different headphones, just email us.
Q: Is this sort of cable comfortable?
A: Each cable is no heftier than a typical XLR interconnect. In our latest revision, the Complement has been reduced in size while maintaining the diameter of the sleeving layers. When wearing some configurations of the Complement cable you have 2 cables coming down across your chest instead of 1. A problem? I think not.
Q: How big is this cable?
A: These cables have a substantial feel to them, but they are flexible and manageable. I listen to mine for hours every day, no complaints.
Q: How about for my single ended gear?
A: We now offer the Complement cable for single-ended amplifiers. Just select a 1/4" termination in the drop-down menus below.
Q: Can I get a cable as awesome as the Complement for other stuff?
A: Absolutely. Just let me know what sort of connection you are trying to make, and we can work out the details. My "Chaperone" RCA/XLR interconnects and my custom portable cables are built to the standards of my Complement headphone cable. The design of the Complement cable can be applied to exotic speaker cables, as well.