For some, high-end after market interconnects and speaker cables seem to be no more than a simple math equation or nothing more than snake oil. And though cables are built around a scientific foundation, the hours of tweaking, listening, more tweaking, is where the cable goes from being mathematical to musical. But even after all the tweaking is done, and the cable is ready to market, the consumer, only has a cursory idea of how a cable will change the sound their own system. The point of this review is to not only give you a better understand of real world conditions, of how the WyWires cables sound, but I hope, since I think they are very good cables, you’ll take the time to audition a pair for yourself.
Alex Sventitsky, the man behind WyWires, designs his cable to help bring forth the natural sound of music in your system. Alex has spent years in the audio world, both as a listener to live and high-end system, and as a music enthusiast. Alex builds just about any kind of analog or digital audio cable you might need, including power cables. (Not covered in this review.) All the cables are built around the same principles, copper strands that are individually insulated with a special enamel, wrapped in cotton sleeves and twisted into a Litz geometrical pattern with PTFE Teflon tubes to protect and separate the conductor assemblies. Since cotton is mostly air, air is the primary dielectric. All cables are hermetically sealed to prevent corrosion to the copper and contamination of the cotton. All cables use Xhadow connectors, which are more conductive than the typical gold connector.
For the past six months I’ve had two very different systems in my home, and I’ve run the WyWire cables in both. The Zu Omen Def speakers combined with the Melody AN211 integrated amplifier system, created a big, brash, ridiculously liquid, American sound that won the heart of both my wife and I. It seemed that no matter what was playing, Tom Waits to Ratatat, this combination of equipment never lost our interest and left me constantly wanting more. More music, more volume, more fun and more bragging! The second system, Brodmann Festival Series speakers combined with the Mystere ia11 integrated amplifier system, created a sensual European finesse and a level of detail that tilted far too close to the realistic for the price of the speakers. A system that really shined with acoustic, blues, classical, opera recordings. I ran WyWires speaker and interconnect cables in both systems and I used the WyWires digital cable between the Electrocompaniet PC1 CD player and Audio Note DAC One Sig.
To better understand the change in sound the WyWires cables created, I’ll offer a little background on the cables I was using previous to the WyWires, and their sound. I had been using the Granite Audio #470 silver interconnects, or the Supra Sword interconnects, and the Supra Sword speaker cables. All very good cables at about the same price point as the WyWires, but with very different sonic attributes. Before I had the WyWires digital cable I tended to leave digital music on the shelf, or in the computer. I much preferred my flawed but wonderful sounding P3/24 with Cardas tone arm cable rewire, Sumiko Evo III Blue Point Special cartridge and Moon LP3 phono amplifier.
The Granite Audio #470 interconnects I’ve had now for a couple years, and they have been used in many systems. I feel I have a good fundamental understanding of how they will change the sound in any system. Typically I can count on them to widen the soundstage, increase the depth and add punch to the bass. They allow a lot of detail to make it from the source to the amplifier, and are generally a benefit to any system I’ve put them in. But occasionally the mid-range and bass can sound a little confused, or the bass can sound bigger than life. For instance, with the Brodmann FS speakers and Mystere ia11 integrated amplifier system, the Granite Audio #470 interconnects helped to intensify and deepen the bass, but unfortunately they added a bit of confusion to the mid-range. This made the already difficult-to-position Brodmann FS speakers more frustrating to listen to. The sounds stage never seems accurate, which lead hours of positioning and repositioning. When the Granite Audio #470 were used in the Zu Omen Def speakers and Melody AN211 integrated amplifier, bass deepened and the sound stage widened, but the image also suffered and drum reverberations seemed overly intense. For instance, the drum rolls at the end of track 2 on Sufjan Steven’s Illinois album, were exaggerated and fun, but not as they have sounded on many other systems.
The Supra Sword interconnects and speaker cables presented a radically different sound from that of the Granite Audio cables. First off, the top-end had much more sparkle and a slight metallic ring which made brass quite exciting. Secondly, instruments and singing formed with clearer individual distinction. In the Zu/Melody system, the extra sparkle and slight metallic tilt added to the already somewhat hot tweeters of the Omen Defs, had me looking for ways to dampen the tweeter. In both systems the mid-range and low end was too lean for my taste. For me. The gut feeling of the music was missing. So even though some issues were resolved, imaging, separation, even dynamics were better because the confusion was gone, but other issues came up. Unfortunately the Supra cables were returned before a good match was found. I have a feeling they would have been a better combination with the Trinity speakers I had in recently.
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