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Audience Au24 SX cable system Review

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I just finished reviewing, and I’m still listening to the wonderful DS Audio W1 optical phono cartridge. In that review, I said, “Another significant difference between my strain gauge and the DS-W1 was that the strain gauge let ever little part of the recording really pop. With the DS-W1, however, you may not hear quite as much detail, but you will hear an entire performance in a more holistic and for myself, a more satisfying way.”

The reason I mention this is because with the Au24 SX cables in my system this musical satisfaction with the whole performance was exceptional. With the SX in my system there was excellent detail and when there was a solo performance it really popped, but the overall sound of my system was cohesive. Let me concentrate on the whole performance and its very magical way.

I knew early on in listening to the Audience Au24 SX cables that these were not just an improvement on the Au24 SE cables, but a big step forward in every way. When I reviewed the Au24 SE cables, I thought they were a nice improvement over the previous Au24, particular in transparency, detail, and top-end resolution. The SX cables are not a nice improvement but a whole new level of musical enjoyment. In my review of the Pass Labs XA30.8 amps, I asked why Pass Labs didn’t give it a whole new name instead of just changing .5 to .8. I mean they are obviously completely new amps. I feel the same way here. The progression over the years with the Au24 cables have been a move from the first Au24 to the E and then the SE. All these changes have been an improvement on the previous version but were just that, an improvement. The SX cables are not just an incremental improvement; they are a major advancement.

Now, here is the great news. With the Au24 SX cables in my system, I feel I get a wonderful, relaxed and musically satisfying sound. At the same time, my system sounds more dynamic than I would have expected. The system has a kind of timbral accuracy and big tone that I have not heard from previous versions of Audience Au24 cable. I believe this is at least partially a result of how the Au24 SX allows my system to have such a wonderfully rich and tonally accurate upper bass through the lower midrange.

Au24 SE MP PowerChord

powerChord SE

Pace, Rhythm, and Timing, as well as musical flow, are simply superb. I believe this is due to two things. First, the system has excellent micro-dynamics that doesn’t jump out at you but contribute to the enjoyment of the performance. I feel this is a result of that richness mentioned above, combined with a very tuneful lower and upper bass that lets the music seem to flow from note to note.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t result in a loss of transparency or detail. In their press announcement, Audience said, “The new cables deliver even greater transparency, improved focus, higher resolution of micro-detail, a richer tonality, and a more pristine soundstage.”

I agree, but I would explain it a little differently. I think the new cables offer a new and better kind of transparency. If you define transparency as being able to ‘see’ into the recording, then my system does this a little differently with the SX cables in it. They aren’t about seeing into the recording process, hearing where the microphones were placed or hearing the different dubbing of voices or instruments. The SX gives me something different. My system has a very clear sound that is a lack of haze of any kind between me and the music. The sound is more like an open window on a live performance.

With the SX cable in my system, I get the kind of soundstage and spatial presentation I have come to desire. I have often written about how distracting I find a system where instruments seem to float on a black background like some cheep painting of instruments on black felt. Live music never sounds this way. Live music produces what I like to call a coherent soundstage. Yes, you can judge how big it is, you can hear the general placement of the instruments and which are in front and in the back, but a well-done performance brings all this together into a holistic sound that the listener has an emotional experience with. With the new SX cables in my system, I was able to experience this kind of soundstage and space. One of the most impressive things about the coherent soundstage my system has using the SX cable is its sense of scale. Singers and instruments sound life-size. You just need to hear how wonderful a big band or a big pipe organ can sound with the SX.



I want to commend John and the team at Audience for resisting doubling or heck quadrupling the price on these incredible cables. The Audience Au24 SX cables can compete with anything I have heard on the market at any price. The improvement in the sound of these cables is not just incremental, but the price is. Here’s hoping that people will take these cables seriously, because while you can find cables that sound different, you will be hard pressed to find many cables that sound as good.


Copy Editor: Laurence A. Borden

One Response to Audience Au24 SX cable system Review

  1. Daniel says:

    Can the you use the sx phono XLR hi between amp and preamp!

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