By Lam Seng Fatt
After having a sumptuous Chinese dinner with the AV Designs folks after the launch of the PMC Fact 12 speakers recently, we went back to the showroom and I left with two pairs of WyWires interconnects.
That was mistake number one.
Back home, I quickly plugged in the WyWires Gold interconnects between the Lamm LL2 preamp and the Bryston 4B SST power amp.
This was the older version of the Gold interconnects which have smaller ByBee Slipstream Purifiers. The latest version of Gold is based on the Platinum model and has larger ByBee Slipstream Purifiers and is, of course, more expensive.
The WyWires Gold interconnects amplified the good traits of the lower-level Silver interconnects – the house sound was there except that there were larger servings of the sonic treats.
The bass had even more details, was tighter and deeper. Imaging was more etched out, solid and stable. The transparency was even better.
But I felt that the treble was rolled off – in my system at least – and was too polite. the cymbals and high notes could be heard, but they lacked shimmer and bite, especially on brass instruments like trumpets and saxophones.
So I used the Platinum interconnects instead. The Platinum series is the latest in WyWires catalogue and frankly, nothing much is known about its construction except these notes from its website:
“The conductors that we use in our cables are made of many individually insulated strands of ultra high purity copper that are combined and braided according to a proprietary formula that considers voltage output as a primary variable.
Our cables have the correct number of strands of a specific gauge for the signal and the return conductor depending on the application. The dielectric material we use is mostly air since the conductors are enveloped in organic cotton and in a larger Teflon tube.
Our cables have very low characteristic impedance with very low inductance and capacitance. Minimizing inductance has been proven to be one of the keys in enabling a cable to present inner detail and superior soundstaging.
We believe that capacitance is much less of a problem in cable performance than previously thought. That being said, our cables have the lowest capacitance of any cable we have measured. Our Pre-Out cable has a capacitance of only 5.9 Pico Farads per foot, measured at 10kHz. Since we use small gauge conductors, the phenomenon known as ‘skin effect’ is non-existent in our cables. Our cables have a minimalist look by design. We have demonstrated that adding insulation to obtain girth tends to degrade a cable’s performance. On average, each WyWires cable requires at least 4 person-hours to assemble and test.
Shielding is to be avoided…
In reality, radio frequency interference (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) are rarely problems in modern music and video systems. The downside of shielding against these imaginary gremlins is that energy is released into the conductive shield and then released back at a later time, smearing the signal.
For this reason, our cables have no shield of any kind. The unique geometry of our cables virtually eliminates any tendency for them to act as antennae or to pick up noise from other components. You will find that our cables are state of the art in their ability to present an eerily silent background between the notes on a recording.”
With the Platinum interconnects linking the Lamm preamp to the Bryston power amp, the bite and shimmer of metallic instruments like cymbals and brassy ones like the trumpet and even the electric guitar returned.
This was a much better match and I enjoyed listening to the system with the Platinum for several days till I decided to connect the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2 to the Lamm preamp with the WyWires Gold interconnects.
That was mistake number two.
Hitherto, I had been using the Alphacore Micro Purl Silver to connect the DAC to preamp with good results. Of all the interconnects in my drawer, the Alphacore sounded the best in that role.
With the WyWires Gold, the sound quality moved up several notches. I was getting high-end sound from a modest – by today’s standards with top-flight systems costing a few hundred grand to more than a million ringgit – system.
The images had more ‘flesh’ and not just body. It seemed as if something ‘solid’ underlined the images like some kind of sonic eyeliner to highlight the singer and instruments for the listener to focus on.
The Gold complemented the Platinum very well and it was a case of 1 + 1 = 3. It was a classic case of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ in the hi-fi sense.
After all the mistakes I made, I have a huge problem – whenever I replace the WyWires with something else, I lose the sound quality that I have grown to like very much. With other interconnects, I can get the tone, but not the space and air around the musicians and singer.
If you want to make the same mistakes I made, feel free to call James or Tony of AV Designs at 03-21712828.