Hi-FiReviews
March 6, 2015

Best Of 2014: Cables, Tweaks & Accesories

Article by WL Low

 

Cables, tweaks & accessories are the fun and adventurous part of our hobby. Whilst I would consider cables as strictly essential equipment of the Hi-Fi system on the basis that there would be no sound without them connecting our Hi-Fi equipment as a chain. Many would beg to differ.

 

Cables, along with tweaks & accessories, when used effectively can give an already well sorted system a boost in musical performance. However, don’t be mistaken that cables, tweaks & accessories can cure all your Hi-Fi ailments. I would simply put it by saying this, if you’re sick, go see a doctor, but if you’re not feeling so pretty, put on some make up.

 

Now, I think most of us, and our Hi-Fi system can do with a little beautification:

 

 

Vermouth Red Velvet Power Cord: I could remember many years ago in Hong Kong, a group of Hi-Fi enthusiast gathered and debated on the issue of power cords affecting Hi-Fi performance. They tried to quantify the effectiveness of thick, heavy gauge power cord by connecting various branded cables to a kettle to boil water. Needless to say, some cables boiled water sooner than others, on the pseudo scientific assumption that the cable that allowed the kettle to boil water faster had more ampere transmitting quality. However, some of the enthusiast involved in that test later declared that they didn’t like how the winning power cord(the one that boiled water soonest) made their system sound either! And so the never ending debate rages on to this day!

 

I think the Vermouth Red Velvet needs no further introduction. I loved the way it looks and feel, especially with that striking red sleeve and Cardas plug termination on both ends. Even if it made little difference to the sound of my Hi-Fi system, I would’ve still kept it, if only because it just looked good, but fortunately, it did made my system sound better! The Vermouth brought with it upgraded bass slam and dynamics, with improved musical visceral presence. It’s a hard charging Rocker’s power cord of joy! Playing air guitar, with Slash anyone?

 

 

KLEI Pure Harmony Silver RCA Plugs: This item is strictly for DIYers who loves to tweak.We all know and loved the sound quality and eye candy effect that WBT plugs can have on our music. The KLEI Pure Harmony Silver can give similar improvement to sound quality satisfaction, sans the eye candy-ness. It brought along lower noise floor, faster transient response and more resolving of minute but significant musical details, all very tidy without sounding bright or peakiness. My only complaint? It’s too sober looking, but sounds great anyway.

 

 

Sonique by Pop Pop Music: The local room tune panel market has been dominated by Auralex for so long, that it’s hard to think of any other brand. That is until, Sonique, which offers a couple of design choices, some more brutally absorbent than others. All panels are adhesive backed, so installation is a doodle. When used in a mix and matched fashion with Auralex diffuser panels, I achieved great sonic improvements by tuning the room, to be less reflective on the 2nd refection point(back wall of the throne). However for Hi-Fi, I do not recommend absorption panels only, but used sparringly with a mixture of wooden, or 3D styrofoam diffusers.

 

Next we talk the Best Of 2014, Home Theatre.

 

Article by WL Low