By Lam Seng Fatt
After my review of the Tellurium Q USB cables (see http://www.av2day.com/2015/09/tellurium-q-usb-cables-velvety-and-rich-sound/, I received feedback that I was not clear enough about my views on the cables.
So in this review of the Tellurium Q Black interconnects, I shall state from the outset that Tellurium Q has a family sound. In other words, the interconnects have similar sonic qualities as the USB cables.
I shall be very clear by listing out the attributes of the Tellurium Q interconnects:
1) The tonal balance seems shifted downwards just a wee bit with a bit more prominence to the bass.
2) This results in a slight darkening of the treble region. The highs sound slightly less open and extended.
3) However, the midrange is fabulously rich and smooth and the vocals are rendered with a seductive quality – both male and female – that is reminiscent of the best SET valve amps.
4) The soundstage is big in depth and width but loses out to my reference cables which reveal more depth and also more space in between the images.
All these observations are made compared with my reference interconnects – the WyWires Platinum. Also bear in mind that the Tellurium Q Black is fifth from the top model in Tellurium Qs range of interconnects.
I normally use a WyWires Platinum cable loom from the Wyred4Sound DAC2 to the Lamm LL2 Deluxe preamp and thence to the Bryston 4B SST power amp.
So it was a simple matter of replacing the Wywires from the preamp to power amp with the Tellurium Q to listen for differences.
Initially I used the HP laptop with the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond USB cable connecting the laptop to the DAC. This allowed me to listen to the synergy of cable looms – when I used both WyWires interconnects, I heard the synergy of the WyWires cable loom from DAC to pre-amp and pre-amp to power amp and when I substituted one WyWires interconnect with the Tellurium Q Black, I heard the synergy of the Tellurium USB cable and Tellurium interconnects.
This session proved interesting. I played 24/96 and 24/192 files from HDTracks and with the Tellurium Black interconnects I could hear more micro details and these details seemed to stand out from the music. The bass also became deeper and fuller.
The strange thing was that when I used the WyWires cable loom, I felt more relaxed and just enjoyed listening to the music without bothering about hearing less micro details.
With the Tellurium cable loom, the extra little details kept catching my attention. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but I did not feel as relaxed as I did with the WyWires.
Also, the slight darkening of the tonal balance was discernible with the Tellurium cables. the WyWires sounded more transparent, extended and airy in the treble region.
Then I used CDs instead – I had the Roksan CD player as transport linked to the Wyred4Sound DAC2 with a Van den Hul Digicoupler co-ax cable. I played tracks by male and female singers – Simon & Garfunkel, Carol Kidd, Susan Boyle and Suzanne Vega.
With this system, the bass was not so noticeably lower or fuller with the Tellurium interconnects. It sounded just a tad deeper. However, the treble region sounded clearly more extended and airy with the WyWires.
In both set-ups, what was truly outstanding was the mid-range, especially vocals. The singers – male and female – sounded smooth, rich, velvety and seductive.
If you like listening to good singers, then buy the Tellurium. If your speakers sound a bit bright, then the Telluriums should tame them and give you a fabulous mid-range to boot. But if your system is already dark-sounding, then the Tellurium may not be the best match.
The RRP is RM1,800 per pair. For more details, please call Mr Aw of The Audio Store at 019-2682559.