Reviews & Feedback

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smutnyjoe, head-fi.org, Jul 8, 2021

Some thoughts about Palladium (previous version) cable compared to Lavricables master silver cable. I use it with Meze Empyrean and Hugo2 (well, now I've been also using it with my new Chord TT2 for a few days). I remember changing from stock to silver Lavricables opened Empyreans sound, expanded the soundstage, made the bass more detailed.

A similar thing happened now when I moved from Lavricables master to Arctic Cables palladium. Even more detail! And you know, never too many details on Empyreans, so the change was expected. So much more happens on the top with this cable, but also there is more bass. Maybe not more, but all frequencies are there as they should be from the start. Soundstage expanded a bit more compared to silver, while instrument separation reached the level I wouldn't think is possible on my headphones.

It was a great decision to get this cable. Now I only regret there is not much to improve in my rig and I have to start looking around for another pair of headphones

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redmonddad, head-fi.org, Jul 7, 2021

I received a recommendation from Val @Arctic Cable re: my Focal Stellia headphones. I was using an AC Ion cable that I bought a year ago for the Focal Elex, which is the headphone that sold me on Focal.

 

When my local dealer had an Open Box special on the Focal Stellia (which had almost no use on it due to the pandemic) I jumped on it. I was happy with the Ion, but eventually I figured a TOTL headphone needed a better cable.

 

I had been considering the Argento and the Signum, but after some back-and-forth with Val I was sold on trying out the relatively new Integra cable, a 4-wire configuration using 18AWG silver and copper wire. The cable is quite supple and there are no microphonics.

 

The cable has a solid. heavy feel, but the lack of sleeving has the unexpected benefit of helping keep the coiled cord from slipping off the edge of my desk (as often happens with my sleeved Ion cable). The braided copper/silver combination is dramatic and, while not a perfect match to the Stellia, coordinates pretty well.

From the perspective of the sound, I've been burning in for about 100 hrs now and while I wouldn't yet say there is a dramatic difference from the Ion cable, there if a notable improvement in the dynamics and detail of the sound.

 

I first perceived this in lower frequencies with instruments such as a contrabass where heard more texture (bowing, resonance, etc) in the performance, but once I heard that I also noted increased detail and presence across the full range of instruments in symphonies.

 

At this level, you pay a premium for incremental improvements; I am pleased with the results I have had so far and I'm excited to explore my library with the Focal Stellia headphones and AC Integra cable.

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Musikfan, head-fi.org, Jul 5, 2021

Hi, this is my first post to the Arctic cable discussion thread. I hope everyone is well. I recently purchased a 2.5 meter Magnus cable for my Meze Emperyans and Audeze LCD4 headphones and wanted to share my very positive experience.

 

I traded a few emails with Val at AC who helped me out with my cable options. He’s a nice guy and extremely helpful and responsive. I purchased the cable with Neutrik headphone connector, a 4Pin XLR Male Furutech FP-705M termination, and AC Titanium splitter. The AC Magnus cable is exceptionally well built and beautiful to look at.

 

I’ve included a few photos to give everyone a sense of what the cable looks like. The cable is flexible, easy to handle and feels nice to the touch. I’ve had the cable for a few months and after comparing it to the stock cables, the AC Magnus cable has improved the overall sound of the music.

 

I’m listening through a Rogue Audio RH-5 HP amp and a Chord Dave/MScaler combo. The cable has helped to bring more life and feeling to the music.

 

With the stock Empyrean cable, the music sounded a bit thin and constrained. With the Magnus cable, the bass is more robust and has more weight, there is a sense of increased spaciousness to the soundstage, and improvement to the imaging and resolution.

 

Overall, the music is fuller and more musical. The Magnus is most definitely an improvement over the stock cables. I already told Val that I would be ordering from AC in the future. Enjoy the music everyone!

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Violent_Sneeze, head-fi.org, Jul 2, 2021

Just received the Integra X4 18awg for my LCD-XCs upon Val's recommendation and couldn't be happier! It's a considerable step up in sound from the ION+ I had before.

 

I notice with the larger guage that vocals and instruments have more presence, and there's this big energy, dynamism, and fullness to the music that makes me feel like I'm on stage with the band, instead of a few rows away. I have this sense of reaching much deeper into the music, with textures and micro details abound.

 

I feel that the potential of the XC's are now fully realized, and I find I'm always eager to listen to them more and more now.

 

What a fantastic cable!

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Verificateur, head-fi.org, Jun 23, 2021

This was my first time buying an AC cable and it was a great experience. Val at AC was very responsive and helpful.

The cable is meticulously built and Fostex connectors are like native/sit flush (something that was important for me!).

It is nice to the touch and is quite flexible and ergonomic (despite being of the thicker 18AWG gauge).

Waited to take my TH900Mk2 out of the box to pair it straight with the AC Magnus, so I didn't even have to unpack Fostex's stock cable.

Really liking this combo!

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Roasty, head-fi.org, Jun 22, 2021

The Aeris is, as with all AC cables, an amazing build. Super thick silver wires. Nice tight braids along the main cable, and nice tight twists for the L and R channel sections.

The cable has some decent weight. Definitely heavier than my 3m palladium cable (older version).

 

The palladium will see dedicated use with the Susvara, and the Utopia will be paired with the Aeris.

 

As always, super prompt replies from Roy. I shot him my request and requirements on 30th May. He was forthcoming with info and options, which made it a whole lot easier to decide. Paid on 1st June. He said it would be ready in about 2 weeks. Roughly 2 weeks later, i got an email notification of dispatch. Took a few days to reach me, and here it is today. A straightforward and simple process, which is exactly the way it should be!

Had a brief listen this morning, and I really like it. It has a denser tonality and more meat throughout, especially mids and mid bass. The palladium still takes top spot for clarity and airiness though, and I think the small details and textures are also easier to make out with the palladium.

It does sound great with both the susvara and Utopia. But I may be taking back my initial intentions and may be pairing the Aeris with susvara instead.

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subguy812, head-fi.org, Jun 19, 2021

Well, I have finally started to get some adequate time with the Magnus cable and "burn-in" time as well. This is one impressive cable. While the cable looks hefty and maybe stiff, it's looks are deceiving. It is hefty, but the ergonomics are great. As far as sound, the amount of copper is incredible, this cable will change you preconceived notions of what copper should sound like. Nothing short of great sonics., head-fi.org, Jul 8, 2021


Some thoughts about Palladium (previous version) cable compared to Lavricables master silver cable. I use it with Meze Empyrean and Hugo2 (well, now I've been also using it with my new Chord TT2 for a few days). I remember changing from stock to silver Lavricables opened Empyreans sound, expanded the soundstage, made the bass more detailed.

A similar thing happened now when I moved from Lavricables master to Arctic Cables palladium. Even more detail! And you know, never too many details on Empyreans, so the change was expected. So much more happens on the top with this cable, but also there is more bass. Maybe not more, but all frequencies are there as they should be from the start. Soundstage expanded a bit more compared to silver, while instrument separation reached the level I wouldn't think is possible on my headphones.

It was a great decision to get this cable. Now I only regret there is not much to improve in my rig and I have to start looking around for another pair of headphones

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OM hawk, head-fi.org, Jun 9, 2021

Just finished my 100 hours burn in on my new Signum cable for my T1 3rd Gen, and now I am going to gush (more) about how awesome the synergy is with the Dragonfly Cobalt coming out of a modest smartphone.

The Signum cable certainly increases detail retrieval vs the stock cable, just not to the insane degree the almighty Opera cable does for my Aeon 2 Closed... it is a subtle improvement. Alongside the extra detail, I am also hearing slightly more refined (pleasant) treble, and a slight shift in the sound signature away from warm/dark and toward neutral. The Dragonfly Cobalt is doing most of the work of reigning in the potentially excessive bassy darkness of the T13, but this Signum cable (maybe because it's silver) is finishing up the job, allowing this hyper-portable high end rig to achieve true greatness.

It's like it does everything. The bass is still dank and powerful, but it now feels fully controlled, focused and still hard-rocking, and it extends very low. The deep bass is not lacking whatsoever. The mids are still warmer than neutral. But with this setup, that warmth is tasteful and generally has no negative impact on any musical genres, just a naturalistic, analogue-like flavor which is unfailingly comfy and non-fatiguing. This treble kicks butt! It's so perfect now... so much detail, yet all of it is presented so politely... I'd call it smooth but never weak or basic. Calm but not stoned, if you get my drift. The Signum, if anything, makes the T13 (in this setup) even more tolerant of wonky recordings.

And the imaging, the soundstage is just bonkers for a tiny portable rig like this, very wide and spacious compared to my Aeon 2 Closed. Hearing the grandeur of a full symphony orchestra coming out of my cheapo outdated phone in bit perfect 24/96 is just like... I don't have the poetry to even do it justice here, but it is pretty legit! Anyone who says they hate the T1 3rd Gen, I guarantee you they didn't hear it with a Dragonfly Cobalt, cause this sounds amazing. This is a well-balanced sound, despite being warmer than absolute neutral.

In the picture here you can see the big daddy 1/4 inch rhodium/carbon fiber plug on my Opera cable and the little bro 3.5mm version on the Signum cable.

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andyfrut, head-fi.org, Jun 7, 2021

Well, my Ion+ cable arrived some weeks ago and now they are finally burned. Out of the box I was impressed with the build quality and how it feels and looks, but not so much with the sound, specially compared with my Blackdragon. The great thing is that after 150hrs the clarity was notably improved, bass too. The sound is very natural, rich tonality :)
 

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RefleXicammie, head-fi.org, May 28, 2021

After ~350 hours burn in, the cryogenically treated 8 X 26 Awg 7N OCC copper Cuprum, sounds like a knife cutting through hot butter. Everything Ooozes like it's a smooth creamy liquid with increased 3D texture & layering. This is where I noticed that increased layering decreases harshness since each individual sound occupies a different space in the 3D shape within the 3D soundstage, in contrastto how an intercom at school sounds horrible because all the sounds seem be smooshed into one flattened space. With Cuprum, sheets of synthesized swooshes, now shred effortlessly through the entire soundstage, with a 3 dimensional texture & shape, I had never experienced before listening to music up until this point.

In contrast, after 40 hours of burn in, the cryogenically treated 4 X 18 Awg 7N OCC copper Magnus, has, at least a 15% larger stage than Cuprum, if not more. It might not feel that much bigger, since the entire image is slightly bigger, presumably due to the roughly 3X the copper that Magnus has over Cuprum. Although Cuprum may have changed my life a bit, since I had never experienced music before in this way before, Magnus kinda makes Cuprum feel like an IEM cable in comparison. Magnus is definitely more holographic than Cuprum. Even with no burn in, I could easily tell, side by side, Magnus gives a bit more shape & texture to sounds than Cuprum.

Also, due to it's larger image, Magnus also seems to have a tad bit more resolution than Cuprum.And Cuprum's resolution / sound separation, was such an improvement over Audeze's stock cable,
that I doubt that an LCD-XF with it's stock cable, would outperform an LCD-2F with Cuprum Or Magnus. Regardless of whether this is absurd or not, I still feel like my drivers were being neutered by Audeze's stock cable. Even if one strapped the $599 Audeze Premium cable on the Audeze LCD-XF, I don't think it would outperform an Audeze LCD-2F with Magnus. I don't think it would be clear which was the more expensive headphone in a blind test, under these conditions.

Given that most youtube reviewers seem luke warm to dead cold on cables, as a novice audiophile, I was quite shocked by how much of an improvement, Cuprum & Magnus, were, over my stock cable.
Was I hallucinating this seemingly enormous difference? Was it a matter of what music I/they listen to? Scientifically it makes sense that crystalline structures that are more orderly will produce clearer sound reproduction, since we already know this to be true for casting bells. The more ordely the crystalline structure of the bell, the more resonant the bell sounds. Despite the clear, holographic picture,
7N grade cables can create with the appropriate headphones, this may matter significantly more to people that listen to very geometrical music, such as, Autechre, Matmos, Richard Devine,
Aphex Twin, Phoenecia, Qebrus, BOC, Squarepusher, Etc.

I question whether the original artists have even heard their own music in this way. This technology, as far as I know, is pretty new. I'm not sure any cable manufactuer has even attempted a headphone
cable with as much 'metal' as Magnus. Before Magnus, Cuprum was likely the best 'bang for your buck' cable on the market starting at $250. But now Magnus, for only $50 more, with more than 3X the copper, is the best 'bang for your buck' cable on the market by a long shot. It's also the most beautiful cable I have ever layed my eyes on. I'm not sure why anyone would take Cuprum over Magnus, since they're the same grade copper.

In conclusion, both these cables have significantly enhanced my listening experience. I feel like I am listening to my entire catalog for the very first time. For this review, I have obviouslly been using an Audeze LCD-2F. I have also been using an iFI Micro iDSD Signature. I generally always have the 3D+ & X Bass switches ON. I love the feeling like sounds are being suspended out in front of me. I do not consider myself an Audiophile, but more of an Autechrephile.

An Autechrephile is basically an Audiophile that thinks of synthesizer music as an extension of the audio technology itself. Fittingly, Autechre Live might very well be 'Peak Sound Design', and this new line of 18 Awg cables from Arctic Cables, might very well be 'Peak Cable Design'. I mean, I care more about my Magnus than I do about my headphones. I feel like my headphones can be replaced. My Magnus can only be replaced as long as Arctic Cables exists. This might sound irrational but I no longer dream of what an Audeze LCD-4 sounds like, I wonder what it would sound like with a cryogenically treated 7N OCC 4 x 18 Awg cable attached.

opera cable

 

OM hawk, head-fi.org, May 2021

Alright, so: my Opera cable for my Aeon 2 Closed and my power conditioner are now fully burned in, along with the new power cable I got, an audioquest Monsoon with big shiny Mistral plugs. I have created a monster... a detail monster, that is. But with some recordings, it might as well be literally godzilla. To my ears, this is neutral sound: I don't think any part of it is overemphasized, yet the extreme detail retrieval (and ruthless honesty) makes it less than ideal for any kind of sub par recording/mix as well as most older movies for that matter. It's godlike for the kind of immersive single player videogames I play (Skyrim for example), as I find videogames never really have harsh treble problems. In terms of music, the best recording I have ever heard in my life is the album A Kiss in the Dark, by Alexis Cole. Holy hell... absolutely stunning, a recording that is truly not afraid of godzilla-level detail and honesty, it just shines even brighter, and all the more so with clean power. This Opera cable is deadly serious business: it will godzillafy your headphone, so just be prepared!! Truthfully, this experience has illustrated to me the importance of having different kinds of headphones. I just ordered a Beyerdynamic T1 3rd Gen, and the idea of having a warm and fuzzy, relaxed upper frequencies option has me positively salivating right now. I'm also ordering the new "x" version of the Grado sr80. I figure between the three of these headphones, I should be able to enjoy any type of sound that exists! That's the plan.

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Violent_Sneeze, head-fi.org, May 2021

Here's an ION+ X8 22awg wire in black w/ gray stripes to kinda match the carbon fibre of the LCD-XC.


Sounds way better than I expected, very full with excellent dynamics. Thank you Val for being so accommodating and making the whole buying process smooth! Arctic Cables has always given me excellent customer service from start to finish!


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noplsestar, head-fi.org, Apr 5, 2021

Today I got my 2 short interconnect cables, one is the Pallas, the other does not have a name, it’s a combination of copper and palladium!! I asked Roy if he could make one of this special combination because I wanted to check out how the synergy is between my DAP and portable amp.


To all of you who look into buying the new hyped Cayin C9 amp, these AC interconnects might come in handy, too!

As always it was a pleasure to talk with Roy (especially about the new copper/palladium combination I wanted from them). That being said, I have the feeling AC is very open to new or special suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to talk to them and ask about anything.

And now some eyecandy 

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