Reviews & Feedback

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ECKHUAAA, May 13, 2022 at 3:57 PM

Here is a review I wrote using the Integra as the connecting Cable


Now I think I am ready to write about the HIFIMAN HE-R10P + CAYIN N8ii +ARCTIC Cable INTEGRA with Furutech Carbon interconnects
First the HE-R10P needs at least 3 days break-in, HIFIMAN advices 150hours ...believe them.
In the first day you will hear the extremely extended fast lifelike bass and the fact that it is a very efficient headphone so easy to drive
And that it retrieves a Ton of details almost overwhelming and a sense of lightness! ....but wait don't return to sender yet 😉.
By 3rd day a miracle it's like every atom now finds their rightful place WOW, I mean WOW guys...where do I start..???? Details? Correct bass? Natural realistic midrange? Pure natural highs? Performers motives or intentions with every note ? Openness ahh ? This is Closed back totally challenging the best open backs in their game...please DO NOT pair this device with any DAP or Amp that is flawed or not top notch because it will let you know right away
Instrumental tones are totally real, even 16bit flac recordings come out very well because of the wealth of properly put together information it is able to retrieve, I mean it's hyperdetailed but NOT Analytic....just music!
So much space between each instrument sound that makes listening relaxed detailed and at the same time very engaging like lifelike giving the feeling like you are right there by the musicians!
I will pause a bit to acknowledge
Cayin for the supremely excellent N8ii, the
amazing amount of detail and musical naturalness that comes from that DAP is ...out of this world 🌎.... maybe from Venus (where they rotate counterclockwise...😉)
Then the Arctic Cable Integra allowing all that info to get to the HE-R10P uncolored
They all matter.
Listening:
Starting with Beatrice Rana's Chopin 24 preludes, I have listened to this recording many times before even with the very detailed HE1000SE but here is a new experience, every inner detail of her playing was visible and yet the foreground melody is not obscured by the accompaniment, the decay of notes visible or should I say audible..and the wood of the piano hammer on the strings is audibly blended into the soundscape, I was just going to test quickly with this recording but I ended up listening to all the tracks.
Next up was Shirley Horn's Here's To Life a 16bit flac recording on the Verve label.
This was life changing!!!!
The soft silky sounds of orchestral violins playing beautifully on the E strings Oh my God..silky...golden..gently oozing out on the left, while delicate percussions cymbals sprinkle the surrounding space with angel dust and then Shirley's rich voice was right in front of me ..details, pauses that carry weight like the quiet before a storm..delivering her poetry about life and love like only an angel could...suddenly I felt I wanted to live next to her to experience the pure love that emanate from her like someone who has been to heaven and came back to tell about it...truly Here's to life.... this was her last recording before finally leaving this earth and she filled every track with so much delicate Love...if you can get this recording it's only like $9 or so on Qobuz or prestomusic.com
Next is Claud Debusy's Lesc Trois Sonates on Harmonia mundi.. You will hear and be completely captivated by Isabelle Faust on her Sleeping beauty Stradivarius violin..the tonal color ranges she is able to bring out of that instrument sometime gritty sometimes silky but always saying something you will hear and almost see her hand and bow movements to create the pauses, the tensions the release the explosive outbursts...its all there in 3D and Melnikov explosive to delicate carresings on the piano ...then go to the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp...here you hear the beauty and versatility of Antoine Tamesit Gustav Mahler's Stradivarius Viola the only one Stradivarius made with a poplar back wood to enhance its bass notes...as you listen to the flute Viola and harp dance around each other you suddenly realize the genius of Debussy's composition...it is otherworldly all textures colors and details presented to you ...go on to the Sonata for Cello and Piano that follows to hear how the rich Cello pizzicato notes from Queras trade with the woodier sound of the piano wood hammer on piano strings ...intoxicating.
Now to some ECM recordings Jazz
I will list 3 of them for the Drum and Trumpet and bass Sound
Avishai Cohen-Naked Truth, Todd Gustavson Trio-Opening and Florian Weber-Lucent Waters
The speed of sound experienced with the piano, the details on the sound of the drum and the explosive thunder when the drummer lands a decisive Forte on the drum is almost defeaningly ecstatic, the acoustic bass rich powerful tuneful detailed notes add to the ecstacy....
If you plan to buy this headphones I say go ahead I haven't heard the HIFIMAN Susvara yet though it's too inefficient for the N8ii but people who do and have tested the HE-R10P say they are at par with the HE-R10P having a stronger bass and maybe a bit less wide sound stage....honestly I can careless.
Now I am working on my Jedi powers so that when I upgrade my Arctic Cable Integra to the Opera my wife would not notice the dynamic impact on our savings😉...may the force be with me😁
Please The HE-R10P comes in 2 forms the black Tranquility Pads or the Brown ones so be sure to specify else you get whatever is available

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andyfrut, Apr 30, 2022 at 2:06 PM

 

The Integra cables are just beautiful. Great pairing with Audeze LCD-X 

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TooFrank, Apr 18, 2022 at 1:11 PM

 

I have used the Signum+ (3.5mm), upgraded to this Integra (xlr4). Both are great, but even though they have different connectors, I will still say that it is an audible improvement.

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OM hawk, Mar 9, 2022 at 10:52 AM

Trying out my new Sendy Peacock with my Opera cable, direct from Hugo 2. I gotta be honest, I'm shocked how similar this allegedly odd sounding headphone sounds to my Aeon 2 Closed. The detail, soundstage, and bass slam are all slightly better, and the treble is much smoother, but other than that, it's super familiar sounding, nothing weird about it. I do feel that the Peacock might be better suited to copper cables, like a Magnus (at least with Hugo 2). I may end up buying a Lazuli Reference, supposedly that's the best copper cable out there.

Edit: turns out, the Peacock needs more than just 100 hours of burn in, in my case it took 120. The above impressions, where I thought it was like the Aeon 2, was before it was fully burned in. Now it sounds even smoother, less bright, and a bit bigger bass. Even now, when I listened with the silver Opera cable, certain rare recordings were still harsh, and it just sounded wrong, unlike with the Aeon 2 Closed, where it only improved and clarified the sound, without making the A2C less forgiving/versatile.

I have now switched over to the much more forgiving Dan Clark Audio Vivo copper cable, and there's just one problem: this is the best sound I've ever heard in my life, by miles and miles. It's so good that I can safely say I'm done buying audio gear, really permanently done. This will be my very last post in any gear related thread, and honestly I won't even read another gear related thread, cause dude I am DONE!!

Suffice it to say, Peacock + forgiving copper cable + Hugo 2 is... kinda good. I can only describe the sound as exquisitely balanced, between detail and fun, analysis and musicality, intensity and relaxation. I would also characterize it as flawlessly consistent, absolutely no frequency jumps out awkwardly to distract from musical enjoyment or cause any fatigue or overshadow any other part of the sound, ever. Goodbye.

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Ninja Theory, Mar 4, 2022 at 7:15 AM

My Magnus S arrived this week (I opted for Oyaide connectors and a Furutech 4-pin XLR). As mentioned a number of times by others here, the workmanship is simply exemplary. I can easily just stare at it in wonder for prolongued periods, such is its beauty.

I am currently on around 30 hours of burn-in and it is already sounding fantastic. Listening to Fleetwood Mac, Rumours last night was a heavenly experience. The Magnus deftly removed edges I did not even know were present with the OG Susvara cable until last night. Compared to the OG Sus cable, which is a well-known terrible aesthetic but still decent sounding, the Magnus S offers a supremely smooth and non-fatiguing sound, bringing to the fore the Sus's near perfect stage and pinpoint imaging, and it offers this modest bump in SQ with no sacrifice to detail. I cannot imagine listening again without it.

Arctic is a confident recommendation from me. Val is a pleasure to deal with - great customer service and excellent advice when needed.

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Nostoi, Feb 4, Jan 26, 2022 at 2:35 PM

 

Hi all, I wanted to provide some impressions of the new Magnus S from Arctic Cables. This is a new 20AWGF pure copper cable, which appears to be the sibling of the original Magnus cable. I had the original Magnus cable before, which I'd paired with the Fostex TH900 and found the synergy to be spot on (as indeed several people here did). This time around, I got the Magnus S for the new Meze Liric and hoped for an equally successful pairing. Read below for the results...

The Liric, to my ears, is a very well-balanced headphone with a tight/punchy sub-bass, fairly linear mid-range, and a crispy top end. The overall timbre is engaging and forward, but if I had a complaint, it would be that the top end can be a little spicy at times whereas the lower-mids can lack warmth. I also find that despite being easy to drive, the Liric is a little picky about source, too. On aggressive sounding sources (Hugo 2/Cayin N6ii&E02), the spiciness in the top end is too much, whereas on smooth/neutral sounding sources (Mojo/TT2 but especially the Fiio M17) there is a welcome balance of precision and smoothness.

As to the Magnus S, the first thing that strikes me is the build. Typical of Arctic Cables more generally, the build is robust and substantial while also being fairly nimble. From what I gather – and from my own experience – the Magnus S is better suited to desktop or home use. It has a heft to it, which is very satisfying, but is not ideal for portable use. Special mention has to be given here to the new hexagon splitter, which not only compliments the cable on an aesthetic level, but also feels quite lovely to touch without adding any microphonics to the cable. Bravo. As ever with Arctic Cables, all the terminations are done exceptionally well and the service is also outstanding.

To the important part, how does the cable sound? As I mention above – and as has been mentioned on the Liric thread – the only point of contention in the Liric’s FR is the treble. I wouldn’t say it’s sibilant, but on the wrong source/set-up, it can be slightly biting. Only on the FiiO M17 do I find an almost perfect synergy that requires no tweaking. With the Magnus S cable, I’m happy to say this synergy is reproduced on sources outside of the M17.

For example, on the Hugo TT2 and Magnus S (both with and without a Cayin C9 amp attached), the treble is well-defined with excellent extension and resolution, but with a slightly smoother and somewhat less metallic timbre. Here, I have to agree with Arctic’s own description of the Magnus S: “The high-end is open, transparent, and detailed with excellent texture and layering levels, yet never fatiguing or harsh sounding.” Never fatiguing, indeed. I find the Liric a fantastic headphone for all genres, but I find it especially good for classic metal/rock. Much of this era of metal tends to be rather strident in its brightness. On the Liric with the Magnus S, I find no such problems and I’m able to listen to the Liric for hours on end without fatigue.

Let me also say, however, that just because the treble is rendered somewhat smoother with the Magnus S, this does not mean the overall timbre has been modified, nor have any of the Liric’s technical merits been dampened. On the contrary, the overall timbre remains the same but is now more cohesive. This is true not only of the treble, but also of the mids and the bass, both of which feel better integrated into the overall spectrum. The lower mids especially now have more weight to them, creating a more balanced spectrum without taking away the speed and attack of the headphone more broadly.

A final note on the comparison between the Magnus S and my other 3rd party Liric cable, the Claire Hybrid from Forza Audiowork. I’m a huge fan of Forza, and to my mind Forza and Arctic are equal in terms of their quality. Of course, Arctic Cables have the advantage of a lifetime warranty, which is no small thing. Regarding the cables, the Claire Hybrid is made from POCC copper + UPOCC silver wheras the Magnus S consists of 7N OCC Pure Copper, meaning the Claire Hybrid has a slightly airier timbre whereas the Magnus S leans toward a slightly warmer/natural presentation. Doing an A/B between the cables, it’s clear to me that while the Forza cable sounds exceptional on the FiiO M17, on other sources – not least the TT2 – the metallic tinge re-enters the presentation. By contrast, the Magnus S – for want of a less cringy term – has a more “organic” tonality to it. I ran this comparison a few times to verify my findings with different recordings, especially problematic ones. For example, one album that is prone to sibilance from the glory days of metal history if Maiden’s Seventh Son. Especially on the cymbals and on Bruce’s “s” sounds, sibilance can be problematic. Again, direct from the TT2, the Magnus S cable better handles these problematic peaks than the Forza cable (whereas again on the M17, the Forza & Liric combination works perfectly). On a technical front, there’s not a great deal of different in presentation – both cables sharpen and refine imaging, layering, and detail retrieval from the stock cable. I would only say that the Magnus S cable has a slightly more open quality than the Claire Hybrid, which feels more intimate. For my own purposes, these cables compliment one another, especially because the Magnus S is better suited for desktop use (terminating in a 6.35mm plug) while the Claire Hybird, with its lighter touch and its balanced termination, suits portable uses.

In sum, I cannot recommend the Magnus S enough for the Meze Liric. It’s fairly priced, fantastically built, and has an impeccable synergy with the Liric. Thumbs up!

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deafenears, Jan 9, 2022 at 2:01 AM

Magnus looks way nicer! Danacables Lazuli Reference looks like a skipping rope.

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Nostoi, Dec 14, 2021 at 4:10 AM

Recently received an Ion+ for the newly released Beyerdynamic DT700 Pro X. As ever, stellar work from Val and his crew. The cable is durable, perfect for portable use, but very malleable. Sound is also a big improvement on the stock cable; more refined, with greater clarity in every respect. Plus, all their cables look 100%. Looking forward to Magnus S next for my Meze Liric.

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deafenears, Nov 20, 2021 at 3:24 PM

LCD-R with the Magnus:

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subguy812, Nov 19, 2021 at 7:45 AM

Sorry I have been so absent from the thread.....back in the saddle. The Magnus cable is so deceptive in that it kinda defies the thought of what a copper cable should sound like. Not thick and warm, it is my go to for my Denon D9200.

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marcus2704, Nov 15, 2021 at 12:38 PM

Today I received the Integra Copper/Silver hybrid - https://www.arcticcables.com/integra - and early impressions are very positive after listening to it for most of the the day with my Focal Stellia and Hugo 2. Detail and clarity have certainly gone up a notch or two over stock, and whilst the bass appears to be similar I am advise that this improves over time, but regardless of that, I am far happier with this than the stock.

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Verificateur, Nov 11, 2021 at 8:57 PM

Recently bought another headphone, and thought it only makes sense to get another cable from Arctic Cables. 
Val from AC was great to deal with, and after some thought I have settled on the Signum cable.

This is my first silver cable, and I had no idea what to expect, but went in trusting what many were saying about the synergy of MDR-Z1R and silver cables ...
I was not disappointed. Not sure how much of it is psychology, but the sound does appear to be a bit more collected, a bit clearer and airier, and, to my surprise, I found the low end to be punchier (something I thought copper is typically responsible for).
Overall all these bits add up and my impressions are extremely positive.
Not to mention, the cable is very soft, flexible and I am really liking the ergonomics.

Wanted to share a family portrait (Fostex TH900mk2 + AC Magnus & Sony MDR-Z1R + AC Signum).

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Verificateur, Nov 11, 2021 at 8:57 PM

Hi,
After a whole lot of back and forth via email with Val from AC, who was extremely patient and helpful, I settled on a cable form the ION+ range which beautifully matches the colour of my new Focal Clear Mgs I think.

I needed a longer 6.3mm cable than the one that comes in the box as I don't have a connection for the longer balanced cable they include.

I wasn't sure about paying good money for cables and if it would result in better sound but I am very impressed with the result. A quieter background, more fine detail (sometimes hearing things I had never noticed before in a well known piece of music) and a lovely effect on the tone and timbre of vocals. Everything is in balance and nothing too bright or too soft.

My only issue with the new cable is that I should maybe have gone a little bit longer on the cable I ordered to suit my preferred listening position but as it turns out I can move my chair!

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GPD1, Oct 20, 2021 at 10:18 AM

Purchased the Argento cable for my meze empyrean and have to say very happy. Great quality build and attention to detail( the first thing I personally look for) .Looks fantastic . Little if any cable memory. Only a few hours listening thus far but zero complaints.ordered to suit my preferred listening position but as it turns out I can move my chair!

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stuartrosen, Oct 11, 2021 at 5:49 PM

After working with Val at AC, last week I received my 6.5-ft Integra for my Utopias and 6.5-ft Magnus for my ZMF Verite Closed. What fantastic pairings for these two headphones! Build is solid and beautiful. Just as importantly, as I’ve been saved in the past from my own bad luck by Arctic’s lifetime warranty, I know I’ll enjoy the cables long into the future. And I’ve been able to identify the best matches for my specific headphones and my specific budget from my dialog with Val.

Oh, and the sound quality. Even pre burn-in, these sound amazing - detailed, clear, powerful. Well worth the upgrade over the stock cables. These cables are lightweight and easy to maneuver - no microphonics at all.

I’ve bought a number of cables from Arctic for my home and commute headphones and have been absolutely delighted with my purchases.

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marcus2704, Sep 26, 2021 at 1:52 PM

I received a Magnus cable from Arctic Cables terminated for Fostex TH900 MK2 and 6.35mm. Very impressed with the cable, would happily buy again from Arctic. So much easier to live with than the overlong stock cable that comes with the Fostex.

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Fife, Sep 18, 2021 at 2:17 AM

My Aeris arrived a week or so ago.

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arrowmark, Aug 18, 2021 at 11:54 AM

Just got my Ion + Arctic Cables
They sound great with my Hifiman Ananda headphones.Soundstage has improved and treble detail has improved.
Packaging and Customer service is the Best I have experienced .
GREAT JOB !!!

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deafenears, Aug 14, 2021 at 2:27 AM

These came in today, well built, very nice, very well packed.

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Nostoi, Jul 20, 2021 at 11:58 AM

Just received a batch of Arctic Cables - very impressed! Lovely build, nimble but also robust. General quality is very good.

I have the Magnus for my TH900 and the Ion+ for the overlooked JVC SW-HA01, both with Furutech plugs. Both cables fit into their respective plugs perfectly, which is a relief. Definitely keep to explore the higher end cables next time. Exceptional service, too. Consider me a convert!

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

I am an audiophile and gadget lover. So much innovation is out in the market today, but there are few products that truly amaze today. Let's face it...there's a ton of great tech out today and most of it is similar and comparable. So I rarely write reviews...unless you find a product that is truly spectacular, innovative, unique, and simply unrivaled. That's where Arctic Cables comes in. Whether you're a cable skeptic or not...there is no doubt that Palladium takes your headphones to an unprecedented level.

I stumbled upon Arctic Cables (arcticcables.com) by accident. I already have the most superb headphone setup. I have the Focal Utopia, Stellia, custom flagship headphone cables, flagship IEM collection, Astell & Kern SP2000 DAP, Focal Arche, Chord DACs/Amps, all pure silver interconnects, power conditioners, etc... Suffice it to say...I've become very poor with this hobby 

So, I wasn't looking for a new headphone cable. I've tried Kimber, Cardas, Nordist, Corpse, LQI, MoonAudio, DoubleHelix, EffectAudio, PWaudio, etc...
I thought I found the perfect collection of equipment and I really couldn't go better.
But...Arctic comes along with their Palladium flagship, ultra pure silver, 7N quality, OCC, and dipped in THICK Palladium.
I thought Ultra Pure Silver was as good as it gets. It is excellent, clear, sometimes a bit bright, but overall the cleanest sound you can get. I felt it was the FASTEST way audio could reach your headphones.

Palladium changes everything. It actually makes me feel like my silver cables were the bottleneck. The Palladium makes it feel like the sound is jumping from your DAP or Amp to your ears with no barriers.

Believe me, I didn't want to like it. I am so cash poor because of all this gear (especially this year), I never imagined investing more, especially into a cable after trying all the flagships in the market. And yet, here I am ordering a Utopia, Stellia and soon coming IEM edition of the Palladium.

I know this all sounds too good to be true. But that's because it is just that good. Arctic makes and entire line of cables. All are excellent, but what they accomplished with Palladium through years of research and R&D, they have achieved something that no competitor rivals in the market today. They are the VERY BEST. Period. This is subjective to some degree, but it is also a pure fact, based on the sheer physics this cable is able to accomplish.

The Sound:

- It is pure, complete and heard as the music is meant to be heard. The brightness over silver is completely balanced by the Palladium and it really is as if the cable is transparent. There is alteration to the audio from the cable. It delivers the beauty of the music as it was intended, and it opens up the FULL potential of your headphones. My Utopai and Stellia sing like never before.

- The highs are crystal clear, but entirely undistorted, neutral and addicting.
- The mids are full, thick, rich, and detailed.
- The lows are deep. So thick and deep that I can't believe this cable is based on silver. It's as if there is copper there, but the intricate texture it delivers surpasses.

The Packaging:

Simply WOW. It matches the quality of the gorgeous cable, and sound. This is a LUXURY item and feel. Arctic makes sure you receive this leather case, velour pouch, and certificate, and just about the best in class packaging I have ever seen a cable have.

The entire experience is so incredible from start to finish.
The Cable Build / Customization:
They literally have every flagship connector, solder, and material in the book. I repeat...they even let you select the solder they use on your custom craft cable. This is unheard of! You can pick Mundor, Cardas, or VIABLUE.
Such a level of detail in craftsmanship is unparalleled, and entirely worthy of this very special audiophile hobby we all love.

Conclusion:

Best of all, Arctic offers a 30 day trial. If you don't want to believe me, just believe your ears. This will change your entire audio listening experience and expectation. And after I did all the leg work trialing so much...take advantage and jump to the best. Or if you love experimenting, do a head to head match against any cable you have or trial.

Val (who I've been in touch with), has personally spent hours supporting me and ensuring I receive the exact cables I envision and dream of. Such and attention and care, in today's hectic world is so rare. So appreciative and eternally loyal to Arctic Cables from this entire experience!

Hope you have a chance to try their stellar work and happy listening!!

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buzzlulu, head-fi.org, Mar 2021
 

New Silver/Palladium Opera cable in house!

 

This is my first time dealing with Arctic Cables and my entire experience was absolutely stellar! Val was the consummate professional and all of my emails were promptly and expertly answered. It was a pleasure doing business with them.

 

The Opera is being used with my Focal Utopia headphones, HeadAmp GSX MK2, with source duties provided by one of my 2 channel systems streamers - the uber Linn Klimax DS (google if you are unfamiliar).

 

I have been a member of HeadFi since 2003 and spent 2006-2017 out of headphones and strictly with my 2 channel system. When I returned I wanted to go straight to the totl and during the 2017/18 time frame it was all Utopia…Utopia…Utopia. Together with my Focal acquisition Sony had just released the Signature Series Z1R and WM1Z which I also purchased for mobile/closed back use. Kimber Kable had recently introduced their Axios line of headphone cables and a set was purchased for both the Utopia and Z1R. Both cables have remained my primary drivers up until now.

 

The difference in performance between the Kimber Axios and Opera cable is quite dramatic with the Utopias. The bass heavy sound of the Axios has been removed and replaced with a tighter and more tuneful bass - the bloated sound is now gone. This has allowed more details to come through with increased air and separation - all resulting in a more tuneful and engaging presentation. I definitely think silver cables will be a fixture in my systems going forward. Together with the Opera cable my Utopias have started to venture into Stax 009S performance and are giving those cans a serious run for the money.

PS - build quality? Impeccable!

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Roasty, head-fi.org, Mar 2021
 

Roy was extremely accommodating and agreed to help make a custom order for a palladium wire speaker post/tap adaptor.

 

Furutech female adaptor and Furutech banana plugs, with custom fabricated fittings to mark out the R and L channels. He had to specially order in the banana plugs, and he told me his crew broke 6 drill bits trying to fabricate the plug fittings for me.. Lol!

 

Excellent workmanship as usual!

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NYanakiev, head-fi.rog, Mar 2021
 

OK- this cable is fantastic and an audible improvement over the stock Utopia 2021 cables!

I bought it for use with my Hugo 2+2Go and Astell&Kern SP2000 but will be ordering a 4 pin XLR adapter for use with the Focal Arche as well.

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Staxaphone, head-fi.org, Dec 2, 2020

Finally received my Signum+ cables yesterday. Initial impression all very favorable. I can’t yet delineate the many good things that I hear since 24 hours is not enough time on ears to yield valid conclusions IMO. But I will state that the following characteristics have been noted thus far compared to the stock Stellia cable:
 

  • Strength, depth and impact of lower frequencies very noticeable

  • Provides a layered and transparent sound with smooth tone and precise image placement

  • Wide airy soundstage with more 3D illusion

  • Nice even frequency response and no more perceived “shoutiness” with the Stellia

  • Top end more extended without any grain

  • Very nice leading edge transients

  • Cosmetically attractive with excellent construction quality

After a week or so I should have a better handle on its long term performance. After that I will see how well it mates with my HE100se and my son’s Elear and T5p phones. So far very impressed and extremely satisfied.

BTW, most of my listening is being done with my MBPro running Roon core via USB to a Direct Stream DAC to Pass HPA-1 which unfortunately does not take advantage of the balanced capability of the cable (using a 2.5mm trrs female to 6.35mm male adapter). But I am also occasionally listening using balanced out on my A&K SR25.

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Roasty , head-fi.org, Oct 27, 2020

such an amazing build. such a flexible cable, and so light too! Roy and his team really knocked this one out of the park. I also got some lemo to 3.5mm adaptors made for the Susvara and Stellia.

I was just admiring the build. The square braid was done to perfection. A very tight braid indeed. They must have used up a lot of palladium to build a cable this length. Am surprised how light this cable is too, much lighter than my 8 wire X8 PlusSound cable, and almost weightless compared to the Superconductor cable. The adaptors were also built very well, using rhodium oyaide plugs and I also appreciate the extra shrink-wrap bridging the cable and plugs.

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noplsestar, head-fi.org, Sep 9, 2020

Alrighty then, this is my try to review the new Palladium Series cable from Arctic Cables. These are my personal findings, so yours might vary of course. I am no reviewer, just a music lover.

I have bought 3 different Arctic Cables until today: Copper, Silver, Palladium. I sold the copper cable when I upgraded to the upocc silver (now its name is Signum, or Signum+), well and now it would be time to sell my Signum+ (except I won´t sell it, you never know when it comes in handy again, hehe) because I don’t think I will get back to it after listening to the Palladium cable (which is, more or less, the silver upocc cable with palladium plating). Not because the Signum+ is a bad cable, it isn’t. To tell the truth: it is an exceptional cable for its price! The Palladium cable just pairs better with my headphone, for my tastes, and I will tell you why:

Used equipment: Calyx M DAP (Romi Audio hardware modded) with Focal Stellia.

Those of you who are familiar with the Calyx M DAP will know that it is rather warm, lush, analogue sounding (the Romi Audio hardware mod gives it more resolution as well as more prominent mids). Now, also the Stellia, though highly capable in resolution and open sounding for a closed back, is also slightly north of neutral in the bass region when it comes to the frequency response. Now the Signum+ cable added (to the extension on both ends and many other positive things) another analogue flavor, which was great, but got me thinking that it might even be a better synergy with leaner headphones like Sennheiser´s HD800(S) or Focal Utopia etc. where you won´t necessarily need more air up top but rather more oomph down below. But I can´t confirm this, as I don’t have those headphones with me to test them. The same goes for DAP´s that are rather neutral/reference sounding per se where you´d want an analogue texture to give it a more natural feeling (like above, this is an assumption.) That doesn’t mean the Palladium cable prioritizes one spectrum of the frequency over another, it rather shows what´s there. If you´ve got a neutral source, it will stay neutral and SHOW it, make it quite palpable for you to hear; if the source is rather warmish, it won´t make it any warmer or leaner but reveal the nature of the source.

With three thoughts I would say the Palladium cable is TRANSPARENT, TRUE TO THE SOURCE, EFFORTLESS. That´s it. But let´s start at the beginning, with the bass!

BASS: First, when comparing the cable with the Signum+ I thought that it had a tiny bit less bass (in quantity), but after numerous switches I checked that I just heard the other frequencies better through which lead to the false impression that the bass was a bit quieter. Or it was because I hadn´t burned it in properly. After 200 hours+ I can confirm that when switching between the two cables, the Palladium has even a tad more subbass, which probably comes down to better low end extension. In addition the bass texture is also a notch better, so also the bass quality overall wins.

MIDS: Fluently. Transparent. It just flows effortlessly. Everything is completely present, clear and in addition the vocals, to me, sound a tad fuller, which I happen to like very much!

HIGHS: Extension, extension, extension. It´s not that the highs are elevated, at least not that I would hear it that way, it´s more like they can shine through better (true to the source) and therefore also the imaging, the soundstage as well as the overall resolution profits by a tiny margin. It is a slightly more holographic soundscape than before. With the Signum+ I had the feeling that there is more depth (compared to their copper cable), now there seems to be a bigger room in addition to that. There is absolutely nothing piercing, at least not with the Stellia. This is remarkable.

It´s not that everything I wrote above means that this cable is like 50% “better” (for me) than the Signum+, it´s more like 2%. BUT as you all know, alas diminishing returns kicks in, as always.

For me, I have found my dream DAP and headphone, this cable is the last bit that I wanted/needed for my audio nirvana. It is really expensive BUT at the same time very good value for money when you look at other cable manufacturers, where the silver cables are priced even higher than the Palladium plated silver cable of Arctic Cables. Also please don´t forget: Lifelong warranty, also if you choose to sell it to someone else, he has the full warranty. You can always send it in for plug changing, you only have to pay for the shipping and the new plug and not for the labor itself. Then on top of all that, 30 days from buying the Palladium cable you can send it back and get all your money back if it isn´t what you were searching for. If I´m not mistaken, all of that is something no other cable company can compete with.

This is a keeper. I won´t sell it.

And I completely forgot: This cable looks absolutely stunning!! As does their Signum+ 

They are impeccable woven and the plugs (in my case Oyaide) pair wonderfully with the cable. I also dig that the heatshrink doesn´t go over the plugs. This also was my wish when I pulled the trigger. As always, no microphonics whatsoever, at least I don´t hear any that would bother me. The cable is absolutely pliable, as all the other cables I had from them.

What else? The shipping to Europe was a horror (thank you Corona). If you live in the US, I hear that there is no problem with the USPS shipping. If you live somewhere else, well, if you have 2 months time then it isn´t a problem  BUT if you want your cable A BIT EARLIER, I think you can always talk to Roy and tell him to ship it with FedEx, UPS etc. Of course that means you have to pay another 100 dollars for the shipping, but I would have done it if I had known that it takes THAT long! It´s not Arctic Cables fault, but I thought you should know and decide for yourself.

Oh, and Roy was so great in answering all my questions. I wrote many mails to him (as I was the first, or one of the first buyers of this new cable) and wanted to know more about everything. Roy and Val are very patient and will get back to you, just give them 1 to 3 days to answer, you know, they probably sometimes have more important things to do, such as soldering and braiding beautifully made cables 

So just to be clear, if you want the best value (and sound quality) for money, go straight to the Signum Series, if you have enough spare money and exactly know what you want and don´t care paying 1.6 k for a 1,6% sound improvement and also have a source you absolutely love as well as a headphone, then go get it, listen to the Palladium Series and lean back, close your eyes and listen beyond. Haha, that sounds like it would come from a commercial textwriter. Words are nothing, music is everything. Oops, again. Well, I better stop now, here comes the eyecandy 

Edit: I have to admit, I really thought about sending back the cable because the improvement over the Signum is so very very small, but since I don´t need the money right now, I will keep both. Take everything above with a big grain of salt please. Also placebo kicks in and BIAS and the expectation etc. etc. BUT what I can tell is that I am sure that my honeymoon time with the cable is over now after many weeks of listening and comparing and still I hear the difference between the Signum and the Palladium cable which tells me that I am not completely deaf (I was a drummer in my former life, so that you know) and which also tells me that the Palladium cable will definitely stay attached to the Stellia … well, until there is a new Stellia 2.0 on the market.

Also they are working on IEM cables, so keep an eye at their website if you are interested!!

I did try to make the comparison as good as possible in just changing the cables and letting the headphone on my head all the time so that the position was the same.

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XP_98 , head-fi.org, Aug 27, 2020

Second time I order an Artic Câble (Signum+ again), this time for my new Kennerton Thekk (plus a 4.4 to 6.35 adapter).


Again, I can enjoy a super supple cable with a full and refined sound, that also looks very good.
The contact with Roy was also a pleasure like previously.


I fully subscribe to all the positive we can read about Arctic Cables.