The 3 Cables that Complete Any System
We've written about cables before and advised that there is a lot of snake oil from certain cable manufacturers. What's our prudent advice? To spend about 10% of your system's value on cables. But which ones? There are hundreds if not thousands of options on the market. The truth is that most of these are assembled using variations of the same parts. Some manufacturers put a fancy colour or finish on them and charge $10,000. The next one might charge $500 for equivalent components in a different package.
It's true that all cables sound different, but there's only really a 10-15% difference from the best to the worst. A cable cannot fundamentally fix a poorly designed component. However, choosing a good cable can bring out that last 10-15% of your system. In audio terms, that can be a pretty sizeable difference.
Over the years we've listened to all the major cable manufacturers so we know what's out there. There are some good ones and a lot of mediocre ones. Our mandate is to find the best. In 2011 we auditioned Japan's #1 cable company - Oyaide and they've been our preferred brand ever since.
Oyaide (pronounced OH-YA-EE-DAY) has come to dominate the market in Japan with a very simple philosophy. They make cables which compete head-to-head against the very best in the world, and they cost almost nothing. Whether you want to look at construction, appearance, or sound, Oyaide provides an incredible sense of Japanese craftsmanship and material value.
We've selected 3 of their main interconnect cables which we consider to cover 99% of the needs of any customer and any system. These are the PA-02 TR, ACROSS 750 RR, and TUNAMI Terzo RR. These models are now in their 2nd revision. The wire used is now the incredible 102 SSC developed specifically by Oyaide as one of the purest molecularly-oriented copper cables possible.
PA-02 TR V2: ~$150
The PA-02 TR V2 is the cheapest of the three Oyaide cables, but it makes no sacrifice in build quality or sound. Compared to many $10,000 cables, this is a pure joy to listen to. Incredibly natural and organic sounding, it simply sounds "right". Considering most components verge on brightness nowadays, If you have any harshness or artificialness in your system, this cable goes a long way to minimizing the negative effects. If your system is already well-balanced, you're in for a treat because the glorious full-bodied character of music will come through. Construction is excellent with gold plated, individually CNC machined plugs and 102 SSC high purity copper. Available in 0.7m, 1.0m, and 2.0m lengths. Also available in XLR.
ACROSS 750 RR V2: ~$200
The ACROSS 750 is a legendary cable in Japan, first released over 10 years ago. The new V2 version further refines the sound through the addition of the revolutionary new 102 SSC copper conductor. The ACROSS is extraordinarily neutral and has a unique "presence". Audiophiles are always looking for that elusive quality which makes music feel more like you can reach out and touch it. The 750 RR V2 does exactly this. The difference between it and other cables is pretty shocking. This isn't some heavy-handed tonal trick, because this cable is totally neutral. It just gives "more". Rhodium plated plugs offer improved conductivity compared to gold or silver and the quality of the plugs themselves is incredible - they clamp well and are built to last. Available in 0.7m, 1.0m, and 2.0m lengths. Also available in XLR.
TUNAMI TERZO RR V2: ~$300
The TUNAMI TERZO is the top of the range in Oyaide's line of cables and it retails under $500. This is pretty amazing considering the plethora of cables on the market costing $5000+. TUNAMI is every bit as good as any of them. The build quality is second to none with individually machined plugs and an incredible feel to the cable itself. Rhodium and Platinum plating has unique conductivity advancements compared to standard gold or silver. The fact they can make this cable at such a low price is pretty incredible. The sound is pure power in every regard. This cable allows so much more to come through than your average cable that it really does feel like a 15% difference in your system. Bass in particular is so low and full that it provides a degree of tactility to music that is rarely heard outside live music. The soundstage and detail as well, due to the incredibly grain-free and nuanced treble, gives that last bit of immersive feeling that the best gear provides. Locking plugs give you that last bit of control and maximum conductivity. Available in 0.7m, 1.0m, and 2.0m lengths. Also available in XLR.
Considering the low cost of these amazing cables, every system can benefit from using one of them. If you're used to other brands of cables, take a pair of Oyaide home and compare. Oyaide also makes a huge range of speaker cables, connectors and LP accessories.