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POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 24
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jorma design

Prime interconnect and speaker cables

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi

 

 

 

 

ROBERT H. LEVI'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Avalon Eidolon and REL Stadium III subwoofer.

ELECTRONICS
E.A.R. 324 phono, Pass X1 preamplifier, and an E.A.R. 834L tube line stage. E.A.R. 890 and NuForce 9.02 amplifiers.

SOURCES
VPI Scout/JMW 9 tonearm, VPI SDS Controller, ZYX R100H phono cartridge. ModWright Sony 999 SACD/CD Player with Signature Truth, Mod/Bybee Filters and Revelation Cryo Silver Umbilical. Pioneer DVL 919 LD/DVD Player, and the E.A.R. Acute CD player. Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Reference Tuner, Marantz 10B tuner, and Scott 350B FM tuner, AQ 7500 FM Antenna, Stax 7t Electrostatic headphones, Grado Reference 1 headphones, and a Grado headphone amplifier.

CABLES
Harmonic Technology CyberLight interconnects,  Kubala-Sosna Emotion interconnects, speaker cables, and AC cables, Dual-Connect Gold interconnects, Soundstring interconnects and speaker cables, or Kimber Select balanced, Kimber TAK phono AG, Kimber Hero balanced and single ended interconnects, Eichmann Express 6 Series 2 interconnects, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II balanced interconnects. Kimber D-60 Digital Interconnects. Kimber Select 3038 Silver speaker cables, Harmonic Technology Magic Reference Silver speaker cables. Dynamic Design THB Nebula Interconnects.

ACCESSORIES
Monster Reference 350 Mark II v2 Power Conditioner and World Power Power Wing, Kimber Palladian power cables, Tara RSC and Decade power cables, Tiff power cables, Tice power cables, Tice Clock, and Audio Prism Quiet Line IIs. Cable Cooker 2.5, Winds Stylus Pressure Gage, Bedini Ultra Clarifier, VPI Record Cleaning Machine 16.5, Soundstring Pro Power Cables, and Kimber Pro 10 Gold Power Cables.

 

Yumpin' yiminy! The Jorma Prime speaker cables and interconnects from Jorma Design in Sweden are probably more expensive than the gear you will use them with, but they will surpass every other cable around. Have I heard every top cable in the world? Certainly not. Do the Jorma Primes sound more musical, dynamic, quiet, textural, and elegant than all of my current references? Yes. Do they have more clarity and truthfulness? Yes. Do they sound better than every set of loaner cables I've heard, no matter how exotic? Yes. Even cables made of rare elements? Yes. Powered cables? Yes. Cables containing water or air? Yes. Yes. Yes.

At $7000 for a one-meter pair of interconnects ($2700 for each additional meter) and $12,400 for a two-meter pair of loudspeaker cables, the Jorma Prime cables push the envelope more than sonically. The company's website (www.jormadesign.com) says that the brand-new cables were designed for the Swedish Statement project at CES 2006. They are made of top quality materials—gold, 99.999999 percent copper, transparent Teflon, and walnut—all fine-tuned to get the best possible results. The cables have completely new conductors that were developed by a small European producer that truly had to push its limits—they had to change their machines to be able to make these conductors, and it took more than half a year to test them. The cables also make use of the Bybee Slipstream Golden Quantum Purifiers.

I've heard the $3100 Jorma No. 1 interconnects, and thought them quite fine, but I was not prepared for the quantum leap demonstrated by the Primes. Placed at the output of my new Tim de Paravicini-designed E.A.R. Acute CD player, which has both single-ended and balanced connectors, I was able to compare cables either directly into my preamp or into my power amp. The Jorma Primes sounded clearer, more detailed, more everything, than every other cable in my inventory, or that I could borrow. I have never heard my Avalon Eidolons sound so musically right, so unfatiguing, so pure, so quiet, so nuanced. I also heard the best depth perspective I have yet perceived from these transducers, but that was just the beginning!

When my complete system was completely wired with the Jorma Prime cables, a sonic leap to musical heaven occurred. If you buy the Prime interconnects, you absolutely must buy the loudspeaker cables, too. Any other speaker cables will degrade the performance of the interconnects. I know. I tried. There's no way around this. Prepare to pay at least $20,000 for sonic perfection or don't even start. The Prime interconnects plus loudspeaker cables will yield an astounding, staggering 50 percent improvement in definition and musicality over all other cables. I honestly don't know what Jorma Koski is doing that makes all other brands sound either thick or thin, bright or dull, hyped or boring. I just wish he could do it more cheaply. That it has been done at all is quite an accomplishment.

The Jorma Prime interconnects do not seem to be reactive in any way. They work as neutral links between any components, even between a tonearm and a phono stage. They are medium-sized, very flexible, and terminated in WBT Nextgen Silver plugs that fit everything. The speaker cables are equally flexible, and elegantly terminated in WBT spades. Other terminations are available. The Bybee filters are built into each cable in an elegant walnut enclosure. Bi-wire configurations are available, but you'll need two credit cards. (Just kidding.)

These cables have an amazing neutrality. Coloration is so low that I was unable to identify any, yet I heard and felt an organic, involving presentation that was as good as it gets. The Jorma Primes have to be approached from a holistic perspective. You can't simply focus on the pristine, open highs or the elegant, alive mids or the deep, solid bass, or even on the fantastic definition. You just take it all in, all at once.

Let me take a moment to list my reference interconnects so that you know my preferences at different price points. The sound achieved in each price category is eclipsed by that achieved in the next highest category. (Sorry, there's no free lunch.) My favorite interconnects to date are:

  • Over $4000 per meter

    Jorma Prime

  • $2000 - $4000 per meter

    Harmonic Technology Cyberlight (with Battery Pack III)

    Nordost Valhalla

    Kubala-Sosna Emotion

    Dynamic Design THB Nebula

    Silversmith Palladium

  • $1000 - $2000 per meter

    Dual-Connect Gold

    Kimber Select Silver

    Acoustic Zen Silver

  • $450 - $1000 per meter

    Harmonic Technology Pro Sil-way III

    Xindak Gold

    Kimber Select Copper

  • $250 - $450 per meter

    Soundstring Pro

    Eichmann Express 6 Series 2

  • Under $250

Kimber Hero

With more definition than even solid gold interconnects—in fact, more than that of every other interconnect I've heard—the Jorma Prime interconnects, especially in combination with the Jorma Prime speaker cables, are state of the art! You'll pay handsomely, but this kind of performance has its perks. You'll live the recordings, not just listen to them. If you have the best loudspeakers and front-end gear, the Jorma Prime cables are for you. Their supreme performance, coupled with their supreme neutrality, should make them compatible with just about every brand of equipment imaginable. Jorma Prime receives my very highest recommendation. These are the ones for the ultimate cable connoisseur! Robert H. Levi

The music used in evaluating the Jorma Prime interconnects and loudspeaker cables included:

  • The Carl Saunders Sextet (BluePort CD BP-J011)

  • Beethoven, Archduke Trio (Mirrored Nature SACD MNR 5003)

  • Tchaikovsky, Trio in A Minor Op. 50 (Mirrored Nature SACD MNR 5001)

  • Beethoven/Franck, Violin and Piano Sonatas (Mirrored Nature SACD MNR 5002)

  • Dvorak, Symphony 6, Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live SACD LS00526)

  • Dvorak, Cello Concerto, Queyras, Prague Symphony (Harmonia Mundi SACD 801867)

  • Gene Harris, The Best of the Concord Years (Concord Records CD 4930-2)

  • Hovhaness, Symphony 22/Cello Concerto (Naxos CD 8.559158)

  • Jacintha, Here's to Ben (Groove Note SACD 1001-3)

  • Chopin, Piano Concertos 1 and 2, Rubinstein (RCA/BMG SACD 82876-67902-2)

  • Dvorak, Cello Concerto, Piatigorsky (RCA/BMG SACD 82876-66375-2)

  • Suppe, Overtures (Mercury SACD 470-638-2)

  • Hovhaness, Mysterious Mountain (Telarc SACD 60604)

  • The Absolute Sound SACD Sampler (Telarc SACD 60011)

  • Howard Hanson, Symphony 2 etc. (Telarc SACD 60649)

  • SuperBass2 (Telarc SACD 63483)

  • Orff, Carmina Burana (Telarc SACD 60575)

  • Diana Krall, Love Scenes (Impulse SACD 2841-35)

  • Duke Ellington, Blues in Orbit (Mobile Fidelity SACD 757 )

  • Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia SACD 64935)

  • Isomike Sampler (Kimber SACD 2005A)

  • Chick Corea, Rendezvous in NY (Stretch Records SACD 9041-2)

  • Glenn Gould, Goldberg Variations (Columbia SACD 37779)

  • E. Power Biggs, Four Antiphonal Organs (Columbia SACD 87983)

  • Saint-Saens, Piano Concertos Vol. 1 (Audite SACD 92.509)

Jorma Prime interconnects
Retail: $7000 for a one-meter pair

Jorma Prime speaker cables
Retail: $12,400 for a two-meter pair

Jorma Design
web address: www.jormadesign.com

E.A.R. USA/Sound Advice is the US importer and distributor for Jorma Design
web address: www.ear-usa.com/jorma.htm

 

 

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