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Positive Feedback ISSUE 50
july/august 2010



Custom Designed Audio Cables

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi








Marten Bird Loudspeakers and REL Stadium III subwoofer

E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), E.A.R. 534 stereo amplifier, NuForce Reference 9 SE V2 amplifiers, E.A.R. 912 preamplifier, and an E.A.R. 834L Tube Line Stage.

E.A.R. Disk Master Turntable with two Helius Omega Tonearms, E.A.R. Acute CD player, ModWright Sony 9100 Player with tube power supply, ModWright Sony 9100ES with Signature Truth Modifications, Mod/Bybee Filters and Revelation Cryo Silver Umbilical. Alesis Masterlink 24/96 Recorder/Playback Deck, and the Benchmark DAC 1 revised. Koetsu Rosewood Signature Phono Cartridge. Pioneer DVL 919 LD/DVD Player, and a Marantz DV8400 DVD/SACD/CD player. Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Reference Tuner, Marantz 10B FM Tuner, Day Sequerra Reference FM1 Tuner, and Scott 350B FM Stereo Tuner, AQ 7500 FM Antenna, Stax 7t Electrostatic headphones, Grado Reference 1 headphones, and a Grado headphone amplifier.

Kubala-Sosna Elation Interconnects, Speaker Cables, and Power Cords. Kubala-Sosna Emotion, Harmonic Technology CyberLight, Harmonic Technology Magic 2, Dual-Connect interconnects, Dynamic Design THB Nebula, Soundstring, Kimber Select balanced, Kimber TAK phono AG, Kimber Hero balanced and single-ended interconnects, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II balanced interconnects. Kimber D-60 Digital Interconnects. Kimber Select 3038 Silver, Kubala-Sosna Emotion, and Harmonic Technology Magic Reference Silver speaker cables. Kimber Palladian, Tara RSC and Decade, Tice, Soundstring, and Kubala-Sosna Emotion AC power cords.

Monster Reference 350 Mark II v2 Power Conditioner, World Power Power Wing, 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. Audio Magic's Quantum Physics Noise Disrupters.


Finally, an interconnect with a twist, numerous twists in fact! WyWires builds just for your system custom designed audio cables, speaker cables, and phono cables to suit your gear's needs. I tried their single ended interconnects which are specifically designed for source to preamp and preamp to amp. Fabulous! Involving! What a midrange! What a deal! WyWire's Alex Sventitsky may be on to something here: cables built for your specific audio needs.

First thing I noticed was the beautiful fit and finish of the interconnects for only $849 for four feet terminated in slick, silver Shadow RCA connectors. Made of purest copper litz with cotton and air dielectric material, this wire is maximally flexible and easy to use. There is also a custom turned twist in the wire I have never seen before. You can feel them as small bumps in the wire every foot or so. Alex says this about the hand done twists: "The twists serve to lower inductance slightly but the main purpose is for rejection of EMI."

For those of you that love to read about scientific stuff, the complete science of these custom wires from the designer, sent to me in an email, is as follows:

"The main areas where the technology really contributes to the sound of the cables is (1) Litz wire; and (2) minimal dielectric which is 90% air. Litz wire, as you probably know, is multiple strands of lacquer insulated wire that is twisted or braided. The advantage of Litz type conductors is the ability to maximize conductivity or to minimize resistance at high frequencies due to the elimination of skin effect. Skin effect is a phenomenon that causes electrons to want to move along the perimeter of a wire rather than through the entire cross section. As frequency goes up, "skin depth" is reduced. By using very small gauge conductors, we can maintain a conductor's conductivity even at high frequencies and not have to worry about resistance increasing with frequency as is the case with large gauge solid core or even with stranded conductors. Stranded conductors begin to act like a solid core wire as frequency goes up since the electrons will jump to the outside strands, leaving the inner strands with nothing to do. Dielectric is very important also.

The best dielectric is a perfect vacuum. Very hard to achieve on Earth. The best "practical" dielectric is air. Best means minimal dielectric absorption such that the electrons are prevented from entering the dielectric material so that all the energy stays in the conductor and makes its way to its assigned destination. The next best dielectric to air is cotton. PTFE Teflon is used by a great many high end cable companies and is far worse than cotton but far better than PVC, Nylon, Neoprene and all other materials common in cable construction. PTFE is attractive as a mechanical agent due to its strength and resistance to heat and chemicals. We use PTFE to encase our conductors to protect them from environmental issues and to ensure that we have lots of air around the conductors themselves. We also provide an air tight seal at both ends of our PTFE tubes. This is necessary since our conductors are wrapped in cotton and as we all know, cotton can absorb moisture from the environment especially in Atlanta. We want to eliminate any possibility of moisture contamination which can lead to oxidation of the copper.

This type of construction can only be done by hand. The result is exceptional electrical performance with Capacitance of 5.9 pico farads per foot for our interconnect cables.

We use only copper. I hate the sound of silver cables. Also, it's not possible to buy fine stranded silver wire for Litz applications. Since the finest silver strands tend to be much larger than what is possible with copper, silver wire will exhibit skin effect at a lower frequency. This negates the argument that silver is more conductive than copper. True at DC but at 15KHz or higher, copper Litz wins every time. Remember, pure silver is very soft and has serious limitations with respect to durability so it's not practical for small gauge wires."

Understand? Great! Want to know how they sound? Read on please…

Right off the top, the WyWires are very detailed with fully fleshed out timbres. The pair between my ModWright Sony 999 and E.A.R. 834L and the pair between my 834L and E.A.R. 534 Amplifier complimented each other. One pair in the circuit was very good. Two pairs in the circuit were excellent. Compared to the Audience AU24 which is similar in price, the WyWires were fuller and more compelling. They also had bigger and better bass response. The emotional pacing of the WyWires is quite lovely.

Compared to the Harmonic Technology Magic 2 Interconnects, the WyWires were bit less vivid and sweeter. Listening to the Wywires was as non-fatiguing as can be. In a high definition system, the WyWires were superb and seriously under priced. What a deal!

Being more or less unshielded, the WyWires were very quiet in both my systems. Overall, they are just a bit behind the definition of the fabulous and 75% more expensive CRL Silver wires. This idea of customizing wires to your needs is a good one. Cables have become so expensive; they should have something going for them beyond pretty boxes and sexy insulation. $800+ bucks is big money to most audiophiles.

I mentioned the bass was big and bold. This is the best bass I have heard from Litz wire cables to date. The blend of the bass and mids was nearly perfect. These are very emotional cables with excellent support in the mid bass region.

The high band is silky and smooth. It is also a bit rolled off. I did not hear quite the air and ambience with the WyWires I heard with the other top wires in this category. I do like cables that are a bit dull and neutral overall. These may be just right while the other brands are a bit bright. Nevertheless, a bit more sparkle would have been nice I think. It's tough to pick the WyWires apart. They are so generously musical.

Quibbles? They were built and delivered via UPS in only 10 days. Can't beat that. They held up well with my pulling and pushing them on to lots of gear. Alex is one of the kindest and easiest to work with fellows in the business. Wonderful. I need to try the balanced versions. I recommend them conditionally until I hear them myself. I would like a bit more high band sparkle. If he can get them to yield even more overall definition, he would have a game changer. As is, they are terrific and surely a long term investment.

In Conclusion

Finally, a cable company that builds interconnects to order like a tailor made suit! WyWire custom designed audio cables are excellent and yield a midrange so compelling as to be the most musically involving interconnects under $1000 that I know of today. You tell WyWire what gear you own, they max out the design just for you. They have a generous trade in policy if you change gear. These are the first wires made specifically to connect front end gear to your preamp and your preamp to your amp that's not fiber optic. I love them and found little to criticize. I hope to hear the balanced versions soon, but the single ended wires were superbly made and flexible, too. Welcome WyWire to the world of connectivity! Custom is cool! Highly recommended. Robert H. Levi

Revised interconnect rankings to include the new WyWire custom designed Interconnects from the latest listening sessions with cables ranked by reviewer preference within price categories as follows:

Over $4000 per meter

TIE: Jorma Origo (single-ended and balanced); Kubala-Sosna Elation [balanced and single ended] State of the Art Category.

Jorma Prime (balanced and single-ended) 

Nordost Odin (balanced and single ended)

Tara Labs The Zero (single ended)

Acrolink 7N-DA6100 (single-ended)

$2000 - 4000 per meter

Kimber Select KS 1136 and KS 1036 [balanced and single-ended]

Kubala-Sosna Emotion (balanced and single-ended)

Jorma #1 (balanced and single-ended) Bybees on board.

Clarison Teresonic Gold (single-ended)

Nordost Valhalla (balanced and single-ended

Wireworld Platinum Eclipse (balanced and single-ended)

Acrolink 7N-A2500 Mexcel (single-ended)

Silversmith Palladium (balanced and single-ended)

Harmonic Technology Photon Interconnects [fiber optic] with Power Pack 4 (balanced and single-ended)

$1000 - 2000 per meter

CRL Silver Interconnects (balanced and single-ended)

Stereovox 600-SEIii (balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Select KS 1126 and KS 1026 [balanced and single-ended]

Kubala-Sosna Expression (balanced and single-ended)

Jorma #2 (single-ended)

XLO Signature 3 Interconnect [balanced and single-ended]

Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II (balanced and single-ended)

$450 - 1000 per meter

WyWires Custom Designed Interconnects [single-ended]

Audience AU24e [Balanced and single-ended]

Harmonic Technology Magic II (Balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Select KS 1011 (balanced and single-ended)

Nordost Heimdall (Balanced and single-ended)

CRL Copper Series Interconnects (Single-ended tested)

Harmonic Technology Pro Sil-way III+ (balanced and single-ended)

$250 - 450 per meter

Dynasty by Dynastrand [available again soon]

Mythos by Argentum Acoustics (balanced and single-ended)

Dynamic Design New Generation Lotus SE

Soundstring Octaphase Alpha Series (Single Ended Unshielded Interconnect)

Soundstring Octaphase Omega Pro Line (Single Ended/Balanced Shielded Interconnect)

Under $250 per meter

Kimber Hero (balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Timbre (single-ended

Retail Pricing:
Single Ended Interconnects  $849 for four feet  Terminated in Shadow Connectors.

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