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Positive Feedback ISSUE 62
july/august 2012


Audiophile Interconnect Rankings 2012: 18 Brands Auditioned
by Robert H. Levi


Interconnects are so very critical and confusing that it is necessary for us veterans of the wire wars to summarize from time to time what's hot, and what's not. It's hard to tell on your own, since dealers rarely carry more than a couple of brands, and some influential big brands are using outrageous marketing techniques, like naming a cable after the Grand Canyon, to suck in a customer.

I established this list to help you choose, or at least narrow down, your choice for wire. Find the price category with which you are most comfortable, and note the wires recommended in order, from top to bottom, for their overall musical excellence. I have not heard all wire worldwide, but I have auditioned a ton of them. Naturally, this list represents my personal appraisal and evaluation of cables, but I have been around a lot of audio gear, much music, and have a pretty good idea of what "great!" sounds like. Please take these notes as a guide, not as gospel; my comments are very experienced, but they are not infallible!

Also, note that I have revised my interconnect rankings to include the new Soundstring Platinum Generation II Interconnects and WyWires new Gold interconnects from the latest listening sessions. This has been combined with other top cables ranked by reviewer preference within price categories as follows:

Over $4000 per meter

TIE: Jorma Origo (single-ended and balanced) AND Kubala-Sosna Elation! [balanced and single-ended]: state-of-the-art category.

Jorma Prime (balanced and single-ended) (Bybee Filters on Board)

Fono Acustica: Armonico [single-ended and balanced]

Nordost Odin (balanced and single-ended)

Tara Labs The Zero (single-ended)

Acrolink 7N-DA6100 (single-ended) (Very stiff stuff this)

$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. (Just discontinued and replaced with Jorma Unison not heard yet; try to find used as No.1 has Bybee Filters on board)

Clarison Teresonic Gold (single-ended)

Nordost Valhalla (balanced and single-ended)

Silversmith Palladium (balanced and single-ended)

Wireworld Platinum Eclipse (balanced and single-ended)

Acrolink 7N-A2500 Mexcel (single-ended) (Also very stiff)

Harmonic Technology Photon Interconnects [fiber optic] with Power Pack 4 (balanced and single-ended); replaced with new improved model not yet auditioned.

$1000 - 2000 per meter

TIE: Jorma #2 (single-ended and balanced) AND Wywire Gold (Bybee Filters on board) [single-ended tested]

Kubala-Sosna Expression (balanced and single-ended)

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

CRL Silver Interconnects (balanced and single-ended)

Stereovox 600-SEIii (balanced and single-ended)

XLO Signature 3 Interconnect [balanced and single-ended]

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

$450 - 1000 per meter

TIE: Soundstring Generation II Platinum Series Cables AND Kimber Kable Select KS 1016 and 1116 [single-ended and balanced]

Harmonic Technology Magic II (Balanced and single-ended)

Kubala-Sosna Fascination [single-ended and balanced]

Audience AU24e [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

Mythos by Argentum Acoustics (balanced and single-ended)

Under $250 per meter

Kimber Hero (balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Timbre (single-ended)