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Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

02-06-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła | Issue 77

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

Most of Poles realize that there are two countries in Europe who's flags are a combination of horizontal white and red strips. One of them is Monaco with red stripe above white one, and the other is obviously the Republic of Poland with white stripe above the red one. Probably much less people realize that there is one more country with a similar flag—Indonesia.

Republic of Indonesia is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia and Oceania area with a population of 237.600.00 people (4th largest in the world). It's capitol, Jakarta, itself has more than 8 million inhabitants. Indonesia is in fact an archipelago comprising of 17.508 islands with around 6.000 of them uninhabited. Indonesia gained its independence after the Second World War in 1945 but it derives its origin from the middle age empire called Madjapahit. The 800 years old flag is one similarity with Poland but the national emblem, a golden eagle, a mythical bird Garuda Pancasila, is another as it also looks a lot like our white eagle. The Indonesian cousin holds a scroll in his legs that says: "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity") which comes obviously from a great diversity of this country. Among almost 240 million people living in this country there are almost 300 ethnic groups speaking 250 different languages (583 including different dialects). The official language is Bahasa Indonesia. It is a country with its history deeply rooted in the Middle Ages, with large population of extraordinary diversity. The larger, the more diversified population the more creative individuals can be found within it.

Despite that fact audio products manufactured there are a true rarity in Europe. Same goes for India, a country with even bigger population. I am pretty sure though that there are many Indonesian brands that are known in Asia. In Poland—I think none. Hopefully my February review of Black Curse IC and speaker cable Red Velvet from Indonesian company Vermöuth Audio will place this country finally on audio map. For it to stay there we have agreed with Hendry, the owner and designer, that when his top cables are ready he will ship them to us. It will allow High Fidelity to be one of the first magazines in the world, and surely in Europe and America, to take a closer look at this company's products.

Reviewing these cables is always a pure pleasure. Unlike in many other cases of products coming from small manufacturers these are perfectly made and they look really well. Actually make&finish are that good that even some big, famous manufacturers could learn a thing or two (also in terms of the quality of all connections and in terms of durability) from this Indonesian maker.

That is exactly the case here with the reviewed item. Black Pearl is quite a thick cable, but also a flexible one. It is built of 591 strands in total of 10AWG UPOCC conductor per channel. It uses strands of varying diameter, grouped into two main runs with air tubes spacers and non woven fabric for extra dampening and protection.

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

Cable is finished with a sleeve but this particular kind is more durable than regular ones. Cables are terminated with company's own plugs made of Tellurium copper and rhodium plated, and finished with with carbon shells. Cables are also solder free—all connections are clamped. 


Recordings used for this test (a selection):

Okihiko Sugano Record Collection, Victor Edition/Trio Edition, Audio Meister XRCG-30025-8, 4 x XRCD24 [2012]; see HERE.

• Anna Maria Jopek, Barefoot, Universal Music Polska, "Promo Copy", CD (2002).

• Billie Holiday, Billie Holiday, Clef/UMG Recordings UCCV-9470, "David Stone Martin 10 inch Collector’s Selection", CD (1954/2013).

• Jerzy Milian Trio, Bazaar, Polskie Nagrania "Muza"/GAD Records GAD CD 017, "Polish Jazz vol 17", CD (1069/2014).

• Nat "King" Cole, Welcome to the Club, Columbia/Audio Fidelity AFZ 153, SACD/CD (1959/2013).

• Patrick Noland, Peace, Naim Audio naimcd065, CD (2002).

• Vangelis, Spiral, RCA/BMG Japan 176 63561, K2 SHM-CD (1977/2008).

Testing audio products is all about comparison. One compares their sound to the live music, or to the sound of a different device. There is no other way to find and describe what this particular product introduces to the musical signal and how we actually hear that. If you don't agree with that, well—you don't know what you are missing out, what could your own ears tell you. That's a free country though so anyone can do as he pleases. Me included.

In my opinion the more important way of learning the features of a new product is the comparison to whatever reference product of similar kind one has. Cause what audio system does has not that much to do with what was actually played in a studio, it's rather an interpretation of interpretation of interpretation. What we get is sort of copy of music event that was processed, interpreted by many many people on the way between live music in a studio and the recording we have at our disposal. That's why a perfectionist audio is a real art.

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

Tests of cables are no different from any other tests of speakers, turntables, headphones and so on. One has to compare the cables under review to his own reference cables. "Reference" should be understood here in two ways: a reference used in reviewers system (so local reference, products he knows very well and considers good enough), but also an ultimate reference, meaning a product that is as good as reviewer can have at his disposal. In my reference system I use Tara Labs Omega Onyx speaker cable. While it's not the newest product on the market it is still better than any other cable I listened to during last 5 years or so. And in most cases it was much better than any other. Only the Siltech Royal Signature Series Double Crown Emperor seemed to be even more sophisticated but only when a complete set of these cables was used in my system. I guess there are even better cables than mine on the market, even Tara Labs offers more expensive models, but I haven't had a chance to listen to them.

Comparing any low or mid-class cable to my reference is a challenge. It's like the contender loses even before the test really starts as it is clearly worse the Tara Labs. But still, basing on my 20 years of experience in both professional and home audio I can tell you that such comparison is the only way to find out the truth about the product I want to test. It must be compared to as good reference product as possible—the higher performance reference product has to offer the more precise, more reliable results come from such a comparison.

Readers must know the methodology of the test to make sense of it. What you need to know is that what you will find here is my description of differences between best reference cable I know and the reviewed one. I'm not comparing this cable to its actual competitors from a similar price range, nor to even less expensive ones. So please remember how to interpret this text—that is not just a praise for the reviewed product, it's more like a description of what I heard. Well, as a reviewer I need to describe the sound, but also to interpret my findings and finally to give you my assessment and that's what I'm going to do.

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

Illustrating what I described above is very easy. In my reference system Soulution 710 power amplifier drives Harbeth M40.1 speakers via above mentioned Tara Labs cable that rests on Acoustic Revive RCI-4H cable stands. Hendry’s cable simple replaced Tara Labs in exactly the same system.

The sonic differences between these two cables were significant and characteristic. Tara's resolution Is much, much better, and the same goes for its dynamics. Outlines of instruments are more tangible, and the energy of each sub-range, except for the treble, seemed higher. Bass extension was better and the whole tonal balance seemed to be placed bit lower.

Despite all these differences the Indonesian cable still presented a lot of class. It delivered nice, relaxed, liquid sound. It's presentation seemed rather "soft" which made sound not so "present" like with Tara Labs. But I have to say that the sound wasn't too soft, nor too withdrawn. This was a sound characteristic that I really liked and appreciated, that was a perfect fit for systems built with elements from 15 000 – 20 000 PLN per piece. It's a quite specific price range as the products from within it offer already a very good resolution and selectivity but they still can't outline each sound source and show the texture so well as more expensive equipment can. So it is quite easy to add more distinct leading edge to such sound which will become annoying. Black Pearl never let that happen. It offers sound with such a level of sophistication that it wouldn't degrade in any way performance of electronics and speakers of this price range but it rather would help to shape the sound in a way that should be more listener-friendly than any other more "distinctly" sounding cables.

I mentioned energy of the sound before: treble seemed to be clearer than midrange and bass. The latter sounded in a nice way, with nice timbre. But it was treble that added some air to the sound, that prevented sound from closing in. Janos Starker's cello had body—a nice body and air around it. Also its relation with piano was presented in a proper way. Instruments didn't "fight" each other, they worked together. The very clean treble added some air, some space between these two instruments despite the fact of how close they actually were placed to each other. I don't know how somebody could not like the way this cable presents music. Unless of course somebody chooses a very distinct, detailed sound that is very close to the listener. It is one of possible choices and I could understand it. But me personally I really liked the way Indonesian cable conveyed music.

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables

Vermöuth Black Pearl in short—liquidity, smoothness, very good balance across the board and nice spacing. Switching my several times more expensive reference cable for Indonesian one was really painful. Yes, the performance level wasn't that high, but it was still good enough, coherent enough for me to truly enjoy all the music I used for the test. It is really easy to start liking this cable and it brings a lot of joy. It seems to be quite forgiving and relaxing although treble isn't rolled off—it's energetic, sparkling and vibrant. Jazz, vocals, small classic ensembles—they will sound lovely. When it comes to faster music like rock, some electronic music, or large orchestras, the own character of the cable will be more audible.


After my review of Black Curse and Red Velvet we started, with Hendry, to exchange emails—I was simply curious of Indonesia. As it turned out he is a very nice, warm man. Finally I asked him if he could send me some coffee as I had never drank coffee from Indonesia before. He sent us a package and both of us, my wife and me we agreed that the taste and aroma of coffee from Bali (where Hendry moved to recently) was very special: smooth but also rich. I couldn't help but thinking that Hendry's cable were exactly the same. Black Pearls look great, fit & finish is exemplary, they are delivered in a nice, carton box with certificate of origin. Oh, yes, they sound great too!

Vermöuth Audio Black Pearl Speaker Cables


Black Pearl is a speaker cable that is finished up to the standard most manufacturers can only dream about. I am talking about the quality I know from the best products around. We need to remember that these cables come from a small company, and they are made for this company upon order.

The reviewed cables consist of 591 strands in total of 10AWG UPOCC conductor per channel, 21mm in diameter in total. Manufacturer uses strands of varying diameter, grouped into two main runs with air tubes spacers and non woven fabric for extra dampening and protection. Along the whole run strands are placed in a thick cover that works as vibration damping element. At the very end to separate runs come out—a plus and a minus. The spot where these two runs come out of main sleeve is closed inside beautifully finished black metal element made of anodized aluminum. Despite its complex design and quite large diameter Black Pearl is quite flexible and easy to place in any system.

Also the termination is special. Vermöuth not only uses its own plugs for their cables but it sells them also to other cable manufacturers. The Black Pearl sports the newest and most expensive banana connectors. Their pins are made of Tellurium Copper that is plated with Rhodium. Cables are not soldered, nor fixed with bolted but clamped inside. Manufacturer calls the process: "Cold Forging". The housing that holds the clamping is made of carbon fiber with anodized aluminum finish—similar to, for example, Furutech products.

Price: $915 USD/1.8 m + 95 USD for each additional foot (+VAT)

Hendri Ramli
Jln.Gatot Subroto Tengah No.100X Kav.15
Denpasar - Bali (80231) | Indonesia
[email protected]


Text and images by Wojciech Pacuła,

Translation by Marek Dyba

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