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Mini-Review: Merrill Audio ANAP Interconnect Cables

08-02-2015 | By Robert H. Levi | Issue 80

Merrill Audio ANAP XLR interconnects

Let me just say right up top that I generally do not review cables in this low price range. At $1149 per meter, whether RCA or XLR, the Merrill ANAP is expensive for many, but not for the audiophile like me who has to have the very best in all of audio. I took on the review because I heard that these were special, and not to let the price get in the way.

I should let you know that before I started serious listening with the ANAPs, I put 75 hours on Alan Kafton’s great audiodharma Cable Cooker. That was followed by another 25 hours in an audio circuit, just to round it out. Their website suggests a longer break-in.

Merrill Audio makes excellent gear and is run by dedicated engineers who are music lovers as well as inventors. Consequently, this should come as no surprise, that for $1149 you will receive $2000+ worth of audio pleasure...maybe more. Wonderfully musical and linear, the ANAPs are detailed like the very best, and can be mistaken for the extreme in our hobby. Slightly warm and lush, they will work in any system, particularly those that are a bit bright and unforgiving. I am actually considering keeping the review samples!

ANAP Interconnect Description

  • High gauge wire for transparency and long runs.
  • Ultra low capacitance for detail and clear frequency extensions.
  • Low inductance to keep the natural sound and speed.
  • Use the excellent Cardas XLR Connectors or Cardas RCA Connectors, which are made from solid metal.
  • Well-priced for any configuration.
  • 30-day full refund if you don’t like it. Return in the original condition for a full refund.

I tried the ANAPs between my new E.A.R. Acute 4 Tube DAC and Player and my E.A.R. 912 Preamplifier. They sounded exciting and realistic, with strong instrumental colors. No, they are not as detailed as my $5000 references, but they did sound quite similar and inviting. What I learned here is that nothing untoward stuck out with the ANAPs; there was nothing that hit me as being off the mark for great audio. I think that this is amazing at this price point. Merrill makes only one model of cable, and obviously put its best foot forward with the ANAP.

​Connecting my E.A.R. Tube HP4 Headphone Stage​ to my 534 amp to run my AKG 1000 Headphones, I was not disappointed. Compared to my $3000 reference, I heard little difference. I think I heard a bit less air, somewhat less space, than with my reference cables, but very similar definition and linearity. Bass was exceptional on both wires, while instrumental colors were excellent. The ANAPs offer a smooth and elegant presentation from top to bottom.

I am impressed by the construction of the ANAPs. The connectors are gorgeous! The wire is flexible and solidly covered. They are nicely insulated and easy to use. If I had had single-ended cables in house I would have tried them in the phono section. I suspect that the ANAPs would be good in that application.

After much listening, I truly cannot think of another cable I have tested or auditioned that competes with the ANAPs in this price range. They demonstrate control and sophistication beyond their cost. I did not really find any quibbles to report. I might have asked for even more definition and air if they had been $3000 per meter, but at one third of that exalted price they yield over 85% of what you would expect. What a bargain!

Merrill Audio ANAP animated


New from Merrill Audio comes their ANAP Interconnects, their first and only cable model. This entrepreneurial company put their best engineering forward and developed a cable for the music-lover right from the start. Even at this low price, there is amazingly little these cables leave on the table compared to my exalted expensive references. They will please even the most jaded among us. Those of you who are more restricted in your budget for cables will definitely want to give the ANAPs serious consideration.

Congratulations to Merrill Audio! The ANAPs are highly recommended.

Price:  MSRP $1149

Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC


415 5MA.HiFi  (415.562.4434)

(Photographs courtesy of Merrill Audio.)