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WAY Cables: From Serbia with Love

03-09-2024 | By Gregory Petan | Issue 132


WAY Cables Poetry X Analogue XLR interconnects  

Despite having access to a pretty wide range of very enticing gear, I really try to avoid the marry go round of constantly swapping gear in and out of my reference system. I made big changes about 3 years ago and before that it had been over a decade. That goes for cable as well, despite having reviewed several very worthy looms. Reviewing allows me to experience a variety of components while keeping the starting lineup intact. Keeping my cabling in place is more exposed to temptation as they are usually easier to procure for review. The inclusion of WAY cables into my system has me really tempted to make a move.

Cables are second only to amplifiers that pique my interest for reviewing. Ever since I replaced the basic lamp cord speaker wire with XLO back in the late 80s, I've been fascinated with the effects cables have in my system. As far as review subjects are concerned, I've stayed for the most part within the mainstream of brands such as Cardas and MIT, but every so often I'll come across a new name in the audiophile universe. Perhaps they appearing in systems with components I admire, like in this instance, when I noticed WAY cables being paired with such dream gear and featured at major audio events in Europe. So, I reached out and began a relationship with WAY Cables founder Miroslav "Nune" Popovic who not only produces some of the best cable I've ever reviewed, he's a gentlemen who doesn't approach cable purely as a business. Nune is a deeply passionate artist and audiophile first. He's a poet and visual artist who also speaks through providing the music an incredibly illuminated path to the listener. This may sound like pure hyperbole, but getting to know who Nune is and what his motivations are, you will find the description firmly rooted in reality.

WAY Cables Endless X Loudspeaker Cables

In Nune's own words: "I am an artist, as with other arts it began with an inner need I could not explain. I strongly felt that the world of audiophiles and music lovers I belonged to since childhood needed to hear my way of creating cables. They brought me intense joy and exciting experiences while listening to music. Accurate and profound insight into compositions and recordings, showing the true potential of the systems components. 10 years ago this process began. It has been extremely humbling to receive so much positive feedback and encouragement from audiophiles all over the world."

Being a full time artist myself led to a very high level of Kismet between the two of us. It was really refreshing to relate on this level. Though I made it clear that despite this great personal connection we shared, I'd be very frank in my impressions. He gracefully accepted the terms and within three weeks he had assembled the three 1.5-meter CORE power chords ($8900), two pair of PoetryX XLR interconnects ($8700) and one 2-meter pair of EndlessX bi-wire speaker cable ($14,800).

WAY Cables CORE Audio Power Cable

Nune continued. "Wires, dielectrics, plugs and inner construction methods are given equal weight. Each ingredient that goes into the cable structure is chosen through long-term trial and error and comparative listening tests. We use single crystal silver for conductors and pure silver for connectors, which are made to our specs or customization like all other cable parts. We have great trust in our empirical findings. As the sound becomes as neutral as possible, we will continue fine-tuning for even better results of the end product. Each cable is made by hand in Serbia and carefully examined before it is left to a customer."

The first thing that surprised me was the way cotton is used as an insulator. As stated, each conductor is individually polished and insulated with pure cotton, made to WAY Cables' specifications, but it is also used in many internal layers of cable design solutions, including the outer sheath.

To my knowledge, this is unique to WAY cables and is utilized in proprietary fashion. The red and white and red and black motif hardly shrinks away visually which may be an issue for some… until they hear them.

First impression… impossible to choose just one trait.

In no particular order:

  • Smoothness by way of a lack of electronic haze, grit, grime, or otherwise anywhere to be found.
  • A lovely, lovely mid band ripe with instrumental textures that are bursting with tonal color and authenticity.
  • Bass that seems to have no limit to its depth and no compression to its dynamics.
  • Space that is open in all directions with no darkening or added brightness. Freedom is a good descriptor.

For all that the WAY cable doesn't do, its presence was immediately accounted for. There is a sweetness and life that animates the sound. Coupled to wonderfully propulsive rhythmic drive, there is not one part of the music that cannot be focused on and become immersed in. This completeness brings to mind a video of track star Husein Bolt closing in on the finish line of yet another decisive victory. Knowing he has gas to spare he turns to the camera with a huge smile and breezes to the finish line, his closest opponent straining at his limits trying to keep up. The WAY cable is the Husein Bolt of cable. Its ease and sense of limitless resolution and musical capacity leaves the rest straining to keep pace.

I've been fortunate, as Nune has been patient allowing me to use the WAY cables within the context of the reviews of two speakers and a Phono stage. The PS Audio FR20 and the Estelon Aura, two very different speakers at the same price point, followed up by the giant killer $6500 Krell K300p phonostage (the Krell K300i integrated amp/DAC/streamer and Triangle Art Signature completes the reference system). With the WAY cables I felt I was getting a complete picture, a totality of what each component was capable of. The FR20 with its dynamic punch above its weight bass and full midrange, and the Aura with its otherworldly transparency, vibrance, and openness came to the fore easily. And the Krell's utter, total competence, with its bold natural musicality surprised and delighted from the first couple of tracks.

As a result of the WAY cables being omni-present throughout, I have listened to a ton of music through the WAY cables. Those examples of music and impressions of the sound posted within those reviews apply to the WAY cables as well. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here with its delicate treble range effects at the beginning of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the bluesy Sax solo rich in texture and weight. Red Garland's piano and supporting mates on Bright and Breezy grabbing my attention like never before. Stanley Clarke's Bass on East River Drive and If This Bass Could Only Talk never ever sounded colored or limited by the cable. Fast, great punch, and bottomless extension. Soundstages and images were presented in every possible iteration, solely dependent upon the recording. Limitless is another fitting descriptor. I never felt the WAY cables was or could be the weak link in any way.

Nune has created a product that not only gets out of the way, it contributes to revealing the most elusive quality in audio gear—the natural glow, the sweet delicate textures so many cables just don't reveal. Music is a joy through the WAY cables, or it can be desperately sad or sanguine or exciting or relaxing. Musically it can connect the intellect or the heart or on the best of music, both.

This kind of performance is not inexpensive. Art never is. But if your system is capable, and you have been yearning to achieve the qualities I've outlined here, look no further. I think the WAY cables may be with me for a long time to come.

PoetryX XLR analog interconnects, pair of 2x1 meter

Retail: $8700

EndlessX speaker cables, pair of 2x2 meters

Retail: $14,800

CORE power cord, 1.5 meters

Retail: $8900

WAY Cables

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All photographs courtesy of WAY Cables.