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Wireworld Eclipse and Aurora Cables

10-04-2022 | By Sam Rosen | Issue 123

If you look at my past reviews, you will notice certain names show up on a regular basis, Wirewold is one of those names and the subject of this review. Wireworld is one of the best manufacturers of high end cabling in the audio business. They are fairly priced and their lower to mid-tier lines offer incredible bang for the buck, where their high end lines offer nosebleed level performance for a comparatively value oriented price. I recently re-designed my dedicated listening room and that provided me with an opportunity to review some new cabling and knew just who to call.

When I spoke to Larry, Wireworld's National Sales Manager, about my project we reviewed the usual suspects. We talked about speaker cable,  interconnects, and of course  power cables. However, when Larry mentioned network cables to me, I could not help but laugh at him. I was not trying to be rude, I was just very skeptical that any network cable, especially one that only ran from the wall plate to a streaming DAC could possibly make any difference. Now I will be the first to say that Larry and Wireworld in general have never led me wrong. When we discussed the final contents of the review I took him up on his offer to send the Starlight 8 Ethernet cable for my DCS Rossini, and the Chroma 8 Ethernet cable for between my Roon Core and my network switch.

Along with the Ethernet cables, Wireworld also sent me a 20ft run of Eclipse 8 single-ended interconnects, 18 ft of Eclipse 8 speaker cabling, and two Aurora 7 power cables.

Review System

  • Source: DCS Rossini, Roon Server
  • Amplifier: ampsandsound Zion Mono Blocks, ampsandsound Red October
  • Speaker: Zu Audio Soul 6, Zu Audio Union 6
  • Power Conditioner: PS Audio P12
  • Cabling: Wirewires Eclipse 8 Loom, Starlight 8 Ethernet, Chroma 8 Ethernet, and a combination of Wireworld power cords (all Series 7) and WyWires power cords

Starting out with the Wireworld Network Cables

One of the reasons I like Wireworld is that their products rarely look like everyone else's. Their network cables, like their power cables are flat, similar to ribbon cable. This does make them harder to lay-out and cable manage, but they do roll up really well. The cable itself is quite a bit larger then a standard Ethernet cable, and terminating these Ethernet cables looks like quite a task.

As I said above, Larry sent me the Starlight 8, at 3 meters, and the Chroma 8 at 2 meters. I want to assure everyone who is reading this that I know it is absurd to believe a Ethernet cable can make any audible difference to a sound system. When I was speaking to Larry I expressed this exact sentiment. I also asked him if I would need a pure Wireworld cable run between the Roon Core and the DCS Rossini to deliver the sonic benefits he was describing. Larry told me to think about the Wireworld Ethernet cable line in the same way that I think about their power cable line. For those who do not know, Wireworld claims that the performance of their power cable is based on the ability to help filter out noise between your outlet and your device due to the geometry of the cable. Larry asserted that the way Wireworld designed and wound their Ethernet cables made them excellent noise filters. In contrast, while the cabling is exceptional and will ensure a clean data transfer of UDP packets from source to player, it is likely a standard Ethernet cable would do this as well. Therefore, any real improvement heard with the Starlight and Chroma would be due to reduced noise making its way from your Ethernet equipment into your streamer.

Starting just with the Starlight 8, I plugged it into the jack in my wall, and ran it to my DCS Rossini. I clicked play, and  my jaw literally dropped. What I noticed was that the spatial presentation of my system improved dramatically. This was so noticeable that my when I called my wife in to listen she immediately commented that something sounded different. The other thing that changed was the tonal presentation of voices and instruments. My system was already exceptional, but the lower mid-range and instruments that performed in that region simply became much more life-like. Similarly, the imaging of the system became stronger.

Replacing the old Ethernet cable, brought the system back to its previous form, which was still excellent but the sense of space, and the tonal ease vanished and the lack of the Starlight 8 become more noticeable. Replacing the Starlight 8 with the Chroma 8 did the same thing, but to a lesser extent. If the Starlight 8 was 100%, the Chroma 8 was 80%. The room felt larger, but simply not as much, the tonal properties improved, but stopped just shy of being "perfect" like it was with the Starlight 8. In all honesty, I was angry that I was hearing this difference. I had two friends come over and listen, we swapped cables, they listened again, we swapped cables, and  they listened again. Everyone who heard the Ethernet cables had the same reaction… simply wow. I even had my wife do a series of blind tests, where she controlled the cable and I listened, and like other Wireworld components I could identify the cable every time.

The next test was placing the Starlight 8 and then the Chroma 8 between my Roon Core and the Ethernet switch with a standard Ethernet cable between my wall jack and my Rossini. In this configuration, I honestly could not hear a difference. If a difference was there, it was incredibly subtle. I then tried leaving the Chroma 8 on the Roon Core, and then replaced the cable between the Rossini and the wall-jack with the Starlight 8. The result here was overall better than just the Starlight 8 alone, with the main difference felt in scale and scope of the space. It grew just a little bit bigger. However, nothing compared to the difference that the Chroma 8 or Starlight 8 made on its own when connected between the wall plate and the Rossini. To cut to the chase, I am keeping the Starlight 8 Ethernet cable. Wireworld cannot have it back. While I find it hard to believe, a blind listening test does not lie and I am happy to make the improvement to my system.

Wireworld Eclipse 8 Speaker Cable

Let's start off with the first impression of the speaker cable. It is massive and it is heavy. When I picked up the shipping box I was shocked at its weight and even more shocked when I pulled the cabling out of the shipping case. I ordered the speaker cable at an 18ft length with spade connectors. Like all higher end Wireworld Cabling, the spade connectors were silver to ensure the best connection.

I allowed the speaker cable to burn in for over 200 hours before making any judgements. I have learned that with Wireworld's analog cabling the burn in really does help them sound their best and that my first impressions rarely match the long term performance. On first listen, the speaker cables sounded great, but maybe a little forward. After 200 hours the speaker cables sounded natural, clean, dynamic, and energetic. I find the Eclipse 8 line in general is neutral but leans slightly to the right (just a hair warm) which I greatly prefer.

While looks are not the most important thing, the Wireworld Eclipse 8 speaker cable looks incredibly impressive and will give the owner great pride when looking at it. During the time with this speaker cable I had multiple workers in the house and in my listening room in particular, and each time someone new walked in, they stared at the speaker cable and asked what it was. One even screamed  "holy cable Batman." Wireworld really does build beautiful cabling.

Of all the cabling Wireworld sent me, the speaker cabling made the biggest improvement in my sound system by far. In comparison to my previous cabling, the bass was dramatically better and much more dynamic. Detail sprung forward, and it almost sounded like I went from a 44.1kHz music file to a 88.2kHz or a 96kHz file. As I listened to the Mountain Goats Jordan Lake Sessions album, I played the song "No More Children," which I have heard probably upwards of 100 times on my system. The detail of the drums really caught my attention this time around, captivating me. As the lead singer began, it felt as if he stepped forward into the space, in a way that felt more real then I had heard before. Small micro-details became more clear over my other speaker cable. Listening to Jazz on this system also revealed some really incredible details that while were present previously were far more pronounced. Listening to Melody Gardot, Live in Europe, "Mira," I could hear the strings reverberate on the bass in a way that simply made the experience feel incredibly lifelike

The speaker cabling didn't have a drawback, but it did bring detail forward in a way that at times was simply a little too much. If your music is really well recorded, or your equipment glosses over noise in a recording then you will never hear this. However, with the DCS and the Soul 6, I found that all of the detail, both good and bad kept coming through with this cable. As an example, I love Liz Phair's album, Supernova, especially the song "Supernova." It is gritty and before introducing the Wireworld Eclipse speaker cable it was listenable on my system. With the Wireworld cable, the noise in the recording is simply presented in a way that is too much for me. To be clear the cabling is not doing anything wrong, it is just calling attention to the details in the recording, well recorded music will reveal wonderful details, less well recorded music…well simply won't.

I want to come back to the build quality of the eclipse, it really is incredible. I have had Kimber speaker cable, Zu speaker cable, and several other traditionally well known cable brands in my HiFi system, and I have never had a speaker cable that feels more solidly built. When I looked at the cross sections of the Wireworld speaker cable designs I was under the impression that the cable would be smaller because of the number of wire strands. Turns out Wireworld is using high gauge wire strands and this accounts for the size and weight. The cable does have one drawback,  it cannot bend on a dime. This cable will arch and require about a 5 inch radius to make a turn and will prefer closer to 8 inches. Of course this is not an issue and custom lengths can be ordered, just measure carefully.

The other thing I want to discuss is the speaker cable length to performance ratio. I have a few speaker cables that I have multiple lengths of, for example, I have one with 4 ft, 8 ft, and 16 ft lengths. As I move from shorter to longer lengths the detail retrieval traditionally decreases and I can clearly hear the difference between my 4 ft and 16 ft cable. While I did not have a short length of the Wireworld Eclipse speaker cable on hand, it clearly beat out other similar 4 ft length cables on detail retrieval.

At its retail price, the Wireworld Eclipse speaker cable is a great product when compared to other products in its category. I want to be realistic with my readers. If you sum the total of my DAC, AMPs, and Speakers, you end up with a system that retails for around $65k. At a 2 meter length, the Eclipse 8 speaker cable retaild for $1920, and is an easy additional to a system with a retail cost like mine. It is costly, and I still believe it should be a finishing touch not a starting point,  but is not totally and completely out of this world. Even adding this speaker cable to a system that retails for $20k would be beneficial as a finishing component. However please do not go out and spend ~$2k on speaker cables for a $10k system. You may hear the difference, but that money can probably be better spent on source components or speakers. For those that have systems in the $20k range and up, you should audition these cables, they are really spectacular.

Wireworld Eclipse 8 Interconnects

You can read about my thoughts on the Eclipse Interconnects HERE. My goal of requesting a 20 ft run of them for this review was to understand if I would hear a loss in performance as they got longer. I also wanted to see how they performed both as cabling running between my DAC and amplifiers, as well as between my DAC and subwoofers.

Let's start with the length question first. Interconnects, in my experience, are more forgiving then speaker cables for longer length runs, but you can still hear it when you double the length of the cable on the right system. The Eclipse 8 cables when compared between a 6 ft and 20 ft length really surprised me. I am not going to sit here and pretend that the 20 ft cable performed the same as the 6 ft cable. I am however, going to say that I was hard pressed to hear it when using the cables between the DCS and my amplifiers. Noise levels remained the same (nearly non-existent), dynamic appears to be the same, speed/tone/transients, all appeared un-touched. They simply sounded interchangeable. As someone who needs longer lengths just because of how my room is set up, I was really happy to finally find a cable brand where I could not hear the difference between 6 ft and 20 ft.

When Larry and I discussed the use of the Eclipse 8 RCA interconnects as inputs into my REL S510, we both chuckled that it seemed like overkill, especially given that I was crossing them in starting at about 45hz. Regardless  I wanted to see if there was detail I was leaving on the table. After connecting the S510 with the Eclipse 8 RCA cables, I began to listen. The bass did not seem louder or softer, it did not change from a quantity or quality standpoint. Nor should it have, however, I did feel like I got a bit more detail. This is a subjective perspective, but like speaker cable, I felt like lower level detail that traditionally was smudged over came forward. As per usual, the Wireworld Eclipse 8 RCA cables delivered. 

Wireworld Aurora 7 Power Cable

The first product I ever bought from Wireworld was the Stratus 7 power cable, it is the lowest power cable in their line. It is also exceptional and reasonably priced in comparison to anything else out there as an after market power cable. Does it make my equipment sound better? Yes it does. Is it night and day? I wouldn't say that, but with headphones I can hear the difference in single-ended tube amps, which for me is a reason enough to own them. I also have their Electra 7 power cable which is in the middle of their line. However, I have never listened to the Aurora 7 power cables, which sit in the middle of the Stratus and Electra series.

The Aurora 7 power cable, like all other Wireworld power cables, is a flat ribbon-like power cable. The IEC connector and 3 prong connector are both silver plated, to ensure the best electrical connection. I do want to underline the fact that these are really silver plated connectors. I know this not only because Wireworld tells me that, but because they tarnish over time. This is fine, and they clean up with a quick wipe of a jewelers cloth. It is a worthwhile price to pay to know that you have the the most conductive electrical interface at the beginning and end of your power cable.

The Aurora 7 power cable internals are made from silver clad OFC copper and use  Wireworld's second generation COMPOSILEX insulation. Wireworld's power cable philosophy is all about noise control. The combination of the cable's insulation and the cable's geometry prevent noise from getting into the cable. This also applies a low pass filter to ensure high frequency noise from your mains are reduced before reaching the power supply of your devices. The longer the cable, the more effective the low pass filter. In this review, Wireworld sent  two of their three meter Aurora 7 power cables, initially I was planning to hook them up to my subwoofers, but I actually ended up connecting them to my ampsandsound Zion amplifiers.

I sadly live in a place where the power from my mains is less than perfect. I use a PS Audio P12 power regenerator, and have a separate device in front of it that performs DC blocking. Regardless, I have still had transformer hum from my amplifiers. Since connecting the Aurora 7 power cables to my Zions, I have not heard the transformers hum. Replacing the cables with any of my other power cables, results in some hum, putting the Aurora back in the circuit, no hum. For me this meant they stayed. Wireworld cannot have these back either.

As for performance, while high end power cables can make a difference I often find it hard to hear it when it comes to music. Generally if you hear something, it will be when switching the high end power cable out for a standard cable or something far less interesting. Sometimes the high end cables honestly sound worse (I have sadly heard many that do). When I replaced a much more expensive after market power cable with the Aurora I was pleasantly surprised to not only hear no negative impacts, but to notice that once again fine detail seemed to come forward. What I heard sounded cleaner, but still fluid. If it did anything to the way the system leaned, it might have pushed it a hair more analytic then my system already was. For me this was okay, as my system already leaned slightly to the right of neutral, and still did, just with more detail, but with all things you have to be careful with how much you move that needle.

I am sure some will ask, so Stratus 7, Aurora 7, or Electra 7, which one? Honestly, the Aurora 7 really surprised me, it performed better then the Stratus 7, and while in some situations I could discern a difference between Electra 7 and Aurora 7, I found Aurora 7 to deliver 90%+ of the performance of Electra 7. It is likely that as I add or change power cables in the future that I will buy primarily Aurora 7 from now on.

Wrapping Up

Wireworld is one of my favorite cable brands. They simply deliver great build quality, excellent customer service, and a good sounding, well reasoned product. There are those out there who will claim cables cannot and do not make a difference. I understand why they think that because I also used to think that. Wireworld was the company that proved me wrong. Every product I have used of theirs has made an improvement or a change that makes sense. The value in high end cabling is very much in the eye of the beholder. As someone with a mid five-figure 2-channel system, buying cables like this can make sense. However, as I said above, do not buy high end cabling (Wireworld's entry-level lines are fantastic) for entry level systems. Do not buy flagship cabling for mid-level systems. There are better places to spend your money, but if you buy cabling that makes sense for the system you have, you will likely hear a difference, and you spend will be in line with the system you have. For those who are privileged enough to have a system like mine, Wireworld cabling is exceptional and has my highest recommendation. Audition it, touch it, try it, and I doubt you will return it.

Wireworld Eclipse Interconnects

Retail: From $400 for .5M pair

Wireworld Eclipse Speaker Cables

Retail: From $1920 for 2M pair

Wireworld Aurora 7 Power Cord

Retail: From $160 for 1M

Wireworld Starlight 8 Ethernet

Retail: From $237 for .5M

Wireworld Chroma 8 Ethernet

Retail: From $87.50 for .5M