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WyWires Platinum RCA Interconnects

06-18-2020 | By Sam Rosen | Issue 109

WyWires Platinum RCA Interconnects

As I sit back, listening to Melody Gardot on my Hifiman HE1000SE, things just sound right. While my system has always sounded great, and I have an excellent system consisting of a Chord Dave / M Scaler, custom built tube amplifiers from ampsandsound, and a plethora of excellent headphones to choose from, I always felt like there was something missing. That feeling is gone now, thanks to the incredible WyWires Platinum RCA interconnects that I have been reviewing over the past few months.

This is not the first time WyWires has graced my system. My reference headphone cable is a WyWires Platinum headphone cable, custom built by Alex Sventitsky (the owner of WyWires). This cable allows me to use the same cable for all of my amps and headphones (an important feature for a headphone reviewer). Over the past year or so I have done several headphone cable reviews, and still to this day I have not found a headphone cable that beats the WyWires Platinum. This is especially true at 20ft lengths which is what I require for my headphone setup. After having had such a good experience with his headphone cable, I was left curious about Alex's interconnects.

Curiosity finally got the better of me, and in late March I reached out to Alex and requested a set of RCA interconnects for review. Specifically, I requested two 1.5 ft Platinum interconnects, a 3 ft Platinum interconnect, and a 4 ft platinum interconnect, this allowed me to re-cable every analog interconnect in my primary headphone system with WyWires.

WyWires has four cable lines: Blue, Silver, Platinum, and Diamond. I chose to evaluate Platinum for two reasons: first because of my good experience with the Platinum headphone cable, and second because the costs of the Platinum cables made sense in my system.

I asked Alex what market segment he targets with the Platinum series of interconnects, and he indicated that he felt the Platinum interconnects made sense in systems that retailed for $25,000 and up. I think he is spot on with this point of view. In a system that retails for $25,000, his cable prices make sense, and as you will see later on in this review, they bring performance that is excellent regardless of price.

Arrival, Unboxing, and Look / Feel

I had an idea of what to expect from my previous purchases from WyWires. Each cable arrived in its own Ziploc bag, and each interconnect had a certificate of authenticity signed by Alex himself.

I had assumed the RCA cable itself would be similar in thickness to my existing Platinum headphone cables, but the RCA interconnects are quite a bit thicker, at least double the thickness. I was surprised by how light the cables felt, I think this is due to the use of air (via a cotton wrap) and PTFE as the dielectric. The cables themselves bent easily, however they can kink if you try and bend them too much. In practice this was never an issue, but it was something I was aware of as I connected and routed my cables.

The standard RCA connectors are high end Furutech connectors. They are heavy and beautiful to look at. They are locking RCA connectors, which I am personally not as big of a fan of, however I found just leaving them unlocked kept them snug on my equipment's RCA terminals, but allowed for easier cable swapping. The only issue is that like any high end RCA connector, the Furutech connectors will not work with devices that have recessed RCA connectors, like the Chord Hugo 2. To handle this, Alex made me a second 1.5ft Platinum interconnect with neutrik RCA connectors. Not as pretty, but it ensured that no matter the device, I could always connect it into my system using Platinum interconnects.

WyWires interconnects are directional, and each cable has heat shrink wrapping that indicates the signal direction to make them easy to install. The cable itself is wrapped in white tubing with a black stitch pattern, and the shielding under the exterior casing is silver. The result is when the light hits these cables, they almost appear to glow. This may seem silly, but in a system like mine, retailing at $25,000 or more, the cables are on display as much as the components, and these cables look the part.

I asked Alex what his cables are made out of, and the answer was copper litz wire and solid copper core with an air and PTFE dielectric, wrapped in mylar shielding. The result is a cable with 9.2 pF of capacitance per foot, which should allow it to perform well for both short and long cable runs. The formula for the Platinum cable has gone through four revisions, however Alex is finally happy with it, and he does not see it changing anytime in the foreseeable future. I will be honest, I am not sure how he could improve on it

The Review System

  • Custom Roon Core Server
  • Pro Ject Streambox S2 Ultra
  • Chord M Scaler
  • Chord Dave
  • Schiit Freya S Pre-amp
  • ampsandsound Bigger Ben
  • ampsandsound Custom Kenzie
  • FTA Callisto USB Cable
  • Wireworld Platinum Starlight BNC Cables
  • WyWires Platinum RCA Interconnects
  • WyWires Platinum Headphone Cable
  • Hifiman HE1000SE, Hifiman Susvara, Focal Stellia

In my review system setup the Chord Dave is connected to the Schiit Freya S using the 1.5ft Platinum RCA interconnect. The Freya S is set to passive mode to ensure as much transparency as possible. The two headphone amplifiers are connected to the Freya S using the 3ft and 4ft Platinum RCA interconnects.

Alex recommends 200 hours of break-in time, with the first 100 hours being critical for this cable. This was true both for the interconnects and my headphone cable. I found on first listen the interconnects come off treble forward and bass light, just like the Platinum headphone cable did when I first got it. I put the cables into my secondary system and burned them in for about 100 hours before putting them back in my primary system. The improvement was substantial, and those who do not believe that "burn in" is necessary should do a before and after comparison on these cables, as the difference will be striking. The peaky treble was gone, the bass became fuller, and the midrange was well developed. However, I noticed the cable continue to get better over the next 100 or so hours. During this time, the lower end really developed, got deeper, and provided substantially more detail. At the same time, the midrange gained additional space between artists and instruments.

The point I want to make is this, make sure you give these cables their full 200 hours. Put them in another system if you would like, but make sure you give them 200 hours of actual running time before passing judgment. Don't get me wrong, they sound great out of the box, and they sound great at 100 hours, but they sound incredible at 200 hours. For this review I focused on the cable after the first 200 hours.

A Spacious Presentation

WyWires Platinum RCA Interconnects

The thing that attracted me to the WyWires Platinum headphone cable was its spacious and detailed presentation. When I first listened to the Platinum interconnects I was struck by how much space appears in the recording. It was as dramatic as comparing a recording to a live performance. It changed the realism of my system, from an amazing playback experience, to something more resembling a simulation of actually being in the same space as the artist. It was truly striking, and going back and forth with other RCA interconnects I had on hand (ranging from $300 - $2000) made it even more apparent how different, and how much more lifelike the WyWires interconnects made my system sound.

These cables also breathed new life into my system from a dynamics perspective. Music just sounded bigger and more alive. Again, I liken the difference to the difference between a recording and actually being in the room. Cymbals in particular became much more detailed and nuanced, to the point that I can close my eyes and imagine exactly how it is being hit, and how it is shaking on its stand. This level of detail extends to every part of the recording. Kick drums, vocals, guitars, violins, and everything in between, became more detailed and nuanced. Again, my system was never veiled, it was always detailed, but these cables are able to transform the detail into a cohesive experience that makes things seem truly real. In a way, they lift a veil that must have existed. For those of you out there who love movies, it is as if the film grain has been entirely removed from the frame.

Sometimes when you add components as revealing as these cables are, they sound great with well recorded music, but expose every flaw with a "normal" recording. I am happy to say the WyWires Platinum interconnects don't fall into this trap. When listening to well recorded music, Norah Jones, for example, the detail, the space and, the balance are perfect. When listening to modern pop music, which is not recorded and engineered to the same standards, I am still left wanting little to no improvements. These cables pull out every bit of detail they can find, and create cohesive experiences no matter the source material. Of course well engineered music sounds better, but when I want to listen to Modest Mouse or Ariana Grande I am impressed and surprised at how much detail and space my system is able to extract. Simply put, I am amazed at the realism that these interconnects create.

I find having these cables in my system makes it hard for me to walk away from it. Even if I do not like the song being played, I find myself drawn in, just enjoying the sound of voices or instruments. Trying to listen to music and do other things at the same time with these interconnects has become next to impossible, and I can easily be drawn into four, five, or even ten hour listening sessions if I am not careful. It has gotten so challenging to walk away that when I need to be done listening, I have to mute the system between tracks. If the next track starts before I click pause, I won't get up.

What would I change?

To cut to the chase, I think these cables are perfect. I would not change a single thing about them. They took my system from an incredibly impressive and cohesive musical experience, to a music simulation that puts you in the same room as the artist.

To be frank, even though I dislike this metaphor, it sounds like sci-fi and a bit cheesy, but as I listen to music using Alex's cables I find myself unable to describe the experience as anything else; I am simply transported to the recording studio. When I close my eyes it creates a perfect picture no matter the recording. A musical simulation simply fits the description.

Wrapping Up

WyWires Platinum interconnects are not cheap, staring at $1799 for a 4ft cable, this cable is priced like a component. I am incredibly happy to say it performs like a component, and looks the part as well.

For those who have read my other cable reviews, you may remember that I always relate things back to value. I want cables to be no more than 20% of the cost of your system. WyWires Platinum interconnects are a no brainer in $25,000 systems. I question if they may be a no brainer as well in systems retailing for as little as $10,000. The effect that the 1.5ft Platinum RCA cable had on a Chord Hugo 2 and a LTA MZ3 was nearly as profound as the effect they had on my main system, and that combo retails for under $6000.

About 4 weeks into my review, I called Alex and purchased the interconnects he sent me for review. I have listened to so many interconnects ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, and the WyWires Platinum RCA interconnects are simply profound. A sincere thanks to Alex and the rest of the WyWires team. I don't know how you did it, but you made something truly special here.

If your system meets the criteria and your wallet can handle the cost of his cables, give Alex a call and order a set. He offers a 30 days trial period, so there is little to no risk. I asked Alex if he gets many returns, and he laughed and said "very few ever come back." After spending a few months with them, I am not surprised, and my cables are not going back either.

Platinum Interconnects

Retail: $1799