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I have become a big fan of Element Cable, never even having heard of the company three or four months ago. I think their Silver Serenade silver interconnects, Red Storm and ElementCord power cables are the steals of the decade. I was determined to hear something from their Signature line, and I am extremely glad I did. The Apollo Ultra Pure Silver Speaker cable is beautifully made, makes beautiful music, and would satisfy the most discerning listener, even those with speakers priced in the stratosphere.
I think I hammered the point home in my previous cable reviews that ultimately all audio cables are made of metal, plastic, synthetics, and various fibers. All legitimate cable manufacturers use high quality conductors and shielding material. It really comes down to the application and combination of these materials. That is why mega thousand dollar cables are an absurd notion to me, along with bizarre claims of strange processes, which cannot be proven to improve sound.
The Apollo starts at $1200, with a 6 foot pair costing roughly $1500. This certainly is not cheap. but considering the amount of actual silver in the cable, the care of construction, and the level of performance, I believe it is fairly priced. It should be noted that is essentially the top of my personal speaker cable budget. I also believe any potential buyer would have a speaker cable for life and would officially be off the upgrade merry go round. The Apollo is also available in a bi-wire configuration.
Q & A with Anthony Wynn of Element Cable:
Q: What are your challenges in designing a speaker cable as opposed to an interconnect?
With speaker cables there are more conductors to deal with compared to interconnects. I tend to spend most of my time tinkering with the cable's geometry once conductor and dielectric type has been decided on. With the larger mass of speaker cables, stiffness is an issue we also pay attention to. As you can see with Apollo, the cable is extremely flexible and easy to work with.
Q: There is alot of silver in the Apollo, how do you manage to keep the cost far below other similar cables?
Simple, by profiting less than the big name companies. We are a small company still making a name for ourselves, we have to offer top notched performance at a lower price to be competitive. Apollo would be a cable that sits at the top of other companies product line and priced for over $5000.
Q: Lastly, what is your favorite type of speaker design or designs to listen to? (Electrostats, Sealed Box, Horns etc).
I've enjoyed listening to all type of speaker designs, each one has their strengths and weaknesses I'm sure. Personally, I've always had sealed box, or bass reflex speakers.
Element Cable: www.elementcable.com
Reviewers Associated Equipment System 1:
CD Player: Naim CD5x, CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Kimber/QED/Acoustic Zen (AC)/Transparent (AC)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands.
Reviewers Associated Equipment 2:
CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox 3
DAC:CIA VDA-2 with XPS
Preamp: Belles Soloist 3
Amplifier: Revox A722
Speaker: Spendor S5e, Spendor S5R
Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant/Shunyata(AC)/PS Audio(AC), Pangea Audio/RS Cable/Element Cable
Accessories: Atacama Stands