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Q & A with Anthony Wynn of Element Cable:
Q: Is there anything in your mind that could justify a pair of interconnects or a set of speaker cables costing $5000, $10,000, or even more?
"If you consider the overhead expenses, R&D, labor, advertising, markups by the manufacturer and dealer, and if the cable uses exotic materials such as Palladium, Gold, etc., it's easy to see how a pair of cable can be priced at a few thousand dollars. But no ,not $10,000 and more."
Q: Understood. But if we isolate just R&D, materials, and labor, would you say that high six figure cables seem to have no basis in reality in their pricing?
"If there is a cable worthy of a high six figure price tag, I have not encountered it."
Q: Why do you think many audiophiles prefer silver conductors over copper?
"Silver is the best electrical conductor. With silver, you get a more direct, detailed, and transparent sound. But, copper remains the most popular conductor choice with audiophiles. It's tough to say which makes a better cable. There are things copper does better than silver such as tonal colors, richness, and body. It really all depends on system synergy and the listener's preference. For this reason, Element Cable designs our Signature line with different "flavors" to meet the preferences of all audiophiles."
Q: Very interesting, can you elaborate a bit on how you can fine tune cables from your Signature line to meet a customers specific needs?
"Every conductor has its own characteristics, with experience, one can alter these characteristics to a certain degree. We don't fine tune each pair of cable to each customer. What Element Cable Signature does is to recommend which of our product has the tonal characteristics the individual is looking for. For instance, if a client is looking specifically for a warm, soft, and laid-back sound, we have a recommendation that meets his needs."
Q: Your cables are light and easy to work with. Do you believe that low mass cables are better?
"I've heard excellent designs with low mass and high mass. I've experimented with high mass damping compound in the past with great results. So no, I don't believe a low mass cable is better, it all depends on the whole make up of the cable."
Q: Can you give us an idea of what your reference system consists of and what you generally use as a source..vinyl, digital, etc?
"My system consists of Avalon Ascendant speakers, Audio Valve (Germany) Tube amps and preamps, Michell Engineering turntable, Morch arm, and ZYX cartridge combo. Phono is Tom Evans "The Groove". For digital I use Sony XA9000es. I also have a solid state system. We use both systems in our cable testing as well as systems belonging to our audiophile friends."
Q: Lastly, Do you believe the economic environment we are hopefully emerging from has given small firms like yours an advantage in that price to performance ratio has never been more important to audiophiles?
"No, I believe the current state of our economy has hurt us all, companies large and small. I recently read somewhere a list of prominent audio companies that have been a part of our hobby for a long time going under. A number of small companies has gone under as well. I do believe our clients appreciate our price to performance ratio and will continue to invest in quality cables, especially as the economy improves."
Conclusion of Part I:
Ten or fifteen years ago, it would not have been possible for small and direct to consumer audio cable companies to offer the type of quality that both RS Cables and Element Cable are offering at their low prices. Obscenely low that is, compared to some of their competitors who distribute through a traditional dealer only network, and spend loads on expensive full page ads in audio magazines. If you believe spending a ton on cables will guarantee better results, then there is no need to read on. But if you are open minded, I assure you will be shocked at the level of performances from designers like Richard Sachek and Anthony Wynn. Both are extremely well versed in cable theory, and have somehow figured out how to bring to market superb cables that do not compromise on materials or construction. Both offer money back guarantees, but I'd bet they get very few cables back.
RS Cables: http://rscables.com
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Element Cable: www.elementcable.com
Contact Information: email@example.com
Reviewers Associated Equipment System 1:
- CD Player: Naim CD5x with Flatcap 2X
- Preamp: Audio Research SP16
- Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Perreaux Eloquence 150i.
- 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
- Accessories: Atacama Stands