The Furutech Flux Series Cables Review 
Home Theater Accessories AV Cables
Written by Andre Marc   
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I have reviewed cables and accessories from many different types of companies, including one man operations, modest sized operations, and established larger firms. Each has their own approach, and each has certain advantages. Small companies can deal direct with customers and provide a more personal approach and personalized recommendations. Larger, name brand firms may have economies of scale, which allow them to control costs and offer a larger variety of products at all price points. Regardless, I can say I have had good experiences across the board, especially when the designers are dedicated to maximizing sonics, and rely on valid engineering principles instead of fads.

Furutech Co. Ltd -- founded in 1988 and based in Japan, but with offices and facilities around the world -- is a very well established entity. They make a dizzying array of products across a wide spectrum. These include high-end and expensive vinyl accessories, power distribution and filtering products, top shelf connectors, plugs, parts, and even car audio products. Under their recently established ADL brand, they now make cutting edge headphone amps and DACs.

Perhaps Furutech has made their biggest impression stateside with the analog cables and power products. These have long been highly regarded and well reviewed. The respect for the Furutech cable brand stems from the fact the company is known to use impressive engineering and advanced materials in their designs. No claims of magical properties, no trying to reinvent the wheel with bizarre concepts, and no absurd marketing campaigns.  

I received in for a review a complete Furutech Flux cabling loom, including RCA terminated interconnects, spade terminated speaker cables, and a bunch of power cables. I decided to introduce the cables in series, starting with the interconnects, then installing the speaker cable, followed by the power cords on all components. This turned out to be a good strategy, as I was able to see what each set of cables was contributing. A word of note: these are not entry level cables. They come with a substantial price tag, and are the most expensive cables I have had in my system to date.  The prices, as of publication, are $2600 per meter pair of RCA interconnect, $3600 per pair of eight-foot speaker cable, and $1800 per two-meter run of power cord.

Furutech Technology Cable and Connector Technology

Below are some of the proprietary technologies Furutech says makes the Flux series unique. Far more extensive information is available on the Furutech website.

Piezo Ceramic & Carbon: A special material in the products combines two “active” materials: Nano-sized ceramic particles and powdered carbon. Only nano-sized ceramic particles effectively couples with carbon powder. Nylon and fiberglass are incorporated as well forming an extremely effective, well damped, mechanically and electrically non resonant connector body. They are electrically damped as well.

Piezoelectric effects are the key: Furutech’s design is based on employing nano-sized polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramic particles exhibiting electro-generative properties; mechanical pressure creates an electrical charge forming a bridge between electrical and mechanical oscillation.Carbon powder exhibits thermal-conductive characteristics that interact with the charged ferro-ceramic particles converting their energy into heat that’s conducted away and released from the surface of the connector body.

Furutech’s Two-Stage Cryogenic and Demagnetization: Furutech developed a low-temperature two-stage process that significantly improves every facet of audio and video performance. The treatment begins during the manufacturing process with a deep, conditioning cryogenic freeze of all metal parts. Using high-end refrigerants -- liquid N2 or He.




Ring Demagnetization Treatment: This patented process uses controlled attenuation to completely eliminate magnetization for immediately more vivid and colorful improvements. Ring Demagnetization further enhances conductivity of all treated materials. The patent holder for this treatment is Sekiguchi Machine Sale Co., Ltd. in Japan; Furutech are licensed users of the technology.

Set Up & Listening


The interconnects were the top tier LineFlux models, RCA terminated, but they are also available with XLR connectors. According to Furutech, "the interconnects feature solid-core α (Alpha) OCC conductor, double-layer shielding, and a high-grade polyethylene dielectric with insulating materials that further dampen the transmission line. The substantially-built extremely nonresonant RCA or XLR connectors are finished in layered carbon fiber and stainless steel with rhodium-plated pins."  

I was sent a 1-meter pair for source to linestage, and a 3-meter pair as well. I ended up using those to connect a pair of Burson mono block amplifiers. Since the whole set of cables was well burned in from use at trade shows, I gave all the cables just a few days of use before critical listening. After those few days, I was treated to an incredible combination of body, smoothness, detail, and vibrancy. Music came alive, with absolutely no part of the frequency spectrum being spotlit.

The LineFlux interconnects did offer up the most seductive, dimensional midrange I have experienced from any cable. There was all the transparency you could hope for, with a shimmering high-end, and a somewhat warm, yet articulate bottom end. No matter the genre of music, there was a coherence and a pleasing smoothness to the presentation that was simply addicting. Overall, one of the very best, most holographic sounding interconnects that have been in my system. And certainly the most expensive.

Next up where the SpeakerFlux speaker cables. The SpeakerFlux cables also feature (Alpha) OCC Pure Transmission Conductors, rhodium-plated nonmagnetic pure copper spades (Type CF-201R), and high grade PE that Furutech says reduces capacitance for improved vibration damping. The SpeakerFlux cables are beautiful to look at, if one takes note of these things, and it is built to standard that is quite impressive. As a matter of fact, they are over the top in the attention to detail and durability.

The SpeakerFlux cables added an additional layer of smoothness and refinement to the presentation. They were very much voiced like the interconnects, with a beautiful midrange and deep, taut bass. Everything was correctly balanced, and the noise floor was amazingly low. It is difficult to articulate or explain easily "noise levels in cables." However, one can hear the music emerge from more distinct, "blacker" backgrounds. I wish there was a less clichéd, more specific set of terms to explain it.

I thought the SpeakerFlux cables were allowing as much musical information to flow from amplifier to speaker as I have experienced in the listening room. I have had some very good speaker cables in the system, but none have bettered the SpeakerFlux. In just about every performance parameter, the Furutech SpeakerFlux are world class.

The last cables to be installed in the system were the PowerFlux power cables. They may have the most technology of any of the cables under review. This is no surprise, given Furutech’s expertise in power distribution. The PowerFlux uses 68 strands of Alpha OCC twisted around μ–conductor strands with a special grade PE dielectric. Alpha conductors, by the way, are fine OCC wire treated with Furutech’s Alpha Cryogenic and Demagnetizing process. The dielectric is surrounded by an inner sheath of RoHS compliant PVC incorporating carbon powder, which is then covered by a full α Alpha conductor wire braid shield.

These power cables use Furutech’s Piezo Ceramic Series connectors. The FI-50 series connectors are very expensive too, and some of the most impressive I have come across. According to Furutech, the connector housings are made of, "multiple layers of carbon fiber in a damping and insulating acetal copolymer, surrounded by nonmagnetic stainless steel bands. The connector bodies combine two 'active' materials: Nano-sized ceramic particles and powdered carbon. Nylon and fiberglass are incorporated as well forming an extremely effective, mechanically and electrically non resonant connector body."

I installed four PowerFlux power cords throughout the system. I can safely say they were responsible for the single biggest leap forward in the performance of the system overall. I have a dedicated line, and Audience power conditioners, and some pretty good power cords from Acoustic Zen, Mojo Audio, Shunyata, and Element Cable. The PowerFlux was at another level completely. And it since it costs ten times more than the most expensive power cord in my system, maybe this is what I should have expected.

Specifically, the PowerFlux loom added clarity, speed, and refinement to the system that no other set of power cables was able to match. The PowerFlux cables were used on a variety of tube and solid state components and, without exception, it brought each component to a new performance level.  Since the cables I received were already well burned in, the effects I heard were pretty immediate.  

It came to the point that I was not looking forward to removing the cables from the system, but alas, there was no getting around it. The cables were needed for duty at a trade show, and my bank account was not worthy of purchasing them outright. It must be noted that Furutech has several less expensive tiers of cable, engineered to perform at very high levels, for those with more modest budgets.

 

Furutech PowerFlux
Conclusion

With the whole system linked with Furutech cabling, there was a distinct synergy. It is often said the best cable is no cable at all, and I agree. Since we must use cables, we try to seek out the ones that do the least amount of harm and don’t impede the flow of information from component to component, component to speaker, and wall socket to power supply. Furutech, in my experience, has hyper-engineered some of the best cable solutions I have ever heard. They do this with superb materials, build quality, ultra pure conductors, and other proprietary technologies. Their connectors are even sought out and used by other cable manufacturers, which certainly says a lot.

These are not inexpensive cables. For those who have invested significant sums into room and systems, I can’t recommend an audition of the Furutech Flux series of cables any stronger. They will be commensurate with the very best components and speakers out there, bar none. If you can stretch your budget to afford these cables, give them a listen. The pride of ownership, build quality, and sonics are off the charts.


Specifications



Furutech Flux Series
www.furutech.com
  • LineFlux RCA interconnect: $2600 per 1 meter pair
  • Speaker Flux speaker cable: $3600 per 8 foot pair
  • PowerFlux power cord: $1800 per 2 meter length



Review System 1


CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1, John Kenny Ciunas USB DAC
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Bob Carver Black Magic, Rogue ST 100
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids, Darwin Ascension (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Audioquest, Forest, WireWorld Ultraviolet, DH Labs USB(USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2


CD Player: Onkyo C7000R
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, Burson Conductor
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600,
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, KEF LS50
Cables: Darwin Cables Silver IC, Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Transparent MusicWave (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Mojo Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold, KECES XPS








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