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Tuesday, 30 December 2014
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Audio Art Cable Reviews
Set Up and Listening
Bonus Interview with Rob Fritz

ImageHigh performance audio cables are often the most controversial element of audiophile industry. This is generally due to the way they are marketed, and questionable claims made by wire manufacturers, and by the price escalation that has recently reached hard to fathom proportions. But one thing is beyond certain, the quality of cables vary just as much as the quality of any audiophile component. Skeptics love to take a stance against audiophile cables, and the amount of venom spewed is sometimes rather surprising. Anyone who has put any effort into assembling a system would know that good cables make a difference.

It certainly costs more to design and assemble a high quality cable over mass-produced fare that often is included with electronic components. Better material, high quality copper and silver, and really good connectors don’t come cheap. And then we have to account for the skilled labor required to assemble a cable. Unfortunately, some manufacturers spend a lot of capital on marketing, which adds to the cost. However, there are many cable manufacturers that do not, spreading the word the old fashioned way by getting reputable reviews, exhibiting at audio shows, and building a grassroots network of customers by offering a good value product.

I have invested a decent sum in cabling for system, but I have not gone overboard. I don’t associate the amount spent on the end result, as system matching is important. How cables became a status symbol is beyond me. That being said, there are a number of cable manufacturers whose main goal is to design and sell a high quality cable that performs at a high standard, and is built to last, at a fair price considering materials and labor.

One such company is Audio Art Cable, based in San Diego, CA, and run by the very personable Rob Fritz (who I also interviewed HERE). I arranged to review some of Audio Art’s products and before I knew it I had an entire loom of Audio Art cable to install in my systems. This included power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables.

First, a bit of background on Audio Art Cables. According to Fritz, “in 2003 I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial, to launch a business I could call my own. A couple years down the road, I found myself still searching for something I truly enjoyed.  I decided to explore options with one of my passions, high performance audio.  Hi-fi systems had long been an interest for me, in business and as a hobby, for 25 years at the time.  More so, listening to and enjoying recorded and live music had been a part of my life forever.

I had contacts in the audio industry from showroom and custom install businesses I had been involved with, and a couple of them were in the cable end of things. Wires and their effect on sound had been a curiosity for me from the start, so it seemed like it might be a natural progression to build a business around this product. Any roadblocks proved inconsequential, and things just took off from there

Based on my system configuration, Fritz sent over several pairs of interconnects, two pairs of speaker cables, and several power cords. I received the following signal cables and power cords:
  • two pairs of the IC-3SE, in 1 meter and 2 meter lengths, with Sound Connections Xhadow Precision RCA's ($390)
  • a pair of IC-3SE with Sound Connections Xhadow precision XLR’s ($530)
  • a pair of  SC-5SE(R) Speaker Cable with Furutech FP-201(R) Pure copper OCC Spades ($670)
  • a pair of SC-5SE(R) with Furutech FP-202(R) Locking Bananas ($705)
  • one Statement I High Current cable with Furutech FI-50(R) Plugs ($1095)
  • one Statement II with Furutech FI-28(R) plugs ($699).
 DH Labs Ultimate RCA’s are also available as well on the IC’s, by the way.


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