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Darwin Cable Company Truth II Interconnect and Power Cables Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Article Index
Darwin Cable Company Truth II Interconnect and Power Cables
Page 2

There is one thing that all high end audio components require to function as a system, and that is signal and power cables. No getting around it. Of course, there is no market segment more controversial than audiophile cabling. This is partially due to questionable scientific claims and pricing that would make even true believers raise an eyebrow. The great news is there are a good number of smaller cable designers that offer products at all price points, made with the greatest of care, and that use their unique take on established audio cable design principles.. One such example is the Foxtrot and Symphony duo I reviewed recently from U.K. firm Black Rhodium. The are among the best sub $300 cables I had heard.

Another company that is at the top of my list is the Darwin Cable Company.  I have been around the block with the firm’s earlier cables, and their Truth and Ascension cables are among the best I have heard at any price at that point time, several years ago. Tony Bender and Bill Magerman, the principles of Darwin Cable are among the most passionate audiophiles and cable designers I have dealt with, and the products are made in the U.S.A with careful selection of materials and some distinct design goals.

Among these design goals are the use of solid core silver wire, the use of cryogenics, low mass connectors, air dielectric, and low capacitance. Probably their most important mantra is the end result must be neutral and transparent. Darwin Cables are not to be used as tone controls. This is similar to the philosophy of Wireworld, whose cables I reviewed last year. Using cables to “tune” your system is not a recommended approach according to both, and I agree.

Darwin, to my understanding, zeroes in on the final design in no less than four reference systems, which they detail on their website. Hearing the cables in multiple rooms with different components is really a unique and intelligent way to get an idea if the design goals are being met.  I believe there are things that measurements cannot tell us, and that human senses are the ultimate measurement instrument for final voicing.

Tony Bender contacted me and asked me if I would like to take a listen to their Truth II interconnects, and power cables. The last time I reviewed Darwin cables, they had no power cords in the lineup. I was absolutely curious to hear what they guys at Darwin had done to improve the original Truth series. The Truth II, typical for Darwin, was the result of several years of development that included trial and error, experimentation, and a lot of listening to get the result they were after.   To borrow what I said from earlier reviews, the name Darwin is apropos, as their cables evolve over time through a determined and organic process. I am inclined to believe there are no miracles in cable development, but I am sure there are some “eureka” moments at times during the process which can be applied. discussed my current set-up with Darwin and Tony agreed to send the following: Two 1M pairs of the Truth II XLR cable ($1195), a 1M pair of the Truth II RCA cables ($1095), and two Truth II Black PC cables ($1295). The cables are beautifully made, attractive in appearance, if that matters to you, and the terminations are absolutely first rate. And all of this should be considering the prices, which without a doubt, are not entry level,  In fact, these cables are hitting the upper limit of what I would consider reviewing or purchasing.

“The second generation of Darwin Cables was no small challenge,” said Darwin Co-Founder Tony Bender. “We knew low mass, air dielectric cables with the precise materials were the key. You might liken the original design to a drag racer. Super fast from start to destination. Performance—speed and accuracy—was everything.”

The sleek design required a 4” radius at the connection for the tubing (a variant of Teflon, with silver conductors inside) to float from connection to connection. “That minimalist design still works beautifully and it’s resilient,” Lead designer Bill Magerman said, “Our goal with the Darwin Series II cables, was to advance sonic performance, flexibility and durability.”

Magerman incorporated a convoluted (ribbed) tube with superior dielectric properties and internally pushed the envelope far past convention—he won’t reveal exactly what he did—but the effect is wall-of-sound obvious. “We experimented with conventional schools of thought when we decided to advance Bill’s original design,” Bender said. “But we figured out manufacturers were making a lot of concessions to sound in order to mass produce cables. At this point, we can look at a cable design and identify its shortcomings. Science is science.” 

As for conductors, ”silver, because it is 7% more conductive than copper, simply performs better,” Magerman said. “But a bad design will accentuate its properties, and poor designs have given silver cables a reputation for being ‘bright’.” I agree with Magerman that silver being “bright” in general is simply a falsehood repeated over the years, and any forwardness is just a bad cable, and has nothing to do with silver. “The reality is, when you get it right, the sound is huge. Rich, full and organic,” Bender added. “The gauge is of the utmost importance. Skin effect, in which higher frequencies gravitate to the ‘skin of the conductor and arrive sooner than other frequencies, leads to listener fatigue.” 

“Capacitance is another key to performance,” Magerman said. The 1M Truth II RCA Interconnect measures an astonishing 7.20 pF/ft, which they believe to be the lowest in the industry. “Higher capacitance cables have large amounts of energy stored and released in unscheduled fashion. Our goal is to have the most pristine, neutral signal possible.” Magerman said. The company is also a believer in cryogenics. They use NASA-caliber CryoWise II cryogenics on Truth II and Ascension II Series cables and industry standard cryogenics on other cables.


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