Disclaimer : Charleston supplied us the cable for review free of charge. But that gave me an idea you will read about in a bit*.
Charleston Cable Company has been a site advertiser for as long as I can remember, there’s no secret there. I have no idea however how Mike, years ago already, got in touch with Christopher and so I sent him an email. I like using different types and brands of cables and so we ended up with him sending me a new kind of cable.
I wasn’t really planning on doing a review on it in the beginning but after a few months of using the cable with so many of my headphones, I just felt I had to say something about it. I don’t get seduced to writing extended cable reviews very often and you won’t see me writing thousand words on how just one cable exactly sounds this time either. But there’s something special about this one.
One thing I especially like about the US based Charleston, is that they operate under the assumption that world class sound doesn’t have to be out of this world expensive. A lot of cable companies (and there are a lot!) are asking incredible amounts of hard earned money for a simple cable and that’s just wrong. I myself don’t mind paying a reasonable amount for a nice looking cable and I have ordered cables from all over the world and even had foreign DIY’ers make me some. Heck, if I didn’t have two left hands I’d even make them myself. But back to Charleston.
Charleston has three price categories for all of their cables. Each category exists for a different type of customer, and in each category they guarantee you will find a product that stands head and shoulders above everything else in its price class. They even offer a 14 day trial period and if you are not satisfied in any way you can send your purchase back for a full refund.
When Christopher, Charleston’s owner, sent me the cable, he on purpose didn’t tell me what he was sending. I had no idea how much it was worth and what it was made of. I just started listening and well, I liked it.
The nice thing about this cable is that it exists out of 3 pieces: Input – Middle – Output. The middle part is about 5’ long (1,5 meter) and is terminated with a 4 pin mini XLR on both sides. Yes, those are the tiny connectors the Audeze LCD series headphones use. Most people may not see the need for this and opt for the cheaper TRS or 4 pin XLR but using mini XLRs makes the cable even more flexible. It means you can switch both the input and output part based on your headphones and amplifiers. You could also use it as an interconnect or even a speaker cable if you’d want that.
Personally I only use it as a headphone cable myself. The input adapters I use are the standard 6.3mm TRS and the 4 pin XLR for balanced amplifiers. The output adapters I use are the SMC one for use with my Hifiman headphones and (again) the mini XLRs for my Audeze LCD2/XC. These adapters measure 2 to 3 feet making your cable a total length of about 10 feet.
As you can see in the pictures, the cable is nicely sleeved and beautifully made. (but aren’t they all?)
More after the click!