In this review we are taking a look at the top of the line cable by Double Helix Cables – their Prion4 headphone cable.
Disclaimer: Double Helix Cables supplied the Prion4 free of charge. DHC is not affiliated with Headfonia and not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the generosity!
About Double Helix Cables (DHC):
Double Helix Cables is an American brand for boutique aftermarket cables formed by Peter Bradstock. DHC has been formed in 2009 and only three years later Peter has decided to commit his full energy and time to the project of bringing exciting and great sounding products to the market. According to their website, DHC’s true mission is to find the upper limits of headphone performance. In 2016, with the launch of their Prion4 headphone cable, they say that mission may as well have been reached.
DHC unlike most other companies in this segment, that is already obvious when you take a look at the product pages on their website. When you scroll through each site, you will notice that the detail of information is incredible. DHC even shows you exactly how their cables are made.
What also makes them stand out from a good number of their competition is the fact that they only use OCC Copper and OCC Silver. They refuse to plate any of their cables with gold or silver. Just pure materials for best conductivity. On top of that, DHC gives their customers the choice to 3D print the Y-split of their cables. I have yet to come across a single other manufacturer that offers this service and that’s definitely a very cool thing in my book.
Many industry standards have actually had their roots at Double Helix Cables’ houses. For example type 4 and type 6 Litz wires, the first direct soldered ultra short adapter, the first headphone cable with individually shielded conductors or the first cable with a conductive dampening core and many more. For a detailed list go visit their website.
The Prion4 is DHC’s ultimate flagship cable. It’s made of 18.8 AWG OCC Silver Litz wires. Each of the four wires on the Prion4 uses multiple bundle groups of strands. DHC spends a lot of time on their cable-geometry, and it’s no exception with their flagship cable.
It offers a hybrid multicore conductive center and cotton outer cores, with an anti-static conductive center core. The Prion4 features an integrated wire, that offers a complete multilayer construction around each signal wire. The goal is to create conditions around the internal litz silver strands, that allows them to perform to their true potential.
DHC of course gives you many options to customize your Prion4 cable. You can select between multiple headphone connections like 4 Pin mini XLR (Empyrean, LCD’s), HD800/S connections, 2.5 mm mono (HiFiMAN, Abyss Diana Phi) or many more.
It doesn’t end at the headphone connections though. You will also have to be sure with what amp/source you want to connect your Prion4 with. DHC offers many different headphone jacks and plugs, but one stands out of them. The PEERLESS 4 Pin XLR.
This one is made of Rhodium plated pure Silver pins and is only available for DHC’s Prion4 or sold separately as DIY product. We all know that Silver has one of the highest conductivities when it comes to transmitting signals, and choosing it as the material for the plug seems very bold. I have not seen any other plug using silver pins.
You can also customize the sleeving on your DHC cable. There are many different options to pick from, but there is also a Copper/Silver Prion4 Signature sleeve if you’re interested in having something Prion4 special.
A set of Prion4’s will start at 1,799$ and has a current build time of up to twelve weeks. Since DHC is a one-man-show the lead times are higher than usual.
My Prion4 is terminated to fit my Empyrean and comes with the afore mentioned PEERLESS plug. It features a black sleeve with blue and silver tracers.
The review continues on page two!