Review: Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Comparisons:

The price of Leonidas II Octa doesn’t give me many options for this section. Most interesting however will be to find out how the double-sized Leonidas II fares up against the regular version. Let’s find out!

Effect Audio – Leonidas II (888$)

It is no surprise that these cables share a lot of similarities, and it also doesn’t shock me that the Leonidas II Octa has some key changes in the signature and performance in comparison to the regular L2.

Both cables have a neutral signature and perform on extremely high technical levels, but in comparison to the regular version, the eight-wire just outperforms it. I’ve always been impressed by the pitch-black background of Leonidas II, and I was skeptical if the upgrade could give me even more of that. It can.

The eight wire Leonidas II has an even darker background and seems more organized than Leonidas II. It renders with higher resolution and has better texture. Leonidas II Octa has a wider and deeper sound stage and extends a notch further into bass and treble.

The original to me though seems to be a bit richer, making audio a touch more alive, whereas the eight-wire can sometimes be a bit dry. In comparison the regular Leonidas II seems more organic and slightly warmer.

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

PW Audio – 1960s (4 wire, 1999$)

The only other cable I have that comes close in price. PW Audio’s 1960s is a pure copper cable with a coaxial design. Though it’s a four-wire configuration it can be considered an eight-conductor type, just like the Leonidas II Octa.

To me the Leonidas II Octa has a darker background and renders with higher care. It brings out more resolution and gives better contrast. Instruments stand out cleaner and overall the Leonidas II Octa sounds purer than the 1960s.

Both cables create a large stage and give the performers more than enough room to do their job, but the EA cable does best the PW in terms of width and depth, even though it’s not by a big margin.

Leonidas II Octa has a cleaner and more neutral signature, that comes with a fatigue-free treble section, whereas the 1960s can be hard on the edges in its highs. I wouldn’t recommend using the 1960s with a monitor that already has an agile top end, while the EA sure won’t be a problem for any signature. It matches the market better for that matter.

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

Conclusion:

Leonidas II Octa doesn’t alter the signature of your monitor too much, but rather improves its strengths further. It gives you a new beast to listen to, a way to rediscover your favorite monitor.
Sometimes you have to wonder if a cable will fit the sound of your IEM, not with the Leonidas II or Leonidas II Octa.

For me it’s always hard to put out recommendations for cables, especially if they come at this price. I could pay two months’ worth of rent for that kind of cash, but this hobby is a little nuts and I don’t want to talk about the sums I have already spent on it…

If there is one cable I recommend in a heart-beat it’s the Leonidas II and I’m having a real hard time not to do the same with the Leonidas II Octa. It’s fantastic and something I consider true portable HiFi. If you already have the original and want to upgrade for the sound benefits you should go ahead. If you want one of the best cables available and have the money to burn, give the Leonidas II Octa a serious consideration.

The Leonidas II Octa is a step up from the original and our latest entry to the Best Accessory section.

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

    8 Comments

    • Reply March 21, 2019

      Steven Zore

      I’m wondering how much of a difference there is between the 4 wire and 8 wire versions…

      • Reply March 22, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Steven,
        thanks for your comment.
        There is a difference, but it isn’t exactly huge. A comparison between 4 and 8 wired versions is included in the article.
        Have a great weekend!

        • Reply March 29, 2019

          Steven Zore

          Oh, yes, I see that. But I wonder in general what the 8 wire gives you. I’m torn between Eros II+ 8 wire, or the new Cleopatra…

          • Reply March 29, 2019

            Linus

            In comparison 8-wire cables have a bigger sound stage and better technical performance over their 4-wire siblings. I can’t say anything about the Cleopatra yet, but once it’s here, I’ll share my impressions of course 🙂

            Personally, I am a 4-wire guy, as I prefer the comfort of them, and some also sound splendid – like the Leonidas II 😉

    • Reply March 22, 2019

      Bill

      Hi, great review! It sounds like there isn’t really a lot of difference between the 4 and 8 wire Leo. Have you tried the 8 wire Leo with A12t? Wondering how that sounds.

      I currently use a Thor Bespoke with A12t and wondering if it is worth upgrading to the Leo Octa or just the Leo II?

      • Reply March 22, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Bill,
        thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
        Well, there is a difference, but it’s not huge.
        The Leonidas II is one of my favorites with the A12t. Just this week I did get to enjoy it again for two days straight. Had to take a short me-time-break from the review-queue. 🙂
        I can’t say anything about the bespoke Thor, but the Leonidas II sure is awesome. If you have the chance, go and try it.

    • Reply March 23, 2019

      Bill

      Cool, thanks Linus. Appreciate the reply. I used to have the Leo II but stupidly sold it without giving it a proper chance, so will but again.

      I just picked up a Dita Oslo and waiting for that to come in, should be interesting.

      BTW, it was your review of the A12t that made me want to pick it up and so glad I did, thanks :-).

      • Reply March 23, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Bill,
        no worries, glad to help.
        Leonidas II is an excellent cable.
        Ah yes, the Oslo cable.
        That’s so cool, thanks a lot for telling me! The A12t is one of my personal favorites. 🙂

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