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$)
It is no surprise that these cables share a lot of similarities, and it also doesn’t shock me that the Leonidas II Octa has some key changes in the signature and performance in comparison to the regular L2.
Both cables have a neutral signature and perform on extremely high technical levels, but in comparison to the regular version, the eight-wire just outperforms it. I’ve always been impressed by the pitch-black background of Leonidas II, and I was skeptical if the upgrade could give me even more of that. It can.
The eight wire Leonidas II has an even darker background and seems more organized than Leonidas II. It renders with higher resolution and has better texture. Leonidas II Octa has a wider and deeper sound stage and extends a notch further into bass and treble.
The original to me though seems to be a bit richer, making audio a touch more alive, whereas the eight-wire can sometimes be a bit dry. In comparison the regular Leonidas II seems more organic and slightly warmer.
PW Audio – 1960s (4 wire, 1999$)
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.
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.