Talking and writing about the audio qualities of a cable is always fun as it brings a lot of controversy with it. There will always be two different groups of audiophiles. One that says cables don’t do anything worthwhile to the signal and the others claiming the contrary. I myself will be in the group of people who say there is audible differences between cables. If you don’t agree with me, fine, better for you, you save yourself quite some money.
When evaluating cables, I always reach out for my one monitor of choice – Katana. Noble’s co-flagship has the ability to tell me exactly how the signal changes with new components in the chain. I am also in the lucky situation to have not one, but two sets of it for direct comparison.
What struck me during my first session with the eight wire Eros II was the added weight in bass. Low ends seem to reach deeper with a touch more rumble. To my ears, there was also more resolution and texture in the mid-bass.
Midrange is more open and airier, especially vocals receive a good amount of air, which makes them appear more holographic and in front of you. What I especially liked was the increased dimensions in sound stage width and depth. Details get more articulated with higher resolution. Treble sounds clean and clear with brighter shimmer and more sparkle up top.
Cables and monitors, they should be matched just like gas and engines. You should always consider the signature of your monitor and how or what you want improved/changed. Don’t expect a cable to turn your monitor by 180° though, they’re not that magical.
To give you a better understanding of the Eros II’s performance, it’s best to deliver more insight on how it paired with different in ears of mine.
64 Audio – A12t (M20)
With this pairing I hear a slightly more elevated low end with improved extension in both directions. The sound stage to me seems wider and slightly deeper. Layering is better with higher precision. Treble is a bit brighter and crisper, some notes have a tinny feel to them though. Vocals seem more emotional and airier.
Empire Ears – Phantom
The beauty of this pairing is that the Eros II keeps the key-signature of Phantom strictly intact, however the dense vocals were improved and are now more flowing with better resolution. Overall the sound is more resolved and more open. The sound stage improved noticeably in width and depth. Singers appear more in front of you with a slight holographic feel. Treble is brighter, but not more agile.
Jomo Audio – Quatre (balanced filter)
The Quatre is a monitor I have been using a lot lately. The synergy between Quatre and Eros II 8-wire is wonderful. Outstanding extension on both ends of the spectrum, high resolution, great emotions and a very dynamic sound overall. Bass especially improved in resolution and texture compared to the stock Quatre. Sound stage, layering and imaging all went a step up. Very nice!
With aftermarket cables becoming more and more popular we see a good number of manufacturers too. Of course, there are a few products that cover the price-point of the bespoke Eros II. Today we look at two other cables. A bespoke sibling from Effect Audio and the latest product from Double Helix Cables.
Effect Audio – Bespoke Ares II (Cu; 300$)
The bespoke Ares II also is a more neutral cable. It however has smoother vocals with higher density. Eros II extends further and has a higher bass presence. Treble is crisper and sparklier with Eros II, while it is slightly more laid back and smoother on Ares II. The sound stage expands wider and deeper on Eros II 8w. Both cables do scale up the technical performance of a monitor nicely.
Double Helix Cables – Clone Fusion (Cu, Ag; 550$)
Both cables are very much alike in a lot of ways, both have excellent resolution and bring out even fine details. The DHC however has a warmer sounding lower midrange and a more forward mid- and upper bass. The EA is more neutral in comparison and has a richer upper midrange. It also features a more holographic sound compared to the technical Clone Fusion.
The bespoke Eros II is not your average warm or bright sounding cable, but has a rather neutralish tonality with a focus on details, air and sound stage dimensions. This makes it a very versatile accessory for a wide selection of monitors.
The quality of the cable is impressive as is the wide selection of components from Effect Audio. The PSquared plugs can only be acquired from EA and I highly recommend you invest the extra cash in these, as they get the cables to another level.
Effect Audio’s bespoke program gives their customers the option to upscale their regular line-up to double the wire count or to mix different cables together. Having heard the improvement from regular to bespoke I must admit, the eight-wire versions are indeed a nice upgrade and take your regulars to a whole new level.