The original Leonidas is a cable I hold up very high. It’s one of my personal favorites for almost all my monitors. During Christmas last year, Effect Audio had a special Limited Black Edition Leonidas on sale, only 30 units were made. I have one of them, because I couldn’t pass on the chance of an improved Leonidas.
The first-generation Leonidas is known for a smooth sound, good bass impact and a natural timbre with heaps of details. It was a real game changer for many cable enthusiasts. When I first heard about the plans for a new Leonidas a few months ago, I couldn’t get my head around how to improve such a landmark of a cable. Effect Audio has done it however.
Leonidas II sports one of the highest resolved sounds I have heard in a portable cable to date. It’s like when you see a 4K UHD screen, it just blows you away. It sports incredible clarity and purity in the signal, where nothing seems veiled or colored. The instrumental separation, layering and imaging are just superb. With an impressive deep dark background, where every note just stands out clear as day.
Leonidas II hasn’t forgotten where it came from though, it still sports the Effect Audio house-sound. Which to me is a smooth and organic appearance in the midrange. However, the resolution is just incomparable. Every instrument sounds organic and well defined. Vocals sport a good portion of emotions and have very nice amounts of air around them for a holographic touch.
The sound stage of it is mighty wide and deep with excellent extension. The instruments are placed very carefully and precise in the constructed room, where every musician can be pin-pointed out of the entire orchestra.
Bass reaches deep with good texture, a softer touch but highly rendered. Low ends aren’t overblown or excessively pronounced. They are neutral in quantity, but of very high quality. Where everything in this segment sounds convincingly real.
Treble is energetic and sparkling, not super bright but not veiled or too warm either. There is great balance in the tone again, where nothing gets too harsh or aggressive. Highs are sibilance free and give the picture great air.
I like the slogan of AudioQuest, and I’ve referenced it a few times in the past. ‘Do no harm.’ This says exactly what a cable is intended to do. It shouldn’t hurt the signal that goes through in any way. No coloration. Just pure sound. I strongly feel that this is fully achieved with the Leonidas II.
Pairings and Comparison after the jump.