The Mars cable produces crystal clear sound and it is very detailed from bass to highs. Mars does that with a light presentation in amount of body. It isn’t the most full bodied sound like you get with most copper cables and Mars’ sound signature focusses more on the higher mids and treble. Voices are extremely natural and sound a little more forward as mids and bass don’t have the biggest body. The layering from bass to highs is excellent with heaps of details while always sounding clean.
The Mars cable performs effortlessly but it for me isn’t the kind of cable I use with all of my monitors and for each type of music. The Mars sounds excellent with the Vision Ears 5 and the Unique Melody Maestro just to name two, but it isn’t the ideal cable for more full sounding monitors like the Cosmic Ears or the Inear StageDiver SD3 and SD4. The Maestro is an excellent monitor and it plays well with a whole range of cables from copper to silver to hybrid, but this is the monitor I like the Mars most with.
Mars is an excellent cable for listening to classical music and female vocals. If you can afford $999 for one meter of IEM-cable than you probably also own a TOTL portable player. That actually is needed as the Mars cable picks up everything. So yes, you’ll also need top quality files. If everything in your chain is of good quality, then the Mars will never disappoint. Just keep in mind its characteristics described above.
The Effect Audio Thor Copper is one of Effects most famous cables and it goes for $149. It’s a cable that is affordable for a lot more people and the cable has a very full/big bodied sound that makes bass and mids bigger and thicker. It’s a cable that is very easy to like and we reviewed it back in 2014 already. The reason I’m bringing this up is because the Leonidas cable is like a perfect mix between the Mars and the Thor Copper.
The Leonidas cable sounds very clear and clean but it doesn’t reach the same high level as the Mars does. In return – on top of keeping the same great layering and detail – it also has more body in the bass and mids. While the Mars is exceptionally good for voices the Leonidas is more of an all-rounder. I didn’t find one single monitor in my collection on that I didn’t like the Leonidas with. It simply has the perfect mix of detail, clarity and body and it is extremely easy to love. When I’m out I always have a balanced Linum cable with me in the monitor’s hard case but I have to admit that ever since the Leonidas arrived, the Linum cable – while being extremely good – became second choice.
When I told one of the European CIEM makers about this cable, they didn’t really believe me but when they got hold of the Leonidas they could only confirm what I had told them. In fact, the Leonidas also became the to-go-to cable for their own personal monitor. At the moment the Leonidas is making me enjoy the Warbler 1 (soon on HFN!) a whole lot, and I think it’ll be one of my favorite cables for a very long time (together with the Linum). Another advantage is that the Leonidas is more forgiving then the Mars.
Both cables obviously aren’t cheap but they both sound really good. If you’re looking for a great sounding musical cable that does everything really well, then the Leonidas is the one for you. If you listen to classical, jazz of vocally strong music and you want the absolute best in detail and clarity, then the Mars is the one to get.
Build quality-wise these cables are as good as it gets: perfect connectors, great soldering, nice braids, etc. They’re flawless. Both cables obviously can’t touch the Linum cables for what comfort is concerned. Compared to the Thor Copper however – which can pull your monitors down – both of these cables are light and they don’t bother you at all when wearing them over your ears. Friction noise is as good as inexistent as well and as a result both cables are very comfortable. Each cable of course can be terminated with the connectors of your choice (my cables have a 2.5mm TRRS and the normal 2-Pin IEM connectors).
Effect Audio did a great job with these cables and if you’re in the market for a high end boutique cable I really suggest you give both of these a listen. Effect audio has several dealers worldwide and they work together with several IEM companies. They also seem to attend a lot of headphone shows so demoing these cables should be fairly easy.
Thumbs up for both of these cables!