Leonidas – Limited Black Edition
Linus recently got himself one of the limited edition black Leonidas cables. Below are his thoughts on it, including a short comparison to the original Leonidas. The review of the original Leonidas and Mars cable can be found here: https://www.headfonia.com/review-effect-audio-mars-leonidas/
Around last Christmas Effect Audio announced that they will have a very limited run of a special version of my favourite cable – Leonidas.
No major changes were applied to it, only the used connectors, Y-split and plug are now in very elegant black instead of metallic silver. Those are the only hardware changes they made. On top of having a limited edition of a world-class cable you however are granted access to Effect Audio’s VIP Black Club which lets you enjoy perks and black parts on your future purchases. You also gain access to insider group chats with EA’s management team. I also received a black Effect Audio T-shirt (now I know that I’m Asian size XL) and a new and bigger black leather case. The inner part of the case’s top tells me that my set of LBE Leonidas was the 20th built. Nice. The Black went for $899.
Personally, I didn’t give much about the VIP club or the direct chat with Effect’s management, mostly because I chat with Eric on a regular basis. What did peak my interest though was the fact that this limited-edition Leo also came with their proprietary PSquared plug and ferrite guard, which my early adopter Leonidas did not have. I’ve heard many good things about it and Eric also watered my mouth when he told me what it does. So I bought my second pair of Leonidas… call me crazy but this is a damn good cable, so good that the possibility of enhancing its strengths was justification enough for me to shell out some more money on a cable I practically already had. After a few weeks, my new toy had arrived. One thing was very noticeable upon first inspection. It is more flexible and a whole lot more silver in tone than my first Leonidas. Before it was very easy to spot the gold-plated silver wires of Leo, now you have to look closer. Build quality is like we’re used to from Effect Audio – perfect. I really like the black components
What really matters though is sound, and now we’re getting to the good stuff. To compare cables, I use my two pairs of Katanas. Katana is the one monitor in my inventory that shows chain changes the most obvious. I fired up my Hugo2 for its dual output and compared them side by side.
LBE Leonidas has a more cleaned up and open sound, with higher resolution and precision, tickling out even the finest of details. What remained from his non limited version is the buttery smoothness and superb staging and layering. The stage does stretch further into width and depth, not by a mile, but there are differences. Bass is tight and organic just like with regular Leonidas, but gives a bit more body to the deeper sub-bass regions. Black Leonidas is more dynamic in my opinion. Treble is sparkling and rich in tone, just how I prefer it. Thankfully limited Leo also matches incredibly well with virtually all my monitors, yet I have it mostly hooked up to the fantastic A18 or Katana.
All those sonic upgrades definitely made the purchase of a second Leonidas worth in my opinion. I can’t say how or if a regular Leonidas with PSquared plug and ferrite guard sounds different than my black edition. Of course I’d like to know, but at some point I have to stop buying more Leonidas… Effect Audio doesn’t offer them with this termination though. Bespoke maybe. No, I have to fight my inner devil this time.
Will Effect Audio do another limited edition Leonidas? I don’t know, but if they do, I suggest to jump on it! The superiority of their own PSquared plug and ferrite guard is amazing and makes an obvious difference in sound. I just wish all my cables would come with it.