Nathan’s conversion to a full-fledged skeptical cable believer went down at Fujiya Avic’s Linum booth. It went down thanks to genius cable switch box that allows you to instantly switch between inputs.
BaX was on the line and was the clearest sounding of the bunch. SuperBaX was still incubating. With a hush hush here and packing provisos into my hand Linum’s Allen Sorrig sent me packing with a prototype SuperBaX.
It hasn’t left my Noble K10C since. The biggest reason is that it sturdier than regular the cable it replaced: BaX. Every Linum cable I’ve used is the most comfortable cable I’ve ever used. When it comes to comfort a dichotomy works out: Linum cables and not Linum cables. Linum cables are everything that the competition isn’t: light, supple, microphonic-free, and almost microscopically thin. The last part is the part that sometimes causes me to switch up.
Switching between earphones, tips, amps, DACs, and listening for the gentle scoldings of the queue, require two things:
1. a light shirt with a left breast pocket
2. a weighty cable
Into the first I drop the earphones after looping the cable behind my neck. The second is super important when toting heavy customs. Linum cables are are so light any earphone sinks like an anchor, pulling on the player or amp in my trousers. The first really helps with the second.
As does a more hefty cable. SuperBaX is roughly twice the weight of BaX. It is twice as thick, and is less resistant to boot. In terms of transparency, it is hard to beat. It doesn’t throw off the delicate balance between drivers and crossovers.
Unfortunately I don’t have a switch box at home connected to Frankenphones. My subjective impressions favour SuperBaX across the board. It is Linum’s clearest, cleanest, most reference-level cable. It doesn’t get in the way. It doesn’t add anything. It certainly doesn’t subtract, or muddle anything. I should mention that the cable I have is 3,5mm terminated and that I don’t put much stock in portable balanced. It’s why I’ve invested in Cowon’s Plenue D, whose overall transmission quality is clear, clean, and stable – three adjectives which really do sum up SuperBaX.
The above is a great combo with the K10.
It is light, tiny, and portable.
Having only the prototype, I can’t say much about final appearance or build quality. The unit I have is yoked to pretty basic stress reliefs that should be treated gently. I have no idea how production units will push out but plugging in and out of earphones requires a bit more effort because of its tiny nubs. Just so you know, I have nothing against tiny nubs. And, unless you’re changing earphones and cables and shaking hands with friends and makers all day long at an audio event, small nubs menace little. And once in, any Linum cable will be the most comfy earphone cable, ever.
I go through many cables: cables that last a single listen, cables that go onto long-term positions in my arsenal, cables that I like to touch, but not to use. SuperBaX falls firmly into the second group. For my uses, its only drawback is its greatest strength: being so light and comfy. Seldom – all day audiophile events – do I want something wiry and challenging. Every other occasion calls for what what I consider the best portable earphone cable on the planet.
Well done SuperBaX.
EDIT: Linum just confirmed:
Sales release plan for the different versions available with 3.5 TRS (angled) and 2.5 TRRS termination is as follows:
Linum Super BaX MMCX: May 2016
Linum Super BaX T2: May 2016
Linum Super BaX 2Pin: Not yet decided
Linum Super BaX FitEar: Not yet decided
To sign up for the superBaX, send an e-mail to [email protected] indicating preferred connector and termination