Through my time with the X8 I have been playing with a number of different monitors. As with all my cable reviews, I initially hook it up to my Katana’s. That’s the one IEM that tells me the most about a new component.
The most obvious signature change I noticed was the added low-end drive and added dynamics. Bass does reach a touch deeper and is more fowared compared to standard Katana. Its sub-bass grunt has been enhanced, mid and upper bass are now a bit more elevated with resulting warmth to lower mids.
Midrange is nicely smooth with soft male and female vocals. In its lower registers there is a noticeable warmth to the sound. Overall there is added body to mids, that gives the presentation more blood and an organic smooth feeling. Mids are nicely textured and layered.
Treble indeed is soft and taken down quite a notch. Katana on its own has warmer highs with good amounts of richness. X8 did take it down to earth-levels, where the richness is less obvious and highs shimmer a little darker.
The Tri-Copper has a good constructed and open sound-stage that stretches further into width and depth. Rendering and resolution are both done with high value, yet I think if there’s one area it could be improved that would be air. Stereo imaging and instrumental separation are of great quality, but as said, they could use a breeze more air in separation. X8 does sport good amounts of details.
Just with many audio components it’s hard to find a right match. This also applies to audio cables. A warmer and mid-centric cable like this probably will find its best buddy in a reference and colder monitor
Noble Audio – Kaiser Encore
The Encore is one monitor I fell immediately in love with when connected to this cable. The added low end punch give it a really mean, in a good way, character at times. Its newly gained drive has caused me many sit-dance sessions and has called upon the sleeping drummer in me. Mids have gained in body, they’re now more in line with the rest of the spectrum. Voices have a pleasant smoothness to them with a nice soft touch. Upper mids and treble remained as rich as ever – which I wouldn’t want to change at all. Though treble is not as bity as before, it’s tamed which might appeal to more folk than me. Sound stage, layering and resolution all stayed pretty much the same, with maybe small changes in depth. It’s one of the best sounds I have heard Encore produce, definitely a recommended pairing.
64 Audio – A18t (M20)
With the M20 module installed I feel that the bass is a touch too dynamic and present for my taste. Mids are fuller and smoother. A18’s hyper-resolution blends very well into the soft and organic mids of X8. Sound stage remained the same insane dimensions with quite many out-of-your-head experiences. It stretches deep and very wide with great layering and rendering. Treble is softer and not as crisp or bright as before.
64 Audio – A18t (M15)
The M15 module changes the Tzar into a very different monitor. The lighter bass greets the added punch of X8 with open arms and this results in a more dynamic and fluid low-end presentation. Mids are a bit more forward in regard to the rest of the spectrum, they retained their beautiful richness in upper mids and treble. M15 Tzar is a touch more forgiving compared to before with the added warmth and enhanced smoothness. The softer treble might be more suitable for many sensitive people.
Comparisons and Conclusion on the last page.