Resembling a Hollywood-type snake stage prop, something you might have found in an old Tarzan film, Paul Rigby plugs the Diamond 8 speaker cables into his mono blocks and bends an ear
Big, meaty, bold, weighty – that’s not the bass that these cables produce, that’s the cables themselves! You certainly feel that you’re getting your money’s worth with these things. So what’s inside them?
These cables, twisted inside to reduce noise, apparently feature a treated copper core known as 4VRC. According to the company, other outfits out there ‘bake’ the copper twice. HiDiamond apparently does this four times to improve sound. The company also apparently throws graphite into the the mix to act as a barrier to noise.
You’ll also notice an isolator pod along the the length of the cable itself. The company explained that it, “…cancels the skin effect between individual leads and therefore the width of the musical signal barrier guaranteeing greater linearity and low amplitude of the sine wave…”
You can see more about the creation of HiDiamond cables HERE. Don’t read online ‘as is’ because the resolution is too low. Either click on the image and your browser should re-calculate the resolution for you or right click, download the image as a JPG and load into your favourite graphics viewer to get a better view.
There were two points of note in design terms. Firstly, the cable is not the most flexible unit I’ve ever tested. This didn’t prove to be a major issue but was slightly inconvenient when I was trying to position the cables in terms of the rest of my system and other adjacent cables. Secondly, the amount of cable emanating from the isolator pod to the speaker was relatively short. Again, the issue wasn’t major but this could possibly cause a weighty drag on the connections, depending upon your own hi-fi set up and your speaker type. I repeat, neither points were deal breakers but both are issues to be cautious about.
I began the review by playing an original vinyl cut of Richie Havens’ Something Else Again on Verve and the track, From the Prison.
Many hi-fi components offer an immediate personality when you hear them for the first time. It’s a sort of first impression that you might get upon meeting a person for the first time. Afterwards, you learn about more subtle aspects but the first impressions tends to stick.
For this cable that first impression was focus. The entire midband was honed on this track. This included the vocal, of course, which leant the Havens delivery a certain pace. There was no midrange slurring or drag here. Havens seemed fresh, after a good night’s sleep. He was sprightly, ready for business and raring to go.
What did this mean in practical terms? It meant that the voice sounded sleek and quick with a brisk delivery and an enhancement to the diction. Hence, any words I may have been unsure about, those end of sentence areas that drop detail for example, were suddenly enhanced in clarity for easier recognition.
Similarly, the acoustic guitar was a precise instrument via the Diamond 8 cables. String plucks had a crisp bounce to their sound. An extra resonance with a touch of extra reverb to the tail end. This effect added an extra punch to each string sound while later, more aggressive strumming from Havens produced a textured detail affect that almost rasped.
Turning to a CD pressing of The Police’s Ghost in the Machine, I played Too Much Information, a much more dynamic and energy-filled track. Within this song, bass benefitted from a lack of squidgy bloom. Instead the cables enhanced the lower frequency character. That meant that the mids were happy too because the bass didn’t mask midband detail. The overall result? The music’s pace and tempo were high.
The enhanced transients helped the percussion too. Stuart Copeland’s drum technique was busy, full of neat taps and rhythmic rolls. These cables were perfect for this type of presentation because the Diamond 8 designs were easily able to keep up. Some cables can drag, ruining the timing. The Diamond 8 never had that issue.
I ended back on vinyl, the recently sadly departed Nancy Wilson and Now from the 1976 LP, This Mother’s Daughter. This is a rather complex arrangement that takes a jazz-funk sound over a full orchestra. The focus from the Diamond 8 cables enabled subtle and nuanced sounds from this arrangement to reach the ear intact, adding to the detail and the rich flavour of the music.
The Diamond 8 cables seem to give music a moral-boosting pep talk because sonic output via these cables is always eager to please and ready to go. The enhanced focus and precision gives the presentation a lift and a shine while infusing it with extra energy. With the Diamond 8 cables, your music will always sound at its very best.
HIDIAMOND DIAMOND 8 SPEAKER CABLES Price: £2,050 for 3m Tel: 01334 570 666 Website www.eliteaudiouk.com
GOOD: precision, focused midrange, lean bass, timing
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Origin Live Sovereign turntable
Origin Live Enterprise 12″ arm
Van Den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius Cartridge
Icon PS3 phono amplifier
Aesthetix Calypso pre-amp
Icon Audio MB845 Mk.II monoblock amplifiers
Quad ESL-57 speakers with One Thing upgrade
Tellurium Q Silver Diamond cables
Blue Horizon Professional Rack System
Harmonic Resolution Systems Noise Reduction Components
All vinyl was cleaned using an Audio Desk’s Ultrasonic Pro Vinyl Cleaner