Direct from Italy, these new speaker cables look good but, asks Paul Rigby, do they sound any good?
The Dedalus cables ooze style. Let’s just address that point here and now. Even the box looks like you’ve just bought yourself a very expensive pair of training shoes while the cables themselves look like a new spin off from Burberry. The orange colour – no doubt tagged ‘Burnt Orange’ or possibly ‘Bali Sunset Orange’ – gives these bits of wire a suitably bohemian air.
These are cables to dangle from a trouser belt when schmoozing at parties in the hope of attracting attention or possibly to tie your bike to railings in Mayfair, London.
Oh, and you can plug them into speakers. How positively prosaic (darling).
The faff and chaff is apparently backed up by hardcore technology. So these cat-walk models have a heart of steel. Well, copper. That’s 6.4 mm2 copper 7N MARC (Multicore Annealed Ricable Conductor) conductors with 0.1 mm stranded strands, mister, “The improvements made have made it possible to produce a copper conductor with 7N purity (99.99999%) more malleable than the previous one, thanks to the reduction of grains per meter of 25% compared to AM-RCC,” said the company.
The design also looks to tackle noise too. A Germanium semiconductor is present on all conductors.
Even the banana connectors show attention to detail, being made of a Copper-Tellurium monobloc with a central reinforcing pole. They are 24K gold plated too.
The internal insulation and shielding are enhanced by twisted geometry with 750 wires per conductor and insulated with polymer.
Which is all well and good but how do they perform?
I began with The Four Freshmen’s A Today Kind of Thing, a four-piece vocal harmony combo backed by an orchestra and the track Byrd Avenue, a short yet lively little track.
This is an ideal song to test any hi-fi. The left channel features a glockenspiel, a busy electric guitar and a string section. The right channel has percussion, bass guitar and a Doors-like electric organ that’s busy noodling away in the background, seemingly off on a mission all of its own.
The thing is, all of the above are recessed, pushed back into the mix because The Four Freshman are the stars of the show aren’t they? No-one else has permission to hog this particular limelight. So their voices are front and centre here with everything else behind. Hence, any hi-fi component has to work and work hard to form this rather haphazardly constructed backing band.
Using the Dedalus cables with this track in this recessed manner was lessened as the entire orchestra moved up to the ear. It was as if an Army Sergeant Major had stood in front of the entire orchestra, asked for volunteers and the entire orchestra had responded by taking one step forward.
Hence, the shy Doors-like organ was ‘visible’ to the ear. The Dedalus cables produced a host of detail, notes could be easily discerned and the notes that could be heard tended to squirm and gyrate in a complex manner.
Bass guitar offered character because it emerged from being a mere dim bass tone to become a foundation to the whole track while cymbal taps were precise and trim in their presentation.
In fact, percussion as a whole was strong and quite dominant, especially during the introduction, which helped to add a firm introduction to the track.
On the left channel that glockenspiel now included enhanced reverb which pointed the way to a relatively low noise response from the Dedalus cables.
That lower noise meant that the electric guitar could offer a rich and complex performance, producing a wide-ranging dynamic performance. This contrasted nicely with the fine, sweeping string section.
And the vocals, hovering over the stereo image? Focused, the vocals sounded trim. They sounded manoeuvrable too, as if they could respond and react at a moment’s notice. They sounded quite active and flexible. I never got the feeling the the vocals would ever drag, there was never a hint of the sluggish here which helped the track to fly by.
Moving to CD and The Sunday’s Skin & Bones from the 1990 album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic I was happy to hear a sense of space mooching around the stereo image, under the main vocal. This gave the lead guitar plenty of space to work within. The reverb from the guitar was able to infuse this area which added a light, spacious and airy touch to the music itself. It helped to lighten and lift the music and gave the percussion space to work too. The focus from the Dedalus cables effectively freed up space around the soundstage, giving the music extra space to work.
The vocal from, in this case, Harriet Wheeler was thus able to soar when necessary unhampered by any frequency indiscipline. Her voice was never masked by blooming bass, for example because the latter was always pretty tight and honed in its approach.
If you pick them up, you’ll see that the cables look quite stylish, even the box has an Italian style thing going on but its the aural response that matters here. The Dedalus’ inherent focus and precision encourages music to maintain a fair old pace while managing internal frequencies to maintain air and space around the midrange. The result is a quite effortless performance that encourages music rather than restricts. With the Dedalus cables, music is indeed free to roam.
RICABLE DEDALUS SPEAKER CABLES
2m Pair Terminated – £562
3m Pair Terminated – £642
4m Pair Terminated – £725
5m Pair Terminated – £827
Tel: 01223 782474
GOOD: spacious midrange, precise bass, airy treble, stylish design
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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
Blue Horizon Professional Rack System
Harmonic Resolution Systems Noise Reduction Components
Gutwire Consummate Grounding Cable
All vinyl was cleaned using an Audio Desk’s Ultrasonic Pro Vinyl Cleaner
Julian Stevens5th April 2020 at 2:51 pm
Yet another expensive speaker cable? Yawn. Van Damme cable is perfectly fine for all but the most stratospherically priced systems (and probably for most of those) and very reasonably priced into the bargain, hence it’s used by many recording, mixing and mastering studios, not to mention the PMC. I’ve been experimenting with cables for 40 years and am very unlikely now to bother with any other than Van Damme.
Ian Miller5th April 2020 at 8:44 pm
Hi there. I’m currently running Black II TQ cables and wondered if these would considered an improvement. As well as the sound, the orange outer appeals as it’ll compliment my orange velvet settee.
Paul Rigby6th April 2020 at 11:38 am
Hi Ian – yes, these should be an upgrade.
Richieboy21st April 2020 at 2:45 pm
The qualities you list make them sound like my kind of cable
Would they give a noticable improvement over Chord Epic cable (not Epic 2 or Epic XL)
Paul Rigby21st April 2020 at 5:05 pm
I would say so, yes.
Ash28th May 2020 at 4:39 pm
I was wondering how you thought these compared to the TCI King Cobra? Are they quicker, more lively?
Paul Rigby29th May 2020 at 12:07 pm
I would say that these have the edge, Ash, in overall sound quality.