ELITE Speaker Cables - Reviewed by Shane Stephenson (Audiophile)
Warwick from Robertson Audio Cables has sent me his new "Elite single Crystal OCC pure silver speaker cable" for review.
The cable arrived in the post well-protected for shipping.
I removed the cable from its packaging and immediately upon inspection I discovered it's exceptional construction as I've come to expect from Warwick.
This cable is constructed from OCC single crystal copper with a Ultra pure fine 99.99% silver conductor running down both the positive and the negative sides of the cable. This particular set was terminated with beautiful high quality banana plugs from the Elite series. They are pure copper with a rhodium coating. They are wrapped with a white carbon fibre band with a red and black ring designating positive and negative. I must admit here that this did set off my Audiophile eye candy sensors and positively put them into overdrive.
They also have two silver carbon fibre cable dividers at either end, with an arrow on one of them designating the direction the signal should flow through the cable out of the amplifier to the speakers.
The cable is sleeved in a silver/white PTE expandable jacket through the entire span out to the cable dividers. It's a very pretty thing to look at so now it's time to see if it sounds as good as it looks.
I replaced my transparent reference speaker cable with the Robertson Elite offering, connecting my Wilson Alexia loudspeakers to the Gryphon Diablo 300 amplifier and got settled into my listening chair to find the first reference track on my tablet.
To test the lower octave I start with
Boz Scaggs "Thanks to you".
And WOW! immediately I can hear the OCC copper characteristics, the bass was extremely fast tight and textured.
It certainly was not bloated or overemphasized as I have come to notice with many other cables straight out of the box.
This track also has wonderful sweet mid-range with Boz's vocal and again initially this cable is not disappointing me in any way.
The next track and one I've only recently found and it's on high rotation at the moment I might add is "A Battle Between"
by Blue Tofu.
This is a very demanding track, it has wonderful high-frequency aspects. It's very dynamic with lots of transient peaks and three-dimensionality in regards to the sound stage, with stuff happening in the room behind my listening room. It really covers the full frequency spectrum.
And again at the risk of sounding like a broken record this cable was really astonishing me, especially considering it wasn't even 30 minutes old yet.
If I really have to split hairs and as a reviewer I suspect I should be doing that, the cable was probably slightly forward in the middle range, and a little close off in the very upper frequency but I am splitting hairs here.
The cable just seems to have the right amount of silver in it, again like all of Warwick's Elite interconnect cables which are pure silver.
The balance here between silver and single crystal OCC copper just seems to be striking the perfect balance.
There is enough air that is indicative of high quality silver with wonderful fast pace, rhythm and articulation in the lower octave from the OCC copper. I'm around 20 hours in now with this Robertson Elite speaker cable.
I've been listening to quite an eclectic arrangement of music from Grace Jones to Miles Davis and just about everything in-between.
To be honest I thought I'd have quite a bit more to say at this point after 20 hours of listening.
This cable is that good straight out of the gate it really hasn't evolved much further to my ears. Its a perfectly neutral hand of the signal type of cable. The slight forwardness in the mid range has settled down now to be fairly centred in the presentation.
This was something I was expecting and is indicative of new cables in general.
There's always an evolution with cables in my experience sometimes more, sometimes less. In this case it's pretty safe to suggest at least at this point in proceedings, that this cable is going to impress the moment you run it from your amplifier to your speakers.
If neutrality is what you're seeking in regard to cabling, and I think that for most Audiophiles we would prefer our equipment to do the talking. I think this cable is shaping up to be an exceptional speaker cable.
I know my equipment very well and I know what each individual piece brings to the table. From my Lumin U1 streaming transport to my Innuos Phoenix reclocker to my Aqua Acoustics formula xhd rev2 Dac then on to the Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated amplifier out to my Wilson Alexia loudspeakers.
I'm just not hearing anything that this cable might be doing to the last part of the signal path that I'm not happy with.
A rare thing in a cable in my opinion.
I'm around 50 hours into my critical listening of this speaker cable now. I'm noticing some further development in regard to the evening out of all the areas I judge when reviewing a speaker cable. The cable has developed a real sense of less resistance, some of this I suspect is in part to do with the cables construction. And the components of the cable which are OCC single crystal copper and Ultra high purity silver.
Let me break this down a little bit.
You see OCC copper in my experience has a lovely open presentation generally speaking.
It's fast rhythmic and has the ability to convey texture and pitch changes in the lower octave, better than any other construction medium I've heard. Ultra high purity silver tense to give you an open airiness in the Upper frequency but ultra high purity silver is never fatiguing in its presentation. Warwick has managed to achieve with both materials here what seems to be a very believable midrange response. With all the other elements in the frequency response we hear working in harmony with each other.
Both materials seem to work hand in hand with great symmetry complimenting the strengths of both the (OCC) single crystal copper and the Ultra pure fine 99.9999% silver to create a stunning very neutral and believable cable presentation.
This cable has been under development for some time now, but I can safely say it was certainly worth the wait. The title Elite speaker cable is fitting in this instance.
It fits in beautifully with Warwick's Elite interconnect cable range making for a impressive cable loom.
This review sample will certainly be staying here with me. I just couldn't imagine now not calling this my new reference speaker cable.
It certainly gets two thumbs up from me.👍👍
An Aussie Audiophile.