Just before Christmas, I received a pair of Perkune XLR/TRS audiophile cables for my Recording studio and now I have decided to write a review about them. I noticed people buying them for hi-end home audiophile systems. I wanted mine for my Recording studio monitoring which does quite the opposite. And to be frank, I was not sure if these cables were going to do the job!.
The first thing I will say is these cables are very well made. Though it’s clear they were hand made but it does not feel like they would fall apart in few years of plugging in/out. I am not surprised Mr. Goodwin is giving them a lifetime guarantee. On the other side visually they do not look any different than a 30 pounds cable from Amazon.
Sonically – First time I plugged them in, I sat quietly expecting some magic. Something to make my jaw drop. I sat there before playing first loss-less files and my project files and really expected to hear some big difference. But the first time all I heard was a wider and deeper image of the music track as a whole. I thought is That all? Oh boy, was I wrong!
In the past month, I have recorded a few artists and one of these artists asked me to record and mix his third album.
I use a pair of Focal Cms65 with sub adding a touch at the very bottom. All signals converted by Saffire 24dsp or Motu 828mk2 that I consider to be excellent. My work consists of, I would say, 20% vocal recording / 20% composing various bits / 60% mixing. Mixing is really the toughest part out of the three. I decided to see how my mixes would sound with the Perkune audiophile cables.
The phone call
Last week, I had a phone call from my client and the conversation kicked off with him yelling it’s the best mix I have ever heard. I was laughing my ass off as I thought it’s going to cost him an enormous amount of money. While I would love to share with you few mixes, it is a strict “NO” to sharing any content before the album is released.
In my client’s opinion, he could hardly recognize his voice due to the complete clarity and he had never heard himself so good. Now before this, I thought of myself as a guy who did it all. first, I thought of changes that happened in the studio. Hence, the reason I’m writing this review. I honestly hope someone who walks a similar path will find this useful
Some things that have really changed and I know now that it was for the good. I am totally amazed as just what a difference a pair of cables can make when you are mixing. The cable route is something that I had never thought of and to be able to hear these change is really a big step forward for my music.
Due to the improved 3D image of sound, panning is no longer a mystery or guesswork. It can get very complicated to position every sound in its right “slot”. While mixing you may think and actually hear one thing. Take it to another system, a car, headphones, friends house and you may find yourself cornered and giving up. I have experienced this a few too many times. Now, it is pretty simple – for instance, if I want to make a backing vocal sound like its two meters to your left (10 o’clock let’s say) I will do it and if I check it anywhere else it will be in that exact position. The precision is 100%. Don’t ask me technically why or how two cables made such a big difference, but it was panning precision that I noticed as the very first improvement.
Reverbs and Delays
These can become a real pain if your system shows you more or less than it should. For that, it is critical that you need transparency. Seriously, the best part to me is hearing the beauty of space. With Perkune cables, muddiness in the mid-low part of the vocal, the reverbs can be finally heard. I can get rid of them or fix them leaving all the space for the rest of the frequency range! Again it sounds crazy how simple it all became when I could finally hear all (or most) of the problems of the mix and was able to fix it 100%.
Due to the transparency of these cables, I am now able to make much better use of things like compression, EQ, and other parameters. It is a laugh as now I am sure of how to treat some of the highest frequencies and the mid-range because now no muddiness.
When things are muddy you may be left with too much of piercing high frequencies. It may be muddy to you, but take it to some other system and It feels like you’re standing in a busy sawmill listening to the screeching blades. So it is essential to have the clarity in order to know where your sibilants are.
The list could go on but in essence, while most Hi-End music listening systems are made to sound nice, studio monitors are made to show the opposite. This has to be taken into consideration to understand why I am so happy to hear the “bad stuff” with the help of Perkune. I believe it will not be an understatement to say that I have finally heard my little fellas the way they were meant to be heard. I will recommend the cables to my fellow home studio owners without hesitation as I am convinced it should get a stable spot in the market. Good luck Mr. Goodwin!
This review has been written by Mr.Tom Blinda, Music recording engineer, London, England