Audiophile XLR review

Ultimate XLR interconnectUnparalleled Mr Paul Goodwin, the constructor and owner of Perkune Audiophile Cables, at the end of October this year sent to me from Vilnius his latest symmetric cables. A pair of Perkune Audiophile Cables Ultimate XLR with a length of one and a half meters, so hence this audiophile XLR review.

As Paul writes: “The Ultimate XLR GOLD” offers an unmatched music reception level for an advanced audiophile. Improved sound stage, clarity, instrument position and a real sense of realism. Awareness of a practical 3D experience and engaged in the music presentation. New and exciting, which makes it perfect for an audiophile who wants the best. “

General impression

When buying a Perkune cord, the shipment is in the price. Usually, the package takes about 3-4 days from the date of dispatch. In the carton, the cables wrapped in a plastic bag, the plugs secured with small plastic bags. Simple but effective! audiophile XLR review

Cable construction

The cables look very solid and covered with black braids (in contrast to the lower series, where dark green coats used). The XLR plugs have tightened black rubber flanges at the connection point with the cables. audiophile XLR review

The audio wires used are silver-plated copper OFC 99.99%. Three-level AirGap insulation was used (range from connector connectors to connectors of the second plug). This construction technique used to minimise static and external disturbances. Thanks to this, the cable can reveal the smallest details and information from music. You can read more about AirGap insulation technology.

XLR connections 

The plugs used are Japanese production. As Paul wrote in a letter to me, “These plugs are brilliant, and it’s much easier to work with than Neutrik.” Everything internally is gold-plated – pins and the inner clamp. And much better for connections. Significantly, they also have a larger size for cable handling. The new cable now has three levels of insulation (AirGap) and runs to the top of the XLR connection. And, called ‘tip to tip’ contact. During testing, this connection gave better performance resulting in a high quality sounding cable.

Technical data
  • Cable size: 14.0 mm.
  • Type: Noiseless.
  • Conductor: 3 x 0.35 mm2 (Plated OFC 99.99%) comprising 11 x 0.2 mm strands.
  • Resistance: 0.060 Ohms/meter.
  • Capacitance: 55 pF/meter. 
  • Insulation: Compact PE with a tinned copper braided shield.
  • Aluminum Foil sheathing. 
  • Primary & Secondary AirGap: DERAY-PBFSP.
  • Outer sheath: CanuFlex PB-HB. (Black covering).
  •  Certificates: 2002/95/EC, 2011/65/UE, CEI 20-22/11.
My thoughts

I have always wondered what exactly (applied material, technology, sophisticated weaves, dialectics, everything together?) Affects the final price of audio cables. The price range of available audio cables on the market is enormous. audiophile XLR review

You can buy, for example, excellent interconnects for just over a dozen zlotys (I am thinking here mainly of those made of professional cables such as Klotz, Van Damme, Sommer Cable, etc.). Still, there is also such expensive giant money (Siltech Royal Signature Emperor Double Crown – 190,000 PLN, Nordost Odin Supreme – PLN 109 500, or Kimber Cables KS 6068 – PLN 98,500). 

Are the most expensive really 1,000 times better than the cheapest ones? Do they sound so much better? And finally – does the price of these tops reflect their quality? There is no simple answer here. And I used to follow common sense on my way, and I choose cables with optimal quality/price correlation. I also think that Perkune Audiophile Cables also contain such safe limits, although you can always say they could cost less. Expenses of approximately PLN 3,400 for the cables are not enough!

But in direct comparison to the price of the above mentioned Siltech Royal Signature Emperor Double Crown Lithuanian Ultimate XLR 1.5 m. Costs “pennies”. OKAY. I am finishing this peasant philosophising because the interconnects are described. audiophile XLR review

Listening

In the beginning, I connected the Ultimate XLR interconnects 1.5 m between two DACs (and headphone amplifiers): Pioneer U-05 and NuPrime DAC-10H and a SPEC RSA-G3EX integrated amplifier. Then I connected them to the Hegel H160 amplifier and finally to the Pathos Classic One MKIII amplifier. I also used them for the Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL phono preamplifier. The exact list of accompanying equipment listed at the end of this Audiophile XLR cable review.

Well, after inserting the new Perkune Ultimate into the hi-fi system and listening to them, the above arguments become even more challenging to justify, and the possible answers are even more convoluted. Well, the difference in sound immediately becomes noticeable and visible. Perkune ensures high crystallinity and transparency, excellent dispersion and diversity of music. Most importantly – incredible shape and proportionality of sound. The effect of “wiping with a dust cloth on a dusty surface” is immediate and indisputable.

The tones become more explicit, sharper and more resonant. Space “puffs up” and expands, while the individual instruments arranged on it gain in consistency, mass and precision — both localisation and sound. Also, the background gets more black, and on such details suspended in the air have a chance to be better visible, and in principle – better audible. And they are!

I do not know what magical miracles Mr Goodwin uses, but the new Ultimate XLR is an incredibly harmonious and transparent cable. It gives full and deep insight into music, and at the same time brings a very advanced message. The increase in the sound quality audible in the FAD Pandora Hope VI headphones (after the Perkune wire application to the headphone system) was phenomenal! audiophile XLR review

Conclusion

I would like to use only nouns to determine the sound of the interconnects. And it would be the following nouns: colour, intensity, brightness, clarity and clarity. Sharpness, plasticity, penetration, juiciness, freshness, expressiveness and vivacity. And even more massive, precise and tangible. However, writing about, for example, purity and clarity, I mean those features that do not capture anything in the sound.

And do not distort anything (they do not falsify). Perkune is one of the best tonally balanced interconnects that does not brighten or sharpen. And it’s better to write – illuminate and specify. They analyse, but do not hurt, do not sterilise. Yes, they intensify and intensify the tonal mass and colour, but at the same time, they do not exaggerate the content. They do not explain and do not dye the dark colours. Thus, you can write, mature optimism and racial universalism of sound.

The above-mentioned immanent features of interconnects heard when connecting them to headphone amplifiers. And, used to listen to headphones (and preferably those with symmetrical cables).

The increase in sound quality is of the highest and most complete. I especially recommend Perkune Audiophile Cables Ultimate XLR 1.5m to the so-called headphone track from the DAC. But also to others (i.e. those with loudspeakers). They are some of the best XLR interconnects at my price, which I had on test. The Price of the cables is in Europe – 797 Euro, or about 3 400 PLN. And Recommended! audiophile XLR review

Test Equipment
  • Amplifiers: Hegel H160, SPEC RSA-G3EX (TU test), Feliks Arioso 300B, Cayin CS-120A, Haiku-Audio Bright MK4 (TU test) and Pathos Classic One MKIII.
  • Columns: Living Voice Auditorium R3, AudioSolutions Figaro S (TU test), Legend Audio System, Pearl 27 Audio Pylon (TU test), Martin Logan Motion 35XT and Guru Audio Junior.
  • CD player: Music Fidelity
  • Network player: Auralic Aries
  • DAC: Pioneer U-05, NuPrime DAC-10H and Encore DSD.
  • Computers: MacBook Apple Pro and Dell Latitude E6440
  • Turntable: Nottingham Analogue Horizon.
  • Cartridges: Ortofon 2M Black, Goldring 2500 (TU test) and Goldring Ethos 
  • Phono preamplifiers: Musical Fidelity MX-VYN and 1ARC Arrow SE.
  • Tuners: Rotel RT-1080, Sansui TU-5900 and Tivoli Model One.
  • Cassette players: Nakamichi
  •  Cassette Deck 1 and Tandberg TCD 320. 
  • Mini system: Pioneer P1
  • Headphones: Fostex TH-610), Meze 99 Neo, MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed, MEE Audio Matrix 2, Audictus Achiever and Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI.
  • Network conditioners: Xindak PC-200V and Taga Harmony
  • Accessories: Rogoz-Audio 3SG40 anti-vibration mount, Rogoz-Audio 4QB80 speaker bases, Solid Tech loudspeaker bases, Rogoz-Audio BW40.
  • Anti-vibration feet, Solid-Tech Radius Duo 3 audio cabinet, mat gramophone Harmonix TU-800EXi and pressure disc for Clearaudio Clever Clamp. Mass conditioner for QAR Dynamic loudspeakers. RCA Sevenrods plugs/speakers

Author – Ludwig Hegel (December 22nd 2018) Audio XLR review

To read the original audiophile XLR review in Polish.

Benefits of Balanced Audio
  • A louder signal with more headroom is transmitted because balanced cables are less susceptible to signal loss along the cable run. Which, means your device won’t have to be as high to achieve the desired volume, and the dynamic range of the source material will be maintained.
  • Subtle harmonic distortion can be created by the device’s output circuit — like a speaker amplifier, for example. These distortions are cancelled out with a balanced connection to the receiving device, thus providing a clear and accurate representation of the audio.
  • Details and transparency of the source preserved, and audio artefacts are eliminated, providing a more precise, life-like, high-fidelity sound.

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