WITH and every major hi-fi product is found by its creator. It used to be an obvious thing, and the names of the best designers in our field were famous and permanently assigned to their projects. I am reminded of this matter, because more or less from the 90s on the market began to appear more and more expensive hi-fi products completely anonymous, designed and produced outside the traditional areas of the Haifa industry and the market has made a mess. At least ideological. Therefore, up to twenty years the creator's relationship - his work in the hi-fi industry has become less obvious and may eventually be completely forgotten. This will happen at the latest when computers design and manufacture our amplifiers themselves, as well as deliver them to our homes with autonomous Gugle or Szmugle cars. But for now there are still designers and their works, which, among other things, this test is to remind. Colin Wonfor's person is very important in the hi-fi industry and generally in the electronics industry. He is a man of such a rich professional life that it would be appropriate to devote a separate column to him, rather than forcing him into an introduction to cable review. In any case, if you have a computer, telephone or TV at home, or look at the sky on which something is passing by, it is a serious chance that you are just associating with some idea of Colin. Colin also left an important mark in the hi-fi industry, working many years on projects in Naima, Inca-Tech, and more recently in Tellurium. At Tellurium, Colin was the main designer and originator of technical solutions that were included in the first generation of cables, but when the company achieved market success, there was not a very pleasant separation and the designer was forced to start again. As a result, the company Elsdon-Wonfor Audio (EWA) was created, which today produces new cables designed by Colin. There has also been a return to earlier works on amplifiers, and therefore Claymore amplifiers, known and popularized earlier under the Inca-Tech brand, as well as powerful SECA amplifiers returned to the market. Colin Wonfor was kind enough to send me the LS-XXV Speaker Cable, which is the flagship model in the EWA catalog, containing 2 speaker cords, RCA interconnects and power cable for listening and review. It was a real opportunity, because due to the large market demand there are currently breaks in the availability of these cables. The idea behind this project is the reduction of phase distortions, elimination of the emission of own disturbances (including radio frequency RFI) and insensitivity to external electromagnetic interferences. It is worth noting that Colin attaches great importance to the power supplies of electronic devices, which is certainly reflectedi n its amplifiers, but maybe in this case it is also worth taking an interest in the EWA network cables? The LS-XXV loudspeaker cable does not attract attention, although it is solidly constructed and is characterized by a certain dark elegance. Less is more, this climate. Personally, I personally resemble the Cable Talk speaker cables I had at a time when you could buy pipe tobacco without the hospital's advertising on the packaging. EWA does not sell its cables from the reel (although a relatively low price could lead to such actions), the buyer gets wires of a selected length solidly finished with bananas and finished with T-shirts with the name of the model and the logo. Therefore, without damaging the wire, it is impossible to determine what is inside. It is generally known that the conductors are made of a material specially selected by Colin, they are made on a special machine also designed for these cables, the wire structure in the conductor is also specific. From the outside you can only say that yes, these are not solid-core cables, so it probably is a multi-strand or very thin face. The cable as a whole is two-core, the hot and cold wires are separated by an inch wide distance from the same, which creates the external insulation. This is similar in ideological terms to the design of the antenna cable (which is not without reason, it is just a reduction of interference), it is similar to the Reson and Vovox speaker cables. Only that Resons (in contrast to LS-XXV) are made of solid wires. The insulation of the wires is black and the only colorful accent is the red shirts on the hot wires and the golden letters on them. I checked the cables initially in a system consisting of a Leben CS-600 tube amplifier and Spendor SP1 / 2 speakers, but after some time I replaced the loudspeakers with large Amphions Argon 7SL. One and the other of the same price class, with both of them EWA cables worked, but I like the sound of Amphions more generally, hence the change. Of course, the listening experience applies to both configurations. As a comparison, I used very popular and highly rated (though inexpensive) Chord Odyssey 4 cables, and Wireworld Oasis. In testing the equipment (as in everything) there are two schools: Falenicka and Otwock. Or let's say the Inverness and Llandudno methods. One says that you have to switch often and compare a lot, the other says that you have to listen for a long time, and then switch and then you will "hear right away". I started with method number two. After a month of listening only on LS-XXV I switched back to the Chords. Such a small shock therapy at home. The first impression after returning to Odyssey was "pleasantly". This is not a bad impression, after all it should be nice in general. However, soon after listening to a carefully recorded and recorded CD "Best Audiophile Voices" (since "best" it must be well done, no?) I started to discover that the sound is slightly less pronounced and the location of the singers less accurate than when connecting the LS -XXV. Well, it seemed to me that the sound was slower. Return to the EWA cables reminded me of the first, first impression I had when I plugged in my system. The effect was immediate (which is not so common) and it looked more or less like this: cleaner, sharper, more air, more details. Instant change. Now this impression has gained a more solid, systematic foundation. The voices of the vocalists are less soft than with the Chord, more akin to what is really in the recording (I know them from listening in many different systems). The location is more punctual, the word "air", and the instruments (especially the piano) do not play harder or more aggressively, only more colorfully, with a more diverse sound. These are subtle differences, but they are clearly and nicely added together. Of course, a record with such music, which is recorded on BAV, is easy to compare: one voice, usually a minimal accompaniment. However, the world does not start and does not end with individual singers. In contrast, I gave the record of Gil Evans orchestra with the music of Jimi Hendrix. This great album is a remnant of the concept of recording a concert with Hendrix, which, however, did not take place due to the premature death of the musician. As a result, Evans played a concert in New York, and then recorded a CD in the London BBC studio, where the parts of the electric guitar played John Abercrombie and Ryo Kawasaki. The impression of LS-XXV can be summarized in a few points: voicing, better location of virtual sources (also in the vertical dimension), slightly stronger light output (percussion) and slightly better rhythm. The apparent sources extended beyond the loudspeaker line.Incidentally, I remember a letter to the editor, in which the author (a fresh buyer of the hi-fi system) complained that he probably has broken equipment, because the sound instead of normally coming from two speakers, somehow strangely comes from among them, and sometimes even from side. People have problems ... So here (that is with the LS-XXV cables) the sound can go a bit further from the side than from the competition. You have to honestly admit that the micro-clicks on the vinyl record are also slightly more audible, although this is a marginal effect, the discs are largely a matter of the gramophone cartridge used. Despite the greater detail, the LS-XXV encourages you to listen louder, which means that it certainly does not impose aggressive sounds. In order to have a broader representation of different types of music, I also took a VACTIi-released concert by Tacet. Tacet is known as it is - first class recording, great for such comparisons. In this case it was relatively easy. The music with EWA cable sounded more vivid, it involved the listener's senses more, waiting for the next string was accompanied by more emotions and it is hard to be mistaken. With my other cables it was more dignified, which also has a certain charm, but it was also colorless, which does not have charm. Performance with EWA wiring seemed closer to what I expected after recording, putting the disc on the turntable. Fast, vivid, spatial, more real. All these changes are on a small scale, in the end are cables, not a space shuttle, but the whole is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Another small step. P during the last few months when I had contact with these cables, of course I listened to a lot of CDs, both black and CD, and even cassette tapes (on the Akai GX-95). The impressions I gave above are described on the basis of a few sample boards, but in fact they concern the entire listening period. The choice of several sample recordings allowed to convey this impression in a synthetic form. Thus, the synthetic form: Colin Wonfora loudspeaker cables is a hit. At their price (and probably at a much higher price) they do not have competition in my opinion. LS-XXV is a cool priced, designed by a recognized engineer-specialist, a first-class cable that deserves a lot of success. End. Now you can queue up. Alek Rachwald (photos: Paweł Stein, Alek Rachwald)
Reviewing cabling is similar to testing other components of the hi-fi system, only harder. It's easy to get used to a particular sound, changes are usually subtle, and switching is difficult. And of course a lot depends on the system itself, especially its neutrality and transparency of the sound, not to mention that there are amplifiers that react less well to the change of speaker cabling, and those that are stronger. I do not even mention the rare cases of total mismatch (due to the cable's electrical capacity). In this case, I was very keen on reviewing EWA cables as an unusual product on our de-personalized and dominated by mass market products, so I had to put a special emphasis on it.