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The Acoustic Revive cables are some of the most transparent I’ve yet met. In this regard they’re best in fact. They plainly show the issues with Verve’s high-resolution files available on HD Tracks. Take Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong. I know the SACD release very well and never liked it. It was dry, bright and not really enjoyable. As it turned out the DSD material was prepared by converting 24/96 PCM as the current digital master tape. It’s not a good transfer. Most Japanese reissues of this CD are far better. I can say the same about Getz/Gilberto. This also reflects the reactions of our Krakow audio society members during an earlier meeting. Most of them preferred the 16/44.1 FIM files over the 24/96 Verve equivalents. This is exactly what I am talking about. The engineers of larger labels do not yet fully understand the nature of hi-res files. They act as though we had to relive the slow gestation period of CD sound quality to maturity all over again.

These differences are very painful and some USB cables cover them up. They modify the timbres with a slight limitation in resolution and precision such that after a short audition a listener will point at cables like the Furutech GT2-B or Wireworld Starlight which I compared to the AR as being better. Especially the Furutech performs a trick that will make many music lovers happy. It underlines the lower midrange whilst losing some resolution to soften transients. At first we think that it is better. But when we compare it to a non-USB source we recognize a trick that draws attention away from the source signal quality by warming it up to reduce micro detail. This can be heard with purist digital recordings made especially for  24/96 or 24/192 capable playback.

The AR cables are painfully accurate. If I owned a recording studio I would need to know exactly what I had ‘on tape’. At the same time I would want to know what kind of file I am playing at home and not just get an approximate notion. These Japanese cables are very dynamic and resolving. They draw out the contours of vocals and instruments phenomenally and show fantastically resolved treble and splendidly controlled bass. The latter is especially surprising. The Ascendo System ZF3 SE I now use have very coherent strong and quick bass. At first it seemed that everything in the bottom octaves sounded alike as though it were a character imposed on each and every disc. Comparing Furutech to AR showed that this wasn’t the case. The Furutech washed out the bass, bass drum reverberated too long and rhythmic integrity was diluted. This is not really a 'flaw' of the Furutech as it is an inexpensive quality cable but it does show what it is all about and what else can be achieved with a truly superior USB cable.

The Acoustic Revive cable is very resolving and transparent. It does not warm up or thin out the sound except for one aspect. The Furutech has the slightly more saturated midrange and with many USB DACs up to 2000 - 3000zł such a character will seem more appropriate. I partially agree. But that’s a function of an inferior DAC and not the AR cable. The latter simply doesn’t interfere. But if perhaps in a next generation of their cables Acoustic Revive would address this band I would not complain. Except for that I presently don’t see anything to criticize. This of course means not that this cable has no flaws,. It's simply that at this stage of USB my knowledge is still limited and that I have never heard anything better yet. Here and now then the Acoustic Revive strikes me as state of the art among USB cables.

Description: The Japanese cables are stiff and do not bend easily. With some effort we can connect each device but sometimes you will be forced to compromise with placement of light and small DACs. From the outside the cable looks very professional with its gold-plated plugs, mesh cover and twinned runs. The latter are the constructional clou – discrete legs for signal and 5VDC power. The cables are manufactured completely in Japan including the conductors. They are made from very thick—stiff!— 0.8mm solid-core conductors using PCOCC-A copper. As the company materials stress those are the thickest conductors that can be used for USB cables. Traditional variants usually run cross sections of 0.2 - 0.3mm. The cables are 100% shielded with a tightly wound copper tape. The plugs are made from aircraft-grade 2017S aluminium with low susceptibility to resonance and high mechanical resistance. The external dielectric is a carbon-fiber tube.

The USB-1.0SP model features one plug on the receiver side and two plugs at the source to require two free USB ports on your computer. Those ports have to be spaced closely given how stiff the cable is. The USB-5.0PL model is mechanically slightly simpler by sporting  single plugs on either end.
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