Bite down, hard. It's what a dentist asks you for a tooth imprint. It's not necessarily what you want from an RCA jack if removal means you must virtually unscrew it only to scrape the plug's plating. But neither do you want it loose and wiggly for an insecure connection or micro arcing. For the golden adaptable mean on all manner of RCA terminals whose tolerances could be off, there's the locking plug. Boban's collar is neither locking, metallic nor inward tensioned. It just slips on. With the shorter PCB-mounted jacks on our Crayon [left], that slip fit with two broad slits made for a looser connection. In fact, it wigg(l)ed itself out twice whilst I redid power cable connections on the back of the same equipment.

On the longer chassis-mount jacks of the COS Engineering D1 [right], the fit was better if still not as assured as Crystal's rebadged Furutech with micro-slit metal collar. So I didn't really feel the mechanical luv for Boban's proud wooden customers. Apparently the original Eichmann design—it's what pioneered the micro contact ideal with minimal metal use—also prioritized sonics over mechanical integrity. As I was told by a leading German cable maker, it led WBT to improve upon the Eichmann with their original NextGen range when the startup Aussie upstarts lost them sales on sonics. In any event, I got the Gekko interconnects to work but can't fully underwrite the mechanical fit of the present plugs. The robust spades fitted to my loaner speaker pair obviously warranted no such qualifications. Onto sonics.

As the insert shows, on the more closely spaced Crayon inputs, the Gekko connectors wouldn't sit parallel. They splayed because their wooden barrels were just a tad too fat.

First up was the Dutch Acelec Model One with 4.7" ScanSpeak Relevator mid/woofer and Mundorf AMT in a solid aluminium cab bonded with rubber and lined with bitumen, then ported out the rear. It's a very linear accurate performer with a most dynamic tweeter and very low cabinet talk. Tell it like it is, Jack. To compare silver conductors in the low-level domain, I had Crystal Cable and Zu Event.

Gekko vs. Zu. How much difference can one cable make? The Zu played it clearly more restricted, compressed and tight. With the Gekko, the same blackness of space somehow activated. It changed a damped absence into a tangible presence which the performers took breaths in. This distinction of perceived space is difficult to explain. Still, the overall effect is not unlike a light being switched on to suddenly illuminate it. The images which were enveloped and backed by this tangibly active space were freer, more open and big as though restraints had loosened or tight skin had relaxed. Bigger didn't mean ballooned. It meant a sense of inside-out radiation that spilled forth beyond the images. It's similar to what's often said about low-power no-feedback triode amps. It gives outlines a transitional glow. That doesn't clip them off sharp against the background's blackness. The side effect is always softer edges. One very purple cable thus altered the playback gestalt rather noticeably. The upshot was more expanse, more suppleness and a subliminally fluffy not chiseled texture. As such it was the polar opposite to silvery judgments like bright, lean, crisp or forward. 'Lit up' only applied to the sense of spatial presence, not any explicitness. If anything, the Gekko was slightly soft and forgiving.

Gekko vs. Crystal. This was a far closer call. The Crystal played it every bit as spatially expansive and open as the Gekko, then applied a firmer grip to the transitions. With that crisper edge liming came a bit more brilliance on top. It seems silly to admit but when I heard my way into these differences to visualize them into words, I thought of how the Dutch cable's sleek hard surface reflected some of it against the Gekko's softer more textured sleeve. Swapping between these sets caused no collapse or enlargement of space, no withdrawal of its felt presence. Neither did the images shrink because their inner glow turned off. This difference was strictly about softer and more crystallized outlines, about a gentler and more energetic treble. It pointed back at the softness comment of the previous paragraph. It made the Crystal Cable the modestly more strapping or firm. Given that company's reputation and expertise in cable design, this was quite the compliment for Boban Djurdjevic.

With the Gekko interconnect strapped back on, it was time for his bulbous but slinky speaker cables.