Gekko vs. Black Cat Cable Lupo. Financially, this match had the homeless man meet the banker. Naturally our chap in London played the banker. On conductive materials, it was copper against silver. On sound, gush factor was surprisingly alike. That's a tacit absence of constriction or reserve. It leads some to pursue single-driver widebanders for a similar sense of blossoming directness. Gekko's primary difference was that the music's virtual acoustics—I say virtual because those of my room certainly didn't change—seemed to have grown longer settle times. There was a lazier lingering of decays behind the primary images, hence the associated micro blur. Having heard solid-gold cables just once before, I remembered their general attitude. I thought of it like a 300B of interconnects. They were relaxed, mellow, luxuriant and warm. Given their faint echoes I now flashed upon, I couldn't help but wonder. Had Boban strategically seasoned his leads for a bit of that effect with his very thin lone gold-plated silver wire in an otherwise pure silver mix?

Boban's spades didn't completely digest the thicker posts of the Acelec so had to insert sideways. As shown, they had no such issues with the Crayon's WBT.

With Chris Sommovigo's more budgetarian copper leashes not demanding anywhere near Gekko's stout £8'200 for the same length, any consideration of value for today's contender would backfire. So we won't go there. As a reviewer with constantly revolving doors on hardware, I always ask myself the same. Would I like to keep something because it exceeds what I presently listen to? Here I'm used to taking it on the chin whenever I can't afford to or justify it. Off they then go, those lust-inducing objects. Short-term memory loss does the rest. In this case my chin wasn't troubled. The Gekko twins were different but not in any ways that would downgrade our Lupo or Crystal to 2nd-class citizens or hand-me downs. Time to swap speakers and revisit the sequence.

The Swiss sound|kaos Vox3f unites a frontal widebander with force-cancelling woofers on both sides. Then it adds a ceiling-reflected Raal ribbon in a custom bronze plate on top. It's an ultra-compact rear-slot ported 3-way in a solid wood cab. Given its radiation pattern—omni at the very top, a midrange of unusual bandwidth and good off-axis response but directional, omni bass higher up than usual—this triggers more room response by design. It's not a full omni like our German Physik but has some mild omni-ish benefits. With the system in Gekko mode, those were elevated for a very spacious slightly dithered sound that was big on textural generosity, lingering decays, mellowness plus rotund and slighty porky bass.

On a very basic math level, this meet played out as a like+like multiplier. With the Acelec, it had worked out to more of an opposites-attract date where plus and minus balance out and red and blue turns purple. To recap this cable exercise, Boban's silver cables did not revisit Samuel Furon's Ocellia recipe of solid-core silver sleeved in crushed crystal then latex/kautschuk. That behaves exceptionally lit-up all over to banish all darkness. It did not revisit Zu's tighter, smaller more damped milieu. It was closest to Crystal Cable's silver recipe but a bit softer, mellower and warmer. If that doesn't conform to silvery preconceptions, it's because here those categorically don't apply. At the risk of tired generalizations, one might invoke just a bit of tube flavor in the sense that spaciousness, glow, softness and an associated sense of minor romance and languidity factor. Considering our associated electronics at work which I'd summarize as sitting far more on the fast, extended and resolved end than the fat, dark and mellow, such an antitode or complementary action was surprisingly effective.

In the end, Purple Haze the model name felt most fitting. How so?

As Wikipedia define it for us, "haze is traditionally an atmospheric phenomenon in which dust, smoke and other dry particulates obscure the clarity of the sky." But – without the tiniest of dust motes, you wouldn't see the air or its movements. Replace air with space, seeing with hearing. Voilà, my prior activation of space by dither. I'd not thought of the term 'particulates' but it actually describes the effect even better. It's just important to think of a very mild form of them. Unlike haze from volcanic ash or major fires which can black out the sky, this musical equivalent didn't. Like hot air which flickers to be seen, it just made something usually invisible—recorded space—very much perceptible. If we go too far by invoking Alice Walker's very serious but famous novel The Color Purple, we can regain a little composure by saying that this cable too fights its own bit of bigotry. How so?

It's the remaining attitude about silver conductors. It assumes that one could, from the silver fact alone, predict anything about a cable's sound which uses silver. Not so. Only listening tells that tale!