To speed things up a bit, let's move to "Temat Eleny na skrzypce" from the Brute soundtrack by Polish composer Michal Lorenc. This beautiful recording opens up with an acoustic guitar, tambourine, drum and violin as the lead instrument. Everything's fairly quiet and calm early on but that song's pace gradually increases to reach a wickedly fast, dynamically enormous peak. Here the line between congealing and each image getting properly loud but remaining distinct is very thin. Any early sharpness morphs into a piercing obstacle and the sound|kaos Vox 3afw's small widebanders inherently sensitive to grit and roughness show all of that too well when it happens. On dynamic range, smoothness, hydration and fine soft edges, the LessLoss clearly took the cake. Although I still couldn't push the Swiss monitors too much, the Lithuanian cable did a far better job than its edgier, slimmer and coarser sparring partner.

Next let me introduce you to Michael Godard's "L'Abbesse" from his Monteverdi – A Trace Of Grace LP. Its characteristic Tuvan-like deep voice recorded within Abbaye de Noirlac's thick medieval walls has always been my key attraction or rather its transitions up and down the vocal range. The word 'moist' ideally describes how the C-MARC handled that complex job but its in-built silencing action also greatly contributed to rendering surrounding space as breathing, tangible and three-dimensional for a very pleasant 'live' feel. Audiomica's execution was more chiseled, shimmery, dry and again with less bass control. Lesser vocal body and limited colours weren't major offenders but images staged mainly in front rather than around me. That had a major impact on the overall perspective. Enveloping music projections demand nicely outlined images in front and partially around a listener. Here the generously oxygenated moist aural bubbles of LessLess contested Audiomica's flatter more uniform landscape. In a word, the latter cable showed me a regular picture from a distance, the former moved the perspective closer and partially curved it to envelop me to a larger degree.

Nine Inch Nails' "The Wretched" from The Fragil isn't exactly a typical audiophile listen but still structures interestingly. Piano keys struck early on feel massive and resonant to build a gloomy backdrop for Trent Reznor's distorted voice. The man's anger is evident and even more so in the chorus when electric guitars and additional effects step in. This track can get messy quickly so separation, weight and all piercing bits kept in check are of paramount importance. Just as before, Audiomica's cable produced a paler yet sharper sound while the LessLoss produced more cerebral heftier guitars for a noticeably meatier, angrier and raw effect. This maintained image focus to avoid chaos. I don't think that efficient lucid speakers like my sound|kaos can entirely liberate "The Wretched" from all its needles but the C-MARC made them sensibly less pointy and landed more pleasing weightier sonics. That was a major win by my standards.

To liven things up, let's move to "Festivo" from the Zatoichi soundtrack. Various drums, sticks, background vocals and palmas set the mood for a snappy upbeat ride that's by design entertaining and alive. As per usual with such recordings, an elastic open vibe, textural flavors and instrumental separation are essential. Here the LessLoss played it more connected, coherent, hefty and nimble, the Erys glossier, hotter upstairs so sunnier in general but also noticeably hollow in the midband, lazier in the bass and with a textural palette less differentiated. I didn't have to listen to "Festivo" twice to know which result was more enjoyable and balanced.