Are speakers too thick, bloated, dark and constricted? A quick, lit up and leaner set of wires might evaporate the proverbial fog to let in some light. The takeaway is that there's room to audibly improve an under-performing setup with carefully curated cables. Innumerable brands make the market very competitive. No bank needs robbing. But audio snakes being able to fix what's broken (or break what's not) are just the basics. The ability to extract the very essence of each major component without drawbacks is a different story and league. Now the talk is not about a cable elevating one aspect at a cost to another. It's about a connection which allows a component to fully flourish yet which itself stays out of the way. I believe that this is the top-tier game. And to me at least, Louis Motek of LessLoss had already proven that he knows how to play it.
By pushing my system's potential a fair bit upward, his C-MARC power cables had snatched our 'Victor' award. Since the entire LessLoss loom is based on a shared set of design principles and engineering solutions, the incentive to dig deeper eventually led me to another specimen of this Lithuanian family. Would C-MARC on duty between amps and loudspeakers replicate the success of its power snakes?
Two foil bags with LessLoss labels contained not two but four cables to have each of the '+' and '-' legs as discrete runs. I have nothing against such separation. On the contrary. Not one but two identical leads per speaker provide some aesthetic wiggle room. They may be routed apart or slightly twisted to look different running across my carpet. Because these leads weren't stiff, thick, heavy or shiny but flexible, quite thin, light and a consistent black, all my subjective bells rang in just the right way. Usually cables tick off two or three of these boxes but the Lithuanians nailed all four.
LessLoss C-MARC loudspeaker cables share core principles with their power kin. The goal was to be as silent as possible. The means to arrive there are as follows. Each hair-thin conductor twisted clockwise bonds with its counter-clockwise reflection of exactly the same diameter and step though in opposite polarization. That's replicated multiple times. It creates deliberate cross coupling known as bucking coil whilst the conductors in each bundle are all individually insulated, hence of Litz topology. Two oppositely polarized perfectly mirrored wires cancel mutually induced noise when electrically summed at the ends. This greatly improves their S/NR or signal-to-noise ratio.
The on-site description of the C-MARC family isn't shy on details and today's subject is well covered. Based on a coaxial geometry and white center, it starts as 24 strands of a combed natural cotton fiber braid at its core. That is surrounded by 192 x 0.125mm thin strands of enameled copper wire. Next 96 strands of mercerized and gassed black cotton threads form a third layer followed by the same copper conductors as before. Finally, two black-cotton jackets of 128 strands each one atop the other create the outer sleeve. 760 is the total thread count, total conductive cross section 4.608mm².
Not solid-core but Litz conductors complimented by multiple fluffy cotton jackets are key why C-MARC is so flexible. Each Lithuanian snake can be twisted, bent and tangled far more than usual. Routing between components was very easy. From a typical consumer's perspective, this might have little relevance . Cables tend to remain in the same position for years to be rightfully viewed a one-time deal. For tinkers like me where an incoming amp will be on and off duty multiple times a day when an evaluation is in full swing, convenient cable dressing was a real bonus. Unsurprisingly, the C-MARC speaker cable was even easier to work than its thicker stiffer power cord kin but still remains available in just black. Prior to shipping, I was asked my preferred termination choice and length. Spades and 2.5m had my vote.
The silver-plated copper Xhadow connectors from the US were thick and solid and the same brand's RCA and XLR adorn the C-MARC interconnects. Each cable's outer coating sported two pairs of translucent heat shrink tubes with series name and directional arrows near both ends. Black or red markers of a similar type on each spade prevented me from wiring things up wrong. Overall finish was top notch and the product felt most reliable to surely take a beating. Each of the four runs was of exactly the same length and likewise for the heat shrink sizes and locations. All these fairly small things indicated a well-sorted assembly process with admirable attention to detail. I could tell easily that this C-MARC was no DIY effort but something crafted by a well-established hifi house.
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