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"My philosophy about audio cables is that they should be completely neutral, allowing the recording and equipment to perform at levels and standards intended by the engineers and designers. The CRL cable design is based on using multiple strands of the finest copper wire in various gauges (for different frequency ranges) terminated with the best connectors in the world, the Bocchino Audio RCA and XLR. Winston Ma first discovered the Bocchino connector and used them with FIM cables; I made the decision after purchasing the business to continue using the connector as I feel it is unmatched in quality.

"I've upgraded the quality of assembly and materials. Each cable is meticulously hand-crafted in the U.S. using the highest caliber metals, components, and connectors. While still based on the original high energy conductivity design, today's cables are more flexible and lighter in weight than their ancestors.

"My mission is to make these superior cables available to everyone who strives to achieve the true sound produced by recordings. And my business philosophy for CRL is simple, produce the best cables and sell them direct to customers at approximately half of their original prices."

Snakes off a plane!
After the Herculean effort of guiding and supporting the boa constrictors around and behind the Finite Elemente Pagode racks, I could finally begin the task of serious listening. I began with the Round Midnight film soundtrack, a gem of a CD of which I knew almost nothing but got at a free club swap. I love it when you score a dead-on target when you least expect it. This Herbie Hancock production is musically and sonically exceptional. Recorded live within the film's set (which I gather was an extremely faithful reproduction of the Blue Note Club) the Gold cables presented these intimate jazz sessions in a natural and realistic soundstage that on closing my eyes had me nearly transported to the venue. Of course this is often said in positive reviews and to this reviewer, no component can ever be singly responsible for such verisimilitude. Yes, it's a system thing. And in my system, the CRLs just slotted in beautifully
to enhance the whole musical experience. The massive soundstage was augmented by its depth and the precise and focused image of the instruments within it. What's more, Herbie's piano had a truth of timbre unmatched by other cable combinations within my system. From initial hammer hit with its defined and fast transient to the full and tonally precise string resonance, the king of instruments' overall presentation via the CRL-fitted system was utterly believable and enjoyable.

Similarly, Dexter Gordon's tenor sax was reproduced with startling dynamic contrast and again with a degree of tonal accuracy that takes the listener away from illusion and closer to reality. The weed's vibration and buzzing as the air rushes
through it was clearly discernible as were the sax's key clicks, evidence of this cable's unhampered ability to transmit delicate micro detail. Vocals are another telling factor with the Golds. Still on Round Midnight, Bobby Mc Ferrin and Lonette Mc Kee's voices had a semblance of presence, liveliness and body that was pure trickery.

My latest bass & dynamics torture test is Nils Lofgren's Live, as opposed to Acoustic Live as used by audiophiles, and the track "Bass and Drum Intro". If there's a better track for testing bass speed, punch and dynamics, I'd like to hear it. Actually, I'd be afraid to hear it. With the CRL cables in the system, the bass was astonishingly fast and detailed and the cables did not soften the impact to the sternum, in fact they enhanced it.

At the other extreme, the treble end of the spectrum, cymbals and acoustic guitar high notes were airy and extended while retaining delicate detail without a trace of brightness. Actually,
this is another strength of the CRL Gold cable, it's smoothness. At no time during the auditions did the very revealing WATT/Puppies exhibit any trace of brightness or hardness. The cables don't romanticize but they are ever so subtly on the warm side. In this writer's opinion, in small degrees that's almost always a good thing. Here it prolonged listening sessions.

Boy did these cables do space well. Solti's Beethoven with the Vienna Philharmonic was truly huge. Eyes closed, volume up and the ambience was all around. Oh and the crescendos, when reproduced with such tonal accuracy and dynamic contrast, were frightening. The CRL cables have had a telling affect on the Kramer household listening pattern. Since having these wonderful cables in situ, partnered listening sessions have been longer and more regular. The system has become - well as Mrs K puts it, "more musical" and "really easy to listen to". And that's coming from a non-audiophile but unsullied and keen ear.

Real charmers
Genre upon genre, CD after CD, the CRL Gold cables never failed to deliver musical pleasure. From rock and blues to jazz, chamber and orchestral, the CRLs passed the inter-component signal in a full-bodied way that made music sound alive and present with detail, space and dynamic contrast. What's more, the cables seemed to quiet the background or in reviewer speak, "blacken the background'. In fact, a competitor's very expensive loaner pair temporarily in-house tended to add noise in comparison to the black-hole quiet from the CRLs. I liken this to the difference experienced when looking at a large screen TV from up close and then from the correct viewing distance. Up close you see the image tainted by noise and small artefacts. The very same image viewed at the correct distance has all the detail and resolution without the added noise.

The CRL Gold cables are not an insignificant investment. At $2700 for a 1m length in either RCA or XLR, they are within the upper levels of the cable kingdom. However, there are far more expensive cables which in terms of connector and sheer material quantity offer far less perceived value. For that alone, a wise purchaser will rest assured of a tangible return for the dosh spent. Once in the system, there are bountiful rewards to be reaped.

Quality of packing: Well-packed in cardboard box with Velcro cable ties
Reusability of packing: Reusable many times.
Ease of unpacking/repacking: Easy.
Condition of component received: As new.
Completeness of delivery: Perfect.
Quality of owner's manual: Basic.
Website comments: Well designed and informative.
Warranty: Very generous 10 year warranty.
Human or web interactions: Friendly and prompt at answering queries.
Final comments & suggestions: Cables are difficult to handle due to extraordinary thickness.
CRL's website