Reviewer: Glen Wagenknecht
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Audio Space CDP 8A CD Player
Wyred 4 Sound Music Server
DACs: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2, Grant Fidelity Tube DAC 11
Preamplifier: Audio Space Reference 2S, Tortuga Audio LDR6 Passive
Amplifier:Bel Canto 200.4 Tapping TP22
AV receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-25
Main speakers: Apogee Duetta Signature, Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer
Audio Space AS-3/5A
Rack: Codia Acoustic Design Stage 1000
Stands: Charisma Audio Function Stands   Target Stands
AV speakers: JohnBlue M3s
AV subwoofer: Paradigm PW-2200
Desktop speakers: Swans M200 MkIII
Desktop DAC/Pre headphone amp: DA&T U-2
Cables: Arkana Physical Research Loom, Audio Art SE and Classic cable looms, JPS Labs Ultraconductor 2 speaker cables, Madison Audio Lab E3 Extreme 1 Interconnects/Extreme 2 speaker cables, Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects and speaker cables, digital optical and coax cable, Audio Sensibility Impact SE balanced interconnects and USB digital cables, DH Lab Power Plus AC cable.
Resonance control: Solid Tech, EquaRack Footers, Weizhi Precision Gold Glory footers, Boston Audio TuneBlock2 footers, Audio Exklusiv Silent Plugs, Audio Exklusiv d.C.d. Base and d.C.d. Footers, Superspikes, CA Electronics Standard Cones, Feet, Cable Clamps, Isocaoustics L8R130, Aperta and L8R200 SUB speaker stands
Powerline conditioning: Exact Power EP15A, Noise Destroyer power filtration
Accessories: TrueHarmonix Black Magic CD Mat, Herbie’s Super Black Hole CD Mat
Main room size: 12' x 17'
Home theatre: 10.5’ x 16.5’
Review components retails: C3 RCA 110cm CHF 1’000 + VAT (available in XLR and luxury editions at higher cost); Cristal 1.3 speaker cables, 2.5m/pr CHF 2’500 + VAT (each addition meter at CHF 1’000 + VAT); jumper CHF 300 + VAT [at press time, a Swiss frank was essentially at parity with the US dollar)

In most of my reviews, you’d now be reading a brief history of the company, the individuals involved, then a product description. All that’s coming but today a short pre(r)amble is required. The Brandt Audio cables are a unique case of cause and effect. To understand these products as effect, it first becomes necessary to examine the cause. The word accurate has been a staple of audiophile marketing jargon for ages. It’s so universally accepted that rarely does anyone ask the basic question: accurate to what? Here’s where the fun begins.

In the early days of audio innocence, the absolute standard of accuracy was fidelity to the original sound, the intention being acoustic instruments and unamplified human voice. Time has eroded and divided that concept into two different directions. One is dedicated to pursuing the original acoustic event, the other seeks fidelity to the recorded version. While you’d think they should be the same, they are not. Let’s start with speaker design. The traditional ideal was to get the midrange correct based on referencing live microphone feeds and building outwards from that acoustically accurate core. That has since given way to computer modeling and appeasement to modern tastes gravitating towards higher and higher tonal contrast. Somewhere along the line, real instruments became a casualty.

Well you say, thankfully I can depend on the recording industry to give me an accurate reference. I assume that most of you will laugh at that. For every stellar example of the art, the majority of recordings are compressed mediocrity at best, and even ‘high-end’ productions are rarely acoustically accurate. Given a choice of two masters, one untouched, one mildly goosed to meet market tastes, guess which one gets released? Accuracy is less a rock to cling to then a slippery slope to navigate. When assembling home playback systems, the listener must factor personal listening biases and choose accordingly. Do you want to be truthful to the recording or attempt to recapture timbral information faithful to the original acoustic event? This is where Brandt Audio step into the picture. Based out of Tannay in Switzerland’s Geneva basin, they currently offer high-end cable products Internet direct and through select dealers. Owner and designer Charles Brandt brings a distinguished 10 years as CFO for the Pietrasanta in Concerto International Music Festival to the audio cable table which give him an intimate insight into the sound of live music and real instruments. He hopes that a marriage of trained ear and technical knowledge will translate as something fresh and exciting for those who want to get back to the basics of live music. In his own words:

"In my quest to have in my living room a sound as close as possible to that encountered in the concert hall—I have high expectations and the organization of a classical music festival brings me closer to source—I made a big step forward by changing speakers but even then found that something was missing. I lacked transparency and freshness. Just so I had very good interconnects and a great brand of speaker cables. Then I read a lot and spoke with engineers, musicians, enthusiasts. Finally I opted to build cables myself with enamelled copper (Litz) of different cross sections. It is known that Litz wire prevents skin effect in a stranded cable. Some of the wires I use are thinner than hair, others much thicker. I started with speaker cables. The first cables immediately showed superior qualities that encouraged me to pursue this path. I then introduced an architecture by organizing my conductors around a nucleus. I noticed that a certain distance from each other promoted increased transparency and detail. Perpendicular intersection were preferable to parallel wires. Hence all my ends are braided wherever possible. Each detail of twist, braid, distance, crossing at 90° increases transparency and detail, provided we use the right materials."