Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; Dr. Feickert Blackbird MKII/DFA 1o5/Zu DL-103; Phasure XX-PC;
DAC: Phasure NOS1 DAC; PS Audio Direct Stream DAC [loaner]; Pink Faun DAC 2.32 [in for review]
Streaming sources: XXHighEnd; iTunes; Devialet AIR; La Rosita Beta; Qobuz Desktop,; Pink Faun AV Streamer [in for review];
Preamp/integrated/power: Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); dual Devialet D-Premier; Hypex Ncore 1200 based monoblocks; Trafomatic Kaivalya; Trafomatic Reference One; Trafomatic Reference Phono One; Music First Passive Magnetic; PTP Audio Blok20
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Podium Sound One; WLM Sub 12; Sounddeco Alpha F3; dual Zu Submission MKI; Soltanus Virtuoso ESL (downstairs)
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; full loom of Nanotec Golden Strada; Audiomica Pearl Consequence interconnect; Audiomica Pebble Consequence; full loom of Oyaide Tunami cables [in for review]
Power line conditioning: PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III; IsoTek Evo 3 Syncro; AudioMica Allbit Consequence
Equipment racks: Solid Tech and ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Indispensable accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Franc Audio Ceramic Disc Classic; Shakti Stones; Akiko Audio sticks; Kemp polarity checker
Online Music purveyors:, Tidal,,  
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs, ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs.
Prices of review items:  power cables €461 - €995 depending on connectors, Tunami II SP-Y 2.5m loudspeaker cable €887, interconnect €176 - €801, phono cables €279 - €312, power distributor with 6 outlets €985, RCA caps €21

Cable reviews can be quite boring. So can the process of writing them. The reviewer gets one or two cables and swaps them for those already present. When lucky—very lucky—the newbs have sufficient mileage on them to be ready for critical listening after an hour or so. But now what? One can compare the results against the first cable based on aural memory. Now, aural memories are not the most reliable sources of information. Trust us on that. Better but not easy to perform are direct A/B tests. When a source has multiple outputs, two parallel interconnects can be A/B’d. Or the use of Manley Labs’ Skipjack switcher comes in handy. However, if you want to do the same for power or speaker cables, you’re busted. We said before that in our experience, a full cable loom from the same manufacturer and preferably the same series of cables yields best results. There is a form of synergy that defies the mix’n’(mis)match of cables from various makes or even from various ranges of the same brand. We found that a full loom of mid-price/range cables outperforms a mid-price + top-line mix. All of this triggered an affirmative to the review solicitation of a full loom of Oyaide’s latest. Part of the deal would be power cables, interconnects and loudspeaker cables all from the Tunami range [yes, that’s not spelled Tsunami as one might perhaps expect – Ed.] Together with the review email solicitation came a press release. That raved about the new series of cables based on an all new and, mind you, revolutionary conductor called 102 SSC. Before the box of cables arrived, we had some time to study the literature and get all revolutionary.

Oyaide Electric Co. Ltd. of Tokyo was founded in 1952 by Kazuji Oyaide and began as a company of mainly magnet wire. Over the years, other types of wire were included and when the at first alien notion came about that wires make an audible difference for hifi use, Oyaide-san started to experiment with dedicated audio cables. That was in the 1970s. All throughout, the focus of Oyaide was on materials made in Japan, hence not cheaper Chinese or Korean imports but pure honest-to-goodness nipponsei. Oyaide chose the best suppliers of raw materials and the best workshops to create a product that was allowed to bear their branding. In this fashion, a small company working the niche market called audio could offer quality products at a reasonable price. All the heavy investments and stockpiling remain at the suppliers’ end. Oyaide only has to deal with designing new products and marketing the results.

Today, the same attitude continues under current boss Satoru Marayama. For many years the copper wire used in Oyaide cables was supplied by Furukawa famed for their PCOCC copper. That stands for pure copper Ohno continuous cast. It’s a method developed in 1986 by Dr. Atsumi Ohno at the Chiba Institute. For many years Oyaide and Furukawa collaborated happily and many quality cables germinated from their team work. Then in 2013 the hammer fell. Furukawa suddenly announced a dead stop in their production of PCOCC copper for the audio industry. This came as a shock not only to Oyaide but to other customers of this major raw wire supplier. Companies like Furutech and Nanotec were likewise hit. Furukawa’s rationale was a misaligned index of high manufacturing costs vs. insufficient sales numbers to a niche market. Over at Oyaide HQ, the question loomed large on what to do next. It must have caused many a sleepless night. Sure, they could finally turn to Chinese suppliers who claim to offer PCOCC wire but that would be against the company’s code of nipponsei. In the end the daring decision was made to produce their own wire. No, not in their own factory but according to Oyaide’s founding philosophy - by the best Japanese craftsmen they could identify. It took eighteen months of R&D to come up with their ultimate conductor design. The material was christened 102 SSC. We come back as to why this particular name.

The starting point for their new conductor material would be virgin copper. Oyaide didn’t want the artifacts present in recycled copper. Their pure virgin copper is first formed into a rod which is then successively drawn through various stages to arrive at a 1mm thick wire. Any form of contamination resulting from this drawing process is removed by annealing the cleaned wire. That means gently heating the material and slowly cooling it down again. As a result, the copper not only gets less brittle and more pliable as its crystalline structure is changed, the copper loses the mechanical stress injected into it from the prior drawing. Oyaide’s annealing is electrical. They state that it took quite some effort to arrive at the perfect voltage/current and velocity values for the wire diameter being annealed. Their claim is that the outcome is a wire with a conductivity level of 102% on the International Annealed Copper Standard, IACS. That standard is based on achieving a 100% score of 5.80 × 107 siemens per meter (58.0 MS/m) at 20°C. Voilà, the 102 in the first part of the conductor’s name.

At this point, the wire is still not ready to become a cable. Like fresh produce, the next steps must be performed in a tight time frame to avoid spoilage. After annealing, the wires are vacuum-shipped to their next stop of Sanshu Electric Wire Co. where within two days the final fine drawing and stranding must take place. Sanshu use natural not synthetic diamond for their drawing dies. Using these dies makes it possible to work with diameter tolerances of about 1μm. To maintain that tight tolerance, the dies undergo frequent maintenance and their usable lifespan is strictly limited. Oyaide calls the end result of the diamond treatment special surface copper i.e. SSC. There’s the second half of the conductor’s name.The final stage is the stranding of wires into a cable. Oyaide developed stranding that groups together three different wire diameters. The smaller gauges fill up the gaps between the thicker strands and the end result is a tighter cluster with less oxidizing surface plus a smaller diameter for the overall gauge than achievable with conventional stranding. Now we have an idea of how the 102 SSC came to be. Next would be our assessment on how all the involved effort translates into real working life.