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Thunder Melody

Manufacturer: INNOVACOM sp. z o.o.
Price (when reviewed): 15 900/2 m

INNOVACOM SP. Z O.O. Oddział Henryków
Henryków 28C, 67-300 Szprotawa | POLSKA


Provided for test by: THUNDER MELODY


translation Mare Dyba
images „High Fidelity”

No 230

July 1, 2023


THUNDER MELODY is a Polish audio brand founded in 2020. It was founded by Mr. KONRAD RAS and Mr. RAFAŁ HŁADZIAK and specializes in products for vibration damping, noise reduction and power supply conditioning. We test their FEMTO GOLD LAN cable. It's its premiere.

'M ENJOYING THE STORM that broke out after the film was released on the Audio Video Summit channel (AVS#30 - Wojciech Pacuła - Jak uzyskać najlepsze brzmienie muzyki z plików na swoim Hi-Fi?, more → HERE). In it, I spoke about my almost thirty years of experience with playing audio files, beginning with recordings in the Cubase DAW system, when I was still working in the theater. I am happy with the storm I am talking about, because finally some specialists who combine university knowledge with expert knowledge also spoke.

Because I'm constantly supplementing my own knowledge with reading, conversations with developers and tests, I have firmly established views on many things and I'm sure of them. As it happens, they are usually offensive to "mainstream" engineers, so to speak, i.e. classic IT people. But this has been the case with digital audio since "always". When several years ago, as the first in Poland and one of the first in Europe, I prepared a test of LAN cables, it caused quite a stir. And? – And as it turns out, LAN cables are as important as any other connection in the system.

The general consensus in our industry today is that they require a different set of tools and knowledge because they combine specific elements in the audio world: server, router, LAN switch, and audio transport or player. LAN FEMTO cables from the Thunder Melody, based in Szprotawa, also serve this purpose.


THE THUNDER MELODY’S LINEUP is divided into three series: Silver, Gold and Black. We start with the Silver series, progress to Gold and finally to Black. In the latter, as the designers say, there is no upper price limit, because then you can use the entire spectrum of techniques developed by the company. The tested LAN cable belongs to the middle series of this manufacturer. It's quite stiff and not particularly pretty. In the sense that you can see that it is a hand-made, short-series work. However, when we pick it up, we will be surprised by its weight - it uses techniques for signal conditioning and reduction of vibrations and noise in the high frequency range, which are Thunder Melody's own developments, and all of them contribute to the cable’s large diameter and weight.

The conductor in it is silver-plated copper, there are four pairs of 24 AWG wires (16 meters of conductor in a 2-meter cable). Their pairs are double shielded, and the whole thing is double shielded. Plugs are excellent Telegartner cat. 8.2, the design meets requirement of at least category 6A (minimum 10Gb), PoE++ support (Power over Ethernet, 802.3bt - up to 90W - Power Device type 4 and higher). We know them from the LAN switch of this company M12 SWITCH MAGIC, developed by the Japanese branch of this company (more → HERE), as well as from the TiGLON cables that I use. These are some of the best LAN plugs on the market.

The manufacturers do not want to talk too much about the solutions used inside. It's not about been overly "secretive", nor do they have anything to hide. The thing is that such small companies rely on their know how - and knowledge costs the most. The solutions they use are often known from other industries, but their adaptation also costs money. So they don't want someone else to get this knowledge for free. The only things they say about those used in the tested cable are:

The implementation of the cable and plugs are our proprietary solutions from the top FEMTO line, in the GOLD (mid-high end) or BLACK (open-budget) implementation variant. These cables work in our 10Gb laboratory installation, including PoE++.

The Thunder Melody LAN Femto Gold comes in a small wooden box with a brass plate screwed on it. It would be useful if there was a filling/padding inside that would stabilize the cable better. There is a yellow band on the cable with arrows indicating the direction of connection. It wasn't clear to me at first because it has the word "source" next to it. So I didn't know if it was a signal source, i.e. a LAN switch, or a file player. It turns out that they point to the latter.


˻ HOW WE LISTENED ˺ The Thunder Melody LAN Femto Gold cable was tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system. For the listening session I used two file players, no longer produced, but which I know well: LUMÏN T1 and MYTEK BROOKLYN BRIDGE. The latter was powered by an external Nordost Q-Source power supply.

The players connected to the Internet via my system consisting of a double LAN switch SILENT ANGEL N16 LPS, with its two modules in series, powered by a TiGLON TPL-2000A cable; more about it → HERE ⸜ PL. Thunder Melody was compared to two LAN cables: TiGLON TPL-2000L and Siltech Royal Single Crown.

Since the techniques used for signal conditioning in Polish brand’s product affect the system for some time, even when we unplug it, the manufacturer asked me to modify my test methodology:

Our products, as always, introduce significant changes that are "build up" for several minutes, or even better, hours (even better "a whole night"), and in the same way, the changes "come down" from the system gradually. So, for compatibility with the current methodology, you can do A/B testing with the suggested "mute" for a minimum time of one minute.

But let me also suggest pausing in the musical silence for a quarter of an hour and playing the previous track. This shows the gradient of stabilizing of the entire audio system, which is not perceptible to us during continuous listening. During the longer pause, our delta "t" will catch any real gain value, in the short, as for audio, time of minutes.

I followed the suggestion. Before the test, the cable was plugged in overnight with the system in "standby" mode and network devices turned on. As the cable designer says, "8 hours is enough for 'stabilization', but without messing with the system". In the table you will also find a micro test of the highest version of the tested cable, LAN Femto Black, but only 0.5 m long. This cable connected two sections of my LAN switch.


⸜ NOUVELLE VAGUE, Nouvelle Vague, Peacefrog Records/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (2004).
⸜ AGNES OBEL, Live From Brooklyn, Blue Note Records/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA 24/44,1, (2020).
⸜ ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO, The World Has Made Me The Man Of My Dreams, Bismillah Llc. | Universal Music Jazz France | EmArcy/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA 24/88,2 (2007).
⸜ BENNY CARTER, Jazz Giant, Contemporary Records/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA 24/96 (1958/)
⸜ ARNE DOMNÉRUS, Jazz at the Pawnshop, Proprius/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (1976).
⸜ ART BLAKEY, Moanin’, Blue Note/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA Studio 24/192 (1958/?).
⸜ GARY BURTON & CHICK COREA, Crystal Silence, ECM/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA Studio 24/96 (1973/2017).
⸜ THE BEATLES, Revolver (Super Deluxe) , Apple/UMC/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA 24/96 (1966/2022).

You can find the playlist on Tidal titled HIGH FIDELITY: Thunder Melody LAN Femto Gold; → HERE.

I LIKE MY AUDIO FILES replay system. I've auditioned it with many different products and know its strengths and weaknesses. It is neither the best system on the market, nor does it even pretend to be. However, it is very balanced and can be both analytical and show the music in a pleasant way. However, it didn't take me even a moment to know that the Thunder Melody cable belongs to a completely different world, a world where we can find the best LAN cables.

Because, at the request of the designer, I listened to his cable first, the difference was even more obvious. The Polish cable produces an incredibly saturated sound (when I say "produces" I mean modifications it introduces to the sound). NOUVELLE VAGUE in In A Manner of Speaking, a delicate, pleasant samba, sounded deeper, fuller and blunt. In the sense that the presentation was much more emotionally engaging. We know this song primarily from the cover of Martin L. Gore, the leader of the Depeche Mode, with which he promoted the album Counterfeit e.p. (1989) and we do not forget that its first performer was the American band Tuxedomoon (1985 ).

The exceptional depth of the tested cable allowed the instruments to be placed in space more clearly, and the space itself was larger, especially in terms of depth. But not only that. The Thunder Melody products, I see it pretty well, do something that disappears the physical limitations of listening. In truth, they do not disappear, they were, are and will be there, and yet, by rapid improvement, such an impression occurs. The stage is opened up, but not by stretching it, but by saturating it with information. As if black and white graphics were transferred from ordinary paper to washi paper (Bartosz Pacuła wrote about it in the book High-End, Znak Horyzont 2023). Apparently both are the same, one is paper and so is the other, and yet the impression of three-dimensionality, and above all class is completely different.

Ah, how great it turned out with the next track I listened to, AGNES OBEL’S Camera's Rolling. This is a live recording where the introduction and singing have been moved apart in phase. So you have the impression that her voice comes from different places, from the sides, from the back - but not from the front. It's a very atmospheric track, which was simply prettier, deeper and even more mysterious with the Thunder Melody cable. Played on a small, cymbal-like instrument, the sounds from the listening axis were shown with more weight, intensity and were more weighted down. It gave me the impression that ethereal vocals surrounded the sounds of strings and synthesizer.

These features were repeated in all subsequent works. Each of them "reacted" to this loss, i.e. the transition from the Thunder Melody to TiGLON cable - because it was a clear loss - differently. ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO, an American composer, soul, jazz, rock and funk vocalist with ten Grammy nominations, with Japanese LAN cable was positioned further down the mix, but at the same time it was less clear. The LAN Femto Gold did not move it further, but it widened the body, weighed down the electronic bass and added a third dimension to everything. It was something the best digital sources do, that's how the sound changes when you go from a very good CD player to a much better SACD player.

And yet the changes I am talking about were even more pronounced when I listened to refined jazz recordings. BENNY CARTER from Jazz Giant, ARNE DOMNÉRUS from Jazz at the Pawnshop, ART BLAKEY from Moanin' and GARRY BURTON from Cystal Silence, each time the Polish cable showed the same thing - that you can go deeper, denser and quieter. Quieter not because the sound was quieter, but because the background against which the sounds were shown was blacker, almost velvety. This figurative description is usually used when we want to say that there is less noise in the system. The sound then becomes just that - velvety and shiny instead of matte.

| Thunder Melody

Price: 9900 PLN / 0.5 m

⸜ For comparison – a cable connecting two sections of my LAN switch: TiGLON (on the inside) and Thunder Melody (on the outside)

A SHORT SECTION OF THE CABLE in the BLACK version "does" more in the system than a long GOLD. But provided that Gold is already in this system. Black with the TiGLON cable improved the sound, but it was not as spectacular a change as when he played it combined with the second Thunder Melody cable. So when thinking about system changes you have to think about all digital cables, not just one.

Black offered even more three-dimensional, even more tangible sound sources. It seemed even more believable and natural with them. The effects applied to the instruments and vocals were drawn much more precisely. These were placed even further away on the stage, but they were also more clearly audible, such a paradox. As if they were bigger because of the energy of the sound, not the volume. They had a larger volume, even though the stage was deeper, and thus everything was more extended in depth. The sound was just much more believable.

The thing that needs to be taken into account is the incredible amount of information that we get with this cable. The Gold version works a bit like gold-plated plugs. It is a dense, beautiful presentation, in which nothing disturbs us. Black works more like rhodium-plated plugs. In this version, the presentation is less "polite", i.e. it is many things at once. This is true in the real world, but we got used to the fact that some of them are filtered out in the recordings, so as not to disturb what is most important. The more expensive version of the LAN cable, however, gives us everything, and you have to get used to it. When this happens, we will know that we are dealing with high-end.


AFTER SOME TIME, when the Polish cable was no longer in the system, when I listened to music from files again using my system - I was very pleased. I knew that I put it together very well and that it met my expectations, especially since it is not the most expensive setup. However, a moment with LAN Femto Gold in the system was enough and this illusion shattered. Sophistication, subtlety, but also energy - everything was much better with the Polish cable.

This is a LAN cable bringing sophistication to listening to music from files going in the direction we know from listening to SACDs and CDs, and - at a certain distance - tapes. It does not change the nature of the files, it is still a very difficult way to play music, but when it is in the signal’s path, the character in question is easier, more pleasant to assimilate. The sound of subsequent albums was much more exciting and engaging with it, which is the best indicator of the improvement in sound quality. It was with it that Taxman by THE BEATLES gained ferocity, and the musicians were much more "present" in the space in front of me than with the TiGLON cable.

That's because the Femto LAN Gold is one of the best LAN cables I've come across.


Reference system 2022

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC