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Interconnect + speaker cable



Manufacturer: Rafko

Prices: 99 zł/0,5 m + 259 zł/2 x 2,5 m

ul. Goździkowska 4 | 18-100 Łapy | Polska
tel.: 85 747 97 57 | fax: 85 874 95 42
tel. kom.: 607 266 266

t turned out to be quite difficult to obtain any information about these product from their manufacturer, company Rafko. But that was not the first time it happened to me – I faced similar scarcity of information when I tried to find out more about Monolith Audio platform. Perhaps this reluctance of giving almost any information of these two manufacturer comes from similar provenance of both of them – both – Rafko and – were audio distributors that created their own audio brands and started manufacturing and selling their own products. They know quite well how hard it is to find proper people, subcontractors and so on, to make it work. That's why they are not willing to share their experience and knowledge, earned in a hard way, with others.
The man behind the idea, and founder of Melodika, was Rafał Koc. He came up with it already 5 years ago, and all the preparations for cables manufacturing, conceptual work on the name of the brand and on several products started then. It took them two years of quite intense work before first products could be introduced to the market in 2010. The first series of cables was called Purple Rain, and it was made in one of Polish factories (Purple Rain cables are marked with „Made in Poland” description in accordance with Polish law, the only element manufactured outside Poland are connectors). Purple Rain cables embody the main idea, main point of company's philosophy that says, that Melodika products should be manufactured in Poland, as long as it is possible, meaning cost-effective.

I'd like to present you a quote from manufacturer's website, as it says a lot about their company's philosophy:

On one hand, the more complex solutions and technologies are used to manufacture audio-video accessories the more expensive they get, while the increase in cost is not really justifiable by the respectively better performance. On the other hand the most affordable products on the market are often manufactured using very poor materials. Many manufacturer chose this way because they believe that most customers instead of exercising their right to return faulty products prefer to buy a new one, as long as the price is low. The quality of Melodika products should satisfy all customers who search for reliable products made up to certain standards of high quality materials.

It is obvious that the idea on one hand was to make products using well known, proven designs, but not too refined to avoid high costs, ergo price, and on the other to offer inexpensive products that were using some solutions and technologies that had already proven to be working in audio.
Melodika's portfolio is quite impressive – speaker cables, audio interconnects, video cables, subwoofer cables (type of interconnects), and some other accessories including an acrylic headphone stand. It seems that a key word here is: „installation”. At the moment this is a large part of audio business and for many distributors it is an important source of their income. For each „installation” of a home theater system, „intelligent home” system, audio/video systems for conference rooms, for multimedia rooms and so on, kilometers must be used. In some cases expensive cables might be used generating large margin for their supplier, but in most cases prices have to be reasonable to satisfy customers. This is an opportunity for a company that manufactures its own cables – usually they should be able to offer the best price.

Obviously a good price is usually not the only requirement – customer expects cables to deliver at least decent performance too. To be honest I was shocked with the prices of reviewed cables – 99 PLN for a 0,5m interconnect and 260 PLN for a pair of 2,5m speaker cables. These cables look very well – they sport nice, purple sleeving (I guess that's where the name Purple Rain came from, maybe Prince was also involved?), and solid connectors. And the technical specification also seems quite serious.
MD2R05 interconnect is a "single core" design, used by many manufacturers, including Acoustic Revive. The wire inside is an OFC of 4 N (99,99%) purity, with 0,25 mm2 diameter. To „improve electric field distribution” an additional conducting layer was added. Shielding combines two layers – a braided cable sleeving and a conducting layer. The capacitance and inductance of this cable are quite low. An interesting thing – cables are not soldered but crimped in connectors, which improves signal transmission.
The MDSC4025 speaker cable is of the same color as interconnect, and it sports gold-plated banana plugs. This symbol means a pair of ready cables, as if you buy same cable of a reel it is marked with a different symbol. It's made of twisted copper wires, total of 2x4 mm2. It's made up of 170 0,15 mm2 wires, plus an additional „drain”, Ø 1,10 mm. The latter is called a BassCore and is meant to support low frequency transmission. These cables, although packed in plastic bags, look quite nice.

Recordings used during test (a selection)

  • Art Pepper, Art Pepper meets the Rhythm Section, Contemporary Records/JVC VICJ-42524, K2 CD (1957/2006).
  • Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Global Records/Long Hair LHC00071, CD (1971/2008).
  • Jean-Michel Jarre, Téo&Téa, Aero Productions/Warner Bros, 2564699766, CD+DVD (2007).
  • Massive Attack, Heligoland, Virgin Records 996094662, CD (2010).
  • Mel Tormé, The legend of Mel Tormé, Going for a Song GFS360, CD (?).
  • Savage, Tonight, Extravaganza Publishing/Klub80 Records CD001, “25th Anniversary Limited Edition No 59/150”, CD (1984/2009).
  • Siekiera, ”Nowa Aleksandria”, Tonpress/MTJ cd 90241, 2 x CD (1986/2012).
  • Sting, The dream of the blue turtles, A&M Records/Mobile Fidelity, UDCD 528, gold-CD (1985/1990).
  • Suzanne Vega, Nine Objects of Desire, A&M Records, 540 583 2, CD (1996).
  • Wolfgang Dauner Quintet, The Oimels, MPS/Long Hair LHC59, CD (1969/2008).
Japanese editions of CDs and SACDs are available from

If someone is to compare such truly inexpensive cables as these ones, and you have to realize that these prices are at absolute minimum one has to pay for decent audio cables (other are just junk), to some high-end looking and sounding ones that cost 10, 100, maybe even 1000 times more, one has to start with a very basic question: what is it that I am looking for? This is a key question and the answer to it is essential to such comparison. My answer to this question is: let's not look for differences, let's look for similarities. I will tell you what difference there is between 100 PLN Purple Rain MD2R05 interconnect and the 80.000 PLN Siltech Royal Signature Series Double Crown but I will tell you that only for educational purposes. My main purpose here is to find out what makes these cables to stand out among hundreds of no-name cables added to some cheap electronics, and what makes them at least to some extend similar to more expensive competitors from other parts of the globe.
There is a lot to write about. What stroke me at first was an unexpectedly small tonal difference I noticed between Melodika and Siltech, and also Tara Labs. The difference was much more significant, in this aspect, comparing Polish cables to a Japanese Acrolink 7N-2050III. Polish cables offered a very nice, somehow soft sound, which reminded me of Supra products. And that was something that made them stand out from almost any other inexpensive cables I knew, as these usually sounded at least a bit harsh, sounds had often sharp edges, and especially after a while, sound got bit shouty. Should one present it to some inexperienced listeners and they might think that they hear an open sound with good resolution, which is obviously not true. But the problem is that such a cable will still sound better than anything people get together with mass-produced electronics. On one hand such a man makes a step forward, upgrades the sound of his system, on the other he is making a step in the wrong direction, as now he knows even less about how his music should really sound like.

The Purple Rain cables seem to come form another galaxy, or maybe even from another dimension. If the margin was the true goal of the manufacturer he would double or triple these prices and these would still be very attractive cables for the price. I am not exaggerating, I'm rather trying not to say that these cables are under-priced as I don't really know that – I can't name prices basing on products performance. What I can do is – comparing them to my reference cables – to tell you what the differences are, what are similarities between them and how I perceive their performance. In this case it was pretty obvious to me from the very beginning – while assessing them from a high-end perspective you can easily find many weaknesses, but have a look from a perspective of someone who just enters the audiophile world, the world of beautiful music and you'll find them perfect.

Their main merit is lack of any harshness or brightness. Yes, that comes at cost of lesser dynamics, and not so rhythmic presentation, but the presentation as a whole is definitely better, more truthful than with any other cables at this price range. What I mean by truthful is that there are proper proportions between all aspects: tonality, resolution and the range extension at both ends. Even if you use them in a very expensive system it should not lose it's sonic character, which is very important and to be honest at this price range simply unexplainable. I don't want to say that these cables perform better than above mentioned Acrolinks, or more expensive Chords, that's not my point – I will never praise any product if it doesn't deserve it. In fact that's exactly the reason why some of my tests are disapproved by some manufacturers and distributors who claim that I point out too many flaws in their „fantastic” products. Take any good product and it will have a list of its merits and some flaws too. What you need to do is to enjoy how good it is and accept its minor flaws. Anyway Melodika cables offer something that makes them easily likable – connect them to any system and while they will impose some limitation to system's performance it will still keep its sonic character, its way of music presentation. It's been a refreshing experience for me, as it allowed me to appreciate cables despite knowing how cheap they were. After all spending a 100 PLN for IC or 260 PLN for SC one could not possible expect too much, could he?

These Polish cables are not only „reliable”, which is a positive surprise considering their price, but they also modify the sound in a predictable way, supporting music they reproduce. Within their limits, of course. Sound is a bit warm and soft, but never too warm nor too soft. I would say that these are natural, realistic warmth and softness. I listened to many recordings trying to establish whether these cables would ruin the sound with improper treble presentation, which could simply kill any enjoyment of listening to any music. One of the recordings I played was the re-issue of ”Nowa Aleksandria” by Siekiera. I had a great pleasure to enjoy the Idziemy przez las piece long before this recording was released – because the mastering was done by Damian Lipiński (you can read an interview with him and Rafał Lachmirowicz HERE). Damian, while working on this recording, sent me three versions of his master, and a hi-res copy made directly from a master tape. He added also files with two older remasters, made by other guys. Damian's versions were clearly superior, and the hi-res file gave me even something more – amazing depth. Both earlier version were, to be honest, embarrassingly poor. But to be fair the final version, I mean the CD, also isn't perfect – how could it be since they used noise reduction system Dolby A, plus the recording itself was made like most in this time with poor resolution and a lot of compression.

Anyway listening to the CD I heard that there was a slight emphasis on very top of all hissing sounds. It was not really that kind of hissing that you'd like to forget about, but rather a reminder of how and when it was recorded. It was clearer to me when I listened to it via HiFiMan's HF-6 headphones, than when I listened via my Harbeth M40.1 speakers, but once I realized that it was there I could verify any change in the system listening to Dariusz Malinowski's vocal. Replacing Siltech with Melodika decreased dynamics, which was expected, took away from the sound most of the ambiance, vibes between musicians otherwise audible, but it did not ruin the way treble was presented. Polish cable managed to round the treble a bit making it sound more spacial. The depth of the soundstage is not that big which means that everything that happens in the back of the stage is shown closer to the front, and vocals are presented in a more distinct way. Usually that causes the sound to be less spacial, not too vivid, and often presentation becomes chaotic. Obviously when replacing much more expensive cables in a particular system with Melodika the effect on performance, its degradation in many aspects was easy to identify, but at the same time the presentation remained quite communicative. I truly enjoyed listening to Jarre's Téo & Téa and Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, because palpability of the instruments and sounds convinced me to keep listening rather than stop because of the imperfections of presentation. It is something quite unique when the way of how music is presented draws one towards the music even when one realizes that the presentation is far from perfect. That is exactly what Melodika cables do.


I really appreciated the way of Stephen Mejias' thinking, that any of you can follow reading his Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers review in September's issue of „Stereophile” (Stephen Mejias, (De)signed by Andrew Jones, „Stereophile”, Vol.36 No.9, September 2013, p. 41). These are extremely inexpensive speakers, that were designed, and signed off on the back baffle by Andrew Jones, TAD's guru, who designed most of the speakers of this already almost legendary brand. Stephen, a great guy (you can read an interview with him HERE) wrote:

I am now at this point of my life, where spending 30.000 $ for a pair of speakers seems unimaginable [he refers to TAD Evolution One]. […] If I only could I would take 229 pairs of Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers and gave away 228 of them to my family, friends and schools.

He expressed exactly what I feel right now about Melodika cables. Do the favor to anyone you like, and buy them these cables, and let those you don't like to still use their junk cables. Pairs of interconnects and speaker cable will cost you (together) 350 PLN, which is an equivalent of just two compact discs bought from CD Japan, but they will allow their user to enjoy listening to most of the music he owns. To be clear – I'm not trying to discourage you from buying Japanese compact discs – I do it all the time. All I'm saying is that this Polish manufacturer managed to prepare a very good product at even better price, a price that in audiophile world seems to have lost some zeros from its tag. Just do it and replace all the cables you have, for you radio, TV, DVD and whatever you use, assuming of course that you don't plan to buy some even more expensive cables. When going to a party to some friends who, according to your knowledge, own an audio system with some junk cables, bring Melodika with. You can prove to everyone at the party, that they could get „high” just with much better sound, which has another upside – it doesn't cause headache.

If you think that testing inexpensive products is less time and effort consuming than testing expensive ones – you're simply wrong! You think that testing expensive product takes more time needed to explore tiniest nuances, details and so on? So you must probably think that testing inexpensive products involves only so much time that is needed for their unpacking and packing back, right? Than probably testing really cheap stuff doesn't even involve unpacking, because it is obvious that it doesn't have anything to offer... My own experience tell me quite the opposite – a review of each and every product requires similar time and effort, no matter how much it costs. Simple logic you might realize that any information, hints and so on intended for people starting their audio adventure carry more weight, because these people really need them, while the „experienced” audiophiles always „know better” (or at least they think they do) so they do not need too much information. So in fact I invested as much effort into Melodika cables test and I had to the most expensive ones I ever reviewed, which were Siltech Royal Signature Series Double Crown. It is true that with Melodika it took me bit less time but only because I only used Purple Rain in my own two home systems while Siltech visited with me also few other systems.
The test methodology was the same though. There were listening sessions, A/B/A comparison with few reference cables. I cross referenced Polish IC cables with Siltech, Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA and Acrolink 7N-2050III. The speaker cables were compared to Tara Labs Omega Onyx and Acoustic Revive SPC-PA. I auditioned cables in two systems, my main one with IC between Ancient Audio Lektor AIR V-edition CD Player and Ayon preamplifier, and in my son's system with IC between Hegel HD11 DAC and all-in-one Arcam Solo. Arcam drove Castle Richmond Anniversary speakers. Music samples were 2 minutes long.

Technical specs (according to manufacturer)


  • 2xRCA x 2xRCA, 0,5m cable
  • Conductor: : OFC 4N, 99,99%
  • Hot wire diameter: 23AWG (copper wire 0,25 mm2)
  • Hot wire resistance: <= 71 Ω/km
  • Chrome, gold plated plugs
  • Cable is crimped in connectors, not soldered
  • Shielding resistance: <=13,5 Ω/km
  • Capacitance wire/shielding: <=65 pF
  • Cables diameter: 7,0 mm
  • Braided cable sleeving: 160 x 0,1mm
  • Insulation: PE, PVC layer
  • 2 x 2,5m speaker cable with banana plugs
  • Conductor: OFC 4N, 99,99%
  • Conductor's diameter: 2x4 mm2 (11 AWG)
  • Design: 170 x 0,15 mm2 and 1x1,10 mm2
  • Technology BassCore
  • Geometry: twisted wire
  • Dielectric: a double insulation made of PVC
  • Resistance: (DC at 20°C): 4,37 Ω/100 m or lower
  • Dielectric's resistance: >=1 GΩ/km


- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE
- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA
System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse &#8211; power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) &#8211; wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4
- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One