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Close Encounters of the FIRST Kind



eople, in one of the categories, can be divided into "pickers" and "predators. Homo sapiens because its eating habits is quite a strange. What he accumulates – he eats, what he catches - the same. It's as if we lived in the "crossroads" of the two separate worlds of animals. This strange human duality for millions of years in different individuals differently evolved, highlighting one tendency "at the expense of" the other. Robert De Niro in the movie ‘Heat’ said: "If you want a friend, get a dog" (‘Heat’, directed by Michael Mann, Warner Bros., 1995). Ok, but what about the cat ...? Both of these species, totally different due to its natural determination has been staying with a man for a long time. It is not the coincidence that people can be divided into two explicit categories: dogs and cats lovers.

Dogs, I ask for forgiveness of all fans, are a type of scavengers. They need food from rotting mass of bacteria and other various dirty stuff to maintain adequate bacterial flora of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, they follows the herd, creates a hierarchy the dogs will jump into the fire for a guide and they love to be told what to do. Do not blame them - that is their nature. Cats though are totally different. As a typical predators they will touch nothing but the freshly hunted juicy bits of meat. The cat is an individualist, he has an "opinion". He only follows the paths discovered by himself. The cat will never betray you, provided that there is no beef three times a day next door. Beef is a “natural” cat’s food.

Seriously it can be the topic of the endless discussions but the point is that cat is for you an equivalent partner, while for the dog you are the master and he's your slave. Does this mean that from human point of view cat is objectively worse? After all, this species came to our homes some "circa about" a million years later than the dog. To live with a cat under one roof you must be able to accept and appreciate a different perspective on the world, self-reliance, individualism. Yet you don’t want to wag your tail as soon as someone will call you. And in these traits is the problem of cat’s ‘career’ among the people. These features in the opinion of the majority are at least "unpopular", and places “cats” in a difficult position to make new friends. Because of these features, many of our "cat" male-ancestors were burned on the Spanish Inquisition barbecues, and the female-ancestor were drowned in rivers, with their cats anyway.

What's the point of this introduction? Well, while observing the various forums, despite the fact that reading them makes me angry, or feel like vomiting, I do not know what more, I noticed some interesting phenomenon. The people in the face of "freedom", which gave them the Internet, 'freedom' of their own views, choices and opinions, went back thousands years in history. The so called freedom of choice turned out to be the trap and revealed human immaturity.

Internet forums are filled mostly by whimpering "pickers", pleading for help: "I beg you, please choose me the best possible item, for a tenner (...); "What should I do, I beg for help!" Etc. ". There are also the omniscience Founding Fathers, with knowledge that comes from the very core of the universe, providing the "holy" advices at a distance, like a TV-priest.

Very rarely, but still, there are online forums "predators”, the supporters of freshly hunted meat. People who in good faith and for the good of the general public, are trying to fathom some topic ALONE, test it, explore it and describe. They are the most hated forum attendees. They irritate unnecessarily! They undermine the authority of the Founding Fathers through reliable information and, worst of all, they destroy the conformist peace of servile subjects! Their existence on the forum can be compared with the situation when we let the cat into the house of beaten dog and show him that it is possible to live differently. Not once I saw a small cat leading the large dog. I wonder why?


In our Close Encounters of the FIRST Kind we will once again put cat among the pigeons. One we will ruin an idyllic sense of tranquility, dog's world sleeping on the porch. Others we will give the opportunity to explore new territories in the cat’s, nocturnal escapades.
We all know the indiscriminate male jokes about why women have battered car bumpers, or why they wouldn’t know how to park their cars. Why? - because their male partners told them that "this" is fooourrrrrrrteeeeeeeen centimeters ... The problem is that this joke, after all, is nothing more than a shot in the knee! On the other hand, there is an adage: small one but crazy one! Does this mean that the small needs, like mammal in the era of dinosaurs, to catch up speed and cunning?

So, I put once again the fundamental, tormenting men all over the world, question (because apparently women do not ask themselves about it): Does length matter…? Adding fuel to the fire we will try to answer this question in the field - let's call it elegant - not anatomically, but in the audio field. Why do I need a longer ... cable? After unpacking shipments with wires that came to me for testing, in the case of one of them (length compared to the cross section), I came to the conclusion that it would be good to hang myself on it… This cable can also hit well, if someone is a certain socio-political orientation (only right) or appreciates "old-school" methods of education!


But no kidding, en average, "uninitiated" audiophile probably assumes that the cable length between each audio device is purely practical dimension. It must be long enough to insert the plugs into the individual devices. This audiophile visiting audio showrooms, or various exhibitions not once looked with envy at the "miles" of winding wires behind the systems. With envy, because the length means the "price", which is often unattainable for him, considering the high prices of audio cables. I also know such cases where the desired cable was cut by half and re-terminated. The devices placed tight on each other gave the possibility to connect them, for example, by a half meter section.

Besides the purely practical and economical treatment of the cable, there are some myths, in the world of audiophile, whispered tales of a wire lengths. For example: the interconnects may be long but the speaker cables should be short. The balanced cables can be at all infinitely long, because generally they were invented for example to work in concert halls or recording studios. As usual, these myths, due to their very definition, contain only part of the truth, as the statement that man and - coincidentally - his dog have statistically three legs. After all it is (statistically) the truth.

What that mean, this perception and treatment of audio cables? Firstly, we were able to accept the fact that the cable also "play", some even had heard it. We distinguish between different types of cables, the types of materials used in them. We experiment with connecting them to our systems. Secondly, we still do not treat the cable as inseparable parts of the audio system, which as a larger whole pumps the air in our homes. Yet few people will tell you that the new device is hooked up to the cable. Thirdly, it is a pathology which established a linear relationship between the length and the price / value of the wire. After the buyer has already decided to buy some wires, no one tries to explain to him nothing more, avoiding entry into the "slippery" topics. Fourthly, it is about ordinary ignorance that breeds the need to listen "quacks" rather than simply raise the need to listen to music/sound. It was just enough to pay attention to the school lessons of physics. This phenomenon, which we describe and wont to test, has its explanation and justification just in this science.

Mark will explain it to us nicely and easy, because, during the physics class, I was mainly watching dirty magazines under the bench, and when he solved a problem on the blackboard I was interested mostly in the third law of thermodynamics… Mark has a passion, which is the short-wave radio. That’s why the processes in the cable, when current flows through it, are not a stranger to him. Mark around his house has some strange network of wires with very different lengths from one meter to several tens. The net is stretched for example between the chimney and the fence. Mark is my neighbor who often organizes bonfires which are definitely not ongoing until late at night, and during which we do not drink alcohol at all. So far, we all thought that the cables are mainly to annoy revelers who stumbled had spoke loud word "s" and "f" interrupted authoritative statements that you "mf". All this to the delight of the householder. I hope that through this article you will understand what was the purpose of this "network" because from the point of view of physics (science damned) it has as much to do with amateur radio, as has the test of audio cables.

Close Encounters of the FIRST Kind


To explain this paradox (or at least to try to find an answer) let’s take a look at certain feature of the matter named permeability, which defines the way the matter responds to electric field. The matter does not react immediately and, what’s more, it responds differently depending on the frequency of this field. This phenomena affects amplitude and phase of the signal passing the cable, makes also that for higher frequencies the electric current flows only on the surface of the wire.

The current in the cable is just the electrons which form a kind of “electron gas”. They are transmitting the charge (a current) by hitting each other, the same way as it happens in a gas. Faster changes of the current in a wire (higher frequency) – more difficult for the signal to go through (due resistance of an air it is easier to fan slowly than fast). So the signal that comes is weaker (attenuated) and delayed. Everybody has seen the rainbow. Sunlight – a mixture of different frequencies (colors of light) goes through the raindrop or prism and splits into its components (blue, red, green, …). The music is also a mixture of different frequencies. When music (as a current) flows through the interconnect then the frequencies are separated the same way as mentioned sunlight.

Although the changes are tiny, our ear (especially audiophile’s one ☺) is able to notice the difference. Our brain interpreters the spaciousness of the sound and position of the source of sound based on two parameters – difference in volume and phase (delay). If the signal arrives to the left ear sooner than to the right one then the brain thinks that that source of sound is on the left side (in reality it is little more complicated and the knowledge about that is used f.e. to simulate the spaciousness of the sound, see

Interconnects manufactures are trying to find the optimal method of building cables. They try to select the best material and develop optimal construction of the cable core (copper, silver, carbon tubes, …), insulator (Teflon, air, …) and the shield to assure minimum distortion. However, independently of  the material selected (ultra clear and homogeneous carbon tubes,  low-loss silver, cotton or Teflon insulator) the result achieved is always affected by mentioned at the beginning feature of the matter – delays, attenuation and distortions. And the length of the cable magnifies even that effect – longer cable means usually bigger delays. Means, also completely different music perception, different music scene construction. And, how it was mentioned, these changes are tiny but for experienced ear, noticeable.

Presented here considerations are not new. They are well known (e.g. see) and the purpose of these few sentences was just to explain, in few simple words, a quite complicated physical phenomena. The phenomena which is for us, audiophiles a kind of dilemma, (sometimes bringing a smile to others): what sounds better - silver or copper? Maybe it would be even possible to build an interconnect (see e.g. carbon tubes doping) with the core that compensates the negative effects of the rest of the cable component (insulator and shield). We would then have ideal cable, irrelevant to its length.

Remark – we could also consider the signal reflection as the negative effect of the cable length (see) but it seems that it is negligible for the standard lengths of interconnects.

Turning to the merits: we decided to check if there is a correlation between the length of the interconnect (IC) and its influence on the sound of the system. We asked various manufacturers and distributors to send us sets: two identical wires (the same type, the same confection), but different lengths. Among the tested cables were terminated RCA and XLR. We made sure that the tested interconnects were just heated or unheated at all. Seven sets have been delivered to us.

The difference in sound of my system by connecting the various cables was "dramatic". To be able to focus on the differences in the "sound" of different lengths, we have adopted the principle of a little bit longer listening sessions in two different systems: ABA, or AAB. While listening, the next pair we wanted somehow to "forget" sound of the previous set.

The tested cables were connected in two ways:
1. Between the Yamaha CD-S200 and preamp section of Luxman L-507s.
2. Between the RCM Sensor phono-preamp and Luxman L-507s preamp section.
The rest of the wiring was a constant value.


1. ALBEDO The Flat-One: 0,75 m i 1,5 m, RCA.
2. ALBEDO Monolith: 0,5 m i 1 m, RCA.
3. FURUTECH FA-220/FP-701M i FP-702F: 1 m i 2 m, XLR.
4. CHORD Cobra VEE-3: 1 m i 2 m, RCA.
5. KBL Hologram: 1 m i 1,4 m, RCA.
6. KBL Red Eye: 0,5m i 1m, RCA.
7. SUPRA DAC: 1 m i 2 m, XLR.


    1. Marek Moczkowski – IT manager, electronics and short-wave radio fan. With audio equipment he has rather little to do, but he likes to listen. He takes part in my "testing" of a new equipment from the moment when I bought in the 90’s my first CD player. It means from the very beginning! Mark was always "good" in physics; hereinafter referred to as MM.
    2. Witek Kamiński – architect; hereinafter referred to as WK.
    3. Unspecified being called in dead language-Latin "Spirtus" (rctified spirit), located in different concentrations in beverages which man must drink in order to maintain vital functions of the body ... It hasn’t directly expressed an opinion about the sound, but had a definite effect (purely scientific) on ours ...


  • Amplifier: LUXMAN L-507s
  • Digital source: SACD YAMAHA CD-S2000
  • Analog source: PRO-JECT RPM-5.1/ORTOFON 2M BLUE, Custom Version One
  • Loudspeakers: VIENNA ACOUSTICS Beethoven Baby Grand
  • Power cords: SUPRA LoRad 2.5 MkII
  • Interconnect SUPRA EFF-I/NEUTRIK XLR
  • Interconnect (turntable) VDH D-103 MKII
  • Speaker cables VDH THE REVELATIONS



  • Carmen McRay, Live At Birdland West, Concorde Jazz.
  • Gustaw Mahler, Symphony no. 6, B.F. Claudio Abbado – DG.
  • Gustaw Mahler, Symphony no. 2, W.P. Gilbert Kaplan – DG.
  • Rachmaninov, Symphonic Dances, LSO, A. Previn; EMI Angel Master Series, DMM (1975-77).
  • The Trumpet Summit meets The Oscar Peterson big 4, Pablo Records (1980).
  • Beethoven, Symphony nr 2 in D major, P.Ch.P.O., Wojciech Rajski, “Tube Only”; TACET 180 g, (2007).

1. ALBEDO The Flat-One: 0,75 m i 1,5 m, RCA
Marek Moczkowski: For me, shorter length played a much narrower stage, while the longer one has much less lower tones and much deeper soundstage.
Witek Kaminski: Shorter cable played a greater volume of sound, the band had more powerful impact, showed us less detail than longer one, but gave more musical emotions and better kept the tempo. By analogy, the longer showed a lot more of details that towered across the transmission of music, but at the expense of sound “juiciness”, it was a little dry.

2. ALBEDO Monolith: 0,5 m i 1 m, RCA
MM: The shorter segment showed a much narrower soundstage. The longer one played widely it demonstrated the huge amount of detail and in a much better and more precise way than a shorter, it very precisely located the scene of individual instruments in the orchestra.
WK: The sound of longer length governs the detail! You can feel the thousands of liters of air accumulated in the concert hall. You can hear every pop and slamming chairs, each element of the musical event but a little apart and one-dimensional, and in my opinion too bright. Shorter length of this cable shows less detail, but the sound is more fluid, smoother and more fulfilled. In a good sense sized and coherent. It is more musical, has better bass which is deeper and better controlled. The music scene is deeper and there is more impact force.

3. FURUTECH FA-220/FP-701M i FP-702F: 1 m i 2 m, XLR
MM: The shorter wire presented a better "isolation" of instruments. They were more precisely "cut" from the sound of the orchestra. Two-meter cable showed better "stereo" and deeper soundstage. The orchestra was a little less detailed, but I think it sounded more realistic.
WK: One meter exposed the mids, the sound became lighter and more detailed. The sound was more sparkling and there was more air around the instruments. Music was also more energetic and seemed to be faster. The vocals sounded more lively and the soloists stood in the first row in front of the columns. The whole sound was indeed more pushed forward. A longer cable showed much deeper soundstage and better arranged instruments in three-dimensional space. The sound seemed to be a little hazy but powerful and sounding seriously because details only complemented the whole musical message. It was like listening to music in a strongly damped concert hall which acoustics doesn’t add anything to the orchestra sound.

4. CHORD Cobra VEE-3: 1 m i 2 m, RCA
MM: One meter, compared to the long section, played rough and creaking sound. I also noticed in his sound problems with the bass control. Two meter length was less detailed-but that's okay. It presented a beautiful colors, very natural bass, for me it was soft and even "Cuddly". Very relaxing, in a good meaning, sound.
WK: Shorter played more dynamic sound with greater vigor and a kick. The soundstage was more transparent. With longer cable sound was markedly lower, more hazy and away from the listener. However, it didn’t mean the loss of dynamics, but rather it was associated with favoring the edges of the band. A longer cord tried to better show the three-dimensionality of the music scene.

5. KBL Hologram: 1 m i 1,4 m, RCA
MM: I have not much to say about the differences in sound. Both cables showed the identical nature of the sound, but the longer one just did everything better! More depth, more dynamics, wider scene, etc..
WK: My observations are the same and basically I could end this comparison like this: long section plays better and that's all! But it’s not the point, so I elaborate the topic. After connecting a long stretch the sound became smoother, more fluid and juicy, with better arranged soundstage and better air-separated instruments from each other. This was particularly evident in loud parts of the orchestra, when we heard that the big SOUND is both coherent and consists of individual instruments, and in good meaning pasted or just simply natural, musical. The stereo effect was significantly improved, the sound became surround and deep.

6. KBL Red Eye: 0,5 m i 1 m, RCA
MM: As in the previous product KBL, I liked a long stretch much more, but the differences in sounding were easier to catch. Shorter wire had a lot more of treble, it played much more " embellished", but I think flat. Showed a smaller bass control, which flooded the rest of the band.
WK: With this cable, our opinions differ most ... As you can see “to each, his own”. For me the half-meter cable was much better. It had a deeper and wider soundstage and better orientation of instruments in space. Loud orchestral movements were detailed and at the same smooth and melodic. Sound was smoother and more stretched, but without loss of dynamics. As in the case of both Furutech cables, 3D image appeared! Longer played more dry. The sound was more intrusive, more detailed, but more flat. The edges of the band were underlined.

7. SUPRA DAC: 1 m i 2 m, XLR
MM: Meter section showed the instruments separated from each other, even cut from a wide scene. It was a lot of air in the presentation, reverbs and details. I’ve got the impression that the longer cable couldn’t keep up with the sound, as if there was some delay in the phase of the sound of individual instruments. This cables chokes!
WK: I also preferred the presentation of shorter segment. The sound was more detailed, transparent, there were more air around the instruments. The sound dynamism was better and the kick was stronger. Two-meter played lower sound, more hazy. Powerful, but more languid, with loosened the lower range. The cable revealed a tendency to favor the extreme ranges. Such a little pillow stuffed with pins.


All the time, when I was writing this article, I was wondering also what should be the ending? And none seemed to be a good one. Is the end of the test should be an abstract? I don’t think so, because then only it will be read as pulls for the lazy, so why to write all the text? The end of the test shouldn’t be any of tip or recipe, because the article is to inspire the reader to his own research. Not just to give him a prescription for medicine for flu.
So I'll go back again to the topic of online media, or rather the comments that are displayed below all sorts of articles describing the world of audio. There is a typical audiophile presented as a rich idiot and a snob, who is sucked by shamans from his money like water from a sponge! In addition, the money will not go to a "respectable" purpose, such as the Vatican, but on the cable to the iron, which after the name change costs as much as the new Opel Corsa.

This audiophile usually buys very expensive audio-equipment to complement his vigor and masculinity. The so-called experts speak that “things” apparently heard by the "haunted sectarians" are not confirmed by any measurements and technical parameters. These measurements often could show that the devices for hundreds of thousands of Euros or US-dollars have worse "results" than, for example, Sony from the '80s. These statements are dominated by the point of view that using your audiophile sound system the audiophiles are only trying to make up for its natural "hardware" deficiencies, there where mother nature was too short!

You can not fight people who look at the world like this, the same as you can’t speak with a the dog about the colors. I only doubt the supposed value of these measurements, because what kind of laboratory these "engineers" have? I doubt also in the level of their education. Mark explained in a few words why the length of the signal cable makes audible effect on the sound. He did it in such a simple way that even a child would have understood.

The Internet allows the masses to express their opinion, and the millions of flies can not be wrong! Blind test is the finale argument taking out the audiophiles the right to life in general. During them an audiophile convicted to perception of hearing is helpless (stripped of the whole product ideology). He can’t distinguish between primitive turntable and this one which costs a million.
So I have for all those non-audiophiles great proposition! Gentlemen, meet in a nice Friday or Saturday night, as we do and take such a blind test. Just as we have to use only the ears, you also use only one part of your body as a tool of cognition. This, which you are very well, unlike us, endowed. Be sure to write a report from this meeting…

ALBEDO cables supplied for testing by manufacturer:
KBL cables supplied for testing by manufacturer:
FURUTECH cables supplied for testing by distributor:
CHORD cables supplied for testing by distributor:
SUPRA cables supplied for testing by distributor: