pl | en

Interconnect + speaker cable


NI-2497 + NI-2477

Manufacturer: Mogami Wire & Cable Corp.
Price at the time of the review:
NI-2497: 590 PLN/1 m | 490 PLN/0,5 m
NI-2477: 1190 PLN/3 m | 1090 PLN/2 m



Delivered for test by:

istory of a company Mogami Densen, that in English goes by: Mogami Cable, is closely related to the Japanese history after the Second World War. It was full of ups and downs, sudden turns of direction, and it was a good example of how this, today, one of the biggest, modern economies, was built from ground up with enthusiasm and pertinacity of people creating it. Mogami's history turned out to be as successful, as Japanese economy's, and today they are one of the biggest cable manufacturers in the world, delivering cables mostly for both audio and video recording and post-processing studios.

Everything started with a small shop situated in a private house of Mr Tetsu Sato in Ohokayama (Meguro-ku, Tokyo), that offered cabling services. He named his firm after Mogami river, running through area where he was born, called Yamagata-ken. The business wasn't that successful at the beginning so Mr Sato had to ask for help. In 1957 he convinced two men to support his company - Mr Naoichi Hirabayashi and Shin'e Tanaka became co-owners of the company. Due to Mr Hirabayashi's support a whole factory was built and equipped with proper machinery. This investment paid back quite quickly, though – company started to earn money already after 2 years. But soon after that it turned out that three owners had different visions for company's future. Mr Hirabayashi and Tanaka bought Mr Sato's shares and build another factory in Shiojiri City.

At the same time Kouichi Hirabayashi, the oldest son of Mr Hirabayashi, graduated from university and asked for a job in the new factory. He was given this opportunity and became a director of said factory. After two years the new building with machinery transferred from the old factory was ready. Company faced new challenges, though. Until then Mogami worked as subcontractor manufacturing cables for other companies from Tokyo and surrounding area. Shiojiri City was a day-long trip away form Tokyo, so transport of both, raw materials and final products was too expensive.

Facing this challenge Mr Kouichi Hirabayashi decided to design his own cables. He received an order for inexpensive microphone cables from Mr Shinohara, a director of Foster Electric Co., Ltd. (today: Fostex). Based on requirements of this order he designed and manufactured prototypes of special machines. He used research results for bending plastic fatigue of electrical conductor for this purpose, that in fact was one of the leading edge research fields in the mechanical engineering at that time. During just two years, starting from 1965, number of employees grew from 2 to 50, which reflected also a fast growth of whole Japanese economy. It was a beginning of a new era in Mogami Cable history.

The rest is history, as they say. In 1970, company's name was changed from Chinese letter MOGAMI to Katakana MOGAMI, some of international inventions by Koichi Hirabayashi were commercially successful such as "Q-Matching Antenna", which allowed Mogami to pay off all the debt lasted from Naoichi Hirabayashi dates. Interconnection cables for home audios, car audios, etc. were started to be produced as well as headphone cables applying bending plastic fatigue research as the market developed.

While Naoichi Hirabayashi and Shin'e Tanaka stayed in Tokyo had nothing to do, then thereafter Naoichi Hirabayashi started plastic molding for connectors, and Shin'e Tanaka started lead wire cut and lead wire end treatment work establishing a new company "Mogami Lead Wire Co., Ltd." joint invested by Mogami Wire & Cable Corp. and Naoichi Hirabayashi. This company existed until 1993.
The next step in company's history was a production of video camera cables for JVC. During this time two more sons of Mr Naoichi Hirabayashi joined the company as heads of two departments.

From our perspective the important date in company's history was 1977, when Mogami released their first cables designed for a transfer of audio signal in hi-fi systems. Two observations attributed to the idea of creating these cables. One made by audio journalist, Mr Akehiko Kaneda from Akita University, who, in April 1974 published his observations in technical magazine called “Musen To Jikken" („Wireless & Experimentation”). The other was published in a music magazine „Record Geijyutsu” („Record Art”) by Mr Saburo Egawa in December 1975. Both gentlemen basing on their own research concluded that “sound transferred by cables is changed by them”. These two articles are considered in Japan as a beginning of a research concerning audio cables.

Today Mogami manufacture cables mostly for pro market, including studios, concert halls, and so on. Their cables are delivered to distributors all over the world in long runs on reels, and they terminated lengths order by customers (like German Synthax GmbH, American Marshall Electronics or British HHB). It works in the same way also in Poland – Polish distributor, company, puts cables in black sleeves, terminates them with required plugs and puts them in boxes they have produced here in Poland. Distributor also gives cables their own names.


We have received cables from NI line for a review – its name comes from the Neglex I line. Line includes: NI 2497 interconnect and NI 2477 double coax design speaker cable. The NI-2497 interconnect is terminated with remarkable ETI Bullet Plug TeCu (tellurium copper) plugs – these plugs inspired WBT to create their key line NextGen. The owner of, Mr Krzysztof Białobrzewski, told me that they chose TeCu plugs after series of listening tests as with NI and NII cables they worked better than more advanced silver model Bullet Plug Pure 4N Silver.

The speaker cable NI Neglex I 2477 is offered in three standard versions: without termination (bulk), with ETI Bayonet TeCu banana plugs and with ETI Spades OFHC. For these review distributor had to prepare a fourth version with ETI Bayonet at one end and spades at the other. The NI Neglex line includes also a balanced analogue (XLR) interconnect made of 2549 cables, and digital AES/EBU cables made of 3080 cable.

Cables delivered for this test were terminated in Poland with plugs chosen by Polish distributor. Also boxes were made in Poland – these are simple and practical. Cables look nice, although this black sleeve makes them look like hundreds of other cables available on the market. Oyaide sell their cables without sleeves which is OK. What makes these cables to stand out are plugs. Bullet Plugs were originally sold by an Australian company Eichmann, and today they are branded by ETI (company that replaced Eichmann). Developed and patented by professor Keith Eichmann were designed to minimize an influence metal had on a signal transferred. Professor decided not to use heavy, metal covers for plugs, but plastic (special type of polymer) ones instead and minimized surface of contact. In RCA plug ground is a thin gold or silver plated wire, in speaker plug same role plays a tiny, thin sheet of metal. It is made of alloy of copper and tellurium. Most cables manufactured by this company were not shielded.

Mogami's cables are shielded – both NI-2497 IC and NI-2477 SC. The design of these cables is based on a patented Double-Cylindrical structure: the “plus” run is winded around dielectric core, than another layer of dielectric is put on and than a shield is put over the whole structure (minus/return/ground/minus). Mogami manufactures cables mostly for pro sector so they do not disclose too many information about their products – we know that cables are made of OFC, but we do not know of what purity. We do not know what dielectric is used either, except for the external sleeve which is PVC. We do know that IC's impedance is 75 Ω, just like digital or antenna cables. There other companies that also offer cables with 75 or 110 Ω impedance (depending on design) like Acrolink and Oyaide.

It rarely happens that pro cables are also offered on hi-fi market. It is not the first company that did so though, as there were others before like American Belden and Canare or German Klotz – the latter being used in Rega's top models turntables. But such pro manufactures are certainly a very small minority in hi-fi sector.

Recordings used for this test (a selection):

  • Art Pepper, Winter Moon, Galaxy Records/Original Jazz Classics OJCCD 677-2, CD (1981/1991).
  • Billie Holiday, Billie Holiday, Clef Records/UMG Recordings UCCV-9470, „David Stone Martin 10 inch Collector’s Selection”, SHM-CD (1954/2013).
  • Diana Krall, Wallflower, Verve/Universal Music LLC UCCV-9577, “Deluxe Edition”, SHM-CD + DVD (2015);
  • John Foxx and the Belbury Circle, Empty Avenues, Ghost Box GBX019CD, CD (2013).
  • Mark Hollis, Mark Hollis, Polydor 537 688-2, CD (1988).
  • Mark Knopfler, Tracker, British Groove Records 4716983, “Deluxe Limited Edition”, 2 x CD + DVD + 2 x 180 g LP (2015).
  • Suzanne Vega, Songs In Red And Gray, A&M Records 4931112, CD (2001).
Japanese issues available at

Ever since I remember cables were considered to be sort of a “filter” used to “tune” audio systems. In most cases the idea was (and still is) to make some corrections in frequency domain, meaning either emphasis or rolling off of some particular frequency range – sometimes it was about treble, sometimes mids, or bass. From technical perspective using cables as filters is OK – cable might be considered to be a system of resistance, induction and capacitance elements (to makes thing easier I'm mentioning only some elements characteristic for DC current). But if we take another approach, purely logical one, correcting one problem with another one is not the best thing to do. If we are aware of that and thread carefully it might be acceptable. I believe that not everybody realizes that the better way is to enhance strengths of particular system instead of fighting its weaknesses.

The above mentioned role works differently for inexpensive products, and differently for high-end ones. With the former using cables to compensate for some weaknesses might be justifiable, as sometimes it is the only way to improve performance, or correct issues with room's acoustics, or loudspeakers placement without replacing some components of the system with more expensive ones. That's why I know whom to recommend cables from Swedish Supra (those who seek warmer sound – slight roll off of treble and upper midrange), and whom of British Chord (those who seek more open, detailed, more dynamic sound).

Mogami is different though. These are very well balanced cables that modify tonality only to a very small extend, at least compared to my reference cables Siltech Empress Double Crown IC and Tara Labs Omega Onyx speaker cable. They deliver a well balanced across the whole range, rich sound, where none element dominates others, and sound is delivered as a whole. Not in such a very selective way as by Chord, nor with such a warm bass as Supra, but surely in a more natural way.

Treble was this element that particularly attracted my attention. There was no emphasis here, just a hint of a warmth, which most Japanese cables have, but also a lot of information about cymbals, their weight, their placement in space, and nice long decay. These elements, usually simplified, or omitted by inexpensive cables, Mogami delivered in a very nice way. And they did it when I played puristic recordings like Tracker by Mark Knopfler (ex-Dire Straits) or Mark Hollis' solo album (ex-Talk Talk), but also when I played home-made Empty Avenues album by John Foxx (ex-Ultravox) and Belbury Circle. These cables differentiate recordings according to the way they were made, but they do not emphasize these differences.

Next element that, apart from a very good tonal balance, impressive treble and sound's clarity, both Mogami cables impress with is the way they present the attack phase of instrument's sound. This not just a “blunt force”/”stiff” attack, but something more – it is about a dynamics first phase and nice, soft second one (decay). That's how usually only more expensive sound like.

It concerns, for example, treble. The (I’ll Never Be) Your Maggie May song from Suzanne Vega's Songs In Red And Gray album starts with a power dulcimer opening. With Mogami set this instrument has proper weight, was very vibrant – as dulcimer should have been – but there was no emphasis on any element at all, no brightness in the sound. It was an element of a larger whole; an important one, but only one of many. I heard the same thing with a kick drum on Hollis' album. Yes, that is the other end of the range, but it worked in the same way: a powerful, “physical” kick and than a soft sustain.

Taking it account all I wrote above we have to also remember what Mr Koichi Hirabayashi, the company's chief wrote, when he mentioned „Kaneda-Egawa” effect (named after first experts who pointed out changes in audio cables), which is a fact, that each cable changes sound. Which means also Mogami cables do. Even more so considering that these are entry level, inexpensive cables for people entering the world of hi-fi.

The changes I mean don't really modify frequency range. Both range extremes are gently rolled off but not significantly enough to call that a modification of range. Also the area in lower midrange, around 400Hz is slightly emphasized, which makes male vocals sound deeper, more “serious”, but also female ones like Billie Holiday's from her recordings from 1952. The fact is that these are just small details that compared to changes introduced by other inexpensive cables, are almost non existent.

What more expensive cables have to offer, the good ones I mean, including above mentioned ones from Supra and Chord, but also from Oyaide – is that they are more resolving and capable of delivering larger volume of sound. Mogami hide some details, like noise accompanying John Foxx vocal, like small differences in instruments placements in studio, where Mark Hollis recorded his album, and so on. Less information means also that older recordings, like the ones of above mentioned Holiday, sound even „older”, elements are not so well differentiated, not so three-dimensional. The scale of the whole presentation is smaller and more focused around the middle of the stage.


Every element of the system impacts its performance, including cables. But importance of different changes differs – some are more and some less important. Also when assessing them we have to consider their price. When it comes to Mogami cables it is easy to say that they won't help correct sound of the system. They might help in further enrichment of such sound's features as vibrancy, palpability, dynamics and richness. I think they will work very well with systems sporting elements from a price range between 2000 and 6000 PLN – they should be a valued addition to such systems. If one connects them to one's system and there is to much/to little bass/treble, sound it too bright or too dark – that would only mean that it is time to make some changes in the system. Cables are not to be blamed as these “weakness” are not introduced by them.

Polish distributor:

PAteam Krzysztof Białobrzewski

ul. Franciszka Nulla 18/4
51-677 Wrocław

Mark Knopfler
Deluxe Limited Edition

British Groove Records 4716983
2 x CD + DVD + 2 x 180 g LP (2015)

Mark Knopfler's, ex-Dire Straits vocalist and guitarist, 8th solo album was released on March 16th 2015 with the exception of American market where it was released a day later. Sources, including Wikipedia, say that it was released by Mercury label (Polish versions names „Virgin EMI/Verve”), but all these labels actually licensed this album from British Groove Records who's logo one will find on the album. The album was recorded in British Groove Studios, unlike most music recorded nowadays, purely in analogue domain. Studio used a 48-track API Legacy console form Tennessee's Big Javelin studio, and mastering was performed by a multiple Grammy Award winner, Bob Ludwig in Gateway Mastering in USA.

Even Mark Knopfler himself claims that it was important to him that they used analogue recording technology. When explaining record's title: „[Tracker] he said that it came to him from inside as a result of him looking for his own tracks in life in past decades. From tracking time – watching people and places, things from his past and tracking recording process of a new music in a recording studio.

When I talked to Piotr Metz, journalist of Radio III („Trójka”) and artistic director of Radio Kraków, he proudly described his meeting with Knopfler in studio when Mark recorded this album (more HERE). Piotr said that he had not seen that many cable in a studio for a long time, not since most of them turned digital. Sound engineer, Guy Fletcher, not only used analogue console, but also Decca's analogue tube limiters, compressors, reverbs and tube microphones – for Knopfler it was a Neumann U47. He also used a tube preamplifier, Telefunken V76, for microphones. It was a carefully planned operation to go back to analogue sound, but with the knowledge that Knopfler has today. Guy stated that this old technology was combined with a new one – for example Studer A800 tape recorders were controlled digitally (more about recordings HERE ).

Probably due to this determination, experience and some other ingredients this is a very good album. It is hard to forget how boring was the previous 2012 album, Privatering for me. I did not buy it and I don't regret it. At first music on Tracker seems similar – slow, „boring” pieces, with no solo performances, obviously one can't find here any material for a hit either. And yet, listening to it is very enjoyable, even to a longer version with additional CD. The recording is amazingly natural, rich. That's how music is supposed to be recorded! Sound is remarkably resolving and palpable. It's a very natural, essential sound, where each element matters, and that gives listener an impression of a close presence of an artist and his band.

The Deluxe Limited Edition version includes a primary CD with the same “jewel-case” box as a regular edition, a bonus CD with 6 additional pieces (very good ones – these are not just some leftovers from recording sessions!) in a carton sleeve, a DVD with a short film directed by Henrik Hansen and with an interview with Mark Knopfler, and a double LP. LP includes only the playlist from a primary CD. It would be great if they offered these 6 additional pieces also on vinyl, maybe 45 r.p.m., maybe a color version! Also placing a primary CD in a jewel-case box and bonus CD and DVD in plain carton sleeves was not the best idea. A nice additions are numbered art print and 6 photographic prints. None of them have any description.

Box looks very nice. Music is great and the realization too. The content of Deluxe Limited Edition is bit disappointing though – apart from already described doubts I have another question – where is a pen drive with hi-res material, or at least a special code that would allow downloading it? In my opinion album is a must buy, but not necessarily a Delux version. The whole material was recorded on a 1'' stereo tape on an Ampex recorder, then it was sent to Bob Ludwig for mastering. What is important for vinyl fans – the matrix was cut DIRECTLY from 1” analogue tape in Los Angeles by Bernie Grundman. That is why LP version of this album is a real MUST-HAVE.

Box grade: 6/10
Sound quality: 9/10



- 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

- 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
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 – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – 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
- 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