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Speaker cable


Manufacturer: RAFKO

Price (when reviewed): 1449PLN/2 x 3m

ul. Goździkowska 4
18-100 Łapy | Polska |


eople who write about connecting cables used in the audio industry are very rarely completely sure where they were produced (Made in …). It is easiest to determine this in the case of a few Japanese, American or British manufacturers, as well as one Dutch and one Swedish cable producer, but a lot of companies tend to conceal the place of origin of their products, especially if we are talking about inexpe nsive cables that are usually manufactured in Taiwan or China. It is because the “Made in China” label does not always evoke positive associations (no matter if this is justified or not).

When I wrote about Purple Rain cables manufactured by the Polish company Melodika in 2013, I had already dealt with cables produced in Poland. I would like to remind you that we tested Hotline cables from the Spiral Tech series (White/Red/Silver/Blue models) in “High Fidelity” (No. 26) already in July 2006 The brand had been brought to life by Chillout Studio– an audio salon and, later on, also a distributor. As far as I know, Hotline is now lying dormant and is not operating.

The concept of the cables was simple – the idea was to produce the best and most inexpensive cables possible, manufactured wholly in Poland. People from Chillout Studio made use of the fact that one of the biggest cable manufacturers in Poland, TELE–FONIKA Kable S.A. (previously called Kabel), is located in Cracow. It is an industrial cable manufacturer which has little to do with audio. Therefore, it was necessary to consult the concept with technologists and to carry out tests to obtain a product which would suit Chillout requirements regarding the cable’s sound quality and price. In my opinion, the aim was accomplished successfully.

From my point of view, these were the first trailblazing attempts in Poland to create a cable from scratch. There was a problem both with convincing engineers that the concepts made sense and convincing factory owners that such small product series made sense from the perspective of the whole production. Ten years later, the situation seems to have become a bit different, which can be observed in the case of the latest cable series manufactured by another Polish distributor – the owner of Melodika brand.

Melodika was founded by Mr. Rafał Koc, the owner of the distribution company Rafko (e.g. HiFiMAN, Musical Fidelity and others). His cable brand originated in 2010 when the first cable series – Purple Rain, which we tested in 2013 – was designed. The cables were inexpensive, well-made and, considering their price, provided excellent sound quality. Afterwards, the time came for the “lower” Black & White series, designed mainly for fitters. A part from cables, the series also includes speaker sockets designed to be installed in walls. Since the beginning, the company cables have been produced in Poland, so they have borne the label “Made in Poland”. The only “foreign” element are cable plugs, most often made in China.

The same business model has been applied to the latest series of Melodika cables – Brown Sugar, which includes two types of cables: the BSC2330 and the more expensive 2450, numerically labeled in accordance with their diameter (ø): 2 x 3.3 mm2 and 2 x 4.5 mm2, respectively. We are testing the latter one. The names, as it is easy to infer, refer to the cable (dielectric) colors. Brown Sugar cables are technically much more complex than Purple Rain cables and, therefore, they are also more expensive.

The 2450 is made of OFC 99.9999% using Spiral Litz Technology, in which each guide is separately insulated and twisted. All the guides are wrapped and encapsulated together in an outer covering. Like in other technologically advanced cables (e.g. Cardas), there are cores having different diameters in one braid (Multi-Gauge Core technology). In this case, these are wires of the following diameters (ø): 8 x 0.21 mm2 + 4 x 0.33 mm2 + 12 x 0.13 mm2. The technology is aimed at minimizing the skin effect. The dielectric material used in the cable is LDPE (foamed low-density polyethylene) – one of the cores is white and the other one is brown, and everything is covered with transparent insulation. The cables are directional.

Brown Sugar can be ordered by the meter, for 149 PLN/m. However, the manufacturer also offers a terminated version of the cable, with plugs – very nice-looking “Made in China” Monkey Cable Banana (MBP4) connectors. Their main component is made of gold-plated (24k) polished copper and the cable is fitted in the plug through clamping at two points, without solder. Bought separately, 4 plugs cost 149 PLN. The Brown Sugar version that we used in the test had plugs terminated by the manufacturer and costs 1449 PLN/2 x 3 m.

Design and functionality

The name of the cable suits it very well – the transparent outer layer of insulation allows us to see the white and the brown core inside. The whole cable looks very nice and esthetic. The impression it makes on us becomes even more positive due to the sturdy plugs. Unfortunately, I do not know what the box looks like – I got the cables in a substitute packaging.

The tested Brown Sugar cable is constructed using Spiral Litz Technology, so it consists of quite thick braids of separately insulated and twisted wires – two cores brought together in one outer covering. Such a construction makes the cable a little more rigid than cord cables. Therefore, it is necessary for US to arrange it, rather than expect that IT will arrange itself. However, it is not too rigid to be impossible to bend, even at a small angle – in this respect it is very user-friendly.

The tested cables were compared to two other cables: The test was carried out as a multiple ABA comparison, A and B known. I used the cables both in the reference system, with the Soulution 710 power amp, and with the inexpensive D-class Audiomatus AS125 power amp. During the test, the cable was supported using Rogoz Audio 3T1/BBS cable stabilizers.

I admit it is a gimmick, but I could not resist the temptation – the first recording that I used to compare the Melodika cable to the reference cables was Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones. While one reason for doing that is obvious, another one is that, some time ago, a remastered version of Sticky Fingers including the song was released. Its ultimate version, i.e. the Platinum SHM-CD is available in Japan and it is worth having.

However, it does not provide us with all the fantastic things that we get with the special versions, e.g. the abovementioned Brown Sugar featuring Eric Clapton, which can be found on the second CD in the Sticky Fingers [Deluxe Edition] box – that is why it is worth buying both these records.

Even that short introduction helped me to preliminarily define the character of the new Melodika cables. The subsequent albums broadened, deepened and strengthened the impression, but did not change anything about it. It is because I could hear from the very beginning that I was dealing with a cable characterized by a very “even” tone, having quite distinct sound characteristics.

At first sight, the way that the cable presents music – in a focused and even a little detached manner, devoid of nervousness – brings it close to products of the Swedish Supra company. Indeed, when it comes to dynamics, they are very similar cables. As far as they are concerned, it is hard to talk about an explosion of energy, or an instant and straightforward attack or decay. There is rather a very short “reflection” before the attack, a soft entrance into sound. That would be the opposite of the almost immediate hit or snap that we get with The Chord Company cables.

However, Supra cables deliver clearly dark sound characterized by withdrawn treble, while the tested Brown Sugar cable is “open”. It is not audible at first due to the soft attack, but if we try out a naturally-sounding album, such as the incredibly good P.U.R. Collective album Nichi Nichi Kore Ko’nichi, or the fantastic remaster of Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de melody Nelson, we will hear as much treble as it is necessary – neither too little, nor too much.

I had a very similar feeling while listening to the recordings and focusing on bass extension. At first sight, when it comes to albums whose sound is rather based on the midrange, like the abovementioned Stones album, we mainly hear the midrange. However, if we play something with better-filled low range, we will hear strong, more saturated bass. This does not have to be electronic music – e.g. Oxygene 10 remixes sounded spectacular, but this can also be demonstrated by good jazz, such as Polka by Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet.

The subsequent albums confirmed what I heard at the very beginning – there are no extremes in the sound of the tested Brown Sugar cable – it is neither too dark, nor too bright, neither too withdrawn or too tangible. I do not know if this was the manufacturer’s intention, but some kind of a balance between individual components has been achieved. So, if we compare different cables at a store, when they are quickly changed, it may appear that Melodika cables come across worse than cables which deliver more explicit sound. It is because they are not showy. However, it is their important advantage – we will discover them slowly, understanding and appreciating them better with time. Chord, Supra, Oyaide, etc. cables are excellent, but they immediately and clearly show us what they are, and therefore do not develop with time. Melodika cables are different, they evolve with us – within their limitations, but they still do. It is a very, very good thing.


However, we get all of that “by the way”. It is a cable that neither imposes or enforces itself, nor calls our attention. Its medium-level selectivity does not allow it. In this respect, it can be placed somewhere between Chord and Supra, just like the Mogami NIII-2804 cable that we tested some time ago The dynamics is lowered, but without any exaggeration – it is enough to turn the volume up even by 1 dB to restore everything to normality. It is an honest, inexpensive and good cable which will work well in any audio system – it will not destroy or change anything in it, but will ensure comfortable listening, even for a few hours.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

Conductor material: OFC 99,9999% (6N)
Directionality: yes
Gauge: 2 x 4,5 mm²
OTHER: braid: 2 x (8 x 0,21 mm² + 4 x 0,33 mm² + 12 x 0,13 mm²)
Core resistance : 5,1 Ω/km
Core capacitance : 115 pF/m
Inductance: 0,5 μH/m
Warranty: 5 years



- 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