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Interconnect | speaker cable

power cable AC

FA-13S | FS-15S | FP-TCS21

Manufacturer: FURUTECH CO., LTD.
Prices (in Poland):
840 PLN/1 m | 1990 PLN/2,5 m | 1435 PLN/1,5 m

Contact: 3F, 7-11-1 Nishi-Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku
Tokyo 141-0031 | Japan


Provided for test by: RCM

lmost all Japanese companies offering audio cables use the conductors produced upon their orders by the biggest Japanese "cable" manufacture, Furukawa. The company was flexible enough to produce cables for both, large industry customers, as well as for the audio industry, despite the fact that this was only its secondary activity. Reading the technical descriptions of Japanese cables from different manufacturers we learned often that they used the same conductors, among which the most noble and the most expensive was PCOCC (Pure Crystal by Ohno Continous Casting) utilized by Oyaide, Acoustic Revive, Harmonix, Zonotone, SAEC, Kripton and many, many other Japanese brands (there is a Japanese magazine called „Audio Accessory” that releases issues dedicated to audio cables!)

PCOCC was a result of the research performed by professor Atsumi Ohno of Japanese Chiba Institute of Technology. He proposed casting instead of drawing, as being a better way to produce copper wire. This way a wire with ultra-long copper crystals was made each of them with 125 m length and diameter of 0,1 mm. This process was named after its inventor, thus Ohno Continuous Casting (OCC). Furukawa, that acquired right to use this process, developed a process of manufacturing audio cables using OCC wire with copper purity exceeding 99.9997%. The new version of the conductor was patented under the name Purity Copper OCC, or PCOCC.

As I wrote in my review of RCA-1.5TRIPLE C-FM + SPC-2.5TRIPLE C-FM Acoustic Revive cables, on March the 4th 2013, so a year before its 130th anniversary, Furukawa Electric announced its decision regarding resignation for further production of PCOCC wire. To be clear: OCC wasn't the only method to make a high purity and conductivity copper wire. Other brands, such as: Acrolink (AcroJapan), Mogami and others, make their own wires. But it was the Furukawa product that caused many people to get used to the sound „by OCC”.

Furukawa's customers had learned about the end of production of PCOCC some time before it actually happened thus having time to prepare for this change - making stocks and looking for new solutions. A new solution was offered to them by the company FCM (Fine Chemicals & Materials), interestingly, part of the conglomerate Furukawa. Copper they developed there is obtained in a process similar to the forging, which is a clear reference to the Japanese tradition of katana's forging. Copper wire is repeatedly compressed (struck) to reduce its volume by 70%. Strokes are made at the correct angle and from particular direction that were chosen by experimentation.

It is not about reducing the amount of impurities as those are eliminated before, but about the closest possible arrangement of crystals within the conductor's structure thus reducing the "diode" effect or uncontrolled electron hopping between successive crystals. A Compression also pushes out the air and oxygen molecules present in the material. In the last phase conductors are subjected to the process of "aging", so that larger crystals combine with each other to form a mono-crystalline areas. The purity of copper is not particularly high, the business website FCM threads, that is 99.996% or more, which is at the level of LC-OFC (Linear Crystal Oxygen-Free Cooper). It is, however, a material with a completely different structure than conventional OFC/OCC cables. The thus obtained copper is called PC Triple C which short for Pure Copper-Continuous Crystal Construction.

The set of cables under review, made of dark green cables purchased in rolls, catches Furutech, one of Japan's largest manufacturers of high-end cabling, in a transitional phase. The company is so large that it could afford keeping a large stock that would satisfy their needs for a long time. Therefore their offer still includes cables made of μ-OFC, such as μ-OFC FA-13S interconnect and FS-15S ALPHA Series speaker cable, but a 'new wave' already marks its presence in the form of Triple-C copper, represented in the test by Triple C Conductor FP-TCS21 power chord.

μ-OFC FA-13S

This is an analog interconnect made of cable with balanced design. In the unbalanced RCA version of an interconnect a positive signal and ground are conducted by exactly the same wires and the shielding is connected on one side only, at the signal's source end. This solution is called a telescopic screen. That's why this cable is directional, ie. it does matter how it is connected. An α (Alpha) μ-OFC 1.3 mm conductor was used its for this design.

μ-OFC (Annealed Oxygen Free Copper) is a variant of OFC (Oxygen Free Copper), that is subjected to special heat treatment, aging the material, which significantly improves its crystalline structure (this is why the old copper cables sound better than new ones). α (Alpha), which in turn is a brand name used by Furutech means a cryogenic treatment. Copper is gradually cooled for eight hours to a temperature of -315º C, and then for 24 hours slowly warmed up to the room temperature. This is done in order to thicken the crystal structure of the material.

The conductors are insulated with polypropylene, mechanically stabilized with cotton yarn and an outer sleeve is made of PVC. A cable outer diameter measures about 8 mm. Two runs of conductor are twisted together and wrapped with cotton filling, then wrapped in tape of a special paper. The screen is made of braided wires with 0.12 mm α (Alpha) μ-OFC.

FS-15S ALPHA Series

Like the μ-OFC FA-13S interconnect, also the FS-15S speaker cable is made of α (Alpha) μ-OFC copper. It is a shielded cable (just like the cables of The Chord Company). The diameter of the conductors measure 1.5 mm, and outer diameter of the cable 8.2 mm, so they are slightly thicker than the interconnect. The cables are stabilized with cotton filling. The screen is made of a plastic strip with a vapor-deposited aluminum and braided α (Alpha) μ-OFC wires. Conductors are insulated with polyethylene and Teflon, the outer jacket is made of PCV. Also, the color is similar, although the writings are black here, and silver on the interconnect. The cables are terminated with gold-plated BFA plugs with Furutech logo. You can also order higher quality plugs, but you have to reckon with higher costs. All cables in the test are terminated by the Polish distributor, which allows to reduce the final price.

Triple C Conductor FP-TCS21

FP-TCS21 features the Triple C copper of > 99,996% purity. Conductors are made of braided copper wires fi 1.9 mm each. The insulation is made of a flexible PVC with a diameter of 3.5 mm. The interior is filled with another layer of PVC, and a screen of OFC copper braid is applied over it. The outer sleeve is made of PVC. Cable is terminated with Furutech FI-E11-N1 (R) / FI-11-N1 (R) plugs with rhodium-plated contacts.

FURUTECH in “High Fidelity”
  • TEST: Furutech FLUX CABLE SERIES - interconnect + speaker cable + power cable AC
  • BEST SOUND 2006: Furutech e-TP80E + FP-3TS20 - power distributor AC + power cable AC
  • TEST: Furutech e-TP80E + FP-3TS20 - power distributor AC + power cable AC

  • Recordings used for this test (a selection)

    • Cosmic Machine. A voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980), Because Music BEC5161705, „Limited Deluxe Edition” 2 x 180 g LP + CD (2013)
    • Bottleneck John, All Around Man, Opus3 CD 23001, SACD/CD (2013)
    • Carlo Gesualdo de Venosa, The Complete Madrigals, Delitiae Musicae, Marco Longhini, Naxos 8.507013, 7 x CD (2013)
    • Jean-Michel Jarre, Electronica. Vol. 1: The Time Machine, Sony Music Labels SICP-30788, BSCD2 (2015)
    • Jerzy Milian Trio, Bazaar, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/GAD Records GAD CD 017, „Polish Jazz | vol 17”, CD (1069/2014)
    • Mel Tormé, Mel Tormé with the Marty Paich Dek-tette, Bethlehem/London Records LTZ-N155009, LP (1957)
    Japanese issues available at

    Furutech's cables deliver an attractive and at the same time incredibly smooth performance. But it takes only a minute to realize that the interconnect and speaker cable have a different sonic signature than the power cable, and it is them that shall imprint their signature on the whole system.

    Their tonal balance is set quite low. The upper treble is rather gentle with a rounded attack. There is, however, a lot of it and it would be difficult to talk about treble roll-off. The impression of richness and slight warming, however, is strong, and the reason is that upper midrange, usually causing trouble, here is slightly rolled off. In turn, the range of several hundred Hz has a strong punch. What does it give us? - An impressive sound without any harshness. The attractiveness of this presentation lies in the tangible phantom images, presented a bit closer to the listener than usually, with full, rich body, and the lack of harshness guarantee a long listening without fatigue.

    Perhaps that is why the transition from my reference cables to affordable Furutech ones did not disturb the balance that I had in my system. The differences were clear, but not related to tonality. It was dense, smooth and liquid. Differentiation was good and in most cases it will be electronics (these cables will be used with) that might be a limiting factor, not Furutechs. I did not have an impression that some kind of music played with them sounded better or worse. Even such different albums as the compilation on the Cosmic Machine. A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980) and Carlo Gesualdo de Venosa's The Complete Madrigals, presented the same qualities.

    The modifications relate mainly to the upper treble and dynamics. As I said sound sources are approximated to us. Milian's vibraphone, Bottleneck's guitar, the voice of Laurie Anderson on Jarre's album were presented close, the distance between me and them was shortened. And that's because, I think, the acoustics, the air around the performers and instruments are somewhat masked. Furutechs valuate positively the direct sound and they focus of our attention on it. So the aura of a large church in the classical recording fades away and jazz sounds a bit more direct. But at this price level many cables have problems with the presentation of recording's acoustics, often because of lack of proper treble purity. Here the treble is very clean and smooth. It's really enjoyable. Other cables for the money, not all, but a large group of them sound, in comparison, in a rather simplified manner. Furutechs are different – they present a rich palette of colors.

    The sound throughout the range is very focused and smooth. Despite slight deviations from linearity there is no feeling of any inconsistencies – one doesn't need to focus, to perceive the presentation as a whole. However, one should know that there is no proper focus in the lower bass, and its not presented in as orderly way as the midrange. But that's where power cable steps in. I mentioned that it sounded differently that IC and SC, right? Now I'd like to elaborate.

    It's not as tonally rich as the PCOCC cable. Or at least that's the initial impression, because the midrange is not that rich, sound is well balanced. Low bass goes deeper than with the other two cables, but because the accent is now placed higher up the range one might think that there is less bass after all. And now: it offers not so warm, not so sweet the sound, but much more neutral, meaning uncolored, more "direct". When we combine these two groups of cables, the general character will be imposed by PCOCC cables. But Triple C will add more taut bass, giving it a better definition. And this is a step in the right direction. This opens sound, which will improve the subjective dynamics, that is also desirable.

    The inexpensive Furutech cables are a perfect example of how the Japanese audio manufacturers focused on the specialized market operate. The products are nicely made and finished and have a well thought-through design. These are advanced, manufactured using many time-consuming steps cables, that repay the attention paid to their design and making with a smooth, rich sound that is not that different from general idea behind my own reference cable.


    The low price of the tested cables manifests itself in bringing the front plane closer, while reducing acoustics, and dynamics and delivering not so properly focused bass. These problems do not seem to be significant, even if you listen Furutech in an expensive system. Their nice tonality, fluidity and sonority while extinguishing any irritant elements of the sound will ensure that most of the systems finally "click" and present their full potential. Note the paradigm shift that awaits us soon - cables with Triple C copper sound significantly different than the ones of PCOCC. I could hear during this test again, same as during previous tests, so this is not a premature conclusion. Triple C cables sound cleaner, they have a better tonal balance, better focus, but also lost a bit of midrange richness and warmth, that were quite enchanting with older cables.



    - 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