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Interconnects | RCA

Black Cat Cables

Manufacturer: BLACK CAT CABLE
Price (when reviewed): 20 500 PLN/1 m
Price excl. VAT

Through the formular on the website


Provided for test by: JOANNA I KAMIL SZUMILAS

t the time of publication of this test on the BLACK CAT CABLE one will see following information:

At this time we find Chris Somovogio, its owner and designer - and the only contractor – in the middle of a big change in his life. As he said in the short history of his company, which we have included in the test of cables 3202 and 3232, it is already the second move, this time back to the USA. In 2015, he found himself - together with his family - in Japan, where his wife came from, with a strong decision to bring up children in this country - a country that fascinated him. Not only he, but also his company, that is, machines for the production of cables, moved there. It was a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. All cables produced by him after July 2015 were therefore marked: "Made in Japan".

The return will be even more difficult and even more costly as the company grew in the meantime and Chris purchased a few new machines. However, it was necessary - his parents require constant care. And even if he was not convinced to do it by the examples from Japan, his sensitivity did not allow him to leave this matter to others. It will be a move from the Japanese city of Yugawarado to American Atlanta - this is a 10,000 km worth change in perspective

| Stargate

But, as it seems to me, the Japanese thread will always be associated with him - with him and his products, regardless of the family context. For he was imbued with a work ethic known from small Japanese manufactures, borrowed some solutions and materials from this country, and finally sold his cables in boxes prepared there. Will it be so in the future - I do not know. However, the Stargate cable was sent for the test before returning to the United States, in Japan, same as its box.

Owner, designer

Stargate was the elevation of the Ultranova using some materials from the Indigo line, but without the hyper-complicated build of the Indigo.Whereas the Indigo line uses Zoltán Matrix (ZMX) conductor, which is very difficult and time consuming to make properly, and it also uses a Matrix 32-element shield layer, which is also quite expensive and complicated.

So the Stargate central conductor tries to approximate the Zoltán Matrix design in a simpler form by braiding 64 Matrix condcutors around the Ultranova helically-twisted 99.999% pure silver ribbon. This is then hand-placed within a microporous low-density teflon tube so that the overall dielectric effect of the air in the tube and the low-density microporous Teflon will help to keep capacitance low and velocity high.

In place of the Matrix 32-element shield fo the Indigo, for Stargate I use a bare-copper 32-element braid of 30awg pure copper. This is an open-weave "Faraday Cage" style shield. In this way the audiophile receives a very nice approximation of what is possible in the Indigo line, and this is the first real step toward the magic of effortlessness and revelation of subtleties and nuances to the listener. Stargate is absolutely intended for a well-assembled high-performance audio system, as it was designed to be very revealing to even the most-delicate and interior aspects of music without sacrificing dynamic glory.

History | The tested interconnect goes back much deeper than just extravagance called Ultranova. Already in 2000, when he founded the Stereovox brand, his main opponent was the so-called "Skin effect". In short the point is that the signal flows not in the entire volume of the conductor, but rather on its surface - the higher the frequencies, the closer to the outer layer they are transmitted. This causes phase shifts between signals at different frequencies.

To counteract this, Chris instead of a classic conductor used copper microtubes with thin walls: CuTube. The development of this technique were the methods that were at the heart of the offer of his next company, Stereolab from 2008, mainly InterPole, a topology in which the conductors were "woven", creating a kind of a "braid". These solutions found application in three series of cables: Back Cat, Stargate and Indigo; from the first of them Chris's newest company took its name, and the next two were used as names of the two top series.

Technology | The Stargate line belongs to the "Reference" level of Black Cat Cable lineup. It was presented for the first time during the High End 2018 exhibition in Munich. It includes analogue RCA and XLR interconnects and a speaker cable. As Chris said, this is a production version of the Ultranova Supreme model made only in several copies, in which some of the Indigo series solutions were used.

The Stargate is a cable made in the form of a ribbon in ePTFE tube (trade name: Teflon), around which a copper band was wrapped. The central conductor is a helically wound strip of pure silver (5N), and the screen is a braid made of individually enamelled, pure copper wires. Since the cables are made to order, by hand, only by Chris, waiting for the order can be as long as four to eight weeks. Due to the move to America - it may take even longer.

The Stargate interconnect was tested using the "High Fidelity" reference system. It was compared to reference cables: Siltech Triple Crown, Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM and Crystal Cable Absolute Dream, connecting Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition SACD player and Ayon Audio Spheris III preamplifier. The comparisons were conducted as: A / B / A and B / A / B, with A and B known.

BLACK CAT CABLE in “High Fidelity”
  • TEST: Black Cat Cable 3202 + 3232 | interconnect + speaker cable | RED Fingerprint

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion):

    • A Wondrous Mystery, wyk. Stille Antico, Harmonia Mundi USA HMU 807575, SACD/CD (2015)
    • Ariel Ramirez, Misa Criolla, José Carreras, Philips/Lasting Impression Music LIM K2HD 040, K2HD Mastering, „24 Gold Direct-from-Master Edition UDM”, Master CD-R (1964/2009)
    • Art Pepper, …the way it was!, Contemporary Records/Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2034, „Special Limited Edition | No. 00880”, SACD/CD (1972/2008)
    • Artur Rubinstein, Artur Rubinstein plays Chopin, Polskie Nagrania MUZA/Polskie Nagrania PNCD 487, CD (1984/2008)
    • Bach, Violin Concertos, Yehudi Menuhin, EMI/Hi-Q Records HIQXRCD9, XRCD24, CD (1960/2013)
    • Fryderyk Chopin, Janusz Olejniczak vol. 1, Selene Records 9102, CD (2014)
    • Kraftwerk, Live on Radio Bremen, Philips (?) 2561971, Bootleg, CD (2006)
    • Miles Davis, Bitches Brew, Columbia/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2-2149, „Special Limited Edition | No. 01229”, 2 x SACD/CD (1970/2014)
    • Patricia Barber, Companion, Premonition/Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2023, SACD/CD (1999/2003)
    • Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio, What a Wonderful Trio!, First Impression Music FIM DXD 079, CD (2008)

    Japanese issues available at

    PLN 20,000 for a meter long pair of interconnects is a lot of money - the assessment of such a cable must be largely devoid of context, it should refer to the best cables that the person carrying out the test knows. It just so happens that in my case all three reference cables are either completely silver (Siltech), or silver with a small amount of gold (Crystal Cable), or partially copper, and partly silver (Acoustic Revive). It's a coincidence, I did not choose for the conductors they were made of but because of their performance - after a few years of "natural selection" it turned out that I was left with cables in which silver plays a major role.

    The Stargate is also mainly silver. I know many elements of its sound from reference cables. But many sonic features are characteristic only for it. It deliver fast sound with an immediate attack. The sound here wakes up immediately, it is generated as if there were no delays between the instrument and us, as if the sound was spreading with the speed of light, not the sound. This is of course an illusion, in my room there is the same physics as outside of it, but psychoacoustics changes perception of the sound depending on many variables.

    That is why Stargate sounded so fast. I do not know copper cables that are so fast and even Crystal Cable seems slower. But there is more to it - it is also open and extremely spacious. When I first played Touch of Trash from Patricia Barber's Companion, the space seemed just incredible. The voices of Barber and Jasin Narducy accompanying her in this track were exactly on the axis of the listening session, but all instruments, including percussion instruments and guitar had a huge breathing space around them.

    Both of these elements, that is speed and spatial intensity, Stargate owes to a very clean, strong treble. The level of treble is higher than in the Siltech and Crystal Cable, reminding me what I know from Acoustic Revive cables. The difference may seem small, at least on an absolute scale, however, it causes a lot of changes in the presentation, in emphasis on certain elements of the sound, like the aforementioned listener's attention to speed and space.

    This is not a "light" sound, though. There is no lack of richness and mass. Although often silver cables sound this way, this is not the case. The bass is well-extended and powerful, I would even say that with a better control than in Siltech; I am not saying "better", it's not the point - it's just "stronger". I could clearly hear it with the Barber album, but even better with the music from the Kraftwerk's bootleg with the 1971 Live On Radio Bremen concert. The Stargate sorted out the presentation and gave it a framework. It was energetic, rhythmical performance.

    And yet every now and then a thought came back to me, which came to my mind at the very beginning of this test, with the What a Wonderful Trio! album by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio, namely that it is a cable delivering - after all - a delicate sound. Yes, it's open in the treble area, it delivers powerful high tones, and yet the presentation is pastel, in a way - delicate. The lower midrange is slightly weaker in it than in the reference cables, which makes the piano sound harder and closer to us. The entire presentation, however, is slightly quieter than with the cables in which this range is more saturated.

    So there is, on the one hand, some internal softness and delicacy, and on the other hand, a great control of the entire presentation. It is a complete sound in which nothing is missing, though it has its own face. I'm guessing a little, but I would say it's a cable that will perform well in tube systems where resolution is important - Stargate is excellent in this regard – a good selectivity comes handy – with Stargate it is above average - but without slimming the bass – with the Stargate this subrange is powerful and goes very low. And from the tube design I would expect saturation of the lower midrange and the slight warming of the top treble.


    "Stargate" was a TV series (actually it was Stargate SG-1, produced by Jonathan Glassner, Brad Wright) was broadcast between 1997-2007 in the USA. Through these "gates" one could move to places hundreds of light-years away. In other words - it was a gateway to another worlds. I think that this could be what Chris thought about when he had to give the name first to the line and then to that particular cable; it is a kind of means of transition to another world.

    It is a world rich with details, greatly differentiating recordings, open, with momentum and powerful bass. The sound with the Stargate in the system is fast, large and particularly spacious. Treble is stronger than in all reference cables, but this is not an emphasis of this range, an anomaly, but a consistent way to achieve such an open sound - otherwise it would not work. The cable looks like it was made in a tool shed, but it is aesthetic and its box is very nice. But this is just a handmade product - all work is hidden under the green-black-blue braided sleeve. And it is enchanted in music. Stargate really opens other spaces for us.

    As I said, the Stargate interconnect we received for the test dates back to the "Japanese" times. You can see it at first glance, because a small cable comes to us in a large box made of balsa wood, on which the logo was placed - a special Stargate logo. The box is big enough so that probably the same one is used for a speaker cables from this series.

    Balsa is a popular name for Ochroma pyramidale, a species of tree found in the forests of South and Central America and the Caribbean. This wood is very soft and is twice as light as cork. Its special feature is its low density, but also high elasticity and durability; wood is very popular among modelers and among conductors (baton).

    The cables themselves do not stand out with anything special and we immediately know that we are dealing with short series and that it is a handmade product. The cable is very flexible, and on the outside you can only see the braid made of material in dark green, blue and black. The cables are terminated with plugs without markings - the contact areas are gold plated. I do not know anything more about them.

    Have you ever dreamed about hand-made product straight from Japan? - Here you go. With Stargate you will get everything that you can expect from such a production.


    - 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

    - 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: 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