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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Hans Wetzel,

I came across your reviews of Dynamique Audio cables while looking up Nordost Heimdall cables, which as search engine results so often go, you didn’t review. My curiosity about the Dynamiques, in particular, their interconnects as a possible indicator for my purposes (S/PDIF), is about the degree of warmth they bring. Or do they fall in that tonal category called neutral?

I realize some people don’t make the distinction between neutral and warm, considering the natural warmth of most live acoustical instruments to be neutral. I wish it were so easy. It’s struck me since picking up this hobby again several years ago that high-end listeners, and the equipment developers that are designing for them, fall into two broad categories: those of us who start with or gravitate to tonal/timbral accuracy in choosing equipment, which to me means a modest degree of warmth; and those who are more focused on “sonic effects,” i.e., detail, transparency, staging, PRAT [pace, rhythm, and timing], and such. The latter tend to characterize the sound as “neutral,” tonally. To me, it’s some degree of cool. I came to realize that these different preferences stem from a variety of factors, such as hearing ability, musical background, and perhaps what one has come to believe is considered good sound. As for myself, while of course I like those sonic effects, “neutral” soon leaves me wanting to throw my equipment out the window.

Gene Goldenfeld
United States

Well, you’re correct that I didn’t review Nordost’s Heimdall cables, but I did review a “loom” of their Frey 2 line. As for your question about warmth vs. neutrality, I’m not sure I can provide a straightforward answer, as it appears you and I define these terms differently. But I certainly appreciate your perspective and the kind of sound that you’re looking for. Broadly speaking, I don’t think Dynamique’s cables will impart any real sonic signature on the sound of your system; however, compared to Nortdost’s cables, which I certainly think meet your definition of “neutral,” Dynamique’s cables may well sound somewhat warm. But if you’re looking for a cable brand whose overall sonic signature is quite warm and very sweet through the midrange, you might have to look elsewhere. For what it's worth, though, if you’re using a competently designed, modern DAC, your S/PDIF cable choice shouldn’t affect the sound quality of your system. . . . Hans Wetzel