NOT NEW IN THE MARKET!
Mr. Danny Eng of D&A ANALOGUE SDN.BHD, the MALAYSIA distributor of IN-AKUSTIK products, informed me that the German manufacturer was sending over their Flagship Speaker Cables, the REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER (RM227,700 for 3 Meter pair) for potential customers to try out. He felt that it was also an opportunity for me to do a review for them. However, the review period has to be within a week as there was a queue of potential customers. In addition, Danny sent in for review, the REFERENZ AC-4004 AIR Power Cord.
To some local audiophile, the German audio brand IN-AKUSTIK, headquartered in Ballrechten-Dottingen, GERMANY may be fairly new or even unknown. On the contrary, they have been an owner managed company since 1977 and currently, with a product range of 22,000 items. However, they have only been extensively designing and manufacturing high end or serious audiophile, videophile cables and audio accessories for more than 4 (four) decades, and that a number of their audio cables have won some serious awards and praise s from audio reviews worldwide!
Their philosophy behind their own designs and manufacture cables is “not the one that gets the most out of a system, but the ONE THAT LOSES THE LEAST OF THE ORIGINAL SIGNAL,…
Our physical approach in developing and manufacturing our audiophile cable connections sounds relatively banal: minimize losses. Loss occurs with each connection. The trick is to minimize these losses by choosing the right cables. The best cable is not the one that gets the most out of a hi-fi chain, but loses the least of the original signal. However, as is so often the case, the devil is in the details”.
THE CULMINATION OF 40 YEARS KNOW-HOW…THE REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER SPEAKER CABLES.
A quick read at www.in-akustic.de revealed that the company utilised in the REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables, what they called ‘AIR’ Technology, in short, “a combination of the legendary AIR Helix construction and the associated air insulation (the best possible dielectric in addition to the vacuum) with the best conductor material in the form of pure silver.
The AIR Helix construction is absolutely unique. In order to come as close as possible to perfect air insulation, IN-AKUSTIK has developed special clips. Inside the cable, a large number of these clips form the supporting framework, which keeps the signal conductors helically free in the air and guides them through the cable at a defined distance. The flexibility of this construction is achieved with the LS-4004 AIR Pure Silver by joints in the clips.
Of course, the conductors themselves also play an important role. They consist of 24 high-purity silver wires braided onto a PE core. A wafer-thin varnish layer on the wires prevents eddy currents within this “Cross Link Super Speed” waveguide. By far the largest currents in the entire audio chain flow through the loudspeaker cable. Some of the correspondingly strong magnetic fields are compensated in the conductors themselves by the bifilar arrangement of the wires. The wafer-thin lacquer layer additionally protects the wires from oxidation.
The LS-4004 AIR Pure Silver is the optimal solution for the realization that loudspeaker cables should primarily have a low inductance: Due to the two-layer arrangement of the double layer multicore, the magnetic fields around the individual conductors overlap and neutralize each other. This considerably reduces the inductance of the cable and also the high audio frequencies are transported unhindered and without time delay.
Just like all speaker and audio cables from our Reference series, the LS-1204 Air Pure silver are entirely manufactured in Germany. The clips are meticulously assembled by hand at on-site factory in Germany. The resulting Air Helix design then receives a PE network jacket before the finish cable is subjected to a thorough and final inspection. We have opted for Tellurium copper as the conductor base material rather than brass. This is because Tellurium copper offers almost twice the conductivity. Than using custom made machine strips, a complex technique with lacquer coating on the highly pure copper wires of the Cross Link Super Speed waveguide is formed. Afterward the bare wires are crimped with a 1.5-t pressure directly on the connector. This technique prevents the occurrence of contact resistance that often occurs with the use of additional materials such as solder, wire and sleeves. The connector surfaces are rhodium coated because this is an extremely robust material that insures optimum contact.“
“Not the cable that gets the most out of a system, but the CABLE that LOSES THE LEAST OF THE ORIGINAL SIGNAL (?!)“
The REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables sure looked the money. They have the weight, material and quality. However, the main ‘devil’ here was the ‘sound quality’. After a short session of warming up the audio system with them, I did my primary listening and review session through the analogue vinyl record source.
I have been spinning the above vinyl record so many times that I almost knew it by heart now. However, after the insertion of the INAKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables, I was immediately ‘wowed/ taken in’ by the expansive wall to wall and airy soundstage. In addition, Mr. Lee Morgan’s trumpeting sounded almost life-like with notable high frequencies energy, and Mr. Joe Henderson’s saxophone sounded metal-like and airy, as they were supposed to be (musical instruments of metal construct!). Finally, the piano key(s) by Mr. Barry Harris sounded wood-like in an airy and dimensional chassis of an actual piano. I was ‘wowed/ taken in’ by that presentation of the musical instruments,…the sensation of easily recognising and knowing the musical instruments at play.
To me, the INAKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables have that effect of drawing me into its expensive and enveloping soundstage (very few signal conduits have that effect on me). In addition, within and without that soundstage, I found that all the musicians and instruments to be in their rightful place, position, balance and weight,…nothing seemed off,…there were the sensations of ease of flow, light-weightedness, and spaciousness.
Ms. Chen Jia has been well received with her rendition of the late diva Ms. Teresa Teng’s ballads and songs. The particular vinyl record played was a HYPER ANALOGUE ONE-STEP EDITION, which I found to be the best quality in both sound and production, compared with other editions. Here, the inserted INAKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables were honest and transparent to the sweet and melodic voiceation of Ms. Chen Jia to flow through uninterrupted. In addition, I found the presented vocal expression was never exaggerated and over weighted.
Even though I have spun that vinyl records on a number of different turntables, yet I could not recall how easily I was drawn into that orchestra presentation, especially at the initial stage, and even followed it with ‘trepidation‘. I believed it was what intended by the conductor, Sir Alexander Drummond Gibson to capture and grib the audiences initially and then, slowly relax them with a full fare of an orchestra (my take). The INAKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables were not just an honest conduit of music but also the honest conduit of musical emotions and feelings as intended by the Master.
Mr. Fritz Reiner was one of the conductor who knew how to capture the audiences with the power of delivery of an entire orchestra. Here, there was no lack of bombardment of dynamism at ‘almost’ all audible frequencies. The INAKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables were transparent with all the tricks of that conductor,…I could easily hear, experience and enjoy the hit after hit of bombardment of low, mid and high to higher frequencies. The bass notes was proportionately weighted, well defined and rounded,…the mid was detailed and delineated,…and higher frequencies were well defined and rightly extended.
THE MUSIC MAGNET!
The IN-AKUSTIK REFERENZ LS-4004 AIR SILVER Speaker Cables’ stay at my audio system may not be long enough. However, they left me with memorable experience, education and sensation,…they wowed/ taken me into the music and its contents, just like a “Magnet to a Metal (or Music)”,…made me easily recognised and knew the musical instruments being played,…at their rightful place, position, balance and weight,…indeed an honest and transparent conduit for the sweet and melodic vocalisation,…therefore they were not just an honest conduit of music but also the honest conduit of musical emotions and feelings.
Definitely an Ultra End Conduit in league with the industry standard setters; the SKOGRAND BEETHOVEN, ECHOLE INFINITY, GOBEL LACORDE STATEMENT, SILTECH TRIPLE CROWNS, NORDOST ODIN GOLD, MIT ACC, and TRANSPARENT MAGNUM OPUS.