Switching to the X6 Tri-Copper I consistently felt that the bass extended deeper, that there was more texture and detail to it, and that it became more weighty, more physical. With no pairing more so than Legend X. Legend X are of course among the very best in terms of the sheer physicality of their bass response, yet with the X6 Tri-Copper that physicality was pushed even further. It was remarkable how much of the bass guitar in Aerosmith’s ‘Love in an Elevator’ was coming through; I had never picked up playing techniques quite so clearly. Same with the Rolling Stone’s ‘Commit a Crime’, or the double bass in Caro Emerald’s ‘I Know That He’s Mine’. There was depth to the individual instruments I had never before picked up. I listened to Muse’s album ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, which has tons of bass in it and it was utterly delicious. So impactful, so thick, yet so detailed and textured. In fact, at times the pairing with Legend X seemed to defy physics. I started to feel the bass in my stomach, like standing next to a speaker. I have definitely never had that with IEMs before. This is why I always find synergy so important, because it can really push the experience of listing to my favorite music to new heights, making it even more engaging, and that is after all what it is all about.
One thing I did notice and that was that the effect of the X6 Tri-Copper on the bass was less noticeable with electronic music. Sure, the bass response would extend deeper and become thicker, but much of the texture and detail I think is inherent to instruments such as the bass guitar and double bass. So, I would say that the X6 Tri-Copper can offer more advantages in the case of acoustic music or band-based music. It also has that warm naturalness that I am particularly fond of and that, for instance, gives the cello a wonderful weighty and natural resonance.
As indicated before, I feel that the X6 Tri-Copper puts more emphasis on the bass and treble, therefore by default one could conclude that the mids are not that special, but you’d be wrong. The mids are actually impressively clean considering just how full and impactful the bass sounds. Vocals sound a bit cleaner, like a thin veil is lifted compared to the stock Ares II (which already has good vocal clarity compared to the usual stock cables). Vocals are not pushed forward more, but become easier to pick out and a little bit of warmth is added, which can give male vocals a bit more ‘throatiness’, which I had no idea was actually an English word. I really liked that when listening to Disturbed with Legend X, where David Draiman’s voice sounded properly… well, ‘Draimenesque’… which is not an English word, but if you have heard his voice you will know what I mean.
The X6 Tri-Copper also adds a hint of warmth to the mids to give them a warm-natural tonality, which perfectly complimented the Phantom and resulted in wonderfully full sounding instruments when listening to classical music. Lovely lush woodwinds just how I like them. In fact, the extra warmth gave me a surprising experience with Legend X, in that the mids started to sound an awful lot like the mids of my Phantom. It gave a wonderful familiarity when listening to classical music, although the illusion was quickly shattered whenever the bass kicked in. So, while the mids are not the most prominent strength of the X6 Tri-Copper, the gains are not to be sniffed at either; added air, clarity and a natural warmth.
Ooh… Sparkly! The X6 Tri-Copper adds a lovely and very natural sounding bit of extra sparkle. With Legend X I even felt that while cymbals came through more clearly, they had a hint of sweetness to them that was particularly nice and avoided any sharpness. Listening to the previously mentioned tracks by Disturbed, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones, I noticed how cymbals would come up more clearly, with a more natural resonance to them and yet without being unduly emphasized. Just the right amount to add liveliness to the tracks and that complimented the gains in the bass section. That is also what I meant earlier with “a hint of V-shape”. It is not really going to change IEMs to a V-shape, but it will add a dose of fun and character.
I also noticed that the X6 Tri-Copper can at times take a little bit off the edge of some highs. The recording I have of Madeleine Peyroux’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ can at times sound a little harsh when the higher notes on the piano are played. With the X6 Tri-Copper that becomes a little easier to deal with. It is just the bit of sweetness that is added to the treble that makes my IEMs a little more forgiving.
Effect Audio Lionheart (4-wire).
Lionheart was the first cable I thought about when I heard about the new Tri-Copper material from PlusSound, as both cables appear to be a search to gain maximum benefits from materials that are quite common in aftermarket cables; copper, silver and gold. The results are indeed very similar in terms of technical performance, but it seems to me that each company has given their material a character in line with their own “house sound”. Lionheart is a very smooth cable with a great sense of liquidity in the way the notes flow. It is a warm cable, but both the bass and treble are a bit less prominent than with the X6. This makes the X6 a more exciting cable with a stronger bass impact and more sparkle on top. The extra treble helps give strings and brass instruments a little extra bite and notes seem a little more articulate. However, in terms of technical performance these two cables are very close to each other. Lionheart has a similarly lovely texture and detail to the bass and the resolution seems to me to be about the same. The X6 comes across as more detailed, but separation feels about the same to me as well. The main thing that I think separates these cables will be down to synergy and personal preferences. For example, while I love Lionheart, I prefer to pair the X6 with my Phantom because the synergy works a bit better in combination with the balanced out of my AK70.
Effect Audio Ares II 8-wire.
This is a very interesting comparison because I think that the Ares II 8-wire and the X6 Tri-Copper have a lot of similarities. Both cables have a warm and exciting sound that is quite bold in its presentation. I for instance love listening to Beethoven’s 5th with my Phantom paired with these cables, as they both add a touch of drama to the presentation. Ares II extends the stage a little wider than the X6 and is a hint more linear, giving Ares II a bit more mid-focus, something that is quite noticeable with more forward vocals that at times sound like the words are being whispered in my ears. Ares II also has a much smoother presentation, where the X6 is more detailed adding to the sense of speed, as instruments are a little more articulate. The bass of the X6 is more impactful and textured, the treble is more sparkly and gives string and copper instruments a really clear presence. I feel separation on the X6 is better, it has a higher resolution and the layering comes through more clearly. Overall, I would say that the X6 is a clear step up in technical performance, but it does come at a price, where the Ares II is a more wallet-friendly option that still offers excellent performance.
The Ares II 8-wire and the X6 are about the same size due to the thicker insulation and looser braiding on the X6. The X6 is however more comfortable due to the overall suppleness.
Effect Audio Eros II 8-wire.
This is a comparison I made earlier in my review of the Eros II 8-wire itself. Two higher end cables with very different characters, yet each in their own way highly versatile. The strength of Eros II is that it gets out of the way and does not make significant changes to the sound, whereas the X6 adds a healthy dose of fun and character. The stage of Eros II is larger and more airy, throwing out the music in front of you. The X6 contrasts this by remaining a little more intimate (relatively speaking) through the way in which it surrounds the listener with sound and heaps of detail that Eros II simply cannot match. I also consider the Eros II more linear in its sound, where the X6 has that hint of V-shape. This is why Eros II can come across as more refined and the X6 as more bold and exciting, and is the reason why I suspected that the X6 would pair so incredibly well with Legend X. It unleashes the beast and I absolutely adore that pairing.
Like with the Ares II 8-wire, which is essentially the same cable as Eros II in terms of ergonomics, the X6 is about the same size due to the thicker insulation and looser braiding on the X6. Again, the X6 is more comfortable due to its suppleness.
There is no denying that X6 Tri-Copper is a very expensive cable, although equally it is nowhere near the top end price range for cables these days. It is still a big investment and I personally feel that in these cases it is about getting the right synergy to get optimal benefits, and that this synergy has to result in something that has a unique character to it and a quality that cannot be found with other cables. It depends of course on personal preferences as well, but I feel that the X6 Tri-Copper certainly achieves something special with IEMs such as Legend X, Phantom and the Galaxy V2. The sound is characterful and adds a combination of changes that is quite challenging. Both warmth and clarity, naturalness and detail, sparkle and smoothness. It is what I would expect from a cable in this price range, that feeling it is defying the laws of physics just a little bit.
Overall the X6 Tri-Copper is a very interesting option for those looking for a warm and natural sounding cable that still offers improvements in clarity, air and detail at a very high level. This is complimented by a high build quality, great comfort and a large number of customization options.