Here is how I hear PS Palladium plated hybrid cable pair up with different IEMs in comparison to their corresponding stock cables. In this test I was using LPGT as neutral reference source, volume matched, and playing the selection of my usual test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, Galantis “Hunter”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.
Please keep in mind, I’m describing the sound of IEM paired up with a specific cable, driven from LPGT source. I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic EQ-like effect on the sound of IEM. Based on what I’m hearing, cable can certainly finetune the sound, but if you find the original signature of IEM to be not your cup of tea, no cable alone will change that.
Empire Ears Wraith
Stock EA Cleo (pure silver) vs PS Palladium hybrid – considering that we are comparing to a high-end stock cable, the soundstage width change was not as drastic. As a matter of fact, Wraith pair up with Cleo and PS cable yields a similar soundstage width. But a bigger change was in a signature of Wraith. While with Cleo I hear Wraith being more neutral, even with a tilt toward a more forward mids, PS brings up the bass and lower mids and makes Wraith to sound more balanced with a fuller body sound, and even a little extra sparkle in treble. PPH8 takes it to another level with more forward mids and more microdetails.
Empire Ears Legend X
Stock EA Aries II (pure copper) vs PS Palladium hybrid – expansion of soundstage width is the first noticeable difference where PS pushes the limit. The bass slam also scales up, adding more power to sub-bass and oomph to mid-bass. I also hear more body added to lower mids. But here is an interesting thing, while bass of LX gets scaled up, I don’t hear the sound to be anymore L-shaped than it was already with a stock cable. Maybe there is a little bit more clarity in vocals, but overall mids/treble sound similar and the overall balance between low end and upper mids/treble remain the same. With PPH8 the scale tips again because now mids/vocals are more forward, and the overall sound sig is more balanced.
Stock TWag v4 (pure silver) vs PS Palladium hybrid – a slight improvement of soundstage width in this pair up. The biggest change is in sound signature, going from more laidback neutral sig with stock silver cable to a more balanced sig with extra emphasis on lows, mids, and treble using PS. I do love the original sound of Mellianus, but pair up with PS gives the bass more speed, gives mids/vocals a little more sparkle, and gives treble a little more airiness. Not a drastic change, but enough to change the sound perception where the signature went from neutral to balanced. Plus, it was a big improvement over a stiffer TWag silver cable. Btw, Oriolus never confirmed that my review sample came with TWag v4, but it looked identical to old Whiplash pure silver cable. Going to PPH8 solidifies the balanced signature and makes mids/vocals more revealing.
Stock SPC vs PS Palladium hybrid – a more holographic soundstage expansion with PS cable, in both width and depth. Also, I hear noticeable improvement in bass, both sub-bass rumble and mid-bass punch, with bass being more analog, more like a dynamic driver. Mids get more body in lower mids, giving vocals more organic natural tonality, while treble remains the same. Actually, treble is a touch smoother, especially in lower treble. Impressive pair up here. PPH8 pushes soundstage closer to 3D holographic expansion and adds more details to mids/vocals. Impressive pair up here.
64 Audio Fourte Noir
Stock SPC vs PS Palladium hybrid – a more holographic soundstage expansion with PS cable, as expected. Regarding the sound, relative to its stock SPC cable, PS takes Noirs W-shaped balanced signature and scales it up with more mid-bass impact while sub-bass rumble is the same; more transparency in mids, bringing vocals a little more forward with extra clarity, and giving treble a little more sparkle. Again, the change is not too drastic in this particular pair up, but it provides a quite tasteful refinement of the sound. With PPH8, mids open up more, adding more micro-details and making them more forward. It actually improves the balance between low end and mids.
I also wanted to mention about regular 64 Audio Fourte pair up with PPH4 vs PPH8. In this particular pair up going to 8wire, I hear bass to be more textured, the mids to be a little more forward and more open, making the sound more coherent and the overall signature more balanced. Even the perception of soundstage expansion felt more open. Pair up of Fourte with PPH8 was by far my favorite, especially since I switched to using foam eartips with Fourte which muted some sparkle of upper frequencies while PPH8 brought it back up with more air and extra micro-details.
In this test, I wanted to hear how PS Palladium plated hybrid compares to other premium cables, using LGPT as my neutral reference source and 64 audio U18t as the test monitor, volume matched in every comparison.
Palladium hybrid vs Satin Audio Athena (8wire) – a very noticeable difference of PS having a wider soundstage expansion, creating a more holographic 3D space. Upper mids and treble sounds the same, though maybe a little more revealing with PS, but low end has more analog weight and a little more impact with PS while the bass with Athena is faster and a little leaner. The same goes for lower mids where PS contributes more body to the sound while Athena is leaner and more transparent. To my ears, PS turned U18t low end performance into more analog dynamic driver type while Athena pulls it back to BA performance. With PPH8, upper mids are a little more forward and treble has more airiness.
Palladium hybrid vs Effect Audio Leo II (8wire) – soundstage comparison is getting closer, but I still hear PS to have an upper hand in the width. A lot of similarities in this comparison as well, with bass having more weight in both, lower mids having a little more body, upper mids being very detailed, layered, and natural. But I do hear a difference in treble with Leo II octa having more sparkle and being just a little crisper while PS treble with U18t sounds a little smoother in comparison. With PPH8, upper mids are more revealing and a little brighter.
Palladium hybrid vs Effect Audio Code 51 (4wire) – I’m probably splitting hairs here, but I still feel like PS is a touch wider in soundstage expansion. Code 51 and Leo II octa have nearly the same soundstage width, but in comparison to PS cable, I think Code 51 comes the closest. With the bass, both add an articulate analog weight to low end of U18t, but Code 51 is a little faster and has a shorter decay with more control. Mids/vocals are similar, though Code 51 is a little more revealing, more micro detailed, while PS is more organic. Also, Code 51 treble has more airiness while PS is a little smoother in comparison. With PPH8, mids sound closer to C51 level of revealing performance.
Palladium hybrid vs PlusSound Tri-Silver (4wire) – difference in soundstage width is the first things that you will notice, and it’s quite obvious with Palladium hybrid being wider than Tri-Silver. There is also some difference in tonality and overall signature relative to U18t. Tri-Silver bass feels a little more elevated and so does its lower treble which pushes upper mids/vocals a little more into the background, creating slightly v-shaped sig. With a Palladium hybrid the sound sig of U18t is more balanced, especially since treble is not as lifted and more natural in comparison to Tri-silver which makes it brighter and crisper. In addition to PPH4 changes, with PPH8 mids are also pushed more forward, widening the gap between their performance.
Palladium hybrid vs PlusSound Tri-Copper (4wire) – a lot more difference in this comparison. Starting with soundstage, as you would expect by now Palladium hybrid will have a wider soundstage. When it comes to bass, while both add a more analog weight to the low end, Palladium hybrid bass is more articulate, and better layered in comparison to Tri-Copper. With mids/vocals, the same deal, Tri-copper tonality is more organic, smoother, and the sound presentation pulled back, while Palladium is more revealing, more layered, and more balanced relative to the rest of the spectrum. Treble sounded very similar in this comparison. With PPH8 and its more forward revealing mids, the gap between PPH and Tri-Copper only widens.
The cable discussions are usually very subjective because cable alone doesn’t have a “sound”. Instead, it’s part of a sound chain which contributes to a synergy between your source and your monitors, and results will vary. But at the same time, in my testing of PS Palladium plated hybrid, I found common changes with a noticeable improvement in soundstage expansion, creating a nearly 3D holographic spacing. Also, in some pair ups it added more analog flavor and extra impact to the bass and more body to lower mids. And it kept mids/vocals relatively transparent, still layered and detailed, and quite natural without any exaggerated coloring. Plus, to my ears it also sharpened the definition of treble, but in a more natural and a controlled way. Stepping up to 8 wire version had the effect of bringing mids more forward with extra micro-details.
And as I always say and will repeat it again, I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic night’n’day EQ-like effect on the sound. Based on what I’m hearing, PS Palladium plated hybrid can certainly finetune the sound, but if you find the original signature of IEMs to be not your cup of tea, no cable alone will change that. And if you are truly skeptical about sound changes, there is no denial this new Palladium plated hybrid cable looks beautiful, has excellent workmanship, and like all PlusSound cables gives you enough design options to customize it like CIEM.