The Renaissance Legend Continues!
PROS: beautiful looking cable with custom hardware, excellent workmanship, improves the perception of soundstage expansion, imaging, and blacker background, adds more punch to the bass and more revealing micro-details to the mids, premiums packaging and accessories.
CONS: price, sound improvement varies depending on pair up, included removable Pentaconn chin slider looks out of place.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
I’m aware that some people don’t believe in cables and have very strong opinion about it. It’s not my intent to start an argument, and instead, I would like to share what I hear during my testing. Perhaps, I can’t fully explain why there is a change in sound, but I do hear it and don’t believe it’s a placebo effect. What makes sense to me, a metal wire is a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, purity, and unique geometry, all of which put together act as a filter between your source and earphones. Variations of these physical properties can affect the conductivity of analog signal, resulting in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level. Also, the sound change introduced by a specific cable is not universal because it will depend on the design and the synergy between the source and earphones under test.
When a new audio product is announced, people usually look forward to its sound performance and design. When a new Eletech cable is announced, I look forward to its… name, packaging, and split/plug design. If you think this sounds shallow, you are probably not familiar with Eric Chong’s Eletech cables. While not as bad as the current IEM and DAP market, cable releases are starting to feel saturated as well, and it takes more than just a unique wire material to capture cable-believers attention. To make it stand out from the crowd, Eletech gives each of their releases a personality with a distinctive design and a historic event/name to go along with it.
Inspired by the poetry of Greco-Roman mythology and the work of legendary Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, Eletech entry level Virtues Series features Fortitude (copper) and Prudence (SPC) cables, mid-fi level School of Athens Series features Socrates (monocrystal copper) and Plato (monocrystal silver), and summit-fi level Parnassus Series with its Iliad (monocrystal silver, palladium plated silver, and gold-silver alloy) now expanded with a new flagship Aeneid (gold-plated silver) cable which I’m going to cover in this review.
Unboxing and Accessories.
The unboxing experience of all Eletech products is very unique because they infuse the theme of the cable name into the packaging. The actual packaging boxes their cables arrive in are so exquisite that they belong on a bookshelf display like volumes of collectable book series. I know, some might not care about this, but it is hard to ignore how much thought and details went into Aeneid packaging. The way how the top cutout of the sleeve gives you a glimpse of the artwork print on top of the box cover, or the back of the sleeve with details and specs and the golden Coliseum. All this gets your attention even before you see the actual product under the cover.
And even when you lift the thick cardboard cover, you are greeted with more surprises, like a separate slim packaging box with a metal plate on top with Aeneid theme logo and unique product number and a thick multi-page high res printed booklet inside, covering all the Eletech cables and info about the company. I’m not talking about some thin paper brochure, but a thick booklet with hi-res picture prints. Then, you will find another surprise with a unique accessory piece in a shape of a Greek column with ET logo, a souvenir that looks like a chess piece.
The cutout where a purple leather case was placed turned out to be another surprise. Eletech could have just settled for a foam cutout, but instead they used a plastic mold with embedded shapes of Roman ruins with columns and battlefield gear. I can only imagine how much work went into creation of this themed packaging. The craftmanship of the round leather case is impressive too, with a stamped logo on top and heavy-duty metal zipper. Inside, you will find the cable and Eletech branded removable Pentaconn chin-slider. It’s a two-piece design that you have to put together, including a tiny screw which you have to be careful not to lose.
Like I already said, it’s a very impressive and educational (from historic perspective) unboxing experience, definitely making you feel that you are dealing with a flagship level product.
Aeneid cable features 4 braided flawless OCC Gold Plate Silver (GPS) conductors, each one with 24AWG gauge hybrid Type-4 Litz cryogenically treated wires. The decision to use 4x 24AWG thickness wires allowed the cable to hold as much material as 8x 26AWG wires while still maintaining a supple design ergonomics. The wire material uses a special 2-type gold alloy coating, applied onto a high-grade Silver Litz wires, clearly visible through a flexible transparent cable jacket and giving the cable its golden color tone.
To go along with a GPS theme, Eletech came up with a very unique Y-Split design featuring elements of Roman Coliseum. The details really stand out here in gold surrounding of a black Y-Split barrel. Besides having an eye-candy design, I also found out these are made by Pentaconn and not cheap to manufacture. Apparently, Eletech was also considering a matching design for its plug, but instead went with a more “traditional” gold plated multi-facet insert. This way the attention stays on the Y-Split.
The other side of the cable has a slim black metal 2pin connector housing, along with pre-shaped heatshrink earhooks. One bonus that Eletech decided to offer with this release is Pentaconn brand name removable chin-slider which you have to assemble. It’s a very classy looking chin-slider, something Eletech customers were asking for. But as much as I like its overall look and functionality, I found it to be a bit out of place with the rest of Aeneid black/gold design theme. Plus, the chin-slider itself was a bit loose due to a large cable opening, often sliding down under the weight.