Here is how I hear Raph cable pairs up with different IEMs. I chose a handful of popular monitors for this testing, to compare the sound between their stock and Raph cables.
In this test I was using LPGT as a 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”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.
Also, please keep in mind that I’m describing the sound of IEM paired with a specific cable, driven from LPGT source, and how the sound of that IEM compares when I switch cables. I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic EQ-like night’n’day effect on the sound of IEMs. Based on what I’m hearing, cable can 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.
Unique Melody Mest MKII (from stock PWA Copper M2 to Raph) – I hear a very distinct sound change where the mids are more forward, with fuller and more textured body, shifting the sound sig of MKII from U-shaped to more balanced. The bass remains the same with its deep sub-bass rumble, and the treble hasn’t changed either but due to mids being more forward and much fuller in body, the perception of the treble has changed, and the upper frequencies are not as bright, but rather more controlled and more natural in tonality. Also, I hear the improvement in imaging. The soundstage is similar, but the imaging and position of the sounds in space is more 3D.
64 Audio U12t (from stock SPC to Raph) – I hear bass to sound more textured, the same impact and rumble, but I hear more texture. Treble is a little smoother, more natural. The big and the most noticeable change here is with mids/vocals. I hear a noticeable transformation, like a flip of a switch with vocals gaining more body, more texture, and having a more forward presentation. That also affects the treble, making it more natural, but the main change here is in mids, especially with a noticeable improvement in vocals. Also, the imaging is improved, with sound getting more depth.
FirAudio RN6 w/black atom (from stock silver w/copper shielding to Raph) – consistent with other IEMs, this change is focused purely on mids. RN6 is still closer to L-shaped tuned IEMs with a powerful bass and sparkly treble. Raph takes its mids and elevates them higher, giving them more forward presentation, more clarity, and better retrieval of details. Bass doesn’t change, remains full and powerful, but the sound signature is more balanced now. Also, because of mids being more forward and more natural in tonality, the treble sounds smoother and more natural without compromising its extension. Mids imaging is more 3D now, with vocals having a more holographic effect.
Vision Ears EXT (from stock SPC to Raph) – and again, like a magic switch, the U-shaped (maybe even closer to L-shaped) sound sig of EXT transforms into a W-shaped balanced signature thanks to its mids being lifted and positioned more forward. The powerful impact of EXT bass remains the same, and mids/vocals are more balanced with a bass now. Plus, mids gained more body, more clarity, and improved retrieval of details. And because of the change in mids, the treble also sounds more natural and less peaky. The imaging of mids is more holographic now.
Consistent with my cable testing philosophy, I used the same IEM (Mest MKII) and the same source (LPGT), and only changed one variable at a time to note the sound difference I hear while keeping volume matched. Keep in mind, I’m describing how a particular IEM sound compares between Raph and other cables.
Eletech Socrates to Raph – both cables help to finetune MKII sound sig to a more balanced level by elevating mids and putting more focus on vocals. But Raph gives mids a more natural organic tonality without compromising the retrieval of details. It doesn’t just give mids a fuller body, but also gives them more natural detailed texture and improved imaging.
Liquid Links Venom to Raph – both cables bring up mids in MKII and give vocals more focus, but the final sound tuning is not the same. First, the soundstage is wider, and imaging is improved with Raph. The presentation of mids/vocals with Venom is more distant, more out of your head, while Raph puts you closer to a performer. Venom gives MKII more bass rumble and makes treble a little brighter while Raph keeps the bass without too much exaggeration and treble smoother and more natural.
EA Horus to Raph – both bring up the mids/vocals to a more balanced level and have a similar effect on the soundstage expansion and imaging. But the tonality change is very different. Horus is a noticeably brighter cable, helping mids extract more micro-details while having a bit colder tonality, and having more sparkle in treble. In contrast, Raph makes mids/vocals warmer, fuller, more organic, and still quite detailed and resolving.
PlusSound Quad Copper to Raph – again, both have the effect of bringing mids/vocals more forward. Also, the soundstage and the imaging with both of these cables is quite similar. PS quad copper has just a touch wider soundstage, but imaging is nearly the same. They also have a very similar bass and treble response when paired up with MKII. But Raph adds more body to the lower mids and gives vocals a smoother and more organic tonality.
Conclusion w/Sound Analysis.
I usually mention in the conclusion of my cable reviews that cable will not change or transform the sound signature of your IEMs if you are not happy with its tuning to begin with. There is no magic “EQ” silver bullet or fairy dust behind the cable. If you are not happy with the sound signature of your pair of IEMs, get another one with a different sound sig. And while it is true in many cases, I’m going to eat my words because Raphael is one of the few cables I came across with a very focused tuning improvement. Of course, improvement is subjective, but this cable zooms right into the mid-range of frequencies, bringing them more forward, adding more body to the lower mids, and shifting the sound sig to be more balanced. And in the process of these changes, I also hear the improvement in imaging with more 3D holographic expansion of the sound depth.
Some changes are dependent on pair up synergy, but here it was very consistent with every IEM I tried. If this is what you are looking for, to change your V-shaped or U-shaped sound sig toward more balanced, Raphael is capable of finetuning your IEMs which to my ears felt like flipping a switch. And of course, it is a very beautifully crafted cable with an updated custom hardware design of y-split and termination plug, and soft, pliable, and lightweight wires. Raphael has unique sound characteristics, premium design, and a premium mix of Gold Plated Copper and Gold-Copper Alloy wires, a material often found in high end multi-kilobuck cables. In my book, Eletech Raphael is a premium budget cable which deserves a serious consideration.
4 thoughts on “Eletech Raphael”
Do you recommend a burn-in period?
This is a very controversial topic 🙂 By force of habit I run everything in a loop for 3-4 days. Cable manufacturers suggest at least a few days.
Hey Twister! Curious if you tried pairing this cable with your Odin? If so, what were your thoughts..
Just did. Odin is a bit mid-forward to begin with, so I don’t hear as much of a sound sig change, but vocals did get more body. With a stock 1960 2W they sound a bit brighter/thinner. Now, a little fuller and smoother. Not a drastic change, more of a refinement. Actually sounds pretty good.