Crystal Cable Ultra Loom

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Loudspeaker cables
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Crystal Cable Ultra Loom
Crystal Cable Ultra Loom

“Gregory using cables from someone other than Nordost!” I can see the shock in certain quarters already. But settle down at the back there. This isn’t as big a reach as it might appear, because despite some very obvious physical differences, Crystal Cables and Nordost share a number of critical conceptual similarities. On the surface these are very different products, but the thinking behind them, the way they do their job, is extremely similar. Having said that, it’s not the same job that they do…

However, more of that later: first, I think a little background is in order. Whilst Crystal might be a new name in the great scheme of cable things, launching their first product a little over four years ago, they sprang from well-established roots. The giveaway is in the metallurgy; Crystal use a silver/gold alloy for their conductors – the same alloy employed by Siltech. In fact, the two companies might not be joined at the hip, but they are, quite literally married to one another – at least the management is. Siltech is owned and run by Edwin van der Kleij; Crystal belongs to his wife, Gabi. The two companies share a common technological base and production facilities, but there the connection ends. With its own, independent company structure and a totally separate design team – not to mention a fiercely independent CEO – what Crystal does with that technology is very distinct from the Siltech solution. The Ultra cables reviewed here represent Crystal’s flagship product, top of a five-tier range, all of which share coaxial construction and silver/ gold alloy conductors. Incorporating small amounts of gold into the high-purity silver effectively fills the holes which would otherwise be left in the metal’s crystal structure, enhancing conductivity as well as banishing space for contaminating impurities and creating a more consistent matrix. The result should be a more stable conductor, with much greater longevity. Now, whilst such metallurgical claims are impressive, I’m not qualified to discuss their accuracy. Of more interest to me is what they say about the lengths Crystal are prepared to go to in order to achieve their ends. Given a product range that starts at just a little over £100 a pair, using such exotic and expensive technology (and it’s certainly both of those things) suggests a heavy commitment to both quality and value – concerns that more than occasionally seem to have passed cable companies by. The flagship Ultras approach Valhalla price levels, but that seems almost reasonable given the cost of some competing products.

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