In 1988 the Japanese firm Furutech began to offer audio cables based on ultra high-purity, single-crystal copper conductors produced via the Ohno Continuous Casting (OCC) process, and ever since has enjoyed a reputation for creating products backed by science—not voodoo. Over the years, Furutech has methodically researched cable conductor and dielectric (insulation) materials, vibration-damped plugs and connectors, specialized grounding techniques, cryogenic/demagnetization treatments, and EMI filtering as they relate to sound quality. Plainly, the firm has an intriguing technology story to tell, but have its many advanced technologies led to cables and power distribution products that actually make systems sound better? To answer that question, we decided to survey a range of Furutech’s “Pure Transmission” components.
I began by equipping my system first with Furutech’s top-tier Reference III Series cables and then with its mid-tier Evolution Series cables, and comparing results. Although structural differences between the cable families are significant, I found they shared a common sound—a sound that conveys very high levels of transparency and tonal purity, as well as potent and deeply extended bass, yet does so without any discernible adverse side effects. That last phrase is hugely significant because it means that, unlike certain aggressive-sounding “detail-über-alles” cables, Furutechs are unfailingly smooth—enough so that some listeners initially perceive them as overly subdued. But I think they’re mistaken, because in my view Furutech cables are among the rare few that can provide transparency without pain.