Back in the mid 1980s, nuclear physicist and audiophile Jim Aud had a smart idea: why not use fluid or gel dielectrics in audio cables? Despite an early ‘huh?’ factor from some, the Purist Audio Design cables that arose from that smart idea were very well received. Times and tastes change, but Purist has stuck to its guns, and this outstanding USB cable is a part of the company’s new 30th Anniversary range. This not only highlights just how long Purist Audio Design has been around, but shows just how much it’s possible to extract from the USB pathway when it’s done properly.
The technology has moved on in part thanks to developments in materials science and the recent Luminist Revision of the company’s lines is a fine example of such improvements. However, the strictures imposed by the tightly specified USB design prevent more complex dielectrics. Purist Audio Design instead opts for the largest conductors it can specify and the 30th Anniversary cable builds upon the company’s Ultimate USB, with strong isolation between the power and data lines in the cable itself, and a large tuned ferrite ring mid-way along the cable to provide passive filtering that is useful for the +5V and 0V conductors. Unlike the more ‘bling’ designs, Purist’s black braided sleeve is refreshingly ‘purposeful’ rather than ‘elaborate’. The cable takes a considerable amount of time to burn in, although ours came somewhat ready prepared by time as Purist’s demonstrator.
One of the great criticisms of USB (by the CD and the UPnP streaming communities) is that the sound lacks ‘body’ or ‘weight.’ These people have never heard what the Purist Audio Design 30th Anniversary USB cable can do! The overall sound with this cable is just the right side of ‘dark’ to be full of musical gravitas rather than ‘moody’, and is also powerful, weighty, and monumental when it needs to be. Even when moving from sweeping Sibelius to bouncy Brubeck, the overarching impression is one of detail coupled with solidity of instruments and players.
Yet, for all this weight and solidity, the Purist cable wants for nothing in terms of soundstage retrieval and detail; and detail across the board, too. The high frequencies had none of that quasi-artificial ‘high-end shimmer’ (which is, in fact, often inaccurate note decay), but instead revealed the nature of the recording right down to the reverb tails on background instruments. Mids had the same accuracy, and bass lines were full and yet tight and taut when needed. In short, this is about as good as it gets!
Purist Audio Design’s 30th Anniversary is a year of great maturity and extremely good products, if the USB cable is anything to go by. This is a cable that does all the right things for computer music. Very highly recommended.
Price and contact details
Product: Purist Audio Design 30th Anniversary USB cable
Length as tested:1.5m
Manufactured by: Purist Audio Design
Distributed by: HMF Solutions
Tel: +44(0)7740 799753