Synergistic Research’s Foundation Series cables uses 6N purity pure silver conductors using Synergistic’s own handmade Air String geometry with the company’s UEF (Uniform Energy Field) Matrix shielding. This last is pulled from the more up-scale Atmosphere X cables, placing UEF technology in a grid pattern inside the cable and with a graphene sleeve extending around the connector itself. The RCA cables feature four of these Air String conductors per channel, while XLRs use six per channel, woven in an air dielectric, all wrapped in a tight braided jacket. The loudspeaker cables look almost identical to the interconnects, use identical materials, techniques and jacketing. They even physically separate the positive and negative, with two distinct conductors for each speaker terminal connection… but they are thin and flexible enough to be unobtrusive, and they come in a choice of black or white too.
Foundation Series comprises loudspeaker cables, interconnects, phono cables and headphone cables, but Synergistic Research has that name for a reason – synergy. So, we went with an entire system’s worth of cables, including UEF Blue Series power cords from the range below Foundation and digital cables from the Atmosphere X Series above the Foundation line. These dovetail perfectly with the Foundation Series cables and should be considered as part of the full cable system but will be the subject of a later test.
Consistency and detail are uppermost with Synergistic’s Foundation cables. They are remarkably revealing, both of equipment, but in particular of the music played through that equipment. Consistency in this case means both cables perform equally well and deliver a well-balanced sound that is coherent and precise from the lowest notes to the highest. A good vocal is projected – but not ‘pushed’ – into the room and neatly delineated from the rest of the band, with a coherence, stage presence, and microdynamic precision that makes the band sound like a band, not simply a collection of musicians vaguely playing together and never once falling foul of the ‘audiophile disease’ of making a huge soundstage at the expense of the cohesiveness of musicians in that mix. The sheer amount of detail the Foundations produce does mean thin and compressed-sounding pop can sound, frankly, bloody awful… but in fairness, revealing more of what goes on in the studio sometimes reveals more bad than good. Just be prepared to re-evaluate those tracks you thought ‘good’; the trick of using Shure SM57 microphones on drums to give a ‘live’ feel comes across as more ‘trick’ than ‘benefit’ here.