It’s been a while since we last looked at a True Colours Industries (TCI) product (Issue 49 in fact), and getting to grips with the latest versions of the Cobra interconnect (the original of which we reviewed way back in Issue 18), it’s clear that although the product has been through a fair number of developments, TCI’s core values of making a damn good cable that doesn’t cost a King’s Ransom still holds, er, true.
Cobra II remains TCI’s top interconnect model. Make that ‘models’ as the standard gold braided Cobra II is joined by the Cobra II SE model in a less ‘bling’ black and silver sleeve and locking plugs. Both cables share the same aerospace-grade silver plated, oxygen free copper conductors with a high-density, double-braided, oxygen-free copper screen, aerospace-grade PTFE Kapton tape as a dielectric, and high-grade silver solder throughout. The main difference (aside from the colour of the braid accent) is the plug itself; the standard Cobra II has a gold-plated locking plug with matching gold-plated centre pin, where the SE model swaps to silver plating throughout and includes a tellurium-copper pin. Tellurium is often used in semiconductors because of its excellent electrical conductivity.
These are distinctly no-nonsense cables. They have a fine unfettered sense of dynamic range and detail, and don’t get in the way of the rhythm, either. In fact, a good sense of timing marks both Cobras out for praise... and if you are still of the opinion that a cable can do nothing to change the rhythmic structure of the sound, take a set of Cobra IIs for a spin and see if you still feel that way after a weekend of nodding along to your music. Of course, these cables are a lot more than just a sense of rhythm (there is a lot of detail and soundstage width on offer, too), but it’s one of the first parts of the sound you become aware of when listening to these cables.
It sometimes seems as if we write in code. Mention one thing and it means the other aspects are all bad. Say it’s ‘even handed’ and the decoder ring says ‘boring’, but Cobra II is fun and dynamic... and even-handed, without obvious errors.
The Cobra II SE is the better sounding option without question, and while some might get all uppity at the thought of spending an additional £25 for a change of braid accent and the plating on the plugs, from a ‘shut up and listen’ point of view, the extra is money well spent. The absence of sibilance that the Cobra II does so well extends even further along the high frequencies. This is a slightly more resolving cable as a result, but not in a ‘only use with titans’ way.
Most important of all, these two cables represent great value, are designed and built in the UK and tear up the performance benchmarks without breaking the bank. Cobra II is great, Cobra II SE is greater. It’s all good.
Price and contact details
TCI Cobra II interconnect: £300/1m (RCA)
TCI Cobra II SE interconnect: £400/1m (RCA)
Manufacturer: True Colours Industries
Tel: +44 (0)77 1019 6949