Van den Hul has had a bit of a tough time in the UK over the last few years. Once king of the cable hill with numerous manufacturers using its products in and outside of their kit, its profile of late had been submerged by a slew of newer, hotter and better marketed brands. In 2010, it launched a range of cables based on what it describes as a completely new approach called 3T... and nothing happened. In the press, we barely noticed and if the change of distributor last year is anything to go by, it wasn’t doing great guns in the market. But that new distributor, Flamingo, has been working to change things and started by getting 3T cables out to those of us that slave at the coal face of audio reviewing in the hope of finding sonic diamonds for your delectation.
However, getting a new cable into my system has always been difficult. Ultimately it would be a lot easier for all of us if the things all sounded the same; I can quite understand the attitude of stick in the muds who refuse to accept that they make any difference. Inconveniently this isn’t the case, even digital cables differ significantly (there... I said it!) and so it is our solemn duty to try out new designs from old, well dogs seems a bit harsh but you get the picture.
The deal with VdH’s 3T is not terribly clear. What they do tell is that it’s a carbon multi-metal hybrid that’s devoid of copper, silver, gold and platinum, this apparently to avoid the price fluctuations created by market speculation. It’s a different type of carbon to that found in The First and Second, the last VdH interconnects that made any impression on me (but I do avoid cables). VdH makes a number of claims for 3T, including many which infer that it will last for a long time and remain sonically consistent over that time. It even quotes a minimum of 25 years of reliable operation. I would expect a cable to last that long but not to sound much the same at the end of it. The claims for 3T (true transmission technology) are many and varied so it’s odd that no specifics of the actual material or its topology are given. I guess it’s all proprietary stuff which might be copied by competitors although as far as I know no-one else has launched a carbon cable apart from VdH.