Product:HD Signal+ interconnect cable
Manufacturer: HiDiamond® - Italy
Approximate price: 200 Euros
Reviewer: Stefano Monteferri
Reviewed: March 2001
The signal cable, that we are just about to analyse, is part of the very recent production of a very recently formed company located in Rome, HiDiamond®. It was set up at the end of last year and at the moment, it limits its own production to audio-cables. In particular, a signal cable with a balanced configuration (HD XLR+), an RCA terminal cable (HDSignal+) and two different power cables (HD Power+ 3 and the most expensive HD Power+ 2).
The aim of the company is to produce signal and power cables, characterised by excellent performance together with limited costs for the end user, who at the price of a medium-quality cable, on the basis of the declarations of the HiDiamond managers, would have the possibility of buying a product of a higher quality. This is the story that they have told and we will verify its truthfulness during this test.
The HD Signal+ cable, which is black, is not very thick. Thanks to its external PVC soft sheath, which is rather flexible, the HD cable can be used in critical conditions, where there is little space to operate in. There are two types of connectors which can be used: those called Black (which can be tightened through a screw system) and those called Silver (that cannot be tightened, but which are very tight fitting).
The insulation of the four conductors that are used, made of 22 AWG multiwire copper, consists of XLPE (reticulated polyethylene). In order to guarantee a high level of insulation regarding electrostatic and electromagnetic intereference (93% of coverage), the cable uses a double copper screen with a double spiral and high density.
Considering its characteristics, it is obvious that the cable is directional and that the instructions of the manufacturer about the equipment interconnection have to be followed.
The frequency extension of the HD Signal+ is substantially complete and any particular limitation in that sense has not been noticed. No range of frequencies seems to prevail over the others and the resulting sound is therefore balanced and homogeneous
This characteristic supports the tonal colour performance, which appears rather refined and pleasant, characterized by a balance that makes the musical reproduction extremely gentle and sometimes caressing, without causing significant renunciations interms of introspection and detail, which are returned to the listener with discretion and elegance.
If a segmentation of the reproduced range is ventured, we find the low end, extended and transparent, assisted by a low-mid, which is well articulated and never swollen, a midrange clean and appreciably liquid, a high-mid, which is never a protagonist and absolutely not aggressive, and a high-end, which is accurate but never lacking in a certain sweetness of tone. These characteristics can sometimes give the sensation of a little bit thin reproduction in the high-mid range, but it is a slight thing, which can be perceptible only when the cable is inserted in high-level systems, particularly ones that are transparent and revealing.
Selectivity and contrast have good level, although, like the general dynamics, such elements are not pointed out or underlined in a strong way. Therefore, everything takes place in a refined and pleasant context, in which parameters like elegance and balance impose themselves once more.
Nothing can be said regarding the construction of the virtual image, which allows us to read inside a wide sonorous box, deep and equipped with stable and perfectly focused elements, confirming the validity of the geometry which they use. Even the general space is appreciable and the light and shade are represented with efficacy, although never in a marked way.
The sense of realism is good, only slightly refined by the musical characteristics previously described.
Regarding the test pair, the HD Signal+ was handed to me with the connectors of the series "Silver". Such connectors (that, as far as I know, will no longer be used), initially were excessively stiff and difficult to insert, less they could loosen in an inadvertant way after the following operations of connection and disconnection. I rather prefer the series "Black", those supplied as an alternative, which are equipped with a pratical system of screw tightening.
From the musical point of view, I would have preferred a more dynamic wire with more precision in the attacks. However, some limits concerning that, can only be noticed if the cable is in the chain of a system at a high qualitative level and I am not so sure that different dynamic characteristics would not have ruined the total performance in the end which, like that, seems to be characterized by a really remarkable general balance.
First of all, a minimum break-in period is suggested (let's say that ten hours are sufficient) to eliminate a certain granulosity in the high-mid range, shown by the cable when it is new. The characteristics of balance of the HD Signal+ are sublimed in cases where a wiring system of homogeneous signal is adopted and the insertion of a cable of the same kind between pre and final, as well as the connection to the source, which in my case, gave some particularly interesting effects.
As for what I was able to verify, analysing these HD Signal+'s, it seems that HiDiamond was really able to reach the goals that were set: producing a cable with very good musical performances within a limited price. The final result is very interesting and seems the case in which the total value of the object goes beyond the single component : its value is most evident in systems of medium price and does not make a bad impression even if it is inserted in systems which cost many dozens of thousands. This example gives satisfaction and shows, once more, how the buyer is not obliged to spend considerable sums of money to possess the objects characterized by a significantly high qualitative level.
On behalf of TNT Audio I would like to thank very much the whole HiDiamond team.
© Copyright 2001 Stefano Monteferri - http://www.tnt-audio.com
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