Danacable Lazuli Reference Cables
Danacable is a relatively new cable company and the brainchild of long-time electrical engineer Dana Robbins. Since retirement, Robbins has used his many years of expertise to produce a selection of finely tuned high-end cables to pair with top performing transducers worldwide. Though skeptics may question the utility of cables and their "improvements," there is widespread consensus that cables do impart different sound characteristics that may or may not align with one's tastes.
While some cable companies explore the use of exotic materials or employ cryogenics to alter carrying signals, Danacable adopts a "back-to-basics" approach to enhance cable quality and transfer. Their philosophy concentrates on extremely low resistance to allow for unadulterated signal flow from amplifier to transducer. This review shall be focusing on the $1099 Lazuli Reference headphone cable that incorporates 1200 strands of oxygen-free cable (OFC) into a neat (but large) brown sheath design.
Overall, it is larger than standard cable designs to accommodate for the large amount of individual strands. Both the Y-split connector and end-termination are high quality, and reportedly take a lengthy amount of time fitting the strands of cable through. Users have the option for adding a Furutech connector for an extra $100. Terminations come in three options: 1/4 inch, 4 pin-XLR, or double 3-pin XLR connections.
The cable feels very nice to the touch, and although there is no memory retention, the cable does not tangle.
Packaging & Accessories
Immediately on first listen, the Dana Lazuli Reference cable offers a revelatory experience. The first thing noticed is the grand sense of staging and presence. Next, the fantastic timbre and low-midrange warmth stands out. Compared to the stock cable, there is a sense of musicality and emotion that is heightened. It is not often that cables render such an improvement over stock, and the Lazuli Reference does not disappoint. Notes present with heft and weight and rather than a faux-sharp representation of leading-edge transients, the Reference really allows music to ebb and flow. There is a real sense of organic tone with these cables, which make the stock cable feel more edgy and less refined in comparison. Overall, the sound feels accomplished.
At the lower frequencies of the spectrum, the Lazuli Reference delves deep with weight, depth, and authority. There is a woofer-like impact that aids track immersion and dynamism. Decay is spectacular with the low-end showing incredibly balance between articulacy and authority.
The midrange continues this grand sense of scale and note weight making everything sound compelling, fluid, and addictive. While the stock cable introduced some grain and edge, the Lazuli Reference tactfully avoids this by presenting the midrange with finesse and musicality. Details are preserved and tracks are just allowed to flow. While the original stock cable made the HE1000SE sound a shade clinical, the Lazuli Reference crafts musicality, fluidity, and detail breathing new life into this top-end planar.
Treble is smooth, linear, and detailed. There is some element of sweetness, which makes lower treble sound extensive and resolute without an artificially added bump in these regions. Cymbal crashes sound very realistic, and there is great amount of instrument separation, likely owing to the pitch-black background created by the Lazuli Reference cable. There is great harmony to the top-end, in conjunction with the rest of the frequency spectrum.
In many ways, the Lazuli Reference does the seemingly impossible. It capably works warmth into the upper bass and lower midrange regions without constraining the overall soundstage or perturbing the clarity of vocals. The midrange captures all necessary details without making notes sound lean or bright. The treble region is extensive without accentuating leading edge transients or sharpness. Overall, the changes from the stock cable were not subtle — and it certainly offered a change in the right direction.
The Master Silver cable by Lavricables represents an aftermarket cable employing the use of silver for better levels of detail. While this cable offers decent amounts of detail and resolve, the overall dynamics are eclipsed by both the Prion 4 and Lazuli Reference cables. Soundstage and sense of air is also favored the by latter two high-end cables.
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