Dual Connect DC-I100 Interconnect

Equipment report
Dual Connect DC-I100
Dual Connect DC-I100 Interconnect

Gold’s mystique is as gripping today as it has been throughout the ages, and this charismatic metal continues to be a source of enchantment for high-end companies as well. From gold-plated preamp knobs, phase plugs, RCA inputs, footers, record clamps, and a galaxy of accessories, nothing can match its timeless glow for exclusivity. In the world of audio cables, where copper (and sometimes silver) is the norm, gold is still held in high regard for its signal-carrying prowess and its unparalleled resistance to oxidation.

Which brings me to the Dual Connect DCI100, a one-meter .999-fine gold monofilament interconnect. The DC-I100 combines solid gold conductors of a very fine gauge (checked the price of gold lately?) in a dual configuration within a thin helix tubing of Teflon. Jewel-like to the touch, its construction is first rate. Underscoring Dual Connect’s commitment to high standards, the Eichmann Bulletplug RCA connectors have a 24kt gold overlay of the standard pure silver, rather than the less conductive gold-plated brass that’s more common to the breed.

The sound of the DC-I100 is warm with a near-rosy midrange patina. It’s cliché to characterize its sound as having a “golden” aura but after a few minutes of listening, the descriptor is unavoidable. On Sinatra’s “Angel Eyes,” for example, from Only The Lonely [Capitol], the DC-I100 brings a dark, mellow, effortlessly smooth foundation to his legendary pipes, with a slightly forward tilt through the mids and vivid presence. There’s a subdued quality in the treble—perhaps linked to a reduction in microdynamic action— that imparts a more relaxed perception of transients like rapidly hammered piano keys, tambourine rattles, or quick-wristed rim shots. The Dual Connect doesn’t quite crackle with the last word in speed and authority, but to its credit neither does it grow edgy or harsh.

Like a spritz of sonic Endust, images are polished to a sheen—enough for them to maintain distinct positions on the soundstage. And because there’s no etch of artificiality to vocalist Dianne Reeves on the Good Night, and Good Luck soundtrack [Concord], her voice sounds like a single distinct body rather than like divisible fundamental and harmonic components. If you’re system has the resolution (and the MBL system I have on hand most certainly does), then you’ll discover the Dual Connect is gently rolled at the frequency extremes. For me it’s of little consequence, but it will be an issue if you’ve got an ongoing flirtation with the bottom octave. However, during complex passages that easily trip the highest harmonics, say a piano solo or massed strings, there is some attenuation of transparency. The result is the sense that the harmonic profile of a sustained note doesn’t hang in the air as cleanly, that its borders have become shrouded and slightly indefinite.

In my experience, cabling adds the last bit of spit ’n’ polish to a great system, but the results are rarely predictable. And personal listening biases play a crucial role. In this $1000 range, each competitor brings strengths and weaknesses. The good news, however, is that it’s easy to assess these relative merits and demerits by auditioning a variety of wires. To the list of usual suspects I would confidently add the Dual Connect DC-I100. TAS