In the system I was then using, the Galileo LE system (with active components hooked up to SR’s PowerCell 10 SE Mk III power conditioner) was among the most gorgeous-sounding wire on the market. Like Galileo père, however, it was quite complex and not purely neutral. Most of the Synergistic Research wire I’ve heard in the past has leaned toward the “darker” side of the tonal spectrum. This makes for beautiful bass and power range timbre and heft but also for an overall balance that doesn’t have the mid-to-upper-octave light and speed of something like, oh, Crystal Cable’s Absolute Dream (my other reference). Galileo LE was no different. Galileo UEF is.
What’s changed here is not the Galileo principle—UEF is still a system of actively shielded, conditioned, grounded, and tuned “air strings,” bundled together though functionally independent. What has changed are the parts and, to an extent, the complexity of their implementation. Here is what Synergistic has to say about its new interconnect (the speaker cable verbiage is nearly identical):
“[Galileo UEF XLR interconnects] are built from four hand-made 99.9999% pure silver and graphene air strings [with] UEF graphene shielding in parallel with two fourth-generation Tricon silver matrix geometries for a total of 12 cables in a single pair. Each individual geometry is sheathed to cancel vibration without resorting to excessive dampening, which can compress sound. All six UEF graphene shields are tied to our Ground Plane Technology, which passes static electricity and noise picked up by the shields direct to ground, and not to your components…To maximize musicality we developed a complex multi-layer UEF inductive cell made from pure silver foil and graphene with a Japanese silk dielectric...for the organic sound that silk imparts when used as a dielectric. Lastly, we developed two very special UEF tuning modules that change the vibrational characteristics of the cable at the signal or electron level [sic]. The gold UEF tuning module imparts a warmer more layered balance to your music while the silver UEF tuning module with its faster vibrational characteristics transmits the maximum information while still sounding musical. The choice between gold, silver, or none is yours to make and, when you do, you’ve voiced your cables to match your system and personal preference.”
I know. Like all cable-maker geek-speak this is tough to fathom. But the bottom line isn’t. Denney is now using graphene as well as silver in his air strings and shields, Japanese silk and graphene in his dielectrics, silver and graphene in his “inductive cells” (coupled to shields, conductors, and grounds to dissipate noise), and new tuning modules to sweeten the sound to taste. In essence, these are the same design elements as those in the original Galileos, only materially more sophisticated and functionally simplified.
According to Ted, yours truly played a part in the voicing of the Galileo UEFs, at least to this extent: After all these years Denney has a pretty good idea of the timbral and dynamic balance I prefer and he made an effort (or so he tells me) to engineer higher energy, higher resolution, and more neutral timbre into the UEFs. As you can already gather from what I’ve written he has succeeded beyond expectation. This is simply the most neutral (least darkly colored), most faithful to sources, highest resolution, most dynamic, and, given the right source material, most realistic-sounding wire he’s built.
I’ve already touted what it can do with a great digital source component (and a great digital recording). Happily, it does exactly the same thing with great analog sources and recordings. But to hear an LP that is capable of the realism I hear on the Harry Connick, Jr. CD is to also hear a new virtue added to what digital does well—a three-dimensionality that DACs simply don’t supply (or at least don’t supply in the same lifelike abundance).
Voices and instruments aren’t just unmistakably “right” in timbre, pitch, duration, and dynamic; they also have the lifelike bloom that you hear listening to real instruments being played in a club or a concert hall—the “action” that turns (in HP’s famous paraphrase) painted ships upon a painted ocean into three-dimensional semblances of real-life instruments making real-life music. Once again, it isn’t the cables alone that are doing this—it’s the entire system (and the high-quality source). But Synergistic Research Galileo UEF is, nonetheless, playing its part (and also clearly showing you how even the best CDs differ from the best LPs).
While UEF isn’t cheap, it is a no-brainer top recommendation, as is the PowerCell 12 UEF SE that you plug your gear into and that has precisely the same neutrality, fidelity, resolution, dynamic, and realism as the cables (though, on a funcional level, the PowerCell’s AC receptables could and should be tighter in grip, IMO).
You want one of the best wires? Well, I haven’t yet reviewed the pricey new Crystal Cable Ultimate Dream, which I’m sure is a dilly, but if it’s substantially better than the UEF (and it should be considering what it costs) I’ll be pleased. Go out and listen for yourself. Galileo UEF is terrific—and as of now one of my new references.
Specs & Pricing
Galileo UEF speaker cable: $15,000/8' pair
Galileo UEF interconnect: $7500/1m pr. RCA; $9500/1m pr. XLR
Galileo power cords: $5600/5'
PowerCell 12 UEF SE: $6495, 120V ($2995, 5' Atmosphere Level 3 PowerCell AC cable); $6950, 230V ($2995, 5' Atmosphere Level 3 PowerCell AC cable)
SYNERGISTIC RESEARCH INC.
1736 E. Borchard Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
JV’s Reference System
Loudspeakers: Magico M Project, Magico M3, Magico M6, Raidho D-1, Zellaton Reference Mk II, Avantgarde Zero 1, MartinLogan CLX, Magnepan .7, Magnepan 1.7, Magnepan 30.7
Subwoofers: JL Audio Gotham (pair), Magico QSub 15 (pair)
Linestage preamps: Soulution 725, Constellation Audio Altair II, Siltech SAGA System C1, Air Tight ATE-2001 Reference
Phonostage preamps: Soulution 755, Constellation Audio Perseus, Audio Consulting Silver Rock Toroidal, Innovative Cohesion Engineering Raptor
Power amplifiers: Soulution 711, Constellation Audio Hercules II Stereo, Air Tight 3211, Air Tight ATM-2001, Zanden Audio Systems Model 9600, Siltech SAGA System V1/P1, Odyssey Audio Stratos
Analog sources: Acoustic Signature Invictus/T-9000, Walker Audio Proscenium Black Diamond Mk V, TW Acustic Black Knight/Raven 10.5, AMG Viella 12
Tape deck: United Home Audio Ultimate II OPS
Phono cartridges: Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement, Air Tight Opus 1, Ortofon MC Anna, Ortofon MC A90
Digital sources: Berkeley Alpha DAC 2, MSB The Reference DAC
Cables and interconnects: Crystal Cable Absolute Dream, Synergistic Research Galileo UEF, Ansuz Acoustics Diamond
Power cords: Crystal Cable Absolute Dream, Synergistic Research Galileo UEF, Ansuz Acoustics Diamond
Power conditioners: Synergistic Research Galileo PowerCell UEF SE, Technical Brain, AudioQuest Niagara 5000
Support systems: Critical Mass Systems MAXXUM and QXK equipment racks and amp stands
Room treatments: Stein Music H2 Harmonizer system, Synergistic Research UEF Acoustic Panels/Atmosphere XL4/UEF Acoustic Dot system, Synergistic Research ART system, Shakti Hallographs (6), Zanden Acoustic panels, A/V Room Services Metu acoustic panels and traps, ASC Tube Traps
Accessories: Symposium Isis and Ultra equipment platforms, Symposium Rollerblocks and Fat Padz, Walker Prologue Reference equipment and amp stands, Walker Valid Points and Resonance Control discs, Clearaudio Double Matrix Professional Sonic record cleaner, Synergistic Research RED Quantum fuses, HiFi-Tuning silver/gold fuses