As I cued up Doug McLeod’s “Mystery Train” from Come To Find [Audioquest], Diamond’s mellower, stress-free balance was immediately evident. This cable defined the bass-drum cue with precision, capturing the texture and timbre we perceive as the heart of the note—the interval between transient attack and resonant decay. Diamond revealed in this recording a depth of focus and layering that was exceptional—attributes it carried even further with classical music.
Listening to the WyWires I was struck by an almost Technicolor tube-like saturation that revealed a greater sense of nuance in vocal performances, particularly when it came to air and body. As I cued up the title track to Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat, a record I have heard countless times (but never as transparently as on the latest Impex vinyl reissue), the sonics were spotless with warm, natural sibilance. Even ordinarily aggressive keyboard transients were fully integrated into the performance and seemed to melt into each note. This was further demonstrated during Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue [Columbia/Mobile Fidelity], where horn and percussion transients were quick and clean yet still part of an unbroken fabric of sound. Likewise, during tracks from Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus LP [Prestige/DCC] the same easy resolution prevailed, with the sax depicted in a warm pocket of air and the backing piano conveying remarkable low-level articulation. This recording created moments of incredible intimacy wherein I could almost feel each breath rushing over the reed. It’s easy to forget that although this is a monaural recording, it still manages to communicate such large doses of space and atmosphere. The WyWires deserves some credit for this superb reproduction.
Far and away the strongest areas of Diamond’s sonic performance were dynamic flow and depth of focus—traits that reasserted themselves every time I cued up an orchestral recording in a venue with lots of reverberant life. When I recollect favorite concert hall performances, it’s not memories of cut-crystal details or hyper-discrete images that I walk away with. Rather, it’s an indelible impression of the dance between music and venue, shifting and shimmering between the micro and macro, the air and harmonics vibrating like a tuning fork in the acoustic space. It’s where I remind myself that I’m an audience member and not a microphone, and that my ears (and eyes) perceive the sound of a live orchestra differently in person than through a stereo system. In that way, the WyWires was powerfully persuasive in its unassuming and composed naturalistic balance. As I journeyed through the solar system of Gustav Holst’s The Planets [LSO/Previn: EMI], I savored the widely varying dynamic and ambient shifts that occurred between the grandiose brass and percussion of the “Saturn” movement and the truly spacey “Neptune” section, where twin harps and celesta are featured at their most delicate and ethereal. The famously slow fade from the offstage women’s chorus was truly the stuff of a musical space odyssey. This was where one realizes that Holst was not just musically representing the planets in this piece (now-demoted Pluto was yet undiscovered), but the infinite blackness and emptiness of space beyond our world. And it was this wide degree of ambient expression that the WyWires got so right.
My experience in the world of wires has shown that as you moves up through a given brand’s lineup, you hear a progressively greater sense of calm and openness. More than one designer with whom I’ve spoken believes it’s the reduction in timing/phase non-linearities in the treble range that helps accounts for this more collected and composed sense of musicality. My own observations with WyWires Diamond certainly support this theory. Diamond is a cable for connoisseurs—the lucky few who savor their music through high-end systems of dazzling resolution and transparency that can extract the delicacies and delights these wires are capable of producing. As with any item that bears the diamond name, you’ll need to bring your checkbook. But I promise you, with this gem, you won’t be sorry.
SPECS & PRICING
Price: Speaker cables $7995, 8' pr.; interconnect cables, $4495, 1.2m RCA and XLR per pr.
16501 Sherman Way, Suite 120
Van Nuys, CA 91406