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Prime interconnect and speaker cables
as reviewed by Robert H. Levi
Yumpin' yiminy! The Jorma Prime speaker cables and interconnects from Jorma Design in Sweden are probably more expensive than the gear you will use them with, but they will surpass every other cable around. Have I heard every top cable in the world? Certainly not. Do the Jorma Primes sound more musical, dynamic, quiet, textural, and elegant than all of my current references? Yes. Do they have more clarity and truthfulness? Yes. Do they sound better than every set of loaner cables I've heard, no matter how exotic? Yes. Even cables made of rare elements? Yes. Powered cables? Yes. Cables containing water or air? Yes. Yes. Yes.
At $7000 for a one-meter pair of interconnects ($2700 for each additional meter) and $12,400 for a two-meter pair of loudspeaker cables, the Jorma Prime cables push the envelope more than sonically. The company's website (www.jormadesign.com) says that the brand-new cables were designed for the Swedish Statement project at CES 2006. They are made of top quality materials—gold, 99.999999 percent copper, transparent Teflon, and walnut—all fine-tuned to get the best possible results. The cables have completely new conductors that were developed by a small European producer that truly had to push its limits—they had to change their machines to be able to make these conductors, and it took more than half a year to test them. The cables also make use of the Bybee Slipstream Golden Quantum Purifiers.
I've heard the $3100 Jorma No. 1 interconnects, and thought them quite fine, but I was not prepared for the quantum leap demonstrated by the Primes. Placed at the output of my new Tim de Paravicini-designed E.A.R. Acute CD player, which has both single-ended and balanced connectors, I was able to compare cables either directly into my preamp or into my power amp. The Jorma Primes sounded clearer, more detailed, more everything, than every other cable in my inventory, or that I could borrow. I have never heard my Avalon Eidolons sound so musically right, so unfatiguing, so pure, so quiet, so nuanced. I also heard the best depth perspective I have yet perceived from these transducers, but that was just the beginning!
When my complete system was completely wired with the Jorma Prime cables, a sonic leap to musical heaven occurred. If you buy the Prime interconnects, you absolutely must buy the loudspeaker cables, too. Any other speaker cables will degrade the performance of the interconnects. I know. I tried. There's no way around this. Prepare to pay at least $20,000 for sonic perfection or don't even start. The Prime interconnects plus loudspeaker cables will yield an astounding, staggering 50 percent improvement in definition and musicality over all other cables. I honestly don't know what Jorma Koski is doing that makes all other brands sound either thick or thin, bright or dull, hyped or boring. I just wish he could do it more cheaply. That it has been done at all is quite an accomplishment.
The Jorma Prime interconnects do not seem to be reactive in any way. They work as neutral links between any components, even between a tonearm and a phono stage. They are medium-sized, very flexible, and terminated in WBT Nextgen Silver plugs that fit everything. The speaker cables are equally flexible, and elegantly terminated in WBT spades. Other terminations are available. The Bybee filters are built into each cable in an elegant walnut enclosure. Bi-wire configurations are available, but you'll need two credit cards. (Just kidding.)
These cables have an amazing neutrality. Coloration is so low that I was unable to identify any, yet I heard and felt an organic, involving presentation that was as good as it gets. The Jorma Primes have to be approached from a holistic perspective. You can't simply focus on the pristine, open highs or the elegant, alive mids or the deep, solid bass, or even on the fantastic definition. You just take it all in, all at once.
Let me take a moment to list my reference interconnects so that you know my preferences at different price points. The sound achieved in each price category is eclipsed by that achieved in the next highest category. (Sorry, there's no free lunch.) My favorite interconnects to date are:
With more definition than even solid gold interconnects—in fact, more than that of every other interconnect I've heard—the Jorma Prime interconnects, especially in combination with the Jorma Prime speaker cables, are state of the art! You'll pay handsomely, but this kind of performance has its perks. You'll live the recordings, not just listen to them. If you have the best loudspeakers and front-end gear, the Jorma Prime cables are for you. Their supreme performance, coupled with their supreme neutrality, should make them compatible with just about every brand of equipment imaginable. Jorma Prime receives my very highest recommendation. These are the ones for the ultimate cable connoisseur! Robert H. Levi
The music used in evaluating the Jorma Prime interconnects and loudspeaker cables included:
E.A.R. USA/Sound Advice is the US importer and
distributor for Jorma Design