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Positive Feedback ISSUE44
Silver Arrows Phono Cable
as reviewed by Robert H. Levi
Furutech has come on strong the past few years with multiple innovations most of which were relatively low cost high value offerings, but always high tech. Their previous phono cable was under $500 and did a very good job with high-end cartridges. Now Furutech has taken off the gloves and committed their huge resources to a cutting edge cable offering with all the technological expertise at their command. The Silver Arrows Phono Cable, yes its expensive and yes it delivers the musical goods and more.
The Silver Arrows has all the latest pieces and bits you'd expect at this price point. It's purest silver, it's double cryo'ed, it's terminated with carbon fiber locking connectors, it's robustly shielded and super quiet, and it comes with a silver ground wire with spades for easy connection. It requires around 100 hours to open up and come to life, but once there, fasten your seat belt. I used the RCA/RCA version. It's available in two DIN configurations, too. I tried the Silver Arrows with the Dynavector DV-1S Stereo and Mono, the ZYX Airy 3XSB, and the Koetsu Rosewood Signature cartridges all mounted in the Helius Omega Tonearm on the E.A.R. Disc Master Magnetic Turntable. The E.A.R 324 Solid State Phono Stage provided amplification and is connected in balanced mode to my E.A.R. 912 Preamp with the stunning new Kubala-Sosna Elation Interconnect. The Silver Arrows certainly deserves to be in the very best systems!
I expected the silver content of the Silver Arrows to possess a somewhat forward, slightly etched presentation. My Kimber silver TAK Phono Cable does this. Well folks, forget it. The Silver Arrows is super detailed and laid back all at the same time. Almost delicious sounding, its sophisticated neutrality and liveliness are first rate. Vocals are focused and textured. Ambience retrieval is world class. If your system is tuned to perform as close as possible to recreate the reality of unamplified acoustic instruments, you will NOT be disappointed.
Several audiophiles who heard the Silver Arrows commented that there seemed to be a slight reduction in energy in the midrange. I report this to you as an FYI, but I did not hear this. How can there be less midrange and yet have stellar ambience and hall acoustic reproduction? The Silver Arrows is so advanced that on first listen you'll hear definition and nuance that's new and maybe unexpected. Jaded audiophiles have their own special cables, particularly in the phono section, may be slow to come around shall we say.
I am having a tough time criticizing the Silver Arrows as you can see. I found them most convincing with the Koetsu, a bit less so on the Dynavectors, and just OK on the ZYX. The Silver Arrows is most neutral and the inherent flaws and benefits of each cartridge seem a bit enhanced. Could be I just never heard them before? If I had to make a recommendation, the Silver Arrows is best suited to the elegant, fully fleshed out cartridge sound and not the overly hot hyper detailed ones. I have the new Grado Reference1 warming up and can hardly wait to try it with the Silver Arrows.
There are several things I hear with the Silver Arrows that are truly remarkable. They are as quiet as any cable at any price. Backgrounds are jet black. Vocal performances are very nearly perfect. Ambience retrieval is state of the art. Cable flexibility and ergonomics are world class. I love the locking connectors. With the best cartridges and arms, they will not disappoint. There is no phono cable under $2000 that will eclipse the performance of the Silver Arrows that I know of at this writing.
Quibbles? Only one. They take a long time to run-in, at least 100 hours or more. I recommend at least 48 hours on a cable cooker. Find someone that has one. Phono play time is not good enough!
Furutech's Silver Arrows is their top entry in the phono cable sweepstakes and it's a winner. With tons of definition, sophisticated imaging, fabulous vocals, and world class ambience retrieval, the Silver Arrows will take your expensive moving coil to the next level. It's also very well shielded and fantastically quiet. Best used with cartridges that are neutral to luxurious sounding. The Silver Arrows is most neutral and revealing though it never leans down the sound whatsoever. Furutech has a high-end delight with the Silver Arrows. They are a must audition for audiophiles looking for the very best in phono cables! Robert H. Levi