The first time I was exposed to how much of a profound difference wire can make when well utilized in an audio system was in the early 1980’s. I traded up from the tinned lead hook-up wire that came with my speakers to some big, fat, stranded Monster cable with good connectors. Well, how about that I thought, more bass, better vocals... pretty much better everything - and all because of changing out those lousy speaker cables. I thought to myself, I wonder if changing my RCA cables would make a difference too, and lo-and-behold it did! I was hooked on the easy tweak of cable rolling.
Fast forward more than 30 years and it’s no surprise that I’ve changed cables more than a few times, particularly since my system has evolved significantly since then. Heck, I’ve even gone so far as to swap out the wiring inside of speakers and inside preamps. And guess what? It all makes a discernible difference - everything sounds like something. While not every change I have made has been for the better, most have yielded beneficial results and advanced my system’s capabilities. Companies such as Kimber, Tara and particularly Cardas have all spent time in my systems. Sometimes decades! So, yes, I tube roll, fuse swap and cable roll when I think I can better my current position and squeeze a little more out of my system. One resource that has been invaluable to me in tweaking my system is the cable lending library maintained by The Cable Company (www.thecableco.com
) their library of cables and knowledgeable staff have allowed me to sample a good many of the very best cable designs available and really find what fits best with my system.
Sorry it took me a while to get to the point but this next part is what this review is really about... Recently, the good folks at The Cable Company loaned me three top shelf digital cables of differing designs. All three were high purity silver and handily outperformed my 12 year old copper digital cable, which had been a well reviewed Class A component in it’s day and had provided years of pleasurable listening. My cable wasn’t bad, per se, it was just that the newer designs and materials were so much better! The leader of the pack, and by a good margin, was a strikingly good looking flat cable by a small company out of Idaho, Snake River Audio ( http://snakeriveraudio.com
). All of Snake River Audio’s cables are named after various types of snakes and the cable in question was named Boomslang, after a particularly venomous tree snake. The Boomslang employs a thick multi-conductor cable that is flat but thicker than a conventional ribbon cable, presumably due to shielding. The RCA connectors were a locking design by WBT and the conductors were all high purity silver; moreover, the Boomslang was several hundred dollars cheaper than its competitors and longer, at 1.37 meters. Physical specifications aside, the cable simply sounds amazing! The Boomslangs are just musical, dare I say more analog sounding, providing a more natural leading and trailing edge to sounds and allowing for better delineation and clarity throughout. This accuracy and speed allows the listener to hear more of the micro dynamics that make a musical presentation sound more natural. Best of all, the Boomslangs do what they do without being overly bright. I fear I’m not doing adequate justice in describing how good these cables really are and what a difference they have made to my already finely tuned system. Mike Oldfield once quoted the old adage that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" and this sure feels like that.
So, the Boomslang cables are outstanding! But, that got me thinking of how the other cables by Snake River Audio might sound in my system... Sound familiar? Unfortunately, a review of the other cables will have to wait for another time and a new fiscal year. I would like to close this review with advising anyone considering dealing with Snake River Audio that Jonny Wilson, the owner, is one of the most accommodating folks you will ever work with. His products are superb, handcrafted to a meticulous tolerance and he offers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. I can unequivocally recommend Jonny and his fine products!