Review: Eastern Audio Technology LTD RCA Stereo Cable 1 meter Interconnect
Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
September 2014 issue
Eastern Audio Technology LTD vs. Virtue Audio Nirvana : A subjective study in contrasts.
As audiophiles, we need to choose which stereo gear or cables are the better choice, overall. This can be a very daunting task for most of us. We may choose based on our personal impressions of what sounds better to us or what audiophile qualities matter most to us. This is one reason audiophiles like playing with a variety of gear. With inexpensive gear you don't usually get the full enchilada. Compromises are made in certain areas and you have to make a decision of what works best in your system.
The Eastern Audio Technology LTD rca stereo interconnect stems from Hong Kong, but is available from the hifimediy.com United States store. The company also sells amp modules and digital audio processors. The interconnect comes in a 1 meter size and sells for $16.99 plus shipping.
It is a directional cable and comes in a nice woven black jacket with impressive rca connectors. I thought it would be fun to compare this interconnect with a more expensive interconnect, the virtue audio nirvana, which sells for $75.00. I will be swapping the interconnects back and forth in my system and determining what the differences are and how i interpret them with the music i listen to.
One strength of the Eastern Audio Technology cable is its smooth and neutral vocal presentation. I noticed this while listening to the untitled masterpiece cd by Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. Track six , "Quartet", has very natural and smooth vocals. On this track i felt that the Eastern Audio interconnects might be just a tad smoother and clearer than the Virtue Audio. The Virtue Audio interconnects were a little more stable and musical sounding with slightly more bass and a little larger and more spacious sound. The Virtue audio has a little more output with a little beefier sound.
When it comes to dynamics and sound stage stability i prefer the Virtue Audio interconnects. This was apparent while listening to the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall. Track number five sounded a little bit more compressed with the Eastern Audio interconnect. The Virtue audio interconnects had greater musicality, dynamics and stability on this track. I also felt that the Virtue Audio interconnects did better at separation. On track number six i felt that the Eastern Audio may have been a tad smoother and detailed in the highs but the differences were very minute in that area. It might also be a little more organic and natural, a concept that i would like to explore in the latter part of the review.
The Virtue Audio interconnects are slightly better when it comes to density and definition of sound. I also noticed a little richer sound compared to the Eastern Audio interconnect. While listening to the Compulsion cd by Andrew Hill, on track number three, the Virtue Audio interconnects seemed to be slightly richer or more harmonically complete. There also was a better definition of sound as well as slightly better density. The Eastern Audio interconnect, in comparison sounding less dense and defined with a slightly paler sound. Once again the Virtue Audio showed their superior dynamics and slightly crisper highs. The sound was also more stable and produced a larger sound stage. The Eastern Audio interconnect might have a very slight edge in organics and natural sound. The percussion on this song seemed to be ever so slightly more natural with perhaps a small increase in upper frequency wholeness.
To get an idea of the organic qualities of the Eastern Audio interconnect, lets go ahead and revisit a cd by Cassandra Wilson titled, "belly of the sun". The song , "Drunk as Cooter Brown", is a good test for this. While listening to this song, i subjectively felt that the Eastern Audio interconnect might be very slightly better at showing organic qualities of music. However, i preferred the more musical, robust and stable quality of the Virtue Audio. The Virtue Audio also had fuller vocals and more body to the sound.
While i was able to find maybe two or three small areas where the Eastern Audio interconnect may have been very slightly superior to the Virtue Audio interconnect, overall i preferred the more robust and musical qualities of the Virtue Audio. That is, not to take anything away from the Eastern Audio interconnect, it is a very fine budget interconnect for the money that i would recommend to an audiophile on a tight budget.
A side note from the Mr. Johnson, the editor of budget esoterica review magazine: The funny thing about this review is that the longer my amp was powered on, the fewer differences i heard between the two interconnects. Living proof that amplifiers need to be powered on for several weeks before they reach their full potential!
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