Review: Mad Scientist Audio TORFORB Interconnect

Category: Cables

When I received a package from ‘Mad Scientist Audio’ of New Zealand, I was very excited. In the package were Bob Prangnell’s (the mad scientist himself) top of the range interconnects: the TORFORBs.

I noticed that they are not heavy and are in fact quite flexible. The RCA connectors are from ‘SonarQuest’. Bob said on these interconnects they gave the best sound and he really tried out several of the more famous (and more expensive) brands. The ‘SonarQuest’ rhodium plated plugs are very well made and Bob wasn’t lying when he stated that he prefers these over the other brands.

The interconnects themselves are wrapped in white cotton (but you can pick your favourite colour from their website). Since my MSA power cord is also white, the choice was obvious. The TORFORBs contain a wooden audio block and I’m certain it adds to the quality of their sound. The audio blocks are made out of Rimi wood especially made for MSA, according to Bob’s specifications. When you smell the wood, it transcends you to the beauty of New Zealand. The name ‘Mad Scientist Audio’ is laser engraved on each audio block. They are there for yet another reason: they hold the ‘Magic Tubes’. Just fit them inside the space provided and you’re ready to go. Up to musical bliss!

What immediately became apparent was their ability to portray music. I noticed this on my small ‘TDL’ monitor loudspeakers as well as on my ‘Emerald Physics’ speakers. The voice really comes loose from the speakers and is portrayed as was intended. You can hear that clearly on Frances Bogart White’s ‘Whisper Rap’. The special sound effects can give you quite a scare at times. The TORFORBs are amazing performers. On Melody Gardot’s ‘Currency of Man’, the interconnects really show their true colours. The sound is detailed, has tight, clean bass and Melody’s voice never sounded as good. The highs are not rolled off but they do not become a bit screechy either. You can hear that on Melanie de Biasio’s CD ‘No Deal’. Sometimes the sound of a flute can sound a bit harsh, and my audiofeline who often joins me during listening sessions, hates this. It probably causes a ringing in her ears. So she jumps up and leaves the music scene. Now the sound of the flute seems to be just right since my cat doesn’t move why playing those tracks. That surely is a good sign! Classical music was presented with aplomb. The different instruments are nicely separated and even during loud passages, the music doesn’t sound as a chaotic mess, but are portrayed with verve. The TORFORBs really have some punch. I haven’t found any flaw no matter what music I threw at them. Often there are some sounds (like a foot tapping on the beat of the rhythm) that are on the recording but are never really truly revealed. Not with the TORFORBs. Everything is there. And I mean everything!

If these interconnects had a price tag of $3000, an audiophile would agree that they are worth every penny. They start at a mere $1000. And the ‘Magic Tubes’? Where do they fit in? Consider them the icing on the cake. Take them away and the musical soundstage doesn’t collapse or anything like that, nor does the sound become disembodied, but you hear that the music has lost a bit of its sparkle. I heartily recommend putting these into the audio blocks. Just do a bit of experimenting and you’ll notice.

On lots of occasions I thought to have found the right interconnects, but with the TORFORBs it was love at the first ‘sound’. Mad Scientist Audio has a winner here. Congratulations, Bob, your interconnects do belong in every audiophile’s system!

Associated gear
Audion Sterling integrated tube amplifier;
Audio Synthesis Transcend Decade CD-transport;
Audio Synthesis DAX-2 d/a converter;
TDL Chiltern monitor loudspeakers;
Emerald Physics KCII loudspeakers.