Friday, October 10, 2014

Furutech GT2 and Harmonix Big-Band Review

Furutech GT2

For some of you who had been into the world of HiFi may come across Furutech, it is quite a well known Japanese brand that makes connectors, cables and many other accessories for HiFi. Furutech is being established since year 1988 and had been greatly contributed it's technologies to the audiophile community. Here we will be looking in their USB cable, the Fututech GT2 USB A to mini B cable.

The setup used for this review is as listed below:
Source: MacBook 13inch Late 2008 model with Amarra Symphony linked to iTunes
DAC/AMP: GoVibe VestAmp+
Output: Sennheiser HD650 with PcWork Symphonica cable

Note: The pictures below had been equipped with Harmonix Big-Band tuning tapes, for the first half review, sound description does not includes the Harmonix Big-Band tuning effects.


The Furutech GT2 available in USB A to B and USB A to mini B, other connectors could be requested by contacting them, additional cost may apply. Despite the simple looks from the cable, this cable actually packs with tons of great features. For example, they used their signature silver plated alpha-OCC Wires for transporting signals and for noise isolation, the wires had been wrapped with 3 layers of shields.

For official details of this cable you may refer to here.

Build

Well, there is nothing much to describe about it, it feels sturdy and quite stiffs making the cable not easy to be bend, the USB A plug size is quite alright. I am still able to plug in another USB cable that connects to my Belkin USB hub just nice, as some of you may noticed that MacBook's USB port is quite close to each other.

Sound Impression

Before using this USB cable, I was quite skeptical about getting sound improvement from a USB cable. There are many audiophiles arguing that USB cable does not change the sound of your setup as it carries data signal where when the computer sending out 1 the DAC should receive 1. But there are believers out there mentioned that USB cables also delivers power to the DAC and will affect the performance of the DAC.

This cable had changed me to a believer. The very first thing I noticed after I unpacked the cable and plugged into my setup is the thickness of the mids increased. Vocals is much more forward than before making the whole performance of the music much more intimate with the listeners. Soundstage is much more complete with this cable, front depth of the soundstage is much more deeper, I can easily identify the vocal layers and the instruments layer apart. The highs is smooth, and lingers slightly longer than before. Harsh sibilance is smoothed making the whole listening experience much more enjoyable and will not fatigue after listening long hours. So far I had not noticed much increment of musical details using this cable.


Harmonix Big-Band

This brand might not be very well known but this Japanese brand engineer had spent decades offering high end audio tuning devices for serious audiophiles. Their engineers had performed resonance tests on Stradivarius, Guarneri and Amati violins and found the solution to produce products for audiophiles so that they will achieve much more realistic sounding setup.

The Harmonix Big-Band comes in 2 lengths and you can either buy the pack of 4 or 6 tuning tapes. According to official Combak website, they claimed that the Big-Band is made using a special "Washi" paper with copper sheet. You may use the tuning tapes on analogue or digital interconnects and even on headphones cable.

You may find more information of the Harmonix Big-Band at here.

For a basic application on an interconnect, it is advisable to use at least 2 tuning tapes on 1 cable, which means each end of the interconnect cable will have 1 tuning tape. The application is very easy, all you need is to remove the tuning tape from the packaging, then start sticking from the starting end and slowly wrap tightly around the cable. Combak claims that for even more desirable effect, more tuning tapes can be added on other segment of the cable.

Sound Impression

Just 1 word, wow. The effect of the tuning tapes comes out immediately, on the Furutech GT2, it seems to further the cable sound performance. There sure much more micro musical details can be listened on the setup, everything feels much more natural. The bass decay extends and much more controlled and the soundstage is opened up. At first, it is really hard to believe that just 2 small tapes can do anything to the sound performance, but I am deeply impressed on what Combak had done.


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