Does anyone think of “The Wizard of Oz” when you see the name Bogdan Audio Toto-Tungsten Interconnects?” Lets look at how the manufacturer describes this product, shall we? “With TOTO ( Latin: whole, totally, completely) we celebrate our 15th years of making High-End audio cables and serving audiophiles all around the world. The conductors are 99.99% pure TUNGSTEN uninsulated wires. So what is the TUNGSTEN STORY?
To quote Bogdan Audio, ” Tungsten sounds more realistic than Copper, Silver or Gold. Simply, it produces an amazingly life like sound. Warm and rich but more extended in both ways than Silver or Copper.” Continuing on, “TOTO’s unique construction is approximately 3/4″ diameter, use organic, unbleached, virgin cotton core with bare, uninsulated wires knitted through the surface of the cotton core. Pure, untreated fiberglass sleeving is used as an outer jacket. There is no insulation of any kind, only bare wire surrounded by air.”
My next question, quite obviously, would be “Why Tungsten?”. If you look at this chart of metal conductivity, you’ll notice that Tungsten is not very high on the list. What I did find out was that Tungsten happens to be quite good for being very robust while having the highest melting point of all metals as well as the highest tensile strength. Presumably, this would make fine tungsten wire very effective (But for high definition sound quality?) Another interesting point is that it has a high density of 19.3 times that of water, comparable to that of uranium and gold.
My sum total knowledge of Bogdan Audio comes from what I have seen posted on the ‘for sale’ ads on the web site Audiogon. Eventually, I became quite interested in taking a listen to them having seen these ads over the past few years. I finally decided it was high time to contact Bogdan Audio and possibly acquire a sample to review.
Upon arrival and when opening up the box I noticed that these interconnects were very light in weight. Immediately a “Red Flag” went up – “Be Very Careful”. These interconnects are not for the novice but a product you would rather just set up and do not tinker around with.
My current reference system consists of the Mastersound compact 845 integrated tube amp, Jay’s audio cdt2mk2 transport, and the LKS audio mh-da004 dac. As far as Cables go, they consist of the Wireworld Gold Starlight 7 digital coax, Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval interconnects; speaker cables by Analysis Plus-The Black Mesh Oval 9, and power cables by Cullen Cables. Let’s do some listening!
Hearing these cables straight out the box, the Toto’s were somewhat light on bass and upper level detail so I knew that I had to let them burn in. Don’t ask me how long it took as the Mastersound is a tube amplifier and I just let them play as I listen over time until I sense that there is no more up and down swings to the sound. As it turned out, the Toto balanced itself out quite nicely, ultimately portraying good bass slam and depth, a smooth mid- treble balance and satiny highs containing nice texture and fine musical detail. If you happen to be looking for an interconnect with a hyper detailed high end, (obviously to make up for something that might be lacking in your system as a whole) these are not the cables for you; they are just purely clean and honest sounding.
Music used for the review consisted of Aaron Copland: Billy The Kid, Rodeo/Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite on the Living Stereo label, Jane Monheit: Come Dream With Me, and Shota Osabe Piano Trio: Happy Coat. On Jane Monheit’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, her voice was big and chesty, up front and slightly to the left of center. Acoustic bass was to her left with the trumpet to her right. The Sound stage displayed great height and its width was about a foot outside of each speaker cabinet.
“Waters of Marah” showed off sound stage depth and pinpoint imaging. This song also exhibited fine transient speed, pace, and timbre. The sound I was experiencing from the totos along with a glass of vino by my side made for a nice club environment. All in all, Jane’s voice reined supremely natural and true to life with nice detail and presence.
The depth of the sound stage on Aaron Copland’s “Billy The Kid Suite” just draws me in with an intoxicating black background and the instruments being plucked out of space made listening much more enjoyable. The scale on Rodeo Suite was simply breathtaking. You must hear the flute at the beginning of Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite”, which just hangs there in space with total blackness around it and a calm coolness.
As for some jazz, “Willow Weep for Me” on Happy Coat, Ray Brown’s bass was deep and soulful as usual. The brush work on “Moonglow”, had good texture but missing some of the crisp airiness of my reference cables.
The highs, while intricate, are no way harsh or fall in the hyper detailed camp. If you happen to have a minuscule problem with brightness in your system, the Toto’s’ will smooth things out a bit. You might think they are rolled off in the upper regions to achieve this taming of the highs but the truth is that they are captivatingly ‘silky ‘sounding. The mid-range tone is quite natural with precise sound stage localization and dimensions. Bass reproduction is extended and tight with nice pace and rhythm.
In conclusion, the Toto-Tungsten interconnects are great sounding cables that I could live with for a very long time, but be well aware that these cables, quite ironically, are quite fragile; as such, no kids or pets need to apply! Overall the Totos are balanced across the audio spectrum and present a clear, life like picture into the music.
Bogdan Audio TOTO-TUNGSTEN RCA Interconnects $500 1M Pr. For a limited time, these can be had for $250 on Audiogon
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