AUDIENCE Studio ONE Cables and Interconnects REVIEW

The Audience Studio One Cables and Interconnects (as covered in our initial press release) have replaced the previous Au24SE cable line and offer upgraded performance at no increase in price, through the use of high-purity OFC (oxygen-free copper) wire and an improved XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) dielectric material. There is also a less expensive Studio 2 in the same basic range.

In addition, Studio ONE cables receive Audience’s proprietary EHVP Extreme High-Voltage Process, which applies high voltages in specific combinations to align the crystalline structure of the various metals used in the cables and facilitate more efficient signal transfer – and better sound.

Whether a particular set of cable sound characteristics do their work in a distinct, particular system, as judged subjectively by you, the listener, can only be brought to full fruition with your dedicated hearing and decision making. Anything else you may read is just “noise” and a bit of nonsense!

AUDIENCE

Studio One Loudspeaker Cables

Based out of San Marcos California, Audience AV has been manufacturing audiophile cables and A/C power conditioners since 1997. Their new loom of Studio ONE wires sits in the middle of their family of cable lines.

John McDonald, president of Audience noted, “Thanks to advances in our manufacturing processes and ability to obtain better materials, our new Studio ONE and Studio TWO products offer even better value to discerning audiophiles. They deliver the exceptional quality of sound that Audience has become acclaimed for, offering a rich, detailed, and natural presentation with wide dynamics, spaciousness, and an accurate tonal balance. They convey superb transient response and a wealth of musical information without ever sounding ‘hard’ or ‘etched,’ and are ideal for a wide range of high-end audio components and systems.”

Like all Audience products, Studio ONE and Studio TWO interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords are made in the USA from premium materials to the highest standards of manufacturing quality.

DESIGN AND USE

Audience Studio ONE Cable and Interconnects

All Audience cables avoid using heavy jacketing materials and heavy connectors on our cables as mass tends to absorb energy and dulls the sound. This lack of extra weight gives Studio ONE a refreshingly open and honest tonal character.

With the Studio One cables, they are most definitely a directional design, and they pay specific attention to the direction of their conductors and geometry to enhance conductivity and preserve maximum musical information. With the Studio 1 interconnect pair I had in use, this was so revealing that I thought at one listening session there was something wrong with my system!

When I checked the direction of the Studio One interconnects from my Border Patrol DAC into the Pass Lab XP12, I noticed that they were in point of fact, backward. A quick change transformed everything back to a “beautiful” normal state and what a relief that was!  To ensure optimum performance, look for the gold arrow on all the Audience cables which indicates the direction of signal travel

Our review samples were promptly delivered courtesy of rep Frank Doris distributor Joe Flatt and course President of Audience, Mr. John McDonald, whom we thank most graciously.

THE SOUND QUALITY

My first order of business was to use the Cables and Interconnects together as a full system (loom) to get a good idea of the intrinsic quality of the product as they worked synergistically in my system. Speakers used for these listening sessions were the Living Voice R25A’s, Spendor BC1, and the newly introduced, and I must say mighty Harbeth Compact 7 ESR/XD (to be reviewed soon).

Starting with some finely recorded classical orchestral and vocal recordings, there was no doubt that something special was going on here. The strings, always critical to speakers and cables were beautifully “resonant” yet never scratchy or bright. The mass orchestral strings shone out in a self-effacing way that brought them to a most attractive level== of smiles on my face already.

Acoustical orchestral instruments were beautifully rendered and neutral within the full frequency spectrum, particularly in the top end where I doubt any cables of up to double their price could outrun them. Mind you, these are the newest of the mid-level line for Audience and so this is an inescapable achievement! The sound on most of the best source material was extremely vigorous yet reticent enough to make you realize these cables indeed have “uncanny” neutrality;– (you get that?) containing properties that I love and the upcoming tests with pop music proved the point in its full essence.

I urge enthusiasts to check out this marvelous recording by the Little River Band “Reminiscing” as the Studio One (particularly, the interconnects,) brings forth a luscious and beautifully accurate vivid rendition here and is a great litmus test for evaluating cables and full systems.

I had a bevy of my best vinyl, CD-r rips, and CDs that I considered my finest sounding pop music mixes available (see the bottom of our website footer) to try out with the Studio One and I was ready to go. These disks had many well-recorded or remastered 60’s and 70’s music that was a pleasure to listen to and made a great game for evaluating the cables inherent qualities of these cables.

The sound of the pop tracks was neither too bright nor dull, that’s a good start with the loudspeakers being used. The Studio One just took the well-recorded tracks to a substantial measure of discreet sound enjoyment.

One thing that stood out was rock/pop vocals. They were displayed as recorded and the image resolution was top notch. The cables had a fine ambiance within the studio tracks and the vocal tracks immensely came to life. The cable displayed no sibilance whatsoever and so ironically, the vocal reproduction from some of these older pop recordings was expansive, detailed, and wonderfully imaged at center stage, while electric bass guitar portrayed a very deep, eviscerating impact and solidity. In particular, a remastered copy of Tommy James Crystal Blue persuasion  took on a soundstage width that was quite hard to believe! Tommy’s voice was perfectly centered, (thanks to the speakers as well) and I was enthralled by this and many other recordings on this disk.

COMPARISONS

It was inevitable that the Studio One was compared to mycurrent” reference cables, the Inakustik LS-4004. I later used my backup Silversmith Audio “Fidelium” cables as well.

Notable subjective differences were small but pertinent. The Audience Cables were a “speck” more laid back in soundstage presence, which I admired adamantly. On the other hand, the Inakustik’s had a touch more “tactile” or transient impact on instrumental “tonality” (without being by any means upfront, or brighter per se). Instrumental tonal intonations were a bit more natural with the Inakustik’s (at 3 times the Studio One price, mind you) but this was small by comparison. In fact, I would be dishonest if I did not mention that the Audience cables were sometimes judged more ‘accurate’ and musical than my Inakustiks. Which was ultimately more “natural” or “real”sounding is still up to debate, and you, the listener and ultimate judge can decide this at your own leisurely listening time. Yes— its truly subjective any way you look at it!!

The Silversmith Fideliums were close to the Audience Studio’s but maybe a touch…brighter on string instruments. Interesting to say the least!

AUDIENCE STUDIO ONE INTERCONNECTS

Audience Studio ONE Cable and Interconnects

It was when the Studio One interconnects were inserted between my DAC (Border Patrol) and Preamp (Pass XP-12) that the sparks started flying! I was previously enjoying the Wireworld Eclipse 8 interconnects (RCA) and they are still a truly enticing and exceptional interconnect cable.

However, when the Studio One was inserted, the ballgame took a slightly different turn, and my current home run stats went up one point. The Audience Studio One interconnects are an astoundingly neutral performer by any means! They seemed to bring the speaker cables up a notch in overall systematic sound quality while at the same time bringing an umbilical cord to my DAC and Preamp synergistically and towards full nirvana. (Maybe more so than the speaker cables?)

Everything now sounded even more sublime than it had previously, presenting an audibly silky, yet “intense” (not rash) display on stringed instruments. This was duly noted as well as with the full body of orchestral sound observed. It was as if these interconnects brought everything into place with detail, and complexity, adding yet a slightly creamier but richer overall system sound balance to the picture.

Nevertheless, eventually, something was wrong, I noticed. Could the “loom” temporarily be doomed? I could not put my finger on what was wrong, no matter how much my ears and brain worked quite pensively. As such, I left the Studio One interconnects in the system and again replaced the Studio speaker cables with my Inakustiks. At least up to the final draft of this review, the complete bliss finally returned.

RE-INSERTING THE STUDIO ONE’S

However, not being completely satisfied with the above, the Studio speaker cables again were re-inserted into the system so I will now judge my findings for the outcome of the Studio One loom.

All electronics remained the same, the 3 loudspeakers (tediously moving them back into their proper locations!) this time was the Harbeth Compact 7 ESR/XD, Quad 63’s, and Spendor BC1. The Studio One speaker cables were inserted along with the interconnects. The results are as follows:

1. The speaker cables now sounded close to perfection with their interconnects together in the above system.

2. The tone of acoustic stringed instruments was also consistently less artificial sounding; less polymerized. The slightly more intense “transient” response of the Inakustik was also bringing forth a bit of confusion on surrounding instruments to the soundstage—this was never observed on their own. The sound was now endowed with a natural bloom and real-life sound quality.

This, in no way, downplays my Inakustik’s but shows why some cable manufacturers prefer the user to insert their full loom of cables to acquire the finest overall sound quality that is possible with their product.

AUDIENCE STUDIO ONE LOOM PERFORMANCE CONCLUSIONS.

The main points that should be indisputable are that you cannot predict audible performance by studying the electrical specifications of a cable. You can’t even safely dismiss a cable using unconventional materials or design concepts as being audibly inferior without first trying it in your system. The only way to know for certain which audio cable sounds good and which does not is to try it.

Always remember that the combined amount of all the different electrical interactions between a cable and signal equals the characteristic property of the cable. The influence on the reproductive sound will be dependent on not just the cable, but how the cable interacts with what goes into it and what it feeds into.

Whether a particular cable’s specific characteristics work in concert between two of the components of your system, as judged by your ears and brain’s capacity for objective and subjective observation is only possible by ardent and quite dedicated and “intensive” listening tests.

By its very nature, the Audience Studio One loudspeaker cables and interconnects are outstanding performers, be it together as a loom, or individually; though always remember there is a chance that another manufacturers speaker cable (or interconnect) will have a small influence on the resulting sound. As for the interconnects themselves, they are stunningly beautiful sounding and a “poster child” for neutrality and accuracy if your system is on par to reveal them as such.

Review system for this product:  Loudspeakers: Living Voice R25A loudspeakers, Spendor BC1, Audio Note AN/ED, Harbeth Compact 7 ESR/XD ~ Digital: Border Patrol DAC SE-I ~ Innuos Zenith Mk.3 server/streamer ~ Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC ~ Audio Note (UK) CD3.1x/2 Analog: Audio Technica LP-7/ Denon 103R cartridge. Amplification: ~ Pass Lab XP- 12 preamp ~ Pass Labs XA30.8 power amp ~ Cambridge Duo MC/MM ~ PS. Audio M1200 monoblocks / Cables/ Conditioners: Inakustik AC-3500p power station & LS-4004 speaker cables, AC-2404 reference Air Power Cord ~ Silversmith Audio ‘Fidelium’ loudspeaker cables ~ Audience Studio 1 interconnects, Wireworld Electra 7 digital SPDIF/ Audio Art 1 e” AC Power

Audience Studio ONE cables are available now at suggested retail prices starting at $1,199 for a meter pair of RCA interconnects and $1699 for a meter pair of speaker cables

sound advocate ed choice

AUDIENCE https://audience-av.com/cables/studio-one/

120 N. Pacific St., K-9
San Marcos, CA 92069

Joe Flatt
Customer Service
info@audience-av.com

Frank Doris – rep frankdoris@frankdoris.com

WHERE the MUSIC BEAT meets the AUDIOPHILE ELITE !

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