May 24, 2011

I've Been VooDooed! VooDoo Reference Digital Cable.

The VooDoo Reference digital cable, terminated with XLR connectors is very well built, with white jacket sleeves. The silver cable stock and connectors are cryo treated too.

I hear ya all say "Oh no, not another digital cable review???" Exactly! However, I promise you that this will be my last XLR AES/EBU digital cable review for a while to come. As you know, all those real world priced cables could never really satisfy my lust for more audio performance. So I step up my cable search budget by another notch.

The first mid range priced(costing between RM$1-2K) cable that came my way was a highly reviewed example, but for some reason, didn't really fit in to my system sonically. While it won't make a stinking bad review, the dealer of the said cable decided not to have it published, as per our review guidelines, of either a review be published in it's entirety, or not at all.

Then I came across this said example of VooDoo Reference Digital on our local  classifieds. I enquired, we met, and transaction complete. This cable when new, would've cost USD$350.00 excluding freight and duties, should one choose to order thru the manufacturer's website. I got this used example for a little more than RM$600.00 which is pretty good deal(if I may say so my self! After all I wouldn't be losing much $$$, should I decide not to like this cable later).

I went home and plug this cable in between the Bryston BDP/BDA-1 CAS source combo, and from the very first notes, I was very much shocked in disbelief, how close in performance, this cable is capable of, compared to my all time reference, the JPS Aluminata!

Like the JPS, this cable very nearly disappeared from the system chain of equipment. It's nearly as quiet and almost as transparent as the 5 times more expensive reference cable. It's tonally as neutral and will project as wide a sound stage with nearly as stable imaging, but the sound stage depth layering aspect is somewhat compromised, if only a little. The exceptional area of this VooDoo Reference is that it paints a musical event with just as much "air" too.

Another area where this used cable is compromised is a slight compression of macro dynamics when the music demands. I did not quite get this until one day, a sifu came over for a listen and pointed it out to me. Subsequently, I got another top dog digital cable to confirm this weakness(And you thought I said this is the last digital cable review for a while to come???, well it's been a while since you've started reading this article, ain't it? Ha! Ha!).

Bottom line is, there aren't many bargains in high end audio anymore, but this VooDoo Reference digital cable is one of the few exceptions that I've come across, even should one decide to buy it new via the manufacturer's website, and pay for the shipping and duties. I think you'll still find it a worth while option.

Google and ye shall find the VooDoo Cable website.


HS said...

Have you tried SPDIF coax cable between the Brystons? Better and more choices over AES/EBU. The latter is superior over the former when you have to have a very long cable. I am assuming that the Brystons have the SPDIF feature.

Big E said...


As a matter of fact, yes, I did try the SPDIF coax cable. In the form of the JPS Aluninata!

I also however, prefer the balance nature of the AES/EBU cable.

I am still looking forward to try out your latest CAS wonder. Will contact ya latter.