Dynamic Design Cables
|Dynamic Design Cables|
16 December 2002
Blue Power Cord (2m) $550
Blue Analog Interconnect (1m) $279
Blue Digital Interconnect (1m) $300
Blue Speaker Cable (8ft) $650
Black Analog Interconnect (1m
Marketing and Distribution
Sound Marketing Unlimited
3929 Flower Dr.
Los Angeles, CA
AtT. Bill Artope.
Fax 213 741-6301
I am pleased to be one of the first, if not the first, reviewers to introduce Dynamic Design cables. Dynamic Design is a new company trying to take their place in the vast world of high performance audio cables. Their mission is to "provide products that are market leaders at their respective prices, which continuously deliver the highest customer satisfaction". Well, I had the opportunity to listen to a variety of cables from the company and even speak with the cable designer, and in my opinion, they are on their way to achieving their goals. This review reinforced my knowledge that content-rich websites and glossy literature have nothing to do with product performance. Currently, you can't surf over to their website or pickup a glossy literature from a local retailer. Rather, these guys are building their reputation on listening impressions.
The company offers several cables across multiple product lines. As I moved up the product line the cables demonstrated increased openness and resolution of the soundstage. Each product line is a different class with 2 or 3 products in each class, but all conform to the company's design philosophy and goals. Dynamic Design didn't spend much time being creative with the naming of their product lines or cables. They offer four product lines: Home Theatre, Entry Level, High Performance, and Reference. Customers owning any of the High Performance series cables can upgrade to the Reference series, however Dynamic Design does not have a policy for cables in the Home Theatre or Entry Level product lines. So their business model offers products at various price points leaving satisfied customers with another cable to upgrade to in the future. Dynamic Design Analog interconnects in the Home Theatre product line start at $99 for one meter and the top line Reference analog interconnect has a retail price of $3,500.
The BLUE Cables
The Dynamic Design BLUE cables are the top cables in the Entry Level class. But don't let the Entry Level product line fool you, these are not upgrade cables for the cheap wires provided by many equipment manufactures, these are truly entry level audiophile grade interconnects, digital cables, power cords, and speaker wires. To review the product line, I wanted to use a transparent and neutral environment that would limit the amount of other cables and components used and allow me to add additional Blue cables until eventually I could listen to a single system will all Dynamic Design Blue cables. First I installed the analog interconnect cable between my Toshiba SD-9200 and BVaudio A300S integrated amplifier. I have found the BVaudio integrated amplifier to be very transparent and natural sounding, therefore allowing the Dynamic Design to reveal their qualities. The only other cable used in this configuration was a pair of Acoustic Zen Hologram bi-wire speaker cable.
My first impression of the Blue analog interconnect cable is that music flows through these cables with clarity and detail. Dynamic Design uses their own High Purity Bi-Metal (HPBM™) conductors in an effort to provide maximum uniform conductivity across all frequencies and minimize crosstalk. I'm not sure what HPBM™ really translates to in technical language, but I can say that the highs are delivered with crisp resolution and little edge. At times, I found deep acoustic bass to bloom slightly. For example, when listening to Rickie Lee Jones' Pop Pop [Geffen GEFD-24426], I found the bass level to be slightly higher than some other cables. However, on some bright systems this can actually be a benefit. This cable, like others in this price range, offers good transparency but struggles with openness and soundstage depth.
When I replaced the stock power cord (I purposely put back on prior to listening to the Dynamic Design cable) of the integrated amplifier with Blue power cord I immediately noticed a reduction in noise and increase in resolution. I found that the bass detail was much tighter and the highs became a bit smoother, still detailed but losing some of the edge. Overall, the Blue power cord was able to smooth out the performance of the integrated amplifier — not that the amplifier was harsh to begin with — but stock power cords don't offer the advantages of a good power cord. Digitally re-mastered analog recordings from The Doors and the Rolling Stones sounded more refined and detailed as the noise floor was lowered.
At this point I was pleased with the performance of the Dynamic Design cables installed in the system. The price and performance of the cables used so far (analog interconnect and power cord) is well proportioned to the associated equipment. My next step was to add the Blue speaker cable. Like the other cable used so far, I felt that this cable provided good performance compared to products in the same price category, such as the Straight Wire Maestro. Dynamic Design uses a twisted pair geometry in all their speaker cables, a design similar to that of data networking cables. Twisting the pairs every 1.5 inches helps to minimize interference and crosstalk as the signal travels from the amplifier to the speaker. The Blue speaker cable provides a very detailed and transparent sound without coloration. Similar to the Blue analog interconnect, the cable struggles with reproducing the sense of space and depth. The cable can pull you into the music with the high resolution and smooth sound and it can place the instruments in the listening area, but true depth of the soundstage and individual instrument localization is missing. This cable does a good job delivering midrange. Piano, horns and vocals sound very natural and well articulated, not over emphasized and not harsh. Bass reproduction is tight and detailed. And, unlike the Blue interconnect, the Blue speaker cable did not increase the bass presence.
I modified my system to include a Perpetual Technology P-3A DAC and Sony DVP-S3000 so I could listen to the Blue digital interconnect, and I used another Blue analog interconnect between the DAC and Pre-amp/processor. I found the Blue digital interconnect difficult to work with because the cable is very thick and doesn't flex well. Also, all Blue Digital cables are terminated with a silver core BNC that requires a RCA adapter for non-BNC connections. I later learned that the thick cable design provides continuous impedance, even through bends, providing low jitter and a clear path for data transmission. Adding the Blue digital interconnect tightened the bass response making the bass more dense and the cable provided more information about individual instrument presence. The additional ambient information was a nice addition to the system and rounded off the Blue cable product line.
The BLACK interconnect and WHITE power cord
After using the Blue cables for a couple of months, I received another shipment from Dynamic Design. In the box were two cables from the High Performance class: a Black series interconnect and White series power cord. Both cables are noticeably larger than their Blue series counterparts. Like all Dynamic Design cables, these cables incorporate individually insulated conductors and a copper braided shield versus the common foil shield. However, moving up the Dynamic Design product line translates into several changes, such as insulation with a lower storage capability to attempt to limit signal loss, as well as increased conductor gauge and number of conductors used to offer less resistance.
I swapped out the Blue power cord connected to a Majeel Pristine stereo power amplifier that I had been listening two for a couple of weeks for the White power cord. This was a terrific upgrade! The White power cord really opened the sound of the amplifier. The power cord must allow the power hungry amplifier get all the current it needs, clean and fast. The White cable also provided a low noise floor like the Blue cable, but the most noticeable difference over the Blue cord was the increased punch and transient control of the amplifier. Snare drums snap and horns explode with greater control through transients. I listened to the same re-mastered discs from The Doors and the Rolling Stones, as well as other music that I used with the Blue power cord. As the power cord burned in, I could hear more of the music as the bass gain greater density and detail and subtle details were revealed.
Things really changed when I swapped the Blue interconnect for the Black. The Black cables are constructed with additional conductors and different dielectric than the Blue line, again in an effort to provide a greater ability to pass low-level information containing ambient cues and soundstaging information. While the crisp clean detail remained consistent, my system opened up, revealing ambient cues and much greater depth to the soundstage. The Black interconnects maintained the tonal qualities of the source material without coloration. The midrange was very natural sounding and the bass was tight and well controlled without any blooming. The high frequencies are crisp and detailed without a harsh edge. As the cable continued to burn-in, I noticed increased low-level resolution. Most of all, I noticed the attack and decay of individual instruments was better revealed. The music floated through the room with a sense of space as I listened to the 20 bit re-mastered recording of Tenor Madness [Prestige PRCD-7047-2]. The Black interconnects reveal the subtle notes, sharp blasts and even the sounds of exhaled breath into the instruments during the title track sparring match between these two jazz greats. These cables revealed the 3 dimensional qualities of Pink Floyd's The Wall [Columbia CK36184] allowing the listener not only to experience the music but to revel in the sensational holographic effects.
I have found that some equipment favors certain types of music - I guess that is fine as long as you know the cables personality when you make the purchase. I remember buying an interconnect that at first I was very pleased with, then when putting on a Lenny Kravits CD, the harshness of the guitar was piercing. I returned the cable after finding that this interconnect cable did not like many other recordings with electric instruments. The Dynamic Design cables performed well with Jazz, Rock, Classical, and some Pop (yes, you know, the few artists worth listening to when evaluating components). I didn't find the Dynamic Design cables to favor one genre of music over another. The Entry Level Blue cable provided good detail and transparency. As I moved up a class to the High Performance Black cable I found the cable to be more open with greater soundstage depth. Dynamic Design offers cables to match different systems and different budgets, and the upgrade option is a great benefit for people building their system. Don't be tuned away by the current lack of multi-color literature or website, these cables can speak for themselves.
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