Gobel Lacorde Statement cables: Follow-up
A follow-up to Clement Perry's insightful review of the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables.
For centuries the Göbel trademark of Germany has been known for its manufacturing inventiveness, excellence and high quality. In order to continue this tradition, Oliver Göbel borrowed the family name and opened a workshop for Göbel high-end loudspeakers in 2003, with the same goal: to make music reproduction in the home a true emotional experience with zero compromises. Oliver Göbel used his own conductor materials after years of experimenting with countless precious metal alloys in his relentless pursuit for the best of the best. He ended up with a proprietary conductor alloy that contains the ideal electrical conductivity, which Oliver Göbel contends, is always at the heart of our Lacorde Statement design. Oliver continues boasts you will notice his cable because you do not notice it. He goes on further to state Every detail of your music will become unbelievable easy and natural with the highest resolution and no coloration.
Upon closer examination on the Göbel Audio website (under their product's Featured Technologies page here), facility tour (here), and in Clement Perry's spot-on review (here), one can see the extreme attention to detail applied throughout the Göbel Lacorde Statement series . Handmade in Munich, Germany, with pride and passion.
In early January of this year, I had the opportunity to audition an entire loom that featured two pair of the Göbel Lacorde Statement speaker cables, four Lacorde Statement AC cords and one Lacorde Statement digital (XLR) cable. Upon their arrival, the first thing I noticed was how meticulously packaged they were. Replete with the impressive Göbel family Coat of Arms logo stamped onto the cover of each leather-case. My first thoughts were....If looks could kill - then right out of the box - I'm a dead man!
As impressed as I was with the packaging of the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables, you should have seen my face upon closer physical inspection. Instantly, I was provided with a feeling of high-end manufacturing at its most excellent (CP mentioned this in his review of his visit to the Göbel factory last May). The Göbel Lacorde Statement cables look and feel like they're built to soundexcellent. To be honest, the overall look and feel of the cables - including the packaging - had me in awe before I even had the chance to hear them perform.
In terms of physical dimensions, the Göbel Lacorde Statement speaker cables are the exact opposite of my former reference, the Klee Audio Grand Illusion speaker cables. The sheer weight of a single Göbel speaker cable reminded me of my nightmarish past experiences with the extremely inflexible and cumbersome Virtual Dynamic speaker cables. The serpentine looking Göbel Lacorde Statement speaker cables surprisingly are quite flexible. However, there's nothing flexible about their weight which must be at around 25 lbs per side.
Lest I remind you, the Klee Grand Illusion speaker cables were providing ultimate satisfaction for nearly five-years. I was so satisfied with their performance in fact, that I often boasted as them being my End of Days cable: the Klee cables were so musically satisfying that I honestly thought I would NEVER purchase another cable. In addition to state of the art performance, the Klee's were ultra light and flexible as well. Moreover, going from a flat, ultra-light cable design to a big, fat, round and ultra-heavy wasn't so easy to accept either. It felt like I was changing my religious beliefs. I wasn't sure or convinced that I needed, nor was I ready, to audition and review another speaker cable. I mean, come on now, five years isn't that long when you're having fun. Plus, how much better can the Göbel Lacorde Statement cable perform over my End of Days choice?
In my book, first impressions usually make or break any product. Yes, I too am aware that cables go through changes during break-in, however those first impressions seem to last the longest no matter what a cable ultimately morphs into. That said, the thing I found most astounding was how differently my Sunny mini-Majestic horn loudspeakers presented the music into my room. Immediately upon hook-up, with the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables in the mix, the system presented a deeper soundstage with more liveliness, PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing), not to mention easy it was to detect even the faintest melodic changes. Voices were set free with a new sense of coherency, realism and dynamic bloom that was hard to believe let alone sit still and listen to. My body wanted to get up and dance. But I'm an audiophile and I am supposed to sit still and wonder whether these cables are fully burned-in prior to their arrival. I asked Oliver Göbel if the cables had been through burn-in and his response was "No, and do expect for them to get better!" I wanted to get up, jump up and scream! "How could a cable do this right out of the box?" I was afraid that I might get totally burnt-out before these cables reach their 150-hours of burn-in! The next couple of weeks of course, was sheer musical wonderment and sonic bliss. The Göbel Lacorde Statement provided an upgrade to my system that usually comes by way of a new loudspeaker, amplifier/preamp - never a mere cable.
My system has always been on the natural - but detailed and refined - side of neutral. But never to this degree. The up-click in speed, pitch, definition, all wrapped up in a quality ofnatural I have not encountered before. Case in point, while listening to Herbie Hancock's Edith and The Kingpin from his award winning CD, "River: The Joni Letters," the first thing I noticed was how much tighter, quick-footed and lower the bass frequencies had become. Far more easily discernable of what was making these unusual percussive low end effects. Each instrument sounded markedly more separate, yet cohesively tighter and on a grander stage. In a word, the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables are vastly cleaner and more natural sounding than anything I have had the privilege to hear or have heard of. This designed cable seems perfectly suited for the choice of music and components I've carefully chosen over the years. This phase thing that Oliver Göbel speaks of on his website, is said to give the listener a better sense of rightness with respect to "natural dimension and space," seem to offer some technical reasons behind its sonic wizardry. I've always second guessed glossy promotional hype. That is until now. For the first time in my audio travels has a cable taken hold of my system with such conviction and grace. Regardless of genre or style of music whether it be jazz, R&B, instrumentals and/or classical, the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables did not lean towards one over another. It does not play favorites. After all the initial bedevilment of sonic surprises, the one thing I found out after months of careful observation was WHY this cable sounds so good. Among the many things Oliver Göbel states, the most obvious, yet overlooked, is their ability to remain remarkably free of noise and distortions. This is WHY these cables possess such a naturalness at almost any volume. Whatever passes through these specialized metal alloys Oliver Göbel has secretly chosen does so without the usual smoothing over effect most other brands employ.
Over the years, CP and I have talked about the wonderful symbiotic relationship that exists between the Behold series of components, Sunny horn loudspeakers and the Laufer Teknik Memory Player. In his review of the Göbel Lacorde cables, he intimated that these cables not only co-exist, but actually improve on the relationship of these three long-time personal reference components.
All in all, the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables infused my system with such musical vitality and potency that I found myself hyper-ventilating on occasion, leading me to discover, these Göbel Lacorde cables can produce a level of excitement that goes beyond just emotional. In my case, it can prove downright physical.
Caveats and Conclusions
CP, who also uses the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables as his reference also, had forewarned me "not to listen unless you can afford them." Of course, I didn't believe anything could perform above the level of excellence I was presently experiencing with a newer version of the Klee cables recently delivered. So, I challenged CP to a listen. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have just bought the Göbel cables before they even arrived at my doorstep. Because, truth be told, CP has never steered me wrong. Not once! Yes, I also enjoy CP's discussions on the various systems he's heard throughout his travels, but it was his system's performance that impressed above all others I have heard.
The only disappointment I have with the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables is their asking price. The speaker cables retail for ($25k), one-meter XLR digital cable ($7500) and six-foot AC cords are a whopping ($9100 ea). What I've learned through my journey as a music lover first - and reviewer second - is that price is not always indicative of performance. Unfortunately, the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables are the most expensive cables I've had the luxury of listening to - and that I would wholeheartedly recommend. For the first time, the Göbel Lacorde Statement cables have allowed me to hear beyond the music. For the first time, I get the sense that I can tap into the very soul and essence of the musician. CP was right. So much in fact, I went out on a limb and purchased them as a Christmas present to myself....Happy Holidays!
Lacorde Statement Speaker (per 3 meter length)
Price in Euro 20,000
Lacorde Statement Power (per 2 meters)
Price in Euro 7,500
Lacorde Statement XLR per one meter
Price in Euro 5,000
Goebel High End
+49 8141 2255887