Oyaide Tunami series cables
Oyaide Elec. Co, LTD hails from Japan, originally established in 1952, making affordable esoterica for the audiophile in all of us. From cables to connectors, plugs, conditioners, etc., all their products appear to be of superior build quality and dutifully assembled with an eye for detail.
A few months back, CP asked if I’d like to review any of Oyaide’s products. Yep. I placed my order for cable lengths and waited anxiously for their arrival. I received Oyaide order promptly - Tunami Nigo V2 speaker cables in a 3m length terminated in spades, their Tunami Terzo RR V2 interconnects in 1m length and terminated in RCA configuration and their Tunami GPX-R V2 power cables in a 1.8m length. Informed that the speaker cables don’t come in a bi-wire configuration, I installed jumpers on my Eminent Technology LFT-8b’s.
The cables arrived very nicely packaged in handsome boxes. The requested review samples are simple, quality products finished in ceramic white and black gloss sheath colors, with high quality connectors and plugs. It’s obvious that this Japanese company takes great pride in its product materials, machining, assembly and presentation.
All three products no longer use the popular PCOCC-A copper wire (as Acoustic Revive and Furutech does), for its high-power signal transmission. The new copper base material replacing PCOCC-A is called 102 SSC (getting its name from the incredible 102.3% increase in conductivity [after annealing]). 102 SCC copper is a material that boasts even lower impurities over the previous PCOCC-A copper which, in turn, "assures even lower levels of signal disturbance" says Oyaide. For noise protection, Oyaide specially developed a triple-layered shielding structure that not only rejects internal and external noise, but also what they call ‘instantaneous spark noise due to vibration.’ After considerable r & d regarding their insulator choice, Oyaide selected polymer polyolefin, which has a different degree of hardness inside and outside to prevent any negative effects by sympathetic vibration. Oyaide promises that all of this effort culminated in cables that maintain a high-quality of signal transmission, with a well-built architecture.
Oyaide knows contact is important. Their Tunami Terzo RR is equipped with a newly developed RCA plug, Genesis, which has a collet chuck function that enables it’s interconnects to maintain better secure contacts. Their Tunami Terzo XX balanced cable is equipped with an original premium XLR connecter, the Focus 1. According to Oyaide’s site, "in order to maximize the potential of the Tunami power cable, the contact is modified from phosphor bronze to beryllium copper that insures the higher level of mechanical integrity and electric conductivity." Oyaide makes various plugs suitable for use in many countries around the globe.
First, a little background. I don’t move quickly when it comes to interconnects and speaker cables - my having somewhat limited funds prevent me from following trends too closely. Thanks to my brother-in-law Tim, the brand of cable that has worked for years is Synergistic Research Active interconnects from the late 1990’s. In fact, they still sound pretty good today. Tim bought his first ones news well over a decade ago and we both scoured sources for used IC’s to flesh out our few systems. In the past year or so, we sent our sizable collection of SR AC adapters to a fellow in NJ who performs an upgrade of internal components at a very reasonable price. This fit our tight budgets and we are both happy with the improvement in performance we hear in our respective systems.
Contrary to what I used to think, a reference component doesn’t have to be the ‘best right out of the box’ for comparative purposes. There are exceptions, of course… some products are so unique that comparison isn’t mandatory. Comparison usually takes time, patience and focus: something I had little of while our Lucky dog was sick (love you forever, Lucky dog!). The Oyaide cables and interconnects proved to need no such direct comparison.
I feel guilty taking too much time when composing a review. I also hate keeping review samples for too long, but I prefer to be thorough. As luck would have it, a few review samples presented the opportunity to not only get to know them well over an extended period, they combined with my speakers and turntables nicely, and aided me in reviews with my reference preamp in need of repair. The Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated amplifier, Arcam irDAC ll and the Tavish Design Vintage Tube Phono Stage have all helped me get over the hump as I cull together the funds for capacitor replacement. While my preamp is, at present, still sitting here, it should be going out shortly.
A recently discovered recording, Anouar Brahem’s "Souvenance" - Music for Oud, Quartet and String Orchestra’ (ECM 2015), brimming with acoustic instruments and masterful performances, is a must hear. The Oyaide cables and interconnects did a great job relaying the passion in the playing by all involved - be it oud, piano, bass clarinet, acoustic bass or string orchestra - the subtlety, nuanced playing and power of this music in this 2 CD set was delivered effortlessly to the ears. Brahem’s oud playing connects to the essence of all instruments played, compelling and driving the other performances by these wonderful players to greater heights - all beautifully rendered dimensionally on an intimate yet expanding soundstage with great imaging and rhythm. The oud and piano playing were of proper timber, with beautiful overtones and resonances.
The opening track Improbable Sky, played in lossless form through the Arcam irDAC ll, yielded pleasingly tight imaging, with Brahem’s oud work sounding quite real. There was ample depth to the soundstage and the music was presented with good pacing, dynamics and bass textures possessing surprising head-turning power. The Oyaide cables delineated the air between the instruments quite nicely and all tracks render the haunting woodwind work with an impressive sonority and the wonderfully raspy bass clarinet tone with great body and wood. Thanks for turning me on to this one, CP!
The title track of Harry Connick, Jr’s We Are In Love (Columbia 1990) just comes out swinging, with a great soundstage, pacing and and energy. Connick’s vocal work is rich and sweet and the brass work is commanding and punchy, all conveyed with top-notch imaging. Well done.
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s brooding, contemplative and dynamic score for "The Revenant" (Milan Records 2016), on vinyl, give us great depth to the soundstage and commanding low frequencies with great power, effortlessly conveying the brute force behind the plentiful bassy passages in Hawk Punished while also rendering small ambient cues very well. The feeling of something being held back and about to be unleashed pervades the track. The next track Carrying Glass, comes across just as almost untamed and wild beneath its melody. Wow.
On EST’s Somewhere Else Before (SBME Special Markets 2008), played losslessly, was delivered with nice pacing and great brush textures. The Esbjorn Svensson Trio was a surprisingly tight and gifted unit, captured here in great form with nice depth, well-rendered percussive tones and excellent imaging, yielding a great bass depth. ESP painted great textures in performances peppered with terrific macro and micro dynamics with a playfully cohesive approach.
Bill Evans "Portrait In Jazz" (OJC 1960), offered a well-rendered ear into the recording session, with a stable piano imaging and tight trio interplay. Evans’ accompanying rhythm section possessed tremendous drive and spontaneity - there’s little wonder why this version of the Evans’ Trio is of such historical importance… Evan’s percussive and punctuated playing was complemented so beautifully by the creative support and grounding from LaFaro and Motian. While listening to Autumn Leaves, I lost myself in the music, forgetting to listen analytically. Such musicianship! It’s fun, playful… and yet sooo damn tight! The trio comes off very well rehearsed but not overly so, still very loose with all born to improvise. The performances were well-captured, with tight imaging and warmth - these attributes are relayed beautifully by the Oyaide cables.
Along the way, I have rediscovered a few albums that etched so deep in my memory over the years that I ceased playing them often. Perhaps I just knew them too well, one being the John McLaughlin Trio’s "Live at the Royal Festival Hall" from 1990 (JMT Records)… I love it when that happens. This live recording just bathes the listener in acoustic goodness, with remarkable performances by this trio of fine musicians. This performance was very well-rendered by this Oyaide family of cables. Blue and Green was quite with great depth, yet punchy and dynamic with it’s quick transients and ample micro dynamics. There’s a big sound here, one that is quietly forceful and asserive with terrific rhythm and drive, conveying the excitement of this live performance. ‘Josey’ offered up an especially haunting hollow fretless bass. This band breathes together… with memorable dynamics, great soundstage and terrific dynamics and micro dynamics. A great groove and one swinging trio that speaks with authority, clarity and tremendous drive.
There is more of a liveliness (or alive-ness) with the Oyaide Elec. co. ltd products than produced by my long used reference cables. The Oyaide cables deliver a clarity in the low, mid and high frequencies that’s quite apparent from first listen. Pleasing to the ear yet pocketbook friendly, they offer natural timbers and resonances that bring acoustic instruments to life at earthbound prices. There’s a quiet truth spoken by these Oyaide cables and interconnects. They don’t scream ‘look at me!’ nor demand your gaze like over-adorned jewelry. These Oyaide products offer a good bit of audio truth in a confident whisper. Images are solid, timbers are truthful and they generated a nice synergy with my components that Clement himself pointed out early on when over for a listening session.
I hope one day they’ll add a biwired speaker cable to their line, but I really didn’t miss my usual biwiring with my Synergistic Research Active Quad cables. Great job Oyaide! You've been hearby voted as my Most Wanted Component for 2016!
Oyaide Tunami Nigo V2 speaker cable ($950 3 meter),
Tunami Terzo RR V2 interconnects ($360.00 meter)
Tunami GPX-R V2 AC cords ($570.00 per five ft)
US Distributor: The Lotus Group
Oyaide Elec. Co.,, Ltd.