After too long a period of silence, the vicissitudes of our most exuberant client, Mr Zanetti, are back. We left him in the middle of a technical and scientific test We left him with the protagonists, of course, being our products, especially those of the Dedalus and Invictus series. Today he returns to the digital pages of our site, putting the new Invictus Speaker Reference to the test. Enjoy your reading!
So, like all stories, this one has a beginning. Since last winter, Mr Sergio had been mulling something over: he had seen a particular insulating polymer. He told us this during one of our visits, when my colleague Alessandro and I went through the various cable reels in the warehouse. Mr Sergio told us that he would like to improve his Speaker top cable (the blue one) by implementing, among other things, this particular insulating polymer. That's all he said!
Months passed and around November we went to see Mr Sergio again. I noticed something different about the environment: there were more people. Yes, because quality pays, our entrepreneur had had to hire two more people, which is very important in these times of crisis. He had prepared a prototype of this new cable Speaker and finished it himself. At first glance, it looked the same as the previous one, and he would have liked to have had someone with a good system listen to it. When he heard this, my colleague Alessandro immediately took possession of the prototype, saying enthusiastically that he would try it himself.
After a few days, Alessandro told Mr Sergio that the cable was exceptionally good and superior to the previous one. I had to wait about a month before production started; it seems that this cable is not too easy to build. I was curious to try it as I have recently upgraded my system. I currently own a brand new Yamaha A-S3200 integrated amp (25 kgs of top technology) and a Technics 'Grand Class' SL-G700 all-in-one player.
I appreciated the Technics player's construction: it uses two AK4497EQ multiple converters (one per channel) from the Japanese Asahi Kasei. These are converters that are also used in equipment costing three times as much and more!
So I get this new cable and start listening. But first I look at the specifications. The data has improved slightly: the internal wires have increased from 970 to 1038, the capacitance and resistance have decreased. The outer diameter increased by 2mm, the conductor cross-section (this is where it gets interesting) increased by 0.5mm. "Um, the outer shielding has also improved. It's now 7N copper. "Ah!", there's also a double dielectric. We'll see. Looking at the new specs, it wouldn't seem so different, but Alessandro was thoroughly impressed.
I take out all my reference SACDs and put aside my "liquid music" files. First of all I must say that due to an irrepressible audiophile infatuation I bought from Mr Sergio and therefore I own: three power cables Invictus and two balanced cables INTERCONNECT always Invictus, which were used to carry out the listening test of this Invictus Speaker Reference.
Well, I start with an 'old' Telarc SACD from 1999. It'scalled Stir It Up, the music is by Bob Marley and it's played by a small band with Monty Alexander. The rhythm is strong and continuous, the band doesn't miss a beat. Impossible to fall asleep, the record is very enjoyable. The sound message is full and powerful, but there is something that surprises me. I've never heard the guitar chords so clearly: when Steve Turre's trombone comes in, I jump out of my chair! "Uhm, maybe I'm hungry, I'd better pick this up later.
I try another SACD: a Telarc from 2004. Thetitle is tremendously challenging: The Best of Play Bach. This phenomenon (really!) Jacques Loussier plays J. S. Bach's works on the piano with bass and drums. The impossible has succeeded! The performance is transcendental in the Pastoral in C Minor. The bass is deadly and grabs me in the stomach, leaving me stunned! Something is not right! Now I phone Alessandro and go to his house to listen. I get there and say: 'Did you hear that?' Alessandro doesn't answer, he puts a black disc on the record player which is improperly called "vinyl", but should be called "polyvinyl chloride". We overlook it. The cartridge is a MC (moving coil), with a higher sensitivity than a MM (moving magnet).
He turns the volume of his McIntosh up to maximum: 'Unbelievable! No noise coming out of the speakers! What the hell has Sergio done?". "I don't know" Alessandro replies and continues: "He has certainly done something bad". I go back home a bit dazed, let's try again tomorrow, that's enough for today!
Today, I want to start with some great pieces. I choose a piece for solo piano, in DSD256, the pianist is Japanese: Ikumi Ogasawara, the title of the "record" is Tears of Joy. I choose the piece Whale Lullaby*. The song is poignant, uniquely beautiful. The surprise is that I am not in the front row of the imaginary theatre, but in the pianist's place! I am surrounded and immersed in the notes! A sensation I have never experienced.
I continue with more pieces for harpsichord solo and virginal entitled: Parthenia, performed by Catalina Vicens. I've heard a few baroque concerts, as they say, live, but here we're off the mark! It seems, excuse the hyperbole, that the god Aeolus is blowing notes directly onto my body. Unbelievable stuff! I'll buy the cable for sure! I go on listening anyway. I try another DSD256. Paganini: O mamma, mamma cara. The violinist who now plays the viola drives me crazy with her reckless phrasing! Here too the viola comes up to your nose.
Well, now I'm trying to think what artifice Mr Sergio will have resorted to. More than one, I'm sure. The indisputable fact is that this cable reduces electronic noise by about 20 dB according to my ear. A remarkable result, perhaps more than remarkable. I believe, always on the basis of my rather long experience, that such a cable, if sold by very famous American companies, would not cost less than 7 or 8,000 European Euros. Meditate, people, meditate!
Greetings, L. R. Zanetti.
* Ogasawara wrote this music in protest against indiscriminate whaling by the Japanese.
It only remains for us to thank, as usual, Mr Zanetti for the test of Invictus Speaker Reference and his testimonials, always so passionate, colourful and fun to read. If you would like to know even more about Invictus Speaker Reference, please refer to the updated product page, which can be reached by clicking the button below.