Customer Reviews

Review #110 - Supreme HDMI MKII Cable - Ricable Review

Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
Icon Ricable Review
My Ricable

Michal V.

Sources: Apple iPhone and iPad; HiFiMAN HE1000se headphones.

Amplifier: Usher P-307A preamplifier; Usher R-1.5 power amplifier; Flux Labs Acoustics Mentor headphone amplifier

Acoustic Speakers: Usher UA-50

Other: Puritan Audio Laboratories PSM156 network conditioner; DDC Denafrips Iris 12th; DAC Denafrips Pontus II

The following review of the Supreme HDMI MKII cable is the result of the "Ricable Review" initiative. Ricable Review is the program designed by Ricable, created to collect feedback from audiophiles, in order to lead to continuous improvement of the products in the catalog. Last but not least, those who join the program receive a certificate at home, with the purpose of certifying how the customer has become to all intents and purposes part of the " Ricable" family.
The following Feedback was created on the basis of a predefined questionnaire to which the user returned his impressions, in a completely free. We thank Michal for his time.

What made you choose Ricable?

As I was exploring the ways how to fine-tune my existing chain for both speakers and headphones, I was quite confident the source part is my weakest point. Since I stream Hi-Res audio from Apple Music and there are literally no dedicated Hi-Fi streamers with built-in native Apple Music service, I was just using Apple iPad Pro or iPhone to connect with my DAC via USB cable.
This was still fine as I consider my DAC to be of good quality, but still, I was reading in different places that especially in my case, I might greatly benefit from the inclusion of Digital-To-Digital Conversion interface to be placed between my iPad and the DAC. This is mainly to clean the input from iPad and convert it to I²S digital format, which is supposed to be the best possible input format for the DAC.
So, as I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the DDC, this is where my chase for a dedicated I²S HDMI cable started. I know I could use literally any available standard HDMI cable for this purpose and many would say that this is sufficient (as this is only digital transport, so it either works or not but nothing in between). Nevertheless, I didn't want to end up with some generic HDMI cable in my system, considering the fact I already invested quite heavily in the standalone system components. At the same time, I was not prepared to pay hundreds of Euros for such a dedicated I²S cable. That was simply too unreal for me to see some benefits in doing so.
It was only by accident that I found the Ricable offering. It was briefly mentioned by an Italian enthusiast in a dedicated audio forum. This is where I started to look at Ricable HDMI offering in detail and then quickly confirmed with Ricable support team that the Supreme HDMI MKII might be just the right cable for me.

Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
What do you think of the construction
and aesthetics
of the product?

So I ordered the Supreme HDMI MKII cable in lenght of 1 meter (in case of I²S shorter is better). Once it arrived, straight out of the box the quality of the cable construction was obvious. This is definitely not your regular HDMI cable. It feels solid, it is also quite nice at the same time.
Even if none of my cables is blue, this dark blue variant blends very good with the rest. It is also quite a thick cable, so some spacing requirements are needed, but nothing overly over the top. If you have a clearance of 7-8cm from the wall, you shall be totally fine.
The connectors look premium and nothing on the cable says it shall break anytime soon.

How did you do the tests? What songs did you use to test the cable?

Since the DDC unit was new to me, it was not so easy to evaluate the sound advantages of the cable, as I didn't have any direct comparisons handy. But I did test to connect the DDC to DAC via the standard generic HDMI cable (not exactly cheap though, it's BenQ branded cable which is supposed to be of some good quality) and I do feel that the music was not the same as with the Supreme HDMI MKII. I played my usual playlist I always use when evaluating new components in my system.

Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
What were yours
listening impressions?

The differences were subtle, yet for me still noticeable. I didn't feel comfortable preferring the generic cable for any test songs that I know very well and which I tried to compare here. I mostly listen to blues, country rock, and acoustic music with plenty of resolution across the frequency spectrum.
If I should pick one dominant attribute, then especially the vocals became clearer and more detailed with the Supreme MKII. But as already said, there was no area whare the Supreme HDMI MKII would perform worse than the standard HDMI cable.
Plus there is an obvious aesthetic advantage for the Ricable HDMI. Taking into consideration the price of the Supreme MKII, it's really a no-brainer for me.

Your conclusions.

The Supreme HDMI MKII is a great HDMI cable when used as I²S digital interconnect. I didn't test any video capabilities as I don't need them at all. But as far as the sound is in talk, there is nothing I could object about this cable. Even the HDMI pins configuration is as expected (by Denafrips manufacturer) and the pairing configuration between Denafrips Iris 12th and Denafrips Pontus II was as easy as it gets (Mode 0 is the right one to choose on the Pontus II).
As it stands, it might even cost you less than the usual "4K HDMI" cable you will find in regular shops, yet this cable is specifically constructed with I²S protocol in mind, which is great for my use case.
I'm definitely keeping the Supreme HDMI MKII in my chain for good and have no regrets in upgrading to something else. The source part of my chain is now good enough to make me feel like my whole chain is perfectly balanced.
In fact, knowing now how well the HDMI cable is constructed, I feel quite intrigued in exploring what kind of improvements the higher level Ricable power cables could do for my system (which I now finally consider resolving enough to hear the differences between different power cables).

What do you like?

- Very convincing premium construction
- The dark blue color is really nice and fits well
- Definitely the price to performance ratio is here really exceptional.
-

What would you improve?

- None
-
-
-

What made you choose Ricable?

While exploring how to fine-tune my existing chain for both speakers and headphones, I was pretty sure that the source side was my weakest point. Since I stream high-resolution audio from Apple Music and there are literally no dedicated Hi-Fi streamers with native Apple Music service built in, I was simply using Apple iPad Pro or iPhone to connect to my DAC via USB cable.
This was still fine since I consider my DAC to be of good quality, but I was still reading in several places that, especially in my case, I could benefit greatly from the inclusion of the Digital-To-Digital conversion interface to be placed between my iPad and the DAC. It is mainly to "clean" the input from the iPad and convert it to the I²S digital format, which should be the best possible input format for the DAC.
So when I finally clicked and ordered the DDC, this is where my search for a dedicated HDMI I²S cable began. I know that I could use literally any standard HDMI cable available for this purpose and many would say that this is sufficient (since it is only digital transport, so it either works or it does not but a third option is not possible). However, I did not want to end up with a generic HDMI cable in my system, considering the fact that I have already invested a lot in standalone system components. At the same time, I was not willing to pay hundreds of euros for a dedicated I²S cable. It was simply too unrealistic for me to see any advantages in doing so.
Only by chance did I find the offer Ricable. It was briefly mentioned by an Italian enthusiast in a dedicated audio forum. This is where I started looking in detail at the Ricable HDMI offer and then immediately confirmed with the support team Ricable that the Supreme HDMI MKII might be just the right cable for me.

Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
What do you think about the construction
and aesthetics of the product?

So I ordered the Supreme HDMI MKII cable in the 1-meter length (in case of I²S shorter is better). Once it arrived, right out of the box, the quality of the cable's construction was obvious. This is definitely not your ordinary HDMI cable. It looks solid, but it is also quite nice at the same time.
Although none of my cables are blue, this dark blue variant blends very well with the rest. It is also a fairly thick cable, so some space requirements are necessary, but nothing overly exaggerated. If you have a distance of 7-8 cm from the wall, you'll be fine. The connectors look premium and nothing on the cable says it will break soon.

How did you carry out the tests? Which songs did you use to test the cable?

Since the DDC unit was new to me, it was not so easy to evaluate the sonic advantages of the cable, since I had no direct comparison at hand. But I tried connecting the DDC to the DAC via the standard generic HDMI cable (not exactly cheap though, it's a BenQ branded cable that should be of good quality) and I got the feeling that the music was not the same as with the HDMI supreme MKII. I played my usual playlist that I always use when evaluating new components in my system.

Michal Supreme HDMI MKII Review
Review Mats Magnus Speaker XLR
What were your
listening impressions?

The differences were subtle, but still obvious to me. I did not feel I preferred for any test tracks the generic cable I know very well and tried to compare here. I mainly listen to blues, country rock and acoustic music with a lot of resolution across the frequency spectrum.
If I had to choose a dominant attribute, then mostly vocals became clearer and more detailed with the Supreme MKII. But as mentioned above, there was no area where the Supreme HDMI MKII performed worse than the standard HDMI cable.
Plus there is an obvious aesthetic advantage to the Ricable HDMI. Considering the price of the Supreme MKII, it's a no-brainer for me.

Your conclusions.

The Supreme HDMI MKII is an excellent HDMI cable when used as an I²S digital interconnect. I did not test any video functionality since I do not need it at all. But as far as sound is concerned, there is nothing I could object to about this cable. Also the HDMI pin configuration is as expected (by the manufacturer Denafrips) and the pairing configuration between Denafrips Iris 12th and Denafrips Pontus II was super easy (mode 0 is the right one to choose on the Pontus II).
As it stands, it might even cost you less than the usual "4K HDMI" cable you'll find in regular stores, but this cable is specially built with the I²S protocol in mind, which is great for my use case.
I will definitely keep the Supreme HDMI MKII in my chain forever and have no regrets about switching to something else. The source part of my chain is now good enough that I feel like my whole chain is perfectly balanced.
In fact, knowing now how well the HDMI cable is constructed, I feel rather intrigued to explore what kind of improvements the higher-grade Ricable power cords might make to my system (which I now finally consider sufficiently resolving to hear the differences between different power cords ).

What did you like?

- Very convincing premium construction
- The dark blue color is really nice and fits well
- Definitely the price/quality ratio here is really outstanding
-

What would you improve?

- Nothing
-
-
-

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