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Review of the Impressive Raven Audio Cables!  

 

Apogeefanatic
(@apogeefanatic)
New Member Customer
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 4
30/07/2019 8:42 pm  
Wanted to post my thoughts on a very impressive set of cables made & offered by Raven Audio

Review of the Raven Audio Soniquil XLR Audio & Power Cables

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As one builds a high-end audio system there’s a lot of effort and time that goes into selecting the best sounding gear one can afford. Components such as loudspeakers, amps, preamps, DACS, digital & analog sources whether it be turntables, CD, server/streamers need to be carefully considered . Of course, the listening room is paramount in achieving that elusive live sound most people are chasing.

BUILDING a fine sounding realistic system
I have built a few fine sounding systems over the years that I thought at the time sounded satisfying and thus was proud to have friends over to hear my sound creation. It was not until my latest system that I came to the realization that all those former attempts pale in what I have achieved in my present setup. How does this one differ from the others? Well, read on… I had spent a year or so assembling a lovely system built around such fine names as Apogee Acoustics, Krell, Mark Levinson, Aurender, Sony, Schitt & others and the live sound I imagined was starting to illustrate itself in a very satisfying way. I was happy so I thought, but there was something missing that I could just not put my finger on and as many have experienced “I spent the money” thus I thought “I was there”. However, the sound I so desperately desired was still not being experienced to my full satisfaction. Very frustrating indeed.

Are HIGH-END CABLES worth it?
"Great sounding" AC power & audio cables were always in the back of my mind as a possible solution but I could just never justify the high prices asked for them by the major makers and I needed quite a few to be sure. I had done research over the years with many cable offerings and still could not justify them as many reviewers would say great things like sweet, extended highs with this “XL955 cable” and then turn around and state they didn't have extended bass or a palpable midrange thus the usual high price was a joke to be sure after reading that. In my late night readings I fortunately came across a website stating “Our cables are Fairy Dust Free!” stating ”some company’s products are designed to change the sound by engineering anomalies to increase bass for “more thump” or reduce mid-bass for “more clarity.” They went on to state this is simple audio foolery at best. With a no return policy for most of these cable makers, this really made me step back and wonder... should I take such a financial risk?

Discovery… RAVEN AUDIO - SONIQUIL
This leads me back to Raven Audio, the site I came across late that night. I wrote Raven
the next day and inquired about their entire cable line and got a wonderfully quick response from Bryant Wilson on what I would need and how they could help out. Within minutes I felt as though we had been friends for years. The conversation was exactly what I required to hopefully purchase some promising AC power and XLR audio cables that would be both great sounding, high-quality and most important be reasonable. Such a combination in high-end circles is quite RARE. One plus…. my sound satisfaction was guaranteed or my money back.

Purchase & Installation
Fast forward to receiving and installing them in my system. I required (five) 1.5m individual Soniquil power cables and (six) 1.5m pairs of Soniquil XLR balanced cables to complete my setup. I burned them in for 6 weeks and even initially they held great promise with a clean, detailed dynamic presentation which for the money was quite impressive. To qualify my sound quality requirements I look for a wide soundstage with equal depth, I enjoy great detail with a live feeling but do not want it to have an etched or unnatural harsh edge. Warmth in the bass is desired but I prefer it tight and responsive.

Soniquil Sound Impressions
D-day… after the initial break in, I sat for an intensive listening session with my audiophile neighbor Don listening to a variety of classical piano, various well recorded Al Dimeola guitar pieces along with a nice mix of lovely, sweet sounding Steely Dan. Mahler’s 5th symphony was also included as well to get a feeling of scale and soundstage. Within a few minutes, we were floored at how these low-priced cables impressed us with their black background, dynamic leading edge detail and ease at which they effortlessly produced an accurate portrayal of these wonderful recorded CD’s and streamed sources. It was very hard to believe these good looking Soniquil cables could enhance my system at such a reasonable cost. The Soniquil power cables easily provided the current needed to power every component with control as well as finesse and portray a sound window of complete clarity. The connectors fit tight on both ends from wall to component, thus no sagging. Onto the balanced XLR cables… I much prefer a balanced system over single-ended RCA’s because of the advantages of a lower noise floor in addition to the doubling of signal strength. Note: just before installing the cables I was having a slight hum issue probably because of the amount of power I am using to drive the Apogee. Handling them shows great pride in craftsmanship and the materials used look like a million bucks. After a few minutes of listening, Don & I looked at each other and agreed these were not going back to Raven. They exhibited a new tightness and detail to the sound that I was not fully aware of, highs were detailed but not etched and the mid-range was flat out soothing with wonderful vocal clarity. By the way, the hum I experienced was basically nullified so that was a huge bonus. I was surprised but thrilled because of the very reasonable pricing.

Unexplained satisfaction!
I am at a loss to explain how these very reasonable cost cables could produce such a wonderfully harmonic improvement to my system. This is a dream come true for those audiophiles working on a limited budget who would rather direct their funds on components opposed to cables. I am again excited now to power up my system and experience a unique renewing of love I have for this rather expensive hobby. Almost forgot to add, it never crossed my mind to return any of these cables after this ear-opening experience. I did inquire with Bryant at Raven about returns and he proudly expressed “an extremely low return rate”. That does not surprise me. Wrapping this review up, as the old adage goes “you get what you pay for”, well in this instance you get a whole helluva lot more than you pay for and no fairy dust included! I advise audiophiles regardless of their system's cost and complexity to give these cables a try in their system. Your ears will thank you but your wallet will love you!

R. Bennett

Manufacturer website: Ravenaudio.com

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Current Review System:

Apogee Studio Grand full range ribbons with Active DAX
Krell KSA-300S and W4S SX-1000R Monoblocks
Mark Levinson No. 380S Pre
Schitt Audio Yggdrasil DAC w/Kimber Illuminati D60 cable
Aurender N100H server with .8m Curious Cable USB cable
Sony XA7ES CD transport via SPDIF connection
Tice Powerblock Signature IIIC with HP option
Kimber Monacle XL with High Fidelity CT-1 Level 2 jumpers
Raven Audio Soniquil AC Power & XLR audio cables


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RavenDave
(@ravendave)
Founder of Raven Audio Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 60
31/07/2019 9:53 am  

Mr. Bennett,

 

Thank you for your review of our cables.  We always appreciate our customers taking the time to tell the world about our products that we have worked so tirelessly on.

 

Dave Thomson

Founder

Raven Audio


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