Some audio designers are only after the best. Take away the “end” out of the “high end audio” and you will get merely a high (class) audio - it`s what high end audio has turned into, during the recent years. The “end” part isn`t even nearly a true end - anymore. To imply “the best”, one has to use another term: state of the art audio and this is obviously something Enrico Datti is exclusively interested in. No mass produced high end audio but true STATE OF THE ART audio products. The mutual project with Giuseppe Viola is a real proof, their V.Y.G.E.R. Turntables are true SOTA devices.
Everything that V.Y.G.E.R. represents in the realm of SOTA turntables, now Enrico Datti obviously wants to achieve with his VYDA ORION in the field of RCA interconnect cables: a true reference and a state of the art product.
Italian VYDA Laboratories was formed as a result of many years of experimentation and research in the field of sound systems of the highest quality and their aim is to create products of unrivalled quality.
From their website: “The testing of our products is conducted with scientific criterion and perseverance. Design and technological solutions have been developed without compromise in order to achieve the highest possible performances. Our products are the result of continuous comparisons and contamination of the most innovative technological solutions and materials.”
“VYDA ORION™ are made using special construction processes and exclusive materials. The Cryogenic treatment of the conductors for the stabilisation of molecular orientation.
This process, successfully tested in our laboratories, allows a performance not comparable with non cryogenic conductors. This process consists of a controlled slow cool-down cycle from room temperature to the temperature of the liquid nitrogen (-300 °F) for a certain time and subsequently at temperatures over 100.
The cable design of the line ORION™ really cares about the resolution of the electromagnetic problems and mechanical insulation of the wires, the geometries of the cable and the optimisation values LRC.
VYDA™ realises its cables with Copper Quality of our proprietary with exceptional purity and PTFE insulation.
A huge amount of listening tests have been performed with the help of many audiophiles of marked sensitivity. Also these experiences led to the realisation of our cables.
VYDA™ improves and experiments always the highest quality materials:
VYDA ORION™ uses stainless steel AISI 303: one of the best non-magnetic material,
Teflon and other inelastic materials for the insulation of wires and also different types of exclusives helical geometries of wires according to the length of the cable.
Very important for us is the study of mechanical spurious and mechanical resonances, issues that cause the pollution of electrical signal transmission and phase errors.
The VYDA™cables use thick silicon jacket, the only material that provides mechanical wave attenuation inside the cables.
Our connectors and terminations are developed, tested and listened to inside our factory.
Our terminations are treated with rhodium plating process with high thickness (15 microns) to guarantee exceptional contact quality.”
To my knowledge, the VYDA ORION was a direct consequence of their experience gained while testing the interior cabling for their V.Y.G.E.R. turntables. The signal transmission inside cables is highly critical in all audio devices and even more so in case of the turntables where signal levels are much lower until entering the phono preamp stages.
Build quality and design…
…are stunning! Observing them visually, one gets an impression the designers put a lot of thought into construction and are using only the best available materials. The RCA connectors are VYDA`s proprietary ones and look unlike any other on the market. It`s obvious they were not meant for cheap electronics with narrow spaced RCA connecting terminals because they are just too thick, but this fact should hardly bother any potential customer seeking in this price range. These cables are thick, very heavy and their weight as well as inner structure, probably contribute to vibration immunity. Overall I`d say they are extremely elegant in their appearance and built like a tank.
The VYDA ORION sonic performance
In all honesty I expected much and got much. Actually, I got more than I have expected. These interconnects elevate the overall system performance to extraordinary high levels. They reveal layers of information that were previously buried deep in the recordings and do it so with extreme sonic elegance. As all state of the art components, they are capable of extracting the last ounce of information while remaining completely calm, neutral and utterly smooth. Some cables can sound highly detailed but when it comes to neutrality and plain naturalness, they can fail big time.
The VYDA ORION makes the reproduction of even the most complex musical material seem the easiest thing in the world. These interconnects never loose control, insight or show signs of strain and compression. They just make the music appear in front of the listener as it usually does in real life, with the eerily lifelike presence of all instruments and voices.
Their ability to preserve the natural tone and overall harmonic structure while sounding absolutely transparent, is probably their strongest point. Vocals in particular sounded shockingly realistic and possessed an incredible dose of humanness, with a complete lack of any mechanical artefacts that usually prevents us from completely surrendering our musical souls. With such superlative properties the emotional content of the musical message was indeed preserved intact and this was another strong point of this interconnect. With music, a ton of information is nothing without the emotion and the number of components that combine perfect objective/subjective performance while caring for the emotional content, is not that big but VYDA ORION absolutely belongs to this selected group.
The overall sense of authority and grandeur was top notch, the lower midrange and upper bass weight and definition were excellent, same could be said for the low bass extension and control. The bass not only had power but also possessed incredible differentiating abilities and was highly nuanced, resolved and retained the characteristic natural colors of various individual bass instruments.
The vocal range was phenomenally natural and open sounding but of course, this is not merely a question of transparency and resolution; believability is also dependent on micro dynamics and natural tonal colors, among other things. It`s strange or at least very interesting how some cables can strip vocals of humanness, making them sound threadbare and mechanical, while others can make them sound incredibly lifelike.
The lack of grit and grain ensured incredible smoothness and liquidity of the reproduced sound.
The whole presence range played through VYDA ORION was highly detailed but at no time I could detect any signs of hardness or harshness; quite on the contrary and I believe these qualities are a sign of very low overall distortion levels these cables are capable of.
The treble range was exemplary in its ability to highlight the micro information and subtle reverberant spatial cues of various halls and recording venues and contributed to heightened sense of airiness. This conjured a concert like atmosphere full of vim and visor that easily enchanted even the most demanding listener.
In this range the VYDA ORION showed similar qualities as the excellent Paradox Balanced cable, however, the various percussion instruments sounded somewhat more substantial or solid, through the VYDA ORION and hence more REAL. Those familiar with the sounds of live percussion, know what I`m talking about and will recognise these qualities in VYDA ORION easily.
The extension of the uppermost octaves was fantastic and brought another strong point in the overall rating of this phenomenal interconnect.
The holographic focus of instruments and voices was expectedly a very strong suit of the VYDA ORION interconnects; every little move on the stage was very “visible” and easy to follow. The soundstage depth was superb, the back wall really disappeared with a vast number of recordings and this was of course most welcome with orchestrations.
Speaking generally, the VYDA ORION interconnect proved to be able to maximise the contrast between a sound source (instrument or voice) and the surrounding ambient; these two were always clearly delineated.
Instead of giving you some well known example of perfectly played classical music, with classical instruments, let me point out to one phenomenal modern Bluegrass band: the Punch Brothers. Their 2015 release “The Phosphorescent Blues” is a real tour de force. The musicianship and virtuosity is beyond belief but these men can also show extremely sensible playing, when called for; example: Passepied (Debussy). The mandolin, five string banjo and folk guitar are certainly not classical instruments but here, with the help from fiddle (violin) and upright bass, they absolutely retain the classical feeling - in a very fresh and original way.
Punch Brothers is a band consisting of Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Koweit (bass). Their style has been described as “bluegrass instrumentation and spontaneity in the strictures of modern classical” as well as “American country-classical chamber music.
Fans of acoustic instrumental virtuosity will love this album and let me mention that Chris Thile on mandolin and Noam Pikelny on banjo are true geniuses on their respective instruments.
The VYDA ORION interconnects reproduced the interplay of these virtuosi playing their instruments at breakneck speed, with such ease and resolving power it was hard to believe. The flow of music was unimpeded and the emotional charge was huge, resulting in an extremely involving sonic experience.
Another great example, Renato Borghetti`s album ‘Fandango!’ is a must hear, if you love the music legacy of southern America.
CD Roots: “Born in Brazil in 1963 with Italian origins, Renato Borghetti is an instrumentalist and composer with diverse musical influences. He expresses his art through the diatonic accordion called (in gauche tradition) gait point. The musical gaucho has revised, adapted and modernised the regional music. He combines the sounds of the Argentinian papa with central European, Italian and French elements into a modern mix of milonga, polka, Tex-Mex and musette with Brazilian and global pop, jazz and tango, adapting each of those forms to his accordion. Artful, elegant and full of energy!”
Again, the VYDA ORION interconnects brought out the musical essence in full grandeur and sonic bliss. The emotional involvement was really enhanced, not suppressed like it can be with lesser interconnects.
Who isn`t familiar with the Esperanza Spalding` - ‘Chamber Music Society’ - a beautiful album of this highly original female artist?
Esperanza Emily Spalding (born October 18, 1984) is an American jazz bassist, cellist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions.
She has won four Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award. She sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Chamber Music Society is her third studio album and a video was made for the song “Little Fly” which is a poem by William Blake set to music by Esperanza Spalding.
Her voice is truly spine-tingling and the harmonic interplay between the instruments is totally spellbinding. This music will hardly leave anyone indifferent, that I am sure.
If a cable is able to unconditionally transmit all the information, energy and emotion on a level like the VYDA ORION interconnects did, then I believe we are confronted with something special.
So many times we hear how a cable`s job is only (!) to preserve what`s in the recording; adding nothing of its own and subtracting nothing. We use words like ‘neutral’ or ‘true to the source’ but it is only with cables like these that we discover a wealth of things in our music collection, things that we did`t expect and things that surprise us, upon first hearing and…make us redefine our viewpoints. Well, the VYDA ORION interconnects belong to this select group of ‘audio trailblazers’, components that push the limits in every conceivable direction and raise the overall standards.
The level of constructional details and overall craftsmanship is stunning; add to that the extraordinary sound they exhibit: for all these reasons I am giving the VYDA ORION RCA interconnects the Mono And Stereo UPPER ECHELON award.
Phenomenal interconnects indeed!
Price: 1.2m 5.950 Euro