Vipera Xanthina XLR and speaker cables

Vipera Xanthina XLR and speaker cables

Less is more, more is less and more is more? Quite a complicated formula :). With audio cables that are offered to music lovers and audiophiles worldwide you can easily fall into the endless dilemma from the vast offerings of numerous audio manufacturers. There are silver cables, OFC free copper cables, gold plated copper etc. What to choose? Where is fair pricing? What requirements should audio cable fulfill to become worthy of the given name?

Ask me all the questions ten years back and I'll shoot you straight/instant answers. With the recent offerings of high-end audio cables you really need to do your homework to choose wisely. You can go from affordable to esoteric cabling in the speed of light and sometimes for the fraction of price. Mad right?

Entering Vipera 

Little introducing from the owner Kenneth Jensen:

"Since the age of 12, I have had a passion for audio. This I got through a friend at that point, and still a very good friend to this day. I bought my first stereo system when I was 13-14 years old, was in the good old days, where the “HiFiklubben” was getting ahead in the audio business, and offering amazing audio, for very good prices. I can remember at that time that I practically lived at the local store.  I knew every product (sound/specs) they had in the store.

It was very clear to me from that point… I was hooked on audio, in all of its glory. As soon as I had saved up a bit of money, I of course already knew what I wanted. In 1994 I bought a pair of Dali 104, a NAD310 int. amplifier and a Denon DCD1015 CD-Player, paired up with Audioquest cables through the system.

As with all audiophiles, there is no turning back. Once you get hooked, you get REALLY hooked, and the pursuit for the perfect audio system went fast as time went by.

During the next several years, it was clear to me, that I had to get in to the audio business, and started working within it in 2000. I quickly found out, that working with audio was my calling.

In 2008 I was a bit irritated, and had been for some time. I thought that the audio industry was going the wrong way, regarding the lack of honest approach in making audio products that seem to go further and further away from actually giving the consumer a good product at a good price. Especially the cable companies, seemed to put cables on the market that has become more and more expensive year after year.

So the decision to start Vipera was born from that point, and with an extensive knowledge and network, it quickly took of at a fast rate. The main goal from the start was clear from the “get go”. Vipera was mend to be, and has become a cable company that delivers true value for money… No bullshit, just good products at reasonable prices.

Sound philosophy 

Speakers are becoming more and more detailed in their performance (more informative) as the years go by. This is naturally a good thing, but it means that the owner of those speakers has to be more careful, what equipment and cables to connect to them. The system can quickly become overly bright and even perform with a harsh sound in especially the upper frequencies.

In my ears, there is nothing more disturbing or sad then to listen to an audio system that plays with the main focus on detail and no ability to produce music, knowing that the person with such system has invested both time and money in it.

Vipera therefore has a clear goal of what we want to represent regarding sound. The cables has to offer the costumer a neutral and “analogue sound… short: They have to contribute the ability to play MUSIC for the given audio system.

The Barani series has been designed to give the customer a step up regarding sound and finish, from the conventional cables, you find in the box of the audio/visual equipment.

For the more serious audio enthusiast, the Xanthina cables come to play, with a design that captures all the things you would ask for in cables for that price range. Looks, finish and sound quality, that does not try to represent more than what it is…  simply good and honest products.

R & D and production

It’s a great task to start a company with goals beside, making good business. Especially in the audio industry where we as enthusiast, have so much invested in it (time, money, emotions). This goes for manufactures and all the way to the consumer.

The R&D of the cables is done by teaming up with outside as well with inside sources, to input the different advantages and disadvantages in cable design. As a designer, you actually never know how the finished cable product will sound until its made and connected to the audio system. Therefore the best solution is to make a LOT of different cable types, both in geometry, materials etc. These are then tested both in data and in sound quality. Finally the best solution regarding costs, timbre, finish and so on, is chosen.

Some of the production is handled here in Denmark, but most is outsourced to various manufactures in different parts of the world. These outsourced manufactures also make cables for the biggest cable brands on the market."

Meeting by doorstep 

After twenty and some years in high-end audio I'm still excited with every new package arriving at my doorstep. I guess this is an extension of my teenage mail swapping times of good old C64 and Amiga disk's, when Internet was still in the domain of Gibson Neuromancer or defense ministry. It's (thanks God) still the same with each package of audio gear, let it be smallish or heavy weight. I'm so much more cheerful when somebody puts their efforts into packaging and design. It was a good day with Vipera box.


Vipera Audio is wit with their pricing and one could expect the mediocre packaging. Not this time. Elegant black card box is followed by nice included printed introduction of the cables and few simple instructions about handling them. Many times and even with much higher priced cables, you're simple let with much to grasp for. Like more money often doesn't exactly bring you more music in high-end one would at least expect premium packaging. Not always the case. Nonetheless Vipera did their job with style and exemplary.

Vipera Xanthina XLR and speaker cables

Xanthina XLR interconnect and speaker cables are constructed from four 99,9999% pure OFC conductors. Two of them are carrying the negative signal and other two positive. There is also dual shielding for ground.

The Xanthina conductors are surrounded by a special hybrid material, further ensuring minimum signal loss from within that offer a low capacity load of the source signal. There is also additional high density dual shielding with function of protecting the signal from any external electrical/magnetical interferences.

The moment I saw Xanthina cables, their appearance captivated my aesthetically driven perception. I cherish well designed products, let it be watches, cars, high-end components etc. Simply loving the effort, knowledge and time invested in something that we use and operate with daily gives me comfort, pride of owning and lasting satisfaction. Specially in high-end audio these things should never be neglected.

Xanthina caress you with their instant elegant simplicity. 24k gold plated XLR plugs and black shielding radiate certain aura of quality that usually operates in products priced far far above Xanthina´s given price.

Burning them (in)

Some argue that there is no need for burning in and other that it's necessary. All I can say is trust your ears. I can mostly agree that after 200/300 hours cables mostly start to sound different. And by different I mean in the most cases-better. Vipera Xanthina cables were no exception to this. One could recognize the initial character of Xanthina from the first hours of listening, but everything become smoother and more evident after 200 hours of leaving them in the system. Slight harshness went away completely and music simply started to get more involving.

Toscanini and sound

Pristine Toscanini conducts Wagner BBC recording is somehow a tour de'force for any serious high-end component. This is one of those records that can evoke the spirit of the music, conductor and musicians in a momentum. Both Xanthina cables are a prime example of a quite stellar performance for the price. They surprises many so called "budget" cables and open up the world of high-end cabling in a grand way with their open hearted musicality.

Wagner's expression was in no way handicapped and all the thrills that so expertly combine his musical signature were there. What more could one want in the performance of a cable?

Alarm Will Sound performs Aphex Twin and Cowboy Junkies Trinity Session will put any component at test for pure natural energy and bass reproduction. If you want to save your speakers don't ever play Blue Calx at crazy volumes. We're not talking disco bass measurements and bass competition here. This is a simple listening test of pure organic tone, timbre and harmonical overlaps of notes. Anyhow, it will blow you away.

The music?

Both Xanthinas never failed at what I'm searching for in components; the music. They might not be the last words on emotions, but they do transcend the most of the obstacles of natural music flow. For that, they should deserve xxl status and price/status raise.

The end

I'm fairly surprised by the quality and sound that Vipera Xanthina can carry. These are the almost budget priced cables with performance that would match or rival cables priced few times above Vipera. You don't have to rob a bank or sell your kidney to achieve fluidity and musicality. You can afford those even on budget and they're offering two series to choose from. Vipera cables are well thought products with a clear notion on quality and music. One can tell that they came from a person that respect, love and live with the music.

Highly recommended.

Features Xanthina XLR:

- 99.9999% Oxygen Free Copper Conductors
- Vipera Hybrid insulation for low capacitive load
- High-density dual-layer shielding for maximum noise rejection
- Corrosion-Resistant 24K gold plated connectors
- High quality XLR plugs

Features Xanthina speaker cables:

- 99.9999% Oxygen Free Copper Conductors
- High quality Corrosion-Resistant 24K gold plated spade-connectors
- Vipera Hybrid insulation for ultra low capacitive load
- Capacitance: 16.7 pF/ft

Matej Isak: text
Mono & Stereo high-end audio magazine
September 2010, All rights reserved