It's been a while since I've dug deeper into the cable micro-universe, especially evaluating the cable loom. This usually takes more evaluation time as it gets very sublime and time-consuming. Not only to take and conclude the listening notes but to conduct a subjective summary.  

Last year in early September Angus Leung has personally visited me to deliver, install and explain all about the WestminsterLab cables. I've had a great time and two days escaped lighting fast. It was great to exchange the views about high-end audio, share the unfamiliar music, etc.

Most importantly, it was recharging to discuss everything audio related far beyond the usual chit-chat norms. Leung possesses such an impressive acquaintance about our beloved industry and products, that even seasoned industry experts would envy (or should have)...

The review will reveal more, but WestminsterLab cables and REI amps (upcoming review) are among a few products that made an unexpected impact on yours truly in 2019!


As you can read below, the WestminsterLab team put a lot of effort into designing their cables and they've had heavily experimented with various materials and unique techniques. Here is the breakdown of the WestminsterLab's way...


The goal is to provide the purest and cleanest signals and power for the audio system. WestminsterLab first starts from the basic, stranded conductors and solid conductors. Their testing results have clearly shown that solid conductors can provide a good basis for what they're trying to achieve.


The advantage of the stranded construction may be the flexibility of the cable and also the reduction of cost due to easier extrusion technology. On the other hand, the problem of stranded conductors is that its structure generates Straying Electric Current which occurs within the stranded conductors. When a current flows through one conductor, it may transfer into another conductor repeatedly rather than fluently flowing from start to end. Creating turbulence within the electron flow in the cable causes the incidental sound, reduction in smoothness and audible distortion.


The conductor material is one of the most important components in a cable. WestminsterLab researched and tested different materials, including but not only, very high purity copper, silver, gold, silver-gold alloy, but precious metals also plated copper and silver.

Higher frequencies tend to flow on the outer perimeter of the conductor rather than the core of the material, and the change in the material throughout the cross-section of the conductor varies the speed of the electrons moving through the conductor, resulting in an uneven frequency transition, uneven texture, and distorted imagery and soundstage. All WestminsterLab cables are made with a uniformed conductor.

In the market, single crystal copper and silver are available and the crystal is continuous and unbroken with no grain boundaries that, electrons don’t need to or “jump” less from one crystal to another. Currents can flow more smoothly and so as the signals. But one downside is that whatever its used - usual copper, silver or that with a single crystal, their material sound signatures are heavy and dense. It is where the common terms - “copper sound” and “silver sound” come from.


To achieve all these, WestminsterLab has developed its own formulated conductors with a unique temperature treatment. The result is a new type of conductor, which excels in not only in scientific mechanical properties but also in extensive listening tests. And WestminsterLab has named it the Autria Alloy.

The Autria Alloy undergoes extensive heat and cryo treatment after the extrusion process. The result is a conductive material that is free from material sound signatures, free from grain boundaries and uniformed material properties across the cross-section of the conductor.


To achieve less distortion at high frequencies, WestminsterLab hand-polish each conductor to achieve a gloss mirror finish. However, as long as the conductor is exposed to the air, the surface will oxidize and it degrades the mechanical as well as the audio performance over time. That’s the reason why WestminsterLab protects the surface of each conductor with a special epoxy-based coating. To finish off, each conductor is then carefully inserted into a PTFE tube by hand to further improve the dielectric properties of the conductors.


It is well known that a simple twist of a pair or pairs of wires can reduce crosstalk - RFI and EMI. According to Alexander Graham Bell, “The several circuits are composed each of two wires a direct and a return wire, forming a metallic circuit. Inductive disturbance in the telephone and in other electrical instruments connected with a metallic circuit when the latter is placed in the neighborhood of other electrical circuits, arising from the unequal inductive effect of the latter upon the two wires, for it is obvious that if the direct and return wire were affected equally, the current generated in one would neutralize and destroy what created in the other. The disturbance can be avoided by placing the two wires in the same inductive relation to the disturbing currents, or, other conditions being the same, by placing them at an equal distance from the said circuits.”

It does not mean that it must be better to twist the pair. Twisting a pair brings demerits like higher capacitance and inductance to the cables, and by twisting, a longer conductor is needed to maintain the effective length of the whole cable, increasing the whole resistance. So we decide to go for a deep test about twisting or not.

The untwisted pair easily picks up noise around the environment which causes a noisy background and distorted signals. Then the WestminsterLab has tested the twisted pair that produced a cleaner and darker background. The reason is, without twisting, a magnetic field generated by the current flowing in the signal conductor causes an unwanted current to flow in the paired conductor. After twisted, the crosstalk between wires is canceled when an interfering signal is applied equally to both sides of a twisted-pair wire. Therefore, an induced magnetic field or current will be minimized.


Having concluded that a twisted structure is a way to go, the next question related to how much or at what angle should the pair be twisted. The angle must be enough to reduce interference yet a big angle will generate a bigger capacitance. As the higher the capacitance, the speed of the electron will be reduced and so as the overall bandwidth of the cable.

These two factors needed to be balanced. WestminsterLab tests have shown that a single angle seemed to hardly balance these two, as a single angle gives a particular resonance to a particular frequency range. This may be good for a single frequency signal like digital. But it may not be good for multi-frequency analog signals in which your music is. The ideal case is a cable twisted at a variable angle.

This very unconventional technology is called Vari-Twist. Vari-Twist, as how it names, the signal pair are twisted to WestminsterLab formulated varying angle throughout the whole cable. The relationships between the signal pairs keep changing to minimize the resonance with particular frequency yet interference and magnetic field are still minimized. And this is one of the reasons all WesminsterLab cables in different lengths have their bespoke structure, all calibrated to perfect flawlessly across the audio band.

Vari-Twist is truly unique to WestminsterLab and it is the only cable you can buy on the market which features this unique approach to cable design and technology. It is certainly a very labor-intensive process, but WestminsterLab doesn’t cut corners.


In the market, the common solutions are foil shielding and braided shielding. Some go for tube shielding to shield conductors by a metal tube, achieving 100% shielding. 

Materials used are common tin, aluminum, copper, silver-plated copper, and nickel-plated copper. But in WestminsterLab tests, as long as the metal was being used, rather than rejecting, interferences were being absorbed and fed back to the system, although most of them are considered as “grounded”. These radio-wave changes to electricity and magnetic field and affects the whole system, harming the background darkness, sound staging, and dynamics. This finding is the same as in the mono amplifier.

Moreover, as long as there is a current flowing through the conductors, the flowing current generates a magnetic field that is absorbed by the metal shielding and feedback to the system, resulting in dull, contracting and tight sound.

In the final conclusion, WestminsterLab had adopted carbon fiber sleeve for shielding, which will not be affected by any magnetic field and rejects interferences without absorption in nature. When used in conjunction with Vari-Twist Technology, it brings the already state of the art cable to a whole new level.


With provided WestminsterLab cable loom I've could try out quite a few different arrangments and see how two lines compared to each other and my usual cable apparatus. The familiar DNA was always there. Standard XLRs managed to offer evenly distribute that could meander through the music without any major obstacles. The Ultra XLRs introduced a noticeable shift in the capability to follow up capriciousness without holding back.  

WestminsterLab Ultra line power cables provided better dynamism and faster conveying of the energy than the Standard line. Although the Standard power cables were no slouch in handling minute attacks, the Ultra power cords noticeably added the sense of authority. We are talking about 2.5+ price differences in the lines! Standard line cables stand out with what it has to offer at more than reasonable pricing and open up the WestminsterLab universe. The Ultra line extends the view further and shows how considerably the WestminsterLab cables can sound.

One of the songs, that I've brought back into the more frequent repetition is "Ai San San" by Shinya Fukumori Trio, from the album For 2 Akis

This beautiful, soulful composition takes one through the utmost mesmerizing and palpable sonic kaleidoscope. Shinya Fukumori Trio's cover of Kei Ogura's timeless song 

On countless occasions, I've heard "Ai San San" sounding rowdy. Not due to the electronics, but cables incapability to transmit the signal with the entire extent. Not every extravaganza needs a penchant for something undefined. At least not within high-end audio cosmos. 

Like with most of ECM's records, an enormous sense of space and details are presented. WestminsterLab provided plenty without losing either the intimacy or vibrancy. If the very veins of the high-end audio system are not properly set "Ai San San" is unfathomable and WestminsterLab has proven to be astray from such tendencies. 

"Ai San San" metamorphosing is not solely euphemistic, but develops into the throbbed bursts. By any means, this is no headless task. It's an endeavor of a higher degree that requires a sonic equipoise. WestminsterLab ways of handling Kei Ogura's rendition so succinctly is rather unusual and delivers unexpected ardor.

Some ECM albums can too quickly start to raucous if the audio system is not properly balanced. WestminsterLab ability to keep far away or stepping anywhere near the brittleness warrants the highlighting. 

Another ECM album that puts a serious strain on the system is Romaria by Andy Sheppard Quartet. "And a Day ..." opens up with the mysterious mood and gargantuan tom drums. While the song slowly unveils the mood sets a complex, multilayered scenery.  WestminsterLab cables permitted the arduous drama in absence of prevarication, that can too easily take place when the system's wiring is not able to convey the quartet' dexterity.  

"How Can I Tell You" from the Charles Lloyd's album Manhattan Stories is a beautiful example of extracurricular timbral density. Lloyd's saxophone takes a full forte and keeps it until the end of the track. Bold and notably gutsy!

Many cables won't allow "How Can I Tell You" to fully expand, but rather keep it cloistered. To a lesser degree compared to the WestminsterLab flagships, but refreshingly captivating WestminsterLab Standard XLR cables projected immersive and dynamically dominant renditon. WestminsterLab Ultra XLRs proceeded farther in providing an eidetic portrayal. My rational sensual guards were easily deceived into an aural illusion that lingered long after the track was finished.  I was moved not only solely by the energetic impact. The message was delivered vividly, contrary to the efficacious effect too often associated with so many high-end audio cables regardless of the price.

One has to appreciate the Sergey Rachmaninov, Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic - Rachmaninoff Goes to the Cinema for a colossal sense of scale, tension and dramatic impact. 

Keeping the piano and orchestra within focus yet not colliding against each other territories calls for the upper echelon dealings.   

Despite an inherited powerful nucleus "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: No. 2, Adagio sostenuto" can easily sound listlessly. Again the system veins play an utterly important role and without the proper balancing act instead of sounding majestical and conquering.  

"Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: No. 2, Adagio sostenuto" represents a similar challenge to the high-end audio system as infamous Rach 3 to most of the pianists. 

I'm not declaring that WestminsterLab is the very last word when it comes to cabling. It's always and all about the synergy, properly matched connectivity, etc. Yet... What Angus and team have reached is exceptional and of undisputed consistency that many of audio cables fail to deliver regardless of the price. WestminsterLab cables deliver a symbiotic dance of the orchestra and piano with a  level of that is happening right here, right now and not in some far fetch and provisional future. 

Considering that some of the top tier high-end audio cables come with the irreparable futileness, that won't disappear even after a lengthy burn-in puts the WestminsterLab cables in a clear advantage. In the era where high-end audio cables must not only provide clarity but a highly hard to achieve timbral and tone coherence, WestminsterLab easily escapes the audiophile zealotry with a clear and defined sonic prominence. These are by no means the usually sounding or performing high-end audio cables! Period!


We're living in a complex web of audio affairs where different views, opinions, and philosophies are non-stop clashing. For a casual observer, this collision of various intellectual forces might be too much to handle and they rather lurk into some other field of interest, where the ignition fuse is buried far deeper in the earth's crust. 

This is why I always strongly encourage every high-end audio manufacturer to be transparent about their modus operandi and raison d'etre. Especially with cables, it's more than important to reveal and lay down at least the basic principles of their unique and proprietary technology (if there is such tech involved). Even among the hardcore audiophiles are struggling to justify some of the sky-high priced cable solutions, where a little or almost nothing is offered to grasp upon. 

When people are forced to take up the marketing word blindly, without any or specks of technical information this insults their intelligence. You wouldn't believe me how many times I've been told the very exact thing...

Yes, the proof is in the pudding; in our case the quality of sound and performance. But... it's not that easy anymore. Audiophiles, music lovers and high-tech connoisseurs that are the target audience demand way more. Let us be frank, for most people spending a few thousand dollars for single cable is way out of reach. For those who can afford such luxury its all about brand and product gestalt. Nothing luxurious is viable without the proper story behind the product, brand's philosophy, proper marketing, packaging, stand-out material, etc. 

All that even before addressing the aural appeal. I'm sure some minds will be blown apart and the blood will boil to a certain unpleasant degree. Yet... Our beloved niche industry has already willingly or unwillingly stepped over to the other side of the fence, where industry mechanics are well known for decades, if not almost a century. 

The transitional phase is over and some of the renowned high-end audio brands are no shy in taking the proper measures for quite some time already and with quite impressive results. 

It shows how Angus Leung has done proper homework with WestminsterLab. Most of you won't know, but the brand exists for more than ten years. A decade in high-end audio is not an achievement to be undermasted. Leung belongs to the new wave of high-end audio manufacturers. He's broadminded and forward-thinking. While on the way to reach his mid-thirties he has already traveled the world around, visited most of the high-end audio shows more than once and gained unprecedented experience and valuable insights about the high-end audio industry. 

And WestminsterLab cables are the result of multiple combined efforts. They come with proper packing for starters, offer a unique enough visual appeal, implement various unique technologies and materials, come with a price tag that is highly competitive and most importantly delivers more than a solid sonic performance. 

Both Standard and Ultra lines are priced respectively. Saying that their value is based on the given price would be an understatement. Having the luxury of having on hand various cable looms from all price ranges is of big assistance to summering the objective conclusions. While WestminsterLab Standard and Ultra line do share some of the similar qualities, the top-level cables are revealing much more music's insights. My listening notes were determinable on the Ultra's most obvious increase in the believability factor. While the micro and macro details were also of significant raise, it was the being there element that surprised the most! 

Despite some fanatical following of the particular cables yours truly don't believe in a universal, fit all peruses and tastes high-end audio cable. This is simply utopian thinking to show the lack of understanding of basic. Not caring about the cables or reaching for universal (sometimes marketed) solutions doesn't really help neither our industry nor the final customer. 

In a way, it's a simple, yet complicated matter. Like I would never suggest to I wouldn't proclaim one magical cable that can solve all the problems. To get any audio system up to a certain level, that could be called high-end is never a simple task. Reaching such a goal is a complex endeavor and art on itself. This is why we're witnessing many of the audiophiles and music lovers constantly changing their components (regardless of what they are). Audio cables can help in reaching the synergy or they can make it unbearable to listen. I wouldn't suggest to anyone to use low quality oil for their sport or high-performing cars. Similarly, I wouldn't give a black and white answer or categorize any of the cables. Despite many naysayers, the system voicing with the audio cables goes beyond impedance matching and proper conductivity. 

Over almost thirty years of examination, DIY assemblies, testing of various materials and conductors, type of braiding, measuring (yes) and the rest of cable paraphernalia exploration I don't have a clear and simple answer. Cables can act as a sort of via medium signal transducers, tone controlling inserts and nonetheless equalizers. 

While some of the cable manufacturers do offer calculated solutions for a particular system, this was not proven to be a true end of the game panacea. As I've witnessed on numerous occasions such an approach is easily doubted with the insertion of XYZ cable that suddenly offers a significant raise in the performance. And nobody can really give an exact answer to these continuing trial and error phenomena. 

I see my role as reviewing in presenting the peculiar and particular cable qualities, what they can introduce in the system and how well they integrate into the known aural habitat. I'm a firm believer in high-enders being intelligent creatures and based on all the feedback over the emails and social media it seems that my findings can be deciphered by a specific dictionary. 

I've really enjoyed the powerful combination of WestminsterLab cable loom connected with their fantastic REI power amplifiers. The synergy was splendid and REI input allowed me to be driven directly with my MSB Technology Select DAC. The complete WestminsterLab's loom including amplifiers could drive my Bayz Audio Counterpoint, 2.0 reference speakers, with surprising ease and far beyond the expected level of authenticity.

While not completely universal as all of the high-end audio cables, the WestminsterLab cables do have more than usual applicability. As with WestminsterLab REI power amplifiers, the WestminsterLab's cables possess a certain gravity that simply pulls you into the prolonged and fatigue-free music enjoyment. More about the REI amps in the upcoming review, but it's worthy of the notion of the recognized qualities that simply lengthen the impact of the cables with a recognizing quality!

I've been asked more than a few times regarding the logic behind the Mono & Stereo awards. As a start, even before obliging to the review, I try to see if the offered products that are not another copy & paste and can offer something substantially different compared to the vast amount of the usual suspects. 

We have more than enough ordinaries out there and publications that cover these products at a steady pace. Mono & Stereo is a bit more prolific in finding the non-common products that are bringing  to the table much more than expected. 

Awards are given out to encourage, highlight and point-out the products that deserve to get wider recognition. WestminsterLab's cables are certainly packed with the merits that stand-out of the crowd. Their Standard line come at the fraction of the price of some utterly high priced offerings with an impressive impact and the Ultra line represent a splendid value judged by its sheer performance. 

They more than deserve to be on the radar of those that are in the quest for new cables or thinking of upgrading. Perhaps the synergy is not as far as you think...

For what they represent I'm happily granting WestminsterLab Standard and Ultra cables 2020 Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Product Award!

Matej Isak


Below are the review cable loom prices
  • Ultra Power cable (from USD 3990)
  • Standard Power cable (from USD 1490)
  • Ultra XLR Cable (from USD 4190)
  • Standard XLR Cable (from USD 1690)
  • Ultra Speaker Cable (from USD 6990)


Standard length:
1M-4M, every 0.5M
Standard Plugs:
Neutrik NC3FXX-B
to Neutrik NC3MXX-B
Ultra Plugs:
Neutrik NC3FXX-HE
to Neutrik NC3MXX-HE

Standard length:
1.5M-4.5M, every 0.5M
Standard/Ultra Plugs:
Furutech FI11M-G
to Furutech FI11-G

Standard length:
1.5M-6M, every 0.5M
Standard Plugs:
Furutech FP218G
Ultra Plugs:
Furutech FT211G


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