Gekko Cables Purple Haze XLR And Floaters Review.


Gekko Cables was founded in 2012 to design and manufacture high-quality cables for audiophiles, musicians, and recording studios. Gekko Cables' product range includes everything from interconnect, speakers, microphone, instrument, power, and digital cables. 



All cables are handmade and can be custom-made to customer specifications.


Gekko Cables' philosophy of cable design is simple: they use high-quality conductors and protect them with the best possible insulators (dielectrics) to achieve the best possible sound. 


Contrary to popular belief, every wire has a unique sound. At Gekko Cables, they've spent over a year testing and listening to thousands of different wires: Silver, copper, brass, gold, and various alloys.

As a result, pure British silver wires (99.99%), UP-OCC (99.9999%), and OFHC copper wires (99.99%) with an annealed solid core were selected as the best sounding among them. The only measuring instruments in the selection process were the ears.


After finding the best-sounding conductors, the next challenge was uncovering the best dielectric (insulating) material and finding it in cotton. 


Cotton is not only the best dielectric (the dielectric constant of air is 1.2; cotton is 1.3-1.4; Teflon (PTFE) is 2.1-2.2; nylon is 4.0-4.5), but also plays an important role as a damper, reducing unnecessary vibration. This prevents microphonics or triboelectric noise.

The Gekko Way


Twisting

Two signal conductors are twisted together. This suppresses electromagnetic interference from the outside, which improves the effectiveness of the cable and increases the sound dynamics.


Shielding


The shielding has the task of protecting the signal conductors from outside interference. Gekko Cables use a high-density copper braid as the shield, which provides more than 95% coverage. While most cables also use the shield as a signal return conductor, Gekko Cables cables do not transmit a signal because it is only connected on one side.

Final Cable Jacket

To protect the cables, Gekko Cables jacket them with either cotton, PVC, a woven polyester jacket, or a combination of all three. This gives the cables their final, original look. Gekko Cables try not to spend too much on esthetics, as sound quality is their top priority. They do not believe that esthetics and packaging should be worth more than the cables.


Connectors


Currently, Gekko Cables use the unique GAC1 connectors from Gekko (patent pending), Switchcraft and G&H  XLR connectors are soldered with high-quality lead-free solder with 4% silver content. All other connectors are NOT using soldering, since solder has 15-18% of the conductivity of copper. 

Purple Haze XLR


Purple Haze is a directional, unshielded interconnect cable consisting of two twisted solid core conductors of pure UK AWG26 silver (99.99%). Each conductor is insulated by braided PTFE threads and an additional cotton layer.


The PTFE braid provides a more open and dynamic sound than cotton, while the cotton braid plays an important role in dampening unnecessary vibration to ensure true sound. The result is a more open and dynamic sound than Silver Lining while maintaining the natural sound that harmonizes perfectly with the silver conductors.

The blend of PTFE and natural cotton dielectric provides transparent and lively music by eliminating unnecessary vibrations while securing the original signal.


The two conductors are twisted together with two more cotton threads. The cable is then covered with a layer of cotton and then a layer of purple polypropylene, which provides additional mechanical protection for the conductors.


Like the RCA version, the Purple Haze is a directional, unshielded interconnect cable consisting of three twisted solid core conductors of pure British AWG26 silver (99.99%). Each conductor is insulated by braided PTFE threads and an additional cotton layer.

Highlights
  • Conductors: 3x 0.5mm high purity (99.99%) annealed UK silver
  • Primary dielectric layer: PTFE thread
  • Secondary dielectric layer: cotton
  • Laying: Orbital twist, 50mm lay length
  • Capacitance: (min) 45pF/m
  • Inductance: 1.8 uH/m
  • Resistance value: 0.0.07ohm/m
  • Jacket: polypropylene
  • Overall diameter: 11.0mm

The Music


One of the most beautiful songs by one of the most famous and respected Slovenian musicians and composers hides so many inner narratives, excellent weight of instruments, and a sense of dimensionality. With Gekko Cable's Purple Haze XLRs inserted a subtle, non-subtle, and micro and macro details just came out without dominating the sound sphere. 


With Gekko Cables Purple Haze XLR cables, I did not notice any additional sonic background artifice that can be too often added, and the subtle threads and treads of this timeless music were revealed spontanisuly. 

The soulful pilgrimage of "Veter Nosi Pesem Mojo" explores the intimate vicinity of the music and Purple Haze removed an extra layer of graininess, giving the piece a level up in subtlety and lightness.

Most notably, the note tails and decays did not just disappear but rolled off with a slower (as they should) natural decay. 

The serene atmosphere was filled not only with the requisite amount of grace but also with a tonal balance that is neither mandatory nor expected in this price range.


I was quite surprised how Gekko Cable's Purple Haze revealed the additional layer of the underlying complexity of "Il ladro" from the Angelo Branduardi Studio Collection.

"Il ladro" was rendered with more pulsation and electricity. Purple Haze bough with the rhythm and provided more integrity, with more ease than expected.

With "Il ladro", Gekko Cable's XLR manifestly showed its unique ability to switch from the role of spectator to that of the participant when the rest of the system allows it.


Despite its wide popularity, "Lily Was Here" is an underrated masterwork of instrumental contrasts that requires truly capable interconnects to bring out subtle variations as well as the golden trinity of timbre, tone, and color.

"Lily Was Here" (feat. Candy Dulfer) by David A. Stewart shows again and again that not only the high-end audio system but also the music itself is ambiguous. But for a reason. 

Purple Haze shows that the aural landscapes and instrument mapping have a huge impact on the overall perception of the listener. Especially when it comes to nailing the speed and timing and with  Gekko Cables' XLR it was also quickly apparent they do not interfere with the different and varying time directions.

There are a lot of hidden treads in this chart-topper, and with the right cables, "Lily Was Here" becomes an even more beautiful sonic journey as unveiled with Gekko Cables XLR interconnects and Floaters. The saxophone and Stewart's intoxicatingly sweet guitar have been given a firmer physical presence not expected at this price. These positive qualities are usually reserved for high-end audio cables costing two or three times as much.


Both Purple Haze XLRs and Floaters fixated a non-negligible degree of additional fullness with "Shelter" by Tedeschi Trucks Band from the album Revelator.

It was interesting how the combination of Gekko Cables XLR cables and the Floaters produced a balanced, palpable presence rather than a forward-pushing artificial warmth.

Some feet can detract from dynamics, but Gekko Cables' Floaters not only manage to retain the full range and dynamic magnitude of "Shelter," but acted as the perfect complement to the feathery lightness and the power and purity of the music.

As with the rest of the music, Purple Haze XLR's interconnects never become a loose end but acted as a harmonic whole without favoring any particular sonic focus 

Too often, high-end audio interconnects can tame the "Shelter" suppressing clarity and blurring the details.

Not so with the Gekko cables. Their reproduction of "Shelter" was just as perceptive and equally astute
as with the other reference tracks.


The dynamic continuity was made even more evident by the epic soundtrack of Interstellar, composed by Hans Zimmer.

Again, the combination of Purple Haze and Gekko Cable's floaters provided great support, cementing the coalesce of the orchestra with full authority without formatting and twisting it like real-world objects in a surrealist painting.

Especially on "No Time for Caution," I was simultaneously drawn into the music and found an added presence, a subtle acceleration (closer to the real impact) of the orchestral dynamics, but without the flow being destroyed.

Many high-end audio cables do not mesh well with Interstellar, but the weave created by Gekko Cables XLR follows the momentum of this soundtrack's trajectory without depicting the narrative. A massive thumbs up for Purple Haze! 

I have tried a lot of support feet that deal with micro-vibration and resonance, and some of them can either move or not move with certain vibrations, adding or detracting frequencies.

In contrast, Gekko Floaters presents the music overtly, as is and without changing pitch, which can immediately be noticeable in "No Time for Caution."

Conclusion


Different high-end audio cables can cause different kinds of sonic vagaries in a high-end audio system and often act as parametric equalizers or notch filters.  

For many, the role of the audio cable is laughably straightforward but the sonic points are not always connected at all price points. 


Each cable manufacturer tries to find its modus operandi, its materials, and technologies that provide the desired sonic result.

Gekko Cables Purple Haze XLR cables are no different, but they have spent a lot of time finding the right materials, concepts, and honing techniques to achieve a sonic balance that breathes life and delivers a sound reproduction that does not need much description in practice. They simply work within music for the music.  


With Gekko Cables Purple Haze, I breezed through music with lightheartedness. Purple Haze XLR created a controlled environment without pulling anything off, and a habitat where it was easy to understand the differences in the core of the music.


Too often, high-end audio cables lead to transience that takes the focus away from the energy of the music.

Music is inherently a complex fabric in which sonic geometry dictates a multi-layered narrative. This is where Gekko Cables shine. With a Zelig-like ability to conform to the music and not act like false sonic dispatch, Purple Haze introduces no performance limitations caused primarily by many high-end audio cables by inadequacies in material, geometry, isolation, etc. 


Both Gekko Cables Purple Haze XLR and Floaters achieved great results regardless of where they were used in the system.

Normally, I would have a hard time raving about another audio cables and footers if there was no objectiveness. And Gekko Cables is all about sonic legibility and getting everything under control without atomizing the music.


There's something unique about the Purple Haze that allows the music to reach a certain point of differentia, a piquant quality whose requirements are closely tied to the rhythm and tempo of the music, and without adding a disheveled texture to the sound that even some of the much more expensive cables do not achieve.

Purple Haze simply encourages one to build a momentous relationship with the performer in a very compellingly and special, musical way that makes immersion into the music even more spontaneous.


I have never been a fan of moirĂ© effects in cables and Gekko Cables' Purple Haze and Floaters escape this phenomenon. They retain all the essentials and integrals of the music presented, without twisting and bending the substance of the music to the point where it becomes nothing more than a heavily embellished soundscape. 


Gekko Cables' Purple Haze XLR cables are capable of bringing the character to the music. This is not a romantic notion, but a realistic recurrence of what should be conveyed and what draws the listener under the spell of the music.


Both the Purple Haze XLR and Gekko Cables Footers counter similar cables by reproducing the music remarkably realistically and reflecting the multi-faceted nature of the music with surprising authority. 


Interconnect cable can do many things when introduced to the system, but it can not make up for the mistakes. Nevertheless, a stand-out like the Purple Haze XLR cable from Gekko Cables can take the high-end audio system to the boundary of the sound sphere where hi-fi meets and surpass hi-fi. And that says a lot if not all about where Purple Haze belongs.


The Purple Haze XLR is in close harmony with the threat of the music, which is not only presented seamlessly but also with more acoustic nodes and focal points that deliver a higher degree of atmospheric density and thus a more extensive horizontal and vertical expansion. 


Micro and macro dynamics are delivered without additional sonic tint and, most importantly, without any kind of distortions. Music can take its place and presence, and the Purple Haze XLR is embedded with the kind of sound morphology normally reserved for high-end, top-of-the-line audio cables. Again a remarkable achievement at the Purple Haze price point.  


Gekko Cables' Purple Haze XLR cable is a beacon in many ways and deserves proper recognition. That's why I am more than happy to award it with the 2022 Mono & Stereo Upper Echelon Product Award, and the effectiveness and sonic equilibrium of Floaters call for a Mono & Stereo Highly Recommended Product Award. •

Matej Isak

Price

  • Purple Haze XLR 1 metre £2,999.00 (additional 1m £1,799.00)
  • Floaters £450 (set of 4)

Technical specifications

  • Conductors: 3x 0.5mm high purity (99.99%) annealed UK silver
  • Primary dielectric layer: PTFE thread
  • Secondary dielectric layer: Cotton
  • Lay: Orbital twist, 50mm lay length
  • Capacitance: (min) 45pF/m
  • Inductance: 1.8 uH/m
  • Resistance: 0.0.07ohm/m
  • Overall jacket: Polypropylene
  • Overall diameter: 11.0mm

Contact


Gekko Cables
Boundary Road
LONDON
SW19 2AN
England

Phone: +44748 127 1006