What´s cooking in the Mad Scientist´s kitchen these days, you may ask. Quite a lot I can assure you. And as a result, we received a package with new footers, new RCA cables, the also new Graphene Contact Enhancer and the world premiere of the company’s first USB cable, called the Heretical USB.

The H-USB as it´s labeled on the cable itself, is another result of months of hard work, with trials and errors, and long nightly listening sessions. It´s available in different colors (Red/Blue, Red, Blue, Purple (and unbleached white), the one we got was in a purple cotton sleeve, with gold plated plugs and 2 meters long. The 200 cm length is clearly better then the 1 or the 3-meter versions, Bob Prangnell, the mastermind behind the success of Mad Scientist Audio´s company, tells us. One reviewer asked for a 2-meter version of the H-USB, and as Bob listened to the different versions he found the 2 meter to be just the sweet spot, as he calls it.

There is also a possibility to order different types, with or without the 5V data line connected, see below:
– Type 1 is a normal USB cable
– Type 2 is a “Data only” cable – the 5VDC line is not connected. Only order this if you are sure your DAC does not need 5V on the line
Type 3 is a Shotgun cable, with separate data and power connectors (both USB connectors). The standard length is 2 meters for data, 1 meter for power. 
Other lengths are available on request, but we did fine with the 2-meter version with the audio and data lines not separated.
As of writing, there was a new version of the USB cable coming out of Bob´s kitchen, called the ground Breaking USB Cable, where there are small switches connected to the cable, that will break the ground between the source and the destination. As this came in after my deadline I will only point to the company´s website regarding this cable and I have not tested this cable for myself – link.
There is a warmth to the sound that suits the most music, a softness that beats every “printer” USB cable around. And when I write printer cable, I guess that some high-grade USB HiFi cables are just that, printer cables with a new sleeve and plug. I did a test for Norwegian Fidelity five years ago of 10 or 12 USB cables, and there was really a big sound difference. Not that I suspect any of them to be a disguised printer cable, it´s just that there has been quite an (r)evolution in USB cables for the HiFi enthusiasts amongst us. So what I thought was good at that point in time (Crystal Cable Dreamline) is now overtaken by others, cheaper and better-sounding cables. 


Listen to “Love´s Name” with John Campbell or his “Wiseblood” or even better “Wolf Among The Lambs”. These tracks do really show what this USB cable can do to your sound. This bluesy guy can give you the shivers, I promise you that. I did not know him or his music until I stumbled across it at the Danish HiFi show last month, where I heard these tracks on the glorious GoldenEar speakers. And what a revelation not to have to listen to “Keith Don´t Go” (oh yes, please go. Go away from all these HiFi demo show´s. We HAVE heard your song. Period!)
Now turning my head, and ears to the FCG+ RCA Signal cable), still spinning these same tracks, and it´s VERY obvious that the reverb added to the artists vocal is much more present, as well as the stereo width, is deeper and wider. The drums are easier to follow, the bass is more articulate, and the guitars more present. A much more vivid sound presentation, as I read from my notes that day.
This gem is Mad Scientists newest carbon cable, and a substitute for their VERY good Heretical (from 250 USD depending on the plugs of your choice).
In a few.words just to sum up things, the enjoyment factor is raised by let´s say a 10-12%, which is not bad for a humble RCA cable costing from 500 USD dollars and up. The Graphene PLUS version, which is the one we had at our hands, is treated with Graphene all the way and therefore has a bigger price tag of approx. 900 USD.
But let’s get on with some other type of music, shall we? On my ROON/Tidal system, I find Frankie Goes To Hollywood with this awesome Synclavier bass that just rocks! But also the singers Holly Johnson’s voice cuts through the wall of sound where the peak levels are high!
Or take Suzanne Vega´s “Luka” from a live version from her In Concert, the intimacy is stunning played through this carbon fiber cable.
These cables are made of thousands of strands of carbon and put inside a Teflon tube, otherwise, they´d be too flexible. The return string is made of a thick copper wire. They can be used with digital or analog music systems.
Blackpod Nanotech are footers to be mounted underneath CD players, pre and power amps or even loudspeakers. They use both Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes in the top and bottom halves of the blackpod, but uses the same balls (Tungsten Carbide and Zirconia) as the previous versions. Also, these small devices can be a shocking experience when you have not tried this kind of stuff before. The sound opens up and gets bigger, wider and more precise. They just let more music through. Not bad for a set of three that will only set you back 299 USD.
And what is the Graphene Contact Enhancer? It´s some greasy oil-ish stuff to be supplied on your power plugs, your valve sockets, USB cables … Where metal meets metal, as Bob explains it.
I have earlier on tried and tested some Deoxit Contact Enhancer, and was blown away afterward. But blown away in a bad sense; the times I used it my sound system sounded bad, very bad like a carpet had been drawn on the speakers. So I was not keen to try Mad Scientists Graphene to say the least. One day I took the risk, put on some plastic gloves (it´s quite messy, your hands get black) and applied a small amount on all my plugs (power, signal, USB, speaker) and was not prepared that I´d be blown away, but this time on a positive aspect.
The sound just opens up and gets more fluid (sorry, but this is the real term for it) and especially digital (hard and congested) sound gets a touch of softness and sweetness that suits every kind of music. 
But the synergies just comes when you combine these cables, the Graphene stuff, and the feet, it´s just like the music system has been substituted by a new, and quite more expensive one. Thumps up.
Text and pictures © Kurt Lassen 2017