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Cable Asylum: REVIEW: DIY by Chris VenHaus Furutech DSS 4.1 Cable by bhenriks

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REVIEW: DIY by Chris VenHaus Furutech DSS 4.1 Cable

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Model: Furutech DSS 4.1
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $349.99 / meter
Description: speaker cable
Manufacturer URL: DIY by Chris VenHaus
Model Picture: View

Review by bhenriks on May 13, 2020 at 21:52:17
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for the Furutech DSS 4.1

First things first. No affiliation here, but Chris VenHaus at VHAudio.com is outstanding, always an absolute pleasure to do business with.

If you're expecting a comparison of high end speaker cables, this review isn't it. The only expertise I have is with my system, room, and journey. The goal of this DIY project was to achieve good performance using a product reputed to punch above its weight.

Visually, the DSS 4.1 is a high quality product with superb construction. It's more stout than I expected, nearly 3/4" in diameter, weighty, solid, but forgivingly flexible. My three meter section of bulk wire, once sliced in half, laid out in a nice big pliable curve. Cost: $349.99/meter list, on sale for $315, $945 total incl. shipping for a 1.5 meter pair for my monoblocks.

Assembly was undemanding. I used Jonard Tools CST-1900 cable strippers. I chose to construct a barewire set -- no connectors or splitters.

Once hooked up, the initial sound was pleasing but not dazzling. It drew me in. The first minute sounded like sources and speakers were somehow upgraded. In familiar music, bands of sound that were formerly smeary were now coherent. Observability gained, no warmth lost. Quickly, I became interested in listening for new sounds in familiar music. Within a few minutes, my worry over burn in vanished. If the future holds 200 more hours of settling, I won't mind at all.

Time to listen. With my system's newfound resolution, I was drawn to large ensemble recordings. Jaco Pastorious "Word of Mouth Revisited" and Count Basie "88 Basie Street" have massive walls of sound, but the DSS 4.1s added evenness and clarity. Horns within sections were discernible and balanced, as were horn sections amongst each other. Recorded cymbals can often hiss like hairspray, especially in congested big band settings, but the 4.1s presented a rich sonority across and into the stage. What a pleasure to hear agreeable ride patterns, hi hats, and crashes in the expert hands of Peter Erskine and Dennis Mackrel.

I dig instrumental jam bands with a jazz bent. John Scofield's "Uberjam" is a fun record. With my open baffles, a good room pressurizer; with the DSS 4.1s, old school grit and new modern day fidelity. Hammond B3 and Fender Precision Bass amplified by Leslies and Ampegs rattled the walls, but were refined and linear. With lesser cables, Scofield's guitar can get grainy and a bit fatiguing with prolonged listening. Not with the Furutech's. No treble scratchiness, just fast and fascinating sounds -- note bending, transients, pick dragging across wound strings -- massive tone ornamented by glorious little noises. No Hi Fi in the way, only great art by a great artist. Good times!

The Bill Evans Album's "Funkalero" is a desert island track for me, IMO among the best Fender Rhodes performances ever recorded, a seductive blend of acoustic and electric comping in the eye of Edie Gomez's relentlessly swinging and still-modern-sounding contrabass hurricane. Bill Evans is a guru of timing, and often surprises listeners with long lingering silence interrupted by brassy blasts of two-fisted chords. Unfortunately, his bursts can wreak trouble for gear, and can expose weaknesses across component boundaries, especially amps and speakers, and the cables which connect them. I listened cautiously, swept up in the music, but also preparing to cringe, expecting imminent and familiar distorted clips. It never happened. The 4.1s acted with uniformity and composure. I have Neotech 1002 silver interconnects from DAC to preamp, clarity is never a problem, but occasionally harshness is; the 4.1s smoothed and enriched them, yet kept all their speed, detail, and liveliness. My system never sounded better.

Can $300+ a meter be regarded as a good value? I think it can. What I can tell you is, on my journey, in this system and room, the runs from amps to magnets are done. If "endgame" exists in this hobby, these babies are it.

Product Weakness: sticker shock
Product Strengths: geometry, design, construction, materials, results, sound

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: Parasound JC1
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): JC2
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Oppo 205
Speakers: LiiAudio F-15 DIY open baffles
Cables/Interconnects: Neotech 1002, Tributaries 6AB
Music Used (Genre/Selections): jazz
Room Size (LxWxH): 25 x 15 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments: DIY
Time Period/Length of Audition: n/a
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Furman 20i ref
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
Your System (if other than home audition): n/a

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Topic - REVIEW: DIY by Chris VenHaus Furutech DSS 4.1 Cable - bhenriks 21:52:17 05/13/20 ( 1)