Firs let me start by repeating a few excerpts from my introductory post (HERE) about the new Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires to give you an idea about what these exotic and ultra expensive cartridge leads are all about ($1075 USD for a set).
The new PC-Triple C/EX conductor is a unique affair, and in very simplistic terms it is 5N purity grade silver tubing with a 5N purity grade copper conductor running through its center. These silver/copper conductors are then forged via the compressive forces of being drawn through a die to form a single-wire conductor.
Ken-san says about the forging process, “The PC-Triple C/EX conductor was developed by FCM and Promotion Works, and is a breakthrough in which the current flows in both the silver and copper crystal structures while firmly integrating 5N grade silver and 5N grade copper by a forging manufacturing method into a single conductor. Its conduction rate is 105% IACS of copper alone, and it is no exaggeration to say that it has already reached superconductivity. At Acoustic Revive, this PC-Triple C/EX is adopted as a single wire with the maximum manufacturing diameter, which makes it possible to reproduce ultra-wide range with unprecedented transmission speed.”
A quick note from me about “superconductivity” to those who have might not have experience with the topic: Being involved with projects using superconducting wires and materials at the US national scientific laboratory I worked at as a physical scientist before I retired, I can tell you that Ken-san is not saying that the PC-Triple C/EX conductor is a “superconductor” in the scientific sense of the word (i.e. in a superconductor the resistance drops to zero when the material is cooled below its critical temperature), as at this point in time a room-temperature superconducting material does not exist.
Rather, Ken-san is saying that the PC-Triple C/EX forged silver-copper hybrid conductor is a “super” conductor in terms that it exceeds the IACS rating of pure copper, which is defined as 100%, and matches the IACS rating of pure silver at 105%. I mention this to clarify as I didn’t want what Ken-san is saying to be misunderstood as a scientific claim of room temperature superconductivity.
If you’ve never had a chance to try high-performance headshell leads yet, you’re in for a treat one of these days, as they can make a remarkable difference, and at least as much of a difference as high-performance power cords, speaker cables, or interconnects can!
The new Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires leads use the same PC-TripleC /EX forged hybrid silver-copper conductors in the Acoustic Revive RCA Absolute FM Interconnects (review to come), but in a Teflon insulation in a 1mm gauge that is more appropriate to headshell leads. The cartridge clips are made by the Matsukin Company in Tomioka City.
About the lead wires, Ken-san says, “The Absolute PC-Triple C/EX lead wires are manufactured by Mr. Shingo Tadasawa of KS-REMASTA who is a lead wire artisan.”
Suffice it to say that Mr. Shingo Tadasawa has turned building headshell lead wires using exotic wire – like the PC-Triple C/EX – into an art form, and he has created quite a sensation in Japan with audio enthusiasts and music lovers for his lead wires’ high-performance musical & sonic attributes. I wish that my photo did them justice – they are beautifully made.
Having built quite a number of tinned-copper lead wires myself, I can attest how difficult it can be to get the sort of beautiful result that Mr. Shingo Tadasawa of KS-REMASTA has achieved with his lead wires.
If you search on “Mr. Shingo Tadasawa of KS-REMASTA” you’ll find mini-reviews on various Japanese web sites of his lead wires – they are works of musical art!
Installation of the Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires
First of all, these are the most finely crafted headshell leads I’ve ever encountered, and the fit and finish is impeccable.
I was a little anxious about mounting these ultra expensive headshell leads to my Schick graphite headshell pins and Soundsmith Carmen Mk II phonograph cartridge pins as I’ve broke a number of headshell leads during the mounting process, and I would have dreaded telling Ken-san and Yoshi-san that I broke their expensive headshell leads.
The leads come pre-formed with a loop in them to relieve stress on the clips to lessen the chance of breaking them during installation, which I really appreciated, and I do something similar with my own DIY Art of Tone headshell leads to lessen the chance of breaking them during installation.
The clips were a little too tight to mount directly, so I very carefully spread the clips with the point of a very sharp and fine pair of scissors.
One by one, I spread the clips and then mounted them to the headshell / cartridge pins with a hemostat.
Whew! I got them installed and I didn’t break a one – woo hoo!
Next I mounted the completed headshell / cartridge / leads assembly on my Schick tonearm and got all the adjustments dialed in.
First Listening Impressions
My reference for headshell leads is my DIY Art of Tone leads made from 22GA Gavitt cloth-covered tinned-copper vintage-style guitar pushback wire from Art Of Tone ($7.10 USD for 12-feet from Amazon).
This wire is used by guitarists to rewire their guitars to get a “vintage tone” that the best of the vintage electric guitars had, and it sounds fantastic as headshell leads (and digital USB interconnects), even besting the superb Western Electric 24GA silk / tinned-copper headshell leads I have.
The Art of Tone leads are extremely musical, vivid, natural sounding, rich, and somewhat warm – traits that I adore – and they are so much better than generic lead wires that you’ll fall out of your chair in shock the first time you hear them.
The Art of Tone headshell leads are the Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires’ competition here at Jeff’s Place.
First I listened to the album I mentioned in my last post that I was listening to this morning, Peter Frampton’s Acoustic Classics,
When the stylus touched down into the groove and the music started to play I was completely appalled at what I was hearing. Bright, forward, harsh, and edgy, all of the things that put me off.
Oh man, I thought, “I don’t want to tell Ken-san & Yoshi-san that these exotic and expensive leads weren’t a good match for my system and tastes.”
I was a little puzzled too, because the Acoustic Revive RCA Absolute FM Interconnects which I’ve been listening to for quite a while now don’t sound like that at all, they’re really good sounding, which I’ll tell you all about in their upcoming review.
While I was listening to Acoustic Classics was rather astonished at how transparent and resolving the Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires were. I actually had to get up and fine tune my Altec’s positioning a little, as one loudspeaker was off a couple of inches in positioning as compared to the other, and it was immediately obvious.
Then something rather remarkable happened while I was listening to albums this morning. The resolution and transparency remained but the bright, forward, harsh, and edgy stuff I was hearing at first mostly disappeared. The transformation was huge!
So why did I bother to tell you about my initial not-so-positive impressions?
Because I don’t want you to freak out if you buy a set of these and they sound unpleasant at first, just wait for a few albums and they’ll smooth out a bunch, and the nasties will disappear, leaving a very good sounding pair of headshell leads.
Remember that this post is called “First Listen”. My intent isn’t to cut to the chase and tell you what something sounds like after it is fully run-in like a lot of reviews do, but rather to share with you the whole experience as I go from beginning to end, as the point of a lot of what I write here for Jeff’s Place is to give you a behind the scenes glimpse into what happens along the way to a full review.
I’m really curious as to what these Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires sound like when they get a proper amount of run-in time on them, say around a 100 hours or so.
I should point out that tinned-copper wire also goes through an initial period where it sounds rough before it settles down to its musical best, so it’s worth being patient when you’re listening to a new wire product to make sure you get it completely run-in before making any judgements.
Will the Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires attain that same ultra-musical and comfortable “old sweatshirt” or “well-worn jeans” feel to them that my ragamuffin Art of Tone DIY headshell leads have in abundance? Time will tell, and I’ll tell you all about it.
Stay tuned as I get more time on these exotic and expensive Acoustic Revive Absolute PC-Triple C/EX Lead Wires, and I’ll report back on how they’re evolving musically & sonically after they get some more music listening time on them, so stay tuned for much more!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!