My turn with the EWA LS-25 speaker cable

edited May 26 in Other hi-fi gear
This was the review I was asked to pencil for Colin and Alan's new EWA cable. It was reworked and prettied up some for online publication but it conveys my thoughts of the LS-25. It may be clumsy it's a little more 'me'...

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My problem with HiFi cables is that it's possible to spend truly obscene amounts on them. Obscene, because it seems to me many offerings to the audiophile market are overpriced hype with no real merit.

Well it does seem like that doesn't it? I mean that's the easy stance, the most logical belief to adopt. The most easily understood and fiscally sensible for sure. (And at least partially/mostly accurate.)

Elsdon Wonfor Audio – EWA – have produced a new HiFi cable range, designed by Colin Wonfor. So what? Colin Wonfor is both a Chemist and something of a Power Supply design expert. His previous achievements may be too many to list but some of his more interesting ideas aren't that far from you right now: They could be in your computer for instance, your TV, your phone, in that airliner leaving contrails in the sky, and certainly in the ISS orbiting a few miles above your head. Colin has always returned to hhis home comforts though – he is perhaps best known for work in audio design, most notably AC Magnum, Inca Tech, more recently Naim and Tellurium Q.

Colin explains that an audio amplifier is in essence a power supply. A very fast, tracking power supply. Being something of a bat-eared audiophile himself, Colin has produced many fine amplifiers over the years, the best of which are very special indeed. He also built the largest transistor single ended class A (SECA) audio amplifiers in the world. My point is this: Colin knows something about Hifi, about power supply and delivery.

Colin first demonstrated his revolutionary cable ideas to me when with a company called Tellurium Q, which he helped to establish. This was about the time he was designing their well received first generation cables. I was honestly shocked at the different sonic character of one cable to the next, followed by Colin's concise explanation as to exactly why it should be so in each case. Those early designs of Colin Wonfor were pretty impressive, as was the thinking behind them. He has had time to improve and develop his approach since, and the new EWA LS-XXV (LS-25) cable is the newest offering building on those early ideas.

Unlike other speaker cables available today, nothing in EWA cables is available off the shelf/reel (except probably the Z-plugs and solder). The alloys, insulation, dialectic are bespoke, made for EWA only. Factory tooling had to be developed just to manufacture EWA cables alone. The design and geometry of the design elements in the EWA LS-25 is bespoke to EWA and the materials used (created in one case) have truly unique properties. Why do all this for a cable? Because Colin knows it will make a difference. He explains a few of his goals were to remove as much common-mode noise as possible from the signal, that the cable itself does not generate any noise / RFI and that they should be as immune as possible to external noise. (It's how he does this which is really interesting and he certainly wasn't explaining all his secrets to me.)

I've listened to Colin's earlier cables and liked them greatly – even owning one of them for many years. The EWA LS-25 is different though, it's something beyond what I've previously heard. There is a world within music and this is different to what I've previously experienced.

The LS-25 has wonderfully extended bass. There is a fullness to the timbre, a shape to the way the bass hangs in the air. The warmth of the bass and the powerful projection that goes with it obscures nothing. In fact there feels like there is more 'room' in the music lower down. The extra detail this cable projects into the listening space is experienced as you would in a real performance environment – it is dynamic, unforced and rich in texture. The bass images in the soundstage and presents itself in the most convincing manner I've heard. The detail may be stupendous but it is not analytical; it is simply experienced.

There is a lovely warmth about music through the LS-25. Not too much, but glorious in the same way a beautiful vista is enhanced when experienced in gorgeous early morning light.

EWA LS-25 has a similar strength to many of Colin's previous amplifiers and cables, that is the way strings are dealt with. Whether a guitar being plucked, strummed or strangled or a violin, a cello or bass, there is a palpable reality to each individual vibrating string, a real presence and projection which punches through whatever the other nearby strings are doing. What I am trying to describe is an intimate clarity, a front row experience of both musicianship and performance which cannot be ignored.

The EWA LS-25 highs simply soar whichever instrument you care to examine, without a trace of harshness or stridency. The soundstage and the imaging are as good as anything you could imagine, which is a result of the LSA-25 perfect phase linearity.

I would almost describe the EWA LS-25 as an HD or HDR cable. There is so much 'space' within the audio spectrum and space that we can wander around and examine the music at leisure, picking every detail for examination if you so wish, or letting the rich sonic experience wash over you in one glorious wave. In my experience it is rare for an audio component to allow both types of audio experience, effortlessly, without compromise and side by side.

This all sounds like rather bold claims for just a cable. In fact, some might contend that such a review is a stretch even for an amplifier, far less a wire. If that's you, enjoy your freedom and extra pennies, no worries.

Colin Wonfor, true to form, has proved his point as a chemist and a designer again. I would urge anyone to listen to the LS-25 for themselves, as all the above is only my personal impressions. I actually use amplifiers designed by Colin and he is personal friend of mine, so I'm hardly unbiased. But if you share a love of the musical experience I cannot recommend highly enough that you listen to the LS-25 for yourself. I think they are terrific, for reasons I have tried to outline above. I also think so because they are genuinely innovative, expensive because of the way they are made, with a specific remit – which they meet. They are more advanced than any cable Colin Wonfor has previously made yet EWA are bringing them out significantly cheaper than the early cables that resulted from Colin's brainwave. Real progress in other words. Which I now have to find a way to pay for, because they will not be going back.

EWA LS-25:
Capacitance 19pf/M
Common mode inductance 16uH/M
Single conductor inductance 6uH/M
Single conductor resistance less than 29mΩ/M
Balance inductance (the effect on the Amp) 1.3uH/M
Open Circuit Resonance 32MHz into no load
Frequency Response DC to 1MHz into 8Ω 

Admin edit:
Price of a 1m pair is £ 276.00  (additional metres £150pm) from Mark Grant cables

Comments

  • Typically well written Alan.
    Thanks.
    Nice one Colin. It seems you've progressed things yet further. :-)
    How much do these chaps cost please?
  • Alan bloody hell man I like the review , but you are supposed to be getting better to go back to work.
    Yer OK I would listen to music all day if I was bored to.
    Ben prices are on EWA page. Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he :D

  • "Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he"

    Well you can't be a genius at blummin everything, Col!
    Great review Alan.
  • edited May 26

    AntiCrap said:
    Alan bloody hell man I like the review , but you are supposed to be getting better to go back to work.
    Yer OK I would listen to music all day if I was bored to.
    Ben prices are on EWA page. Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he :D


    I've edited Alan's post at the end to include the following information:

    "Price of a 1m pair is £ 276.00 (additional metres £150pm) from Mark Grant cables "

    (In keeping with the traditions of Colin's business exploits, he will receive exactly 2.7p per sale*)

    * ;-)

  • Suzy6toes said:
    "Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he" Well you can't be a genius at blummin everything, Col! Great review Alan.
    But I could try, I am better at HUGS honest.xx

  • edited May 26
    Docfoster said:

    AntiCrap said:
    Alan bloody hell man I like the review , but you are supposed to be getting better to go back to work.
    Yer OK I would listen to music all day if I was bored to.
    Ben prices are on EWA page. Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he :D


    I've edited Alan's post at the end to include the following information:

    "Price of a 1m pair is £ 276.00 (additional metres £150pm) from Mark Grant cables "

    (In keeping with the traditions of Colin's business exploits, he will receive exactly 2.7p per sale*)

    * ;-)

    Hey that's not bad if I sell 10,000,000M in a year so wallet out Ben he he
  • edited May 26
    AntiCrap said:
    Docfoster said:

    AntiCrap said:
    Alan bloody hell man I like the review , but you are supposed to be getting better to go back to work.
    Yer OK I would listen to music all day if I was bored to.
    Ben prices are on EWA page. Never ask me about money I always screw that bit up he he :D


    I've edited Alan's post at the end to include the following information:

    "Price of a 1m pair is £ 276.00 (additional metres £150pm) from Mark Grant cables "

    (In keeping with the traditions of Colin's business exploits, he will receive exactly 2.7p per sale*)

    * ;-)

    Hey that's not bad if I sell 10,000,000M in a year so wallet out Ben he he
    Hey, if you sell one million, you're buying me a coffee.
    And I'm holding you to that.

    Seriously, all the best with the new gear. It all seems to be rolling out nicely.
  • Another nice review from real people without money and advertising agendas.


    Elsdon Wonfor Audio - LS XXVA Speaker Cable Review

    06-21-2017, 09:05 PM
    Right off the bat, I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not spend much money on cables in my system. I’ve always bought decent, but not expensive cables. I’ve always felt that there are more gains to be had by investing elsewhere in my system. Upgrading my source, speakers, turntable, etc. The most I have ever spent on a pair of speaker cables is $150. So, I really wasn’t expecting much going in.

    Now, Colin Wonfor was kind enough to send a pair of his new LS XXVA speaker cables for a few members of the HiFi Haven community to listen to and share our impressions. I received the cables last week and sadly, they sat for 5 days before I even got a chance to hook them up and give them a good listen. Time I wish I had back now as these are on their way to the next recipient.

    As I first sat down to give these a listen, my first impressions were that they were quite a bit darker in presentation than the Neotech speaker cables that I normally use. Bass was certainly more abundant, and treble seemed a bit recessed. Now mind you, I gave these no time to warm up and settle into my system; I listened to them cold out of the box.

    I’ve now spent about a week and half or about 15 hours of ears on time with these cables and the more I listen to them, the more I like what they do in my system. These have settled in and what began as pronounced bass and rolled of highs is now much, much more balanced. The bass extension (especially midbass) is really quite remarkable. In fact, if there is any place the I’ve felt my system was somewhat lacking in presentation it’s in the midbass. Detail across the full frequency range has improved as well and there have been a few “aha” moments where I’ve recognized instruments that were lost in the mix before. Imaging has never been an issue with the Altecs, but with these cables the soundstage is tighter and better focused then before.

    If there is a knock I can give against these cables its that they tend to be a little thick in the midrange at times but very slightly and only on some material. Thinking about it, this could also be an attribute of my Altec speakers on their own.

    Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time with these cables and even my wife was commenting that they have made a significant improvement in my system. I looked up the price and even though they are quite a bit more than I have ever spent on speaker cables, I can say that the value is there for what these have done in my system. I can’t imagine spending the same amount of money elsewhere in my system at this point and getting the same performance increase across the board. Full stop.

    The equipment in my system is as follows:

    Digital: PC using Roon server with HQPlayer on the backend, all digital up converted to DSD256
    DAC: Musical Paradise MP-D2
    Turntable: Thorens TD-124 Turntable, Audiomods Classic Tonearm, Ortofon 2M Black
    Phono Preamplifer: Bottlehead Eros
    Preamplifier: Bottlehead BeePre
    Amplifier: Bottlehead Paramount v1.1 SET 2A3 Mono Blocks
    Speakers: Altec 604-8G Drivers in 620A cabinets
    Subwoofers: (2) Dayton HO 15” Drivers, 3.0 CuFt Cabinets, 500WPC Dayton Plate Amplifiers
    DSP/Subwoofer Integration: DSPeaker Anti-Mode Cinema
    Cables: Neotech NEI-3004 Interconnect, Neotech 18G UPOCC Solid Core Speaker Cables
    Last edited by marantzfan06-22-2017, 12:23 AM.
  • Seems genuinely surprised and delighted. :smile:
  • And very similar to my remarks about earlier cables from Colin. 

    To paraphrase: I couldn't believe how much pure sonic value there was to be had in changing the damned speaker cables! They aren't an afterthought, something you come to after the speakers, amps and source components. They're just as worthy a recipient of money as the rest of they system.
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